In Westminster I was really pleased to welcome pupils from Quernmore Primary School on their school trip. They got the chance to grill me in an intensive 15 minute Q&A and I can say with confidence there was more than one aspiring Jeremy Paxman amongst them! I really enjoyed meeting them, and their teachers, so if there are any other teachers or pupils out there who want to know more about arranging a school trip including a tour of parliament and a Q&A with me, please give my Westminster office a call on 0207 219 6001. Also, if you’d like to invite me to your school instead I’d love to come so get in touch with that too.
I have had a meeting with a representative from Scope about the future of Beaumont College in
Lancaster. I was not satisfied with their answers to my questions and have requested further meetings with them until I can be satisfied they are giving me the information around the accounts for the college, their business plan and a comparison on student numbers with similar colleges. In the meantime I have also requested a visit to the College to meet with staff and students. Thanks to everyone who has been in touch on this issue, rest assured I am demanding answers.
You may have noticed that the Palace of Westminster is in dire need of serious repair and there is discussion about moving MPs out to complete the work. The Palace is part of our national heritage so I support repairing it, and if MPs and Lords are to be moved out, then why not try holding Parliament outside of London? I’ve made a pitch for relocating to Lancaster Castle, with its excellent transport links and secure building it seems ideal to me – and not just because I could walk to work!
But Lancaster is roughly in the centre of the United Kingdom and I would like to see parliamentarians supporting our local businesses.
And finally, by the time you read this column I expect Lancashire County Council will have made a decision on the fracking applications. I have made the case opposing fracking in my column in previous weeks but I just wanted to add a thank you to over 1,000 local people who co-signed my letter calling on the council to reject these applications.