With Christmas just days away, around 150 Weeton-based soldiers have begun deploying to Iraq.

While we enjoy our time at home with our families, these brave troops, from the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2 LANCS), will be taking up the fight against Daesh by training Iraqi and Kurdish security forces.

They will be patrolling with British-built Foxhound patrol vehicles which have been tested in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, and teaching local forces how to repel so-called Islamic State fighters.

I wish our contingent well, and lend my thoughts to their families back home who will no doubt miss their loved ones at Christmas.

I met with Lytham St Annes High School headteacher Phillip Wood this week after hearing of the plans to cease A Level provision at the school.

Initially I was dead-set against the idea of there being no state A Level provision in Lytham and St Annes.

But having heard Mr Wood’s explanation of the school’s finances, I am now unsure of what the best future for A Level provision is.

As a school, it is not allowed to invest and borrow like a further education college, and that means it is difficult to offer additional courses and attract more students.

I urge all parents and staff to take part in the consultation so we can find the best way forward

After my question to the Prime Minister on the M55 link road and my subsequent meeting with the roads minister and his officials, I attended a follow-up meeting at St Annes Town Hall and it finally looks as though we are at the point where works can begin in earnest. There have been complex negotiations over the construction method and resulting costs, but I am confident those maters will be dealt with this week.

I also visited Fleetwood this week to see the barrage scheme proposed for the River Wyre. It may be out of the constituency, but there is ample opportunity for jobs on the scheme for residents in Fylde.

The proposed generation of electricity, combined with new commercial and leisure docks could help create hundreds of jobs both during construction and afterwards.

I also welcome the release of new figures this week showing improvements in teaching across Lancashire.

The county now has 584 schools rated good-or outstanding – an improvement on 541 last year. Congratulations to the headteachers and teachers who work so hard for the benefit of our children.


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