Cat Smith MP

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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Continuing to press for fracking meeting

I have written to the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss fracking in Lancashire. I had written to Mr Javid’s predecessor Greg Clark earlier this month with a similar request but the response I received from the Department failed to make it clear whether the Minister would indeed be willing to meet with me or not.  Continue reading

Protect UK Nature Laws from Brexit

    In recent months the UK has been involved in negotiations at a European level about the future of the European Union Habitats and Wild Birds Directives which have led to increased protection for species such as otters, bitterns, beetles and butterflies as well as habitats across the UK. In a letter to Rory Stewart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, I urged the Minister not to dilute the UK’s environmental protections following the vote to leave the European Union. Continue reading

Backing British Farming

  I attended a reception in Westminster yesterday where the NFU stressed the importance of food security and the need to back British farming following the EU referendum result. The NFU event in parliament was a great opportunity to talk about the future of farming outside the EU.  Farmers in Lancaster and Fleetwood work incredibly hard to produce high-quality food and manage our beautiful countryside and they need assurances that the UK government will provide them with the support they need to increase their competitiveness, profitability and productivity as we move forward.  Continue reading

Help stop women dying of Breast Cancer

  I demonstrated my support for women with breast cancer by becoming a parliamentary ambassador for leading charity Breast Cancer Now.  I joined 200 MPs across the country who pledged their support to Breast Cancer Now – the UK’s largest breast cancer charity – to remind fellow politicians and constituents alike that breast cancer is not a ‘done deal’ and that immediate action must be taken to stop the disease taking lives.   Continue reading

Help create Carer Friendly Communites in Lancaster and Fleetwood

Today I pledged support to carers across Lancaster and Fleetwood as part of the national Carers Week 2016 awareness campaign, which runs from 6-12th June. There are 6.5 million people in the UK who care for a partner, relative or friend, of which 8,900 carers are in Lancaster and Fleetwood. The seven charities driving Carers Week 2016 are calling on individuals, organisations and services throughout the country to improve the lives of carers by building ‘Carer Friendly Communities’ – encouraging all parts of the community to think about carers and do things differently to support them. Continue reading

Challenging the Government on impact of fracking on tourism

Yesterday I challenged Ministers from the Department of Communities and Local Government about the impact potential fracking might have on the local tourism industry.  Following on from a question about government support for coastal communities I asked, “The Minister will be aware that tourism plays an important role in our coastal communities, so how damaging does he think the potential fracking wells on the Fylde coast would be to our tourism industry in the Blackpool area?” Continue reading

Commitment from Government on autism training

  Today, I won a commitment from the Government after I asked a question about autism in today’s session of Prime Minister’s Questions. After receiving dozens of emails from local parents of autistic children and young people in the past few weeks, I wanted to raise one aspect of the many challenges that come with raising an autistic child.   Continue reading

U-turn on schools policy

If David Cameron and his Education Secretary could be marked for their work on education this week they would be getting a U for U-turn. Following weeks of mounting pressure from teachers, parents and Labour MPs, the Tories have finally conceded that their proposed academisation of schools, was indeed a costly reorganisation of schools, which nobody wanted and schools really did not need.  Continue reading

What I'll be looking out for from the Queen's Speech

    The State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech was a spectacle as ever. There’s the tradition, and then there is those who try and sabotage tradition; like the engineers who had been sent into the chamber to turn Dennis Skinner’s microphone around to muffle his heckle on the television broadcast. The House of Commons microphones dangle from the ceiling and pick up the sound from above your head – so not immediately noticeable. However, Dennis had noticed and projected his heckle, “Hands off the BBC”, towards a neighbouring microphone and was picked up on the television broadcast no problem at all. A victory for a more modern Queen’s Speech tradition! Continue reading

Cat Smith MP becomes founding member of new Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality

I joined MPs from across the House of Commons to form a new Parliamentary group on the State Pension Age. The new group will support those women hit by the acceleration of the equalisation of the State Pension Age, first in 1995 and then in 2011. In Lancaster and Fleetwood, according to the independent House of Commons Library, around 3,370 women are directly affected by the 2011 Pensions Act alone. 308 local residents signed the e-petition calling for transitional arrangements, which received almost 200,000 signatures nationwide. Continue reading