My Week

The House of Commons has risen for a short recess to allow for each of the parties to hold their conferences, but it's still a busy time.

Last Friday I attended a meeting of the A27 Action campaign steering group to discuss our progress and next steps.

Following meetings with Government officials, I've been encouraged that a proper, 'offline' Arundel bypass is under active consideration, while an unpopular 'online' solution through the town has been ruled out.

The campaign continues in the run-up to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on 3 December, which will be an important moment.  We are asking local people to complete a residents' survey which will support our case - it's on the campaign website,

I also held constituency surgeries on Friday before attending a 'Flood Fair' at Arundel which usefully brought together the different agencies to explain to local people what is being done to mitigate flood risk.

On Saturday I attended the ever popular Findon Sheep Fair, and in the evening I went to the launch party of the Hurst Festival which is now in its tenth year.

On Monday I travelled up to Edinburgh to campaign for a 'no' vote.  I talked to people who'd been intimidated by the 'yes' side, including one man whose house had been vandalised.

Whatever the result, there will be change in Scotland, but I fear that the country will be divided and irreparable harm has already been done to the Union.

As I said last week, in the event of a 'no' vote and further devolution in Scotland, England will expect a balanced deal - and I will be demanding that.

On Thursday this week I'm attending a meeting in London convened by Lord March to call for greater protection for our cathedral cities and towns which are so special.

On Friday I'm holding constituency meetings and surgeries, including visiting a Queen's Award-winning business in Upper Beeding, and attending the induction service for the new Rector of Storrington Parish Church.

On Saturday I'll be attending the the West Grinstead and District Ploughing and Agricultural Society's annual ploughing match at Warnham as this year's President, which I'm hugely looking forward to.

And then on Monday, if there's been a 'yes' vote, I expect the Commons to be recalled and all hell to break loose.  I just hope it doesn't come to that.

Christopher N Howarth