MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

On Friday I attended a special sitting of the House for the second reading of Bob Neill MP’s bill for an in/out referendum on Europe by the end of 2017.

Another version of this bill by James Wharton MP failed to make it through the House of Lords earlier this year due to opposition from Labour and the Liberal Democrats and I felt that was a great shame.

The people of Britain deserve to have their say on our position in Europe and I hope this latest bill receives the support it needs to give them that right.

I also this week held an urgent meeting with the Chancellor of the Exchequer over the closure of Blackpool Airport.

During the meeting Chancellor made it clear that he is a big supporter of regional airports and said he would work with me to find a solution which would help keep aviation on site.

While the airport may have closed for now, I remain determined to keep this airfield working as it is a proud part of the Fylde’s aviation history and I feel has the ability to be a successful commercial airport with the correct support.

I was sorry to hear this week that Fylde Borough Council leader Councillor David Eaves had elected to stand down from his position in charge of the authority.

David and I have worked together closely since I came to Parliament and I can honestly say it has been a pleasure to work with a leader who is pragmatic and willing to listen while also being a staunch defender of his own and his party’s beliefs and ideals.

During his time as leader David has overseen a period of great change for the authority while implementing four successive council tax freezes and he leaves the council in a robust financial position.

He has shown great humility while tackling the challenging role and has never shied away from making difficult decisions. It is no coincidence that in the week he steps down, the council was third on a list of the top 20 local authorities in the country by the Daily Telegraph.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank David for all his hard work and wish him all the best for the future. Deputy leader, Councillor Sue Fazackerley, has stepped up on an interim basis and I am sure she will do a great job in her new role.

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