In parliament this week, I met with the Citizens Advice Bureau on cost-of-living support for some of the most vulnerable people in Eastbourne. Our local team do brilliant work and I am so appreciative of them.
The cost – and availability - of decent housing is always a top concern registered by them and so I was pleased to see lobby efforts pay off with the Secretary of State’s announcement on the registration of AirBnB's.
The exponential rise of this kind of accommodation in Eastbourne – potentially a massive 1000 places – has hit our property market, whether buying a new home or renting. It has also hit our hospitality sector with unfair competition, something raised with me just last week when I met a group of our independent B & Bs.
The sea is our top visitor draw, this Wednesday was World Water Day and the House of Lords committee published a report which faithfully reflects the enormous scale and scope of the challenge before us to update a largely Victorian designed system that cannot cope with climate change and increased housing.
The government is committed to tackling this. It has passed legislation toughening laws on water companies with huge fines for those who don’t clean up their act.
But unfortunately, if we stopped storm overflow discharges right now then sewage would be in our homes, gardens, schools and hospitals instead. So, there are plans. Updates on my local work on our bathing water quality will feature here in the coming weeks.
A new deal between the UK and the EU on trade in Northern Ireland was passed by parliament this week with cross-party support. The Windsor Framework is an improvement on the original protocol following Brexit and it will strengthen our union. I voted for it.
The Prime Minister should be applauded for his work on this. My hope now is power sharing can resume in Northern Ireland.
This week, the 22nd March, also marked a very solemn moment in parliament, a day in 2017 I remember all too well, when P.C. Keith Palmer was murdered in a terrorist attack in Westminster.
Democracy is a precious freedom and Keith died in its defence.