IT was good to be back in Westminster after the break. Starting as I mean to go on, on Wednesday I put a question to the Prime Minister, raising the issue of life sciences, a matter close to the heart of Ulverston.

In the context of the 75-year legacy of GSK operating from here and the concerns around the sad news last year that they were selling, I asked specifically about life science clusters around the UK, and whether Ulverston could be the first in this new strategy.

The PM’s positive response, acknowledging Ulverston’s rich history in life sciences, was encouraging. I have since spoken to the Minister for Science to try to flesh this out in more detail in preparation for questions for the Department for Business, so that we can keep our heritage of well-paid, highly skilled jobs in our community long-term.

On Thursday, I held an open surgery. This can sometimes be the most difficult, but also the most rewarding, part of my job. It is great at last to be seeing people face to face and although we can’t promise to solve every problem, my team and I, as always, do our best to help. These surgeries are held weekly and you can choose whether to attend in person or instead to use a virtual medium like Zoom. If you would like to book an appointment, email me on or telephone my office on 01229 314 220.

Friday was a good constituency day, meeting local businesses from BAE to Lakes BioScience, to local barbers and beyond, and I caught up with the hospital trust to discuss the demands being placed upon it by the impact of Covid. I had my regular catch-up with the Chief Executive of Barrow council to discuss a wide range of issues. I also visited the Knife Angel statue in Duke Street. If you haven’t seen it already, it is a huge, 8-metre statue made by the British Ironworks Centre from 100,000 seized knives and is intended to highlight the negative effects of violence. It is quite a sight, and will be in place until January 31, so do check it out. Later, I was delighted to help celebrate the amazing Dalton Town Band reaching its 150th anniversary at Dalton Cricket Club. Speaking to people and businesses across Furness I’m buoyed by the sense of optimism about the future.

Finally, on Saturday I took the opportunity to get my booster jab. Vaccines and boosters are our shield against this virus and, as we’re seeing with the Omicron variant, 90 per cent of those who catch Covid and end up in ICU are those who have not had their booster.

You can book your appointment for your first, second or booster jab online, or attend one of the drop-in clinics across Furness. Call your GP for details or visit for more details.