My Week in Westminster

Finally we got to see workmen on the site of the M55 link road this week.

I visited the Openreach team who are re-routing air traffic control cables from the area to facilitate the construction of the road.

This represents just shy of £1 million of work that has started; the tender process is well under way with more than enough interested parties for the construction of the road, and funding has been secured from Fylde and Lancashire County Councils, the Growth Fund, Highways Agency and Homes England.

Hopefully this was the first of many visits to work on the site of our vital link road.

I also attended the annual Rotary BAE Technology Tournament in St Annes to see some of our finest young minds take on an engineering challenge.

I spoke with students from St Bede’s and AKS who were attempting to build a machine that could lift a weight and negotiate a barrier.

They were among around 40 teams of enthusiastic young engineers of the future and I am always pleased to support the event.

I met with our new Chief Inspector for Fylde, Chris Hardy, and was very impressed with his plans for policing in Fylde.

He told me he intends to pull on as many resources as possible to ensure we have more feet on the ground in our town and village centres.

We spoke about the new 100 officers and 70 support staff being taken on by the Constabulary, and he was very keen to see them used not only in a targeted manner where problems arise, but also as extra neighbourhood officers to patrol our streets.

I also met with the Royal Air Force Association to discuss the issues it is having with its Richard Peck House facility in St Annes.

It seems sadly that time has simply caught up with this respite centre and care home, and the charity fears it cannot make the alterations required within it to ensure it complies with our exacting care home regulations – it already has several access and safety issues which would not be allowed if it were to open its doors anew today.

I was very sorry to hear of the death of former Mayor Coun Christine Akeroyd.

She was a wonderful ambassador for Fylde, a conscientious councillor who cared deeply for St Annes and its residents. Above all, she was simply a lovely person I feel privileged to have met.

The horrific terror attack on those going to pray at two mosques in New Zealand this week was sickening and my thoughts are with the families of those affected and the wider New Zealand community.

There is no place in our world for intolerance of any kind.