Office will help deliver accessible source of help

Cat Smith.
Cat Smith.

This week, as Parliament reconvened for the election of Speaker, I’ve been working to create the set-up that will help me support and represent you over the next five years.

During the election campaign I pledged to be an accessible source of help. To help deliver this I have already identified a potential office in central Lancaster and I hope to have this up and running shortly. I am also recruiting a caseworker to help with your issues – if you are interested in joining my staff team please see w4mpjobs.org.

On Sunday I took part in the BBC’s Sunday Politics show, discussing the huge challenges faced by our councils due to the unprecedented budget cuts imposed by central government. Lancaster City Council will see a cut of 6.4 per cent – one of the deepest percentage cuts nationally.

Meanwhile, some are seeing an increase; Surrey is up 3.2 per cent whilst Windsor gains 2.5 per cent.

I’ll be challenging the government on this North-South divide in council cuts which is driving our local services into an increasingly impossible situation.

My first proper meeting in Westminster was with the National Farmer’s Union where I discussed my concerns about the impact of fracking on the local farming industry.

I don’t support fracking and find the government’s rush towards it especially troubling given the many unanswered questions around the practice. I will be raising concerns over the potential contamination of the water table, as raised by many of our local farmers, with ministers.

This Friday is the annual council meeting and ‘mayor making’ at Lancaster City Council, and I will be there to wish our councillors and the staff who support them a successful year ahead. Congratulations in particular to Councillor Jon Barry as he takes up the role of mayor this year – I look forward to seeing him at many events across our district.

If you would like to contact me you can email cat.smith.mp@parliament.uk.