TWELVE months ago I started my time in Parliament by talking about Fleetwood in my maiden speech and tomorrow, I will finish my first year as your MP, by making the case, in the House of Commons, that we need more support for business in Fleetwood.
In the last year I have spoken to hundreds of local residents – parents, pensioners, hard working families, students, teachers, shop workers, volunteers, people out of work, campaigners and charity organisers. There is one thing that they all share – a spirit and attitude, unique to our town – which I am pleased remains defiantly independent from Blackpool and the rest of Wyre.
However I believe after decades of decline and neglect that Fleetwood needs to regain its confidence. We need investment, regeneration and more importantly, jobs.
I am working closely with local and national bodies on three schemes to help deliver the future that our town deserves. The planned Fish Park will bring many new jobs. The Wyre Tidal Barrage could also be a huge catalyst for regeneration and investment and the restoration of the rail link should be looked at as a serious option to boost the long-term fortunes of Fleetwood.
On a national level, the Government has started work to roll out changes to the way our country is run. Many changes have already taken place, and although we have had to make some tough choices to get the deficit under control. I think we are on the right track.
As a former teacher, I am pleased that the Coalition has introduced the Pupil Premium to help schools support disadvantaged pupils. This means that Fleetwood schools will get £430 of extra funding for each pupil known to be eligible for free school meals or in care for longer than six months. Plans are also well under way for the complete refurbishment and rebuilding of our local primary schools.
We’ve controlled immigration by introducing an annual cap for non-EU economic migrants, while ensuring that we can still attract talent from around the world to help us grow our economy. The Government has also started reforming the welfare system to make sure that work always pays. Introducing a benefits cap to make the system fairer and launched the largest single welfare to work programme in nearly a century.
I am proud to be Fleetwood’s MP and would like to thank you for putting your trust in me. Please be assured that I will continue to work hard for everyone in our town, regardless of their political persuasion.