Time to start en­joy­ing sum­mer safely

West Sussex County Times - - Opinion - MP for Arun­del & South Downs

The week­end saw the lon­gawaited re-open­ing of our pubs, restau­rants and hair­dressers for the first time since lock­down be­gan. Scenes across West Sus­sex were largely or­derly and sen­si­ble (and that was just the hair sa­lons) so, based upon this, res­i­dents should have con­fi­dence to start en­joy­ing the sum­mer safely.

Do please sup­port our local busi­nesses again this week­end.

An un­der-re­ported event was the re­open­ing of places of wor­ship, which are a source of com­fort and com­mu­nity to so many.

Per­son­ally, I am look­ing for­ward to the re­turn of local cricket from this week­end which I had been pri­vately lob­by­ing min­is­ters and the cricket au­thor­i­ties for with a let­ter co-signed by many of my fel­low Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment over the past few weeks.

There is no ques­tion of a re­turn to a more ‘nor­mal’ English sum­mer with­out cricket be­ing played on vil­lage greens across West Sus­sex.

Tues­day saw the visit of the Home Sec­re­tary to Sus­sex Po­lice’s head­quar­ters in Lewes, to meet their Ru­ral Crime team which has only been pos­si­ble due to the new re­cruits funded by the Gov­ern­ment’s plans to re­cruit 20,000 more po­lice of­fi­cers.

I have been in reg­u­lar con­tact with new Chief Con­sta­ble Jo Shiner and Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner Katy Bourne through­out the lock­down with a par­tic­u­lar and con­tin­u­ing fo­cus on ‘dan­ger driver’ mo­tor­cy­clists and car driv­ers speed­ing nois­ily through our ru­ral vil­lages.

Back in June I wrote in the Fi­nan­cial Times about the vi­tal im­por­tance of gal­leries, mu­se­ums and the­atres to our na­tional life, and so I was de­lighted this week when the Chan­cel­lor an­nounced an un­prece­dented and gen­er­ous £1.5bil­lion pack­age to save our the­atres, gal­leries and mu­se­ums which have been im­pacted by the lock­down.

On Mon­day I vis­ited the Am­ber­ley Mu­seum near Arun­del as the di­rec­tor and trustees pre­pare for its pub­lic re-open­ing on July 29.

With 33 acres of out­door space and so many dif­fer­ent ex­hibits it is a per­fect day out so do pen­cil in a fam­ily visit soon.

Last week, I took part in a ‘vir­tual lobby’ about the cli­mate and en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies.

Al­most 40 con­stituents logged on and we had a pro­duc­tive and in­ter­est­ing hour dis­cussing var­i­ous is­sues and how to en­sure that Bri­tain makes the most of the green op­por­tu­ni­ties, in which I was rightly pressed to make sure the coun­try goes fur­ther and faster.

One is­sue that was raised with me was the Sus­sex Near-Shore Trawl­ing by­law passed by the Sus­sex Fish­eries and Conservati­on Au­thor­ity, which will pro­tect vi­tal kelp forests off our coast­line from fur­ther dam­age.

Th­ese are the marine equiv­a­lent of rain­forests and they are on our own doorstep.

I have al­ready submitted a Par­lia­men­tary Ques­tion, en­cour­ag­ing the Gov­ern­ment to ap­prove this mea­sure as soon as pos­si­ble.

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