Last week, I attended Remembrance services in Arundel, Petworth, Angmering, and Storrington. It was moving to see communities coming together to remember the sacrifices of servicemen and women who had fought to defend our freedoms. I was particularly honoured to meet veterans from the Royal Sussex Regiment, which was the local line infantry unit for our country from 1881 to 1966. Almost every war memorial in our county counts those who served in the Sussex Regiment on its roll of honour with no less than with no less than seven service battalions serving on the Western Front in the First World War. The Regimental Association is currently fundraising for permanent museum here in Sussex, and I would encourage all readers to consider making a donation in the memory of those sons and daughters of Sussex who gave their lives. You can find details online.
On Armistice Day, I visited Angmering School and was impressed by the pupils, who were a credit to themselves and the local community. It was encouraging to see how the next generation were doing their bit to remember the sacrifices of those who went before. I would also like to thank Head Simon Liley and all his staff for their hard work in educating our children. Teaching is a challenging job and one that I value greatly. Whilst teachers’ salaries are determined via national agreements with trade unions – which ill serves areas of high demand such as West Sussex – I hope that the teachers pay review body recommends an increase this year and that we are well on our way towards the starting salary being £30,000 by 2022/23.
As we recover from the pandemic, there is much to be optimistic about. Due to the success of the vaccine – and now the boosters - job vacancies are at record levels. Over 30,000 seasonal vacancies are now available across the country and they can be applied to through the Government’s ‘Find A Job’ website. Anyone out of work can bag themselves a job this Christmas and gain the skills, experience and extra confidence to help them get on and seize other opportunities in the future.