It’s another busy week at Westminster and in the constituency. On Monday I submitted my formal response to Highways England’s consultation on the Arundel bypass, in which I argued that an ‘offline’ bypass must go ahead.
On Thursday I will attend a meeting of the South Downs National Park Authority in Midhurst to speak in favour of the bypass. I will make the point that the road will benefit the Park and the downland villages by taking traffic away from them.
A huge proposed increase in housing in the Arun district is just one of the many reasons why I believe a bypass is needed. We’ve also recently seen controversial proposals for a big rise in housing numbers in Hassocks. It is essential that we secure the infrastructure to support development on this scale.
Also on Tuesday I successfully applied for a Commons debate on global LGBT rights, following terrible recent abuses of people in Egypt and Azerbaijan, and I will lead this next week.
On Wednesday I will be meeting the Minister for Small Businesses to discuss rural post offices. I am proposing that they should offer a fuller range of banking services where villages have lost their high street banks, a trend which we have seen locally.
I will also be meeting a Department for International Development Minister that day to discuss tuberculosis which is killing 1.8 million people globally. I campaign to combat this disease. Only this evening I learnt, from watching a TV programme, that Edward VI died from TB.
On Friday I will be holding constituency surgeries and visiting Amberley School, and in the evening I will attend the annual dinner of the Arundel & South Downs Conservative Association in Henfield at which Syed Kamall MEP is speaking.
On Saturday morning I will be back in Amberley to speak to their village breakfast, at which I’ll be pleased to discuss the success we’ve had in campaigning to retain stopping services at the railway station.
At lunchtime I will be attending a Trafalgar Day event in West Chiltington, celebrating Nelson’s victory on October 21, 1805, and in the afternoon I will attend the opening of a new exhibition, Casualties, Convalescence & Community, at the Arundel Museum.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will show how, 100 years ago, St Wilfrid’s Priory was a busy Red Cross Hospital in which volunteers cared for servicemen wounded in the Great War.
There is free entry to the exhibition which opens to the public on Monday.
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