MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

THE Olympics is finally upon us and is already proving an incredible spectacle.

Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was certainly, I felt, the best opening ceremony I have ever seen and a lot of people have said the same thing.

We’re biased, of course, because many of the highlights – like the magnificent section involving Her Majesty The Queen and 007 James Bond and Rowan Atkinson’s marvellous Chariots of Fire sketch– were so quintessentially British.

I felt the ceremony celebrated all that was good about our nation and I’ve no doubt that’s why it went down a storm with the public.

I’d be very interested to know if the rest of the world enjoyed it as much but with such talent, such wonderful music and such creativity on display, I’m sure they must have.

The clamour for the triumphant Mr Boyle to be knighted has already begun and I’m sure will not go away.

I’ll write more on the incredible festival of sport that is now upon us next week but for now, I just hope everyone will be glued to their televisions and cheering on Team GB.

From an electric atmosphere at the Opening Ceremony I come to the electrification of our railways which is such a step forward for Britain.

The North West is set to see a significant boost in terms of journey times and interconnectivity which will be a boost both to commuters and to business.

However, there are obstacles to overcome – leaves on the line you might say – which are still to be dealt with.

There has been a lot of concern in Treales village, for instance, about the effect that a bridge reconstruction is going to have.

The works will cut off the main road through the village for some time and local businesses are rightly concerned that their passing trade will be damaged.

I met with Network Rail last week, along with local councillors and business people, and urged them to take their responsibilities to the community seriously.

I want them to do everything they can to mitigate the effects on local businesses and I hope they will respond positively.

It’s vital they do.

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