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Tim Loughton's Parliamentary Newsletter
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Newsletter - May 2016
 
Dear Constituent

Welcome to my last constituency e-newsletter before the EU Referendum. Don’t worry there are only another 23 days of this to go. As you know I have been a strong advocate of Vote Leave and I have been speaking at a number of meetings around the country and the constituency. I have been critical of the negativity of the campaign so far on both sides and have been posting on my website podcasts and daily tweets about what I think the advantages of a Brexit vote are.

The most important thing however is that we have a good turnout so that no one can legitimately cry foul of the result either way and I would urge everyone to register to vote if you are not on the electoral roll already. There is no need to do so if you are already registered which means you would have received a polling card for the recent local elections. At this stage, I have 3 more public meetings planned in the constituency with a focus on the EU Referendum as follows:
  • Friday 10th June 5pm : Lancing Churches Together at Lancing Methodist Church. Hustings with me and Hove MP Peter Kyle for Remain
  • Saturday 11th June 2.30pm: ‘Talk to Tim’ at St James’ Church Hall, North Lancing
  • Saturday 18th June 2.30pm: ‘Talk to Tim’ at Shoreham Centre, Pond Road.
I am keen to make sure as many young people are engaged in what will be an historic decision which will affect them more than the rest of us. I was therefore very pleased to spend last Friday at 3 different schools in Southwick, Lancing and Worthing debating the Referendum issue against my Worthing colleague Sir Peter Bottomley, who is on the Remain side. I was particularly pleased with the very lively questioning at Lancing College where there was a large audience swelled with students from neighbouring schools; Sir Robert Woodard Academy; Durrington High; and St Andrew’s.
 
There is plenty else happening in June with the Adur Arts Festival kicking off next week and the ever popular Adur Arts Trail and in Worthing the WOW Festival. You can find more details below. June 12th is likely to be a busy day too as I will be attending some of the many events planned around the constituency to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday officially! See you there.
 
Best wishes

Tim 

Tim Loughton MP
Member of Parliament for East Worthing & Shoreham
Lancing College debate with Sir Peter Bottomley
Surgery Dates

Advice Surgery
(To book an appointment, call: 01273 757 182 or email: loughtont@parliament.uk)

Friday 3 June - Worthing

16:30 - 18:00 

Friday 1 July - Southwick

17:00 - 19:00
 

Southwick Street Surgery

Southwick Square

Saturday 4 June

10:00 - 12:00

(Councillors only)

Shoreham Street Surgery

Shoreham Farmers' Market

Saturday 11 June 2016

10:00 - 12:00

Lancing Street Surgery

Lancing Queensway

Saturday 18 June 2016

10:00 - 12:00

(I will only be there at the very beginning due to Worthing Children's Parade)

Worthing Street Surgery

Worthing Town Centre

Saturday 18 June 2016

12:15pm - 14:00

'Talk to Tim' Public Meeting

St James' Church Hall, North Lancing

Saturday 1 June

14:30

The Shoreham Centre

Saturday 18 June

14:30

EU Hustings Event

Lancing Methodist Church

Friday 10 June

17:00

In Westminster
Why the Government is right to take 3000 child refugees from unsafe countries over safe EU countries
House of Commons - Immigration Bill
 
I have produced a podcast on calls for the Government to relocate unaccompanied children from Europe, which you can see here: https://youtu.be/DCDmpQYAqx0
 
Throughout the migrant crisis, the Government has continuously adopted a twin-track approach to dealing with the migrant crisis: helping the most vulnerable while not encouraging new perilous crossings to Europe. The Government listened to the strength of feeling that arose from their decision and decided that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children will be resettled from Greece, Italy and France following discussions between the Government and Save the Children.

This initiative builds on the announcement that up to 3,000 vulnerable children and family members will be resettled direct from the Middle East and North Africa, and adds to the ongoing resettlement of 20,000 people direct from Syrian refugee communities.

Resettlement will be restricted to children registered before the EU migration agreement with Turkey came into force on March 20th. The retrospective nature of the scheme will avoid creating a perverse incentive for families to entrust their children to people traffickers. It will also mean that the UK can focus on the most vulnerable children already in Europe without encouraging more to make the journey. Those at risk of trafficking or exploitation will be prioritised for resettlement, while existing family reunion routes will be accelerated. It is important to note that this will be separate to any EU-administered resettlement schemes.

There is not a fixed number on arrivals, but instead the Government will work with local authorities across the UK to determine how many children will be resettled. First arrivals are expected before the end of the year. No country has done more than Britain when it comes to helping Syrian refugees, and I am glad that now this help will continue.

