My Week 22/02/2017
I was dismayed this week when the Planning Inspector announced a higher number of nearly 17,500 houses for Mid Sussex. These proposals are totally unrealistic. They will damage neighbourhood plans and take insufficient account of local infrastructure and environmental constraints.
You can read my full comment on my website, as well as my article in the latest CPRE Sussex Review where I pledge to join "the fight for our countryside".
This week I met with a delegation of my constituents who are concerned about the rights of EU citizens who live in the UK following Brexit.
There are 3 million such citizens, and the Government has said that securing their status, as well as that of the 1 million British nationals living in the EU, is a priority as soon as Article 50 is triggered and the negotiations begin. You can read a letter from the Home Secretary about this issue on my website: http://tinyurl.com/gmna97x
This week I’ve been involved in further discussions about school funding, which remains a concern in West Sussex, and I attended a meeting with the Chancellor where we discussed issues including the business rates revaluation.
According to the Government, on average rates in Arun will actually fall by 2.2 per cent, in Mid Sussex by 2.1 per cent, and in Horsham District by 0.8 per cent, but they will rise by 2.7 per cent in Chichester District.
These are average figures, and while some businesses may see rates going down, others may see rises. Clearly large increases need to be mitigated. You can see a letter from the Business Secretary on this issue on my website: http://tinyurl.com/zl4qz9n
I also met the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, about the latest developments on Southern Rail and industrial action by the unions. You can see everything I’ve been doing on this issue on my website here: http://tinyurl.com/jbnjq6j
I attended two Delegated Legislation Committees this week and also spoke in the Commons on the Criminal Finances Bill on the need for corporate transparency in the Overseas Territories to tackle corruption.
I met the Agriculture Minister, George Eustice, to discuss farming policy when the UK leaves the EU. George will be speaking about this issue at Duncton in my constituency on Saturday.
On Thursday I will be holding ‘surgeries’ for constituents in Barnham, and on Friday I will be in Washington DC for a high-level conference on TB hosted by USAID.