Parliament resumed sitting on Tuesday this week with the EU Withdrawal Bill progressing through its Commons stages.
All MPs - including many new faces - are getting down to work for their constituencies across the whole of the U.K. These, naturally, vary enormously.
The Horsham Constituency once stretched all the way to the coast and even now covers a large geographic area from Rudgwick in the west, south to Billingshurst and Shipley, over to Ardingly in the east, north from there to Copthorne and right around three sides of Crawley Borough to return to Rusper. The constituency boasts over 113,000 constituents.
The size of the constituency is such that it even stretches beyond the usual reach of the County Times! Not all readers may be aware of the village of Crawley Down on the far side of St Leonard’s Forest. The village lies in the Horsham Constituency but Mid Sussex District. An early smelting centre, the onetime haunt of prizefighters and prior to Dr Beeching a stop on the Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells line. Readers will not be aware of the controversy over the Royal Oak, or in happier news the fact that the long queues for Christmas Turkey collections from the excellent butchers opposite are handsomely plied with hot drinks by the local scouts or of the excellent village initiative of individual blue plaques being erected to commemorate the losses of the Great War on their family homes.
Just before Christmas the village was shocked by the violent deaths of two local residents in a village street, a primary school teacher and a pensioner, both well known local people. Over Christmas all the agencies excelled themselves, including the police, Copthorne Junior School and, I am pleased to say, West Sussex Childrens Services. However what was also vividly apparent in the candlelight vigil for those affected was a community coming together to support each other. One of the themes of Christmas is that the flickering of light cannot be overcome by darkness. In the flickering of candlelight was the hope of a community supporting each other. It will not be an easy process to get there but we all wish the village a happier 2020.
Photo Credit: On 27th December Crawley Down residents held a candlelit vigil to mark the recent tragic deaths in the village and remember all those affected.