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

Welcome to my first constituency e-newsletter of 2017 and I hope that everyone enjoyed the break over Christmas and New Year.

The new Parliamentary session has again been dominated by Brexit and as I write the Government has just published a simple two clause Bill enabling them to trigger Article 50 to start the process of the UK leaving the EU. I certainly support this together with the additional detail that the Prime Minister has given recently and will be voting in favour of the Bill next week. I have provided more details on my website under the ‘Brexit’ section.

Also as I write, talks between GTR and ASLEF are continuing and this is certainly the longest that the two sides have been in negotiations to resolve the industrial dispute on the rains so I am cautiously optimistic. There are also stories that the Government may suspend or take back the franchise agreement with GTR and again I have no problem with this if it makes the resolution of the longstanding misery being caused to train travellers more likely.

The issue of Southern Rail continues to come up in Parliament and there was some mischief making last week on social media when my colleague, Maria Caulfield, the MP for Lewes, held an adjournment debate on the issue and there were no other Sussex MPs there, including me. The fact is that the debate was at the end of business on a Friday and was only confirmed a few days earlier. Given that we are stuck at Westminster between Monday and Friday most weeks, most MPs need Fridays and the weekends to be in their constituencies and will not remain at Westminster unless there is an urgent matter that they can influence or vote on. This debate was for half an hour only and just involves one backbencher making a short speech followed by the minister responsible responding. There was absolutely no benefit in me being there especially as I have made the same points in numerous other debates, statements and question times (including to the PM) over many months.

Instead, I spent my time much more constructively in Worthing and Shoreham with the local RNIB looking at obstacles to blind people in the town centre, discussing local health issues with GPs and meeting businesses to discuss Brexit and the train situation amongst other things.

I have however used this as an opportunity to update the ‘How Parliament Works’ section of my website to include details about adjournment debates, as well as how MPs now deal with circular emails - accounting as it does for a good proportion of the correspondence we now receive. I have included a write up here: - I hope it proves helpful.

Best wishes

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 27 January – Shoreham

17:00 - 19:00

Friday 10 February – Lancing

17:00 - 19:00

Friday 24 February – Worthing

17:00 - 19:00

Please call 01273 757182 or email 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 11 February  - Shoreham Farmers' Market 

10:00 - 12:00

Lancing Street Surgery

Saturday 18 February - Lancing Queensway

10:00 - 12:00

Worthing Street Surgery

Saturday 18 February - Worthing Town Centre

12:15 - 13:45

In Westminster
Southern Rail Update
BBC South East - Southern Rail legal action

Responding to Southern's decision to take further legal action to stop the RMT and ASLEF's unnecessary strike action, I said that GTR had an obligation to their customers to ensure the service is operating and so it is entirely appropriate for GTR to take any action, including legal action, to bring these strikes to an end.
BBC Southern Rail Debate

I was in the audience for the BBC's Southern Rail debate, which aired yesterday evening. It was a lively debate, as you can imagine, with a lot of very angry commuters. I was asked to contribute to the debate and spoke about the failings of GTR and their poor handling the Southern franchise, as well as pointing out that no improvement is possible whilst the trade unions pursue politically motivated strike action.
Aslef suspends Southern rail strikes in return for new talks

Thankfully, this week's three-day strike by ASLEF on Southern was eventually suspended due to the union finally coming to their senses and entering into fresh talks with GTR. The talks have been going on for five days - the longest they have lasted in months - and hopefully a deal can be done that drives forward rail modernisation and stops this deeply damaging strike action from occurring regularly. 
Chris Philp's Private Members Bill

Last week, Chris Philp MP tabled a Private Members Bill which would have ensured strikes on critical national services (such as rail, tubes, buses and the NHS) would have to be “proportionate and reasonable” in the view of a High Court Judge. The judge would weigh up the complaint of the striking workers against the impact on the public in deciding what is “proportionate and reasonable”. The judge would also specify a level of basic service that would be available during any strike. The law in Canada, Spain and Italy works this way with a 50% service level ensured when strikes do occur.

Unfortunately, the Bill did not pass, however I am hopefully that the Government will take further action to stop unions from causing unnecessary misery on hundreds of thousands of commuters.

You can read Chris Philp's speech here:
Train Accessibility
This Monday morning I accepted the challenge from Worthing constituent and disability campaigner Anne Bates to travel up to London with her in a wheelchair. This follows a lot of discussion around the issue of disabled travellers and how the changes to guards on trains might affect them. Anne and I turned up incognito at Shoreham station where there was a member of staff available to help Anne on the train with a ramp on our way to East Croydon. They had obviously rung ahead as there was a platform care staff member Bob ready to meet us and again help Anne with a more ‘technologically advanced’ ramp. So far so good.

