MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

FROM my own school days I was always politically aware and wanted to visit the Houses of Parliament from a young age, but never had the opportunity until later in life.

With that in mind it was a pleasure to welcome students from Carr Hill High School’s 6th form to Parliament this week where they were given a tour of the estate before they met up with me and asked me questions about my role in Westminster.

The students seemed very keen to see first-hand the seat of the British Government and to learn about politics and how the country is run.

These events are run by the Parliamentary Educational Trust, which organises trips for pupils of all ages and abilities to visit the estate and learn all about the history of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The service has expanded significantly over the last few years, and up to 45,000 school-age students between seven and 19 now take part in educational visits each year.

These visits include a tour of Parliament but also contain some interactive sessions, such as giving the students the chance to divide into parties, create manifestos and take part in mock debates.

They can also look at how laws are made by coming up with their own ideas for Bills to present to Parliament and imitate the process of passing their chosen bill into law.

I know dates fill up fast but I would encourage any teachers or headmasters in Fylde to get in touch with the Trust to organise a visit to come to Parliament and see democracy at work.

While I was down in London this week I met up with Simon Marshall who is UK nuclear power plant director for Westinghouse, the owners of Springfields in Salwick.

I was delighted with the recent announcement that fuel for one of the UK’s new nuclear power stations will continue to be made in Fylde, something which will protect hundreds of jobs for years to come.

While this decision was being made, I was happy to host meetings between Westinghouse, the unions and two separate energy ministers.

I was determined that Government realised the importance of keeping nuclear fuel manufacturing in Fylde.

I wanted to meet with Simon to discuss any extra opportunities that may be coming Fylde’s way as a result of this positive news.

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