Looking to the future

Horsham’s annual ‘big nibble’ kick-off to the Food and Drink festival goes from strength to strength. Good crowds over the weekend enjoyed not only a vast array of excellent local food but stalls boasting Horsham Gin, Rudgwick Cider, Firebird and Hepworth Beers and reminders that we can look forward to wine from Mannings Heath!


Meanwhile in parallel in Horsham Park, Springboard, a great local charity, was celebrating its 25th Birthday. Based in Hurst Road it was founded by parents of disabled children who were determined that their children should have the same access to play as others. Since 2004 its facilities have been open to a general membership: all children whether or not they have a disability share the same space, building Springboard’s vision of positive inclusion.


25 years is a great milestone but it’s also a time of change. After many years’ service from Nigel Scott-Dickeson which saw Springboard achieve awards including the Queens Award for Voluntary Service the charity is welcoming a new CEO, Ben Burt, with no doubt new challenges for the future.


25 years is a major anniversary, we can speculate what change the next 25 years will bring not just for Springboard but more generally.


Clearly one such imminent change will be the UK’s relationship with the EU: with Parliament returning this week from recess the Brexit process is front and centre. Parliament is putting in place legislation to ensure that the UK continues to have a fully functioning legal code following our exit. The principle is straight-forward – that rules and regulations currently on our statute book via EU legislation will be fully replicated in UK law. Parliament may in the future decide to change these rules – and our courts could interpret them differently - but on our departure the emphasis is to provide the maximum amount of certainty and continuity.


Parliament also heard back from the negotiations. When major powers meet to secure a deal in their mutual interest no negotiator enters discussions wishing to give their counterparty an easy ride. However on vital issues steady progress is being made – securing a positive outcome is very much in the interests of all our citizens.


Photo caption: Meeting Ben Burt the incoming CEO of the Springboard Project at Springboard's 25th Birthday Party in Horsham Park.