NEWS

23 October 2018: West Sussex County Council Funding

Councils across the country have been severely affected by Government funding cuts. West Sussex County Council has seen it's core funding from Government reduce by £145 million since 2010.

Continuing and increasing pressures in adults and children’s social care and special educational needs means that the County Council has reached a point where incremental efficiencies are insufficient to cover the £147.5 million gap – and front line services will need to be cut significantly or eliminated.

My colleagues from across West Sussex and I met with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government, Rishi Sunak, to discuss ways the Government can assist in easing the pressure on County Councils and address these issues before they get worse.

There should be no question of a negative rate support grant - council tax is not there to raise money for the central government, what we want is a fair share of central government funding to come to local governments to support our social care and educational needs. 

I am grateful to the Minister for listening to and responding to our concerns.

19 October 2018: Love Our Colleges Week

Our colleges are a fundamental part of our society, helping to cultivate and guide our next generation towards a better future. This week we are celebrating this as part of #LoveOurColleges week and I have been pleased to welcome both staff and students from Worthing as part of this.

The staff at the heart of our colleges transform lives – they help people make the most of their talents and ambitions; drive social mobility; improve productivity and drive economic growth; and are rooted in and committed to their communities.

Worthing College is one such institution - one that is highly valued and respected within our community. It has consistently improved it's A Level and BTEC results over the last four years whilst cultivating an extremely well prepared new generation of young leaders.

I have personally seen many of their students progress and develop to become highly capable young adults. Several have worked in my office, many more have worked alongside me in support of our community. The hard work of the staff is to be commended.

I will continue to do what I can to campaign for fairer funding for our local schools and colleges.

12 September 2018: BOOM! Credit Union meeting with Minister

It is a great injustice that those in our society least able to afford the highest rates of interest are those most adversely affected by 'pay-day loan' providers. Often such providers are used out of desperation and unexpected financial hardship.

I was pleased to join representatives of Boom Credit Union in meeting with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP to discuss measures to better support Credit Unions in our communities.

We discussed how the community based work that Credit Unions are engaging in across the country is providing millions of pounds in loans to help build local enterprise and prevent the worsening of individual’s financial situations, with BOOM loans themselves helping to keep over £21 million in the pockets of local people to the benefit of the wider economy, whilst also helping to enable vulnerable people to move away from the often-exploitative payday loans industry.

However, like many Credit Unions, the demand for the financial support that BOOM offers is far greater than the value they can disburse, an endemic issue across the country with the number of active Credit Unions falling by 46% since 2014.

I am pleased that the Minister expressed interest in considering future proposals for new frameworks to help encourage sustainable growth and that he would look into the proposals presented by BOOM during the meeting.

26 September 2018: NCS Graduation

 

Today I’m pleased to announce the first place winner for my Summer Photography Competition #SunnySummerWorthing.

Alec's beautiful photograph captures one of Worthing's most infamous residents.

Have a view at Alec's other photographs here: https://www.instagram.com/jmg3101/

Thank you for your fantastic entry. All of my office felt that this best captured Worthing in the Summer, and certainly deserved to win.

18 September 2018: NCS Graduation

 

I was very pleased to attend the Graduation Ceremony for the 2018 NCS - National Citizen Service local cohort. 

Since it's inception, Worthing NCS has seen over 1045 graduate from the programme, and reaching this year over 100,000 nationally. The biggest immeasurable benefit is how each individual grows in confidence and aspiration.

The programme is a positive way for young adults to develop their confidence and leadership skills and to encourage a new generation ofcommunity and business leaders.

Thank you to the team at Concordia, who have so excellently coordinated the NCS locally, and congratulations to this year's graduates.

If you know someone aged 15-17 that you think would be interested in taking part, please share with them the following page: http://www.concordiavolunteers.org.uk/ncs/young-person/

12 September 2018: BOOM! Credit Union meeting with Minister

It is a great injustice that those in our society least able to afford the highest rates of interest are those most adversely affected by 'pay-day loan' providers. Often such providers are used out of desperation and unexpected financial hardship.