We took the opportunity to chat to other waiting wheelchair users and staff at East Croydon whilst we waited for the Thameslink train to Blackfriars, and waited rather longer as our scheduled train didn’t actually stop at East Croydon. Again we were met at Blackfriars by a man with a ramp and it was interesting to see the features to help disabled people on the new Thameslink 700 trains which Anne had a hand in designing There are capacious spaces for disabled passengers in the middle of the train and new real time signs indicating not just where the train is stopping but where seating and loos are available. One distinct malfunction that Anne had pointed out earlier was that the alarm button for disabled passengers in the special section on Southern trains was in a locked box which was hopeless but on the new trains they are openly accessible.

So on this occasion the service worked as it should albeit the train was inevitably a bit late though not as bad as most of my journeys recently. However on the return journey home that evening and without me, I gather Anne had an horrendous time with real problems about station staff being available to assist her off the train and eventually passengers had to rally round. Whist Anne and others are not wedded to the need to have a guard on every train it does emphasis the need to have second person on the train who theoretically will have more time to assist people with disabilities rather than have to concentrate on opening and shutting the doors. This is especially important later at night when many trains are unmanned and there are serious questions for GTR on the hours when some stations are genuinely manned in practice.
I am not aware that with the new system in place where a train will leave without a second person on board only in exceptional circumstances what check is being kept on the number of cases where that does happen and how GTR will be penalised if it is happening at a consistently high level of occurrence. I have therefore suggested this should be a condition of the franchise to the Minister and hat people requiring disability assistance should be liable for compensation if there is not assistance available on their chosen train.

Many thanks to Anne Bates for the time and very helpful information she gave me.
New WASPI APPG website launches
As Co-Chair of WASPI APPG, I am glad to say the All Party Parliamentary Group for WASPI's website has gone live at last - this is just a starting point: The website will be updated with the latest news, debates and proposals in Parliament on this crucial issue to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women. 

There are two upcoming WASPI demonstrations coming up in the coming weeks. The first is on 21 February - details here: - and on 8 March - details here:
National Citizen Service Bill
The NCS was intended to be a rites of passage scheme. In this country, we do not do transitioning into adulthood very well. In other cultures and other countries, there is a point in a teenager’s life at which they can be said to transition into adulthood and gain the society’s respect as an adult. Here, we do not really do that. Too often, growing up is characterised by negatives. Too often, that is how we judge and gauge the progress of young people. The NCS scheme is all about positives. If young people go through a scheme that is designed to be rigorous and challenging, and make those sacrifices as part of it, they deserve the right to be respected and valued as an adult with a voice in society. That was one of the guiding principles behind the scheme.

This was something I worked on with David Cameron in opposition and as minister and I am very proud of its success to date. I have met many satisfied graduates of NCS locally and around the country. 
House of Commons - Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016-17 - 13-01-2017
Civil Partnerships Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill

Last Friday I presented my Private Member's Bill, Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016-17, unfortunately it did not pass the Second Reading stage, which is a very great shame. If the job of government is to allow people to be as free as possible to make their own decisions without harming the freedom of others, what on earth is it doing failing to make it lawful for people of the opposite sex who happen to love each other enter into a civil partnership when it allows that very same freedom to people of the same sex? The current situation is unfair, illogical and needs to change, and that is exactly what my Bill would have done and with minimum fuss.

However there will be other opportunities to amend the law and with a growing level of cross-party support I hope this will come soon. 

You can watch my full speech above, read the Hansard of the debate here:…

You can also read my article on this subject here:….
Tim Loughton MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

This week I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledged my commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honoured those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.

Friday 27th January marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘How can life go on?’

Holocaust Memorial Day was established following an MP’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Holocaust Educational Trust. Moved by his visit, Andrew Dismore MP proposed a bill, “to introduce a day to learn and remember the Holocaust” on 30 June 1999.

The Holocaust Educational Trust has been closely involved in the establishment and development of Holocaust Memorial Day since its inception in 2000. Holocaust Memorial Day is now coordinated by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from East Worthing and Shoream and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.
World Watch List

On Wednesday 11 January, I attended a reception hosted by Open Doors to launch their 2017 World Watch List Report in Parliament.

In its 25th year, the World Watch List highlights the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian, with a focus this year on the intersection between the persecution of Christians and global displacement.

You can read a summary of the event online. You can download a copy of the report and the executive brief on the Open Doors website. Detailed recommendations can be found on page 27 of the report.

