Eric Ollerenshaw column: Civic pride marked on day of celebration

Eric Ollerenshaw MP
Eric Ollerenshaw MP

Last week in Parliament I chaired an All Party Parliamentary Group to launch Civic Day.

This event, which was attended by Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and organised by Civic Voice, was to highlight Civic Day and hear about the work of Civic Societies across the country.

It is all part of the increased recognition for volunteers who have given so much of their time over the years to maintain and enhance our built environment. This is something we are all proud of in Lancaster so if you want to learn more or get involved please contact http://lancastercivicsociety.wordpress.com/

Also in Parliament, I was delighted to host a group of students from Ridge Primary School. The students had come down to London and as part of their visit had a tour of Parliament ending with a question and answers session with myself. They were a great credit to the school and their teachers and certainly pinned me down on ‘how much I earned’ etc.

Locally I was pleased to pop along to our bus station to see the replacement electronic bus service timetable which is now up and running. Following the removal of the ‘old’ sign I was delighted to be able to help Lancaster City Council get a new and, I am told, technically upgraded version. This new board was designed by Lancaster University Information Systems Services (ISS) who have previously designed a similar one on campus. It was funded by United Utilities and is another example of what can be achieved when we work together.

Finally, with gala season now in full swing I was dismayed to discover that Lancashire Constabulary has announced that it will no longer be supplying Police or Community Support Officers to administer temporary road closures that many local galas and fetes need.

Instead local communities are now expected to supply their own trained marshals – something that for many groups (for this year at least) will prove difficult. I, together with Ben Wallace MP and Paul Maynard MP, have written to the Police Commissioner asking him to ensure that the Police continue to carry out this role.