Eric Ollerenshaw column

MP Eric Ollerenshaw.
MP Eric Ollerenshaw.

Last week in Parliament I was able to speak in a debate on cancer care and treatment in the UK.

I used my time to continue the campaign for Abraxane, a life-extending drug for pancreatic cancer patients, to be approved by the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Hopefully the debate will provide the final push for this drugs approval, and a possible big improvement in pancreatic cancer treatment.

As I said in my last column, this drug will be a big help to the 8,500 people expected to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year alone, giving at least some the chance of more time to spend with loved ones and friends.

Locally I met with some local farmers and rural business people, the environment agency and natural England to discuss the ongoing problems of the clearing of dykes and watercourses.

One of the main issues appears to be that since the Environment Agency have stopped doing a regular clearing of our local dykes fields are no longer draining and remain water logged.

Since the recent flooding across the country, clearly this is an issue that is very high up on the agenda, however I am still of the belief that there needs to be a serious rethink in terms of the present values attached to agricultural land.

However I was pleased that the Environment Agency have agreed that they would look at coming up with some system which not only covers their own responsibilities and also produce guidelines on how much landowners (should they wish to do so) can do to help themselves.

Finally, I met with representatives of the County Council and BT to discuss the roll-out of super fast broadband for our area.

Recently, as some of you may recall, I have had concerns that areas such as Glasson have not been included in the original scheme and wanted some reassurance that following additional funds from Government they would now be included.

I have been promised that this was something that will be looked at – so watch this space for further developments.