TIM LOUGHTON: Great carol services start festive season

Tim Loughton with Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom in Shoreham last week
Tim Loughton with Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom in Shoreham last week

It was great to welcome Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom to Shoreham last week to see the Adur Tidal Defence work at first hand together with the head of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan, who is responsible for the project.

With the barge carrying the piling equipment easing through the Adur Ferry Bridge last week the work is well underway and you can see from the east bank, near St Nicolas’ Church, how high the walls will be to deal with even the highest tidal surge.

Tim Loughton

Tim Loughton

The building will move round to the Shoreham Beach side next year with an attractive walkway and see-through glass wall, though there are still some negotiations going on about enabling access to the water for some houses with boats and the responsibility of houseboat owners for the new raised bank.

After the Shoreham visit I nabbed the Minister for a working lunch at Applesham Farm in Coombes to meet local farmers and fishermen for a discussion about the future of agriculture post Brexit.

We had a lively discussion and certainly preparations at Defra seem well advanced compared to other parts of Government with some interesting trade deals being explored involving trading beef and rice with Vietnam and a three-nation deal with New Zealand to supply fresh lamb to the US, for example.

On Friday I was asked to join new residents of the Cissbury Chase development, on the old Worthing College site in Bolsover Road, together with developers Barratt to celebrate the 100th sale helped by the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.

This is an incredible record on a single site and has enabled many young families to get a foot on the housing ladder on what is a very attractive new community development.

The seasonal mulled wine and mince pie onslaught is beginning to take its toll and I have been to some great carol services in Adur so far this year.

I was particularly impressed with the Community Carol Concert organised at St James the Less Church in North Lancing which has become something of an annual tradition now since Carson started it in his year as chairman of the council.

We heard some great singing from the Sompting Abbotts’ pupils and teachers but the prize for raising the roof goes to the Sir Robert Woodard Academy orchestra at the official Adur District Council concert hosted at St Michael’s Lancing by chairman Ann Bridges.

A packed church enjoyed some rousing music from the orchestra, the Boundstone Chorus and the excellent Il Voci quartet of academy male student singers.

A great start to the festive season but the waistline is suffering!

• If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at loughtont@parliament.uk

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