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TIM LOUGHTON MP
EAST WORTHING AND SHOREHAM
HOUSE OF COMMONS
SW1A 0AA
Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to my February newsletter – the first after the UK left the EU. On that front I was delighted with the first ‘Make Britain Breakfast Again’ event where I invited 6 Leavers and 6 Remainers to discuss and appreciate their relative differences respectfully  over a delicious full English (Continental options were available!). Here are just some of the comments:

‘It was a positive experience and it was good to be reminded that people who have different views not just on Brexit but from across the party-political divide can sit down and share views in a civilised way.’

‘I really enjoyed it and I actually realised that my previous views about why people voted to ‘leave’ may not have been entirely an emotive response to immigration.’ 

‘I found it an insightful experience, thought-provoking and really quite therapeutic.’

So I will definitely be running follow-up breakfasts and who knows we might get it running nationwide. If you would like to join me for the next one, probably on a Saturday morning in Worthing again then please send me an email as soon as possible.

Another event coming up next month will be a further briefing meeting on my latest visit to Israel and Palestine and you can find details below. All constituents are welcome.

Parliament is a busy place again and there has been plenty of legislation going through including the emergency ‘Terrorist Offender (Restriction of Early Release) Act to prevent early release of dangerous terrorists following the recent attack in south London. I am also delighted that the comprehensive Environment Bill passed its initial stages unopposed and there is plenty to celebrate in it, but I know that many constituents would like us to go further on certain areas as the legislation faces further scrutiny over coming weeks. You can find the full Second Reading debate HERE.

This week I will be holding a special Infrastructure Summit in Shoreham bringing together developers, council officers, utility and transport companies and others to discuss how we can improve traffic flow and traffic links locally particularly in light of various developments going on that are likely to cause disruption for traffic. I will report back in more detail in the next newsletter and in a special video. Do make sure you are receiving my weekly video updates on my Website or Facebook page.


Best wishes

Tim Loughton MP
Surgery Dates
Upcoming Advice Surgery Dates: (Ring constituency office on 01273 757182 to book an appointment)

Worthing, Friday 28th February
Lancing, Friday 13th March

Upcoming Street Surgery Dates: (Just turn up on the day)

Shoreham Farmers’ Market, Saturday 14th March- 10.00-12.00
Lancing Children and Family Centre, Saturday 21st March- 10.00-12.00
GTR Train Changes

I had a meeting with Steve White, the Chief Executive of GTR which is the railway company that runs Southern and Thameslink, to discuss three main issues - 1. New train timetables given the upgrades at Gatwick, 2. Solving overcrowding and 3. Better disability access. You can watch a video giving a more in-depth review of the situation by clicking on the image above.

Worthing Hospital
I travelled our ‘6-star’ Worthing Hospital for a really useful meeting with senior nurses to see what practical action the Government could be taking to help with recruiting and retaining the additional 50,000 nurses which the Government have committed to. Fortunately, Worthing has an excellent track record of keeping good nursing staff and of course the Philippine nurses who have been such a backbone of the nursing staff for over 17 years now.

The nurses provided me with some really good steers about incentivising more home-grown nurses, getting experienced ones back into the profession and making the job less stressful for those who do such an important job, which I can take back to ministers in discussions.

Of course, the health issue that everyone is talking about is the Coronavirus outbreak - I recorded a video on this which you can watch HERE, but since we have had some good news that Worthing Hospital has closed its internal critical incident relating to Coronavirus with no further cases - congratulations to Marianne Griffiths and all the staff who have worked so brilliantly to keep our 'Outstanding' hospital running as normal in challenging times.
Make Britain Breakfast Again
I have held my first ‘Make Britain Breakfast Again’ event in Worthing with 6 constituents who supported Leave and 6 who supported Remain - and I am delighted to say it proved a tremendous success!

I am grateful to all the ‘guinea pigs’ who came along with open minds and robust views and from the measure of the emails I have received since, they went away with a better appreciation of why people voted as they did and a few new friends as well. We could have had a series of breakfasts of most of the side issues which emerged - thanks to Paul and Sarah for hosting us and providing the delicious breakfast!

Thank you to all those people who applied but we couldn’t fit you in this time and we will certainly now run some follow up breakfasts. If anyone else is interested, please do get in touch - it would be particularly good to hold an event dominated by young people. Email me on
tim.loughton.mp@parliament.uk
Pearson's Retreat and e-Scooters
I joined residents at Pearson’s Retreat in Brougham Road for a chat with residents and staff from Worthing Homes who run the sheltered accommodation there. Surprisingly, one of the biggest topics of conversation was my comments in Parliament the day before about regularising the status of electric scooters. Similarly, I have received a torrent of comments online since challenging the Transport Secretary to do something about the status of e-scooters (video above) which are becoming increasingly popular on our streets but are actually illegal on the public highway.

