West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper met with senior figures from United Utilities in Parliament, to discuss the company’s investment programme.
The event was an opportunity for the MP to meet with the company that plays a key role in flood management across the constituency.
Management of the sewage network is a vital part of the flooding and drainage picture here in West Lancashire, and needs investment if it is to fulfil its role in the prevention of future flooding issues.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“After having met locally with United Utilities earlier this year, I was encouraged by the work already being done. I wanted to meet with them in Parliament to gain a better understanding of where West Lancashire fits in their wider investment programme.
“I of course welcome the planned £6billion investment into the North West by 2020, but I’ll be pushing to make sure the money is spent in the right areas. West Lancashire was devastated by floods and continues to be affected 18 months later, as homes and businesses rebuild from the ground up.
“We know from reports we are at capacity in Burscough when it comes to the sewage network and with the increasing numbers of houses being built in the area, significant investment will be needed as a priority if we are to cope.
“What I have always called for is a proactive approach to providing effective flood resistance and water management.”
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper met with senior figures from United Utilities in Parliament, to discuss the company’s investment programme. The event was an opportunity for the MP to meet...
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has called for Lancashire Police to be given the powers and resources to tackle criminals using off-road bikes and mopeds in West Lancashire.
MP Rosie has raised the issue locally after hearing from a number of constituents about the problems caused by off-road bikes, quads and mopeds which have been particularly involved in antisocial behaviour in Skelmersdale.
Local residents have been annoyed by riders on bikes that have sometimes even been stolen, with bike theft rising in recent years. Riders are often masked and riding without proper registration.
The police are able to seize bikes under antisocial behaviour legislation but MP Rosie called on the government to clarify that they were legally allowed to pursue bikes and mopeds as long as it is safe to do so.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“The police have experienced brutal cuts over the last seven years and the loss of officers from the streets has had a direct impact on the rise in crime and antisocial behaviour. Too many local residents’ lives are being blighted by the disturbance some bike users have caused and Lancashire Constabulary need the resources to be able to take action.
“They can only do the job properly with help from local residents, so if you have information on anyone who is behind this anti-social behaviour, please report to 101.
“As a local MP I see so much good work from our police, but it’s more and more difficult for them to get on with the job of protecting our streets when 20,000 officers have been cut in the last seven years, and budgets remain squeezed. Officers also need the power to pursue bikes legally where it is safe, but ministers have been dragging their feet on clarifying the law.
“It’s about time the Government gave them the resources and powers they need to keep our community safe. I have written to Lancashire Police Chief Constable and the Policing Minister seeking further action on tackling issues around off-road and nuisance bikes and mopeds.”
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has called for Lancashire Police to be given the powers and resources to tackle criminals using off-road bikes and mopeds in West Lancashire. MP Rosie...
Having been contacted by dissatisfied constituents about their treatment by Virgin Care,
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper raised a question of the Health Secretary during Parliamentary Questions on issues surrounding Virgin Care and its current service and delivery within West Lancashire.
One resident whose leg wound opened after getting stitches removed, was told to go and buy her own dressings from the chemist.
MP Rosie asked Jeremy Hunt MP:
“What advice would the Secretary of State give to my constituents who receive their urgent care from Virgin Care, and are told that wounds should be dressed only once and that, in the event that they need to re-attend, they should purchase further dressings from the local chemist? Free at the point of delivery?”
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt responded:
“I suggest that the hon. Lady gets in touch with the details. What I would say is that when care is not satisfactory, whether it is delivered by the public sector or the independent sector, we have an independent inspection regime to root out the problems.”
Rosie Cooper MP commented on the issue:
“When this £65 million contract was awarded last year to Virgin Care, it was done so behind closed doors and kept health care professionals and residents in the dark. The response I gave then to my constituents was, if these services fail you, let me know. That is exactly what they have done.
“Other constituents have complained that services are being moved, others mentioned having been told that the blood test HbA1c is now only being done once a year for each patient.
“Patients have been concerned about diabetic and other services being moved and their access to those services. What is the consultation process?
