MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

I’VE spent a lot of time pounding the pavements lately thanks to the local elections.

And fortunately, the candidate I was knocking on doors for, Cllr Trevor Hart in Lea and Cottam – a terrific role model in his community – was successful.

But despite my feet being tired it didn’t stop me covering a great deal of ground this week beginning, of course, with attending the State Opening of Parliament.

We saw a number of positive measures for the people of Fylde in the Queen’s speech; for example, many of you know that I care deeply about road safety, so I welcome the Government’s proposal to create a specific offence to drive under the influence of drugs, which is, sadly, a growing problem in our country.

Perhaps most important this week though was a meeting with senior officers at Fylde Council. I sat down with them to discuss everything from council tax to cockle picking.

Top of my agenda though was the big event of this year which will really put the borough in the spotlight – The Open golf tournament at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

It’s not every year that one of the four major’s comes to your doorstep and this is an incredible opportunity for the borough.

It is also a reminder, of course, of the world class facility that the club provides in the heart of the area which is truly a credit to the club’s members, their ground staff and their committee.

The club is a major asset for the borough which we should not take for granted.

I was delighted to see that there is a great deal of focus continuing to go into preparations with promotion of the event going very smoothly.

The council deserve great credit for the support they are giving to The Open and I’m sure our local tourism industry, which is so vital to our economy, will be feeling the benefit.

Also in the last week or so, the Government published new guidance on traveller sites which is extremely important to many people in Fylde.

With an ugly situation still rumbling on in Hardhorn up at the border with Wyre it was vital the Localism Act established tougher laws on retrospective planning applications.

That has now been done and the guidance sets down more clearly details of how to combat these problems in the future.

I look forward to working with councils and residents groups if they have any queries over the new policies.

No one wants to see such a situation arise again and I’m pleased that the Government are developing strategies to counter the problem.

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