Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw MP.
Eric Ollerenshaw MP.

Last week I met with the managerial team at our local county court to see how things were going following the changes to legal aid.

I was pleased to hear that although hearings are taking slightly longer the delay in getting a hearing has been reduced significantly.

It was also good to hear that our local court is ready to go to the Single Family Court system as of April 22.

I do recognise that any court appearance, for whatever reason, can be very daunting but this new system should put family matters in a much less intimidating environment, with far less confusion over who deals with what, as it takes away the need to use the different tiers of courts.

I also called in to see A4E which is a company that operates the Work Programme for the Department of Work and Pensions.

It was good to meet the new team and also some of their younger customers who were participating enthusiastically in a game of Human Bingo as a means to build self confidence in a group situation.

They did raise with me the problems of public transport in terms of getting to and from where the job opportunities existed in our area, but none the less they were pleased at the progress in supporting people back into work – something matched by the national figures showing a steady fall in unemployment.

In Wray last weekend the major pre-occupation seemed to be “scarecrow” preparation for the upcoming Festival on April 26 - May 4, which given the continued good weather should be fantastic as usual.

The theme this year is apparently ‘Heroes and Heroines’ and I am sure there will be some clever and interesting examples.

As always, please contact me if I can be of any help.

I represent everyone that lives in Lancaster regardless of how or whether you vote.

My contact details are as follows: Email:, telephone 0207 219 7096 or 01995 672975, or by post at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA or 59 High Street, Great Eccleston, Lancs, PR3 0YB. Or, alternatively, my website is