TIM LOUGHTON: Victims of our own success as funding cut
The Herald has reported on the outcry over the review of the way the Community Safety Partnership is funded by the Police Crime and Commissioner.
Worthing and Adur appear to have been the victims of their own success in working effectively between the police, councils and other agencies as our funding has been reduced compared to other parts of Sussex. Subsequently I took a delegation to see the commissioner and challenge the way the funding decision was made. While the allocations have already been made the commissioner agreed to look again at their calculations and the way good practice in our patch should be rewarded not penalised. The good news is that, after the recent announcement about an increase in the police element of the council tax, Sussex Police will be recruiting an additional 200 officers a year over four years. I have asked that they prioritise Lancing in particular for these new recruits.
Last week Peter Bottomley and I caught up with the chairman and senior management of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) at a presentation in the Commons. GSK remains one of Worthing’s largest and longest standing employers, and is also one of the UK’s most progressive employers with some 43 per cent of management women and a virtually negligible gender pay gap of around 2.5 per cent. Brexit was predictably a topic of conversation and I am glad to say GSK seems completely unphased about it. The UK accounts for just four per cent of global revenue yet it spends a whopping 25 per cent of its international research and development investment in the UK quite simply because we are a great and easy place to do business. In addition GSK pays a disproportionate amount of its international tax bill, around 16 per cent in the UK, again because of our more equitable tax structures which particularly incentives investment in research and development. I was delighted to hear GSK has no plans to change its confidence in the UK generally or Worthing specifically.
The big news locally last week was of course the announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service that the pilot involved in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy is to face trial. Many constituents have sent me their thoughts on the rights or wrongs of this. I certainly do not want to pre-judge the outcome of the trial but certainly it is hoped that some of the questions raised by the Air Accident Investigation Board’s extensive report can now be properly addressed. Together with other Sussex MPs who have constituents who lost their lives we will be pressing ministers as to why it took 31 months to come to this decision, leaving families in limbo for too long. It also means that the important coroner’s inquest will be delayed yet further into 2019 depending on when the trial concludes. I have produced a short podcast with an update on what this means – visit www.timloughton.com
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