"MY PRIME FOCUS IS ON PROMOTING THE WELL-BEING, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS OF CONSTITUENTS"
SIR PETER BOTTOMLEY MP
Worthing Local Councillors
The below link allows you to search for who your local Councillor is should you live in a ward within Worthing.
Councillors are responsible for many local issues and may be a useful first port of call for local issues such as bin collection and graffiti.
West Worthing Conservatives are responsible for the election of your Conservative Councillors in parish, local and county council elections.
It is also responsible for local General Election campaigns and Police and Crime Commissioners.
Arun Local Councillors
The below link allows you to search for who your local Councillor is should you live in a ward within Arun.
Councillors are responsible for many local issues and may be a useful first port of call for local issues such as bin collection and graffiti.
Worthing Observation Wheel Returns - May 2021
Many will share in delight at the news the Worthing Observational Wheel (WOW) is set to return this summer in time for the Bank Holiday, courtesy of Adur & Worthing Councils.
The Wheel has been hugely successful over the last couple of years with more than 50,000 people taking rides which gave them spectacular views of our beautiful stretch of the coast.
Users will be reassured by the additional measures being put in place to ensure the attraction is COVID-safe.
A smaller 33 metre high wheel, with no enclosed carriages, will ensure there is plenty of necessary ventilation. Multiple hand sanitiser stations, enhanced cleaning of the facilities and additional specialised training will help to keep users safe.
Cultural Recovery Funding - April 2021
We welcome the crucial funding to support our cultural sector in recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over £2,931,049 has been awarded to support 20 organisations across West Sussex.
Here in Worthing West, four organisations have been awarded over £170,000 in total. These four organisation are:
- The JMK Trust who have been awarded £25,000
- Atom Promotions who have been awarded £27,838
- Worthing Theatres and Museum who have been awarded £98,398
- Wowbagger Productions who have been awarded £20,000
The announcement brings the Government’s total investment in the cultural recovery here in Worthing West to over £800,000. This includes £323,442 previously invested in the Dome Cinema and £300,000 to Worthing Theatres and Museum and Forty Two (Ents24).
Goring Post Office - March 2021
Almost every high street bank has announced branch closures in the past 12 months, pushing customers to find alternative services for everyday banking requirements. Post Office is now often the last counter in town and serving as a vital channel for communities accessing cash.
Residents local to Goring and Worthing may have seen the recent announcement that Santander will be closing the branch at 37 Goring Road, Worthing BN12 4AR.
The Post Office at 112 George V Avenue, Worthing BN11 5RU continues to be there to support local residents with their everyday banking services.
Customers can use Post Office branches to withdraw and deposit cash and cheques, as well as check their balance. This is matched at locations in Rustington, East Preston, Angmering, Ferring, Durrington, Tarring and across Worthing.
Titnore Lane Safety - February 2021
Local residents and all sections of the travelling public will share in gratitude to Barry Burks and to Councillor Sean McDonald and to the Worthing Herald for the campaign for increased safety measures to be put in place on Titnore Lane.
Titnore Lane is a route that should be safe for walkers, cyclists and horse riders in addition to cars drivers and light commercial traffic.
For years I have believed the maximum speed limit should be 40mph. The safe speed at some points is nearer 30mph.
There are unexpected bends. The road surface is not level. It may be the most dangerous stretch of road in Worthing. Without action, I predict sadly lives will be lost unnecessarily.
Cherry Trees in our Communities - January 2021
I was pleased to have secured over 40 Japanese flowering cherry trees for our local area, donated by Japanese industries and organisations, as part of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project.
They have been planted at both St Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House, as well as across many parks in Worthing West.
We hope the residents will thoroughly enjoy the blossom when it comes in Spring and that the community will cherish this sign of friendship with Japan.
I share in profound gratitude to the Sakura Cherry Tree Project.
Save Our Local - December 2020
Pubs can be a pillar of a community. They can also provide a more responsible means of drinking than off-licenses and supermarkets.
Over the past year, I have spoken to numerous landlords and managers about the effect unfair tax rates have on their business, as well as the new difficulties they are facing because of COVID-19.
With other MPs, I successfully asked that the Prime Minister reconsider the banning of pubs from selling takeaway alcohol ahead of the beginning of the autumn lockdown.