“The Ormskirk Urgent Care Centre hours were reduced from 8am to 10pm before Christmas saying there were staffing difficulties with everyone expecting them to revert to the original hours when staffing was sorted. Instead of that, since the contract was awarded to Virgin, its opening hours have reduced further to 8pm.
“The Urgent Care centre was opened to allow access to a GP when surgeries were closed and to ease the burden on A&E. These opening hours do not meet that need and it now transpires that Virgin do not always have a GP on site!
“West Lancashire CCG and Virgin Care promised us that patients would receive quality treatment and care but the reality has been starkly different. This isn’t what the CCG promised, it is cut price medicine which doesn’t fit the bill. It is yet another clear example of their actions not matching their words.
“This treatment is exactly what I, local GPs and health service patients were worried about. Virgin Care have sent a very strong message to my constituents – we offer a basic cheap service and after that you’re on your own.
“There needs to be comprehensive scrutiny of decisions taken by West Lancashire CCG and they publicly need to be held to account about the management of Virgin Care and the clinical outcomes.”
Having been contacted by dissatisfied constituents about their treatment by Virgin Care, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper raised a question of the Health Secretary during Parliamentary Questions on issues surrounding...
After the Appeal Court ruling which went in favour of the Minister of State and Whitemoss Landfill, local residents are taking the case to the Supreme Court and are facing a £16,800 legal bill.
Local campaigners want to take the case to the Supreme Court as they believe this judgement will have national implications for future infrastructure projects.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has reiterated her support for those campaigning against another 20 years of hazardous waste being dumped here in West Lancashire.
MP Rosie commented:
“I share the concerns of my constituents about the dumping of hazardous waste on the Whitemoss site and have always supported the campaign against this and do not intend to stop now.
“The decision has been called ‘clear and unequivocal’ – I totally disagree. Large sections of the Appeal Court judgement appear to be in residents’ favour; it was ambiguous in parts, at best!
“The stakes are simply too high for future generations of Skelmersdale residents and the decision should be based on what is right, not just money talking. I have no doubt the final decision will set a national precedent and it is now my belief that this should be settled in the Supreme Court once and for all.
“The local community have already given so much of their time and money, but if legal aid isn’t granted the residents will need to raise £16,800, and nearly £11,000 even if it is!
“Residents have my full support in their continuing legal challenge to the unnecessary dumping of more hazardous waste in West Lancashire.”
After the Appeal Court ruling which went in favour of the Minister of State and Whitemoss Landfill, local residents are taking the case to the Supreme Court and are facing...
Last week the Conservatives and the Chair of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust announced the hospital’s future is safe.
Southport’s Conservative MP stated:
“I want to make it perfectly clear: Southport and Formby District Hospital will remain open; the urgent response centre will remain open; and residents will continue to receive first-class health care.”
Meanwhile, the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) bosses announced last week, at the end of Parliament, when there was no time for scrutiny or Parliamentary Questions that they were going to look at the sustainability of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital – both of these statements cannot be true. The STP announcement casts a long shadow over the future of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“The right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing about Southport and Ormskirk Hospital. It’s a disgrace that the STP should announce a review into the hospital at the end of the Parliamentary term when ministers can’t be questioned about it. The STP and the Government need to be clear – will the hospital in its present form remain open – yes or no?
“I have demanded a meeting with the STP leaders with the Chair and Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital present to try and discover the truth of their plans.
“Southport A&E is already threatened by the STP, this move threatens the hospital and the people of West Lancashire will not put up with services being reduced any more. Already services such as the urgent care and out of hours services have been privatised and my constituents have found them less than satisfactory.
“The urgent care centre used to be open 8am – 10pm, slowly but surely that has been reduced and now closes at 8pm which reduces its value to my constituents. I’m already worried that the urgent care centre does not always have a GP on duty. I call on NHS bosses to explain why we are seeing West Lancashire’s NHS services threatened and eroded by the day.”
Last week the Conservatives and the Chair of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust announced the hospital’s future is safe. Southport’s Conservative MP stated: “I want to make it perfectly clear:...
