Andrew Griffith MP newsletter

I hope you had an enjoyable long weekend as we head into June. With no less than three bank holidays and mostly favourable weather, May was certainly a month to enjoy time with family, in the garden, or taking advantage of all we have to offer across West Sussex.

Although it already seems a while ago, May also brought us the historic Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, steeped in centuries old tradition and watched by hundreds of millions across the world.  If you would like to relive some of the first rate music, you may like to know that the official Coronation Album is now available to purchase or stream on services like Spotify or Apple Music.  Proceeds from the album will go to the Royal British Legion and Age UK so it is a highly worthwhile cause.

We also had local elections at the start of May and I wish all of those elected or re-elected to serve our communities as Parish and District Councillors well.   It takes team work and collaboration to get most worthwhile things done in life and I have never let political differences get in the way of working together well.

I will however be vigilant that successful campaigns on which I have supported local communities – such as opposing large scale development proposals for Rock Common in Storrington, near Kirdford, Adversane, Mayfields, West Grinstead (Buck Barn) and on the last remaining ‘green gaps’ around Angmering, Barnham and Eastergate are not re-opened by new Town Hall administrations. This is a risk so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you hear anything untoward.

Finally, it’s English Wine Week later this month – between the 18th and 26th June. The constituency I represent is literally the heart of English Wine production – particularly ‘Sussex Sparkling’ which I managed to secure as a protected name like ‘Cornish Pasty’ or ‘Welsh Lamb’. Many other local businesses such as tourism, farm shops and hospitality thrive on the back of wine production so please raise a glass of whatever you prefer in toasting their success.

What I’ve been up to in Westminster

Sometimes it can seem like our laws take a long time to make their way through Parliament but this month a few important bills have completed their legislative journey to become Acts.

The Public Order Act gives police important new powers and duties to stop small groups of disruptive extremists such as Just Stop Oil who block roads and prevent ambulances getting to hospital. It is not aimed at curtailing the right to protest and does not affect organised safe, publicised democratic actions.

In this vein, the Government has taken an important step toward defending free speech in our Universities with the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act. Many will have read about worrying stories of Universities failing to champion open debate and intellectual curiosity and this legislation will hopefully make a difference.

Finally, last week we voted for the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill which will ensure that there is a better balance between the right to strike and the safety of the public in a critical service areas.  The bill focuses on healthcare, fire and rescue, transport and nuclear/radioactive security.

Hosting Greenpower Education Trust in Westminster

As the seat of our nation, Parliament has no shortage of visitors but I was particularly excited to personally host Greenpower Education Trust, based here in Fontwell, in Westminster to build their profile and help to recruit more participating schools.

Greenpower does a wonderful job of igniting a passion for science, technology, engineering & mathematics education in school age children and has been hugely successful, with 10,000 young people building their own vehicles to take part in 35 regional events each year.

It took bit of work to get the kit cars through the 800 year old doors of Westminster Hall, but the interest shown by participants and MPs was worth the elbow grease and the Duke of  Richmond, owner of Goodwood, kindly spoke.

Read more about the Greenpower Trust on their website.

Celebrating Ashurst Primary School’s 150th anniversary

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining Ashurst Church of England Primary School in the year of their 150th anniversary.  Ashurst Primary is a delightful and welcoming small village school, and I enjoyed speaking with their students who were bright, engaged, and with the help of their committed teachers, took a genuine interest in what happens in Westminster.

Supporting farmers and food producers

Visting Thakeham Farms

Hearing directly from local farmers is a key part of my work and I was pleased to meet with the team at Thakeham Place, a dairy farm with over 250 cows and 100 young stock.  They are producing milk for supermarkets to the highest animal welfare standards in Europe.

Check out the video above for more – including my very close run-in with one of their cows!

I was also pleased to see the Prime Minister host his own ‘farm to fork’ summit in Downing Street last week with the aim of putting more British produce on supermarket shelves in the UK.  New measures announced included encouraging more people to take up farming and food sector roles, more seasonal worker visas and grants for farmers wanting to invest in barn top solar power. Finally, there will be a so-called ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ review of planning barriers to farm diversification – something fans of the Netflix series ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ will have followed with interest.

Coming together during the water outage

What a worry when so many of the constituents I represent awoke a few Sundays ago to find their taps running dry.  With a pump failure at Hardham, the weather heating up, and thousands of residents without water, it was important to act and to let everyone know what was going on.

