I hope everyone survived last week’s storms which lashed the south coast in particular. After a tour round the constituency, it looks as though the flood defences around Shoreham Harbour in particular held despite very high tides. Most of the flooding I saw has resulted from blocked drains exacerbated by Autumn leaves although the longstanding problems on the West Beach Estate in Lancing left residents struggling to cross roads without waders!
Councillor Andy McGregor and I visited West Beach just before the storms and I have written to Southern Water to query whether the extensive work on the drains, which is yet to be finished, should be helping with draining rainwater away more effectively.
On better news, the announcement that the Government has instructed train operating companies to scrap proposals to close many station ticket offices has been universally welcomed. Whilst many thought this was a ‘done deal’ it was a genuine consultation and the impact of over three quarters of a million people responding has been listened to by the Government.
I visited all the ticket offices in the constituency and spoke to staff and passengers. It was clear that there were many people who would have missed out if they did not have a human to speak to in order to help them navigate complicated fares and routes or help with disabilities. In addition, the staff member behind the screen also has other responsibilities monitoring CCTV screens and helping out with disabled access when other staff members are occupied on other platforms. People power worked and common sense has prevailed.
I hope we will have fairer weather for our next street surgery at Shoreham farmer’s market on Saturday from 10am though as I think constituents know by now councillors and I are there whatever the weather as long as the market is running. More importantly we have a busy weekend ahead with Remembrance Day commemorations and I look forward to seeing people out in force across the constituency paying their respects.