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."

Lib Dems launch initiative to support the elderly during coronavirus

Eastbourne’s Liberal Democrats have launched a new drive, #EBtogether, supporting thousands of vulnerable people across the town through the coronavirus crisis.

#EBtogether’s flagship initiative is the Community Call Centre, which provides telephone support to the elderly, who have been required to self-isolate for 12 weeks to ‘shield’ themselves from the global pandemic.

#EBtogether’s Community Call Centre callers check-in on residents aged 70 and above and signpost them to practical support offered by Eastbourne Borough Council and local voluntary groups, including grocery shopping and prescription pick-up services. The Community Call Centre is operated remotely by the party’s councillors and volunteers.

We've smashed through our target of reaching 1,000 elderly residents across the town, and are now working to provide support to 5,000.

Josh Babarinde, #EBtogether Co-ordinator, said: “With necessary self-isolation measures stepping up, many elderly people without family or internet access find themselves cut off from the support they need. We want every resident of Eastbourne to know that they are not alone. Our Community Call Centre goes back to basics. It connects them with the help they need by telephone.”

The group is appealing to other political parties to replicate #EBtogether’s Community Call Centre model.

Babarinde continued: “There are many more vulnerable people who we just can’t reach alone. That’s why we’re calling on all the political parties in Eastbourne and Willingdon to join us in repurposing political activists into humanitarian volunteers for our town. We’ve got to get all hands on deck”.

Lib Dem Councillor David Tutt and Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council said: “for anyone reading this who needs help, please contact the government helpline if you’ve received a letter from the NHS stating that you’re eligible. If you haven’t received this letter please call Eastbourne Borough Council on 01323 410000 who will alternatively be able to provide support.”


Stephen Lloyd elected as new Eastbourne and Willingdon Lib Dems Chairman

Stephen Lloyd was this week elected Chairman of the Eastbourne and Willingdon Liberal Democrats.

In a statement, he said he was “delighted” to be chosen for the new role.

“Nothing of course can ever replace the privilege of serving our town as its MP, but I welcome the responsibility of keeping the Liberal Democrat campaign network and influence strong across Eastbourne,” said Stephen.

“Supporting the work of our excellent Lib Dem council is also an important part of the role which I welcome.

“Working so successfully with council Leader, David Tutt, over many years, is a key reason why Eastbourne has successfully bucked the economic trend compared to other seaside towns, and this will continue.”

Eastbourne Borough Council leader said he was “thrilled” Stephen Lloyd had agreed to take the role.

He said, “He is a politician with huge experience. Naturally,, along with many thousands of others, I’d have preferred him still to be the town’s MP, but the energy and expertise he’ll bring to this new role means Eastbourne can continue benefiting from his experience.

“This is good news for us all.”

Councillor Tutt said, “I’d also like to pay tribute to former councillor and Mayor, Mike Thompson, who has come to the end of his term as Party Chair for the fine work he’s done over the last few years.

“He will be supporting Stephen as Vice Chair, which combined with the depth and strength we have running the council means the Liberal Democrats will continue to be a strong and positive force across Eastbourne and beyond.”


Stephen Lloyd says 'thank you' to Eastbourne and Willingdon

Eastbourne’s former MP Stephen Lloyd has written a letter of thanks to his old constituents and said it was a ‘real privilege’ to serve the town.

"As you’ll know by now I lost the election and will no longer be Eastbourne & Willingdon’s MP. This is hugely disappointing for me not least as the BBC constituency poll on Thursday night put me as likely to retain the seat. But twas not to be.

It has been a real privilege serving you all and our lovely, wonderful, kind and community-focussed town as your member of Parliament.

Every minute of every day was a gift you gave me which I will cherish the memory of for the rest of my life. Thank you.

See you around town my friends.

Regards,

Stephen Lloyd."


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