When Parliament was adjourned for the Easter Recess, I spent my week attending lots of events in Burnley.
I completed a walk around Bank Hall with Liberal Democrat candidate for the ward Brian Tomlinson, along with Ceridwen Chapman. We looked at a number of issues in the area and picked up a substantial amount of casework relating to dirty back streets. This information has now been passed to Streetscene at Burnley Council.
Later, I visited Parkside Methodist Church and spoke to a group of parishioners about how Burnley is changing and the scanner appeal. The church kindly made a donation to the appeal, which is much appreciated. Afterwards, I had a successful business meeting with two leading members of the Asian community.
I attended a St George’s Day war memorial service in Plover Street, organised by Coun. Neil Mottershead. It was an occasion to commemorate those fallen in war. In the evening I was invited to the Society of St George’s annual dinner, at Burnley Football Club. It was a great occasion with all proceeds going to Action for ASD, a fantastic local organisation which works to support people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. The society also made a kind donation to the scanner appeal.
I also met Jim Birrell, interim chief executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. I then went on to visit Blessed Trinity to speak to the headteacher and tour the school. I am pleased to say the school is now one of the most improved in Lancashire, congratulations to the headteacher, staff and pupils. In the afternoon I had a very interesting meeting with Common Purpose, an international, not-for-profit organisation that runs leadership courses which mix people from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
In the evening I attended a public meeting to discuss the proposed extension to Shuttleworth Mead Business Park. Burnley Council has suggested this as part of their draft plan for the town. I expected only a few people to attend but over 50 turned up. I advised them on the ways they can oppose the proposal, I am pleased to say many have taken notice of already. I am disappointed the new draft plan proposals have been upsetting a lot of people in town recently, this is the second instance after the proposal for a travellers’ site off Billington Road.
Friday was busy as usual; I met lots of constituents on a range of issues and, on Saturday, held my street advice stall outside Marks and Spencers. I rounded off the week by attending the Scouts’ St George’s Day Promise Ceremony in Nelson. It was a great celebration and I was pleased to see over 800 young people in attendance.
Unfortunately, we had some bad news recently. One of my researchers in London, Laura, was informed her boyfriend was involved in the tragic helicopter accident in Afghanistan. Our thoughts are with her at this very difficult time.