Barnoldswick & Earby Time, Colne Times and Nelson Leader Column: Friday 11th January 2019

Column: 11/01/19

I was delighted when two of Pendle’s most exceptional residents were honoured in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours List. Many congratulations to John Clough from Barrowford and Melanie Goodship from Colne who have both been awarded MBEs.

John’s wife Penny received her MBE in 2012 for their campaigning on a range of issues related to stalking and protecting the rights of victims. Many were surprised that John was not recognised at the same time and this honour recognises their continuing work to support the victims of domestic violence.

What John, Penny and Melanie have in common is that they both lost children in awful circumstances and resolved to do something positive, trying to prevent others suffering in the same way. Their courage is incredible. I know their children, Jane and James, would have been so proud of them.

This week in Westminster, I have again met with the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling about the campaign to reopen the Colne-Skipton line and the feasibility study I secured government funding for. This is due to report very soon and I am regular contact with Ministers and officials over it. The study’s outcome is vital to helping decide whether to reopen the line.

In another good development, the improvement work to Earby’s Victoria Clough will be starting up again next week with completion due in early-March. This work is needed to protect the town from flooding, which remains an ongoing threat. £1 million is being spent and I have been pushing hard to get this work done as soon as possible.

Finally, this week saw MPs focusing once more on Brexit with the Withdrawal Agreement due to be voted on this coming Tuesday. Sadly, votes on the Finance Bill saw Labour MPs openly trying to frustrate the will of the people, by blocking funding for preparing for a ‘no deal’ situation.

Both those who voted Leave and those who voted Remain but respect democracy recognise that the referendum result must be honoured. All Conservative and Labour MPs were elected in 2017 on a manifesto commitment to deliver Brexit. However, this week showed just how many are willing to break that promise.

I remain committed to doing all I can to get us out of the EU on 29 March.