Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 8-Mar-21

Last Saturday the time arrived for me to go to the Welcome building for my first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, to protect me against Covid-19.  I must say that I was truly impressed.  None of the long queues as I had seen on the television at other locations; just a slick process from being welcomed, through the checks on my name, date of birth etc., and the injection itself which was painless.  From start to finish it took less than 15 minutes, I returned home for lunch and then fell asleep, but this was the only side effect and that could simply have been the result of a busy week.  The thing that surprised me was the feeling of relief I felt afterwards.  This was not due to a fear of the jab, but the feeling that after what has been a long and worrying year, we just might be able to start returning to a life of greater freedom.  I realise of course that the vaccination is not a guarantee against infection and that in any case it will take several weeks for the antibodies to build up.  I also know that more than half the population still need to have their first vaccination, but it provided a sense of hope that at last, we are coming through this.

During the pandemic there are some things such as the vaccination programme which have gone well in the UK and there are others such as the PPE fiasco which have not.  Each of us will draw our own conclusions about the overall performance of the Government during this time, but one thing that nearly everyone agrees on is that we have a tremendous amount to thank our health workers for.  Not just the Doctors and Nurses, but the porters, ancillary staff, and ambulance crews, all of whom put their own lives at risk in order to protect us.  Along with most of the nation I applauded them every Thursday evening during the first lockdown, thankful for their commitment.  I firmly believe that there should be a tangible recognition of the service that they have provided and for that reason I am appalled that they have only received a 1% pay offer.  That is not a reward, it is an insult and I sincerely hope that the Government will reconsider.

Several people have contacted me to ask about the roads and pavements that are being dug up.  There are two companies installing fibre to homes, which should improve the speed of broadband available.  Both companies (City Fibre and Lightning Fibre) are committed to reinstating roads and paths to their former condition and ensuring that people have access to their homes whilst the work takes place.  The lockdowns have demonstrated just how much we now rely on the internet, so this should provide the infrastructure required for a more reliable service.

Stay safe!

David Tutt


Can you donate to my campaign?

For the first time in 20 years, the Lib Dem team in Meads have a real chance of winning in Meads and kicking the Tories out of County Hall!

Peter Diplock, County councillor candidate says, "I’ve been campaigning for almost a year now, have identified hundreds of new Lib Dem voters, and now need your help to beat the Tories in May."

Donate securely here with 'Meads' as reference

£25 will pay for 500 street letters letting voters know what we’ve been active doing;

£50 will pay for a week-long Facebook ad targeting Meads voters;

£100 will pay for 1,500 Focus newsletters.

Peter adds, "My team and I have been working hard, delivering our Focus newsletter, petitions, and other street letters by hand when safe to do so; calling voters over the ‘phone during lockdowns; and continuing to deliver positive change for our community. Winning in Meads and getting the Tories out of County Hall for the first time in more than 20 years would send a very loud message to the Westminster government. Anything you can donate here to help achieve this would be very welcome.

Thanks very much, and here’s to winning this May!"

Peter Diplock


Peter Backs Cllr Jamie Bennett to be Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Councillor Peter Diplock comes out strongly for Jamie's candidacy in the 6th May election.

Peter says: “Over the last ten years police numbers here in Sussex have been cut by 13%, from 3,213 to 2,799 officers. For PCSOs, who deliver much of our community-based policing, it’s even worse. Their numbers have been cut by 27%, from 377 to 275. I am delighted to endorse Jamie Bennett to be the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex. His commitment to getting more police on the street and recognising, even in a lovely area like Meads, that boots on the ground are the best way to reassure law-abiding residents, is most welcome. ”

Councillor Jamie Bennett added, “I want to bring back community policing, get drugs off our streets by cutting county lines and deliver a better deal for Meads residents. We have seen the Police’s share of our Council Tax bills rocket, yet have little to show for our money but rising crime, more drugs and fewer police on our streets. It’s time for a change!”


Hundreds Sign-up For Postal Votes in Meads

Your Lib Dem candidate in May's County Council election, Councillor Peter Diplock, is keen to ensure you secure your vote. Polling stations will be operating on a one-in, one-out basis, so there are likely to be queues.

Peter says, "With all the changes to how we live our lives over the last year, hundreds of Meads residents have decided to sign up for a postal vote. Voting by post is safe, convenient, and given the uncertainty over the arrangements for May’s elections, secures your vote. Whether you decide to vote for me or not, having your say is important, and voting by post helps guarantee that.

Over the last year, my team and I have defended the NHS Walk-In Centre at the station, got many potholes and pavements repaired, opposed the County parking charge increases, and continue to fight for a better deal for our carers.

