GORDON BIRTWISTLE MP: Impressed by UCLan Student Union leaders

Gordon Birtwistle
Gordon Birtwistle
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I HOPE everyone who marked Eid recently had a happy celebration.

I have been continuing my industry visits. Bank Holiday Monday was full of local visits and constituent meetings. Then, on Tuesday, I visited oil and gas company Total in Aberdeen, as part of an Industry and Parliament Trust visit, to see the advanced engineering. I am interested in how engineering companies in Burnley and the UK as a whole can contribute to this cutting edge work.

On Wednesday I met East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce to discuss issues affecting local industry. One issue raised is the impact of business rates on empty industrial buildings, something I have taken up with the Government. Next, I travelled to Preston for a meeting with Steve Finnegan, Chief Constable of Lancashire Police, about the work of the police. We also discussed measures to reduce costs – these seem sensible and it is a credit to the police they are managing these savings without affecting frontline services.

Then it was back to Burnley to meet Rubberbox, a market leader in the entertainment industry, making high voltage extension cable leads and boxes, for use in all weathers, for big events. This company employ 16 people, export to 30 countries and are very busy.

Next, I visited George Cormack and Son, producing high quality flooring underlay for homes and businesses. It was great to learn their underlay is made from recycled materials. Finally on Wednesday I visited Hycrome, an engineering and surface treatment specialist, in the aerospace industry. They employ 120 people and are busy.

Thursday began with a meeting to Thingimijigs. This family company employs five people, buying children’s gifts and toys, and selling them worldwide via their website. I would be happy to take up their offer to go back and help with picking and packing come Christmas!

Next I visited John Spencer Textiles Ltd, the last remaining weaving company in Burnley. I expected them to be weaving basic cotton and was impressed to see the high tech, innovative materials they were producing, including furnishing fabrics and material for parachutes and protective clothing.

After casework meetings at the office, I visited Radal Technology Ltd who have developed state-of-the-art alarms. Then I travelled to Pinnacle CNC Ltd, an engineering company. It was good to hear they are investing in new machine tools and taking on an apprentice.


Back at the office, I met new UCLAN Student Union president Reni Eddo-Lodge about issues affecting young men and women of Burnley. I was impressed by Reni’s commitment and look forward to working with her. Two more visits to local businesses followed – first the Keirby Inn Hotel, Burnley, then Rosehill House Hotel. Finally I filmed a message for sixth form students at Burnley College, for their Awards for Excellence.

Friday was another day packed with visits and casework. In the morning, I visited Burnley Tyre & Battery Ltd in Colne Road, run by two local men, and employing 10 people. Next I hot footed it to Maysons Solicitors, who took over the old Halifax Building Society building two years ago.

Back to the office I had two busy hours of casework appointments before going to the launch of the frieze which used to be on the Thompson Centre at Crow Wood Leisure Centre. I was very impressed by the new site for this great piece of artwork, which has been reassembled at Crow Wood’s new sports and equestrian centre.

Finally, after a busy week, I had my drop-in advice surgery in Burnley Sainsburys. Parliament is back next week – as always, do not hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any assistance!

n Surgery: Today, Asda, 4 p.m.to 5 p.m.; Friday, September 16th, Burnley Library, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.; September 23rd, Padiham Leisure Centre 4 to 5 p.m.