Having visited Tel Aviv and Barcelona last year I was struck by just how a mainstream form of transport they have become and not just amongst young people. In Spain there are Boris Bike type schemes where you can pick them up on a street corner and pay for them over an App. Germany has just legalised them but subject to registration, insurance, speed limits, wearing crash helmets and carrying lights etc. I think it is inevitable that we go the same way here, but we need to do it properly and then enforce the rules properly to make sure that pedestrians and ‘scooterists’ themselves are safe.   If we can then it would be another contribution to reducing congestion and combating pollution.
Holocaust Book Signing and event at SRWA
On Holocaust Memorial Day we remembered 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz - we must never forget and we must continue to speak out against anti-Semitism, hatred and injustice of all forms.

In addition, it was a pleasure to visit Sir Robert Woodard Academy again, to hear the incredibly passionate Holocaust survivor Dorit Oliver-Wolff from Eastbourne. Her story from detention camps in Hungary to the stage and ultimately the UK is quite incredible and had her young audience and the rest of us spellbound. I would urge anyone to read her book ‘From Yellow Star to Pop Star.’
Community House Surgery
We are very lucky to have Worthing Homes in charge of our social housing in and around Worthing. As we were reminded during their 20th birthday celebrations last year, they are more than just a landlord and provide many other services to help improve the lives of local people and their families. One of those is the Community House in Dominion Road which I helped to set up back in 2007 after a difficult period of anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhood. Working with Mick’s Garage, councillors, police and local people I was delighted when Worthing Homes stepped up to the mark and converted 2 of their properties into a drop-in support facility at the heart of the community.

I was pleased to be back there in early February and held a drop-in surgery for some of the local residents particularly around complicated benefit and childcare cases. I hope to be doing this on a more regular basis especially in tandem with representatives from the Benefits Office who have been so helpful in taking their outreach advice services out into the local community.
St Peter's Shoreham
I had the privilege of spending an hour with a class of 8- and 9-year olds at the excellent St Peter’s Catholic School in Shoreham. They had sent me a very impressive and beautifully written collection of letters articulating their concerns about the war in Syria and the fate of the millions of refugees forced to flee their homes. Having been to Syria twice and met many Syrian refugees in camps in Jordan and Greece I was able to give them my perspective, but it was hugely uplifting to hear their passion and empathy.
WASPI Update in 88A

I had a meeting with a group of local 1950’s Pension Women (the so called WASPI Women) for an update of where we are, having just reconstituted the All-Party Parliamentary Group which I co-chair with Labour MP and all-round superstar Carolyn Harris. Alas with new legal action by one of the activist groups pending the Government are not able to discuss sub-judices issues and we have had to postpone our meeting with the Secretary of State, which is very frustrating!

Citizens Advice and Sussex Partnership Trust meetings
I had catch-ups with two local organisations who do so much to support our most vulnerable residents - Citizens Advice and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which delivers mental health services across Sussex.

Citizens Advice - (what we used to call the CAB, now based at the Shoreham Centre which I opened a few years ago) are busier than ever. We discussed a wide range of challenges from delays in benefits, treatment of council tax arrears and the need for ‘breathing space’ protocols to give people a temporary break when trying to deal with debts. Citizens Advice have been very helpful in working with me and the local Benefits Office to be a s flexible as possible when dealing with complicated benefit cases and making sure everyone is claiming the money they are entitled to and I look forward to holding further joint events with them.

Despite the huge challenges facing our mental health services and the Government’s continuing efforts to achieve ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health I am always impressed by the work of our local mental health trust and its energetic Chief Executive Sam Allen. We discussed my new website which has been going down well, the particular problems with school age children accessing services and the Sussex Recovery College facility which the Trust has developed. This is a free service offering a comprehensive range of courses for adults of all ages with mental health related challenges, their relatives and carers and staff and is well worth a look at HERE.
Home Affairs Select Committee

I was delighted to be re-elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee having served on the committee since 2014 - and took on temporary chairmanship in 2016 - it is an important committee with work to be done on our post-EU relationship, immigration, security, policing, child abuse, sexual exploitation and much more.

Israel Event

As mentioned in my last newsletter, I am holding an update on the Israeli/Palestine conflict with an informal discussion following my visit to Israel last summer - hosted at Shoreham Methodist Church on 5th March and kindly hosted by the Adur Churches Forum. I look forward to seeing many of you there - the talk will begin at 7.30pm with tea and coffee served from. All constituents are welcome.

