MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

I recently paid a visit to the Adult Support and Outreach Centre at Clifton Academy in St Annes, where I was delighted to be able to spend some time with the clients who regularly use the services on offer.

The centre provides a place for older and vulnerable people to go to socialise with others so they do not become cut off and lonely.

There was much celebrating when the service, formerly known locally as Church Road Day Centre, found its new home on Clifton Drive after being unable to continue with its lease at its former premises.

Since then, however, the centre has struggled to get the same sort of numbers it once had and staff are keen to bring in new people to enjoy the services on offer.

The centre is used by some clients who are referred by Lancashire County Council but others who pay privately and staff are always on the look-out for new clients who are looking for some company and a chance to get out of their home.

If you or any family members feel you could benefit from this service then contact Pauline on (01253) 782743.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those people who wrote to me about the South Fylde Rail Line and my meeting with the Transport Secretary, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin, to discuss issues with the route.

I received a large number of responses to a request in my Lytham St Annes Express column for information on areas of the service which needed action.

They included issues with the cost of fares, the timetable, ageing rolling stock, insufficient frequency and inadequate stations with many agreeing that a passing loop was necessary to increase the number of trains able to use the line if things were to improve overall.

Both myself and Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden met with the Minister recently and I made sure to flag up all these concerns with him, while also discussing the wider effects on visitor numbers and our tourism industry.

The Minister agreed to go away and look at the issues we had raised and promised to come back to me to let me know his position on the issues concerned.

When I receive that response I will contact all those who took the time to write to me about the line and will, of course, let readers of this column know the outcome of the meeting.

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