As I mention in my podcast, I have a number of concerns around whether or not our local service providers will be able to cope with the influx of children, many of whom will require serious attention. I will watch this area closely and will certainly make my feeling known if I think the Government is failing these children by offering them asylum but not properly caring for them. If this did transpire it would show the dangers of basing policy of virtue-signalling – we shall wait and see though. 

WASPI APPG

I was delighted that the WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign All-Party Parliamentary Group had its inaugural meeting, with a great turnout of MPs from across all parties, including many Conservative colleagues.

I was very happy to be made co-chair and look forward to working with Andrew Gwyne (APPG Secretary), Barbara Keeley (APPG Co-Chair) and other colleagues to work with the Government to see if the transitional relief indicated by Ministers at the time can finally introduced.

This issue is not going away. Indeed, the WASPI women will be coming en masse to Parliament on 29 June 2016 to lobby for change. 

Raising awareness of Sepsis for the UK Sepsis Trust
 
I attended a Parliamentary event to raise awareness of Sepsis. A life threatening and relatively unknown condition, which claims the lives of 44,000 people – including 1,000 children - every year in the UK.  The event hosted by the APPG on Sepsis and the UK Sepsis Trust was attend by over 40 MPs and Peers, along with a number of patients and their families who have been personally affected by sepsis. 

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that can affect anyone. Young and old, fit and healthy. It arises when the body's response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly.

In a bid to reduce deaths like these, the UK Sepsis Trust (UKST) and the Sepsis APPG are calling for both the public and healthcare professionals to be more aware of this ‘silent killer’. They are calling for the Department of Health to commit to a public awareness campaign, aimed at both adults and children solely on sepsis.

The UK Sepsis Trust, founded in 2010, brings together leading experts, grass roots health professionals, survivors and persons bereaved; to raise public and professional awareness of sepsis, and provide support for those affected by this terrible condition.

I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle the disease and save lives. I want to see sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public. The easiest and most of effective way of doing this is the government committing to a dedicated public awareness campaign for the general population.
The Queen's Speech 2016
 
The Queen’s Speech sets out the government’s policies and proposed legislative programme for the new parliamentary session. This year the Government unveiled 21 Bills for this session and here are the main ones:

Digital Economy Bill: This Bill will modernise our climate for enterprise, making sure Britain remains at the forefront of the global 21st century economy. It will give every household a legal right to a fast broadband connection and new laws to help roll out faster broadband and better mobile networks.

Modern Transport Bill: This Bill will put Britain at the forefront of the modern transport revolution. It will include legislation to enable the future development of the UK’s first commercial spaceports and new laws to make the UK ready to pioneer driverless cars.

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill: This Bill will reform planning and give local communities more power and control to shape their own area. That means we can build more houses and give everyone who works hard the chance to buy their own home. 

Local Growth and Jobs Bill: This Bill will be the biggest change in local finance for decades, giving local authorities full control of the money they raise through business rates, so they can attract business and investment to their local areas. It will include a transfer of up to £13 billion to councils through allowing them to retain 100 per cent of the business rates they collect.

Children and Social Work Bill: This Bill aims to tackle state failure and transform the outcomes of children in care, so that we give all of them the hope of a better life. It will include changes to the considerations that courts must take into account in adoption decisions, tipping the balance in favour of permanent adoption where that is the right thing for the child, and new system of regulating social workers.

Education for All Bill: This Bill will encourage excellence everywhere and give every child the best start in life. It will include new laws to expand the academies programme in the poorest performing local authority areas and a new funding formula to deliver fair funding for every school and pupil in the country.

Higher Education and Research Bill: This Bill introduces supply-side reforms to the higher education sector, so that we open more universities and give more young people – from all backgrounds – the opportunity to go to university. It will include measures to make it easier for new high quality universities to open and new requirements on all universities to publish detailed information about application, offer and progression rates to put a spotlight on social mobility.

Prisons and Courts Reform Bill: This Bill represents the biggest reform of our prisons since Victorian times, ensuring they are not just a place of punishment but also rehabilitation, so everyone has the chance to get on the right track. It will include new powers for prison governors to allow them unprecedented levels of control over all aspects of prison management.

Lifetime Savings Bill: This Bill helps people to save and make plans for the future – especially the young and those on low incomes. It will include the new Help to Save scheme and a new Lifetime ISA for young people. 

