TIM LOUGHTON: Good and regular communication is key

Lancing Beach Green police street briefing
Lancing Beach Green police street briefing

I am very grateful to all the Lancing residents who have responded so positively to my podcast about the spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour around Beach Green, which has now been viewed by more than 13,000 people.

I have been horrified by some of the stories of intimidation of some of the children using the skate board park as well as the Perch and I am relieved that more incidents are now being reported having helped bring this whole sorry saga out into the open rather than just talk about it behind closed doors.

It is really important that the police now follow up the reports they have been given in a timely fashion and report back to residents on what has actually been done.

I was very pleased therefore to see the police come to Lancing in force on Sunday to speak to the many people who turned up at their street briefing and who are clearly concerned by the current state of affairs. I heard too many cases however of people claiming they had reported anti-social behaviour and damage to police but had heard nothing back.

Good and regular communication is key to encouraging people to come forward and being assured that this situation is being taken seriously before it gets worse.

I have posted a further podcast on my website and Facebook page with an update from Sunday and will be organising a further meeting soon to include the legitimate users of the skateboard park.

Having spoken to many of the young skaters on various visits they are the ones who are losing out most from the mindless vandalism of others.

We also need to work more closely with the police, parents, local schools and Adur council officers including the beach patrol staff, and I was grateful to see several Adur councillors fully engaged in the briefing on Sunday too.

In Parliament we have been debating the Budget this week where I made a brief contribution particularly welcoming the help for small businesses and slashing of stamp duty for first time buyers but asking for me to be done to help families and giving children the best start before and during school.

Whilst there have been improvements to school funding locally I regard this as only a start and we need to go further to narrow the gap with the enhanced funding inner city schools receive in particular.

So together with fellow West Sussex MPs we will be keeping up the pressure on the Treasury and the Education Secretary.

If you haven’t received it directly I have a new monthly constituency e-newsletter out which you can find at www.timloughton.com

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