Herald Column: September 3

It was a pretty lonely train journey back to Westminster on Tuesday as Parliament returned but apparently quiet a lot of City workers still didn’t. The Commons is returning to some degree of normality with most MPs in here in person but with most of our support staff working from home and all tours cancelled until well into 2021there is still a rather empty feel to the Palace. People often don’t realise that MPs only account for under 10% of the 7000 plus people who work across the Parliamentary estate.

We have had important updates about the state of the fight against Coronavirus, the summer shambles over the exam results and more importantly how we are doing at getting all our young people back to school. Thank you to all the local heads and teachers who have worked so hard to make schools in Adur and Worthing as safe as possible to get everyone back into the classroom and catch-up for time lost.

This week we are debating the important Fisheries Bill which sets out our fishing framework after the Common Fisheries Policy; we are starting a review of the Channel migrant crossing problem on the Home Affairs Select Committee and we finally sign off the very vital ‘Non-Domestic Rating (Public Lavatories) Bill.

Much of my focus this week has been on Southwick where many constituents have approached me about the continued closure of the post office in Southwick Square. Originally, I was told this was down to the owner being stick abroad because of Coronavirus but clearly this has gone on too long and the Post Office have a duty to maintain the service. They are not allowed by the Government to shut branches without replacing them nearby, but neither should they be allowed to preside over a prolonged closure like this. I have made representations to the Post Office and will keep constituents posted.

Also concerning Southwick St John Ambulance have recently announced that they are going to close around a third of their buildings and that includes not only their Southwick HQ but the smaller SJA building in Shoreham town centre. Given that the Southwick hall is well used by SJA and for hiring out to other groups this makes no sense an I have arranged a meeting with management later this month.

Back in July I restarted my street surgeries and from this Friday I will be holding my regular appointment surgeries again too. Details are on my website and f you would like and appointment that cannot be dealt with over the phone then please ring the Shoreham constituency office as usual.