National Citizen Service Bill: This Bill will see the expansion of the Government’s hugely successful National Citizen Service so more young people can mix with people of other backgrounds, and learn what it means to serve their community.

Bill of Rights: This Bill will support and reinforce Britain’s long-standing commitment to human rights and restore common sense to the way human rights law is applied. It will include measures to reform and modernise the UK human rights framework, and protections against abuse of the system and misuse of human rights laws.

Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill: This Bill gives law enforcement agencies new powers to protect vulnerable people – including children – from those who seek to brainwash them with extremism propaganda, so we can build a stronger society around our shared liberal values of tolerance and respect.

Criminal Finances Bill: This Bill will cement the UK’s leading role in the fight against international corruption, cracking down on money laundering and people profiting from crime, so that we root out corruption. It will include a new criminal offence for corporations that fail to stop staff facilitating tax evasion.

Policing and Crime Bill: This Bill is the next phase in our reform of the police, reforming out-of-date complaints and disciplinary procedures, so we increase public confidence in the people who keep us safe. It will include a new duty to collaborate on all three emergency services, to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Investigatory Powers Bill: This Bill will fill holes in our security apparatus so that we give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to protect the public in the digital age, while building confidence in the public that powers are operated sensibly. 


You can read about the Bills in more detail here: https://goo.gl/G4isHV
Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into The work of the Immigration Directorates (Q4 2015)

The latest installment of the Home Affairs Select Committee's ongoing scrutiny of the work of the Immigration Directorates will be released on Friday 3 June, which will include evidence from the Refugee Council on the protection of refugees.

You will be able to read the report here: http://goo.gl/kBP0Hp
Latest Unemployment Statistics
 
I welcome the latest unemployment statistics for East Worthing and Shoreham from the ONS, which showed that the total number of unemployment claimants had fallen from 710 (1.5%) in March 2016, to 675 (1.4%), it also compares favourably against figures from May 2010 when there were 1,759 (3.7%) unemployment claimants.

Nationally there was a total of 770,329 (2.5%) unemployment claimants, an improvement on the 791,121 (2.5%) recorded in March 2016. Again this compares favourable will statistics in May 2010, when there were 1.5m unemployment claimants (4.8%).

As former Minister for Children and Young People, I was also pleased to see that youth unemployment claimants had fallen nationally from 169,925 (2.9%) in March 2016 to 161,250 (2.7%). This is a marked fall from the 416,840 (7.1%) in May 2010.
We Are Not Mistakes on Pages

Can’t cook, Could foster

You don’t have to be a good cook to foster, revealed children and young people in foster care as part of a new survey conducted by The Fostering Network to mark the start of Foster Care Fortnight 2016 (16-29 May).

Instead the overwhelming call was for foster carers who can provide them with security, support and love.

261 care experienced children and young people were surveyed on a range of issues aimed at identifying what they consider to be the key qualities and skills needed to foster, and about the difference these qualities made to the lives of children living in foster care.

The top three qualities that these children and young people identified as key to making a good foster carer were:

•             making them feel safe and secure (67 per cent)

•             supporting and helping them (61 per cent)

•             loving them (54 per cent)

Adam, 19, is living with his foster carer in Scotland, said:

“Foster care saved me and rebuilt me. I was shy, timid and awkward with little life prospects.

“Fostering opened the doors to a vast amount of opportunities: allowing me to go to university, allowed me to take up almost every hobby know to the world and allowed me to become a member of The Scout Association.”

When asked what made a good foster carer, Adam said:

“This may sound really silly, but caring. There needs to be a passion to deal with these young people who often come from horrific conditions and you need invest time, belief and strength in them.

“It cannot be underestimated the importance of a strong role model on a young person. You need the skill of seeing light in times of darkness because these young people will lean on you through some of their lives.”

As former Minister for Children and Young People, I welcome this report and 100% agree with its findings that the best fosters carers provide children with security, support and love.

Foster carers do an incredible job, providing stability and care to the children who need it most, in the most difficult of circumstance. More than anyone, they can help children recover from the experiences which have brought them into care, and give them an opportunity to make a fresh start.

I want to see more foster carers recruited and see that they get all the practical support they need. I also want to see foster carers able to provide the best possible care to children free from unnecessary and harmful bureaucracy.
Guide Dogs
 
I was pleased to support the Guide Dogs campaign in Parliament for tougher penalties for barring guide dog owners.

Shockingly, almost half (49%) of guide dog owners surveyed have experienced an access refusal in the last year. Guide Dogs are campaigning so that assistance dog owners can access taxis, shops and restaurants without being refused entry, in line with their legal rights .

