THIS week I paid a visit to BAE Systems in Warton where I was updated on the company’s current work and plans for the future.

While I was there I was also briefed on the progress of the Warton Enterprise Zone, which I helped secure in 2012 and which it is envisaged will provide thousands of jobs for the area in the coming years.

While BAE Systems is an important employer in Fylde and provides well-paid and highly-skilled roles for a great many constituents, it is important for an area never to be too reliant on one major employer in case that business faces a downturn in the future.

That is why I was so keen to ensure Fylde was allocated an Enterprise Zone and Warton, being close to a secure runway and major aircraft manufacturer, provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses which require secure transport routes, as well as defence contract supply chain companies.

This week saw the start of the planning inquiry begin into proposals for two shale gas exploration sites at Preston New Road in Little Plumpton and at Roseacre Wood.

This is obviously an important issue in Fylde and I have always campaigned for stronger regulation of the industry. In fact, in the last Parliament I voted for a moratorium on development while regulations were further bolstered.

However, it must be remembered that the decision from this appeal must be made on strict planning grounds and, as a strong supporter of localism, I believe the previous decision by Lancashire County Council to turn down these applications was made by councillors in strict adherence to planning law and should be upheld.

On Friday, I was invited to speak at the Golden Jubilee of St Margaret’s Church in St Annes and I was pleased to be able to chat with a large number of constituents, for whom the church plays a pivotal role. The evensong service and reception afterwards were extremely special and I am sure the entire congregation enjoyed them as much as I did.

On Sunday, I attended the Fylde Conservatives Association Lunch and it was a pleasure to welcome my Parliamentary colleague Jake Berry MP to speak at the event. It was great to hear Jake talk about Fylde in such glowing terms and a reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful place.


PICTURE: Fylde MP Mark Menzies with BAE Systems’ Director of Parliamentary Relations Chris Rees on the Typhoon assembly line

Comments are closed.