Monday, 21 September 2015

Reasons to be proud

It is a month since the tragic Shoreham Air Accident and the County Council is playing its role in what’s being called the ‘recovery phase’. There is a great deal of work going on within the community to try and help people deal with the impact that this disaster has had. We are doing all we can and will continue to support the community for as long as is needed.

Last Friday I joined some of our firefighters and other first responders to the crash including police, ambulance crews and volunteers, when the Prime Minister visited Shoreham and Lancing. He visited Shoreham Tollbridge with Tim Loughton MP and then spent time speaking to emergency crews. It was a very discreet visit and was made away from the glare of the media. David Cameron thanked everyone for their efforts and said they should be proud of their work. I think he is absolutely right.

Another event I attended last week also made me think about bravery - that was the spectacular Battle of Britain Air display at Goodwood. Spitfires and Hurricanes set out on a tour of airfields linked to the Battle of Britain. It was the largest grouping in one place since World War Two and was quite some sight, perhaps never to be seen again. But it was also a reminder of the many brave servicemen and women who took part in the Battle of Britain – each one who flew out did so in the knowledge that they may not return. It was such acts of bravery and self-sacrifice that helped us win the war allowing democracy and free speech to continue in this wonderful land. We will remember them.

I also had a great sense of pride in our local businesses when I made my way to Rolls Royce at Goodwood for the launch of their new car. Now, I am no petrol head but I have to say this car was quite something and impressed everyone. I can only describe it as the ultimate luxury car, which was built at the Chichester plant in West Sussex and I have no doubt that many more will be built in the coming years. Behind the car are the skilled experienced engineers, and craftsman who painstakingly put the car together, using the best materials and using all their skills to create a very special car.

The Rolls Royce plant, has expanded quite considerably since it was opened in 2003. Then they employed 200 people - that has grown to 1,400 employees and each year they take on apprenticeships.

We are fortunate to have quite a few world class businesses in West Sussex and as one of the County Council’s key priorities is the economy, we are delighted they are here and are committed to working with them.

Best wishes,

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