Burnley MP Julie Cooper column: Another feather in Burnley's cap
I hope that despite the weather that you have all had the chance to get a break this summer.
During Parliamentary recess I always enjoy the opportunity to spend more time in Burnley and Padiham. It also gives me more time to catch up with local businesses, stakeholders and NHS providers.
Last week I was really pleased to visit the new Crow Wood Hotel which is set to open this autumn. This will be another feather in Burnley’s cap enhancing the leisure offer in the town and is a real credit to owner Andrew Brown.
I’m also enjoying the start of another season of Premiership football and on Saturday I was delighted to celebrate community day at Turf Moor with Neil Hart, the Chief Executive of Burnley Football in the Community.
The Premier League is primarily about watching quality football week in week out, but funding from the Premier League also enables the excellent Burnley FC in the Community to deliver a range of community projects that benefit people of all ages right across the town.
As I write this column I am bracing myself for another action packed week in Parliament.
Here we go again you might well be thinking. The latest development, as you will have seen in the news is that, the country it seems is now at the mercy of Prime Minister Johnson.
The UK Parliament is respected right across the world and is regularly, and quite rightly, referred to as the Mother of Parliaments. I am very proud that we are a civilised country with a Parliamentary democracy.
I know that many people in Burnley and Padiham voted for Brexit for just that reason and were keen to see powers returned to the Sovereign British Parliament.
It is outrageous that the Prime Minister is planning to shut down Parliament. Remember this is not a Prime Minister chosen by the country in a General Election.
Mr. Johnson was chosen by just 90 thousand members of the Conservative Party and the other 66 million people in the UK have had no say at all. This is to all intents and purposes an act of dictatorship.
It is certainly not a matter of Party politics and indeed his actions have prompted all out civil war in the Conservative Party.
This week Labour MPs will join with dozens of Conservative MPs and MPs from the Liberal Democrat Party, the Green Party, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru.
Our priority will be to stop the proposed undemocratic closure of Parliament and then to prevent a no deal Brexit.
This is vital to prevent our precious NHS being used as a bargaining tool in post Brexit trade deals. We will of course want to trade with the USA but we must not open the floodgates for private American health companies to feast off our NHS. Patients should always come before private profits.
On the international front I have been very concerned to see the escalation of trouble in the disputed state of Kashmir.
The Indian Government in an act of pure aggression has withdrawn Kashmir’s right to autonomy and all resistance to this provocative act have been met with extreme human rights violations.
My interest in this matter is twofold: first and foremost is the fact 500 Burnley families have family connections with Kashmir.
I can only imagine how stressful not being able to contact friends and loved ones can be due to the communication blackout in the region.
Secondly, I am very concerned because India’s actions have led to a heightening of tensions between India and Pakistan.
This has the potential to be extremely dangerous because both countries are nuclear powers and any outbreak of war in that region could have global consequences.
I have already raised my concerns with the British Foreign Secretary and this week I will meet with the Pakistani High Commissioner.
My next MP’s surgeries are on September 6th at my office on Keirby Walk and 20th September at the Jinnah Centre.
No appointments are necessary as people will be seen on a first come first served basis.
Alternatively,you can email me on [email protected] or phone my constituency office on 01282 425744.
The constituency office opens Mon-Fri from 10am - 4pm (half day Tuesday) where my staff will do their best to assist you and keep me informed of the issues you raise.