West Sussex food and drink producers did not disappoint at Parliament event

We finished the week at Parliament last Thursday with an excellent event A Taste of West Sussex.

Some of the best food and drink producers from across the county were invited to Parliament to promote their produce and they did not disappoint.

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham

There were two companies from each constituency and I am delighted East Worthing and Shoreham was excellently represented by South Downs Honey and Slake Gin from Shoreham. In addition we had excellent sparkling wine, pastries, cheese and beer to wow all-comers.

British food and drink is a quality business renowned throughout the world and in West Sussex we have lots of opportunities to be part of this.

It was an early start to a packed Friday when I joined the Adur and Worthing Chamber of Commerce for breakfast at Worthing Golf Club. After hearing about the latest developments from council economic director Martin Randall and a presentation on Gatwick Airport expansion plans it was over to me for a grilling about the latest state of Brexit.

Quoting liberally from a well-thumbed copy of the 585-page draft agreement I think I bored them into submission and just about kept everyone onside but goodness knows what will happen over the next few weeks.

|Also in the news - plans to demolish the former Poundland building in Worthing to build 26 flats and retail space have been revealed; a van collided with traffic lights on Brighton Road; and Worthing District’s Cafe of the Year top 10 has been revealed, with an opportunity for people to vote for their favourite|

From there it was on to the official opening of the Rampion wind farm at a very impressive ceremony at the i360 in Brighton performed by West Sussex Lord Lieutenant Sarah Piper.

The project is the first wind farm off the south coast and will produce enough electricity for the equivalent of half the households across Sussex. The operator E.ON has done a good job and has now sold off all carbon based power facilities to concentrate on renewable energy.

It was good to see one of the now adult girls from Davison School in Worthing who came up with the winning entry to name the project after the county flower of Sussex, the Rampion. It was then off to Tunbridge Wells to record the BBC Sunday Politics with my old Adur adversary Daniel Yates in the studio, now the leader of Brighton and Hove Council.

I was with the charity FareShare Sussex at the Holmbush Tesco on Saturday helping collect food donations for Christmas parcels, and I am always overwhelmed by the generosity of people. They operate in Adur and Brighton and I am hoping to go out with them on one of their distribution runs in January.

It was then off to the South Farm Road Christmas Fayre where the rain did not dampen the spirits of the traders who laid on a great event with plenty of Christmas cheer and some very enthusiastic singers. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

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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