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Tim Loughton's Parliamentary Newsletter
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Newsletter - March 2017
 
Dear Constituent

Recent events have of course been completely dominated by the attack on Westminster last week and senseless loss of life. I have given my reflections below and at Westminster there is a determined feeling of ‘business as usual’ though the mood remains sombre.

This week of course the Prime Minister officially triggered the Article 50 notification of our withdrawal from the EU – notwithstanding recent heated debates in Parliament that remains the 'easy bit'.

I remain of the view that to stand the best chance of negotiating the best deal not just for the UK but for the remaining EU as a whole the Prime Minister has to have a completely unimpaired hand in negotiation. I have no doubt that it was David Cameron’s failure to convince the EU that he really was serious about negotiating a deal that represented serious reform in the EU or that he would walk away which led to his greatly watered down offer getting the thumbs down from the British people on June 23rd.

In more local news, I am pleased to report that we will again be holding a Pensioners’ Fair at the Guildbourne Centre on Friday April 28th and there is a poster below which I would be grateful if you would run off and publicise in any relevant organisation you may be involved with.

There is a new design to my newsletter this month, in case it is not clear the headings highlighted blue link through to more detailed write ups of the relevant stories. 

My best wishes for Easter

Tim Loughton MP
Member of Parliament for East Worthing & Shoreham
Surgery Dates

Advice Surgery

I hold regular constituency advice surgeries for my constituents to come by appointment and talk to me about issues and problems.

Friday 7 April - Lancing

17:00 - 19:00

Please call 01273 757182 or email eastworthingandshoreham@gmail.com to arrange an appointment. 

Street Surgeries

To make it easier for constituents to meet me, I also hold street surgeries with local councillors on most Saturday mornings, whatever the weather. You can find me at the following locations with my A-board and anyone is welcome to come along for an informal chat without appointment.

Shoreham Street Surgery

Saturday 8 April - Shoreham Farmers' Market 

10:00 - 12:00

Lancing Street Surgery

Saturday 15 April - Lancing Queensway

10:00 - 12:00

Worthing Street Surgery

Saturday 15 April - Worthing Town Centre

12:15 - 13:45

Parliament
Westminster Attack
 
Last Thursday I was at my desk in Portcullis at the House of Commons before 8am as usual. The walk in across Westminster was more problematic than normal as most roads remained cordoned off and as always happens when devoid of the roar of traffic there was an eerie quiet punctuated only by the occasional helicopter overhead. In Parliament itself the mood was predictably sombre but marked with a distinct feeling of defiance.

And so it was business as usual at the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ less than 24 hours after the senseless and brutal lone attack which left 4 innocent people dead and dozens injured on Westminster Bridge. The Commons was packed for a dignified and determined statement by the Prime Minister on the security situation and then we carried on with questions about international trade, equality issues and debates on Equitable Life compensation and social mobility.

Apart from the inevitable tightening of security it has been business as usual ever since. Fellow human beings may have tragically lost their lives, our colleagues may have been shaken, democracy has not been undermined. This attack, like all those before, has failed and always will in the future.

PC Palmer wore the Queen’s uniform all his working life and he gave his life in defence of our freedoms and our safety. He was unarmed yet he did not hesitate to run towards danger rather than away from it to protect others and preserve the Mother of Parliaments. In a way it is very presumptuous to imagine what PC Palmer thought at the moment as he saw that monster come towards him. However, I would be very surprised if it was not some variant of ‘they shall not pass.’

It is at (mercifully rare) times like this that you really appreciate the risks that those in uniform (and many without) expose themselves to, day in day out, in order to keep the rest of us safe. We should all be immensely
grateful and not be shy to express that gratitude when we come across our police officers, service personnel and others as they go about their jobs. In these times of heightened security we all have a duty of vigilance and care to make their job less difficult.

I am very grateful for the many messages checking that I was alright whilst ‘corralled’ with 400 or so fellow MPs in the Commons chamber during four and a half hours of lockdown. Thank you all for the many subsequent emails sending best wishes to me and my staff for getting on with the job we do. Regardless of our often conflicting views on politics we are at one in the support and respect for our democratic processes and institutions.