I certainly support tougher action against shop and restaurant owners who bar guide dogs on the basis that they know little if any action will be taken against them. 

You can read more about the campaign here: https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/access-all-areas
Invictus Games Athletes in Parliament

It was great to welcome our fantastic Invictus team members to Parliament this month. They are a truly inspirational group of men and women, who make us all proud. 
In East Worthing and Shoreham
Swiss Gardens Primary School - Part 1
Swiss Gardens Primary School - Part 1

Pupils attending Swiss Gardens School are being affected by the dangerous traffic on the busy Old Shoreham Road.

Tamsin Haskins and other residents, who have formed the A Safer Old Shoreham Road campaign group (www.asosr.co.uk), organised a follow-up meeting at Swiss Gardens School earlier this month.

I attended along with County Councillor, Debbie Kennard, Adur Council Leader, Neil Parkin, County Council highways officer, Mike James, and about 50 residents.

Previously, the County Council agreed a lollipop patrol but to date no one has applied for the job. Anyone out there who needs a part-time job?

With the added pressures of additional pupils attending Swiss Gardens School and a big development at Ropetackle North on the cards the County Council have offered to look at traffic safety measures again. We have agreed that a temporary flashing speed indicator (SID) sign will be installed and traffic data monitored. We are also speaking to Hyde Housing to see what plans they have for dealing with road safety if their housing plans go ahead, which could provide funding for improvements. We will keep residents posted.
Swiss Gardens Primary School - Part 2
 
I have been contacted by a number of parents from Swiss Gardens Primary School in Shoreham concerned that West Sussex County Council have told the school they will be taking an extra 30 pupils this summer. This has given the school little time to prepare and in any case this successful school is highly oversubscribed and very cramped for space on its small site. The school already has to use The Meads open space next door to extend playground space.

I am concerned that this was done with little consultation and there is a very real concern that adding an extra form will become a permanent feature which would really stretch the ability of the school to look after pupils well.

There is a bigger issue here about the way the County Council forecasts growth figures for Shoreham pupils. The forecasts have been badly wrong since the Age of Transfer changes some years ago, which resulted in the closure of Kingston Buci School and expansion of others. Even now at least one of the primary schools in Shoreham has spare capacity and others have more land available.

I have therefore spoken to the Head of Swiss Gardens and all the other Shoreham primary heads and will be convening a meeting with all of them together with Shoreham County Councillor, Debbie Kennard, and officers from County Hall shortly. The aim is to produce a more strategic plan for Shoreham primary Schools over the next few years rather than keep latching on classes in such an ad hoc way. I will report back after the meeting.

Letter to GTR's CEO, Charles Horton


I have written to Govia Thameslink Railway's CEO, Charles Horton, about GTR's continuing woeful performance figures and poor response to RMT's industrial action, particularly when it comes to processing compensation claims as efficiently and sympathetically as possible.

I have also asked, along with other MPs, an update meeting with the Rail Minister, representatives from GTR and Network Rail, and others to follow up on their meeting in January to see what the Government is doing to alleviate the current problems and holding GTR and Network Rail to account.

I have also just heard that last week the Department for Transport relaxed the terms of GTR’s franchise contract as they were technically in breach. This is particularly infuriating not least because it was done without any consultation and not even the many Sussex and south London MPs were informed. We will be taking this up as a matter of urgency with the rail Minister when Parliament returns on Monday.



Here is the full letter:
Tim Loughton MP
House of Commons
Westminster
London
SW1A 0AA

I am again being deluged with complaints in emails and on social media from constituents having a torrid time trying to get to work on GTR's trains and demanding action from their MP and the Government. As last week's national figures confirmed the performance by GTR trains has got worse and remains at the bottom of the train operator league table. The current sustained industrial action exacerbated by a surge in so-called staff 'sickness' is the final straw for many people. Presumably that will guarantee that the performance figures for the next period remain woeful.

Whilst I have little sympathy with the action of RMT which seems designed to maximise inconvenience to the travelling public rather than GTR it is entirely in the power of your company to deal with resulting compensation claims as efficiently and sympathetically as possible. Yet I have received numerous accounts of how claims have not been honoured, ignored or taken ages to resolve. In the circumstances GTR should surely be going out its way to accommodate commuters whose travel plans have been severely wrecked.

