I recently visited Colonial Gifts, a rapidly expanding company based off Accrington Road, who recently won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Around two years ago, the company employed about six people; now there are over 20 members of staff. They are an online florist business with a worldwide turnover of £6m. Recently they have attracted major investment from an American company. I went along to meet their directors, who were very positive about the investment and look forward to continuing sales and increasing their staffing numbers; they are a real success story for Burnley.
I also had a conversation with a legal expert on European Human Rights for children. This is in regards to the disgraceful treatment of children in Burnley who suffer from autism, by the county council. His information was extremely informative and I look forward to introducing it in a backbench business debate when I return to Parliament after the Whitsun Recess.
I had a very pleasant break when Kathleen and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. It was a delight to see a Burnley family being brought out of the crowd and introduced to the Queen, it was a lovely afternoon.
On local election day the other week, I was busy defending my seat as a councillor for Coal Clough with Deerplay. The results brought mixed feelings as the Liberal Democrats did very well locally, achieving 37% of the vote, but disastrously in the European Elections. On Friday morning it was the election count followed by my regular constituent appointments in the afternoon. I then held my surgery at Padiham Leisure Centre.
On that Friday night I went to the 110 Club to a scanner fund-raising event, sponsored by the famous Burnley artist Mike Alone. Thanks to him for an excellent evening which raised just under £500.
I am pleased to say the main scanner for the hospital has now been delivered; it is being commissioned and staff are being trained on how to use the equipment. It will officially be handed over to the urology department on June 19th. We are now working hard to raise the final amount of money, in the region of £15,000, to buy the portable scanner for prostate cancer and an additional machine to detect female bladder cancer.