MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

Last week was a dreadful one in Westminster with the attack that left the policeman and three innocent people dead.

All of us in Parliament owe a very great deal to the police and the emergency service who responded with such courage.

We also have to remember the many people who suffered life-changing injuries in the terrible incident. I wish all those injured the very best in their recoveries.

This week, Article 50 has been triggered, as promised by the Prime Minister, following the referendum on membership of the European Union.

We now enter a period of intense negotiation to ensure the rights of EU nationals working here, and ex-pats living across Europe, as well as market access, border protection, and much more.

I visited Lytham Sixth Form which is set to continue is great work, albeit without A Level provision which was previously provided by Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College.

The loss of A Levels is sad for the area, but the courses on offer at Lytham Sixth Form still allow students to work towards a university place.

I spoke to head of Lytham Sixth Form Mandy Pritchard who told me the college is there to stay.

I met a young lady with offers on the table from two universities to study pharmacology, and art and performing arts students.

The courses carry the same weight as three A Levels, but students study in college three days a week, have one study day elsewhere, and are expected to do work experience on the fifth day in a position relevant to their studies.

Around 65 per cent of the Sixth Form students come from the neighbouring high school, the rest from further afield. Some 200 are presently on vocational courses, and 100 on A Levels.

The capacity of the venue is 500, and it was good to hear plans are in place to see more and more students go through the doors.

I also took a tour of the new homes being developed in Kirkham by Story Homes.

The firm is investing heavily in the area, and it was good to hear about the amount of money the company puts into its new-builds.

It was even better to see the investment being made in apprenticeships to recruit and train a new generation of skilled workers into the business to ensure that build quality remains high.

I spoke to chief executive Steve Errrington about the family-owned business which is developing in both Kirkham and Wrea Green.

The landscaping works in Wrea Green, which are often the most noisy for neighbours, are soon coming to an end.

It was good to hear from the developer about meetings with the local community and pledges made to ensure work can go on with the minimum of disruption.

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