In my column this week I am looking back over the last few days in Crawley and at Westminster.
Sunday 23rd April
Grateful to Crawley District Scouts for inviting me to say a few words and take part in the annual St George’s Day Parade at Goffs Park. Always special to see the cross of St George and the Union Flag on display and great to see so many people there to celebrate England’s national day.
Monday 24th April
In the House of Commons I welcomed the uplifting this month of the State Pension and benefits by 10.1 per cent and asked the Pensions Minister about her work to ensure the maximum take-up of Pension Credit.
Delighted to welcome a group of local Probus members for a tour of Parliament and an opportunity to watch Commons proceedings from the public gallery.
Tuesday 25th April
I raised the issue of anti-microbial resistance to superbugs from over-use of antibiotics used in industrial agriculture: a human health risk and detrimental to animal wellbeing.
At a Foreign Affairs Committee session on Sudan I asked the Development Minister how Britain will secure progress with international partners.
Wednesday 26th April
In Parliament I welcomed confirmation of a boost in local policing. The 439 officers recruited through the Government’s uplift, and 250 officers recruited though the initiative of Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, will play an important role in keeping us safe.
Thursday 27th April
Government is right to continue supporting people in the face of rising prices caused by Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine. I welcome news that almost one in four families across the UK will receive the latest Cost of Living Payments. Some 13,600 families in Crawley are eligible to receive £900 in total for 2023-24.
9,200 eligible Crawley residents will also receive Government’s Disability Cost of Living Payment worth £150 again this year.
Grateful for confirmation of more than £3.4 million in extra funding for schools across Crawley. Schools will receive their first payment by 10th May and will be able to choose how best to invest this support. Part of an extra £2 billion for schools this year and next.
Friday 28th April
Confirmed my attendance in Westminster Hall where His Majesty King Charles III will be received ahead of Coronation Day.
I had the privilege of meeting the then-Prince of Wales in Crawley at the opening of the L3Harris training centre in July 2019. The warmth of His Majesty and the interest he took in everyone he met was clear to see.
I am looking forward to marking the coronation of King Charles III at events in Crawley. Let us say with pride: God Save the King!
Henry Smith MP