Henry Smith MP, Crawley Bulletin, November 2015
This year saw the second Remembrance Sunday marking the centenary of the First World War. Each November, it is always moving to see the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.
It is comprised of over a hundred thousand small wooden crosses, each having a poppy and a personal message written on them. There are also no shortage of people who stop and take their time to look at the display, each with their own thoughts about the horrors of war.
A total of 628 Victoria Crosses were awarded during the First World War; and I understand that 14 of these servicemen have connections with Sussex.
To make a donation to the Royal British Legion, please visit: www.britishlegion.org.uk/donate or call 0845 845 1945
We cannot be grateful enough for the sacrifice made by our soldiers for our freedom.
The sacrifice that is made – and continues to be made – to ensure our freedom will never be forgotten.
Iraq: Visited the front line where Kurdistani forces are successfully taking back territory from ISIS/Daesh. Recent events have shown that the front line has been brought to the streets of Europe.
School Funding: My sincere thanks to everyone who signed my Crawley petition for fairer funding for West Sussex schools. I appreciate the work of schools who distributed copies of the petition, and those media outlets who thought our campaign was worthy of coverage. I am hoping to present my petition to the House of Commons in the coming weeks.
Chagos Islands: Spoke in Westminster Hall continuing my call for the right of return to the Chagos Islands. It was a testament to the Crawley Chagossian community that so many of their number were watching the debate in Parliament. I was also pleased to welcome members of the Chagos community to 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition.
Bee World: Pleased to mention the Friends of the Earth Bee World initiative in the House of Commons. The Environment Secretary told me that her department have beehives on the roof of their offices! Grateful for the continued attention of Friends of the Earth on this important issue.
Apprenticeships: 760 apprenticeships were started in Crawley in 2014/15 – up by 30 on the previous year. Insightful visit to the new Central Sussex College Advance Technology Centre earlier in the month. The site is expected to provide an additional 770 places for school leavers, apprentices and adult learners.
Forge Wood: Welcoming information on a new primary school in Crawley’s newest neighbourhood.
Northgate Primary: Supporting the school’s proposed expansion.
Private sector pensions: Welcomed figures showing increasing participation and thanked Crawley-based B&CE for their work in rolling out the People’s Pension.
Oyster zone extension: Received confirmation this month that Oyster and contactless payments will be accepted at Gatwick Airport station from January 2016.
House of Lords: Called for a reformed and elected second chamber.
Westminster Dog of the Year Show: Entered with my beagle, Frisbee, to promote responsible dog ownership, and support the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if I may be able to assist; either by writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, calling 01293 934554, or via email directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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With my best wishes, as ever