Cat Smith MP

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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Austerity makes council position impossible

This week we saw the closure of museums, libraries and children's centres across Lancashire. This cultural and social vandalism will have long term effects on communities across the county, so I hope you will forgive me that I don't hold back.  Between 2010 and 2020 councils’ direct funding will have been cut by 79%. These cuts, from the government to local councils, are unfair because they hit some of the neediest councils hardest.  Continue reading

I am Outraged by Government decision to frack Lancashire

Today's announcement is an affront to local democracy. For a government that talks the talk about devolution and localism, it certainly fails when held up to any scrutiny.  Lancashire County Council, our locally elected democratic representatives, took the decision to turn down the two applications for Preston New Road and Roseacre based on right and proper planning issues. For the Secretary of State, who represents a leafy Worcestershire seat, to force fracking upon the people of Lancashire is a slap in the face to democracy and any pretence of devolution to the north.  Continue reading

Our farmers are flooded again & the Government is just watching

Once again, farmers in Winmarleigh are battling flooded fields and the indifference of the Government. It’s heart breaking to be here again, looking at flooded fields again. These farmers are still struggling to recover from the storms of late 2015 which left their fields flooded for months, and no sooner have they dried out, than they are flooded again. Continue reading

Motor Neurone Disease

  This last week of the summer recess I have met with Linda Endicott who co-ordinates the Motor Neurone Disease Association branch in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. This is a charity particularly close to my heart after I lost a friend, Rose, to the disease a couple of years ago.  Continue reading

The Samaritans shop re-opens bigger, brighter and better than ever

It's official! The Samaritans shop in Lancaster is open again after Storm Desmond - it's bigger, brighter and better than ever. For those that remember, the shop was badly flooded last December during Storm Desmond, and since then teams of volunteers have worked hard to see the charity shop re-open.  Continue reading

Chat with Cat in Caton

  Thank you to the Caton residents who came out on Thursday evening to my "Chat with Cat" at the Victoria Institute as part of my summer tour of some of the villages in my constituency. I've got plenty of follow up work to do from our chat and I'll be back in touch with you all soon. Continue reading

Please walk dogs responsibly this summer

  I have joined forces with the NFU to ask people to act responsibly when walking their dogs in the countryside this summer. As we head into the holiday season, more people will start to get out and enjoy the stunning countryside in and around Lancashire. While everyone is encouraged to make the most of the open spaces in and around the area, they are being asked to remember that it is also a working environment and to make sure they act responsibly - especially when walking dogs where livestock are grazing in fields nearby.  Continue reading

Government Commitment to Autistic Children and Young People

I welcome the confirmation that the Government has improved training for teachers of students with Autism from the Government. The commitment was secured following a Question I put to the Prime Minister in May highlighting a constituent with autism’s case and asking for autism support training for teachers to be included in the forthcoming review on the subject. Continue reading

Pensions minister is betraying the most vulnerable people in Lancaster

Today I accused the Department for Work and Pensions of failing to prepare people in the most deprived areas of Lancaster for the switch to Universal Credit, which will become fully digitised this month. As of July, all new claimants in Lancaster will have to go online to sign-on. Face-to-face applications will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, and claimants will need to spend dozens of hours hunting for jobs online to avoid losing their benefits. Continue reading

Urgent Fracking Meeting with Minister

I have requested an urgent meeting with Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to discuss fracking in Lancashire. I am seeking to ensure that the voice of the local community is heard when Greg Clark makes a decision on whether or not to allow fracking to go ahead at Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood. Lancashire County Council rejected the application from Cuadrilla to frack at these sites last year but the company has since appealed and a final decision will now be taken by the Secretary of State. Continue reading