Passage of a Bill

I thought you might find the above graphic, which explains the passage of a Bill through both Houses of Parliament, intresting. You can find a fuller explanation of a Bill's passage here:
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. Their vision is a future where cervical cancer is a thing of the past.
Every year around 3,200 women in the UK are given a cervical cancer diagnosis with almost 900 sadly losing their lives. The cervical screening programme saves an estimated 5000 lives every year, however the number of women taking up this potentially lifesaving test is declining year on year and uptake is now at a 19 year low in England.
Cervical screening coverage in the South East is 74.3% meaning that more than one in four eligible women do not attend their screening appointment.
Yesterday Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust released a report, ‘Spotlight on cervical screening’, which shows that almost half (44%) of local authorities and almost two thirds (60%) of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England have not undertaken any activities to increase cervical screening attendance in the last two years. The report also highlights many areas across England where local health teams are utilising the resources available to them and working in innovative ways to increase attendance. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust are urging all local authorities and CCGs to play their part in increasing uptake.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust are also running our awareness campaign this week, #SmearForSmear ( Last year the campaign reached every continent with people across the globe sharing lipstick smear selfies and encouraging their friends and family to do the same. It put cervical cancer in the news and it reminded thousands of women to attend their test. They would like the 2017 campaign to reach even more people.
In East Worthing and Shoreham
Outraged by the Post Office’s plans to close Lancing and Shoreham Crown offices

I am outraged at the news that the Post Office is set close the Lancing and Shoreham Crown offices without warning, which are the two remaining Crown offices in East Worthing and Shoreham. The Post Office did not even have the courtesy to give me advanced warning about this devastating news that will have a big impact on the whole of the Adur community.

Over the last few year we have lost virtually all the sub-post offices in my constituency and were assured that the Crown offices would remain sacrosanct as a viable alternative. Indeed, there has been a remodelling of the Lancing Post office to make it more efficient. Secreting alternative post offices in branches of W.H. Smith amount to a further downgrading of the Post Office service and I do not see how these shops are large enough to accommodate all the Post Office’s customers.

The Post Office has been completely deaf to the needs and concerns of my constituents in the past and ploughed on regardless with their savage cuts, but they really have gone too far this time and seem to have very little regard for the customers whose needs their services. I had an urgent meeting with the Post Office to explain my concerns about these worrying plans and to lobby them to think again. I would urge all constituents to make their views known to the Post Office and to copy me in on any letters of protest.

Please write to if you would like to make your feelings on this matter known. Please do also watch my podcast on this issue above. 

Trevor Passmore's Funeral
I was very sad to hear of the death of Trevor Passmore, a member of the family which has farmed in Coombes for over a century, and who ran the Passies Pond fishing business. Trevor was particularly passionate about encouraging young people into angling, sat on various local sports bodies and was also integral in the twinning association linking Adur and Zywiec in Poland. Both of them gave much to public service, gave much to the local community and will be missed by many. His funeral was moving and well attended, a fitting send off to a lovely man. 
West Street public meeting
Well done to Sompting councillors George Barton and Anne Godley who organised a public meeting to consult on various options to help alleviate the traffic congestion largely caused by rat-running through West Street in the old part of the village from the A27.

Despite the snow blizzards on January 12th more than 100 residents turned out to Sompting Village Primary School to a very lively meeting which I chaired. County Council highways officer Mike Thomas set out 5 possible options ranging from doing nothing to shutting off southbound access from Church Lane and Dankton Lane to deter rat-running and various options were also discussed about making West Lane itself one way with special proviso for busses and emergency vehicles. The audience expressed some very clear views about which option they preferred giving some helpful steers to councillors and officers to go away and develop more detailed suggestions.

Whilst nothing will happen overnight and of course any solution must be linked in with what may be happening to the A27 upgrade and any possible development in Sompting West, this initiative represented a very helpful and long overdue way forward.

Detailed minutes of the meeting should be available shortly on the Sompting Parish Council website and I will put them on my website too.
Chief Executive of the Year - Marianne Griffiths

Sir Peter Bottomley MP and I visisted Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to present its chief executive, Marianne Griffiths, with the Health Service Journal's prestigious Chief Executive of the Year accolade. 

Marianne has provided great leadership and contributed massively to Western Sussex Hospitals become one of only five acute hospital trusts in the country to be awarded the Care Quality Commission’s highest rating of ‘Outstanding’ earlier this year.
Lawrence Boon quiz
Well done to Lancing Business Park leaders Lawrence Boon of Fizz Creation and head of Parafix, Mike Punter, who organised a very successful quiz at the Sussex County Cricket Ground to raise funds for their nominated charity Worthing Churches Homeless project. Some 34 teams took part with over 200 people crammed into the hall for a very competitive evening of quiz torture following bangers and match and almost £3000 was raised.
Town centre obstacles

Navigating your way through Warwick street and other busy thoroughfares in the centre of Worthing is increasingly challenging if you have a buggy or wheelchair but if you do not have full vision then it can be a complete nightmare. Hence, I spent last Friday morning with Frances Pritchard, the head of Worthing Society for the Blind and volunteer Barrie to see at first hand the hazards. I am all in favour of encouraging ‘café culture’ in Worthing but there has to be a balance with making sure people can access or main shopping streets easily and safely. As you can see from the photographs below if you have sight problems or are trying to navigate a wheelchair there is a real obstacle course to contend with and subsequently Barrie told me that many blind people avoid shopping in Warwick Street altogether.

