Christmas Preparations

As you would expect the burden of responsibility weighed heavily on all MPs in Westminster last week.  Most of you will already know that I voted not to support David Cameron’s plan to bomb Syria. I did not take the decision lightly but ultimately I think it was the right one. To read my reasons visit


In the lead up to Wednesday’s lengthy debate I attended numerous briefings on Syria. In the midst of this though I did manage to find the time to attend a really uplifting presentation organised by Ambitious for Autism. This group is focused on maximising career opportunities for autistic young people. I was impressed to hear the stories of several ambitious young people who described how they had overcome immense challenges. Some had progressed well in Higher Education and others had secured good jobs with prospects – all were inspiring. I have guaranteed the organisation my full support.


Back in the constituency I was very pleased to accept an early morning invitation from Royal Mail to visit the main depot in Burnley. I had the opportunity to meet with the hardworking men  and women who do so much to ensure that the thousands of letters and parcels are delivered to our homes  in time  for Christmas. I think it would be nice if when we open our mail in the festive season that we take a moment to think of the Royal Mail staff, many of whom are working through the night at this time of year.


The recent heavy downpours are causing flooding problems across the country. I am particularly concerned about water levels in the river at Padiham. I am in contact with Environment Agency staff who  are monitoring the situation closely. If anyone in Burnley or Padiham think that their property is at risk they can ring the Flood line 0345 988 118 for advice.


On Saturday morning I held a  surgery at Padiham town hall. As ever the surgery was well attended and I am grateful to staff at the town hall for facilitating this.


About six weeks ago I invited all the primary school children in Burnley and Padiham to take part in a competition to design my Christmas card. Hundreds of children submitted entries and the standard was very high.  Following this a panel of judges including the Mayor of Burnley and  were called upon to select a winner. The winning entry came from 11 year old,  Megan Paige Duxbury, who is a pupil at Rosewood Primary school. I was delighted to attend the school assembly  on Friday to present Megan with her  prize. It was undoubtedly the highlight of my week. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the children who took part in the competition, the schools for their support and of course a big thank you to Megan.



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