In the constituency the following day I attended a packed mosque in Worthing to express solidarity with the local Muslim community who so often have to bear the brunt when maniacs inflict terror on our fellow countrymen in a completely corrupted claim on their religion. There were wise words of condemnation and defiance from the greatly respected Imam Idris and it was encouraging to hear that he had received many messages of solidarity from local people at this time. Across the board the terrorists can only succeed in bringing us closer together.
The Prime Minister triggers Article 50
 
The Prime Minister has triggered Article 50, beginning the process to leave the EU. 

There will now be a two year window, as set out in Article 50, during which the UK and the EU will negotiate the terms of Britain's exit. You can see below an indicative timeline of key events coming up in the next two years. 

In the PM's Lancaster House Speech and its White Paper - which you can see here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-united-kingdoms-exit-from-and-new-partnership-with-the-european-union-white-paper - the Government has set out clearly its 12 key negotiating objectives: 
  1. Certainty 
  2. Control of our own laws
  3. Strengthen the Union
  4. Maintain the Common Travel Area with Ireland
  5. Control of immigration
  6. Right for EU nationals in Britain, and British nations in the EU
  7. Protect workers' rights
  8. Free trade with European markets
  9. New trade agreements with other countries
  10. The best place for science and innovation
  11. Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism
  12. A smooth, orderly Brexit
Although the referendum campaign was often divisive, it is time for us to come together and support the Prime Minister during negotiations as she will be representing every person in the whole United Kingdom and it is in all of our interests that we get the best possible deal.

You can read the Prime Minister's letter to Donald Tusk, officially triggering Article 50, here: https://t.co/4CfCle4BP1

Also this week the The Great Repeal Bill: White Paper was published, setting out:
  • the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972
  • how EU law will be converted into UK law
  • how corrections will be made to the statute book, to ensure the law continues to function once we have left the EU
You can read the White Paper here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-great-repeal-bill-white-paper
West Sussex Schools Funding Update
The consultation on a new fair funding formula for our schools closed on March 22nd and a result is keenly awaited. I have published the letter signed by me and other West Sussex MPs on my website, which you can find by following the link above, as our formal contribution to the consultation exercise and I have recorded a podcast to explain where we now are.
GTR and ASLEF reach new agreement to settle dispute

This is very encouraging, however it is not a done deal yet and we wait to see whether ASLEF's members finally accept the deal on the table and bring an end to this damaging dispute closer. Keep up-to-date with all my work on this issue via Trainwatch.


I asked the Prime Minister at PMQs about the European Court of Justice's ridiculous ruling that employers can ban their staff from wearing religious symbols.

I was delighted to speak at WASPI lobby of Parliament this month with colleagues from across the political divide, including fellow Conservatives, Labour, SNP and others. 
Hate Speech Online

The Home Affairs Select Committee took evidence this month from Facebook, Google and Twitter. I was very unimpressed with their reasons for not effectively preventing or removing hateful content from their platforms. Ignorance is not a defence, why should these multi-national corporates operate under a different set of rules. 

I spoke in the Commons about this issue, see here: https://youtu.be/86mvepCK560

I was amongst a number of parliamentarians with more than a spring in our step as we competed for who could embarrass themselves the most in the annual Parliamentary Pancake Race in aid of the charity Rehab.
I attended Conservative Progress’ first annual conference – ‘Believe in the UK: A Positive Post Brexit Vision. I spoke about how British intelligence services would be impacted by Brexit and how we can continue to work with our European allies post-Brexit. By following the link you can read my article that was published alongside my speech. 

I spoke in support of refugee amendment in Children and Social Work Bill, the full details of which you can see by following the link. However the Government moved its position considerably so I abstained in the eventual vote.

I also supported the Government's removal of Clauses 32 to 39, on the so-called powers to test different ways of working, are no longer in the Bill.I am all in favour of innovation and of being creative in how we get better outcomes and better support for children who most need it, particularly in the care system, but I just do not think we need to remove primary and secondary legislation that has been built up since 1933, on a whim and without consultation.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children (APPGC), which I chair released a report this month - which you can see here: https://www.ncb.org.uk/resources-publications/resources/no-good-options-report-inquiry-childrens-social-care-england

The Inquiry concludes that there is a crucial role for central Government.

