Successful Help for Heroes event

Our troops leaving Afghanistan
Our troops leaving Afghanistan

On Saturday, I was pleased to attend the Help for Heroes fund-raiser at the Colne Muni.

The evening was both enjoyable and very successful in raising money for our wounded service personnel. Congratulations to all those who helped to put the night on, especially Coun. Neil Butterworth.

Over the last weekend British forces concluded their long combat mission in Afghanistan, which began all the way back in 2001.

On Monday, the Prime Minister got it right when he said in Parliament that the thoughts of everyone would be with the friends and families of each of the 453 British soldiers who lost their lives serving our country. One of his commitments on becoming Prime Minister was to bring our combat troops home and I am pleased that has been achieved.

When al-Qaeda attacked the twin towers in 2001, the attack was planned from Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Because of the brave service of our servicemen and women, al-Qaeda was driven out and the Afghan forces have been built up and trained more or less from scratch.

We can be incredibly proud of what our armed forces have done to keep our country safe. The country will never forget their sacrifice.

Here in Pendle, we remember in particular Lance Corporal Michael Foley and Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft who lost their lives in Afghanistan, and all those who returned bearing the physical and mental scars of war.

Next Sunday, services and parades will be held across Pendle to remember the sacrifice of our armed forces. Members of the Royal British Legion and our cadets are already out across Pendle as we speak selling poppies and raising funds for our veterans.

So wear your poppy with pride and next weekend, pause and think of the sacrifices made for the freedom we enjoy today.