Danny Alexander impressed by Burnley

I recently spent time up in Burnley as I was unwell and was recuperating for the visit of Danny Alexander.

Sunday, 20th April 2014, 12:37 pm
Photo: David Hurst Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander visits Heasandford Primary School, Burnley. Pictured with Burnley and Padiham MP Gordon Birtwistle and Nichola Waterworth who runs the Breakfast Club

It allowed me time to look at local issues I am working hard on. I am currently talking to Northern Rail regarding rolling stock on the Todmorden Curve. I am doing all I can to influence this and ensure it is up and running as soon as possible. I know there are difficulties with the time-tabling issue which they are working hard to resolve. I will keep up the pressure on this as this will be an incredible link for Burnley.

Building on the fantastic success of Vince Cable visiting in February, I was delighted to welcome Danny Alexander to show him around our wonderful town.

We visited Burnley General to discuss the proposed major bid for a £15m. investment in Burnley General Hospital which includes plans for a new £10m. specialist eye clinic, and a £5m. surgical unit.

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I was keen to show him round for myself as I worked hard to persuade him for the funding for the unit which he then used to convince his Cabinet colleagues to approve it.

Danny was very impressed with this and the other places we visited, including the proposed £25m. “North Light” scheme to transform Brierfield Mill into a new complex involving a marina, hotel, climbing centre, apartments and business and cyber-security centre.

In addition, he toured Velocity Composites, Heasandford Primary School and Boohoo.com in Burnley, who are expanding rapidly and are wonderful success stories in our town.

At Heasandford School, the difference of the £220,000 pupil premium was astounding. The head is using it and the school has transformed. The children were extremely welcoming and were delighted to give Danny and I daffodils which they had grown themselves.

Danny was astounded by the changes in Burnley and the continued investment in our town.

Later in the week I was delighted to go to Unity College to speak to an inspiring group of students who had many searching questions for me about my job as an MP.

I also attended an exhibition at Burnley Football Club which was brilliant. It was celebrating the 100-year anniversary since the club won the FA Cup.