I was pleased to join representatives of Boom Credit Union in meeting with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP to discuss measures to better support Credit Unions in our communities.

We discussed how the community based work that Credit Unions are engaging in across the country is providing millions of pounds in loans to help build local enterprise and prevent the worsening of individual’s financial situations, with BOOM loans themselves helping to keep over £21 million in the pockets of local people to the benefit of the wider economy, whilst also helping to enable vulnerable people to move away from the often-exploitative payday loans industry.

However, like many Credit Unions, the demand for the financial support that BOOM offers is far greater than the value they can disburse, an endemic issue across the country with the number of active Credit Unions falling by 46% since 2014.

I am pleased that the Minister expressed interest in considering future proposals for new frameworks to help encourage sustainable growth and that he would look into the proposals presented by BOOM during the meeting.

6 September 2018: West Sussex Youth Cabinet Debate

I was very pleased to join with young budding politicians from across West Sussex, members of the West Sussex Youth Cabinet; alongside Gillian Keegan and the High Sheriff of West Sussex 2018. The Youth Cabinet members were recently elected by over 14,000 of their peers (April 2018), with 30 elected to the Youth Cabinet and seven to the UK Youth Parliament.

Last night was a lively debate on extending the franchise to include 16 and 17 year olds. There were several compelling and highly eloquent arguments both in favour and against, and reminded those participating and watching just how eager and engaged many young adults are. Is it not time we gave them greater say in the future of their own country?

Thank you to West Sussex County Council for organising the event. 

I look forwards to seeing what these young and highly motivated students will achieve in the future.

16 August 2018: Remembrance Day

As you may be aware, we are fast approaching the centenary of the end of the First World War on the 11th of November, as well as the many events that will take place to mark this special occasion.

Earlier this month, I made clear the case for national retail closures on Remembrance Sunday this year to commemorate this highly important day of remembrance and reflection, and I sincerely hope the Government will take heed.

 

You can read a brief article regarding this here: https://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/your-say/worthing-mp-commended-for-supporting-retail-closure-on-remembrance-sunday-1-8602459

Information on the events taking place locally on Remembrance Day and the days leading up to it can be found here: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/…/ch…/remembrance-services/

The national commemorations will include the lighting of over 1,000 beacons of light symbolising an end to the darkness of war and a return to the light of peace. And cathedrals and churches across the country will ring their bells in celebration of peace.

 

You can also find out about the national events by visiting the following website: https://www.brunopeek.co.uk

They shall be remembered.

24 July 2018: Universal HPV Vaccination

Earlier today, the Government announced that it would extend the HPV Vaccine to boys as well as girls as it currently stands. This is very welcome news and something I have long campaigned for alongside fellow colleagues and HPV Action (http://www.hpvaction.org/).

In April I urged the Government to implement this - highlighting that it is a matter of pure and simple mathematics. The prospect of 100% of any age cohort - male and female - getting the vaccination means that herd immunity will develop much faster.

The key point is to get herd immunity for everyone far faster, and as such ensure that our next generation is protected from this devastating disease.

12 July 2018: Signing the Srebrenica Memorial Book

Srebrenica Memorial Week takes place from 8th – 15th July, with about 2000 memorial events activities taking place across the country arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations. 

 

Today, to mark the Memorial Day, I signed the Remembering Srebrenica Book of Pledges, promising to stand up to hatred and intolerance and promote a fair, equal and cohesive society for everyone. 

Srebrenica Memorial Day reminds us all that a shocking genocide took place in our lifetime when over 8,000 men and boys were murdered just because of their faith. 

May we work together to ensure that these kinds of atrocities never happen again.

05 July 2018: School Visit to Westminster

On this day we can all celebrate the fantastic impact the NHS has had on our society since it's formation 70 years ago.

