Nick's Week

I've had a busy time at Westminster.  As well as my usual Ministerial duties, I made visits to Newcastle and Manchester to visit local police forces and talk about November's Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

I also enjoyed meeting a pupil from Midhurst Rother College who shadowed me for a day and had the opportunity to meet the Speaker of the House of Commons.

It was, as ever, great to return to the constituency, and on Friday morning I headed to Chichester for our regular meeting of West Sussex MPs and local authority leaders.

I was particularly pleased to hear that, after my broadband summit last May, the Government has approved the the West Sussex County Council's broadband plan.  With nearly £15 million to spend over the next three years, superfast broadband for most households, and 100 per cent coverage for all, is a step closer to becoming a reality.

I went on to open the extended Haskins Garden Centre in Angmering.  It's very good news that the company has made a £12 million investment in the new store, despite the economic climate, creating a large number of new jobs for local people.

I also held constituency surgeries in Arundel and attended local events on Friday and  Saturday evening in Sutton and Pulborough.

On Saturday, I travelled to Newcastle to attend PC David Rathband's memorial service in the cathedral.  I had the privilege of meeting him after the terrible shooting that left him blind and I admired his courage.  His sad death is a sobering reminder of what police officers do to keep us all safe.

Sunday is rarely a day of rest for a Minister!  Usually I have my 'red box' of work to do, and for the second weekend in a row I found myself in front of TV cameras talking about policing policy.

Many of my constituents who were watching recognised Arundel's streets, and even the TV presenters remarked on what a beautiful backdrop it was to the interviews.  Another reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a fantastic county! 

For anyone that is interested in what I am doing each week, I put the highlights of my diary on my website -

Christopher N Howarth