MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

THIS week I was delighted to see the Office for National Statistics publish figures which showed inflation was at 2.8 per cent in July, nearly half of its peak of 5.2 per cent.

I think that gives a good indication that the economy is on the mend, and comes on the back of a number of other indicators we have had recently.

However, the Government understands times are still tough for hardworking people and continues to take action to help with the cost of living.

That includes cutting income tax for 25 million people by £705 on average compared to 2010 and taking 2.7 million people out of income tax altogether.

We have also frozen fuel duty and council tax in every year of this Parliament to assist those struggling to pay the bills.

Despite these times of austerity, I was pleased when the Government announced it is providing an extra £500m for A&E departments, helping ensure people get the vital treatment they need as soon as possible.

Casualty units are performing well this summer but I want to ensure that every patient gets the best A&E care and this extra funding will help the NHS to take action now to prepare for the difficult coming winter.

Adoption agencies will also be given £16m in additional funding to tackle the shortfall of adopters so children can find loving, stable homes more quickly.

The funding, available from later this year until 2016, will help new and existing Voluntary Adoption Agencies develop new and creative ways to recruit more adopters.

I know that in Fylde and the rest of Lancashire the authorities are keen to find as many people as possible who can offer a permanent home to a needy child and hopefully this money will help see more adopters come forward.

Despite still facing challenging economic conditions it is important money is still spent where it is most needed and I believe both these areas are of vital importance.

Last week I attended a wonderful Strawberry Tea at the home of County Cllr Peter and Cllr Karen Buckley.

The gathering was held as a fundraiser for the St Annes North branch of the Fylde Conservatives and was well attended by councillors and party members.

As usual the sun shone down on the annual event, which has become a not-to-be-missed day in many people’s diaries.

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