MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

I managed to raise the issue of the M55 link road this week with the Prime Minister, during Prime Minister’s Questions, and I was delighted she recognised the amount of work that has gone into ensuring this much-needed road goes ahead.

Just a few hours later, I met with roads minister John Hayes in Parliament, and he is now personally looking into the funding of the road.

The start of work on the Moss Road replacement has been delayed over complex funding negotiations, but I still expect to see it open in 2019 and am delighted the Government is fully supportive of the project.

This week, I also visited BAE Systems’ new £15.6m Academy for Skills and Knowledge in Samlesbury.

While it may be off constituency, the state-of-the-art facility will be used for all existing and new BAE personnel at Warton.

It is an impressive set-up and a real indication of the company’s commitment to its staff; that it will train them to be the best in the world at their jobs.

Alongside the virtual reality ’cave’, robotics lab, engineering and electrical classrooms, it was interesting to see the projects staff and trainees are encouraged to be involved in during ‘down time’, including developing mobility aids for disabled people.

And it was wonderful to see the history of the company sewn into the fabric of the building with a huge display of all of the aircraft it, and its predecessors, have manufactured in the past – right back to a 1910 triplane.

I was delighted to visit some of Fylde’s small businesses on Saturday. Small Business Saturday is a campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

I have said many times before that our high streets rely on us, and it was great to see some of the area’s success stories.

Dahlia’s Kitchen will be known by many as a great café and local produce shop, the Fat Cat Club in Lytham has a growing reputation as an excellent barbers, Margaret’s Florist in St Annes has been an institution for more than 50 years, and I was delighted to meet the owners of Amber, a new café next door.

Lastly, a note on Brexit. Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court decision on Brexit, whether the Government exercises royal prerogative or the decision is brought to Parliament, I will be respecting the will of the British people and supporting the Prime Minister in triggering Article 50 for us to leave the European Union.

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