My Week in Westminster

This week, ahead of Small Business Saturday, I took a look at St Annes town centre.

It is clear the centre needs some help to ensure it has a vibrant future.

Empty shops need bringing back into use, and I would like to see some good quality accommodation in the buildings above. That would help put more homes on the market, and help give St Annes more people and footfall.

I’ve also been concerned that we have lost some businesses which have moved to Lytham – I never want to see a shop or restaurant closing its doors.

There are some excellent independent traders in the town, and the obvious empty units can be attributed to the plight of multiple retailers who are closing branches across the country.

St Annes has a wonderful Square, fantastic beach, beautiful green space on the Promenade and in Ashton Gardens, and plenty of events for visitors.

Acting now, alongside Fylde Council and St Annes Town Council, I’m sure we can pull together a plan to ensure the town centre has a positive future.

I’m set to attend a meeting with ministers in the next week to discuss a passing loop for the South Fylde rail line.

I have long argued that spending – in transport infrastructure terms – a small amount here will bring a huge benefit to us all in Fylde.

Doubling the number of services on our line will help bring more visitors in to spend in our businesses. It will help make the railway a viable option for us to use to commute to and from work and school.

That said, I am still not happy with the level of service provision we are getting from Northern Rail on the line, and remain in contact with the form’s bosses about cancellations and late running services.

In fact, I have written just this week to ask why the first Sunday morning service advertised on the South Fylde line simply does not run and has no replacement bus service, according to constituents.

Their performance must improve if they are to retain it in the future.

We still deal with Brexit in Parliament; this is an issue which people care passionately about.

I'm committed to helping the UK leave EU on March 29. There are aspects of the new deal which I do not like nor agree with - but we always knew this deal would have to be based on compromise.

I think we are still looking at a deal that is, as yet, to be determined.