Nick's Week

After returning from the Conservative Party Conference last week, it was great to be back in West Sussex on Thursday evening when I  attended the Campaign to Protect Rural England's Rural Awards ceremony, held in Petworth House.

I was very pleased that five of the winners were located in my constituency and I congratulate them.

I had a busy constituency day on Friday, starting with a regular meeting between county and district council leaders and West Sussex MPs.

We discussed the challenge of providing public services with reduced budgets and how we're working to address the historic unfairness which sees West Sussex lose out on funding compared with other counties.

I went on to meet with councillors in Steyning to discuss important local services like the library there.  In the evening I met with Churches Together, where we discussed issues such as volunteering and international aid.

Over the weekend I had the usual work to plough through, although I allowed myself to watch in dismay as England crashed out of the Rugby World Cup.  I also attended a local Conservative event on Saturday evening.

Back in Westminster on Monday I led a debate on police powers to stop and search terrorist suspects, and after the votes at 10pm I responded to a late debate on the provision of interpreter services in courts.

On Tuesday I responded briefly to a debate on gangs in the aftermath of the summer riots.  It was interesting to hear from MPs whose constituencies were affected by the violence, and there was a good deal of consensus about the importance of giving young people routes away from crime.

On Wednesday evening I am addressing a reception for the charity Stonewall and then hosting a dinner for the celebrated former chief of the New York and Los Angeles police forces, Bill Bratton.

On Thursday I go to Chester to address a Unison conference of police and probation staff before returning to the London for meetings and then travelling to West Sussex for an event at Windlesham School on human trafficking.

On Friday I will have constituency meetings and surgeries before addressing Pulborough Patient Link in the evening.

And there are only 72 shopping days till Christmas!

Christopher N Howarth