The public have also received very little in the way of communication about the details of strike and associated 'sickness' action, how you are trying to resolve it and how passengers can best plan for it. The highly controversial issue of closure of the ticket offices has also gone very quiet and I'm led to believe that your plans have now been relegated to a possible pilot scheme but again no information has been forthcoming to pass on to concerned constituents. When we last met improved communications was an 'ask' that I was assured would be delivered.

Finally the subject of the Shoreham station subway has made no progress much to my frustration and that of the Shoreham Society and local pedestrians. Whilst Network Rail have the lead on this Alasdair Coates took ages to reply and then more recently there has been a frankly laughable email suggesting looking at the prospect of shelters either side of the level crossing. You promised that GTR would be part of a 'roundtable' to look at new proposals and I would be grateful if you would now use your influence to push network Rail to progress this.

I note we are due to meet when you come to Parliament with your colleagues in a couple of weeks' time and I greatly hope you have some more reassuring information because my constituents' patience is being sorely tried, as is mine and I usually only have to use the train service from Sussex to London once a week either way.

Yours ever



Tim Loughton MP

Member of Parliament for East Worthing & Shoreham

Here is Mr Horton's response:
Charles Horton
Govia Thameslink Railway
PO Box 10240
Ashby-De-La-Zouch
LE65 9EB

Thank you for your email and the opportunity to comment on the points you make. 
 
Firstly on industrial action taken by the RMT – the root of this is a change to the role of on-board staff.  In simple terms we are giving responsibility for closing the doors to the driver, something which is already done on 40% of existing Southern services. This will free up on-board staff to move through trains and provide the highly visible and direct customer service that passengers tell us they want. This change will also mean that when services are disrupted we will not have to wait for a conductor to be present to run the train, reducing the level of delay and disruption experienced by passengers. Regrettably the RMT trade union which represents conductors has objected to this change in principle and refused to discuss it with us. Instead they have chosen to take strike action which has caused massive disruption to our customers. We remain open for talks but the union refuses to entertain the idea of our evolved conductor role and have encouraged members not to take part in the process. However, we are pressing ahead with our plans to evolve the conductor role and doing everything we can to ensure our staff are fully involved in the process. In doing so we are guaranteeing that nobody will lose their job or suffer a pay cut. 
 
Regrettably in the past couple of weeks we have also seen a significant increase in levels of sickness amongst those performing conductor roles. This has resulted in a higher than normal level of cancellations. We have staff procedures which we follow when staff call in sick and these are being employed to support staff, and ensure they return to work as soon as possible.  However, in light of the continuing high levels of sickness, we have taken the decision to pre-emptively cancel 19 trains each day which we will be listing on our website and they will be shown in journey planners.  Managing it in this way will mean that we can reduce the number of ad hoc cancellations overall, and provide a greater degree of certainty.  I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused to our passengers and your constituents who are affected by these issues.
 
In terms of the compensation, there are special arrangements in place for passengers affected by the strike action. Details are available at www.southernrailway.com/strikecompensation.  This sits beside the standard Delay Repay system which applies to journeys delayed over 30 minutes.  For the dedicated strike compensation, 60 per cent of the claims have gone through on our new automated system with no need for any human intervention.  This has been designed to streamline processing making it much quicker for claims to be dealt with.  The others will have been handled by an advisor, checking where there were issues with filling in the form with missing details for example.
 
For regular delay repay claims, there can be issues with processing or the duration but these are relatively very small compared to the number processed successfully.  Some of the concerns naturally arise when claims are correctly declined if for example the delay was not over 30 minutes, or it is a duplicate claim.  Where passengers do escalate an issue the team will resolve these quickly.  Just by way of example to illustrate this, in the last four week period, complaints about Delay Repay represented just 0.43% of all claims processed in the same period.
 
On our station plans, the responses to our public consultation went directly to the two statutory passengers bodies (Transport Focus and London TravelWatch), or they were shared with them.  We have then had discussions with the passenger groups focused on addressing key issues raised in the responses and we have since submitted a revised proposal.  We now await further feedback before we can provide more detail on a planned roll out and what that will mean for each station.
 
Finally, on the Shoreham subway, I understand that Network Rail has been reviewing the proposal and issues here and would like to discuss these with the local society and yourself.  Colleagues at Network Rail plan to be in touch to set this up, and we will of course take part.  Can I ask that you provide an idea of dates that might be suitable and we can pass this on so that a mutually convenient time can be confirmed.