I was happy to remind the house earlier this year that it was the Conservatives that had first introduced the legislation for the NHS's formation in January 1944 by Henry Willink. 

The NHS has come a great distance since the post War period it grew up in. Entire generations have now grown up under the nurture and care of the NHS, and there are only a few of us left that remember a time before it's existence. To quote the country's oldest and most experienced mental health nurse, and astounding local resident, Aileen Coomber, 'I remember life before NHS. We can't go back'.

I look forwards to seeing Aileen play a central role in the Westminster Abbey service to mark 70 years of the NHS later today.

Yesterday I met another fantastic woman at the forefront of the NHS's development when I escorted Dame Sarah Mullally in the City of London from St Michael’s Church, Cornhill to the Drapers’ Livery Hall. Having served as the NHS’s Chief Nursing Officer, she was confirmed as the Bishop of London earlier this year.

May we all come together to celebrate the importance of the NHS and the people who are a part of it. We must also look forwards at how we can best ensure it will continue to support and care for the population of this country.

26 June 2018: School Visit to Westminster

It was a delight to welcome the Student Council of Our Lady of Sion School to Parliament as part of 'Equaliteas'.

The highly inquisitive and enthusiastic students ranged in age from 6 years old up to 12, and showed great interest in the work of Parliament and of people like me. Their questions ranged from why I first became involved in politics, to where I would like to work if I was not an MP. The students also had the opportunity to visit both the House of Commons and House of Lords chambers, speaking from the despatch box where so many key points in our history took place.

As part of the celebration of 100 years since some women first got the right to vote, and 90 years since the United Kingdom finally adopted universal suffrage, people across the country are coming together to discuss what democracy means to us.

20 June 2018: GTR Rail Delays and Issues

Today I met with Alex Foulds, Director of Services for Southern Railway, to discuss the ongoing issues and future development of services across Worthing and the South East.

To summarise the meeting, Southern Railway is well aware of the issues that countless commuters and rail users have encountered, having already emphasised the issues many of my constituents have faced, and hope to address these issues whilst further improving rail services for all of Worthing's residents. I urged Southern Railway to address these issues with the upmost haste, and ensure that all of my residents concerns are taken into account.

I requested that those responsible for the issues must give a frank assessment of what caused these problems, how they plan to address them, and what outcome we should expect.

It is welcome news to hear that services are becoming more reliable, with the impact of delays throughout the day greatly reduced.

Following my advice, Southern Railway has assured me that there will be increased communication between service providers and the Department for Transport.

I also took the opportunity to raise the issue of long waits at the numerous level crossings across Worthing. With experience of level crossings across the country, one can be well aware that the lengths of time drivers in Worthing are forced to wait are longer than both necessary and acceptable.

 

Southern Railway and the other key partners in attendance agreed that the issue should be resolved quickly, with a long term plan enacted to radically improve the relations between rail and road users in Worthing and across the South East.

14 June 2018: Grenfell Tower One Year On

Today marks a solemn day of both remembrance and perseverance as we commemorate the tragic lives lost a year ago during the Grenfell Fire. It also serves as a reminder of the need to continue to persevere and campaign to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again.

At Midday today from within the Chamber of the House of Commons, I took part in a minute silence held across the Parliamentary Estate.

But this is most certainly not the first time I have stood in the Chamber to fight to ensure that the Government takes more than just the necessary precautions and steps to address several key issues that Grenfell highlighted.

I have continually and successfully urged the Government to ensure that dangerous cladding is removed from tower blocks up and down this country. These are residents that risked being forgotten purely because they are leaseholders rather than tenants or renters.

I have also campaigned for lease holding residents of Grenfell Tower to be found accommodation that matches the terms they were previously on, ensuring that they are not disadvantaged in the long-term.

Finally, I have met with survivors of the Grenfell tragedy, taking their advice and experiences to heart as I continue work on these pressing issues.

Forever in our hearts.

12 June 2018: Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland 

The government has a national obligation and a moral obligation to take action to address women's access to abortions in Northern Ireland.