Together with my Horsham colleague, Jeremy Quin MP, other local elected representatives, and Southern Water, we hosted meetings to ensure smooth communication, water stations, and deliveries for vulnerable households.  Whilst the failure was mostly resolved by midnight on the same day, I will be taking this issue forward with Southern Water on how such a failure could occur.

Impacted residents are entitled to compensation. Bill payers should automatically receive details but if you do not – or if you want to know more – click here.

Appreciating our valued Care Workers

[Pictured with Karen Beach, Sue-Ellen Streeter, Lisa Fyfe (Co-CEO) and other members of the Caremark Pulborough team.]

Domiciliary care workers are trained professionals who provide a highly valuable service upon which many of us will rely at some point in our lives.

I had a great visit to Caremark in Pulborough last week. One of the reasons was to thank their staff who are every bit as important in the nation’s healthcare provision as those wearing an NHS badge. They often work alone – sometimes 7 days a week – and may be the only visitor that their clients or other family carers see all day.

Caremark is a successful national business headquartered in West Sussex and I visited the Pulborough operation headed by Karen Beach and which provides service to 180 customers across Ashington, Steyning, Pulborough, Henfield, Washington, West Chiltington, Storrington and Wisborough Green.

Click here to know more about home care from Caremark

My best wishes to all those taking exams this month – and to the parents, grandparents and teachers who are providing help and support.

Rural Bus “Get around for £2” offer extended

Great news for rural transport this month as the £2 bus fare cap was extended all the way to October.

The scheme was originally only supposed to run to March, but the Government has chosen to extend it for another five months.  The funding is provided entirely by Westminster and whilst Bus services in our rural areas are far from perfect, it’s great to see this initiative to promote their use and help with the cost of living. The offer applies to over 100 operators, including Stagecoach, Metrobus, Compass Travel in West Sussex.

To find the eligible services near you click here.

Out and About

I was pleased to join both the Arundel Town Council Annual General Meeting and the Slindon Parish Council meeting a week later. Each were well attended and it was wonderful to hear about the array of community groups thriving in each location.

My congratulations also go the excellent Arundel Museum which celebrated its tenth anniversary in its current building at an event on Saturday 22nd May. (Pictured above)

Finally, I held my surgery last Friday in Thakeham village hall (below). Why not ensure your Parish council invites me to a local event or to hold one of my surgeries or ‘meet your MP’ session in your town or village?

Have your say on fraud— join my residents panel

I have always done regular surveys to listen to the constituents that I represent but I am now taking the next step by setting up a dedicated panel of interested residents with whom I can consult more regularly.

Each will be  under 3 minutes to complete. They will typically be open for about a fortnight and afterwards a summary of results will be sent to those who participated for interest.

This months survey is on fraud and scams, a serious topic that has unfortunately become all to relevant in recent years.

Click here to join my residents panel and take this month’s survey on digital fraud

Ever wanted to visit Parliament?

Prostate test

It is my privilege to serve you in Westminster and I and my team of staff love welcoming visitors from the constituency to a tour of the Palace of Westminster which usually includes a visit to the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Tours operate most days of the week but my personal ‘top tip’ is to try for a Monday morning when the chamber itself is empty and the guide will often take you inside for yourself.

Prostate test

A visit to parliament also means an opportunity to see the newly displayed Speaker’s State Coach.  You may notice a degree of similarity to the coach used by their Majesties at their recent coronation.  This coach is in fact the oldest of the three state coaches and was presented to the speaker by Queen Anne around 1700.  It was last used to transport the speaker in 1981 and has since been displayed on various occasions including recently at a National Trust Museum.  Having it return to Parliament for public display is a wonderful sight.

To register your interest for a tour just email me at

Round two of the Community Ownership Fund is now open!

The £150 million competitive fund aims to save community assets in peril. Ranging from sporting and cultural institutions to community centres, memorial halls, pubs and high street shops, these assets are part of our social fabric and shared heritage; enhancing belonging and quality of life.

Successful bids will be awarded sums up to £1 million (for the most exceptional projects) towards safeguarding local assets. If you know of a group, organisation, campaign or asset which might benefit from this fund, click the button below and please do let me know as I’d love to offer my full support.