MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

It is now 18 months since we were forced to boil water on the Fylde coast for more than a month – and the Drinking Water Inspectorate refuses to give any update.

This is wrong and completely unacceptable.

If the Inspectorate cannot yet reveal the cause of the cryptosporidium outbreak in Lancashire’s water in August 2015, it has a duty to let people know where it is up to.

I have written to the DWI. It is like banging your head against a brick wall. They reply quite arrogantly that they will give an answer when they are ready.

But they owe the 300,000 people inconvenienced, and that includes the elderly and infirm who struggled throughout the boil water notice, some explanation.

I am writing to Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to ask what the situation is with this much-delayed report.

I’m pleased to see Warton’s Neighbourhood plan finally come to fruition.

The plan was actually presented to Fylde Council in September 2014 and went to public consultation the following month, with many responses from villagers.

A great many homes have been granted planning permission for the village in the meantime, but the extensive work put into the plan means residents will have more power to protect the character of the area, such as deciding on what kind of properties can be built, if the plan is accepted.

The Neighbourhood Plan will go to referendum on May 4 – as will the Neighbourhood Plan for St Annes.

St Annes too has been under pressure from developers, and I applaud the idea to reclaim the ‘garden town by the sea’ label.

The plan contains sensible policies for housing and employment opportunities in the town.

All of those who took part in forming both of these neighbourhood plans can be rightly proud when they go to referendum.

Each and every person involved has played their part in shaping the future of their neighbourhoods until 2030.

Yesterday, I was set to ask a question at Prime Minister’s Question Time, held just as The Lytham St Annes Express goes to press.

Given the fact it is National Apprenticeship Week, I thought it an ideal time to highlight the fantastic work of many Fylde employers, including the likes of BAE Systems and Westinghouse, to help get young people from all walks of life into highly-skilled jobs.

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