Eric Ollerenshaw column: I’ll be working closely with small business

Eric Ollerenshaw MP
Eric Ollerenshaw MP

Last week following the launch of the Government’s new Supporting Small Business Campaign, I was appointed as one of 12 national Small Business Ambassadors.

My role will be to help promote and represent small businesses in the North West. I have already met with the Lancashire and Cumbria Federation of Small Business to discuss how we can work together and will be shortly meeting with other business organisations to do the same.

This appointment was a pleasant surprise for me, as I firmly do believe that small businesses are the bedrock of our economy both locally and nationally. With such a wealth of such enterprises locally I am looking forward to working with them and of course our local Chamber to ensure that our local small businesses are heard at Government level.

On another national issue I was very pleased to see it was announced last week that local communities will be given a greater say on the often controversial subject of wind farms.

I feel these new planning guidelines will give a far more balanced approach to wind farm proposals and will pass on increased financial benefits to those who are prepared to have a wind farm and a greater say for those who don’t. A pity these new rules could not be retrospective!

On Thursday in Parliament, I was delighted to get the opportunity to meet a local young man, Shaun Ferguson, who was in London to attend an awards ceremony following his graduation from vInspired. vInspired is the UK’s leading youth volunteering charity.

Shaun, despite his disabilities, has been volunteering since the age of 14 and for the past year has been working on a project on the Ridge estate.

Locally, I visited Pilling St John’s School to see the project which has been submitted for a ‘ Total Green School Award’, a competition open to all primary schools in England, Scotland and Wales.

Once again Pilling St John’s has won the ‘Champion of the Region’ award and will be visiting London on June 20 for the presentation. On the day, it will be announced which school is the UK Champion