MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

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THIS week I had the honour of placing a wreath at St Annes Cenotaph in Ashton Gardens as part of the First World War 100th anniversary commemorations.

It was a privilege to be asked to play my part in the service and to take a moment to remember our war dead from all the conflicts Britain has been involved in since the First World War.

People arrived in their numbers at both the memorials I attended, in St Annes and Kirkham, to pay their own personal tribute to our fallen troops and I was immensely proud of the way Fylde honoured those who had sacrificed their lives in the fight for freedom.

The previous day I had spent time at Booths in Lytham where I joined representatives from the Royal British Legion to help sell poppies to shoppers and I enjoyed speaking to all those people who took the time to stop by the stall to chat and buy a poppy.

I can think of no other charity appeal which has so successfully caught the public’s imagination for such a prolonged period of time and I think we have seen with the success of this year’s poppy installation at the Tower of London how much people still believe in these symbols of a grateful nation.

Earlier this week, I stood up in the House of Commons and praised the work of local residents from Warton who recently completed a neighbourhood plan for the village.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced as part of the Government’s Localism Act as a way to devolve more power to local people when deciding the level of development needed for an area.

It is now up to Fylde Borough Council to hold a local referendum to ensure everyone in the area agrees with the proposal and then it can be taken into account when the authority looks to complete its overarching Local Plan for the entire borough.

Many readers may now have seen the debate I held in Parliament last Monday regarding the future of Blackpool Airport.

All the MPs who contributed spoke with passion about the subject leaving the Minister in no doubt as to the strength of feeling behind retaining the airport and I for one will continue to fight for a viable commercial airport on that site once again.

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