Cat Smith MP

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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Welcoming Fleetwood's NOW card travellers back to the trams

This week we have learnt that the hard work has paid off and soon NOW card holders will be able to access the trams into Blackpool once again! This time last year I was campaigning to be your MP and I said one of my top priorities was campaigning to get pensioners and people with disabilities back on the trams with the NOW cards – so I am delighted that it’s down to Fleetwood Labour that this has been possible. Continue reading

Supporting Junior Doctors and the NHS

I am appalled at the Government's decision to impose changes to the junior doctors' contract. I believe these changes will harm our NHS with many junior doctors opting to work either overseas or in the private sector. I am also concerned that they will jeopardise patient safety. I agree that statistics have been manipulated for political purposes. We already have a seven days a week NHS with junior doctors playing an essential role in this. If the Government is serious about running all services on a 24-7 basis to then they need be prepared to provide the additional resources in order to achieve this. I share your concerns over the long term future of the NHS under the Tories. Continue reading

Demanding EU Flood Relief Funds

I've written to the Prime Minister demanding to know why he has not accessed the EU Solidarity Fund to support those who have been flooded across the North of England. A demand reinforced by the MEPs from the North West. These funds could help local people rebuild their lives, infrastructure and help clean up after the floods.   Continue reading

Protecting the Emergency Response to Natural Disaster

In a debate about the recent flooding I held the Government to account over their weak response that have devastated communities across the North of England. The emergency services and military have done a sterling job in their response to the floods ensuring swift and safe rescues for those affected. However, the Government has failed to adequately prepare our country for the effects of climate change and the impacts that flooding has on our communities. Since 2011 Lancashire Fire and Rescue has lost 241 firefighters because of cuts. I asked the Environment Minister to consider making response to flooding a statutory requirement of the Fire Service, and to bring with it the funding they need, in order to equip our emergency services to respond in the way we all hope they will if we were to be flooded. Continue reading

The Government is Cutting our Local Services - Not Councils

I have had a full mail bag from many constituents writing to me about threats to funding for local services. I don’t want to see us lose any services, be that buses, museums, libraries or the social services. Continue reading

Thoughts on 2015

 The past year has been a busy one for me finding my feet as your new local MP. I've found myself working flat out to get around the huge and diverse constituency. From the Yorkshire border, through the lower Lune Valley, and the city of Lancaster (but only south of the river), across Over Wyre villages to Fleetwood; it's been a joy to get to spend time with all the varied communities, although with the many issues that come up I've learned a lot too. It's given me a huge variety of issues to raise in Parliament. Since September I've also been doing this alongside being on the front bench for my party as Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, which has given my a good platform for the many equalities issues that I'm passionate about. Continue reading

Recovering After the Flood - City & Countryside

  Over the past week I have continued to work on the process of cleaning up after the floods and power loss we experienced across the Lancaster district. I was very grateful to Jenny Walmsley who chairs the Caton-with-Littledale parish council and to John Taylor from the local National Farmers Union for introducing me to local people, farms and businesses who have been affected by the flooding. I’ll continue to work to support everyone and will be asking challenging questions going forward. Continue reading

Small Business Saturday 2015

On Saturday morning I visited small businesses in Lancaster as part of Small Business Saturday. I did my bit too by picking up the first few items of my Christmas shopping for family and friends. And given what happened on Saturday night our small businesses will be needing your support more than ever. We need a strong local economy in order to have a strong local community. The New Economics Foundation calculates that every pound spent with a local business is worth £1.76 to the local economy, while on the other hand every pound spent with an out of area business is only worth 36p. Continue reading

Government U-Turn on Tax Credits & Police Budget cautiously welcomed

The details of today's Comprehensive Spending Review will still be emerging, but I welcome any u-turn George Osborne is willing to make on cuts to tax credits and policing budgets which have been key campaigns I have been fighting over the past weeks and months. Sadly those on Universal Credit will still see their living standards squeezed and, after we have already lost 17,000 police officers, no further cuts to policing means little to those police staff who have lost their jobs already. In addition deep cuts are being made to many departments that will have harmful consequences. Cuts to the Department of Transport and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for example, will have a detrimental impact on services and jobs locally. Continue reading

Campaigning for Better Broadband in Wyre

One of the things that is raised with me, in every part of the Lancaster and Fleetwood  constituency, but particularly in rural areas and Over Wyre, is the frustrations many people  have with unreliable or non-existent broadband access. The importance of broadband to  households and businesses cannot be overestimated. In this day and age many deem it as  essential as water, gas or electricity.  Where broadband access is poor it holds back our communities economically and socially.  Many of you may not know that 4% of Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency experiences  slow connections of less than 2 Mb/s, which is a percentage above the national average. Continue reading