Burnley MP column | Parliamentary coach trips open to everyone

Whilst the summer recess offers a unique opportunity to get out and about right across Burnley and Padiham, this week has seen me back in Westminster –but just for the day! And it was the next of my Parliamentary coach trips which took me back down.
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These trips, setting off from Burnley early morning for an afternoon in Westminster, have proved a huge success with coach loads of residents getting to see the centre of our democracy on each occasion.

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The first few I held have been during term time but with summer holidays in full swing, I wanted to use the opportunity to invite some of our younger residents down too.

Burnley MP Antony HigginbothamBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham
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Working with our uniformed youth groups, who do so much to engage and work with young people, I welcomed members from the Sea Cadets, Royal Air Force Cadets, and Lancashire Police Cadets, along with the amazing local volunteers who keep organisations like this running. And were it not for the other events they have taking place, like annual summer camps, there would no doubt have been young people from the Army Cadets, Scouts and many more join too.

Inviting this group down has been something I’ve wanted to do since I first started the coach trips. Because I know that from primary to secondary and then to college, our young people have passionately held views. I see it every time I visit local schools. And for me, engaging with them and hearing those views is vital. And doing so in the setting of Westminster Hall, where we held our Q&A, was spectacular.

As well as the full tour of Parliament, we also got time to see the Ministry of Defence, New Scotland Yard, and the national Cenotaph on Whitehall.

Instilling a sense of purpose, discipline, and ambition to better oneself is at the core of all these youth groups, and it’s why I’m such a passionate supporter of them. Seeing the cadets this week made me recount my days as an Army Cadet – something I do with huge fondness – and I really would encourage all parents to take a look.

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Given the success of this latest trip, and the ones before it, I am running two more coach trips before the end of the year. (September 28th and November 30th). If you, your family, or friends, are interested in joining then please let me know. And if you are planning a trip down yourself, and want a tour of Parliament, please just let me know.