Weekly coronavirus update from David Tutt - w/c 4.5.20

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The May Day Bank Holiday, which is traditionally held on the first Monday in May, was moved to Friday 8th May this year in order to form part of the 75th anniversary of VE Day commemorations.  That event will however inevitably take place in a different atmosphere, for as we reflect on the horrors of war and how different the life would be had Hitler prevailed, the whole world is now untied against a different type of enemy, a pernicious virus which has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

In this strange spring, we all look forward to a time when we can once again mix freely, without the risk of infection and when life can regain some form of normality.  In reality for this to happen we are reliant upon scientists finding a vaccine which will protect us against Covid-19.  This will be at least many months away and until then the best we can hope for is a gradual relaxation of the lockdown rules when the number of newly recorded cases starts to fall, but even then, our freedom is likely to come with strict rules on social distancing.

In the meantime, there are those whose aim is to help others who are finding that it is even tougher to do so.  One of these is Foodbank.  In recent years a lifeline to so many, foodbanks, which are charities, are facing unprecedented demand during the current pandemic.  At the same time the number of donations of food is down, possibly because we are visiting supermarkets less frequently.  If you would like to help ensure that they can continue to help those in need you can make a donation at http://eastbournefoodbank.charitycheckout.co.uk/Donate#!/ 

Schools would normally have a short break in May but for most children it has been a long time since they were last at school.  Whilst this can feel like an extended holiday, it is of course possible to study on-line, but only if you have access to IT equipment which enables this.  There are many children who either do not have a PC at home or where the one that is there, is needed by their parents who are now working from home.  I hope that the Children’s Services Department of the County Council will find a way to help them and avoid the creation of two-tier education for those in lockdown.

My best wishes - Stay safe.

 

David Tutt

 

 


Councillors urge road safety action

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Cllrs Alan Shuttleworth and Candy Vaughan in Friday Street

Local Liberal Democrat councillors are urging East Sussex County Council to keep our roads safe.

Work on the installation of a new crossing in Friday Street had started but was halted due to the coronavirus crisis.

Langney Councillor Alan Shuttleworth who led the new crossing campaign commented: “This is a really dangerous road to cross. It will be a relief to get the job completed.”

A traffic calming scheme for Sevenoaks Road has also been put on hold.


Weekly coronavirus update from David Tutt - w/c 27.4.20

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As we enter another week of lockdown it is important to ignore thoughts of going to the beach or countryside to enjoy the sun and remember why we are doing this. Covid-19 is a wicked virus which is easily transmitted from person to person and whilst thankfully the social isolation that has been imposed has stemmed the rate of increase, it is still causing between 500-900 deaths a day here in the UK. So, staying in is not only protecting our own lives but also reducing the pressure of health workers who are putting their own lives at risk as they care for those who have been infected.

On a Thursday evening we rightly applaud our NHS workers for all that they are doing at this time of crisis. To be part of the applause, together with so many others who come out of their homes, does I am sure give us all a lift as it brings the community together. There are so many people who we need to thank, in addition to NHS staff: all care workers; refuse collectors; food producers; shop workers (including those who deliver groceries); volunteers and so many more.

The economic impact of the lockdown will be immense. Whilst the Government has acted quickly to devise schemes to assist those who are suffering loss of trade/income (more than £13m was paid out to businesses in Eastbourne in a week), there are gaps in these schemes which leave some individuals and businesses unprotected. It is probable that many businesses will not reopen. Large organisations like Cath Kidston will not reopen their stores and many small businesses will struggle to do so. Locally, a number of small businesses which supply food are not only still open but some are also providing a delivery service.  Details of these can be found on the internet at eatlocal.info and selecting the Eastbourne area. Please do your best to support them.

Stay safe – my best wishes,

David Tutt


Key worker and NHS freebies and discounts

NHS staff and key workers, this is a message for you:

Like the rest of the country, we're in awe of the hard work you're doing to save lives and keep our country moving. Your bravery and commitment is nothing short of inspiring.