The OAPA was enacted over 150 years ago which effectively recognised abortion as a criminal matter within Northern Ireland, and our society, our population, and our medical capability has understandably progressed remarkably since 1861.

It is clear there is a majority in the House who would support decriminalising abortion by repealing sections of 'Offence Against the Persons Act' (OAPA) as proposed by Stella Creasy, and I was proud to speak in support of this during last week's emergency debate in the UK House of Commons.

This is an opportunity for the United Kingdom and devolved Governments to bring forwards the legislation that is most appropriate for our modern society in each specific administrative region. Such an important issue as conception and abortion rights demands a more realistic and appropriate legislative approach that takes into account the many factors that may lead to a woman wishing to undergo an abortion.

30 May 2018: Bill Browder Detainment in Spain 

This morning a friend and former colleague of mine, Bill Browder, was placed under arrest under frankly absurd charges brought against him by the Russian Government.

Having declared himself Vladamir Putin's “number one enemy”, this marks the sixth time that such absurd charges have been brought against him in an effort to silence him from criticising the Putin Regime.

As one of the few Members of Parliament still actively working in Westminster during recess this week, it was important that I raised this issue immediately with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Embassy of Spain, London in order to highlight the absurdity of the charges and ensure a swift resolution.

I am pleased that no more than an hour later had the warrant been rejected and Bill Browder released from custody.

Justice prevails.

18 May 2018: BACTA Community Award to local community member, Phil Silver 

Last Friday, I was honoured to award the British Amusement and Catering Trade Association (BACTA)'s Community Award alongside Nick Herbert to local community member, Phil Silver.

In a career with Bacta spanning three decades, Phil Silver has made what BACTA's national President notes as 'the single biggest contribution to social responsibility in the low stake gaming industry'. Phil has made an enduring and unparalleled contribution to the development of a socially responsibile culture within Britain’s adult gaming centres, seaside arcades and bingo halls.

It is also gratifying to see the hard work undertaken by myself and my fellow colleagues in Parliament in pursuing and campaigning for greater social responsibility within the gambling sector, including the successful cut in the maximum stake for FOBTs from £100 to £2 last week, reflected from within the sector by outstanding individuals such as Phil.

Yet another member of our community has received recognition for the outstanding work they have done to strengthen our communities both locally and nationally. Well deserved, Phil Silver!

17 May 2018: DCMS Announces FOBT maximum stake cut from £100 to £2

Today's announcement by Tracey Crouch and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; that the maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) will be cut from £100 to £2; ends several years of hard fought campaigning by myself and several colleagues from across the political spectrum in Parliament, most notably Carolyn Harris MP, Ronnie Cowan MP and Jim Shannon MP.

This is an issue that should never have happened in the first place, and has taken too long to address. Since 2008, over £11.8bn has been lost by consumers, and in most cases, from some of our poorest and most vulnerable communities.

FOBTs have been a scourge on our society, and something that will not be missed. However, it must be recognised that this cut is not an outright ban - it is a clear action to ensure that consumers are not taken advantage of by something with clear addictive qualities and no benefit. This legislation will not 'wipe out' our betting shop industry, just look to the Republic of Ireland where, even after a complete ban on FOBTs, the betting shop industry still thrives.

This is an important moral and quantifiable step in protecting the lives of those who have been most blighted by these toxic machines.

26 April 2018: Worthing Mayor's Youth Debate 

On Thursday I was very pleased to join Tim Loughton MP as well as other key figures from across Worthing and Sussex in judging Worthing's inaugural Youth Debate, hosted by the Mayor of Worthing in the Town Hall's main chamber.

 

It was a fantastically organised event, and I was very much impressed by the talent and knowledge shown by the many students attending from schools across Worthing.


These kinds of events remind me how aware and 'tuned in' our young constituents are, and as I'm sure fellow panel members Tim Loughton MP and the High Sheriff of West Sussex 2018 will agree, emphasise the need to engage young constituents in our politics in a way that enthuses them whilst also engaging them. 

