My Week in Westminster

Thank you to everyone who went to the polls and voted in the local elections last week.

While there is obvious frustration at national politics with Brexit – and believe me when I say I share those frustrations with you all – I am delighted to see so many dedicated and hard-working candidates elected in Fylde.

I wish everyone of all parties who were elected well in their roles and I look forward to working with them.

I was sad to see my Conservative colleagues Sandra Pittman and Graham Neil narrowly miss out, and there were several well-known names who chose not to stand this year, including the likes of Louis Rigby, Tim Ashton, and Keith Beckett who will be made Honorary Aldermen of the borough, for their long service.

Last year’s deputy mayor Jan Barker, who worked so diligently in her term in office and who was the only Labour representative on the authority, also chose not to stand and I wish all of these people well in future.

I hope everyone in Fylde will be behind AFC Fylde who now face two finals at Wembley.

On top of the FA Trophy final, the Coasters will now play Salford in the National League play off final.

The team gets better and better every year and a win in the playoffs put them into the Conference – just one division from the Football League.

The success of the new stadium development has been matched by the players on the pitch and they fully deserve not only a trophy, but to go up a league as well.

I have also followed the club’s community foundation success, helping improve sporting participation from those who may not have been keen to take part before. The Foundation also operates a rehabilitation and community mentoring programme providing support for those leaving prison. This is where sport works well – using its popularity to bring a wider benefit to the public and I commend it for its efforts.

I was also pleased to meet up with the Blood Bikers who visited Ansdell last weekend. These dedicated volunteers provide a vital service transporting urgently-needed blood, medicines, tissue and even donor breast milk to hospitals across the North West.

They are a ‘hidden’ emergency service whose work should not go unrecognised and OI fully support the organisation for its sterling work which benefits our wonderful NHS doubly – by providing a much-needed service and freeing up other health professionals to go about their business at the same time.