The Rosie Cooper Column. Thoughts from the MP for West Lancs: 13/09/12
DESPITE this being the wettest summer for 100 years, it didn’t seem to dampen the massive success of London 2012.
It was a busy summer for me back in the constituency. As ever, there was plenty going on here in West Lancashire to keep me occupied, including moving my constituency office. You can now find us at Suite 108, Malthouse Business Centre, 48, Southport Road, Ormskirk. If you are visiting the office, then we are on the first floor at the very end of the corridor.
I continue to push ahead with my campaign for a railway station in the centre of Skelmersdale. I have launched a petition across the town for local residents to show their support. I’ve also met with Merseytravel to discuss my aspirations for improving public transport in the town, as we must across the whole of West Lancashire.
Parliament has now returned, with the first week back dominated by a government reshuffle. We wait to see if it produces any shift in policy. I don’t hold out much hope on the economy, with George Osborne still at the helm of HM Treasury. One area I hope to see real change is in health.
I am a major opponent of the Lansley reforms of the NHS, as I believe they will damage its future, as do many constituents based on the numbers that write to me. I do fear that the reforms have gone too far, which would prevent Jeremy Hunt from being able to change much of his predecessor’s catastrophe.
This week, I’ve submitted a request for a Parliamentary debate on the West Coast Main Line franchise. The Government’s handling of this contract has been shambolic. To refuse to allow MPs to scrutinise a contract worth £5.5bn over 15 years, that could have serious implications for the British taxpayer, is not on. If the debate is granted, then we will be able to find out if the Government has made the best decision for commuters and taxpayers – or not.
On Wednesday, we will also have the Prime Minister giving the Government’s response to the report of the Independent Panel on Hillsborough. I know there will be many across West Lancashire taking a close interest in what David Cameron has to say. Let’s hope this is the beginning of restoring some sense of justice for all those affected by the Hillsborough tragedy.