Over the past few months, everywhere I go I have been asked by constituents, from the business community and elsewhere what is happening to mark the official opening of the road and if I will be getting a big visitor from the Government to officially open the road and be the first car down it.
People have been rightly concerned of rumours that a fun run and carnival will be organised with no formal ceremony to mark the first car to drive down the road and officially open the project.
In Treasury Questions, I asked the Chancellor to formally open the road, the Chancellor George Osborne MP said: “I remember visiting the road with my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister, as it happens, just days before the General Election.
“And, because he had been such a good champion of his constituency, his constituents said lets have him back in Parliament championing more investment in Lancashire. Diary permitting, I would be delighted to open the Link Road.”
Following this question, a Labour county councillor locally claimed there was a Royal visit lined up for the opening. Obviously this would be even better than the Chancellor to have a Royal open the road but, as I had not been formally notified, which is usually protocol, I decided to make further inquires.
I have been told a Royal has not been secured, as has been reported, but only initial discussions to secure a Royal have taken place.
I have also been informed these discussions were not for an opening when the road opens in October but for spring. This will coincide with the county council elections and will mean the Royal visitor will not be able to attend if it is being turned into a political event.
I will be making further inquiries and ensuring that, if a Royal is secured, it is for October and no party political games are being played at such a vital opening for the economic future of our constituency.
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