Support is needed before it is too late or we will end up with flats and supermarkets where a pub once stood. As we go into the New Year and, possibly, a third lock down, it is important our pubs not be forgotten.
Remembrance Day - November 2020
We paused to pay silent tribute to all who served and sacrificed so much for us. We will not forget them.
The Covid-19 war we fight today is different in nature and our veterans wear the uniforms of our health service workers and volunteers who continue to care for, serve and support the virus-ill and most vulnerable in our communities.
I presented a Commons wreath for the war dead by Worthing town hall ahead of Memorial Sunday and joined the Kingston Gorse and East Preston Sunday memorial services.
We can help by joining together community by community to follow the safeguarding rules.
Support For Our Arts Sector - October 2020
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, theatres and museums locally and nationally have suffered a severe cut in visitors, putting many at risk of closure.
Constituents will welcome the news that over £300,000 of funding has been awarded to local organisations in Worthing West - Worthing Theatres & Museum and Forty Two (Ents24).
This support will help to protect this important sector, save local jobs, and secure our world-renowned culture. We can recognise some still face severe issues - our combined focus on getting more help for them remains unwavering.
St. Oscar Romero School Dedication - September 2020
I attended the launch day and dedication service of St. Oscar Romero Catholic School, formerly named Chatsmore High School.
It is good that our faith schools are open to children from families who do not claim church links. They instil in their community the principles championed by Romero: acceptance, service and selflessness as fundamental pursuits of our lives.
In 2017, I joined the congregation at the Westminster Abbey service that marked the 100th anniversary of his birth.
I was one of the few there to have considered him a friend since before his assassination in 1980.
Extended Platforms, Reducing Delays - August 2020
I joined Southern Rail representatives to open the newly extended platforms at Goring-By-Sea Station.
Passengers can now get on and off the full length of longer east-bound trains thanks to platform extensions built by Network Rail and funded by the Department for Transport.
After preparatory works, the main work was completed admirably over 2 ½ days by the railway infrastructure experts. They reused a great amount of recycled plastic for the extension.
Twelve carriage trains no longer hang over the level crossing causing unnecessary delays.
Leisure Centres and Gyms Reopening - July 2020
Gyms and leisure centres were finally allowed to reopen their doors on Saturday (July 25). Our leisure centres were poised and ready to open their doors and this was welcome news for the many users waiting to return.
I was grateful for an invitation from Duncan Anderson, Chief Executive at South Down Leisure, to visit Worthing Leisure Centre and to see the new social distancing and hygiene measures that have been put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.
I am grateful for the work staff have done to ensure facilities are safe and welcoming.
The Time Is Now National Lobby - June 2020
I was pleased to host local residents, on video call, sharing their views regarding our climate and natural environment as part of The Time is Now Mass Lobby.
We spoke about responsible overseas aid, HS2 and our ancient woodland and the current moratorium on fracking.
Most importantly, I listened and shared the hope of making a future that is better for our children and grandchildren.
We can and should all work together to ensure we leave a better world and environment for generations to come.
Supporting Our Schools - May 2020
We share respect and gratitude for all the teachers and school staff who continued in work and those now returning to work.
They are doing all that is possible in the face of great difficulties. I have raised with the Education Secretary concerns from teachers and parents. These are being taken into consideration.
Many schools have remained open. My team and I have helped several headteachers with challenges as they ensure schools are safe for students and for staff. We have been helping with advice and support for the way forwards.
Opening our Places of Worship - May 2020
Church leaders and the Government know many MPs want further faster opening of churches and places of worship.
Together with colleagues, I have written to the Prime Minister with hope that a solution will be found for those wishing to visit places of worship.
As the lockdown is gradually eased, we ask for cooperation between the Government and faith leaders in finding safe ways to reopen our churches for prayer, for funerals even with limited congregations and for worship sooner than July.
For many, Churches are not optional - they are essential.
National Lockdown Locally - April 2020
The advice has been clear - isolate yourself and your family, keep away from other people and do not travel unless necessary - thus protecting our vulnerable and infirmed. This does not necessarily mean you can't enjoy your self-isolation!