I very much hope that this event becomes an annual and even larger occurrence in Worthing

24 April 2018: Millicent Fawcett Statue Unveiling 

"Courage calls to courage everywhere"

Powerful words from a powerful leader in the fight for universal suffrage, Millicent Fawcett.

The monument is the first of a woman to be unveiled at the heart of our country's government and marks a century since the UK Parliament passed the Representation of the People Act, giving women the vote for the first time.

Throughout my time as an MP, I've witnessed the greatest leaps forwards in ensuring our society respects and empowers everyone, no matter who they are. I fondly remember working in Margaret Thatcher's Government, standing alongside my wife when she was Health Secretary, and seeing my own niece become an impressive Member of Parliament.

I sincerely hope that this is the first in many steps we take in recognising the importance of women in our society and history, something we have neglected for too long.

27 March 2018: Turban Awareness Day 

I was pleased to participate in last week's Turban Awareness Day in Parliament, hosted by Sikh Channel.

The Turban Awareness Day was organised following the racist hate attack outside the House of Parliament on 21st February 2018, when somebody attempted to tear off the turban from Ravneet Singh of EcoSikhs, whilst shouting ‘Muslim go back’.

Recognising the obvious ignorance and incoherency behind such racist attacks, it is important that we all appreciate and celebrate the huge contribution Sikhs give to the UK, not just historically such as during the World Wars but also in the present day. There are over 700,000 Sikhs in this country contributing over £7.5bn to the economy, and they are active and passionate members of our communities both locally and nationally.

I sincerely hope that such events as this demonstrate to members of the Sikh community, as well as all other communities and minorities in the UK, that they are welcome and are respected members of our society.

10 March 2018: Westminster

Over the last week, Sir Peter united with 120 other MPs in support of renaming the entrance to Parliament after hero police officer Keith Palmer, who was killed defending democracy.

A year ago this month, a terrorist attempted to attack the heart of our democracy, and Keith Palmer actions in defending everything we stand for are an inspiration for many of us and have drawn admiration from all.

Sir Peter said "It would be fitting for us to name the gates after him to remind people of his courage."

18 February 2018: Memorial and Mosque Open Day in Worthing

Over the weekend Sir Peter attended a moving memorial service for the victims of the tragic helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon. Worthing continues to grieve the loss of the three bright young people who were celebrating a birthday together. Sir Peter's thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones.

Sir Peter also joined Worthing Masjid's open day, which saw the Mosque opening its doors to the community to promote dialogue and friendship between residents of all faiths. The event included tours, refreshments, a Q&A session with the Imam, and a chance to observe prayer.

Sir Peter said: 'We can pay tribute to the faith leaders in our community. We look to them for guidance, hope and strength, both in the dark times and the light. Thank you.'

15 February 2018: Grand Canyon Crash

Three Worthing people were sadly involved in a fatal helicopter accident in the Grand Canyon, USA. Sir Peter sends his condolences to the victims' families, colleagues and loved ones.

24 January 2018: Bingo and Variety Children's Charity

Sir Peter joined other members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bingo, as well as The Bingo Association and Variety, the Children’s Charity, outside the Houses of Parliament to present a new Variety Sunshine Coach to the Carpenters and Docklands Community Centre.

The Bingo Association were given the honour of presenting the 5,500th Variety Sunshine Coach to mark the charity’s 55th anniversary of Variety’s Sunshine Coach programme. This was done as a token of gratitude for the Bingo industry fundraising over £250,000 for Variety in 2017 - bringing the industry’s fundraising in support of Variety to a total of over £750,000 in the last three years.

Sir Peter said:

'As a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bingo, I am proud to support the bingo industry's work with Variety, the Children's Charity. Variety improves the lives of young people in the UK who are ill, disabled or disadvantaged.

