Cat Smith

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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Fleetwood Update: Trams, voluntary sector, shop local & police cuts


Thank you to everyone who emailed me or wrote on my Facebook page with suggestions for what you’d like to ask David Cameron at Prime Ministers’ Questions last week. I asked about a change in the law to mean that pensioners’ concessionary travel to include trams. Whilst the answer was disappointing I will continue campaigning on this issue in Westminster.

This week I have met with Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre CVS supporting community and voluntary services in our area. As the cuts are hitting the public sector and our councils hard it often these groups which are picking up the pieces. I will be hosting a roundtable in the New Year, supported by our local CVS, to bring together these voluntary organisations and see what I can do to offer support.

I have also signed up for my Shop Local Card and met with Paul from Northern Rags on Poulton Street. The scheme offers discounts to local shoppers and by shopping locally you will save money and boost our Fleetwood economy. Get your free card from Northern Rags, 16 Poulton Street, Fleetwood.

Over the past week I have met with Breast Cancer Care on Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Secondary breast cancer is where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, is incurable but treatable and people can live with the disease for a number of years. However, despite it being mandatory for hospitals to collect data on secondary breast cancer in England since 2013, no such data has been published. I’m arguing for this data to be published to help commissioners to effectively plan NHS services.

I was very concerned when I have received news from Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Clive Grunshaw, that policing in Lancashire faces an additional cut of 13.5% in its grant. If these cuts are implemented we could see the force reduced from 3,611 officers in 2010 to 1,699 by 2020. This will wipe out specialist and neighbourhood teams and mean their vital work protecting children from sexual exploitation, tackling crime and anti- social behaviour and even tackling major crime will be at risk. I’m shocked by the scale of these cuts - the service would be unrecognisable compared to the service provided today. I have written to the Policing Minister and secured a meeting with him to discuss this and I will be asking for a reconsideration of these dangerous cuts.