This week I’ve written to a lot of residents in Fylde, mainly those in new homes and apartments, to ask what their experience of leasehold is.
I’ve been working with campaigners for some time over the scandal of leaseholds on new developments.
Some residents have seen exponential rises in ground rents after they purchased their properties, with the leaseholds sold off to third party companies with little or no warning.
I’ve also been made aware of a number of appalling clauses included in some leaseholds which mean residents are charged hundreds of pounds for the right to redecorate their own homes, to replace a boiler or to have a pet in their home.
I’ve written to ministers calling for all of these clauses to be banned and I am aware the Government is looking into the matter; I want to be able to write to ministers with more of Fylde residents’ concerns to make sure we stamp out these awful practices once and for all.
This week I’m meeting the Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry to press for as much money as possible for Kirkham.
I supported the Fylde and Kirkham Town council-led bids for Future High Street Funding. I’ve also supported a second heritage-based bid for Kirkham to see how best we can rediscover the town’s lost heritage.
I’ll be talking to the minister about how we need funding for a full masterplan and urban design study for the town, to improve the streetscene, to bring empty buildings back into use, and to improve accessibility for drivers and those using public transport.
It is vital to bring new business back into Kirkham after the loss of the town’s banks and I am sure we can create an attractive environment to bring back business and shoppers to the town centre.
As I write this column, we are waiting to see what happens on our first day back in Parliament; there is every chance we could be facing a general election by the time you read this. I fully support our Prime Minister’s move to complete Brexit by October 31 - we have had three years of prevarication and it must end so that we can concentrate on domestic matters, such as the huge funding boosts announced for police and education in recent days.
Don’t forget – it’s the re-organised Kite Festival in St Annes this weekend. The event, postponed last time due to poor weather, was swiftly reorganised and I hope as many people as possible come to St Annes, enjoy the kites, and spend their money in our shops, restaurants and bars.