Latest:
Figures out today (31-05-2016) show that GTR's performance has hit a dramatic low, with only 43% of trains between 13:00 and 15:00 running on time. Overall today only 18 out of 27 journeys on the Brighton Mainline ran on time, with 11 being more than 30 minutes late or cancelled.
Donate to Muscular Dystrophy UK
 
Jayne Hatchard lives in Southwick, with her three-year-old son, Tyler, who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2015.

Along with 14 family members and friends, Jayne took part in a 15,000 ft charity tandem sky dive last weekend to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK, as well as raising as much awareness of the condition as possible. It was part of Make Today Count, Muscular Dystrophy UK's skydiving event.

So far they have managed to raise £9,700 of their £10,000 target and so are only £300 from reaching their goal. I am sure any donation - big or small - will be hugely appreciated and it will be going to an important cause.

You can give a donation by following the link below:
https://www.justgiving.com/maketodaycountfortyler/
 
Adur & Worthing elections

On 5 May 2016 the following elections took place: 

Adur District Elections
Worthing Borough Elections 
Lancing Parish Election Results
Sompting Parish Election Results
Police and Crime Commissioner Results
Full election results here: http://goo.gl/DBmaaC

Congratulations to new Adur Council Chairman Ann Bridges and Vice Chairman James Butcher and to new Worthing Mayor Sean MacDonald and Mayoress Cllr Vicky Vaughan.

The new Deputy Mayor is Cllr Alex Harman, who at 23 will be Worthing’s youngest Mayor when he takes office next year, and his deputy mayoress is Fran Bull.

I was pleased to be able to attend the mayor making on 20 May to see the excellent acceptance speeches in front of a packed chamber by David Price, who becomes the 12th Youth Mayor for Worthing and Joshua Davis his deputy.
 
Sompting Big Local

Congratulations to Sompting Big Local for an excellent May Day Family Fun Day at the Marquis of Granby where you could win some wacky sun glasses like these, pictured here with Big Local Chairman, Ray Downie, and Adur Chairman, Carson Albury.

You can see photos from the event here: https://goo.gl/BXZ4tC
Shoreham Fort - Military History Weekend 2016

This weekend (4 - 5 June) is Military History Weekend at Shoreham Fort. Go along and join the Friends of Shoreham Fort as they bring to life the fort's part. The event will start at 11am on 4 June and run until 16:00 on 5 June. 

This year's event will include military vehicles and cannons !

There will also be a BBQ and refreshments from Food for Fort. 

You can read more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1552694081712865/
'Outstanding' rating for St Barnabas Hospice
 
I am delighted to report the fantastic news that St Barnabas Hospice has been rated 'Outstanding' in the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) latest report. 

Congratulations and a huge thank you to all the staff. This result is a credit to the quality of care, quality of staff, as well as management and the fantastic volunteers. 

You can read the full report here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-200431221

Worthing World of Words (WOW) Festival 2016 and Adur Arts Festival 2016

Worthing WOW is a non-profit making group which exists to promote arts, culture and heritage in Sussex. Worthing WOW has an excellent reputation offering a platform for work, celebrating creativity and encouraging artistic expression. 

You can see Worthing WOWO Festival 2016 brochure here: http://goo.gl/J2amsU 

This year should prove to be the biggest and most ambitious festival yet! There is a very strong Film strand this year as WOW celebrate 120 years of film in Sussex with events, workshops and screenings. Within their Literary strand, there will be author events, writing workshops and hands-on chances for you to get creative! Look out for activities for children and families, as well as competitions for everyone.

Click on the photo above, or follow this link, to see a charming video on the upcoming festival: https://youtu.be/t-3gBazwAfY

There is also the Adur Arts Festival 2016 to look forward to. The festival is a platform for arts development within Adur, hosted by the Ropetackle Trust. The festival is funded by various organisations including Arts Council England, and is a not-for-profit, open access event that celebrates Adur’s community and identity.

You can find out more here: http://www.adurfestival.co.uk/about-2/
Me dressed as Mr Darcy during a previous WOW event. 
A27 Update
 
There has been a lot of speculation about the progress of the work on upgrading the A27, much of it not well informed.

I am aware that various residents groups got together to hold a public meeting in Worthing though local councillors were not invited and I certainly was not told about it. I attended a stakeholder meeting run by Highways England and their consultants at the Chatsworth Hotel on May 19th with councillors and residents’ groups represented. We were told that the timetable we were given earlier in the year is still on track and that means we should see the initial draft plans in November as per the timetable, which I have repeated here and which is on my website.

