Rail issue is of critical importance as it threatens people’s livelihoods

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The political landscape, both here in the UK, and further afield has changed a great deal in the space of a month.

However, we must not lose sight of the issues that affect our day to day lives.

One of those very issues is our rail network. As a commuter myself, I understand and share the concerns surrounding the ongoing and unacceptable service being provided by GTR. This issue is of critical importance as it is threatening people’s livelihoods, disrupting hospital appointments and affecting children’s education. I am hopeful that progress can now be made following the appointment of the new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, and I shall continue to press him on this issue.

A further concern, particularly for those living in the South East, is housing. I was therefore very grateful to be given the opportunity to speak in favour of an increase in funding during a debate on Supported Housing within the Commons Chamber this month.

Supported housing – which among other groups, covers the elderly and those suffering from mental health breakdowns – allows the vulnerable within our society to continue living independently, whilst retaining vital support.

In the past critics have looked to point out the knock-on cost that such initiatives have to the tax payer, however, this has been rebuffed, with organisations - including the Housing Federation - claiming that supported housing in-fact saves money by keeping people out of hospital.

As a former Council Cabinet Member for Housing and BHT Sussex Board Member, I am well aware of the important role that Supported Housing plays within our communities. That is why I so welcome the work carried out by organisations like Newhaven Foyer, who like a number of organisations carry out fantastic work locally. I have therefore called on the Government to at the very least safeguard funding streams for Supported Housing, if not increase it, and moving forward I intend to continue to do so.