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has written to Chris Grayling MP following his announcement that there will be a consultation about investment in a Major Road Network.
MP Rosie has also written to Lancashire County Council and West Lancashire Borough Council encouraging them to bid for funds to improve the road networks in West Lancashire.
Previous schemes for the Ormskirk bypass have fallen off the radar due to lack of Government funding, and should be considered within the new Major Road Network to secure the money needed for investment in an Ormskirk and Burscough bypass.
West Lancashire has suffered from a huge increase in traffic movements with congestion mounting and roads struggling to cope especially with east-west traffic.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“This is promising news from the Department for Transport and when they go out to consultation later this year about the Major Road Network funding we need to have a scheme and be ready to apply.
“I have written to the Leaders of Lancashire County Council and West Lancashire Borough Council to encourage them to get a scheme ready and take part in the consultation.
“I’ve also asked both Leaders and the Transport Minister Chris Grayling to consider a bid to the Transport Investment Strategy for funding an Ormskirk and a Burscough Bypass.
“A bypass in West Lancashire has been talked about for decades but I have not given up on it, certainly not in light of this potential to bid for Government funding.”
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has written to Chris Grayling MP following his announcement that there will be a consultation about investment in a Major Road Network. MP Rosie has...
On 12 July, Rosie Cooper MP asked a Prime Minister’s Question which was directed to the First Secretary of State, Damian Green MP, in the Prime Minister’s absence.
MP Rosie brought to the attention of the House the unfair funding arrangements set by central Government to deal with flooding in West Lancashire, and specifically addressed the threat by the Environment Agency to turn off Alt Crossens pumping station.
Damian Green MP said these concerns were ‘reasonable’ and invited MP Rosie to discuss it further with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The question comes as we pass the 18 month mark from the Boxing Day 2016 floods which devastated homes, business, and land in West Lancashire yet there is still no sustainable solution agreed to manage flooding in the area.
Rosie has long campaigned for the setting up of an Internal Drainage Board but this relies heavily on funding which local agencies don’t have, and the Government has so far refused to take responsibility.
Rosie Cooper, Labour West Lancashire:
How can the Government continue to justify not providing fair and equitable funding arrangements for West Lancashire to support water level management organisations, otherwise known as drainage boards, to help protect homes and the agriculture and horticulture industries critical to the local economy, instead of causing the Environment Agency to threaten to turn off the Alt Crossens pumping station?
Damian Green, First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Conservative, Ashford
The hon. Lady raises a reasonable point about the Environment Agency. It is the Environment Agency’s duty to ensure that water supplies are good and safe. If she wishes to bring up this issue with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, I am sure he will be happy to talk to her about it.
After the Question, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented:
“Residents in West Lancashire are being devastated by flooding increasingly regularly to the point where many live in fear each time it rains.
“Since the Boxing Day floods in 2015, we have seen little to no progress on the setting up of an Internal Drainage Board, and a lack of leadership from the designated Local Lead flood Authority, Lancashire County Council.
“To add to this we have been served the notice of the closure of five satellite pumping stations, which will only exacerbate the situation.
“I will take this opportunity to follow up with the Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and keep campaigning until we reach an agreement on protecting West Lancashire from further floods.
“We must find a solution to protect residents, businesses and farmland, land that generates £230 million of income and provides 2,500 jobs and is a vital sector of our local economy.”
On 12 July, Rosie Cooper MP asked a Prime Minister’s Question which was directed to the First Secretary of State, Damian Green MP, in the Prime Minister’s absence. MP Rosie...
Rosie Cooper MP joined club members at Ormskirk Rugby Club for their NatWest RugbyForce weekend.
The club’s Chairman Brian ‘Biscuit’ Stevenson invited MP Rosie to the club to take part in the weekend and learn about the history and ambitious future plans for Ormskirk Rugby.
Recent years have seen the club invest thousands of pounds in improving their changing areas and social facilities.
