Nick's Week, February 2010
On Saturday I attended the launch of the Greening Campaign in Henfield. This is the latest village in West Sussex to set up its own branch of the campaign which encourages people to work together as a local community to reduce their carbon footprint.
It's a superb local initiative that relies on bottom-up action rather than top-down dictat and makes people realise that they really can make a difference. In Henfield it will save over 1,650 tons of carbon emissions every year and cut around £350,000 from fuel bills. There's a Greening Campaign being set up in Arundel, too, and I hope that more communities across the county will follow suit.
On Monday I met the West Sussex Dyslexia Support Group as they came up with pupils for a tour of Westminster. The afternoon was back to back meetings and the day ended with a working dinner with English Heritage and late votes in the Commons.
I travelled back to West Sussex on Tuesday, speaking to local farmers at the Rutherford's Spring Conference in Ardingly about some of the challenges and opportunities facing farming.
Wednesday was a typical day with eight meetings, including with the new Chairman of the Rural Bishops Panel, the President of the NFU and the Chairman of the Environment Agency. I got back to the flat just before midnight.
Yesterday I was in Essex on a regional tour, wearing my hat as Shadow Environment Secretary. I met with local people to hear their concerns about greenbelt development, as well as visiting a recycling charity that sends donated bicycles to Africa, in the evening I will be speaking at a Suffolk farmers' dinner.
Today I have a full constituency programme, including a catch-up with police commanders in Arundel. In the evening I'll be speaking at a supper club in Slindon. On Saturday I'll be at the Amberley Business Breakfast followed by a local association Open Meeting.
On Sunday I'll be catching up with work, especially as I'm going to Washington DC next week during the Parliamentary Recess, but I hope I'll have time to cheer on England as they take on Italy in Rome!