Impressive presentations from Our Bright Future in Parliament

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing
Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing

The organisation Our Bright Future brought young people to Parliament on Tuesday. They gave presentations on some of the 31 projects that are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

More than 80,000 young people have taken part. The activities include practical conservation and wildlife, campaigning with planning and decision-making, sustainable construction, homelessness, work experience and apprenticeships, social entrepreneurships, mental health – and coasts.

The Our Bright Future website – ourbrightfuture.co.uk – gives more information and the full project list. It is impressive.

Dara from Northern Ireland is autistic, not that anyone would guess from his forceful compelling address. He spoke of heavy hearts and hopeful hearts. Let us join people like him with hope.

| Also in the news - a body found in woods near Arundel on Tuesday belongs to missing person Helen Slaughter, according to Sussex Police; Shoreham Airshow pilot Andy Hill has been found not guilty by a jury; and children across the area have been dressing up as their favourite literary characters to mark World Book Day |

Across the window and across the Thames from the parliamentary office I inherited from my wife is the London Eye, the big wheel first funded by British Airways when it was proposed by the architects Julia Barfield and David Marks.

Before it opened to the public, I was offered the opportunity to bring friends on a test ride.

I brought together a friend who was butler to ICI directors, Auberon Waugh who I served as a poetry judge for his Literary Review, together with family.

Our pod was joined by Julia. She told me why I had been favoured: when they first floated their proposal for this enormous ride in the centre of London, I was apparently one of only three people who gave it public support.

My reason was that I had once been a passenger in the cockpit of a plane flying along the Thames. I thought that view could be shared with many more.

Now that wheel has become a way in which our capital city is known worldwide.

The Worthing wheel in Steyne Gardens was a success. Now people can give their views on the idea that for the warm half of the next few years there could be a wheel between the pier and the lido. Some will raise objections; others may favour it.

My week starts on Sundays. I am glad the local mosque this Sunday took part in the national mosque open day.

On behalf of the friends and the first time visitors I thank the Islamic Society for this initiative.

This week I attended when Tim Loughton and MPs from other parties led wreath-laying at the Westminster Abbey Innocent Victims’ Memorial.

We remembered those who suffer, who are denied fundamental human rights and especially those who are tortured.

As chair of the All Party Social Science Group, I presided this week at the presentation by Professor Sir John Curtice on popular opinions on Brexit, on the EU and the UK, and on what might happen next.

His conclusion was that parliament reflects what people think: we and they are divided.

I asked the assembled MPs and experts (some MPs are in both groups) who first said that what was being attempted was equivalent to taking an egg out of an omelette.

I think it was Pascal Lamy, once head of the World Trade Organisation.

On Saturday I was with a group of public-minded residents in East Preston. It was moving to sing together our National Anthem in a time of quiet dedication.

As a coda, I offered the verse that includes the hope that the Queen will uphold our laws; it is a responsibility we share together.

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