We've compiled a list of organisations - in Eastbourne and beyond - that are offering freebies and discounts to heroes like you. We hope that these offers will go a little way in helping make things a tiny bit easier for you at this difficult time, and to say thank you for all the sacrifices you are making for us.

Discounts and freebies as at 24/4/20

Takeaways

  • Pomodoro e Mozzerela (Town Centre) – 10% off takeaways for NHS staff, police and firefighters. 01323 733800.
  • Tally Ho (Old Town) – Free takeaway meal for carers and their families in Old Town every Thursday. Get in touch via their Facebook.
  • Ganges (Sovereign Harbour) – 10% off food bill for NHS workers in Eastbourne.
  • Just Eat - 25% off takeaway food for NHS staff until 26th April.

Groceries and food supplies

  • Morrisons10% off for NHS staff until 12th July. 
  • WHSmith20% off food and drinks in all hospital stores for all NHS staff.
  • Soulful Food - £10 off cases of 12 chilled vegan ready meals to NHS staff. Get your discount code by emailing hello@soulfulfood.com from your NHS email account.
  • Vibrant Vegan - £15 off cases of 6 frozen vegan ready meals to NHS staff. Get your discount code by emailing nhshero@vibrantvegan.co.uk from your NHS email account.
  • Vita CocoFree case of coconut water for anyone unable to work from home. End them an Instagram message to apply.

Transport

  • 720 Taxis20% off for NHS staff and care workers.
  • Eastbourne Motoring Centre – Assorted discounts for emergency services staff.
  • Stagecoach Buses - Free bus travel for NHS staff.
  • NCP ParkingFree parking for NHS staff in NCP car parks. Use code NHSFREE, which is automatically applied when you book through the website ncp.cp.uk.
  • Halfords - Free 10 point car check, including top-ups of tyre inflation, screen wash and checks on oil levels, headlights and brake lights.
  • AA - Free breakdown cover for NHS staff (membership not required).
  • Kwik Fit - 10% off tyres, services and batteries on online orders for NHS staff until the 30th of June 2020.

Temporary accommodation

  • Airbnb - Free local place to stay for frontline NHS staff. Airbnb will aim to connect you with free local accommodation if you’re working more than 30 minutes away from your home, or need to isolate yourself from people who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 in your household.

Mental wellbeing

  • HeadspaceFree access to everyone. Headspace is a popular mindfulness and meditation app. Support with meditation, sleep and more.
  • WellDoingFree online therapy for NHS workers.
  • Heather Wellbeing – Free online therapy for NHS practitioners.
  • UnmindFree access to mental health and wellbeing tools for NHS workers. Support with areas such lack of sleep, coping with parenting and supporting others.

Physical health and beauty

  • MoveGB - Free online fitness classes for NHS staff.
  • Gillette - Free razor. Meant for frontline NHS staff who need to shave to ensure that tight-fitting face masks and respirators fit correctly.

Communications

  • O2 - 25% off on O2 Perks and Airtime Plans.
  • VodafoneFree unlimited mobile data for NHS staff for 30 days.
  • EEFree unlimited data until 9 October for EE pay monthly mobile plan customers who are NHS staff.
  • Microsoft TeamsFree use of secure video chat platform for key workers.

Clothing

  • Missguided40% off online on Health Service Discounts or with a Blue Lights Card.
  • All Ironed Out 30% off on-demand ironing service for NHS staff Free collection & delivery.
  • Kurt Geiger - 50% off for a year when stores re-open.
  • Seraphine - 30% off maternity clothing online for NHS workers.

Surprises and treats

  • Inspired by Brufords12% off for NHS workers on selected products.
  • Hotel Chocolat50% off online order for NHS workers of Blue Light Card holders until 30th April.
  • Bloom and Wild40% off flowers delivery for NHS, social care, emergency services and armed forces workers.

