With lockdown over, our retail shops will be open by the time you read this. It is vital we support our high streets and help retailers who I know are doing everything possible to make their businesses Covid secure.
We now need to back our local businesses and spend in them.
I understand frustrations about us being placed in Tier 3, and I am disappointed for our restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes. I want to see them thrive again in bustling town and village centres and I have lobbied ministers asking for us to go into Tier 2 at the first opportunity. We are in Tier 3 because our two hospitals have too many patients and we have too many cases in the over-60 population – these are the patients who require long-term treatment. We were also above the threshold for number of cases per 100,000. Hopefully this will be reviewed soon.
The Government has accepted the bid I lodged to the Restoring Your Railway fund for the South Fylde line.
I have always campaigned to improve the level of service on this line and we now have a real opportunity to double the number of trains on the line, and improve the reliability of the timetable.
We now have funding for a full feasibility and costings study and the Government has already been in touch to arrange the first meeting of all interested parties. Now we have a real opportunity to get the rail line we need and deserve – one which residents can use to get to work and education, and one which will bring more visitors in to our tourism economy.
I had a virtual meeting with Chief Inspector Sally Riley, the new officer in charge of policing in Fylde and Wyre.
She told me there has been a real impact thanks to the increase in officer numbers in the past two years – with more on the way as part of the 20,000 extra officers being recruited nationwide. She is looking at different models of neighbourhood policing, and we are likely to see more officers on the beat as a result.