MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I have received a number of emails concerning planning appeals over proposals for two shale gas sites in Fylde, and associated monitoring stations.

The applications for these sites were recently turned down by elected members on Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee, following a thorough process where councillors heard evidence from all sides of the debate.

My position on this has been clear from the outset and that is that as someone who is a strong supporter of localism I believe the council’s decision should be upheld.

I have said from the beginning that it is proper that these planning matters should be dealt with by the local mineral rights authority and that I would support whatever decision it made. If that decision is that a site is inappropriate then that should be adhered to.

I recently met with campaigners from Roseacre where I once again confirmed my position and have subsequently written to the Secretary of State for Energy, the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, to reiterate my stance on the matter.

I was pleased to see the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week which showed UK economic growth accelerated in the second quarter of the year.

The economy grew by an estimated 0.7 per cent in the April to June period, compared with growth of 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year while output was 2.6 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.

What was most pleasing, however, was that the ONS recognised there were signs that businesses were increasing investment. This is a vital sign that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working and should see further increases in employment numbers over the coming months and years.

This Government has been staunch in its support of hard-working people and we must ensure the jobs are there for them. Companies like BAE Systems are supporting this with their fantastic work on apprenticeships, as are other Fylde employers like Westinghouse and Danbro and many smaller businesses which often do not receive the credit they deserve.

This weekend St Annes Kite Festival saw the beaches around the pier ablaze with colour as thousands of visitors flocked to Fylde to take part in the festivities.

I would like to pass on my congratulations to the organisers for their success in running an event which was bigger and better than ever.

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