Soil Mound On Martinique Way

Residents from Columbus Point have contacted Kathy Ballard. They're worried about the large soil mound on Martinique Way near the Martello Tower. They complain that it spoils the view and that there are rats living in it which present a hazard.

Eastbourne Borough Council officers and councillors are working with the owner of the site to enable some landscaping to go ahead. An ecology report is required because the soil mound has been there for so long - but subject to that we hope that progress will be made to resolve this situation as soon as possible.


Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 6-Dec-20

Yet again this year Christmas has crept up on me far too fast.  In October I was telling myself that I had plenty of time to prepare and suddenly last weekend, I was hit by the realisation that there was less than three weeks to go.  That was my cue for some frantic activity: the annual trip to the loft to retrieve lights and decorations; the writing of Christmas cards; thinking about making the Christmas cake (well I still have a bit of time left, don’t I?), the buying of presents and deciding what food we will need.  Of course, Christmas will be a bit different this year.  Normally we have a large family gathering but through a series of calls and discussions, we have decided to postpone our usual celebrations in the hope that the vaccination programme will be successful and that we can meet-up for a belated Christmas in the spring.  So, time to scale down the usual food order and store away some crackers for use in a few months’ time.

Whilst the number of Covid-19 cases in Eastbourne is less than half the national average, this virus can spread extremely quickly and it is important that we do not allow ourselves to ‘throw caution to the wind’ over the holiday period.  Viewing scenes from London it is clear that many people are totally ignoring Social Distancing regulations and many have abandoned the use of face masks.  My fear is that this will lead to yet another spike in the rate of infections and many more avoidable deaths. 

I have been asked many questions about the vaccination programme.  People want to know how it will operate; where they will have to go to be vaccinated and which groups will be vaccinated first.  I have asked these questions myself and the answers I have received are that these details are being worked on.  Conducting this programme is going to be a herculean task and the call has gone out for vaccinators and trainee vaccinators in Sussex.  If you are interested you can find the details at www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/work-with-us/covid19vaccine.htm

With Christmas Day now just two weeks away, I wish you well with your Christmas preparations.  Things will feel very different this year.  Many more people than usual are likely to be feeling lonely, especially elderly people who live alone and have been isolating to avoid the risk of infection.  If you know someone like this, please give them a call and let them know that you are thinking of them. Hopefully we all have better days ahead.

Stay safe!

David Tutt


Tories Vote to Close NHS Walk-in Centre

Conservative County Councillors led by Eastbourne's former Conservative Mayor Colin Belsey recently voted to approve the closure of the popular NHS GP Walk-In Centre at Eastbourne station.

The Walk-In centre has over 3,400 registered patients on its books and comes at a time when GP surgeries are reeling from Covid-19. Your Liberal Democrats led opposition to the proposals but the Conservatives on the County committee voted for closure. Ignoring hundreds of objections from local residents, the Conservatives at County decided to rely instead on the over-stretched 111 phoneline, and a once a week, limited-hour, drop-in service.

The Lighthouse and Grove Road surgeries are under ever increasing pressure, and with the Bolton Road surgery relocating to Old Town early next year, where will these 3,400 registered patients go?

Peter Diplock said “This is a real kick in the teeth for residents in and around Lower Meads and the town centre. So many people rely on these services. At the end of the day, Conservative Councillors have voted to close the Walk-In Centre, undercutting what is in the best interests of the people of Eastbourne, and disregarding the vast number of people who raised objections. It's time for change at the County Council.”


County Grinch in Partial U-turn

In part acknowledging that they made the wrong decision earlier this year, Conservative-run East Sussex County Council have temporarily suspended on street parking charges in the town centre after 4pm Thursday to Saturday in the run-up to Christmas.

County Conservatives imposed steep increases in both residents parking permits and on-street parking fees earlier this year. After considerable protest from residents, local businesses and your local Lib Dems, the Conservatives at County seem to have realised that imposing steep increases in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic might not have been the best idea.

Although the fee suspension is only temporary in the run up to Christmas, Cllr Diplock said “Although not the complete u-turn we hoped for, we welcome the County decision as part of a concerted effort to boost local business at a crucial time of year.”


Councillor Peter Diplock and Lib Dems Propose Carer Revolution

Most of us know someone who is a carer. Carers UK estimate there are more than 11,000 unpaid carers in Eastbourne, and in Meads alone that’s likely to be over 1,000 people, families and friends directly affected.

Cllr Diplock recently presented a motion to the Borough Council thanking carers, paid and unpaid, for the incredible work they do, and supporting efforts to extend working flexibility to carers, allowing them to balance their employment with their caring responsibilities.

Here in Meads and across the county, the Lib Dems have a five-point plan for carers. We would encourage employers to make sensible changes to help carers combine work with caring responsibilities; boost Carers Allowance to £75 a week; raise the amount a carer can earn before losing out on other support; give young carers free travel on all public transport; and make caring a protected characteristic in the Equality Act - securing equal rights and protections for carers in the workplace and beyond.

Peter recently hosted a virtual coffee morning for Carers Rights Day, and is working with local employers, Carers Groups and the Borough Council, to improve training opportunities and increase awareness and understanding of the unique pressures faced by carers.


County Conservatives Block Ethical Care Charter

Conservatives at the County Council refused to support a request asking them to sign up to the UNISON Ethical Care Charter as soon as possible.

Signing the Charter would mean an end to 15 minute appointments; ensuring wherever possible vulnerable residents are routinely visited by the same carer; and that carers are paid for their travel time between appointments. It establishes improved standards for safety, quality and dignity of care.

