Awards recognise many outstanding achievements

Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood
Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Last week in Parliament I spoke at the National Prosthetic and Orthotic Awards organised by the Limbless Association to celebrate both their 30th birthday and the third European Limb Loss Day.

These awards recognise the outstanding individual and collective achievements of users, service centres and the many caring healthcare professionals who have gone above and beyond expectation and offer inspiration to others.

The Limbless Association provides support and information to people of all ages and backgrounds and works with civilians as well as the military.

As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on limb loss I was delighted to support this event as I do feel that the huge advances being made in technology as displayed in the paralympics means there is so much more that can be done to provide a more independent lifestyle to both civilians and soldiers who have suffered limb loss. If you would like further information please visit

Last Friday in Lancaster I met once again with representatives of our local fire station to discuss the Fire Authority’s proposals to remove a ‘whole-time’ engine from Lancaster. This was rather apt timing as just the day before we had seen our emergencies services stretched to respond to the effects of the storm that battered our area. I do feel that this together with the unique geography of our area really does underline the importance of our local Fire and Rescue Service and this is why I am continuing to fight for the retention of our two engines.

Up in Wray I called in on local artist David Hartnup who has produced an amazing collage of portraits of the 44 Bentham men who died in the First World War. David explained to me that this came about following him obtaining most of the pictures of these young men and then painting them and placing them together in a piece called ‘The Bentham Boys who gave their lives’. This incredible work of art really is a very emotional piece, particularly as next year we will commerate 100 years since the start of the First World War, and it really did bring home to me the sheer scale of loss that was suffered.

and the effect that it had on every part of our Nation. I was so moved by this piece that I am keen to find somewhere where it can displayed – hopefully both here in Lancaster as well as nationally.

Back in Lancaster I took time out to call into The Bay – our fantastic local radio station - to discuss what the impact of a move to DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) will have on independent local stations. It was fortuitous that early in the week I had attended a debate on this very same subject and was reassured by the Minister that although this is being looked at, currently there are no plans in place for a total switch over until every option has been considered, including running both FM and DAB simultaneously.’