MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I took part in a well-publicised Transport Select Committee meeting where we questioned the managing director of Volkswagen UK about the ongoing emissions scandal affecting the company.

The car maker has admitted that 11 million of its vehicles worldwide are fitted with software which was used to cheat environmental tests in the US. Close to 1.2 million vehicles are affected in the UK.

The committee called Mr Willis up to give evidence about the ongoing situation and I wanted to ask him about any compensation customers and dealerships could expect to receive from the company.

The Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, also appeared and I urged him to work with Treasury colleagues to ask Volkswagen to compensate the Government for loss in tax revenue through falsified emission levels.

I agree that the burden should not fall on the unwitting car owners involved, but increased tax is put on high emission cars for health and safety reasons and Volkswagen should be asked to pay any deficit.

On Tuesday, I attended an event in Parliament to raise awareness of secondary breast cancer. This is where breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, brain or lungs and, while it is incurable, it is treatable and many people live with the disease for a number of years.

I was pleased to be able to attend an event hosted by Westinghouse in Parliament this week where we discussed new technologies and opportunities for the company in the UK.

Westinghouse is one of Fylde’s biggest employers and I am always pleased to meet with representatives from the company to hear about their future plans.

I also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Sustrans, a charity which aims to encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport for short everyday journeys.

The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) was brought in earlier this year with the Government committing to setting out a long-term plan for boosting walking and cycling in our towns and cities.

As a member of the Transport Select Committee I was delighted to meet up with Sustrans to discuss the Government’s support for cycling and walking which will help extend travel choice, ease congestion and improve our health and our environment.

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