Last Friday, I held my advice surgeries in Angmering and Storrington, and in the afternoon I visited St Mary’s School, Pulborough to join them ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight.
I was given a tour of the school by two year five pupils, Josh and Georgina, and was very impressed with their knowledge of Fairtrade issues.
I then met residents in Arundel affected by the collapse of the river wall. I have been actively supporting them, holding meetings with the insurance companies and the Environment Agency to try to resolve the issue of how to rebuild the wall, and will have further meetings over the next few days.
On Saturday, I returned to Storrington for the opening ceremony of the Arun Vet Group’s smart new veterinary hospital. As I said at the opening we are looking forward to a new GP surgery in the village to match. I have just chased NHS England to make better progress on this. I will also be meeting Pulborough’s GPs to discuss NHS issues on Friday.
This week I attended a debate on government spending to tackle homelessness. I am an officer and one of the founding members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness, an issue of growing concern.
The new Homelessness Reduction Act will shortly kick in, backed with £1billion of extra funding to help tackle the problem. I also attended the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shared Ownership this week. There is rightly more political focus than ever before on the need for more affordable homes.
Also this week I attended a debate on the government’s anti-corruption strategy in tackling the illegal wildlife trade. I am vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Endangered Species and a longstanding supporter of a ban on the sale of ivory.
I also met representatives of the South Downs Project who have an ambitious plan to renovate the derelict Shoreham Cement Works. I will be in Steyning in Friday for my surgeries. I will then meet the NFU to support their campaign against sheep-worrying.
On Friday evening I will speak at the meeting of the Arundel & South Downs Conservative Association in Pulborough, and next Tuesday morning I will be speaking at the West Sussex Association of Local Councils’ Spring Conference which is being held in Walberton, on the subject of local transport issues.
You can see the highlights of my diary each week on my website, www.nickherbert.com.
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