RECENTLY there have been two major announcements made that have been a great source of cheer for the people of the Leigh constituency.

Firstly, Mayor Andy Burnham’s unworkable clean air zone, or 'CAZ', which was proposed to cover all 500 square miles of Greater Manchester, including Leigh, has been rejected by the Government.

This crazed scheme would, by charging non-compliant vans, lorries and buses, along with a variety of other vehicles including horse boxes and camper vans up to £60 per day, have simply bankrupted thousands of small businesses and sole traders who could not afford the cost of new compliant vehicles.

The Government has instead instructed the Mayor to create a zone '95 per cent or more smaller' focussed just around Manchester city centre, after local Conservative MP's, including myself, raised this issue with the Prime Minister and DEFRA.

This will come as a great source of relief to those residents and businesses that would have been affected locally, many of whom had been deeply worried about the damaging scheme the Mayor had been seeking to impose.

The second piece of good news was the announcement that the Government was scrapping the Golborne Spur of HS2.

As many of you will know, over nearly the last ten years, I and the people of Lowton and Golborne have been fighting this proposed section of HS2, which would have affected thousands of families in Lowton and Golborne, including my own.

The Spur would have run through the middle of Lowton, devastating the community, impacting on Pocket Nook Lane, the Kings Avenue Estate, the Oaklands and Meadows Estate, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Sandy Lane, the Braithwaite Road/Garton Drive Estate, Slag Lane and the Scott Road Estate, as well as seeing the demolition of the Enterprise Way Business Park in Lowton, costing hundreds of much needed local jobs, and destroying Lowton Civic Field and Byrom Wood, two much loved local green spaces and recreation areas.

The news of the cancellation of the Spur has been greeted with overwhelming joy locally.

What we needed was the reopening of Golborne Station, not an HS2 line that ran through here, but didn't stop here. I am very glad that I have been able to deliver on both of those promises to my constituents, scrapping the Spur and securing £15 million from Government to reopen Golborne Station.

I hope I will be able to announce similar progress on a station for Leigh in due course.

It has been great to secure two such big wins for my constituents in relatively short order, but the truth is, I'd never have been able to secure those wins had it not been for the overwhelming support of local residents.

It might have taken ten years to win this fight, but we got there in the end, and thank goodness for that.