TIM LOUGHTON: Why should Southern be any different?

Last years Easter Sunday Fun Day at Shoreham Fort
Last years Easter Sunday Fun Day at Shoreham Fort

Southern Rail really do not help themselves. After more than a year of running a shambolic rail service they announce that their boss Charles Horton is to receive a modest pay increase to bring his total to a very immodest £495,000.

Not quite the doubling of salary that was erroneously reported in one newspaper but still adding insult to injury to the 300,000 passengers who still cannot rely on getting a train to work, school, college or back home.

It is those passengers who are paying for this pay increase having received woefully insufficient compensation for the disruption making their lives a misery.

I am all for rewarding success but by the same token abject failure should be penalised and this seems a funny way of doing it.

Clearly the parent company GTR has not been hit in the pocket by penalties for their incompetence remotely sufficiently as I have been saying all along.

Other company bosses who have had difficult years have either seen their remuneration cut or had the good grace to forego pay awards and bonuses voluntarily.

Why should Southern be any different?

It was my 20th year of attending the Findon Valley Residents Association (FVRA) annual meeting last Friday, now chaired by the irrepressible Maggie Winter.

FVRA is one of the stronger residents’ associations in the constituency and have had another very active year and play a key role on the A27 Working Group.

Along with no fewer than four councillors present I was able to report back on a number of local issues including the A27 ahead of proposals being published by Highways England expected in June.

This year’s Pensioners’ Fair looks like being the biggest yet and I hope we get a good turnout at the Guildbourne Centre in Worthing on Friday, April 28, from 10.30am to 1pm. If you are retired, approaching retirement age or caring for a pensioner then there should be some helpful advice and support available for you.

Can I wish everyone a happy Easter and hope that the summery weather continues into the weekend.

Perhaps see you at the Shoreham Fort’s Easter Sunday Fun Day from 11am to 4pm.

Gary Baines and his volunteers always lay on a great family day.

• 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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