TIM LOUGHTON: Parade a welcome respite after a very sad week

Tim Loughton
Tim Loughton
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Now is not the time to talk about the referendum campaign. Indeed by the time you read this many of you will probably have already cast your vote.

But the campaign drew to a close in the cruellest and most shocking way as we heard about the tragic killing of our parliamentary colleague Jo Cox.

Our paths had not crossed much during her short time at Westminster but as the countless tributes have universally agreed she was a feisty, energetic and impressive campaigner; a loving mum, husband and daughter – a real person who will be widely missed.

Her senseless killing has brought into question the vulnerability of MPs but it is key to our job that we are as accessible and available as possible as anyone who has seen me on at the Farmer’s Market or Worthing town centre for my street surgeries knows. That is how democracy works and it cannot be allowed to change.

I am sorry to those constituents who had been intending to come to my last pre-referendum Talk to Tim meeting at Shoreham on Saturday, which I cancelled as a mark of respect. I sat outside the Shoreham Centre and spoke to a number of people who had not got the message and I am grateful for their understanding.

Subject to advice from the police on improving security I am determined that my regular street surgeries and constituency advice surgeries by appointment will continue as before. Hate will not triumph in East Worthing & Shoreham.

After a very sad week there was a welcome respite with the Worthing Children’s Parade. This year the theme was James and the Giant Peach with a record 17 schools entering and no fewer than five school samba bands.

The creations of characters from the book were no less extravagant and imaginative than usual, although Whytemead Primary’s centipede smoking a giant cigarette was a little worrying!

Fortunately this year wind and rain was not a real challenge to the army of larger than life silkworms, spiders, ladybirds, peaches, rhinos and sharks that weaved their way through the streets of Worthing. It was particularly good to hear that the parade had linked up with Worthing Museum and Art Gallery and Worthing Library to lay on workshops and exhibit some of the fantastic work the children, teachers and parents had created.

Very well done to Caroline Woodward and her team who have made the parade such a terrific and inclusive part of the town’s calendar and showing that anything Brighton can do we can do better.

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