Know of any others? Please contact us on office@eastbournelibdems.org.uk to let us know. Thank you!

 


Local businesses delivering supplies

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In Eastbourne, Willingdon and our surrounding community, there are many amazing local businesses who have stepped up to deliver supplies to people locally. A big thank you to them for doing everything they can to keep us fed and looked after.

Below is a growing directory of businesses delivering supplies, submitted to us to many across our community. If you know of any businesses or services that aren't on this list, please contact us on office@eastbournelibdems.org.uk and we will add them.

Bread, cakes and baked goods

Butchers

Eggs and dairy

Fish

Fruit and veg

Treats

Food boxes and parcels

  • New Wilmington Hotel (Compton Street) – Emergency home supplies, including milk, meat, pasta, toilet paper, sugar, tea, fruit and veg. 01323 721219
  • Devonshire General Stores (Carlisle Road) – Delicatessen and grocer, wine, beer and essentials. devonshiregeneralstores@gmail.com

Takeaway meals

Formula milk

Newspapers

Pet supplies

Beer, wines and spirits

Know of any others? Please contact us on office@eastbournelibdems.org.uk to let us know. Thank you!


Weekly coronavirus update from David Tutt - w/c 20.4.20

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I, like many of you, am entering my fourth week of working from home and am truly grateful to everyone who is abiding by the lockdown, as this is the best way to reduce the spread of CV-19.

This is a dangerous virus and my thoughts are with everyone who is suffering from it or has lost a loved one as a result of it.

It is often said that we are at our best when under pressure and this is clearly true at present.

I have been so impressed by the way that so many are selflessly working to protect others.

There are so many who deserve our gratitude. The emergency services; especially those working for the NHS and looking after those in care homes and those who support the elderly and vulnerable in their own homes.

I am concerned to hear that in some places there has been shortage of PPE for these essential workers. It must be a priority to ensure that this issue is resolved.

As a council we are doing all that we can to protect and support our community at this difficult time.

We have established a CV-19 Helpline on 01323 679722; our finance team has pulled out all of the stops to ensure that government money to support local businesses has been passed to them as quickly as possible and that support is there for those struggling to pay council tax.

Many council staff are away from their normal duties and are doing such things as making up food parcels to go out to those in need and our refuse collectors have been doing an amazing job emptying our refuse, recycling and green waste bins. I would like to thank them all.

Every Wednesday morning, I chair a video conference which is attended by statutory business and voluntary organisations, the media and Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell. This group considers the key issues related to the CV-19 outbreak and ensure that they are addressed.

Many people locally have volunteered their help and this is being coordinated by 3VA. If you have volunteered to help but not been contacted yet, please bear with us. 3VA is marrying up volunteers with local groups and we

believe that volunteers will be needed for some time to come.

Finally, I would like to mention the appeal launched last week by our mayor Steve Wallis. Named Kick-out Covid, it aims to raise money to support efforts to care for the elderly and vulnerable and help local groups working to provide PPE locally.

If you are able to make a donation this can be done at www.gofundme.com/f/kickout-covid-eastbourne

Thank you.


Eastbourne Mayor launches fundraiser to help town fight back against pandemic

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Eastbourne’s Mayor, Councillor Steve Wallis, has launched an appeal to support the town’s fight back against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 'Kick-out Covid' aims raise funds to support the council’s ground-breaking efforts to care for the vulnerable and elderly, and allocate small grants to entrepreneurs looking to help the Government’s call for help with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

The Mayor, Council Leader and MP are putting politics firmly to one side to help get the fund up and running. They have each made a donation and are now encouraging others to dig deep, if they are in a financial position to do so.

Mayor Steve Wallis praised key workers, the council, volunteers, local businesses and the wider community for coming together in the town’s hour of need. He said: “While this is a global issue, we are seeing the very real consequences on a daily basis in our own town. We must support the fight at a local level and identify ways we can make a difference.”

