MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

CONSERVATIVE party conference is underway and there was good news for business in Fylde on the very first morning.

The new transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, announced a package of £170m to tackle around 57 “pinch points” – areas where the transport system is feeling the strain of traffic and having a negative impact on business.

And I was pleased to hear that one of the areas being tackled is the stretch of road where Junction One of the M55 meets Junction 32 of the M6 and, of course, Broughton roundabout.

While it doesn’t actually fall within the Fylde constituency boundary this is a hotspot which has been highlighted to me by many businesses and commuters.

The tailbacks created and the problems with lanes merging just after the Broughton roundabout going eastbound are significant.

They lead to commuters getting stuck for long periods and can lead them being late to work.

They make journeys away from Fylde, for example for freight, much longer.

They also reduce the attractiveness of the area to potential investors.

This is, therefore, a hugely welcome move and one which has been brought about by a couple of key factors.

First off is the work of Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and politicians who, for a long time, have been pushing for improvements.

Secondly, there is the Enterprise Zone being set up right here in Warton, which is seen as a vital key strategic employment hub by the Government.

With BAE Warton’s connection to BAE Samlesbury – the other part of the split-site Enterprise Zone – strengthening the link between those two key areas was vital.

This work will, I hope, be a major help to business in the long run and is just another signal of the Government’s business-minded strategies.

Elsewhere, this week, I will be leaving Birmingham promptly as I’ve a lot of pressing engagements right here in Fylde including meetings with Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Douglas Storrie Labels Ltd, the leader of the council and Wesham Parish Council.

I’m also looking forward to visiting the kindergarten at St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Lytham, to celebrate World Milk Day.

School milk is, I believe, a very worthy part of any child’s school day and I will always work to ensure it is protected.

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