The big news in Parliament this week was of course the Autumn Statement, the first and apparently the last to be delivered by new Chancellor Phillip Hammond as he has decided to end this ‘not quite the Budget’ event brought in by Gordon Brown.
I have had a number of queries from constituents asking whether the £1billion-plus announced for infrastructure projects could benefit the A27 and specifically a full bypass.
The answer is that the pot of money enabling the A27 work in West Sussex was announced with the 2014 Autumn Statement in parallel with the Government’s Five Year Roads’ Plan.
Added to this the very rough costings for a bypass come close to £1billion in any case, meaning the whole pot of money would have to be devoted to Worthing, but in any case it is not so much financial constraints making this option unlikely at the moment but environmental ones.
At the meeting of the A27 Working Group last week we heard some fascinating presentations from the South Downs National Park Authority about the problem with roads in a national park as well as some startling calculations from Stephen Cranford about the cost of congestion to business caused by the Grove Lodge traffic lights.
The notes from the meeting will be on my website shortly.
The following morning Sir Peter Bottomley and I caught up with Worthing Homes and the Worthing Churches Homeless Projects for a briefing on how they are working together to provide sustainable solutions for the small band of homeless people in Worthing. We are lucky to have such innovative and community-minded organisations in our town and it is good to see them working in partnership.
On Saturday I joined a group of protesters from the Worthing Society and local Save Our Seafront group still unhappy with Roffey’s proposed 15-storey tower on the old Aquarena site. Whilst it is good that the developers have come up with more imaginative plans for the ground level space this building is still too tall for where it is.
We have made sure the public consultation period has been extended to early January and local people can lodge their views online at www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/aquarena-redevelopment or at the Town Hall.
• If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at email@example.com
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