Funds raised by the bingo community - including those who frequent the Gala Bingo hall in Worthing - have enabled the charity to buy coaches to support their important work. I was pleased to see the 10th Variety 'sunshine' coach, funded by players, in UK House of Commons this week. It is their 5,500th to date!'

For further information about Variety, you can click HERE

18 January 2018: Clearly Campaign

Sir Peter took part in a promotional video for the Clearly Campaign, which is an international movement to promote better eye health care across the globe. 

Sir Peter said:

'I loved being a part of this video; an amusing film with an important message.

I wouldn’t be able to do my job or go about my daily business without my glasses, and I know many constituents in Worthing West feel the same. The ability to get a simple sight test and buy glasses is often taken for granted in the UK, but it is something that many around the world are unable to do.

Shockingly, a third of the world’s population, 2.5 billion people, suffer from poor vision. It is the world’s largest unmet disability. Nine out of 10 of these people simply require a pair of glasses; a solution that has existed for centuries and can be produced for as little as £1.

That is why I’m joining the Clearly campaign, urging the UK government and Commonwealth countries to recognise the need for people across the globe to access basic eye health care.'

You can watch the video HERE

15 January 2018: Signing the Book of Commitment

This week Sir Peter signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

 

Saturday 27th January will mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

 

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘The power of words’.

 

After signing the Book of Commitment, Sir Peter said:

 

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Worthing and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.”

 

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

 

“The Holocaust did not start in the gas chambers but with hate filled words. Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to Sir Peter for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.”

For further information on Holocaust Memorial Day, click HERE

10 January 2018: Calling for Free Rail Travel on Brighton Mail Line

Today, Network Rail announced details of a major project to improve reliability and performance for passengers on the Brighton Main Line.  This programme of work has been discussed with Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) who support the need for it being undertaken and Network Rail’s plans for carrying it out.

 

As a result of the improvement works, from Saturday 20 to Sunday 28 October 2018 and from Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 February 2019, no trains will run between Three Bridges and Brighton or between Three Bridges and Lewes.

 

Sir Peter Bottomley has called for compensation to be given to affected season ticket holders, in the form of a free week of travel:

 

‘Travellers may judge it is right to make exceptional arrangements to secure important improvements to the reliability of our rail link between the south coast and London and Gatwick. 

I ask that season ticket holder be given a cost-free extra week of travel to recognise the disruption that will be experienced by passengers.’

 

A Network Rail manager responded, confirming that his suggestion will be shared with colleagues, and that he will be updated on its progress.

3 January 2018: Worthing Hospital's busiest ever festive period

Sir Peter has publicly thanked the staff at Worthing Hospital on their tireless work during a period of unprecedented busyness over Christmas:

'With my office, I congratulate all of the hard-working staff at Worthing Hospital after their busiest ever festive period. Special thanks are given to those selfless individuals who volunteered and worked overtime, at the expense of their own Christmas breaks, to ensure patients received the highest standard of care. Over the years, I have received more glowing letters about Worthing's NHS services than on any other subject. Our local doctors, nurses and healthcare staff are a credit to the community. Well done and thank you to all.'

24 December 2017: Sensory toys for Chestnut Tree House Hospice

With customers and friends, Worthing company SJM Electrical Services collected sensory toys to donate as Christmas gifts to children at the Chestnut Tree House Hospice.

Sir Peter visited their head office to thank them for their charitable efforts in person.

You can read more about Chestnut Tree House Hospice HERE.

21 December 2017: Leasehold Reform Breakthrough

On 21 December Sajid Javid announced the Government's plans to ban leaseholds for new build houses. Ground rents will be set to zero for new leases. This means home buyers will be better protected from unnecessary leaseholds and unjustifiable charges.

Sir Peter spoke on the issue during the day in a Westminster Hall debate. 

Speaking to MPs across the House, he said: 'Leasehold is a form of residential tenure that has been abolished in most places around the world. It should be ended in this country. People can be exploited by scoundrels, crooks, rogues and those who exploit the law by making those who are badly off even worse off. Through some legal stratagems, they can manage to take away the last assets that some people have.'

