MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

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This week the name of this column may be somewhat inaccurate as, due to Parliament’s Summer Recess, I have been at home in Fylde rather than in Westminster.

That is extremely fortuitous as it has meant I have been here to see large parts of the extended Lytham Festival – and what a week it has been.

While I have heard fantastic reviews of all the events, a highlight for me was during Sunday night’s concert when the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team flew into the festival arena, thrilling the crowds and giving the musical extravaganza an extra sparkle.

Another highlight of the evening was when the Danbro Choir sang on the main stage alongside headliners Marti Pellow and Elaine Paige and other performers for a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory to close the show.

Overall, the Festival was a great success and brought thousands of people into the area who all spent money with local businesses and contributed to the Fylde economy.

Many people sometimes forget that thousands of local people depend on holidaymakers for their livelihoods and I strongly disagree with those who have suggested the festival has no place in Fylde.

In fact, the organisers Peter Taylor and Daniel Cuffe deserve great credit for bringing such a high quality event to Lytham and ensuring Fylde receives a huge guaranteed annual tourism boost.

This week, I was pleased to read that more than 100,000 people visited Blackpool for its annual Air Show. People love attending these air shows, with many turning up just to see the Red Arrows and the Typhoon display team in action.

It is a source of great pride for me that those aircraft are made by skilled engineers here in Fylde and I was delighted when the Defence Secretary visited BAE Systems in Warton last week and reiterated this Government’s commitment to increasing Typhoon export sales, something which will protect thousands of jobs locally.

Four years ago the future of the Victoria Hotel in St Annes looked extremely uncertain after its parent pub company put it up for sale to developers.

So I was delighted this week with the news that the pub has been recognised as the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Pub of the Season. This vindicates the hard work put in by the local community at that time to keep the pub running and they should be proud of their efforts.

 

PICTURE: Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, being given a tour of the Typhoon production line at BAE Systems, Warton

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