I was very pleased to enjoy a wonderful meal with my wife outside of our home in central Worthing. I hope families have been able to enjoy the weather - children have video-called their mothers, walkers have safely taken pleasure in the weather, and everyone has made responsible decisions.
It falls on our shoulders to protect the older, the vulnerable and the future of our communities.
Worthing Integrated Care Centre - March 2020
I have given strong support to the NHS and Worthing Council's plans for a new £34 million town centre Integrated Care Centre.
The centre will be a hub for residents seeking help with health issues.
Doctors, mental health specialists, outpatients, health visitors and a pharmacy, as well as a range of services for families and children, will be brought together.
People in and around Worthing deserve a good place to live, a good place to work and they want good healthcare facilities. Constituents can find out more here: ow.ly/97oq50yGMGH
Worthing Hospital and Covid-19 - February 2020
You may be aware members of staff at Worthing Hospital went into self-isolation recently after coming into close contact with someone who later tested positive for Covid-19.
I am pleased to share the news that throughout the isolation period all staff and patients remained well and all test results came back negative.
We all need to take personal responsibility to follow expert guidance on what to do if we or any member of our family present with symptoms matching the virus. The situation will get gravely worse but, together, we can make the responsible choices and take proactive actions in responding to this looming pandemic.
We can be grateful to the team who have handled this so well.
West Sussex MPs Meeting - January 2020
My colleagues and friends across West Sussex represent many fantastic communities.
Earlier in the month, we had our regular meeting in Horsham. It was productive, with discussions on various local issues including how to address the significant challenges facing West Sussex County Council.
We share many concerns and also many positives; a fantastic local NHS Trust, a beautiful local environment, and hardworking and effective emergency services.
We can look forward to further cooperation and hard work for the benefit of all in West Sussex.
Summer Instagram Competition Visit - January 2020
Every Summer, I hold a competition for local budding photographers to submit their #SunnySummerWorthing photos capturing Worthing at its best.
This past Summer, after a great competition, my team and I were pleased to award Andrew first place with his beautiful photo of Worthing Pier at sunset.
My team and I were delighted to welcome Andy and his lovely partner Nick to Parliament to accept his prize. It is pleasing to see individuals with such enthusiasm and care for where they live.
Thank you for entering, Andy, it was good to meet you.
Worthing College Visit to Parliament - January 2020
I was pleased to welcome students from Worthing College to the Palace of Westminster for a tour and discussion of Parliament.
The many students were inquisitive, well mannered and a credit to their families, teachers and college. I have personally seen many of their students progress and develop to become highly capable young adults. One current student is working in my office, several more past students have and continue to work in my office. Many more have worked alongside me in support of our community and for the benefit of national campaigns. The hard work of the staff is to be commended.
I will continue to do what I can to support our next generation through fairer funding and ever higher standards.
General Election - December 2019
Following 15 hours of voting across East Preston, Ferring, Rustington and Worthing West, 8 weeks of door-to-door campaigning and 7 hours of counting, I have been returned as Member of Parliament for Worthing West.
I am grateful to the many who supported my campaign and to the many more who voted for me. We can all look forwards to an enjoyable second half of December as we prepare for Christmas and I return to Parliament.
Congratulations to the many hardworking conservatives who have been elected nationwide. I look forwards to extending a warm and welcoming hand to each and every new MP entering Parliament as we move forwards as a country.
Remembrance Sunday - November 2019
On Remembrance Sunday I attended the Remembrance Service in East Preston.
East Preston, Ferring, Rustington and Worthing often display their proud community spirit. It is on days like Remembrance Sunday when we see the extent of that spirit. Children, parents and grandparents gather as a community to share a moment of silence in remembrance of all who have served in conflicts across the world.
We can all remember in our own way. One thing is clear, we shall not forget the sacrifices of those who came before us. They gave their lives so that we might live ours free and in peace.
Lest we forget.
Worthing College Visit - September 2019
My team and I joined Tim Loughton MP to recognise the welcome further progress and the remarkable achievements of students and staff at Worthing College.
For the fifth year in succession the college is celebrating its best set of A Level and BTEC results. These positive results reflect the outstanding teaching and learning experience of students attending the college. Walking in, it was clear that the sports and other leisure activities make a significant contribution to the lives of the College community. The students were happy and their lives enriched.
