TIM LOUGHTON: Uplifting St George’s Day Scout parade

Tim at the St Georges Day Scout Parade at Lancing Manor
Tim at the St Georges Day Scout Parade at Lancing Manor

So when I wrote last week that I did not know what state the world would be in by the time my column went to press I was not expecting a snap General Election – honest.

Now we move seamlessly from County Council elections on May 4 to a national poll on June 8.

That’s four elections in the space of a year – or as Brenda from Bristol put it and promptly went viral ‘You’re joking... there’s far too much politics going on!’

So this will be my last column and I hope we don’t bother you too much on the doorsteps over the next few weeks.

One great cross-party (and no party) event I attended on Saturday was the Islamic Awareness exhibition at the Assembly Hall run by the Worthing Mosque.

Despite all the challenges facing the Muslim population in the UK, largely stoked by ignorance and whipped up by people who should know better, Worthing Mosque has always been very proactive at being open and welcoming to the local community.

It was good therefore to see so many local people take an interest in what they stand for and come along and engage – and the curry afterwards was good too!

The following day I turned out for the St George’s Day Scout Parade at Lancing Manor and it was really uplifting to see so many young boys and girls turn out and enjoy the traditional physical activities on offer after renewing their pledges.

Things have moved on a bit since I was a Scout in Lewes in the 1970s and my father represented the 6th Shoreham at the World Scout Jamboree in Austria in 1951 resplendent in Baden-Powell broad brimmed hat and baggy Bermuda shorts.

Membership of the Scouts has been booming and a new troop has just opened on Shoreham Beach.

The only thing holding back more opening is a shortage of volunteers and suitable premises. Any offers anyone?

On Tuesday I led a debate in the Commons on post office closures raising the proposed transfer of the Crown offices in Shoreham and questioning the long-term game-plan for the Post Office.

The debate is on my website and includes details of this week’s announcement that Garrett’s in North Road has been selected as the preferred partner to take over the Lancing Crown office.

Because of the election the public consultation period will be extended to June 27 and I, for one, will have plenty of questions and concerns to raise.

No news of the future of Shoreham yet.

Happy elections everyone!

• 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 loughtont@parliament.uk

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