My week began in the usual busy way. Monday was filled with constituent appointments and I was keen to get onto this casework in order to see swift resolutions.
Tuesday was an exciting day, with Mayor Making and annual council meeting. I was honoured to make the vote of thanks to the retiring Mayor, Charlie Bullas. He was an excellent mayor for our town and had such a positive impact locally. I was able to congratulate him and the £32,000 that was raised for his chosen charity is a testament to his great work.
On Wednesday, I was back in London for Parliamentary business and a special visit to Clarence House. I was invited, along with my wife Kathleen, to meet Prince Charles. It was a wonderful lunchtime reception with some great food and it was fantastic to speak to the Prince about the Weavers’ Triangle and town centre. He was excited about the progress of the University Technical College at Victoria Mill. I think we have convinced Princes Charles to bring Camilla on his next visit.
After Clarence House, it was back to Westminster for some important meetings. I met with the BBC to discuss with them their new technology apprenticeship, which starts this September. Over the last year, the BBC has taken on 45 apprentices and 240 within the academy. The BBC is keen to widen the pool of talent and diversify entrance into the broadcasting industry. The meeting was very informative and I was pleased to hear of the success of their current apprentices. They have rightly recognised the need to fill the skills gap in the UK.
I was delighted to be speaking at the EAL reception which was hosted to launch the Industry Apprenticeship Council in the House of Commons. It was a great event and fantastic to speak to many of the young apprentices and talk about the benefits of apprenticeships. The IAC is doing fantastic work to improve careers advice and awareness of apprenticeships as an alternative to further education.
On Thursday I met with the regional director and regional manager of Job Centre Plus to discuss the concerns I had with the way that some people had been treated. It was a good meeting and the management outlined changes to be put in place to eliminate these problems. In the afternoon, I opened Wilson’s Car Wash in Trafalgar Street. I was touched by their donation of £250 to the scanner appeal. I wish them every success in their new venture.
Friday morning was filled with a visit to see the impressive bakery at Warburton’s. I was able to see how they make crumpets and potato cakes – these are two things which I enjoy! They have had major capital investment in the last three or four years and Warburton’s in Burnley employs more than 250 people having been around for over 30 years.
There will be no advice surgery today, May 24th. The next one is 4-5pm on May 31st at Padiham Leisure Centre.