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

Welcome to my last constituency e-newsletter of 2016 with my best wishes for a Happy Christmas and hopefully a rather quieter and more predictable New Year than 2016 ! Certainly most people’s New Year wish will be to have some form of normality back in our rail service. I have been posting updates on my website ending with a Private Member’s Bill on introducing a Rail Ombudsman with teeth which I presented in Parliament on the last day of term before the Christmas recess. You can find details below in the Rail Update section. As ever, I have also posted a series of responses to the various topical campaigns which have produced a lot of circular emails recently on my website.

The Commons returns on January 9th and my Parliamentary office will reopen on January 3rd. In the meantime we will continue to pick up emails as usual and voicemails will be monitored.

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

Advice Surgery

Friday 23 December 2016 - Worthing

17:00 - 19:00

Friday 13 January 2017 - Southwick

17:00 - 19:00

Friday 27 January 2017 - Shoreham

17:00 - 19:00

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

Street Surgery

Saturday 14 January 2017 - Shoreham Farmers' Market 

10:00 - 12:00

Lancing Street Surgery

Saturday 21 January 2017 - Lancing Queensway

10:00 - 12:00

Worthing Street Surgery

Saturday 21 January 2017 - Worthing Town Centre

12:15 - 14:00

In Westminster
Southern Rail Strikes - Final 2016 Update
Southern Rail Strikes - Final 2016 Update
 
In my final video of the year, I discuss ongoing industrial action, what the Government is doing, what MPs are doing, my Private Members' Bill and what can be done going into the next year.

As ever you can keep up to date with all the work I am doing regarding Southern on the TrainWatch section of my website here: https://www.timloughton.com/campaigns/trainwatch - including me taking the issue up with the Prime Minister at PMQs here: https://www.timloughton.com/news/house-commons-pmqs-southern-14-12-2016

Also remember to plan ahead this Christmas when travelling on the train, see more details here: https://www.timloughton.com/news/network-rail-christmas-works
House of Commons - 10 Minute Rule Bill - Rail Ombudsman - 20-12-2016

10 Minute Rule Bill - Rail Ombudsman

I put forward a 10 Minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons that would establish a network-wide Rail Ombudsman and redesign the system of compensation.

My Bill seeks to solve the issues of compensation and redress in two ways:

Firstly, it would overhaul the compensation scheme and create a new scheme every time a train is late beyond an agreed threshold then a penalty fine will be paid into a central pot independent of Train Operating Companies (TOCs). The primary purpose of the pot will be to compensate passengers who will be able to make claim in a much simpler way than present. The pot would also be used to fund a new Rail Ombudsman, which would manage compensation claims rather than the TOCs, and any remaining funds would be used to offset fare rises thereby giving further payback to inconvenienced passengers. 

Secondly, the Bill would also establish a new Rail Ombudsman and give it real teeth and proper statutory powers. It would be based on the Energy Ombudsman model which is already in operation and could be adapted in the rail sector. 

The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise which includes Southern Rail is not working and has not been doing so for some time. My Bill would recalibrate the balance of power back to aggrieved passengers.

My Bill alone is not an immediate solution but does represent a practical way forward to change the dynamics within the rail industry. Most of my constituents are primarily concerned with being able to use a reliable rail service that gets them where they want to be roughly when they anticipated rather than compensation for an unreliable service. However the two are not mutually exclusive and I believe my Bill will help to achieve both.

You can read the full Hansard of my speech here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-12-20/debates/E835E520-A495-4794-AF8C-1157AF512F82/RailOmbudsman#contribution-6147FB55-D5C6-4EC6-A48F-E74C4A5BDE73

Final WASPI Update of 2016
 
My final update on WASPI of 2016 - an extraordinary year and one that has seen the issue of women affected by changes to the State Pension age debated an unprecedented number of times in Parliament. I discuss what has happened this year, including our meeting recently with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and what we can do next year. We fight on!

Education Secretary responds to calls for fairer funding formula

The Department for Education has published the second consultation on its national funding formula – revealing more details about which schools will win and lose under the new cash distribution model.

The formula aims to address wide gaps in school funding between different geographical areas by using a new method to distribute cash. The proposed formula would result in more than 10,000 schools gaining funding, and more than 3,000 of them receiving an increase of more than 5%. The transition year of 2018-19 will allow local authorities to continue to set local formulae, in preparation for 2019-20, when the national funding formula will set the vast majority of each school’s individual funding. Schools that are due gains will see increase of up to 3% in 2018-19 and up to a further 2.5% in 2019-20.

I welcome the Secretary of State’s statement this afternoon setting out the details of how the Government intend to introduce a national funding formula to make funding fairer for schools and children.

Given the complexity of this issue, the devil will really lie in the detail and I do have some initial concerns that the proposed formula will not plug the substantial gap in funding given to schools in West Sussex against the national average.

There are also issues with the timeframe for implementation which may put additional strain on already stretched school budgets. There are immediate funding shortfalls after years of unfair funding and schools need generous transitional help now.