You can watch the debate HERE.

5 December 2017: Visiting Worthing College

Sir Peter joined East Worthing MP Tim Loughton on a visit to Worthing College. Together they spoke to students at an event hosted by principal Paul Riley and Student Union president Brad Hardwick.

Sir Peter told students: 'You are the future, you’re the ones who will be affected by decisions being made now. Look at our local mayor, Alex Harman, also alumni from this college. He is just 23 years old and doing a brilliant job representing the people and town of Worthing.'

 

Brad Hardwick said: “It was a great opportunity to sit and hear first-hand about the job they do and it certainly challenged some of our perceptions about the reality of the job and the impact they can have, much of which goes unnoticed on a day-to-day level but can make a significant difference to people’s lives.”

Sir Peter maintains close relationships with most headteachers in Worthing West. If you would like Sir Peter to visit your school or college, please make contact with the office.

1 December 2017: World AIDS Day

1 December was World AIDS Day. It is a day to remember those who have lost their lives to the disease, an opportunity to welcome medical advances, and a chance to reinforce the agenda against HIV and AIDS related stigma.

Sir Peter visited the AIDS memorial quilt, which was on display in Westminster Hall. The quilt is a memorial to the lives cut short by the disease in the 1980s and 1990s.

HIV no longer stops those living with the virus leading long and healthy lives – but there is still much to be done to tackle stigma, stop transmission and diagnose the 1 in 6 who are unaware they have the virus.

To find out more about World AIDS Day click HERE

24 November 2017: Constituency Surgery at Asda in Ferring

Sir Peter met constituents and store staff as Ferring's Asda store during a public surgery.

Sir Peter said:

'I thank all who came to my constituency surgery at Ferring's Asda store last Friday. 


I enjoyed meeting constituents as well as store staff, and learning about Asda's 'Community Colleague' scheme. Each of the brand's superstores has a volunteer who devotes time to good causes in the local community. The Asda Foundation has already donated £3m to good causes in the UK this year alone. 


We can be pleased to host big brands with a commitment to social responsibility in Worthing West.'

You can find out more about the Asda Foundation HERE

22 November 2017: Budget Boost for Worthing Care Home

 

On 22 November the Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced his 2017 Financial Statement (formerly the Autumn Statement) to the House of Commons.

 

The Budget included a £1.5m provision for military charity Help For Heroes, made available from banking fines. This will include a fantastic £150,000 of funding for Worthing’s Queen Alexandra Hospital Home, a facility which provides care for physically disabled ex-service personnel.

 

The care home specialises in residential care, rehabilitation and end-of-life care for residents aged 18 upwards.

 

Sir Peter said:

 

With the other patrons of ‘Care For Veterans’, at Queen Alexandra Hospital Home, I am glad that they will be receiving this substantial sum to make possible support for veterans and others who benefit from the specialist services at Gifford House.

We can be grateful that the merits of the work that is done in Worthing is being recognised."

17 November 2017: Guide Dogs UK

Sir Peter was delighted to join The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (UK) in Worthing over the weekend to hear about some of the most frequent barriers to accessible streets for people with sight loss.

He took a blindfolded walk through Warwick Road and met a working guide dog as well as representatives of the organisation.

The new Streets Ahead campaign highlights the everyday obstacles that can compromise the safety of blind and partially sighted individuals. Poorly parked vehicles which block some or all of the pavement cause frequent problems for pedestrians. These can force people who are blind or particularly sighted, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users, and others, to walk on the road and into the path of oncoming traffic. Excessive street clutter and shared street surfaces also pose a threat to many.

To learn more about Guide Dogs UK's 'Streets Ahead' campaign, click HERE

14 November 2017: Social Care Reform

Sir Peter met the Care and Support Alliance and social care users in the House of Commons. The Care and Support Alliance, a coalition of over 80 charities campaigning for improvements to the social care system, brought social care users to Westminster to highlight how the care crisis is affecting people.

