My Week 29/08/18

Next week the House of Commons will return after the Summer Recess.  Of course my office has been open throughout the summer and we have continued to deal with casework and correspondence on behalf of my constituents.

On Tuesday I will attend a meeting of the Equitable Life All Party Parliamentary Group.  I am a member of this group because so many of my constituents lost their savings as a result of the collapse of Equitable Life.  Maladministration was found and so they are entitled to compensation, but this has still not been paid in full.

On behalf of my constituents I have signed a new letter to the Chancellor urging further action.  The issue, of course, is that there are so many competing claims on the public purse.

On Friday morning I will be in Arundel to speak at a meeting of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce about issues affecting business.  I will be discussing the need to improve infrastructure, including roads, rail and broadband.

The rail service on the Brighton line continues to be disrupted, although it has improved.  A total of 164 trains were cancelled at Hassocks last week.  110 of these were scheduled to be cancelled as part of Thameslink’s emergency timetable, but this still leaves 54 trains that were cancelled last week that should have ran but failed to do so for various reasons.

Of these cancelled trains, 155 failed to run and 9 ran but failed to stop at Hassocks.

I will update the Chamber of Commerce on the progress of the Arundel Bypass, and I will also discuss more radical ideas to help our market towns and high streets to thrive.

Later on Friday and Saturday I will attend the ‘Big Tent Ideas Festival’ in Cambridge, a new event where politicians and think tanks will come together on a non-partisan basis to discuss the big challenges facing our country and new policies to address them.

I hope that we will hear ideas about to drive stronger economic growth, how to ensure that this benefits all sections of society and not just the few, how to ensure that housing is made affordable and public services can keep up with growing demand.

Refreshingly, the event will not be about Brexit, but will look beyond it to consider what we need to do as a country to tackle the big issues that lie ahead. 

Joe Coombes