Virginia and I enjoyed the Coronation Eve Dinner at Simon Margaroli’s Ardington hotel on the Steyne. Town Crier Robert Smytherman declaimed the Proclamation and Tim Loughton delivered a fascinating history of past Coronations.
As member of parliament, I want to help the local and county councils fulfil their responsibilities. In addition to legal functions, they have opportunities to help the community come together. The beacon on the front at Worthing could have been used for a Coronation event?
The extra bank holiday associated with the Coronation has required five days work to be taken in four. I started by congratulating Penny Mordaunt, Lord President of the Council for her impressive presence and sword carrying in Westminster Abbey.
In his time as Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP has worked to build and to strengthen the relationship with our British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, so they know how important they are within the British Family. All were represented at the Coronation.
On Tuesday he and the representative from Bermuda unveiled new stained-glass windows. The nineteen coats of arms will now be seen for years ahead by everyone who goes through the door. In the Speaker’s words, at the heart of British democracy, all members of the family are seen and their voices will be heard. I was lucky to meet the chief minister of Tristan da Cunha. His population was evacuated to the UK for two years because a volcano erupted.
For the first time, Speaker Hoyle’s coat of arms are revealed, with the motto: ‘Cernimur in agendo’ translating to ‘We are seen in action’. He is. I prefer to be active without undue prominence, although there was a photograph last week of the King with Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer and me with the Speaker’s Gold Coach in the background.
Three years have passed since the Commons held a major debate on housing supply. I am supporting the request to consider new garden towns and villages. Three million people enjoy their homes without the destruction of the boundaries and the green space between established villages and towns.
Residents in the existing Worthing West constituency and in Angmering, Clapham, Patching and Findon want to know MPs are considering social and affordable housing supply, small and medium-size housebuilders, planning reform, development levies, land-banking and other policy concerns.
We are all involved in rear-guard battles when opportunistic proposals are pushed to cover every acre of farm, golf course and horticultural land or vineyard along both sides of the A259 west of Worthing. We must put Arun District Council and the Borough Council back in charge, not leaving development decisions to the often unsympathetic decisions of planning inspectors.
When active in Goring by Sea and as leader of the West Sussex County Council, Graham Forshaw tried to establish enduring protection for Chatsmore Farm, the valued Gap between Ferring and Goring. Graham’s funeral will be at St Mary’s when WSCC may observe a silence in tribute to him.
One of my meetings this week was about vascular and venous disease. Nearly four million patients are experiencing chronic lower limb wounds including ulcers. Supported self-care management can improve clinical outcomes with benefits to patients, clinicians and the NHS.
I anticipate also meeting leading managers and organisers of care homes in West Sussex and across the UK. Decisions on where to live and how to have access to necessary care will always be with us. Families discuss what is possible, acceptable and effective. We can help each other at times of change, especially when there are opportunities to talk about options.
One highlight of the year is the Mayor of Worthing’s visit to Westminster. I congratulate her for being the public face of the town, welcoming all and being the fine example of civic service.