MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I was delighted to be asked to speak to Kirkham Rotary Club about my role as Member of Parliament for Fylde.

It is an immense privilege to have been chosen to represent our area in the House of Commons and I never take my responsibilities lightly when ensuring the people of Fylde’s views and opinions are put to Government.

Parliament is an extremely special place to work and is somewhere you can really make a difference for the area you represent through discussions with a whole range of influential decision-makers from Government ministers to charity bosses, faith leaders and national and international business-people.

During the Kirkham Rotary event, I spoke about the different duties I had undertaken during the week and highlighted how varied those tasks can be.

One area which came up was my pride to be sitting in the House of Commons, representing Fylde, on the Queen’s 90th birthday as Parliament paid tribute to her extraordinary life and accomplishments as our sovereign.

For me, the dignity and commitment to the people of Britain which has been the hallmark of Her Majesty’s reign is a lesson to all of us in public service.

She has guided the Monarchy through ever-changing, and sometimes challenging, times with a serenity which belies the difficulties that role must entail and I hope on her birthday she was able to take some time to reflect on the deep appreciation we, her subjects, have for all she does for us.

This week, I understand councillors on Fylde Council’s Development Management Committee unanimously voted to turn down a planning application to move Poplar House Surgery in St Annes into the nearby Durham Avenue Medical Centre.

Since first hearing this plan I have had grave concerns over the proposal as, especially in light of some large-scale developments planned for the area, I felt it unwise to shoe-horn too many resources into an already busy site.

I recently met with senior officers from Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning who agreed to go away and look again at the possibility of a new-build replacement for Poplar House, for which I agreed to approach the highest echelons of the Department of Health for funding.

I feel the unanimous decision by planners to dismiss this proposal gives some idea of the strength of feeling among local representatives that this scheme is inappropriate.

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