TIM LOUGHTON: Well-supported Remembrance service

Tim Loughton

Tim Loughton

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What an extraordinary week it has been – first the UK votes for Brexit and now the US has voted for Trump.

What on earth could top that in the new unpredictable world of politics in which we find ourselves?

I wouldn’t have voted for him but then I was no fan of Hillary Clinton either.

Whatever our forebodings however, the fact is that on January 20 we will have to deal with President Trump and, post-Brexit, a strong relationship with the US is more important than ever.

With the prospect of Trump renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is there an opportunity for us to join in too?

After all, NAFTA with the UK would contain a much larger population that the EU.

One thing that is constant is Remembrance Day and Worthing always pays it respects so well.

As I joined the Lord Lieutenant and the mayor to lay wreaths at the war memorial outside Worthing Town Hall the crowds seemed larger than ever, with a particularly strong representation by young people.

I was especially touched as ‘Mr Worthing’ Major Tom Wye read out the names of 12 young Worthing men who lost their lives in each of the years of both World Wars, most barely out of their teens.

The night before I joined the mayor, councillors and over a hundred strong audience for the Rotary Club of Worthing’s ‘Young @ Heart’ concert at the Salvation Army Hall.

Sir Peter Bottomley and his wife Virginia were among the performers, and there was music from the Salvation Army band and Wukulele Jam, some excellent song and dance routines from the Regnante School of Performing Arts, and a monologue from Tony Hill.

Some technical hitches with the music meant that I had to step in as compere with some impromptu jokes, which I hope didn’t not put too many people off, but a good time was had by all and £1,340 raised for Rotary’s charities Superstar Arts and West Sussex Young Carers.

The news that Western Sussex Hospitals Trust has been parachuted in to take over management of the failing Brighton Hospital Trust is a real vote of confidence in the management of Worthing, Southlands and St Richard’s Hospitals.

It is hoped that chief executive Marianne Griffith and her team can work some of the magic on Brighton that has led Western Sussex to be one of only five acute hospital trusts rated ‘outstanding’ in the whole of England.

The long-standing problems with Brighton have been having an increasing knock-on effect on West Sussex and needed sorting out, just so long as Marianne does not take her eye off the ball with keeping Worthing as one of the country’s top hospitals.

• 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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