Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw.
Eric Ollerenshaw.

Last week in Parliament I held a meeting with other members from across the country to discuss issues they may have been having with the roll out of superfast broadband.

As some of you may know I have been raising numerous concerns that here in Lancashire the BT roll-out isn’t delivering as it was intended to and wanted to see if this was the same elsewhere.

Unfortunately this is the case and many colleagues reported similar issues to those we are experiencing here, with whole areas like Glasson Dock and parts of Lancaster being left out.

This, together with telecommunications connections still not being a planning requirement of either new commercial and private build, is the issue we will now be raising as a group with the Secretary of State.

Locally I was able to pay a visit to Winmarleigh Church of England Primary School to have a look round the newly redecorated common areas and meet with the staff and pupils.

As always it was great to visit one of our small rural schools and to experience first-hand how fantastic these schools really are. The issue for the school like other small schools is finding the money to create a dedicated dining area, needed since the introduction of the new free school meals policy.

I also had a catch up meeting with the Cockersands Forum to discuss once again the ongoing issue of the maintenance of the Thurnham Sea Defences.

Many of you may know that the Environment Agency have, rather than stopping maintaining the Sea Defences entirely, agreed to maintain them for another 30 years and whilst I accept this is an improvement I am still working with local people to try to ensure that these are maintained indefinitely.

One of the ideas we are currently looking at is the reestablishment of a Land Drainage Board that would as well as looking at taking over the maintenance of the Sea Defences carry out work to keep local watercourses clear.

This idea is still in the early stages but I am becoming more and more convinced that this is the way forward.