Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw MP.
Eric Ollerenshaw MP.

Last week, as I am sure you all noticed, was the Budget.

For me it demonstrated that with the economy, although we are not quite out of the woods as yet, things are starting to move in the right direction.

I think the highlights were without a doubt the shake up to the pension system which in simple terms gives more personal control to pensioners for the first time ever.

I was also pleased to see to that the Chancellor has decided once again not to implement the Fuel duty rise and has cut duty on beer.

Together with increasing the personal tax allowance – which will effectively in the North West take 31,000 people out of income tax altogether and 2,680,000 people will see an average real terms gain of £62.

Clearly a lot more to do, but it does look like things are moving in the right direction.

A personal victory for me last week was the announcement that Abraxane – a drug that has been described as ‘the biggest advance in pancreatic cancer treatment in almost two decades’ – has been confirmed as approved to use by the NHS from the Cancer Drugs Fund.

This is something I have campaigned on through the All Party Group on Pancreatic Cancer as their chairman and although this may only be of use with a quarter of the people diagnosed with this dreadful disease each year, it is the first real advance in helping prolong life with this cancer for decades.

Locally I had a very interesting meeting with Roger Carter, the Chair of Bay Tourism, a not for profit organisation that is looking to promote our city and encourage more visitors.

Working with the Business Improvement District their latest initiative has been to try and organise a trip to come to Lancaster for a group of tour operators in order to showcase what is on offer in Lancaster.

I wish them every success with this, as I truly believe that not only is Lancaster a great place to live, but that we also have so much to offer those who should wish to visit.

For more information on what is on offer locally please visit