After that there will be extensive public consultations before the plans are finalised but in the meantime there is likely to be little new news. I have however asked Highways England to provide a public update so that local residents know exactly what to expect and when. In the meantime I will continue to update the A27 section on my website accordingly.
Shoreham Trust Port
 
The Government have been carrying out a study of the nation’s trust ports which includes Shoreham and have just published this report which essentially agrees to leave their status untouched which is good news.

You can read the full report here: https://goo.gl/aHqgm3
HSBC - The bank that likes to say ‘No’
 
I was very annoyed to hear that HSBC is planning to close down its Shoreham branch as from Friday 26 August 2016 at 15:00 and transfer customers to the Warwick street, Worthing branch.

I have published the main part of their letter below and I will be meeting the regional manager next week. No figures are given for the basis on which they have decided to close the branch and this now means there are no branches of HSBC in the whole of Adur or indeed my constituency. This is particularly frustrating as last year I was assured there would be no more branch closures locally after the Lancing and Broadwater branches shut their doors. So much for ‘the world’s local bank!’ If there any points you would like me to raise with HSBC when I meet them on June 7th please let me know as soon as possible.


Letter from Regional Manager: 
Tim Loughton MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
 
 
26 May 2016
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Mr Loughton
 
Thank you for your time to discuss our decision to close the HSBC branch in Shoreham-by-Sea on Friday, 26 August 2016 at 3pm which is located in your constituency.

As discussed, following careful analysis of the branch’s commercial viability it was clear that it is no longer generating the custom necessary to justify its continued operation. I’m sure you will appreciate that customer banking habits have changed dramatically in recent years, with many customers now using branches where they work or the 24 hour convenience of telephone, mobile and internet banking. In the response to those changing patterns we need to ensure that our branches are in the right locations and we invest in the development of our internet and mobile facilities. Unfortunately that means that we sometimes have to close branches to ensure our network remains fit for purpose.
 
We will be writing to each of our customers of Shoreham-by-Sea branch on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 advising them of the closure. Out main priority will be to ensure that we are aware of any difficulties faced by our customers and that their banking needs will be catered for in the best possible way. With this in mind, our branch staff will be available to talk through the many alternative ways of banking, and will take steps to proactively contact customers who may have problems accessing alternative banking facilities. In these cases we will offer one-to-one appointments providing advice and practical solutions; including training on telephone and internet banking where appropriate.
 
We do not propose any redundancies as a result of the Shoreham-by-Sea closure and will continue to talk to our people about their redeployment to our other branches. Following the closure, we will automatically transfer administration of our customers’ accounts to our Warwick Street, Worthing branch. This branch has longer opening hours and additional staff to assist with our customers’ baking needs. In addition, there are other HSBC branches at Hove and Brighton.
 
All HSBC and first direct personal current account customers can now access their bank account at Post office branches for cash withdrawals, cash deposits, cheque deposits and balance enquiries. We have also reached an agreement with the Post Office to enable business customers with a debit card to pay in and withdraw cash and check their balance. The nearest Post Office is located at 15 Brunswick Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex BN43 5XN which is within walking distance.  
 
If any individual cases of difficulty are raised with you, I would be grateful if you could bring them to my attention so that we can do our utmost to arrange for appropriate assistance.

I hope that our conversation helped to explain the reasoning behind this very difficult decision, and how HSBC will provide assistance to our customers affected by the closure.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Regional Director
Adur Ferry Bridge
 
A lot of people have been asking about when the damaged glass panels on the footbridge are going to be repaired.

Given the continuing threat of vandalism the County Council cabinet member for Highways Councillor, John O’Brien, has convened a meeting in Shoreham this week to discuss options.

I shall be attending along with various local councillors and council officers and will report back on my website.
Bramber School - Let's Get Cooking
 
It was a welcome respite from the local election count to join an enthusiastic group of pupils at Bramber School in Worthing getting stuck in at their ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ after-school club.
 
I was very impressed by the quality and variety of food on offer to the children. I was also delighted to hear that the club is oversubscribed and very popular.
Burrscrofte, Pond road, Shoreham by Sea
 
I have written to the County Council about the development of the site at Burrscrofte, Pond Road in Shoreham, 

I pleased to hear that they agreed that the site is long overdue for development. They provided a helpful summary, which you can see below:
Louise Goldsmith
Leader's Office
County Hall
West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RQ

Thank you for your email including the message from your constituent. I think we all agree that this site is long overdue for development, and I hope the following provides a useful summary of recent work as we strive to bring this regeneration opportunity forward for the benefit of our communities.
 
