MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

ONE of the most rewarding campaigns I have been involved with as a Member of Parliament has been Lancashire’s bid for superfast broadband

As many of you will be aware this county will be the first in the country to be fully equipped with the latest high speed technology.

This, local residents often tell me, will be a significant boost and will put an end to problems with slow speeds which I know have been an issue in some areas of Fylde.

So I was delighted last week to hear that a further 10,000 homes are set to benefit during 2013 with Kirkham and Lytham being the latest areas to benefit following on from St Annes which will be part of the first phase this year.

This huge investment was funded by an £11m Government investment in the area with a further £16m coming from European grants, along with further funding from the private sector and our local councils.

I wrote to all my parliamentary colleagues across the county to urge their support to secure the initial Government investment and was delighted they all did so.

For those of you who don’t use the internet and may think: “How does this help me?” the key thing here is making the area attractive to investors.

In order to create jobs and growth we need to provide an environment which can cater to top flight companies most of whom rely heavily on the world wide web.

Having the UK’s best broadband service will give Lancashire a significant boost and will ensure we are fully equipped for the 21st century business world.

Elsewhere this week I was pleased to attend to two interesting events on issues which have flown very much under the radar.

Firstly I was pleased to support the charity, Guide Dogs, which was running a campaign to raise awareness of the growing problems of attacks against guide dogs.

This needs to be stamped out and I would urge everyone to recognise the incredible role these wonderful animals play.

And finally, I attended a Parliamentary liver health reception.

Liver diseases are a growing problem and the campaign by the All Party Hepatology Group and the Hepatitis C Trust urges greater awareness of the problem by local health bodies.

I will be sure to raise the issue at my next meeting with the local health teams.

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