My Week 28/03/18

On Saturday morning I went to Graffham’s Easter Market which was held in village’s Empire Hall.  Now in its sixth year, the annual Market raises funds for the Hall and provides a great opportunity for local producers to showcase their wares, some for the first time.

I bought lots of foods for the weekend, including a bottle of Stopham Vineyard wine from Hawkins Bros., a local wine merchant specialising in ‘fine English wines’.  I am proud to have more English wine producers in my constituency than any other, and this is a growing local industry.

Saturday was World TB Day, and I have been busily promoting the event over the last week.  The All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, which I co-chair, held a special reception in the Commons at which the International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, spoke.

I addressed a University College London conference of the country’s leading medical experts on TB, and this week met the Public Health Minister, Steve Brine, to raise the issues.

My consistent message is that tuberculosis is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.7 million people a year, and we still need to do more to tackle it.

This week I attended various other events at Westminster to show my support for their causes - a rally for Youth Stop AIDS, where I met a young activist from Horsham, and an event to promote Carbon Monoxide alarms for the elderly.

Some time ago a friend of mine was tragically killed just before her wedding day by carbon monoxide poisoning, so I feel especially strongly abut installing these alarms to avoid these unnecessary deaths.  I am supporting a Bill in the Commons to this effect.

Over the last few days I have also attended two events at Westminster with the Campaign to Protect Rural England to discuss how we can promote more affordable housing while protecting the countryside.

I will also attend a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Southern Rail with Southern’s Chief Operating Officer, at which I will raise the issue of the new timetable’s impact on Hassocks services.

On Thursday I will be in Amberley to visit the wonderful Village Stores, a community shop which has been shortlisted for a Countryside Alliance award, and will then hold advice surgeries in Arundel.

In the evening I will speak at the Arundel & South Downs Conservative Association Annual General Meeting in Pulborough.

Joe Coombes