Parliament has been extremely busy this week, with a number of key meetings taking place for Fylde residents.

On Monday, I was pleased to have organised a meeting between Fylde Borough Council representatives and the Department for Communities and Local Government regarding local planning issues.

This followed a meeting I attended in October where it was agreed it would be beneficial to have Councillor Trevor Fiddler – the Portfolio Holder, Mark Evans – the Head of Planning, and Paul Walker – The Director of Development Services, down to Westminster to address a number of concerns that Fylde residents have.

Specifically, we focused on the five year housing supply, the prevention of land banking, and at my request, the Minister promised to give assistance to Fylde to see if there are any ways they can help Fylde to get its Local Plan in place sooner than planned, thereby giving our countryside additional protection from inappropriate development.

These issues are crucial for the future of Fylde and I was pleased that the discussion was productive, and I believe, very beneficial.

On Tuesday, I attended a meeting with other Lancashire MPs and Michael Gove MP, the Education Secretary.

I know how lucky we are in Fylde to have a number of excellent schools, and it was important to discuss this with the Minister, and to address the local views surrounding the Academy scheme.

In the constituency this past week, along with many other meetings and surgeries, I brought together the residents of Hardhorn and Staining, along with planning officials from local borough, Councillors, and the police.

The residents have been living with an illegal travellers site on their doorstep for three years now, and whilst I know how incredibly frustrating it has been for them, the tolerant way in which they have approached this is a credit to them.

As I mentioned in this column last week, the Prime Minister’s speech on Europe is to take place this Friday.

I hope many of you will listen to the speech, as the significant issue of our future relationship with the European Union is addressed.


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