The staff and students should be praised for the hard work they have done to achieve such good results. We can wish those who have graduated every success for the future as they go on to university or employment.
Ferring Flower Festivities - September 2019
Over the weekend Virginia and I were pleased to attend several events and celebrations across the constituency.
It was a pleasure to join with local residents in celebrating the best that autumn has to offer at Ferring Horticultural Society’s autumn show.
The winners and the runner-ups all showcased a fantastic array of colourful and fragrant flowers. The bakers, growers and pruners should all be praised.
Thank you to the organisers for providing a high quality range of competition and exhibits.
Outdoor Seating Licence Fees - August 2019
East Worthing and Shoreham MP, Tim Loughton, the leaders of Arun and Worthing Councils and I have written to Cllr Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council to raise our deep concern about the disproportionate increase in licence fees for cafes and restaurants using outdoor seating.
Our cafes and restaurants are integral to our local economy, taxes of this variety are unfair and disproportionate.
Through discussion, I am hopeful that a resolution can be found.
There is a need to support our local businesses and ensure that they are not treated unfairly.
Worthing Beach Concerns - August 2019
Earlier this week there was reason to check whether there was hazardous material causing illness for people on the beach. The local blue-light services came into action and showed excellent contingency planning in action.
The Coastguard, the Police and the NHS medical services took precautions and then cooperated with the Environment Agency to investigate whether there was an identifiable source or cause of concern.
I am grateful to Maggie Davies, Chief Nurse at Worthing Hospital, and the Environment Agency for providing regular and helpful updates on the situation.
Reassurances have been made that Worthing seafront remains safe and open.
We can thank all involved in the response and investigation.
Tiffin Cup Local Nomination - July 2019
I am grateful to the many constituents that inundated my office with nominations for this year's Tiffin Cup. For those unaware of the Tiffin Cup, it is an annual British competition to find the best South Asian restaurant in the United Kingdom. One restaurant from every region is shortlisted and invited to participate in the Grand Final cook-off event held in Parliament.
I welcomed Mr Uddin, founder of Shafiques Restaurant, to attend the Grand Final. Whilst his restaurant did not win, it did receive a special commendation from the judges.
I look forwards to presenting Mr Uddin with his certificate and prized apron in due course, taking the opportunity to taste some of his wonderful cuisine.
Guildbourne Centre Drop-in Advice Surgery - July 2019
I am grateful to the residents and shoppers who joined me at my Drop-in Advice Surgery at the Guildbourne Centre last Friday.
Advice and requests ranged from ongoing cases such as bin collection and health concerns, to those wishing to discuss the leadership contest or Brexit. My Drop-in surgeries are opportunities for those who are not as comfortable using the telephone, writing a letter or contacting me by email - they ensure that no constituent is left out of reach. Help is always offered.
I am grateful to the team at the Guilbourne Centre for accomodating my Drop in surgery.
Worthing Post Office Relocation - July 2019
The Post Office have today announced that they will proceed with their intended transfer of the Worthing branch from Chapel Road to the WHSmith Store on South Street.
I have been assured that all feedback received was taken into account in understanding the issues and ensuring that the move was not detrimental to the services provided to residents. Indeed, the extension of opening hours may be welcomed by many. An update of the response received from the Post Office to the enquiries submitted is available here.
The most recent from the Post Office and Royal Mail is that there are no current plans to relocate Worthing delivery office to another site. The Post Office branch is only a small fraction of the building's internal space, with the Delivery Office occupying the majority of the building.
D-Day Anniversary - June 2019
Today marks 75 years since the D-Day landings, the invasion of Europe that turned the tide of the Second World War. D-Day preparations included civilians in every occupation and all the armed forces, reaching every corner of our communities. Whilst the Allies claimed victory on the Western Front, more than 10,000 people lost their lives that day.
In our memories and through our commemoration, they live on.
I was pleased to join friends, colleagues and community members at the Worthing Town Hall War Memorial this morning for a commemorative service. Two Worthing men died in the 1944 invasion. Our town and communities were central to a great deal of the operation.
Lest we forget the peace we have been afforded by the sacrifices of those who came before us.