Accompnaying the publication of the APPGC's report, I wrote an article in the Guardian:

"When times are tough, those without a voice are destined to lose out. With no vote, no power and no say, children are easy to ignore when it comes to divvying up dwindling resources..."

Read the full article by following the link above.

As the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, I laid a wreath at the Innocent Victim’s Memorial outside Westminster Abbey to mark 58th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising.

£1 coin

The new £1 coin went into circulation at the end of March. The current £1 was introduced into circulation over thirty years ago and in recent years have become vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters. 

Please click on the link above to read important information on what to do with your old style £1 coins. 

It was great to see so much support for Comic Relief from MPs and peers in Parliament this week. It was great fun taking part and I was very proud of my design, which I think we can all agree was a masterpiece.

Social Work Awards
 
I was very proud host a reception of the winner of the Social Workers of the Year Award in Westminster. Well done to all our fantastic winning social workers. 
East Worthing and Shoreham
Tim Loughton MP responds to AAIB report on
Shoreham Airshow Crash

Responding to the AAIB’s report, Tim Loughton MP said:

“This is a very important day, not just for the families of the victims but for the entire local community, who were so affected by this terrible tragedy on that fateful day in August.

“The report has taken 18 months to produce, during which time there were a great many unanswered questions, particularly for the families of the 11 men who lost their lives. However it was important that no stone was left unturned and I hope this report today offers some form of closure to the families and provide answers to some of their questions. Having been down to Farnborough and met the experts who have compiled this report, I have seen at first hand the immense amount of work and detail that has gone into this very detailed report. I pay tribute to their professionalism and hard work. I think they would agree with me that we owe it to the victims that this report should be thorough and worthwhile piece of work which we all take seriously.

You can read my full statement here: https://www.timloughton.com/news/tim-loughton-mp-responds-aaib-report

You can find the full report here: https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/aircraft-accident-report-aar-1-2017-g-bxfi-22-august-2015

Eco Summit 2017

We held the 5th annual Eco Summit at Littlehampton Academy for local primary schools in Arun on March 24, whilst on June 20 we will holding the 10th Eco Summit in Worthing where it all started, for Adur and Worthing schools.
A27 Working Group update

By following the link, you will find the the minutes of the last meeting of the A27 Working Group, which took place on 17 March, and the agenda for the next meeting on 25 May. 

You can also find attached Highways England's introduction to Benefit Cost Ratios, which explains what BCRs are, why they exist, how they are used and the things that they look at. 

In addition, there is a presentation attached on traffic flow impact and the accident on 9 February. 

Cannabis Cafe Opening

I was delighted to be asked to visit a new development off Freshbrook Road in Lancing, which was once home to the notorious ‘Hole in the Wall’ cannabis café that used to cause such misery for local residents. Subsequently, after the owners were evicted and the premises confiscated, it was used as a local boxing club for local youngsters and now has been developed into a terrace of new family and environmentally houses. So that is definitely the end of the cannabis café!
 
Earlier this year it was reported in the national press that illegal metal detectoring had taken place at Cissbury Ring in Worthing and caused damage to this important listed archaeological site. As Chairman of the All Part Archaeology Group and someone who studied archaeology I was particularly concerned with this news and took a group to investigate.
Enjoyed my interview with Seaside Hospital Radio's Ted Jeffery. We discussed a range of national and local issues. You can listen here: http://seasidehr.podbean.com

This issue gives an update on the Rampion offshore windfarm's construction works to date, including the fact the first wind turbines have now been installed. 
Please follow link for the Spring newsletter for the Friends of Lancing Ring. 
Please following the link to read Broadsheet, The Triennial Voice of the Friends of Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery - Issue No.30 Spring 2017
Epilepsy Sussex
 
Drink? Drugs? or Epilepsy?

Actually he is having a seizure. 

Don't assume, don't ignore, don't be afraid to call 999. Keep yourself safe. 

Of 100 people asked, 66 said he's drunk, 31 said he's on drugs, 3 said they had no idea. 

A seizure doesn't necessarily involve falling to the floor and convulsing. By being aware and acting you could save a life. 

For more information, contact epilepsysussex.com. 
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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 757 182
Write: 88A High Street, Shoreham, 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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