Herald column 7th September 2017

Parliament returns this week after the summer recess and hopefully that marks the end of the ‘Silly Season’ as well. Clearly I didn’t missing anything when I took a family holiday in France at the end of August. This became clear when I tweeted a photo of Philippe the cat who it turned out was part of the rental agreement for the Airbnb property where we were staying. Having made his presence felt on my wife, on our luggage and in my bath before disappearing I jokingly asked for advice on how this might affect our deposit only to be inundated with calls from national and local media wanting interviews on the story! This was followed by an email from the Cats’ Protection League. Clearly I am getting my priorities wrong!

Thank you to all those constituents who have completed the survey we have been distributing across Lancing and Sompting to gauge the reactions to the plans by Brighton & Hove Albion to develop New Monks Farm. If you haven’t received one through your letterbox you can complete it online through my website. Can I also post a reminder for the public meeting I am holding at Lancing Parish Hall on September 14th from 7pm to discuss the New Monks Farm scheme as well as the latest on the A27 where I would urge everyone to send their views to Highways England before the end of next week? Peter Bottomley and I have made our opposition clear to the wholly inadequate single option scheme being put forward and the need to work up the ‘grade separation’ options. We have a meeting with the head of Highways England next week and will again report back on this on my website.

There was a great exhibition of paintings at the Corner House in Southwick last weekend and the standard of art at this fantastic local charity for people with mental health problems is exceptional. Art can be great therapy and it was really uplifting to meet some of the artists and see the benefits of this place on so many fronts. Do also take the time to pop into another exhibition which has just opened at the Marlipins Museum in Shoreham.

Congratulations to Alison Boram and her team for the first exhibition organised wholly by the volunteer custodians and Friends of the Museum and which catalogues the history of shipbuilding in Shoreham going back to 1205. There is a fascinating mix of paintings, photographs, journals and ship making implements showing just what an important shipbuilding port Shoreham was with a wide range of local families involved in the industry. Who knew we built concrete ships or that the Quakers were major funders of ships built for the British fleet? Well worth a visit to our little gem of a museum if you are interested in local history.