MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

In Parliament this week, I intervened in a debate to highlight some of the excellent work that goes on at Kirkham Prison to help rehabilitate prisoners.

I encouraged the Secretary of State to look at the initiatives that goes on both inside the prison and with people who have recently been released.

I spoke about the work of Jobs, Friends and Houses, with whom I recently met. I like their no-nonsense approach to help; those involved have to want to be helped, have to be clean of drugs and crime, and willing to put something back into the community to take part in the programmes.

Kirkham Open Prison has been a pioneer in this field and Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Elizabeth Truss said she would be delighted to see more details of the scheme, with a view to starting similar projects elsewhere.

This week I also visited Helical Technology in Dock Road Lytham.

The Morris family who own it have big plans for the future, and I’m delighted to see they are looking to young engineers to take the company forwards.

The message from them was clear – there will always be a manufacturing base in the town, and they have recently bought more land onto which they will expand.

There expansive plans for the future production of springs, valves and heating units – as well as a potential museum on the site and it was great to see such confidence.

The company deals with some big customers around the world – the likes of Rolls Royce, Caterpillar and Mitsubishi to name just a few.

Later in the day I visited a business involved in a completely different sector – food growing and processing.

With my background in food retailing I was interested to hear how Fylde Fresh and Fabulous in Weeton are driving product innovation. Much of the company success can be attributed to their staff many of whom hail from Poland originally but have made Fylde their home for many years and together with their families feel a full part of our community.

The staff were looking for reassurances over their future in the UK after Brexit.

I spoke with them at length and told them the Government will not want them to leave.

And from the industry’s point of view, without these dedicated workers, who have started on the lowest rung of the ladder and worked up to positions of responsibility within this respected Fylde farm, and others like them across the country, food production would be in crisis.

Long may they feel welcome here.

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