National Farmers Union - May 2019
I met with representatives from the National Farmers Union (NFU Online) as well as local farmers and producers at Cobbins Nursery, Ferring. We discussed the NFU’s agenda for a 'productive, profitable and progressive' farming sector ahead of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Whatever the outcome of Brexit, we agreed for the need of a policy environment that allows our farming and agricultural sector to continue to be productive and profitable. It must also deliver clear benefits for citizens including quality, affordable food and protection for our wildlife and countryside. Plants and flower production accounts for over 15% of the agricultural output of the South East (£2.0 billion in total), with nurseries like Cobbins contributing greatly to our local and national economy.
Ferring CofE School Visit - April 2019
The students of Singapore Class at Ferring CofE Primary School welcomed me to talk about my work in Parliament. The Year 5 students were highly inquisitive, engaged, and polite in their intelligent questions.
It is for their futures that we make decisions today and it will be in their hands our country's future rests. Their considerate outlooks set a good example for our future.
I make every possible effort to visit schools and other groups in Worthing West, if you would like to get in contact to discuss possible future visits, please do not hesitate.
Ferring Residents Advice Surgery - April 2019
I am grateful to the local residents who joined me for my Drop-in advice surgery at Ferring Asda store this morning.
Advice and requests for help ranged from assistance with housing and taxes, to those who simply wished to discuss current affairs or to thank me and my team for helping them at difficult moments in their life.
I regularly hold surgeries to give constituents the opportunity to speak to me in person. Other contact details are available here.
Thank you also to the local Councillors who joined me in assisting with local residents’ issues.
Worthing Homes Twentieth Anniversary - April 2019
Twenty years ago, Tim Loughton MP and I encouraged and applauded the formation of Worthing Homes shortly after becoming the local Members of Parliament. I was pleased to help plant a tree at their homes at Davenport Court on Elm Grove to recognise their twentieth anniversary.
Worthing Homes rightly has a good reputation and it is trusted. A high proportion of residents are happy with their experience; over 90% praise the staff with whom they have contact. The numbers are impressive: 107 volunteers, 95 employees and 10 trustees; nearly 4.000 homes for about 10,000 fellow residents.
Worthing Homes does good and does it well. Let us all help them to continue as they improve further and develop new services.
English Tourism Week - April 2019
Now in its eighth year, English Tourism Week raises the profile and showcases the benefits of the tourism industry to local communities and the economy.
Tourism is one of England’s largest and most valuable industries.
I was pleased to join with Tourism Minister, Michael Ellis MP, to discuss how valuable the tourism industry is to Worthing West. Recent figures estimated that some 4.4 million day and staying visitors spending approximately £138 million a year visit Worthing annually.
With over £2.7bn spent in the South East tourism industry, it remains one of the most significant sectors of our local economy. This is a chance for us to celebrate the success of this industry and to discuss how we can better support local businesses in making Sunny Worthing a destination for all.
Rustington Residents Advice Surgery - April 2019
I am grateful to the local residents who joined me for my Drop-in advice surgery at Rustington's Sainsbury's store last Saturday midday.
Advice and requests for help ranged from ongoing cases such as housing and school funding, to those who simply wished to discuss current affairs or to thank me and my team for assisting them recently.
I regularly hold surgeries to give constituents the opportunity to speak to me in person. Other contact details are available here.
Thank you also to the local Councillors and candidates for joining me in assisting with local residents’ issues.
Worthing Mosque Solidarity Vigil - March 2019
I was humbled to join with over fifty local residents from all corners of our communities in Worthing, to show solidarity with our local Mosque and worshippers following the tragic islamophobic attack in New Zealand.
We thank all in the Islamic society and at the mosque for the contribution they make to community life. We are as one in Worthing.
A way to demonstrate our unwavering solidarity is that as and when the Islamic society need a larger mosque, we all give support and encouragement.
Thank you to those who helped to organise the vigil.
We are all defenders of faith.
Worthing Residents Advice Surgery - March 2019
I am grateful to the local residents who joined me for my Drop-in advice surgery at Worthing's Waitrose Store.
Advice and requests for help ranged from housing to pensions, and of course included discussions on our withdrawal from the European Union.
