THIS week I had an important meeting on flooding in Westminster with the Minister responsible, Dan Rogerson MP.

Waterlogged fields in Fylde have been a problem for many years and I have hosted a number of events with rural residents to discuss how best to resolve the matter.

The Environment Agency came up with a plan to get to grips with it called the East Lytham Project and had applied for funding for the two-year project. However, last year officers were told their approach had been turned down.

Having seen what has happened in the south of the country when these issues have not been dealt with I wanted to flag up with the Minister the importance of Fylde’s case and was gratified when he said he would go away and have another look at the situation.

In Fylde this week, I attended a meeting on shale gas hosted by the borough council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, Cllr Tommy Threlfall.

It came within days of Cuadrilla Resources’ announcement that it had selected two sites locally where it hopes to explore for gas.

The suitability of those sites is now a matter for Lancashire County Council’s planning department which will have to take into account representations from all parties, as well as a large number of other factors, when making its decision on whether they are appropriate.

However, I felt Cllr Threlfall’s meeting, which was attended by the head of the Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil and representatives from the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive, helped dispel some misunderstandings surrounding the practice and reassure people that regulation would be paramount should drilling go ahead in Fylde.

Earlier that day, I was delighted to attend the opening of St George Place on the site of the old St George’s Hotel in Kirkham.

The new 12-apartment development, which will provide affordable accommodation for local people, is a welcome replacement after the iconic pub closed down and become derelict, blighting what is a landmark location in the market town.

I was also invited to the relaunch of the Station Tavern in Lytham which has just undergone a major refurbishment.

It was a brilliant night and it was great to meet the landlady Debbie Blackshaw, who has the passion necessary to make the venture a success. I wish her and her team all the best for the future.

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