Westminster Hall Debate - A-Level Archaeology

I am deeply concerned that A-level Archaeology is set to disappear from the syllabuses of schools and colleges up and down the country, as no exam board has come along to deliver it. Archaeology teaches us the disciplines of forensic analysis; how to peel back the layers of evidence, literally; how to contextualise and study the data in physical form—or often, as importantly, its absence in physical form—and to make assumptions based on scientific analysis. Though the loss of this subject may seem somewhat niche, it is important. If nothing is done, the current cohort of students studying archaeology in our schools and colleges will be the last. We have already lost the GCSE in archaeology. 

During the debate, which was attend by Sir Tony Robinson - of Time Team fame - I implored the Minister to do everything he could to find an exam board to support the next generation of archaeologists. 

You can read the full Hansard of the debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2016-12-14/debates/16121434000001/A-LevelArchaeology

You can watch my speech here: https://youtu.be/wjfNWs5f9cI 
WADARS
 
I was happy to join the mayor in supporting Herald & Gazette and Wadars' Christmas campaign, which calls for an end to pets being given as gifts.

As part of the campaign, Wadars is also warning people not to leave pets at home on their own for long periods of time over the Christmas holidays, and to keep decorations out of the reach of pets.


Based in Worthing, Wadars Animal Rescue has been providing care and protection for animals of all kinds since 1969. At any one time the team has around 50 dogs, cats, and other pets in its care that are looking for new homes. To adopt a pet in the New Year, contact Wadars on 01903 247111. More information here: http://www.wadars.co.uk/default.asp?pg=164
House of Commons - Youth Parliament Select Committee Report - 27-10-2016
House of Commons - Youth Parliament Select Committee Report
 
At the end of October I took part in a debate in the House on the findings of the Youth Parliament Select Committee report on Young people's mental health. 

I was delighted that the debate was held for two main reasons. First, this is an important subject. It is something that we are failing on, so it is right, proper and beneficial that we talk about it openly, especially because young people are much more prepared than ever to come forward with their own stories of their problems and issues, hopefully so that solutions can be found through them.

Secondly, it is part of the UK Youth Parliament’s work. It was significant that we gave up mainstream parliamentary time in the main Chamber of the House of Commons to discuss a report by the Youth Select Committee, an offshoot of the UK Youth Parliament.

I am a big supporter of the UK Youth Parliament. It was founded during my time in Parliament, and I always try to attend its annual parliamentary sittings, which are a great spectacle. It is always exceedingly frustrating for MPs when we return on the Monday and the Speaker inevitably says, “Why don’t you lot behave as well as the UK Youth Parliament members who were here on Friday; they are very smart, very concise, very well behaved, don’t heckle and set an example?” It is a shame that the media coverage of the Youth Parliament sitting is not more extensive because it is a great event for a great organisation, and it is great that we are discussing its work today.

Mental health remains the Cinderella service of the NHS. Indeed, the report describes child and adolescent mental health services—CAMHS—as the Cinderella service of a Cinderella service. The whole question of parity of esteem and funding is important. We can have arguments about how much the NHS budget has increased and kept up with inflation, but in every year in which the funding for mental health remains static or, worse still, declines as a portion of the overall NHS budget, we are sending out a clear message that it is a secondary priority within the NHS, and therein lies part of the problem.

You can see the full Hansard of the debate here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-10-27a.459.0&s=speaker%3A10371#g473.0
Have your say on what Science and Technology subjects MPs should hear about

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has created an open opportunity for the science community, schools, colleges, and the wider public to suggest science and technology areas for scrutiny.

Find out more here: https://www.timloughton.com/news/have-your-say-what-science-and-technology-subjects-mps-should-hear-about
In East Worthing and Shoreham

Secretary of State for Environment visit Shoreham

It was great to welcome Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, to Shoreham last week to see the Adur Tidal Defence work at first hand together with the head of the Environment Agency. Sir James Bevan, who is responsible for the project. With the barge carrying the piling equipment easing through the Adur Ferry Bridge last week the work is well underway and you can see from the east bank near St Nicolas’ Church how high the walls will be to deal with even the highest tidal surge.

The building will move round to the Shoreham Beach side next year with an attractive walkway and glass see-through wall though there are still some negotiations going on about enabling access to the water for some houses with boats and the responsibility of houseboat owners for the new raise bank. After the Shoreham visit I nabbed the Minister for a working lunch at Applesham Farm in Coombes to meet local farmers and fishermen for a discussion about the future of agriculture post-Brexit. We had a lively discussion and certainly preparations at DEFRA seem well advanced compared to other parts of government with some interesting trade deals being explored, involving trading beef and rice with Vietnam and a three nation deal with New Zealand to supply fresh lamb to the US for example.

100th Help to Buy Purchaser at Cissbury Chase

This month house-builder Barratt Homes welcomed its 100th Help to Buy purchaser at the Cissbury Chase development on Bolsover Road in Worthing. It was a pleasure to meet the young local family who used the 5% deposit scheme in order to buy their first family home at Cissbury Chase.

