As I look back on 2013 I would like to start by saying thank you to a number of people and organisations for all they have done over the past 12 months.
Our emergency services protect and support us throughout the year, and we are always grateful to them for that. This was brought home to me when I visited the Royal Lancaster Infirmary just before Christmas to witness the hard work and dedication of all the staff over what for what many of us is a holiday period.
I would also like to pay tribute to the huge numbers of volunteers who make a difference to our local communities.
From volunteers raising money for charities to those who secure the funds for the St John’s Hospice, and everybody else who gives up their time to help support the needy or make our local community a better place to live.
New Year is also a time to look forward and for me a local issue of importance – and I make no apology for repeating myself on thi
s - is the County Council’s plans to cut evening and Sunday bus services throughout our area.
So once again I would urge all of you to have your say on this and contact your councillors and the County Council directly to let them know your views.
You can let your views known by contacting them at email@example.com or writing to them at Bus and Supported Transport Manager Lancashire County Council, Room D3, PO Box 100 County Hall, Preston PR1 0LD.
Nationally, James Wharton MP Private Member’s Bill will be returning to the Commons shortly and I do believe that it is vital that this bill is passed, making it law that there will be a referendum on the UK’s EU membership by 2017.
I support this Bill as I really do think the time has now come to allow the people to have their say on this issue once and for all.
Finally, we have seen a tremendously difficult few years financially, although things are now moving in the right direction. I hope that the economy will continue to grow in 2014, with more businesses being set up and expanded, and more jobs being created locally.
I will be doing my bit in Westminster to ensure we are not forgotten here in the North West.