Thank you also to Cllr Westover for joining me in assisting with local residents’ issues.
My team and I have already taken forward several of the concerns brought to me during the surgery and will continue to be of assistance when possible and when necessary.
High Street Saturday - March 2019
With reference to supporting our local town centre, I am delighted to support the local bid for central government support from the Future High Streets Fund as we celebrate High Street Saturday. It has always been an honour to represent and to have a home in a place where ‘good growth’ is front and centre.
Our coastal West Sussex has successfully met most challenges during the past two decades. The task now is to make possible a practical vision for our community of a multi-functional high street that meets the challenges of the future whilst addressing the concerns from the past.
By talking and deciding and acting together, we can all help to create a community where people can enjoy life together.
Open Mosque Day - March 2019
I am glad that our local mosque took part in the nation Open Mosque day this past Sunday.
The open days are about building bridges and breaking down stereotypes. They are are about ensuring that no members of our communities are made to feel unwelcome towards each other.
On behalf of the friends and the first time visitors I thank the Islamic Society and the Imam, Idris Nawab, for this initiative and their warm welcoming outlook to the community.
Strand Medical Centre Re-Opening - February 2019
I was honoured to be invited to the official opening of the Strand Medical Group’s new 1,000 square metre practice. Dr Andy Thompson and all his clinical and support colleagues have fought through every difficulty to create the opportunity to serve local patients. The Strand Group's new practise can cater to over double the previous amount and have over 16 consulting rooms and a sufficiently large and comfortable waiting room.
Amongst the people we can all be thankful to are the central NHS England who worked hard to enable this move, the directors of the developers Rocco whose patience was impressive, the councillors, and the executives and leadership of Worthing Borough Council. When campaigning for greater provisions, it is reassuring to see unequivocal progress as welcome and overdue as this.
Citizens Advice Centre, Worthing - January 2019
It was a pleasure to visit the Worthing Citizens Advice centre this morning, to meet with the volunteers and staff who contribute an immense amount to our communities. The team are to be commended for the time and hard work they put in to make a difference to local people's lives.
They offer a service unrivalled and I encourage anyone with worries or difficulties to approach Citizens Advice. Within the Worthing centre, we may all find someone friendly and professional to give advice and to make a difference to people's lives.
The centre is always in need of new volunteers or staff members. Anyone able to offer their assistance or services can make a positive difference that will help to transform lives in and around our communities.
Durrington Residents Advice Surgery - January 2019
I am grateful to the local residents who joined me for my Drop-in advice surgery at Durrington Tesco. Discussion and queries ranged from Brexit to pensions.
Whilst I do my best to speak with every constituent who contacts me, and visit residents when necessary, often constituents may prefer to speak to me in person or are unable to email, telephone or write.
Thank you also to Cllr Jane Sim and Cllr Sean McDonald for joining me in assisting with local residents’ issues, and to Myra and the Tesco team who accommodated us.
My team and I have already taken forward several of the concerns brought to me during the surgery. We will continue to be of assistance when possible and when necessary.
Children In Need Fundraising - January 2019
It was a pleasure to attend the fourth annual Give a Gift sale organised by BBC Sussex, held at St. Paul's Worthing.
This years event raised the largest amount so far, welcoming visitors from all across the county to buy unwanted Christmas gifts donated over the last couple of weeks. Over £2,379 was raised by the volunteers, all going directly to the BBC Children in Need charity.
Pictured is myself with BBC presenters Danny Pike and Mark Carter.
Children in Need supports children and their families across the country who face difficult circumstances and may be going through the hardest of times. The money raised will help to support and change the lives of over 582,000 disadvantaged young children and adults.
Charities in Worthing - December 2018
Christmas is a time of giving, receiving, and cherishing what we have already. It can also be a time of reflection and charity. There are many local charities that contribute positively to our communities. The volunteers behind these are to be commended for the work they have achieved over the past year.
One such charity is Turning Tides Ending Local Homelessness - a project uniting churches and groups from across Worthing. Another such charity is Worthing's branch of The Salvation Army United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland.
