SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY: Advent and Christmas greetings

Before Christmas I write to friends and contacts at schools, churches and medical and social services, to people in all political parties and to people on each side of the referendum decision.

Thursday, 21st December 2017, 6:00 am
Sir Peter Bottomley

The festive period can promote and recognise goodwill amongst all.

I am glad to have good relations with representatives of all religions and denominations who seek the common good.

We can be proud that from Worthing to Rustington we are a wonderful example of a tolerant and peaceful multi-faith community.

2017 has been another significant year. At the General Election I was re-elected as MP for Worthing West with more votes and an increased vote share.

I thank those who kindly supported me, knowing I also represent those who did not.

I work with the councils at district, borough and county level. Worthing can look to further town investment and regeneration, including at Teville Gate.

Thriving local businesses, shops and industry contribute significantly to prosperity and to jobs.

Brexit negotiations are underway following the 2016 EU referendum. I spoke to remain; now my responsibility is to back the Prime Minister’s task of negotiating successfully, aiming for better lives.

I have continued, working with many, to take up causes and concerns that in my judgment extend beyond party interests.

Hundreds of families have faced financial hardship through unscrupulous leasehold and park homes schemes.

Speaking out in Parliament, involving the media and through tenacious cross-party campaigning, we have achieved real progress for leasehold and tenancies.

This will be the subject of my final speech this year.

Those affected by the NHS tainted blood scandal welcomed news of the independent inquiry with legal powers.

I have campaigned for an inquiry in my capacity as co-chair of the Contaminated Blood All Party Group

We need to know what went wrong and when; we have to review help for the victims, including the widows.

Education is each child’s passport for the future.

Funding should be fair, regardless of a pupil’s postcode. There is more to be done with other West Sussex MPs in 2018.

We achieved recognition of our fair schools funding agenda. I am in regular contact with most local schools. If your school would welcome a visit, the head should contact my office.

We are fortunate to have high standard teachers and lecturers. Their demanding work is key to preparing the citizens of tomorrow.

For this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, students and teachers from Worthing College were my guests in the Gallery.

In addition to rail developments, a long-term headache shared by us all is the A27. I met the Transport Minister again recently.

He has now asked Highways England for a review of viable alternatives to the previous ‘option’ that would achieve little. I will press for results.

Looking to 2018, will you please help every constituent know that my hard-working team and I are here to listen, to assist and to advise, serving all in Worthing West, regardless of political sympathy?

We try to assist with advice without delay. I am happy to make home calls when appropriate.

My dedicated team and I wish you and all you love a good Christmas and a worthwhile New Year.