Eric Ollerenshaw column: A time for Safer Giving

Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood
Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood
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Last week I was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to our area to visit the site of the new M6/Heysham Link Road.

This was following the announcement earlier on Friday that the Government would be giving £111million so that this work can finally go ahead.

As I have previously said, I do support the link road as I feel that this will not only encourage growth and business to our area but will hopefully ease some of the congestion in our city too while perhaps proving we can actually get something “done” in our area!

While in Lancaster I called in to the university to discuss concerns about the siting of the pharmacy on campus. As the university has grown over the years the pharmacy is now in a rather ‘out of the way’ position and everyone concerned is keen for it to be moved to a more central location.

Unfortunately, moving a pharmacy is not always a simple matter as there are various rules covering the location of pharmacies which in this case are simply not appropriate.

I also went up to Abbeystead over the weekend to run one of my rural surgeries – something that is important in keeping in touch with such a large and diverse constituency. It was great to meet the local people who called in to have a chat with some important issues about land tenure, broadband and fracking . 
Finally, in the run-up to Christmas, the Charity Commission brought to my attention the Safer Giving Campaign. This campaign is aimed at encouraging people to ask questions to ensure that they are giving to a genuine registered charity and therefore not falling foul of the very, very small minority of people that try to abuse the generosity of others.

As many of us know Christmas is a traditional time for giving and very often a very generous time – and almost all collections are genuine –it is sometimes best to be safe rather than sorry. So while encouraging everyone here in Lancaster to carry on giving , I would just say if you do have any doubts, please do ask to see some ID. Most collectors will have some.

For further information please contact www.charity
commission.gov.uk.’