Redevelopment of  Burrscrofte, with adjacent land in the ownership of NHS Property Services, Adur District Council as well as our own library site has been subject to a number of project plans, and stakeholder engagement exercises in recent years. Indeed this particular site was identified as a core opportunity to unlock when we entered the Wave 2 pathfinder of the One Public Estate programme. It is certainly a site that we are keen to bring forward and after a number of false starts I believe we have an alignment of factors which can now facilitate its progress.
 
Over the past year or so, officers at both County and District level have been supporting the Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on the development of their own Strategic Estates Plan from which Shoreham has, not surprisingly, come out as a key priority. This re-affirms previous approvals sought from NHS England and the then PCT, prior to the recent restructure of the health estate.
 
From a County perspective we have been looking very closely at all our community related assets to ensure they are not only fit for purpose but also offer the best mix of service outcomes we seek. This work aligns with District colleagues who have completed the refurbishment of the adjacent Centre, and it is of course important that we don’t “duplicate” provision.
 
I see several formal stages hereon. Firstly our formation of a joint project board with a clear remit to drive delivery, and secondly ensuring all the partner and stakeholder requirements and objectives are defined (this has certainly been part of the challenge to date). A third stage will be to review an option appraisals report which needs to look at investment, funding and benefit profiles for any end scheme. All this feeds into the business case approval stage that needs all landowners to sign off. With that in hand we move onto due process of town planning, procurement and delivery.
 
As you can see this  particular site, whilst an acknowledged eyesore, is subject to a number of interdependencies. This is not an uncommon issue as we strive to unlock and drive forward many types of collaborative opportunity.
 
Behind all this, we have already been lining up conversations around programme resource with the partners. The CCG and NHS have a procured delivery partner in their LIFT Co which may be seen as a preferred candidate to undertake much of the work noted above, subject to full oversight by the joint public partner board.
 
I hope this a better light on this particular topic, one which I am also keen to support.
Big housing development in Shoreham
 
Plans for a big housing development in the Shoreham section of Shoreham Harbour are on show this week.
 
Nearly 7.5 acres of land off Brighton Road, the former Minelco site west of the harbour entrance, have been sold for mixed development and a public exhibition of the proposals is being held. 

Click here for the Shoreham Society's website news item on this.

The Shoreham Society
www.shorehamsociety.org.uk
Healthwatch - May 2016 and Coperforma

You can read Healthwatch - West Sussex's May 2016 newsletter here: http://goo.gl/vKQNEX.

Along with colleagues, I have written to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to complain about the decision to award the contract for NHS Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) in East Sussex to Coperforma.

This is after I have received numerous complaints from constituents who have suffered as a result of their transport failing to turn up on time, or at all, and drivers who do not appear to know where to transport their patients. As a result, constituents, many of whom are vulnerable and in pain and discomfort, have missed appointments and surgery. This has caused much distress. 

I have asked for a explanations and assurances from CCG on future PTS performance and will keep you updated on what answer I receive. 

Healthwatch West Sussex have released a statement updating the public on what they have been doing in response to what local people have been telling them about Coperforma, which you can see here: http://goo.gl/j1wI83
Eco, Young & Engaged - May Newsletter

Read May's newsletter here: http://goo.gl/hoXU30 - which includes the 9th Worthing & Adur Eco Summit. This year it is being hosted byDavison CE High School for Girls and is taking place on 21 June 2016.

If your school is interested but has not reserved your places please contact the Project Officer, Clare Sutton to enquire about the reserve list - eye@worthinghigh.net.

There are 17 Primary & Secondary schools from Worthing
& Adur confirmed 

The event will have a Climate Change theme, with a Key note speech being given by Emma Pinchbeck, Head of Climate Change and Energy at WWF UK.

There will be 17 workshops leaders running workshops at the event. 
Alzheimer's Society visit
 
I was very pleased to meet some of the volunteers who care for Alzheimer’s sufferers across Sussex at their special reward and recognition day held at Lancing Leisure Centre last week.

It was good to see some of the staff and helpers at first hand again. I was able to give them a run-down on the considerable work that is going on nationally. The Government recognises the fact that nationally we currently have some 850,000 people with some form of dementia and this is forecast to increase to 1.14m by 2025, so it has launched a number of initiatives, which you can read about here: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/dementia

In the south-east alone some 121, 512 people are affected, the highest number in the country. You can see the plans announced by the Health Secretary on 7 March as part of the Government’s Dementia Challenge here: https://goo.gl/sSUz7K
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