TIM LOUGHTON: Tackling loneliness with The Great Get Together

Tim Loughton
Tim Loughton

Many readers will have heard of The Great Get Together Weekend which was established in memory of my former colleague Jo Cox MP, who was murdered back in 2016.

The event aims to carry on Jo’s work particularly around bringing people and communities together and tackle loneliness especially amongst older people. This year events will be held over the weekend of June 22 to 24 to coincide with Jo’s 44th birthday and I would be delighted if people in Adur and Worthing can be part of this. You can find more information on the national website at www.greatgettogether.org and anyone can register individual events however big or small. It would be good to organise a main constituency-wide event on June 24 and I would welcome suggestions from constituents as to what would work best. Please email me at loughtont@parliament.uk

I have often mentioned how lucky we are to have such a successful hospital in Worthing and that is down to having such a dedicated and hardworking staff and also to outstanding leadership. Part of that leadership is the chairman of the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Mike Viggers, who has just announced he will be retiring next month. During Mike’s seven-year tenure Worthing became only the third acute hospital in England to be given the highest possible ‘outstanding’ rating, which it still retains; made exceptional improvements in patient safety singled out by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has visited three times now; and has managed to balance the books financially. The trust’s award-winning chief executive Marianne Griffith is now responsible for looking after the Sussex County Hospital in Brighton to try to work some of Worthing’s magic in turning round that failing hospital. We are already seeing signs of a turnaround despite the huge challenges. Hospital managers don’t often receive much praise but in the case of Mike and Marianne it is much deserved and we wish him a well deserved and happy retirement.

Many people have written to me with their views on how justified/unjustified they think the decision to charge the pilot involved in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy. All are agreed that it should not have taken 31 months to make such a decision and that is something I have taken up with ministers. Without pre-judging the outcome of the trial it will hopefully address some of the outstanding questions which could not be answered as part of last year’s comprehensive official report into the crash by the Air Accident Investigations Branch. It does mean however that the Coroner’s Inquest will now be delayed from November this year well into 2019.

Parliament is in recess until April 16 but as usual I will be around in the constituency and my office will be staffed and happy to take up any queries from constituents.

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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