Thankyou to these MPs who promoted the Sussex Day

Last Thursday was Sussex Day which was recognised by many people as the 15th year of the County Day, although of course the Sussex Day started in the 13th Century. However, its modern approach was formed by Ian Steedman in Worthing who has achieved a significant benefit for our region. A few years later Martin Ellis helped to expand it into East Sussex significantly. Three weeks ago I asked the four Sussex Ministers to refer to it in Parliament. There have been comments from at least three of them and several other MPs, but sadly they were on social media or a group of them speaking and singing outside of Parliament. In the past one or two MPs mentioned Sussex Day in Parliament so it would have been fantastic if some additional words could have been raised this year. Amongst the comments that came on social media, Gillian Keegan who is a Minister and the Chichester MP listed the text of the Sussex Day. Within that text there are these elements

“The people of Sussex shall be responsible for all the environs within those boundaries; shall recognise the inshore waters that lie inside a line drawn from Beachy Head, and extending to Selsey Bill as being, the Bay of Sussex; will undertake responsibility for the general well being of our neighbours; shall be guardians of our wildlife; through custom support all local business.”

My view is that these elements could be used to promote issues such as local businesses and wildlife themes for Sussex in Parliament.

Along with the comments from our local MPs there have been a number of other responses in our area. I was delighted that Sussex Police referred to Sussex Day on LinkedIn. They stated

“We are proud to serve all our communities on Sussex Day. And what a beautiful day it is too. Some of us saw the sun rise. Others are out there, working in the heat (and no doubt looking forward to a cold drink). Wherever you are in Sussex, we hope the sun makes you smile.”

Another contribution came from Pete Bradbury, the Chairman of West Sussex in the Argus which included

“the day is a chance to reflect on how lucky I am to live and work in such a beautiful and diverse area of the country”.

Sadly, not all of the Sussex MPs appeared to refer to Sussex Day on their social media although of course perhaps they may have referred to it elsewhere. Along with Gillian Keegan, six other people stood together outside of the Houses of Parliament and most of them sang together to promote the Sussex Day outside their work setting. One of them was Mims Davies from Mid Sussex who stated “Happy Sussex Day from us lot at the House of Commons, have a wonderful day”. An MP who published the image of him and some of his colleagues singing a song called ‘Sussex by the Sea’ was Peter Bottomley from West Worthing who stated “I joined neighbours, friends and colleagues from across Sussex to celebrate #SussexDay.”

The three MPs that appeared together in the images which came from East Sussex were Sally-Ann Hart who stated “Wishing all of my constituents across Hastings and Rye a wonderful #SussexDay!” along with Huw Merriman from Bexhill and Battle and Nusrat Ghani from Wealden. Both of them commented that

“This means Sussex Wine will now be joining the family of special protected status products which includes Scotch Whisky, Welsh Lamb, Stilton Blue cheese and the Cornish pasty.”

Huw then went on to say

“Great news for all the new and established vineyards in the Bexhill and Battle constituency who produce such wonderful high-quality wines supporting local jobs.”

Nusrat also said

“Great news for all Wealden vineyards who work incredibly hard all year round to produce their excellent, award-winning products”

The other person in the singing was Tim Loughton from East Worthing and Shoreham but I was not able to see any comments from him on this theme. There were three other MPs that responded on social media even though they did not appear to meet together. Jeremy Quin who is the fourth Minister and Horsham MP wrote amongst other elements

“I am delighted that yesterday DEFRA announced that Sussex wine has been added to the list of products given geographically protected status. It is a great way to mark Sussex Day and English Wine Week which starts on Saturday.”

Caroline Ansell stated

“Today is a day to celebrate our wonderful county, our stunning seafront, the South Downs and Eastbourne in particular!”

and Andrew Griffith stated

“Happy #SussexDay! An opportunity to celebrate our wonderful county, its history, natural beauty, community, and culture. I am always proud to represent all Sussex has to offer alongside my fellow Sussex MPs in Westminster.”

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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