THIS week I spoke at a debate in Parliament on the subject of planning and its effect on our communities in Fylde.

This topic has been extremely controversial of late and I wanted to get across to the Minister the feeling locally that the Government’s attempts to put planning decisions in the hands of local people were not being felt within our communities.

Make no mistake about it, when this Government brought out the Localism Act it was intended to move away from the previous Westminster-led approach to planning by putting Local Plans, put together by locally-elected representatives, at the heart of the decision-making process.

Most people understand that some growth is necessary, indeed our Parliamentary colleagues often accuse the Government of failing to do enough to incentivise builders to build even more new homes.

However, I for one will not stand by and let that process be dictated by developers trying to ram through applications before the Local Plan is complete and therefore nullifying the hard work of local people who are attempting to ensure that any new homes in Fylde are built in a sustainable and considered manner and are supported by the appropriate infrastructure improvements.

Later in the week, I met with members of Warton’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and Fylde Borough Council’s planning portfolio holder, Cllr Trevor Fiddler, to assure them I would be holding the Government to account on these issues.

On Monday, I was delighted to be invited to attend the Farnborough International Airshow as a guest of BAE Systems and had the opportunity to meet some of the company’s brightest new apprentices.

As the Member of Parliament for Fylde I am always so proud when I see a Typhoon in full flight as I know that it is only through the hard work of our skilled workforce in Warton that those aircraft are able to soar amongst the clouds with such majesty.

That is why I will always do all I can to ensure the Government is working with BAE Systems to ensure they have the best possible opportunities to sell our aircrafts into lucrative foreign markets as well as continuing to invest in our own Air Force.

On Saturday, the weather held out to produce what was another glorious St Annes Carnival Day. Top marks to all the organisers who worked so hard on making the event a complete success.

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