Protecting the Haven
Together with Lancing councillor Ann Bridges I organised a meeting with residents and neighbours of The Haven on Brighton Road concerned about an application to build additional flats on the green space right in front of the existing blocks. This would represent a considerable and inappropriate over-development of the area and I have joined residents in submitting my objections to the Adur Planning department where the application is likely to come up for scrutiny next month.
Business is Better in Worthing
Congratulations to Adur & Worthing Chamber of Commerce and organisers of the Worthing Better Business Show at the Assembly halls. Despite the latest storms to lash the coast there was a good turnout to showcase the business opportunities locally.
Sussex Best Teacher Awards

Calling inspired parents and pupils to nominate inspiring teachers for the ‘2020 Sussex Teacher of the Year Awards’ - recognising the hard work and dedication of school staff across Sussex. To find out more click HERE but be quick - nominations close at 11.59pm on Sunday March 1st.

Conservative Friends of Cyprus
I was delighted to turn out for the annual Conservative Friends of Cyprus  reception at the House of Commons with fellow Conservative MPs, the Cypriot Ambassador and the new patriarch of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church in London Archbishop Nikitas, hearing about latest attempts to restore sovereignty to Cyprus over the Turkish occupied sector.
Protecting our Oceans

I’ve had a lot of people contacting me about protecting our oceans - this is an issue of particular importance to me as a coastal MP - our oceans are currently facing unprecedented challenges, including climate change and over-fishing. It is more important than ever to take action to ensure our seas are healthy, abundant and resilient. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Defra have been closely involved in the negotiation of a new UN agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. I am aware that the UK is pressing for an ambitious agreement to be concluded in 2020.

I am encouraged that the UK is on course to protect over half of its waters and I join Greenpeace in calling for the UK and other countries to work together towards a new global commitment for a UN high seas treaty. This would pave the way to protect at least 30 per cent of the world's ocean by 2030 and it is very encouraging that 41 new Marine Conservation Zones have recently been created. The UK now has 355 Marine Protected Areas of different types, spanning 220,000 square km. Fantastic news - but as ever, more to be done.

Business Awards
Entries are now open for the second SJL Foundation "SJL National Start-Up Business Awards”. Start-up owners shortlisted could receive a £2,000 grant and access to a free mentorship programme with entrepreneur Simon Lancaster, the staff at SJL Insurance, their suppliers and associates. 

Finalists will pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of invited guests at the Houses of Parliament on 3rd June 2020. The SJL Foundation aims to give 45% of all proceeds to the business start-up fund, of which it hopes to put at least £45,000 towards this year. The remaining 45% will go to Acorn’s children’s hospices and 10% to SJL staff’s own charitable endeavours. 100% of donations to the SJL Foundation go to the charity. 

Again - be quick! Entries close on March 2nd. Full details HERE.
South Downs National Parks Applications

Applications are being invited for Secretary of State Member appointments to National Park Authorities and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Conservation Boards in England - including the South Downs National Park Authority. DEFRA are looking for a wide range of passionate and committed individuals to apply - for more information or to apply please get in touch with the Public Appointments Team in DEFRA at publicappts@defra.gov.uk

Animal Cruelty Sentencing

I was delighted to attend the Battersea Dogs and Cats reception in Parliament to show support for changing the law to increase the maximum sentences for animal cruelty - currently, courts in England & Wales can only punish the most serious animal cruelty offences with a maximum of up to six months in prison, a banning order and an unlimited fine.

The Government has already indicated its intention to support a Bill during its passage through Parliament which would allow for sentences to increase to a maximum of 5 years for animal cruelty offences. This change would provide the justice system with the flexibility to treat the most shocking acts of animal cruelty much more seriously than it can at present.  

At the reception, I added my signature to a pledge board to underline their support for the change to the legislation. To read more about this, click HERE.

Breakfast with Minister Mims Davies MP

It was great to welcome my new West Sussex colleague and Employment Minister Mims Davies MP to a branch function in Findon Valley.

Boom!

Right from its inception as the West Sussex Credit Union, I’ve used BOOM! to look after my savings - and why on earth am I telling you this you wonder? Well through savings (they currently have over 6000 members with around £4.2m invested) they have funded loans that have consolidated debt, resulting in reduced stress, better mental health and wellbeing (and avoiding loan sharks) - to find out more visit HERE

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Copyright © Tim Loughton MP. All rights reserved.

This newsletter is published by Tim Loughton MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Contact details:
Email: loughtont@parliament.uk
Tel: 01273 757182
Write: 88A High Street, Shoreham-by-sea, BN43 5DB

Surgery details:
If you have a problem you think Tim could help you with and you would like to meet him to discuss it please ring 01273 757182 to book an appointment at one of his fortnightly surgeries.

Please visit www.timloughton.com for more information about Tim.

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Parliament · House of Commons · London, London Sw1A 0AA · United Kingdom