MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I met with the Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom MP, to discuss the latest developments surrounding shale gas.

I was concerned to receive a large number of letters recently informing me that the Government was introducing new measures which would put drinking water at risk by allowing exploration in high risk areas. The minister was adamant this was untrue and told me the Government is planning to put out a firm rebuttal of these claims.

This issue is too serious and I would hate to think that reasonable arguments and concerns are being weakened by untrue scare stories. From the outset I have said that these matters need to be looked at in a sober and considered way and campaigners do nothing for their cause by propagating misinformation.

Sticking with shale gas, earlier in the week I wrote to the Planning Inspectorate to comment on the two appeals by Cuadrilla Resources over potential exploration sites in Roseacre and Little Plumpton.

As a strong believer in localism I am of the firm opinion that these matters should be dealt with by the mineral rights authority where councillors often have a long and detailed knowledge of specific issues within their locality. I wanted to write to the inspector to make my views known.

I was disappointed to hear this week that Lytham councillor Len Davies had made a decision to retire due to ill health. Len has been an excellent representative for the people of Lytham and I know many of those he has helped have appreciated the warmth and humility he has brought to the role.

Conservative candidate Peter Anthony has been selected for the coming by-election and I know he worked very hard as Parliamentary candidate for Blackpool South in the recent General Election.

A businessman and former café owner, Peter lives in Clifton Ward – as do his mother and father – and has a shop in the ward and as Member of Parliament I truly believe that those who seek election should live among the people they seek to represent, making him an excellent fit for the area.

I also want to send out a big congratulations to Lytham in Bloom this week, after the team won gold in the ‘small coastal resort’ category of the national competition.

Lytham will be entered into the Champion of Champions section next year and I am proud it will represent Fylde in the competition.

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