A cross-party approach made by Liberal Democrat and Labour County Councillors pointed to the huge contribution made by carers during the Covid-19 pandemic and argued that it was high time care-workers were properly rewarded. This was rejected by the Conservatives.

Peter Diplock said “Care visits should be scheduled so as not to rush client or the carer, and 15-minute appointments should not be used. Anyone who’s received these 15-minute appointments will tell you it risks undermining the dignity of clients, and carers feel they can’t do a proper job in such a short timescale. There is no reason why the County Council should not sign up to this Ethical Charter as many other local authorities have done. It would give a strong message to our carers that we recognise the value of the work they are doing. I’m really disappointed that Conservative Councillors didn’t support this.”

Since it was launched in 2013, 46 councils responsible for social care have signed the Charter.


More Pothole and Pavement Success

Potentially dangerous trip-hazard pavements and large road potholes have been repaired following reports by your Meads Lib Dems. The County Council have responsibility for the quality of pavements and roads, and it can often be an uphill task getting them to make the necessary repairs, particularly to pavements. This damage in Lower Meads was reported by Peter Diplock and subsequently made safe. Peter said “Having spoken recently to two residents who have fallen on uneven pavements, the effects are awful. I’m busy out and about reporting these trip-hazards, and will keep working on the County Council to get them sorted.”


14,000 New Trees for Eastbourne!

The Borough Council’s commitment to Carbon Neutral 2030 has led to some impressive collaborative working.

The Borough in partnership with residents and the Eastbourne Eco-Action Network (EEAN), has been planting the first of some 14,000 new trees in Eastbourne. Using land owned by the council, and bids for funding led by the EEAN with council advice, these new planting schemes will help make a big step towards an ever greener town with better air quality for all.

Peter Diplock (pictured alongside other volunteers out planting on a cold and windy day!) said “This kind of partnership working is fantastic, and achieves so much for our town.”


Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 6-Dec-20

Yet again this year Christmas has crept up on me far too fast.  In October I was telling myself that I had plenty of time to prepare and suddenly last weekend, I was hit by the realisation that there was less than three weeks to go.  That was my cue for some frantic activity: the annual trip to the loft to retrieve lights and decorations; the writing of Christmas cards; thinking about making the Christmas cake (well I still have a bit of time left, don’t I?), the buying of presents and deciding what food we will need.  Of course, Christmas will be a bit different this year.  Normally we have a large family gathering but through a series of calls and discussions, we have decided to postpone our usual celebrations in the hope that the vaccination programme will be successful and that we can meet-up for a belated Christmas in the spring.  So, time to scale down the usual food order and store away some crackers for use in a few months’ time.

Whilst the number of Covid-19 cases in Eastbourne is less than half the national average, this virus can spread extremely quickly and it is important that we do not allow ourselves to ‘throw caution to the wind’ over the holiday period.  Viewing scenes from London it is clear that many people are totally ignoring Social Distancing regulations and many have abandoned the use of face masks.  My fear is that this will lead to yet another spike in the rate of infections and many more avoidable deaths. 

I have been asked many questions about the vaccination programme.  People want to know how it will operate; where they will have to go to be vaccinated and which groups will be vaccinated first.  I have asked these questions myself and the answers I have received are that these details are being worked on.  Conducting this programme is going to be a herculean task and the call has gone out for vaccinators and trainee vaccinators in Sussex.  If you are interested you can find the details at www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/work-with-us/covid19vaccine.htm

With Christmas Day now just two weeks away, I wish you well with your Christmas preparations.  Things will feel very different this year.  Many more people than usual are likely to be feeling lonely, especially elderly people who live alone and have been isolating to avoid the risk of infection.  If you know someone like this, please give them a call and let them know that you are thinking of them. Hopefully we all have better days ahead.

Stay safe!

David Tutt


Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 30-Nov-20

The Government announcement last week has placed Eastbourne, together with the rest of East Sussex into Tier 2, for Covid-19 restriction purposes. With only three areas of the country categorised as tier 1, there is clearly much turmoil in Parliament with many Conservative M.P.’s opposing the policies of their own Government.  The arguments surround  balancing health issues with those of the economy.  Personally, I have always believed that the actions taken to guard against the spread of Covid should be led by scientific evidence and this supports strict controls.  These will have an impact upon many businesses, especially in an area like Eastbourne which is based so heavily on the hospitality industry. So, hand in hand with the controls, I believe that greater Government support is needed for those businesses suffering as a result of these measures.

The rules surrounding Covid have been changing frequently and it seems likely that they may change again in the near future.  Many people have asked me about what they can and can’t do, both now and over Christmas.  I have read the Government guidelines and find some of them to be ambiguous, greater clarity is required if, the Government expects people to abide by them.

This week saw the launch of the Christmas Cracker raffle organised by the BID (Business Improvement District) team. They have collected over £2500 worth of prizes which one lucky person will win on Christmas Eve.  These include tickets to the pre-Wimbledon tennis at Devonshire Park, and £300 of shopping vouchers.  You can’t buy tickets for this raffle, but you can enter by simply spending £40 in our town centre and sending a copy of your receipt to christmas@youreastbournebid.com For those who prefer not to use the internet to do this, you can also take a copy of your receipts to the Welcome building or the Enterprise Shopping Centre.  Full details are available at www.eastbourneChristmas.com  This is a great way to support the town centre.  Simply eat or shop there and send in those receipts.

Another way to support local businesses, without even leaving home is to shop on the internet at 1EBN there are already four great local shops on this site.  You can purchase: clothes; flowers; soap; candles; bread and cakes.  With one simply checkout, the goods are delivered to your home the following day.  I have bought, Bread, Cinnamon Buns and Cookies and can tell you that they are great.

Stay safe!

David Tutt


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