Fylde residents are all too aware of recent flooding and water quality issues and my efforts continue to be focussed on securing much needed investment and action to tackle these problems.
Meeting with the Chief Executive of United Utilities on Friday, I made clear the need for continued action on water quality and flooding. The first of these topics were discussed at the Ballam Road pumping station, which treats water from Liggard Brook, where residents are worried about the water’s deterioration into a stagnant bog.
I also visited Lodge Close where, having repeatedly demanded United Utilities act to address prolonged issues, I was delighted to speak with residents following the completion of repair work earlier that day to remove tree roots from nearby drains. It may be one small victory, and there are still many more improvements we need to see, but it is a sign of the progress we are starting to make in addressing our flooding problems.
This visit followed on from the second of my multi-agency flood meetings, which also covered the flooding seen on many Fylde farms, the most recent of which saw some farms lose produce worth tens of thousands of pounds and disrupted farmers’ daily work. Having raised issues at Main Drain and the Dock Road Pumping station with the Environment Agency, it was pleasing that action was taken to remove a tree blocking the water flow, however, visiting affected farms earlier this week I share continued concerns about the continued slow pace of drainage.
Fylde is clearly an area that needs special consideration, and it is positive that a localised resilience forum is being established to ensure a co-ordinated plan to tackle these specific issues. At long last I am confident that our flooding issues are getting the attention and priority they deserve, with action now needed to follow these positive developments.
Pubs are at the very heart of our communities and the 1st of August saw major reforms aimed at supporting their future, bringing changes to alcohol duty that helps level the playing field for pubs when competing with supermarkets on price via the Brexit Pubs Guarantee, which reduces the cost of a pint by up to 11p.
To mark this announcement, I'll be visiting Ross Robinson and team from the Ship at Freckleton to discuss the realities of working in the industry and how the changes will benefit him and his business, Star Pubs and Bars, which operate three other venues across Fylde. The ship is believed to be Fylde’s oldest pub and was transformed by over £300,000 investment, completed in 2019, and it is fantastic to see how the pub has gone from strength to strength in the years since.
Reforms have also been introduced to support small breweries, with the Government’s new Small Producer Relief set to benefit Lancashire’s booming small brewery scene and other producers of lower ABV drinks, as well as the countless local pubs who stock their drinks.