Cat Smith

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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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

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