My Week in Westminster

I held a meeting with Lancashire County Council, United Utilities and the Environment Agency this week to discuss several areas of flooding concern in Fylde.

We discussed the unacceptable situation at Park View Road playing fields in Lytham which completely flooded last year. United Utilities’ pumps under the park failed and we had huge amounts of water and sewage all over the fields.

The firm has cleaned the site, and while we still await the final puddles of water to recede, they assure me they have taken appropriate action to ensure the pumps cannot fail in that way again. We also discussed the need to look again at Liggard Brook, which runs alongside the playing fields, to ensure water can be pumped out into the estuary at Graving Dock Bridge.

We looked at several areas of concern in Warton where it appears there is a blocked culvert which the county council will tackle, Kirkham where there are issues over a disputed overflowing drain, and Ribby Road in Wrea Green where there have been floods in the past. The eastern end of Fylde is set to benefit from a £10 million new sewer scheme to ensure the system can cope with new housebuilding.

I joined Blackpool South MP Scott Benton to write to the Secretary of State for Transport regarding the South Fylde line.

With new funding available to bring disused lines back into action, we have written to ask if one of those lines could be, in effect, the second track that was removed from the South Fylde line in the 1980s.

We want to see a passing loop installed so we can have an increase in rail services for Kirkham, Lytham, St Annes and Blackpool South for residents and to allow more visitors to reach the area by train. Transport For The North say it must happen – and this could be the funding pot we need.

Improvements to the fibre broadband network could also be on the way after I met with County Coun Peter Buckley, Fylde Coun Karen Buckley and a broadband provider who is looking at putting in new infrastructure linking the area to a new broadband hub at the Enterprise Zone at Blackpool Airport.

I also met the new headteacher of Bryning with Warton St Paul’s C of E School in Warton and it was wonderful to hear Mrs Dean’s new vision for the school. She is fully intent on making improvements to education for her pupils, and has already held several meetings with her staff and school parents about strengthening links with the community and parish. A relaunched PTFA involving the children will be a big part of that, and after hearing her enthusiasm first hand I wish her well in achieving those goals.