My Week 17 /04/2017
I have had a busy week in Westminster ahead of the dissolution of Parliament next week. I was delighted to attend the launch of Wise Up, a new campaign by mental health charity YoungMinds, which calls for a focus in schools on mental health.
This is a neglected issue, the importance of which has been brought home to me by brave young people who have visited my constituency surgeries and spoken about the need for more support for young people with mental health problems.
I plan to team up with these young people to hold a local ‘summit’ on this issue later this year. I recognise that funding is a key issue here, and I will continue to lead the charge for fair funding for West Sussex schools.
Pupils of St Philip Howard Catholic High School from Barnham visited Parliament this week and I was delighted to meet them and to chat about current political issues.
Later this week I will be holding constituency surgeries in Upper Beeding and Arundel, meeting Henfield Parish Council and Arundel Town Council to discuss planning concerns, and meeting local members of the National Farmers Union on a farm to discuss agricultural issues post-Brexit.
I’ll be campaigning with our excellent Conservative County Council candidates David Barling in Steyning and Tudor Ellis in Hassocks.
I’ll also be meeting with the new One Arundel campaign (www.onearundel.co.uk) which has been set up by local residents who support the essential and long-overdue proposal for the building of an off-line, dual carriageway bypass of the A27.
Congestion in Arundel doesn’t just affect the town - it drives traffic up through the South Downs and the National Park, badly affecting many villages in my constituency. That’s why I believe there’s wide support for the bypass across West Sussex.
This long-awaited improvement will reduce congestion, encourage local investment and be good for the local environment. I fought hard to have the bypass included in the Government's roads programme, and work is due to start in three years’ time. Such a major investment would be a tremendous boon for our area, and we must not lose it.
On Friday evening I hope that the Arundel & South Downs Conservative Association will re-select me as their candidate, and on Saturday evening the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, will be addressing a meeting of local Conservatives in Arundel Castle.
To find out more about the One Arundel campaign, visit: https://www.onearundel.co.uk/