Francis Maude: post office will be at heart of community

Horsham MP Francis Maude
Horsham MP Francis Maude

Friday was hectic as usual but one event stood out – the official opening of the new Roffey Post Office.

I was absolutely delighted to join sub postmistress, Sharon Brand, to cut the ribbon and to help celebrate this wonderful occasion.

It was a very cheerful gathering, with lots of Sharon’s customers turning out to show their support and it’s no wonder – this was truly a good news story!

Local people now have a bright, airy, modern post office, based within a great local shop; post office facilities are extensive and the opening hours impressive – including breakfast time, Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings; the Post Office has a continued presence in the community of Roffey, bringing people to a bustling parade of local shops and boosting the local economy.

This seemed to be a real family affair, with Sharon’s family getting stuck in and offering support – in fact all the team, family or otherwise, seemed close-knit and dedicated.

All in all, I’m sure the new Roffey Post Office will come to be at the heart of the community and I wish Sharon, her team, her family and her customers all the best.

On to another very community-focused issue: the Horsham Cycle Challenge started on Monday and runs until the 21st.

I was recently contacted by organiser of the challenge, Sharon Frankland and I’m really pleased to be able to help spread the word.

In a nutshell, the competition is all about encouraging people to have a go at cycling. All Horsham organisations can sign up and cyclists are encouraged to log their efforts (in miles!) on a website. Businesses, schools and charities will compete to see which accrues the most miles.

There’s a lot to inspire people – anyone who manages to get someone who hasn’t cycled for twelve months on a bike automatically wins a ticket to the Capitol cinema and there are other prizes up for the winning.

Local businesses have been very generous in donating top-notch prizes and lots of local organisations have signed up including schools, estate agencies, the RSPCA, Novartis and The Piano Centre. Of course they will benefit directly as their workforce become fitter and healthier as their passion for cycling increases!

As Sharon reminded me, Horsham is a great place to cycle and as a keen, if somewhat infrequent, cyclist, I’d encourage anyone whose interest has been piqued to have a look at: lovetoride.net/horsham.