When the House was in Recess this month I was able to spend all my time in Burnley.
Following the Easter weekend, filled with too much chocolate and an egg and spoon race with my grandchildren, my week began with constituent appointments.
On Tuesday, I had an important meeting with the East Lancashire Coroner. He is extremely concerned, as I am, about the proposal to move the mortuary and body store from Burnley General Hospital and offer facilities at the Royal Blackburn Hospital only. We discussed the impact this would have, and the proposed changes are not music to my ears! I am committed to doing all I can to retain services in Burnley and will be campaigning to do so. We have fought to save local hospital facilities before and can do so again.
On Wednesday I met the Chief Executive of Calico, the largest housing owner in Lancashire, and we discussed various issues and expansion plans in Burnley.
The discussion was wholly positive and I am delighted about the prospect of extra social housing becoming available in Burnley. I was able to hear more about the services Calico provide, which make a real difference to people’s lives.
A busy afternoon involved a visit to Burnley Telematics for the launch of the Youth Learning Partnership. The scheme is designed for young people to be mentored by the Fire Brigade for 12 weeks. It was wonderful to learn that two members have secured apprenticeships and many are going on to further education.
Some readers may remember James Wyld, a former Mayor of Burnley. I went to visit him and, following several major operations, I was amazed at how well he is doing.
On Thursday I was delighted to speak at the East Lancashire Prostate Cancer Group meeting. Prostate cancer is a cause close to my heart, since my father died of the condition. Following my raising £63,000 for a prostate scanner at the hospital several years ago, I was advised it has saved well over 1,100 lives in the past 10 years.
On Friday I visited Ladbrokes, who gave me £50 to bet on any horse at the Grand National, with any winnings going to charity. Placing £25 each way, I was lucky my chosen horse Teaforthree finished third, meaning a fantastic win of £150 will be going to Pendleside Hospice. Many of you have raised concerns that bookies are under attack. It is important to recognise the significant contribution they make to the country’s economy and I will do all I can in Parliament to support them.
My constituency office is open 11am to 3pm weekdays at 23 St James’s Row, Burnley. BB11 1EY. Tel: 01282 704430.