It has been a busy week with events around the constituency. A wonderful primary school visit and a talk at Millais – where some incisive questioning was a good warm up for the next few weeks!
I visited Safeguard Europe, an impressive manufacturing business in the heart of Horsham which invests in research and development, defends its proprietary products and is increasingly growing through exports.
I was invited to inspect acres of new vineyard which have been planted at Mannings Heath Golf Club and Wine Estate. The enthusiastic owners know a thing or two about wine from their South African vineyard and have high hopes for a local sparkling wine. It does however require a serious long term approach – the first crop isn’t expected until 2022!
Like Safeguard’s long-term investment in R&D, in viniculture good things come to those who wait!
Hopefully this lesson is also becoming apparent to the students engaged in an excellent Sussex charity (“Building Bridges”) which has just received National Lottery funding to help it go “national”. We met this week in Balcombe. The project involves matching members of the older generation with 6th formers. The students meet their “subjects” and working with them write up the story of their lives, which are privately published. Leafing through, the “product” is first rate and contains fascinating insights into Sussex social history. However the bonds and experiences formed during the process (for both the story-teller and author) are the real gain.
The books touch on the many challenges of the last 100 years which have shaped our modern nation: we may well be in midst of one such turning point again.
The dissolution of Parliament took place on Wednesday and as of that date I ceased to serve as your MP. I am though delighted to have been re-adopted as the Conservative candidate in the forthcoming General Election. Personally I have absolutely no doubt that the opportunities and challenges we will face as a country over the next few years would best be handled by Theresa May – but as ever that will be for the country to decide!