MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

THIS week I have been busy dealing with a raft of issues which are concerning constituents from around Fylde.

As a Member of Parliament, planning is something over which I can have limited influence as decisions have always been left to local councils to make without interference from Westminster.

However, in Wrea Green Fylde Borough recently turned down four planning applications for housing developments in the village, which I feel was the right decision.

It now appears the developers behind those four schemes have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against the council’s decision.

Fylde’s Local Plan is currently in draft stage and I understand developers have been warned that they should wait until that document is ratified before putting in applications for areas referred to in the plan.

In the document’s current form, none of the sites where these developers wish to build have been earmarked for housing and I believe that even though it remains in draft stage the Local Plan should be given some weight and these schemes should be thrown out.

I have written to the Secretary of State to pass this information on and to let him know the strength of my opinion.

In Parliament this week I made sure to sign the Book of Commitment placed in the House of Commons ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

Each year, this day is a reminder of the horrors which took place during the Second World War which will hopefully be a lesson in stopping similar atrocities in the future.

Last year I was privileged to join the Holocaust Memorial Trust on a trip to Auschwitz Birkenau where the true nature of these shocking events is brought to life. I know local schools which I put forward have also had the opportunity to visit and gained a great deal from that experience.

Back in Fylde, it’s always a privilege to visit new businesses which have opened and this week I paid a visit to the new Cucina Pazzo restaurant at the former Mamma’s Two site on St Andrew’s Road South in St Annes.

I spoke to the owner Ettorino Sciarrillo about his work getting the business off the ground and the success he has seen since opening.

Mamma’s Two was a mainstay on Fylde’s dining scene for many years and I hope Ettorino and his family have a prosperous future in the area.

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