Please donate here if you have the means to do so. It will make a huge difference: https://www.gofundme.com/f/kickout-covid-eastbourne?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet


Millions of pounds handed out to struggling businesses in Eastbourne

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From Eastbourne Herald:

"Some 814 businesses registered for a business grant in the first few days since the scheme went live and £10.3m released in grants.

The Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund was announced by the government in response to the acute challenges being faced by businesses at this time.

Eligible businesses will receive £10,000 or £25,000 depending on various criteria.

The initiative went live last Thursday (April 9).
Chamber of Commerce boss Christina Ewbank thanked Eastbourne council staff.

She said, “Unlike other councils which have employed systems of payment that are more reliant on manual checking, Eastbourne and Lewes have an automated process of validation so that eligible businesses will receive what they are due more quickly.

“I’d like to thank council leader David Tutt and the council teams for working such long hours to put everything in place.

“Hundreds of businesses in our town will receive millions of pounds this week and that is great news at a time when we are still in lockdown and could be for several weeks to come.”

Businesses can visit the council website where they can register on a dedicated portal - www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/businessgrants

When the required information is uploaded, an automated system validates the details and payments to the businesses will soon follow.

David Tutt said, “Considering the challenges our officers had to overcome, not least the continual government changes in the parameters for making these payments, they have worked miracles to get this system in place so soon.

“For employers and their employees this financial support is critically important and I’m delighted it is now available.”

For more information on business support during the coronavirus crisis visit www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk

Updates and news are also being posted on Twitter - @LewesDC and @EastbourneBC"


Council opens community hub to help the vulnerable through coronavirus

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From Eastbourne Herald:

"Council staff were mobilised and redeployed from their normal day-to-day duties to ensure the hub was quickly up to full strength and able to help the maximum number of residents experiencing financial hardship or vulnerability.

From staff in council run theatres sorting food parcels to tourist information advisers working on a new Covid-19 email and telephone support line, the two councils say officers are busy around the clock helping local communities through the emergency.

The teams handling essential food supplies will soon reach 10,000 parcels packed, with thousands delivered to foodbanks for those in severe financial hardship and the most vulnerable, and more than 1,000 Covid-19 calls and emails answered.

To ensure the people who are most vulnerable get the help they need, the council is reminding residents who have the support of family and friends for food, shopping and medicines, or who can arrange their own food deliveries in other ways to not contact them at this time.

Eastbourne council leader David Tutt said, “I want to thank our staff for their incredible efforts at a time of national crisis. In just nine working days the achievements have been extraordinary and residents who don’t have anyone else to rely on are getting the support they desperately need.

“I must also thank people who are looking after friends and family at this time, by doing so they are helping the council to focus on our most vulnerable who don’t have anyone.”

The council’s customer contact advisers will be answering Covid-19 calls and emails between 10am and 4pm on Good Friday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Neighbourhood First officers are also be on standby to deliver emergency food parcels.

Councillor Tutt said, “I would also like to pay tribute to our voluntary sector, in particular Adam Chugg and his team at 3VA, who are doing a superb job coordinating all the fantastic people who have volunteered in Eastbourne.”


Town Hall turns blue to thank NHS and frontline staff

From Eastbourne Herald:

"People taking their daily exercise in the area will notice Eastbourne Town Hall’s clock lit up blue at night as a tribute to keyworkers who continue to courageously look after the town’s residents during the pandemic.

Eastbourne council leader David Tutt said today, “I’m sure everyone has been deeply moved by the dedication and commitment of the NHS and thousands of keyworkers in our town who are working so hard to protect our commuunity.

“Whilst we cannot possibly thank them enough for what they are doing, this gesture is an acknowledgement of their work and a small token of appreciation for their efforts.”

The Town Hall joins various other buildings across the country, such as the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Liver Building in Liverpool, which have been illuminated in a simultaneous display of gratitude for the NHS and keyworkers."

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