If you would like to vote by post, you can email the Electoral Services team at the Town Hall via [email protected]; download and complete the form yourself via the https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-post; or via the Lib Dem  website at https://www.libdems.org.uk/postal-vote

The deadline for applications in Eastbourne is 20th April."

 

 


Traffic Calming For Derwent Road

Residents in Derwent Road approached Councillor Peter Diplock recently to ask for help with traffic on their street.

Meads County councillor candidate Peter discovered that HGVs were attempting to deliver to the shops on Meads Street using Derwent Road as a short-cut, even though the road isn’t designed to accommodate vehicles of this size.

Peter said, "Having harried the County Council, I finally received a reply. The Council has conceded that there needs to be an investigation by a Traffic Safety Officer with a view to installing signage preventing HGVs using the road."

Small victories that will hopefully make a big difference to residents!


Nationwide Reopens

County Council election candidate, Cllr Peter Diplock, has prioritised the interests of Meads residents at Nationwide during its recent building works.

Peter said, "the refurbishment to the Nationwide Building Society has been completed with the branch re-opening recently. I met local and regional managers there to see the work, which is very impressive.

The branch had been closed for several months, prior to which I had sought and obtained commitments from managers that vulnerable residents who rely on the branch would be looked after for the duration of the closure. I obtained a sneak-peek shortly before it re-opened, and following requests from me, Nationwide managers have agreed to provide meeting rooms for local community groups free of charge when Covid restrictions ease. Do let me know if your group would be interested!"


Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 1-Mar-21

Last Saturday the time arrived for me to go to the Welcome building for my first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, to protect me against Covid-19.  I must say that I was truly impressed.  None of the long queues as I had seen on the television at other locations; just a slick process from being welcomed, through the checks on my name, date of birth etc., and the injection itself which was painless.  From start to finish it took less than 15 minutes, I returned home for lunch and then fell asleep, but this was the only side effect and that could simply have been the result of a busy week.  The thing that surprised me was the feeling of relief I felt afterwards.  This was not due to a fear of the jab, but the feeling that after what has been a long and worrying year, we just might be able to start returning to a life of greater freedom.  I realise of course that the vaccination is not a guarantee against infection and that in any case it will take several weeks for the antibodies to build up.  I also know that more than half the population still need to have their first vaccination, but it provided a sense of hope that at last, we are coming through this.

During the pandemic there are some things such as the vaccination programme which have gone well in the UK and there are others such as the PPE fiasco which have not.  Each of us will draw our own conclusions about the overall performance of the Government during this time, but one thing that nearly everyone agrees on is that we have a tremendous amount to thank our health workers for.  Not just the Doctors and Nurses, but the porters, ancillary staff, and ambulance crews, all of whom put their own lives at risk in order to protect us.  Along with most of the nation I applauded them every Thursday evening during the first lockdown, thankful for their commitment.  I firmly believe that there should be a tangible recognition of the service that they have provided and for that reason I am appalled that they have only received a 1% pay offer.  That is not a reward, it is an insult and I sincerely hope that the Government will reconsider.

Several people have contacted me to ask about the roads and pavements that are being dug up.  There are two companies installing fibre to homes, which should improve the speed of broadband available.  Both companies (City Fibre and Lightning Fibre) are committed to reinstating roads and paths to their former condition and ensuring that people have access to their homes whilst the work takes place.  The lockdowns have demonstrated just how much we now rely on the internet, so this should provide the infrastructure required for a more reliable service.

Stay safe!

David Tutt


Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 22-Feb-21

The Prime Ministerial broadcast last Monday made it clear that the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions this time around will be a phased and not an overnight approach. With the furlough scheme extended there is some continued support for businesses, which will hopefully help to protect jobs.  The roadmap which he has published has announced the earliest dates by which restrictions will be relaxed, if the rate of infection continues to fall, but he also made it clear that he could not guarantee his plan would not be irreversible.  In his words “the intention is that it should be”.  Hotels and indoor hospitality will not reopen before the middle of May and even then limits will remain on the number of people who can meet up.  This will present a continued challenge to our local economy which as a coastal town, relies so heavily on this sector.

Given the current situation, Eastbourne Council have been exploring what additional support can be given to small businesses, within the guidelines of the Government “Additional Restrictions Grant” (ARG).  This was designed primarily to support businesses that were mandated to close but were not eligible for grants under former schemes.  This review has identified an opportunity to provide small grant support for taxi drivers and private hire businesses.  it will also be possible to provide payments to micro, small and medium sized businesses that are still trading but have suffered a significant downturn in income, as well as those who were mandated to close by Government. 

