MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

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THIS weekend I took part in the fantastic St George’s Day celebrations held in Lytham.

It was a pleasure to attend the luncheon which was held in a marquee on Lytham Green and I spent a delightful afternoon in the company of BBC Radio Lancashire’s Sally Naden and all the other guests present.

One of the speakers at the event was St Annes wheelchair athlete Shelly Woods who spoke about the difficulties and challenges she has faced to get where she is today.

Shelly injured her spine during a fall when she was 11 years old but has since gone on to win a bronze and silver medal at the Bejing Paralympic Games and a silver at London 2012. She also won the London Marathon women’s wheelchair race with a record time in 2007.

Hearing her speak about the commitment and training it took for her to get to the position she has despite suffering such a devastating injury was truly inspirational.

On Sunday I was present at the dedication of the war memorial at St Luke’s Church in Staining at the invitation of the local parish council.

I had previously helped the Chairman of the parish council access information from the Ministry of Defence for a commemorative book he has compiled paying tribute to those from Staining who lost their lives so was delighted to be able to attend the event.

At St Luke’s, local children had been invited to place British Legion crosses in memory of those killed in action. It is the perfect way for the younger generations to learn about the true cost of war and the affect it has on communities.

Earlier this week I raised the issue of exporting with the Chancellor of the Exchequer during Treasury Questions in the Chamber of the House of Commons.

It came after I hosted a successful UK Trade and Investment event at BAE Warton aimed at getting local businesses more involved in lucrative foreign markets.

However, it cannot be done without Government support so I wanted to flag up the need for capital to be available should Fylde companies want to explore these new areas.

I was pleased when the Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke MP, highlighted the funding already made available and said the Government was working very hard to ensure local SMEs can achieve the growth they require.

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