Currently more than 1.2 million older and disabled people in the UK do not get the care they need. Social care is a lifeline for the many older people and disabled people who rely on care for support with everyday tasks such as washing and cooking.

Following the meeting, Sir Peter said:

'I support the Care and Support Alliance's call for the social care crisis to be addressed urgently.

We can welcome the Government's consultation on plans to fix the care system once and for all.'

11 November 2017: Remembrance Service in Worthing

Sir Peter joined Worthing's mayor, councillors and residents in Worthing Town Centre on Remembrance Sunday and for a ceremonial moment of silence.

Sir Peter said: 'Today we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for Great Britain.
Worthing often displays its proud community spirit.

It is on days like Remembrance Sunday when we see the extent of that spirit. Children, parents and grandparents gather in the Town Centre to share a moment of silence in remembrance of all who have served in conflicts across the world.
We can and should give thanks to those who have served, and those who continue to serve, at home and overseas in Her Majesty's Armed Forces.'

31 October 2017: FOBTs and New Gambling Regulations

A new limit of between £2 and £50 could be set for users of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), as concerns have been raised with the current arrangements where visitors to bookmakers can place up to £100 every 20 seconds.

 

A 12-week public consultation on proposed changes has been launched, with the Association of British Bookmakers suggesting the focus of any final decision should be on measures of ‘genuine benefit to problem gamblers’.

 

Sir Peter, who is Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group looking at FOBTs, called for the maximum stake for such machines to be brought down to £2 and labelled them ‘ways of stripping money from people’.

 

Appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC Two (Tuesday October 31), Sir Peter suggested the machines were ‘ripping people off’, and, referring to a guest of the show who suffers from a gambling addiction, added: “If we brought it down to two pounds people like him could have fun, they could risk a bit, lose a bit, perhaps gain a bit, and he would be able to live his life without disturbance.

 

Come down to Worthing, look at Connaught Leisure, look at the stakes there, look at the fun people are having... Come to Worthing’s Rowlands Road, into Gala Bingo, see people in society, in the community being able to buy food cheaply, stake small amounts of money on bingo, some small machines, nothing like the kind of pour your money down this slot for these FOBTs and contrast that with what some of the so-called bookmakers think they are defending. They are not defending it, they are ripping people off.

 

18 October 2017: Regulation of Property Agents

Sir Peter spoke in the UK House of Commons regarding the regulation of property agents.

The Housing Minister Alok Sharma launched a call for evidence into the property agents' market, which Sir Peter wholeheartedly supports.

Currently a lack of minimum standards allows unscrupulous agents to enter the market. Anyone is able to become a property agent, regardless of their background, skills and experience.

You can read a transcript of the exchange here:

Sir Peter Bottomley MP:

'The all-party parliamentary group on leasehold and commonhold reform, which I co-chair along with the hon. Member for Poplar and Limehouse (Jim Fitzpatrick), will be grateful for the Minister’s remarks. We will submit more evidence.

I put it to the Minister that it will be quite important for people to be able to submit their evidence to the consultation confidentially. There are so many crooks and dodgy people around that there may be threats of legal action, such as the one I received from Carter-Ruck on behalf of Barry Weir when I was looking after a park home resident. Ordinary people cannot face that; Members of Parliament can...'

Alok Sharma:

'I pay tribute to my hon. Friend. He and the hon. Member for Poplar and Limehouse (Jim Fitzpatrick) have done brilliant work as co-chairs of the APPG. He talks about people being able to give information anonymously, and we will of course not release the individual names of those who give evidence when the consultation’s outcome is published.

As for the two references to particular individuals made by my hon. Friend, I suggest that we speak about those other matters after this debate.'

You can watch my contribution by clicking HERE and skipping to 13:12:33 on the media player.

You can watch the Minister's statement from the beginning by skipping to 12:50:21.

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© 2019 Sir Peter Bottomley

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