I was pleased to meet local volunteers and support these important causes during recent months. I wish them the very best for 2019 as we all aspire to support those in need. More information on how you can help to support the work of Turning Tides can be found here:
Royal Mail Christmas Deliveries - December 2018
It was a pleasure this morning to visit Worthing's Royal Mail Delivery Office on Chapel Road.
The staff there do a tremendous job in ensuring mail is delivered throughout the year. At Christmas time we are reminded how important a lifeline our Royal Mail is. They are working, come rain or shine, to ensure that our festive post is delivered on time.
The letters these dedicated members of staff handle can bring joy to our family and friends across the world. We can all be thankful for their service.
Worthing Job Centre Plus - November 2018
I was pleased to visit the Worthing Jobcentre Plus to speak with the team of advisors as well as the service users about how the centre supports them and how we might further help them.
Those in attendance included Help for Heroes, the Sussex Armed Forces Network, Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), Sussex Police, Northbrook Metropolitan College and NHS England. Positively, three people were offered jobs on the spot by the NHS. This was the first event held locally and I look forwards to it continuing in the future.
These direct developments and opportunities were brought about because of the hard work of Fiona Hamilton, the Service Delivery Coach and Armed Forces Champion, as well as the hardworking team at the Jobcentre Plus. We can all be very grateful for their hard work.
Queen's Commonwealth Canopy - November 2018
The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy is a unique network spanning all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. The creation of a pan-Commonwealth network of forest conservation projects marks Her Majesty The Queen’s service to the Commonwealth.
This theme extends into the Care for Veterans where we planted a Rowan tree as part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. The Rowan tree has a long, sacred history. Since ancient times people have been planting a Rowan beside their home as the Tree of Life, symbolising courage, wisdom and protection.
The Care for Veterans centre, established in 1919, cares for soldiers returning from World War I with life-changing disabilities. It was poignant and contemplative to be joined by students from Heene Primary School, resident veterans, the High Sheriff of West Sussex 2018 and Adur & Worthing Councils Deputy Mayor, Cllr Hazel Thorpe.
Love Our Colleges Week - October 2018
Our colleges are a fundamental part of our society, helping to cultivate and guide our next generation towards a better future.
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.
West Durrington Housing Developments - October 2018
I met with representatives from Chamonix Estates, including Persimmon Homes, Heron Homes and Taylor Wimpey, in addition to Worthing Borough Council to bring forwards the concerns of the community, requesting that those behind the development engage with and respond to local people's concerns.
Permission for the development of 700 new homes was granted by Worthing Borough Council back in 2012 with a number already built and occupied.
Residents have my support in seeking assurance that the most recent additions will be effective and properly maintained at no undue cost to those who have already or have yet to move into the new development.
West Sussex Youth Cabinet - September 2018
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.
There 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?
I look forwards to seeing what these young and highly motivated students will achieve in the future.
Macmillan Coffee Morning - September 2018
It was a pleasure to join one of Worthing's local businesses, SJM Electrical Services, for the world's biggest coffee morning.
Every year, over 350,000 people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with a form of Cancer. Over 3,500 are diagnosed in Worthing West alone, with almost half of those diagnosed unfortunately passing away as a result.
There are many commendable charities and organisations addressing this devastating disease. Macmillan Cancer Support is the UK's largest charity dedicated to supporting and caring for those affected and their families. The money raised by Coffee Mornings held around the country, £29.5 billion last year, goes directly towards helping those suffering.
West Sussex NCS Graduation - September 2018
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.
If you know someone aged 15-17 that you think would be interested in taking part, please share with them the following page:
Boom! Credit Union - August 2018
I attended the opening of the Boom Credit Union in Worthing. Boom is a not-for-profit financial co-operative, committed to providing financial inclusion across West Sussex, and is passionate about keeping local people out of the clutches of high-interest lenders and loan sharks.
I am a keen supporter of Boom and I have backed our Credit Union from the start. The community is at the heart of everything they do, helping local people to save, to borrow and to manage.
The Credit Union makes a huge positive impact.Whilst speaking with the team, I heard how Boom is encouraging all local businesses and charities to open a savings account with them. In return, Boom will donate the equivalent of 1% of these new deposits to local community projects. This is a positive sign of the differences companies and social enterprises can make to our communities.