As we begin to emerge from the lockdown, it is vitally important that we continue to assist businesses through the recovery who may have had to or will need to adapt or re-purpose to ensure survival.  A business adaptation grant will be available for businesses in the form of capital funding, to claim for expenses such as training or upskilling new staff, expansion of an existing business or costs associated with adaptation as a result of the pandemic e.g. diversification into online retail.  Details of these schemes will appear shortly on the Council website.  The impact of the pandemic has in both health and financial terms been devastating, but I remain optimistic that we can and will recover from it.

Stay safe!

David Tutt


Josh Babarinde OBE announced as Lib Dem candidate for Hampden Park by-election

The Eastbourne Liberal Democrats have announced Josh Babarinde OBE as their candidate for the Hampden Park by-election for Eastbourne Borough Council on May 6th 2021.

The by-election was triggered after Liberal Democrat Dean Sabri, who was first elected as a Borough councillor for the ward in 2019, stood down in January due to new work commitments.

Community campaigner Josh Babarinde OBE, who was born and bred in Hampden Park, built a career as a social entrepreneur working with ex-offenders and is on a mission to give back as a councillor.

Since the first lockdown, Josh has led the award-winning #EBtogether campaign, a volunteer effort to telephone over 5,000 shielding residents across Eastbourne and Willingdon to connect them with local support.

Local resident Josh also led a town-wide drive to source and donate video phones to care homes so that their residents could still keep in touch with their families when visits weren’t allowed.

He has also qualified as a COVID-19 vaccinator and is preparing to be deployed to a local vaccination centre to give jabs to those next on the list.

In the Queens 2020 Birthday Honours, Josh was made an OBE for services to criminal justice, social enterprise and the economy.

Josh said: “It’s an honour to be standing for Eastbourne Borough Council in my home patch.

“If elected, I’ll be taking my ‘roll up your sleeves and get stuck in’ attitude to the Council to help lead Hampden Park’s fight against COVID-19, and our community’s recovery beyond the pandemic.”

Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt said:

“I’m delighted that Josh is our candidate in the Hampden Park by-election on May 6th. With such a strong record of giving back to our town, he is exactly the sort of advocate who will do local residents proud.”


Financing Eastbourne's Recovery

Cllr David Tutt, Leader of the Council and Cllr Stephen Holt, Deputy Leader of the Council and Finance Portfolio Holder

 

Eastbourne Borough Council yesterday (Wednesday 24th February) passed the annual budget. 

Speaking, Deputy Leader of the Council and Finance Portfolio Holder Cllr Stephen Holt said, “Eastbourne Borough Council has four main income streams: Business rates, council tax, locally raised income such as our theatres and conference facilities and investments. As a result of COVID we faced the appalling loss of 60% of our income – almost overnight. This would be unsustainable for any Council.”

He went on to say: “With the costs of the pandemic to the national government expected to be in the region of £394 billion – the Government is also having to take out loans, consider its spending plans and I am sure – make cuts.

“This budget is laying the basis for managing uncertainties within the capitalisation limits set, as well as maintaining our investment in new homes for local families, such as at Victoria Mansions and Bedfordwell Road. In doing so, as well as addressing our housing needs, we are also contributing towards the creation of job and opportunities for residents and Eastbourne’s business community.  We will also continue to support green initiatives and work to ensure this Council fulfils the Carbon neutral pledge by 2030.”

“As we come out of the pandemic we will seek new tourism opportunities, investing in items like the world’s busiest bandstand and seafront lighting to ensure that Eastbourne remains a safe, attractive place to visit, live, work and play in!”

"This authority is making significant progress in identifying savings and efficiencies whilst helping restart our local economy. Whilst tough decisions will need to be made, I will always ensure that the needs of our residents come first.” 

Leader of the Council, Cllr David Tutt stated, “It is extremely disappointing that our Conservative opposition have used this important budget to play party politics. Our capitalisation loan from the Government has been offered following considerable scrutiny and analysis by Government appointed assessors and has been offered on the same basis as has been made to Conservative Councils who, like Eastbourne, have experienced an unavoidable loss of income due to Covid. Until now I have been proud of the way that all local politicians have put party politics aside and concentrated on doing what needs to be done to support and protect our local community during this pandemic.  I hope that now the budget meeting is over everyone will return to that way of working.

Eastbourne has suffered from successive budget cuts in Government funding from a position in 2010 where we received a grant of approx. £9m, until now, where there is no recurring revenue support grant.  

We know that there are still some councils who are continuing with their discussions as their requests were submitted later.  We also know that so far, capitalisation for 6 councils have been agreed, with 4 so far accepting the conditions. We agree with others and suspect we are the tip of the iceberg with more to follow.

The opposition should stop playing party politics with our recovery.”

 


Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.