Gordon Birtwistle’s Westminster Week - January 11th 2013

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HAPPY New Year to everyone in Burnley. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I spent the holidays catching up with family, particularly my grandchildren who have taken a shine to my two new kittens!

By the time this goes to print we will all be back at work and the Christmas holidays will seem a long way behind us. Business in Parliament will continue and as usual in Westminster there will be lots of new Bills going through. Many of those Bills will be welcomed by the public although, as always, there is likely to be some contentious issues up for consideration.

During the Christmas break it has been really nice to spend more time in Burnley and I have been out on my street stall and holding surgeries as well as going to local events.

In Burnley I am looking forward to the completion of many major projects in such as the University Technical Collage and the Weavers’ Triangle Heritage Site which should be finished in September. Work on the new Burnley Bridge Business Park should be well under way this year and I await its completion and the creation of many new jobs. The Todmorden Curve is taking shape and although it won’t be completed until next year I am enjoying seeing work being carried out on the line and at the new Manchester Road Station. Most of all, I am looking forward to the completion of the new £9m. emergency unit at Burnley hospital and a reduction in the amount of ambulances with blue flashing lights travelling on the M65 to Blackburn. If you’re passing the hospital then do go and have a look at the new building taking shape, it really is exciting.

Last week I visited BAE Systems in Samlesbury to see proposals for new industrial estate being proposed for the old Samlesbury Aerodrome. It is hoped that over the next 10 years the industrial estate will create 10,000 jobs in the North-West. A number of companies are interested in moving there and although it’s not in Burnley, it is well located for people from Burnley who may wish to work there.

I also called into to visit the NWAA in Preston which is an organisation representing companies in the aerospace manufacturing industry. The NWAA is interested in the proposed new £100m. national aerospace supply chain centre and centre of excellence for UK aerospace manufacturing as recently announced by the Chancellor. Over the next 20 years airlines across the world will be buying $9trillion-worth of new commercial airliners. This equates to a 5% growth in aerospace business in the UK and in that time the industry is expected to double. We need to ensure the aerospace supply chain across the UK is capable of attracting this work and capable of acquiring the 300,000 new jobs this will create.