MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week Parliament has returned and the first piece of business centred around the unfolding refugee crisis affecting Europe.

I believe we have a moral responsibility to help those displaced by the horrendous situation in Syria, and have been pleased to read all the letters sent to me by Fylde residents echoing those sentiments.

The Prime Minister has said the UK will accept up to 20,000 people from camps around Syria by 2020, with priority to be given to vulnerable children.

Hopefully, by taking people from those camps, it will provide a direct and safe route away from danger, instead of encouraging them to make a hazardous journey across the Mediterranean by boat.

However, this is an extremely complicated situation and I do not believe simply taking more people into the UK is the answer.

During my time as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for International Development, I saw first-hand how complex these kind of incidents can be and if this is handled incorrectly there could be untold damage done to the entire region.

This is a matter where the source issue which has caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in terror, must be tackled if we are to prevent this awful situation from continuing to escalate.

I was pleased to see water supplies in Fylde return to normal this week.

While it has taken almost five weeks for the boiled water notice affecting Lancashire to be lifted, I have tried to remain patient throughout as I knew the complicated engineering challenges United Utilities was facing eliminating the cryptosporidium bug from the system and I felt it was imperative that no pressure was put on which could result in risks being taken over public health.

I was, however, in regular contact with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) throughout to ensure the company was getting all the support it needed.

While I am pleased the problem has now been resolved I want to ensure this does not happen again and that people are appropriately compensated for the inconvenience.

With that in mind I have written to the chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and asked if the committee will look into the matter further.

In conclusion, on behalf of the people of Fylde I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Her Majesty the Queen as she enters the record books as our longest-reigning sovereign. Long may her reign continue.

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