MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I met with members of AFC Fylde’s Community Foundation team to discuss the excellent work they do across Fylde.

It was a pleasure to meet Tom and Chris and listen to the enthusiasm they have for the various projects they have ongoing, and their plans for the future.

As well as working with ex-offenders, schools and children’s groups across Fylde to engage with participants through sport, I learnt that the foundation is also working with young people at Weeton Barracks, many of whom have now become big AFC Fylde fans.

This kind of community organisation can provide people with the opportunity to learn new skills in a positive and fun environment and I look forward to seeing the foundation grow from strength to strength.

Unfortunately, this week has not been so successful for the AFC Fylde first team who missed out on promotion into the National League and I would like to pass on my commiserations to the club. However, reaching the Promotion Final was a great achievement in itself and the players should be proud of the progress they have made.

As I write this column I am preparing to attend the annual State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech.

I understand the event will see the announcement of legislation to introduce driverless cars to our roads and the construction of the UK’s first spaceport. As someone who sits on Parliament’s Transport Select Committee these are both fascinating new areas which public travel is beginning to move into.

Every year, the pomp and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament is a true reminder of the historic traditions of Westminster and, with items such as this on the agenda, this year’s event will certainly be an occasion where history meets the future.

On Friday, I met with members of Fylde Council to discuss a strategy over the proposals by Lancashire County Council to close all but one of Fylde’s current libraries.

The 12-week consultation period over the plans has now started and I have written a letter to outline my concerns that Fylde has been unfairly treated compared to other areas.

I understand the county council had promised to provide workshops for community groups wishing to take over their local libraries, as well as details of running costs and other essential pieces of information which have not been forthcoming, so I have also written to the authority to urge it to keep to its word.

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