TIM LOUGHTON: Sterling work by the Phoenix Club’s leading light

Tim with Jeanie Dickenson
Tim with Jeanie Dickenson

Just before Parliament broke for the summer recess I attended an interesting presentation by representatives from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, Gatwick and Network Rail about blockages on the Brighton to London line and what to do about them.

A report commissioned by the Gatwick Growth Board, who obviously have a key interest in improving the links from airport to central London, highlighted the increasingly congested line around the Windmill Bridge junction where the routes to Victoria and London Bridge divide.

The solution being put forward is to unblock the bottleneck at East Croydon station with two new platforms and flyover bridges at Windmill Hill.

If this goes according to plan and the funding and land can be secured urgently then it offers the prospect of eight additional trains an hour on the Brighton mainline which will certainly help to cope with anticipated growing demand.

Hopefully if this comes off, then the lessons of the London Bridge rebuild will have been learnt and much more consideration given to reducing disruption for the already overstressed commuter.

I am also pleased to say that just before the recess I was re-elected as the joint chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) where the numbers in the Commons after the election look rather more interesting in achieving fair transition terms for the many women disproportionately losing out.

I was delighted to be invited to a surprise presentation for the leading light of the Phoenix Club at Worthing Leisure Centre, Jeanie Dickenson.

Jeanie was there at the genesis at the club which provides a huge range of regular activities and since starting up 20 years ago has grown to more than 400 members.

Most of them were at the 20th birthday celebrations with many mucking in to provide some old favourites cabaret entertainment including ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ – many of which I have to admit I was able to remember!

The deputy mayor was there to provide a citation certificate to recognise Jeanie’s sterling work for the community despite the fact that she is about to celebrate her 80th birthday herself.

But then they are built to last in Worthing!

This Saturday I will be joining my East Worthing councillors on a stall at the East Worthing Festival in Homefield Park, so do come over and have a chat.

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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