Over the RugbyForce weekend, volunteers worked on painting the goal posts, weeding the car park area, painting the internal walls, building a functional new scrum machine and most importantly laying down a new patio area at the rear of the club.
The patio is already proving popular with members who can sit out and have a drink, and is ideal for barbecues.
Rosie Cooper MP said of her visit:
“I’d like to thank Brian for inviting me down and showing me around the club and introducing me to so many hard-working community volunteers. They are the lifeblood of these organisations and do it free of charge in their own time.
“The improvements the club has made in recent years are evident with quality player changing facilities and a lovely bar area for events and socialising.
“Ormskirk Rugby Club has been part of this town for nearly a hundred years and I look forward to supporting it in any way I can in the future, as they look to continue their recent growth and success building the club, and translating that as they improve on the pitch as well.”
Ormskirk Rugby Club Chairman Brian Stevenson said:
“We’ve done well in these volunteer events in recent years and securing a grant from NatWest RugbyForce in conjunction with the RFU was really useful, which allowed us to purchase the materials to carry out some of the improvement works.
“I’m very grateful to our Member of Parliament Rosie Cooper for taking the time to visit us, and giving us her backing to our ambitious plans to improve the club and area and be an asset to the local community.”
Rosie Cooper MP joined club members at Ormskirk Rugby Club for their NatWest RugbyForce weekend. The club’s Chairman Brian ‘Biscuit’ Stevenson invited MP Rosie to the club to take...
After the decision earlier this year by Arriva North West to terminate the 313 bus service, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper welcomes an alternative bus agreed by Lancashire County Council.
MP Rosie recently called for a replacement bus service to ensure residents are not left isolated. On 13 July, the Council agreed that a service will be provided.
There will now be a 312 service running the same route as the 3A, with added stops at Wrightington Hospital, and a 313 service to additionally serve Birch Green and Ashurst; maintaining links to Asda, Newburgh, and Parbold.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
"We simply shouldn't have been here in the first place.
"The 313 was used for 85,000 journeys a year. It would have been totally wrong if residents were left without a replacement, especially in an area that relies heavily on these services. For many, the bus is their means to shops, work, and other important transport connections.
"To lose this bus service would have been a devastating blow for residents as they’d have been forced to walk miles or fork out for taxis.
“The Council have recommended that the decision should be implemented immediately. There can be no delay in providing vital services for residents.”
After the decision earlier this year by Arriva North West to terminate the 313 bus service, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper welcomes an alternative bus agreed by Lancashire County Council....
Last week West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper spoke in Parliament about the challenges designated New Towns face.
The debate took place in Westminster Hall on 12 July and was raised by fellow MP, Lucy Allan.
MP Rosie spoke about the town centre, transport facilities, educational establishments, and housing and infrastructure in Skelmersdale.
She also mentioned some of the problems trying to get government action on the Burscough Curves – despite Government Ministers’ promises during the General Election.
MP Rosie looked at decisions by Borough and County Councils, private commercial companies, and national governments which have failed to capitalise on the town’s potential.
During the debate, the West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“We have a shopping centre that pretends to be the town centre, but it is just a building. When the local council attempted to build a genuine town centre and a modern high street, the owners of the Concourse took out High Court injunctions and made appeals to block it.
“Although Skelmersdale became a designated New Town in 1961 and a bright new future was projected, its tracks were pulled up and its train line was shut two years later. It is a town failed by a lack of foresight and that is desperately fighting to get a railway station
“The Secretary of State for Transport visited during the general election campaign and told my constituents that bringing back the Burscough Curves would be a quick win. I am still waiting for that announcement.”
Speaking after the debate, Rosie Cooper MP did acknowledge the good news that Skelmersdale has received over the last 18 months:
“We have had positive updates on the town centre, movement on the railway, some progress on bus routes, and a multi-million pound business investment.
“I’m realistic about progress but what we need is action beginning now with work on a new town centre, not words describing another vision.”
Last week West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper spoke in Parliament about the challenges designated New Towns face. The debate took place in Westminster Hall on 12 July and was raised...