MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

THE majesty of a Royal occasion is an incredible spectacle to behold.

And it was no different as Parliament resumed this week with a visit from Her Majesty.

As stated in the Queen’s message to both Houses at the end of the last session of parliament, the economy remains the main focus with cutting the budget deficit remaining the Government’s vital, number one priority.

But as one legislative session ends and another begins I wanted to take the opportunity to recap a few of the measures that have been achieved so far, and what they mean to Fylde.

As well as a banking levy, there are also large infrastructure projects to try and help grow the economy.

These include the £1.4 billion regional growth fund, which Fylde firms are targeting; enterprise zones like the one that I secured at Warton; and over £30 billion for transport projects such as the electrification of the Blackpool to Preston railway line.

Crucially for Lancashire, the Government is securing the rolling out of superfast broadband across the country.  Lancashire, of course, after hard work from a lot of local people, will be the first county in the country to have full superfast broadband coverage.

There are scores of other measures too that will help nationally, like a national council tax freeze, a cut in the main rate of Corporation Tax and the funding of 250,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years.

We have also introduced a cap on benefits at £26,000 whilst cutting tax for 24 million working people.  I welcome this for the hard-working people of Fylde.  The ‘Right to Buy’ has also been extended, whilst the Government has frozen Council Tax, vetoed a new EU Treaty, and kept fuel duty 10p lower than it would have been under the last Government.

Notably, considering our local Weeton army barracks, The Armed Forces Act enshrines the Military Covenant into law, formalising the Government’s obligation to our brave servicemen and women.

There were also provisions in the Localism Act which made rules much tougher on illegal traveller’s sites which could be hugely helpful in the future bearing in mind the ongoing legal battle at Fairfield Road near Singleton.

We have achieved a great deal but we also recognise that there is so much more to do. With renewed energy and determination, I look forward to tackling this country’s, and Fylde’s, most pressing challenges in the next session of Parliament.

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