Nick's Week

This week has been dominated by the mounting situation in Libya.  I was in the House of Commons last Friday to hear the Prime Minister address MPs after the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973. 

I was not an MP when the decision was taken to invade Iraq, and I was struck by the weight of responsibility which all of us had in being asked to endorse military action.  The result of the vote on Monday was overwhelming, with 557 MPs in favour of our enforcing a no fly zone and only 13 against.

But a strength of our system is that even after momentous events in Parliament, MPs return to our constituencies and meet our electors.

So at the Arundel Farmers' Market and NSPCC coffee morning on Saturday, it was good to talk to local people.  I was able to take up the concern of local traders that Arundel is having its electricity supply cut off for a day with little notice.

On Sundays I usually plough through the work in my red box and then I go back to London, ready for the next week.  I worked in the Home Office for most of Monday, but late in the evening MPs - rightly - agreed to freeze our pay, since this is also being asked of those who work in the public sector.

On Tuesday I visited Coventry to address a conference on  collaboration between police forces.  Working together is vital for the police to improve operational effectiveness as well as find savings.

It makes sense for the Sussex and Surrey forces to collaborate.  We don't have to create remote regional forces through compulsory mergers as the last government proposed.

As I write, George Osborne has just started to deliver his second Budget to the House of Commons - another national occasion.  On Thursday I am visiting Cheshire Police and on Friday I will be back in my constituency, meeting with the Country Land & Business Association in Angmering to discuss rural policing.

On Saturday I will be planting trees at Dingemans Court in Steyning before attending the AGM of the Friends of St Mary's House in Bramber.

Christopher N Howarth