Worthing Green Flags - August 2018
Four of our fantastic local parks have been internationally recognised as outstanding - receiving the Green Flag Award:
Beach House Park, Worthing; Field Place & Arts Complex; Highdown Gardens; and Marine Gardens.
Thank you to all of those who work hard to ensure these parks continue to be treasured green oasis's within our communities.
The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Summer Reading Challenge - July 2018
On Friday 13th July, I joined local residents at Goring-By-Sea Library to celebrate this year's launch of the Summer Reading Challenge. This included some young avid readers that were very excited to complete the challenge as well as Cara Lambert, Team Manager for Families and Wellbeing and Jane Blackwell, Librarian at Goring Library, both of which have made fantastic contributions to our local community.
Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. The Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while helping to prevent the dip in children’s reading levels during the long summer break from school.
BACTA Community Awards in Worthing - May
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.
Worthing Mayor's Youth Debate - April 2018
On Thursday 26th April, I was very pleased to be part of Worthing inaugural Youth Debate, hosted by the Mayor of Worthing. I was joined by fellow MP, Tim Loughton, the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Director for Communities at Worthing Borough Council Mary D'Arcy, and Worthing's Youth Mayor, as members of the judging panel.
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 my fellow panel members will agree, emphasise the need to engage young constituents in our politics in a way that enthuses them whilst also engaging them. I look forwards to seeing this event go from strength to strength, year by year.
Worthing Masjid Open Day - February
Over the weekend, I 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.
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 to the Iman and the community for opening their doors. The strength of our community comes from it's diversity and compassion for each other.
Walking with Guide Dogs UK through Worthing
I was delighted to join The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Worthing to hear about some of the frequent barriers to accessible streets for people with sight loss.
It was enlightening to take a blindfolded walk down Warwick Road and to meet a working guide dog as well as representatives of the organisation.
The new #StreetsAhead 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.
Queen's Award for Innovation to Goring Business
I was grateful to visit Goring business A World of Buzz, alongside the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Susan Pyper, who presented the company with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
A World of Buzz – which includes three distinct companies, World of Books, World of Rare Books and Ziffit - is one of only 100 UK businesses receiving the award for outstanding contribution to International Trade.
World of Books, one of the group’s companies, is committed to minimising its environmental impact. Each month over 4 million books are recycled, saving 22,000 tonnes of books a year from going into landfill. All of its paper waste is recycled within the UK and turned into corrugated cardboard.
Local Road Quality from Worthing to Rustington
Alongside Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, I rejected Highways England's proposal to spend £100 million on A27 improvement works to ease traffic in the Worthing area.
Many will think it is hardly worth reading what Highways England have written in their A27 improvement plan. To ask that the Worthing traffic problems be solved with less than £100m was never going to work. It doesn’t work. It has to be rejected.
Highways England and the Department for Transport have got to allocate a proper sum of money so that local people can have a better environment, local people can have greater safety, and local people can have greater economic prosperity.
Armed Forces Day - June 2017
Virginia and I were pleased to attend the annual Armed Forces celebrations in Worthing. We are very grateful to the organisers of the Armed Forces Day events at Steyne Gardens, where entertainment included a marching band, stalls, displays and military vehicles.
As a community, Worthing united to celebrate Her Majesty's Armed Forces, past and present. The event was very well-attended by our community, with a lot of young people joining in. It’s very important that we engage with young people on these sorts of occasions, both to educate and to inspire.
For more information on Armed Forces Day, CLICK HERE.
Uniting with the Worthing Masjid - June 2017
I am grateful to the Iman and community at Worthing Masjid for welcoming me to their place of worship and for the opportunity of a conversation with the Imam and local worshippers. The visit came prior to Eid celebrations and following the appalling terror attack near Finsbury Park Mosque.
During the Debate on the Queen's Speech, I followed Tim Farron MP's compliments on the Finsbury Park Imam Mohammed Mahmoud: 'May I just reinforce the hon. Gentleman’s message about Imam Mohammed Mahmoud? His words—that, by God’s grace, they managed to stop the attacker being attacked and prevent worse things from happening—should be in everyone’s mind. Heaven knows what would have happened if the attacker had suffered serious damage. The headlines would have been very different, so we owe a great deal to that imam and people like him.'