The Election

Last Sunday I went up onto the Downs above Arundel to join a sponsored walk in aid of the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, a wonderful local charity which provides care at home for children with life threatening or terminal illnesses. 

I've supported this event for the last few years and it was great to see even more people there this time.  I quite often walk in Arundel Park where the views across the Arun Valley are simply stunning. 

It was a reminder to me, once again, of how fortunate I am to represent the constituency of Arundel and South Downs.  Not only is there the outstanding landscape of the Downs and the surrounding countryside, which I have made it my mission to protect. 

In fact, during the election campaign I took my team up to Chanctonbury Ring to pick up litter and take a stance against this scourge in the countryside. 

There are also the strong communities and local institutions - the glue which binds us together in rural West Sussex - which the support for the Snowdrop Trust on Sunday reflected. 

It's a huge honour to represent this special part of the world and I'm proud to have been re-elected with an increased majority.   

In my election acceptance speech last week, I repeated my pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency regardless of party, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns. 

There will undoubtedly be local challenges ahead.  Already in my in-tray are the growing problems of over-subscribed village schools in Hurstpierpoint and other Downland villages. 

And there's continuing concern about the Horncroft sand quarry and other schemes which would damage the countryside or village tranquillity at Ashington and Small Dole.  I've formally registered my objection to all of these proposals.  

I will do whatever I can to work with local communities, support the rural services we value, and protect the countryside we love. 

Christopher N Howarth