A RECENT week in Westminster began with the swearing in of the newest MP, Mike Thornton, who won the recent by-election in Eastleigh. It was great to see Mike take his seat in the House as it was the first by-election victory for the Lib Dems since the 2010 General Election.
Later that evening, I presented the award for Parliamentary Researcher of the Year. The event was held at the Speaker’s state rooms and many hard-working researchers from across all the parties had been nominated. These awards are a chance for the hard work staff put in to be properly recognised and appreciated. MPs’ staff work hard behind the scenes and I am lucky to benefit from a great team both in the constituency and in Westminster.
On Tuesday I attended a manufacturing conference hosted by EEF. This was a really interesting event with interesting discussions being held. One of the keynote speakers was Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. Ed blasted the Government yet failed to put forward any proposals or policies himself. Personally, I am proud of this Government’s attempts to boost manufacturing and the importance they have placed on this part of the economy.
Each week I chair a meeting on BIS issues with my Liberal Democrat colleagues in both houses. At last week’s meeting, Centre Forum and the London Stock Exchange presented a report to the group. They had come up with an interesting solution for funding SMEs and creating jobs and growth.
On Friday I went along to the opening of the Burnley Bridge site to see how the development of the new industrial park was getting along. The site is really starting to take shape and it is great to see diggers and machines working on the site. This special opening was really exciting and this business park will be like no other, offering a huge amount of opportunity to local businesses. The business park will be another project bringing jobs and growth to Burnley. I’m really proud of this town and how it has turned around. Four years ago we were in the bottom 10 towns in the country for unemployment, and now we’re 183 places from the bottom. We need to keep improving and hopefully the Government will continue to invest in Burnley the way it has done over the past few years.
On Sunday I travelled down to Brighton for Lib-Dem Spring Conference. I specifically went down to present a motion for conference calling for a stronger manufacturing sector and am pleased to say it was unanimously passed and will now become Lib-Dem policy.
As normal I have been inundated with casework and have been working with constituents a wide range of issues. If there is anything I can help you with please do get in touch.