The House of Commons has been on Whitsun recess over the past week and so I have had plenty of time to meet people in and around Burnley, visiting places where things are going well and helping people where things are not going so well.
Just before returning to Burnley, I saw President Barrack Obama give his speech in Westminster Hall, an honour previously accorded to the Pope and Nelson Mandela. It was an inspirational oration, as I’m sure those of you who also heard it would agree, from the world’s most powerful person.
Earlier this week I received the welcome news from the Jobcentre Plus that over the period of the financial year 2010/1 Burnley saw an increase in job availability of 30.6%, one of the greatest increases in the country and the highest improvement in the North-West. After a difficult time it will be good to see Burnley working again as we strive to rebuild our nation’s manufacturing industry with Burnley at its heart.
On top of this there has been further good news for Burnley as Moorhouse’s opened a new brewery in Burnley bringing in £4.5m. to our town. I would like to congratulate Mr Parkinson and Mr Grant on their investment in the area.
Burnley is also to be the home of a pioneering new educational centre of which we should be very proud: the University and College of Football Business which will open at Turf Moor this September. This is the first of its kind in the UK and is tapping into a big industry which employs hundreds of thousands of people. With inquiries coming in for this university from all over the world and student numbers initially increasing from 300 to 900, this is set to be a real asset to both Burnley and Burnley Football Club.
Last Thursday I visited Shuttleworth College to meet a group of young students called the “Tech Eds” who are a part of the Design My Break initiative. They have been creating healthy snacks to be sold during their break times to pupils and have proved to be a huge success. They have won the regional section of the competition and have advanced to the national stage. I would like to wish them the success they deserve. Their drive and enthusiasm are an inspiration to us all.
Last week I held my first surgery in Padiham Leisure Centre, having moved my regular Padiham surgeries there from Padiham Town Hall. I would like to thank Padiham Leisure Centre staff for their generosity in providing an excellent venue to allow me to continue to provide surgeries to the Padiham area.
Thank you to those who took the time to attend, I will be looking closely into each of the matters raised over the coming week. My surgeries are held every week and are open to everyone with no need for an appointment.