I carried out a similar exercise in Shoreham High Street some years ago with Adur Talking News and the Council made efforts to regulate the A boards in particular so that they should all be in a  certain proximity of the relevant shop frontage and in a straight line so they are more easy to steer round. I have therefore written to Worthing Council to see what can be done here.

In the meantime if you would like to support Worthing Society for the Blind the they are looking for more volunteer drivers especially to take people to hospital appointments once the ophthalmology department moves from Worthing to the new facilities on the Southlands site.

You can get in touch with them at: 01903 235782 or
People’s Postcode Lottery

From today local charities can apply for a share of funds raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
£6 million will be available this year via three Trusts which support different categories of projects. For more information on how local charities can apply please visit the following websites:,,

People’s Postcode Trust seeks applications for projects that focus on the prevention of poverty, promotion of human rights, equal rights and conflict resolution for some of society’s most vulnerable groups.

Postcode Local Trust supports wildlife, sustainability and volunteering initiatives. Postcode Community Trust focuses on grass-roots sports, arts, recreation and healthy living programmes.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £168.4 million to date for over 2,800 good causes across Great Britain and internationally.
Sir Robert Woodard Academy production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Fantastic evening of uplifting musical performances at Sir Robert Woodard Academy for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat with some great singing from a vast cast of SRWA students and pupils from local primary schools. Another triumph
New Monks Farm Public Exhibition
New Monks Farm Development Ltd will be holding a public exhibition on the regeneration plans and aspirations for their site in Lancing.
The exhibition will take place over two days on Friday 27th January 2017 from 2pm to 8pm and on Saturday 28th January 2017 from 10am to 2pm.
It is being held at the Shoreham Centre, 2 Pond Road, Shoreham BN43 5WU and the developers and their advisors will be on hand to respond to any questions you or members of the public may have.
A postcard advertising the public exhibition event and providing information on public transport routes and car parking is being issued to c2,500 local homes in the Lancing area during this week.

It has just been confirmed that as part of the New Monks Farm proposals retailer IKEA is to have a major presence on the site, making the plans even more contentious. Having held public meetings about this development I have gone on record as saying that no development can be considered unless there are major and effective solutions for dealing with the existing flooding problem and the extra congestion caused by additional traffic. I am encouraged that Brighton & Hove Albion as the owners and developers of the site have taken heed of this and their proposals include a substantial engineering solution involving pumping water over long distances. They need to make a robust case to explain how this will be effective for new houses and the many existing homes in the area prone to flooding.

I am more concerned however about the impact on A27 traffic given that we do not know how Highways England propose to do with existing congestion and IKEA is likely to draw in many thousands of vehicles from many miles away as their next nearest stress are at Southampton and Croydon. Whilst I am a fan of IKEA and shop there myself constituents will need to be really convinced that they are not about to countenance complete gridlock on the A27. I would therefore urge everyone to go to the exhibitions, pass on their comments to the Planning Committee and councillors and attend the various consultation events that will need to take place.
Worthing Symphony Orchestra
Worthing Symphony Orchestra has recently ceased to be a municipal orchestra and now as an independently registered charity is seeking trustees and volunteers who are knowledgeable about the arts, funding for the arts, and marketing and fundraising and who feel they want to contribute in some way to the development of the Orchestra.

If you are interested you can find out how to get involved here:
Big Garden Birdwatch

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is taking place this weekend (28th to 30th January).  Across the country, everyone is invited to become a citizen scientist and take an hour to record the birds they see in their garden.
Last year, the top sighted bird in West Sussex was the house sparrow.  
The Big Garden Birdwatch started in 1979 when children were asked to count the birds in their back garden. Since then it has gone from strength to strength. Last year more than 519,000 people took part and they counted 8,262,662 birds. Every entry adds to the RSPB’s understanding of how birds are doing across the UK, as well as which birds are most common in each area.

Find out more here:
Shoreham Fort January Newsletter

You can read the Friends of Shoreham Fort's January newsletter here:

This month's edition includes a New Year's message, details for the first volunteer day of the year and the Annual General Meeting, and other dates for your diary
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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:
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 for more information about Tim.

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