Launched three years ago, Help to Buy is an equity loan scheme that has helped tens of thousands of homebuyers in the country either move onto or up the property ladder. Thanks to a 20% equity loan from the government and its 5% deposit requirement, a 75% loan to value mortgage can then be secured, meaning that mortgage rates typically associated with a 25% deposit can be accessed. Earlier this year it was announced that over 200 people in Worthing have already used Help to Buy and the scheme is expected to remain popular.

Mortgage advisor, Matt Woodcock, student midwife fiancé Roxy Granville and their four year old son Joshua have recently moved into an attractive three bedroom family home at Cissbury Chase. A first time purchase for Roxy, Matt sold his one bedroom apartment in Brighton and thanks to Help to Buy they were able to easily upsize into a three bedroom family home. The couple plan to marry in September.

Help to Buy is expected to last until the end of 2020 and so homebuyers hoping to benefit from the scheme still have three years to do so.

It is great to see what a success the Help to Buy scheme has been and has made a very real difference for lots of young families especially to get their feet on the housing ladder. Cissbury Chase is a really imaginative and sustainable scheme made possible by this initiative and I congratulate Barratt on creating such attractive homes in this part of Worthing and a real community feeling.

Macmillan Welfare Benefits Service celebrate second annual lunch for staff and volunteers
I had the privilege of being the special guest at Macmillan Welfare Benefits Service's second celebration lunch. The lunch celebrated the work of staff, volunteers, clients and link services. 

The Macmillan volunteers help people to understand the many complicated forms and sometimes difficult process to get help when they are at their lowest.

People are not necessarily at their strongest when they are having to fill in these forms and we really need to make that process more user friendly and less complicated. That is something we have made some progress with but I think we need to go a lot further.


You can find more information here: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/in-your-area/local-dashboard/detail/Benefit%20advice%20services/8085/West-Sussex-Macmillan-CAB-Welfare-Benefits-Advice-Service?proximity=8.87%20miles%20from%20you
Commonwealth War Graves Commission launches new CWGC Centenary Interns Programme for 2017
 
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is seeking applications from the brightest and the best young people aged 18+ to join a new CWGC Centenary Interns programme in 2017.

The CWGC Centenary Interns will join the Commission for four months, based in France and Belgium, to welcome visitors to some of the CWGC’s most well-known sites. These will include the CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery near Ieper (Ypres), which will be the focus of the UK Government commemorations of the Centenary of Passchendaele: Third Battle of Ypres in July 2017.

The CWGC Centenary Interns will welcome visitors to, and guide them around, CWGC cemeteries and memorials. They will also undertake research and help offer context and a clearer understanding of both the CWGC and the First World War, from the perspective of people the same age as many of the war dead.

Those wishing to apply can find full details on the CWGC Blog at blog.cwgc.org/interns2017 or register their interest via interns@cwgc.org
Electric Storm Youth's Winter Newsletter 2016

Please find a copy of Electric Storm Youth's Winter Newsletter here: https://www.timloughton.com/news/electric-storm-youths-winter-newsletter. They are a great local charity which I am proud to be a patron of. 
St James the Less Church and Sir Robert Woodard Academy get into Christmas Spirit

Plenty of opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit with a wonderful drop-in concert at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy (below) and particularly good to see St James The Less Church in Lancing packed for the community carol concert arranged by councillors Carol and Carson Albury, which has become something of an annual tradition (above).
Teville Gate Update
 
Mosaique Global Investments Limited continue to work closely with Worthing Borough Council to bring Teville Gate site forward for development and they will undertake a consultation event in February 2017 when the public will get the chance to meet the design team, ask questions about the project and comment on the evolving designs for this important regeneration project.

See full story here: https://www.timloughton.com/news/teville-gate-update
TSS Vanguard

There was a rousing evening of carols at TSS Vanguard in Broadwater attended by the High Sherriff, Mayor and dozens of sea cadets followed by an extensive round of annual awards after what has obviously been a very busy year for the local troop.
Submission Adur Local Plan 2016: Further Evidence
 
Adur District Council has submitted the Adur Local Plan 2016 to the Secretary of State for independent examination in October.  At this time supporting documentation was also submitted and can be found on the Council's website at:
 
https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/alp-submission-2016/
 
The Council has now published further evidence which supersedes CD06/4 - Housing Implementation Strategy 2016 and CD09/2 Adur Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) Update 2015.
 
The updated documents can be viewed at:
 
CD07/20 - Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) Update 2016
 
https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/media,142487,en.pdf
 
CD07/21 - Adur Housing Implementation Strategy2016
 
https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/media,142491,en.pdf
 
The Inspector appointed to examine the Adur Local Plan hs requested that any comments on these two new documents should be submitted tothe Council by Thursday 22nd December 2016 at the following address: adurplanningpolicy@adur-worthing.gov.uk
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This newsletter is published by Tim Loughton MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

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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.

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