My efforts to clamp down on inconsiderate roadworks received a tremendous boost last week when the Prime Minister backed my campaign when I raised the issue with him at Prime Minister’s Question Time. It is literally a lottery whether your question comes up at PMQs but when it does it is a great opportunity to highlight important local issues or topical national ones. In this case I was able to combine both given the number of approving nods I got from colleagues where it is clearly a much bigger problem beyond just Sussex.
As a result I have already had a meeting with the Roads Minister and a consultation on measures will be announced in the New Year looking at bringing in realistic fines for overrunning, proper scrutiny over whether the works are genuine emergencies and better scheduling of when permits are issued. Given that West Sussex issued 60,000 permits last year, many of which were never used, the potential to rein in some of the worst abuses of the system is considerable, so watch this space.
Last week was panto week and the preview night of Sleeping Beauty at the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing was great fun. Even though I had no children with me I still succumbed to the irresistible urge to do all the usual ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘oh no it isn’t’ routines. The baddy seemed to have completely abandoned any script which made him all the more hilarious. A real treat- on until January 1st. Don’t miss.
On Saturday I was dressing up outrageously with the best of them at the North Lancing Residents Association impromptu panto – no rehearsal and only a nodding acquaintance with scripts necessary. I usually get hauled in to play the goodie who gets to kill the baddy, always played by the same constituent. Either Dave is suffering from a complex or they are going soft because this year he was allowed to live and instead I was playing crackers in this rather fetching hat. There’s a message there!