Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 24-Nov-20

Covid-19 cases have continued to rise again this week with the number in Eastbourne being 44 per 100,000 of the population, roughly in line with the average for East Sussex.  Mercifully, this remains well below the average for England at 192 and as a result we continue to enjoy greater freedoms than many other areas.  It is important for our health and economy that we do not become complacent and remember the mantra of ‘hands, face, space’ in all that we do.  I know that the rules have changed many times and I was asked this week about family gatherings.  The current rule is that whether family or not, groups meeting up from different households indoors or out, should not exceed 6 people.

The team at the Council run Environmental Services Company (SEESL) have done a fantastic job keeping our bins empty during the pandemic and deserve our thanks for all of their hard work.  They also do their best to keep our streets clean, but this can be a hard task as some people irresponsibly drop their litter.  I remember when I was young the item I was most likely to see discarded were cigarette ends, then when the number of smokers reduced, it became plastic carrier bags, the introduction of a charge at supermarkets tackled this.  Now, it appears to be disposable face masks.  Please think of others when your mask reaches the end of its useful life and pop it in a bin instead of dropping it on the pavement for someone else to clear up.  If there is a street that you believe needs to be swept, this can be reported either via the Council website or by using the smartphone ‘report it’ app.

We are now entering the final week of ‘Beat the Street’, which ends on 4 November.  This has been a huge success and congratulations go to all involved in making this possible, especially Dr William Bird at Intelligent Health, who organised the event.  As it comes to a close, I have no doubt that it will have left many (myself included) much fitter.  The challenge now is to maintain this level of exercise!

Stay safe!

David Tutt


Time For Government to Honour Covid-19 Promises of Financial Support

In the early days of Covid 19 the government promised to reimburse the costs Councils incurred in supporting local residents, and the impact that the collapse of local economies would cause to Council coffers.

The cost to Eastbourne Borough Council is an estimated £30 million budget gap over the next 4 years.

Covid 19 has had, and continues to have, a severe impact on income the Council would normally receive from the Theatres, Conferences and other tourism related activities.

Like most Councils, Eastbourne Borough Council still awaits information from Government on how much they will contribute towards their Covid related costs.

Meantime the Borough Council are progressing a wide range of “radical” changes to services and assets in order to address the acute financial challenges posed by the Covid crisis. An independent Report by Grant Thornton Accountants was recently commissioned to look at factors affecting a council’s ability to recover from the pandemic.  The study showed that councils like Eastbourne have been particularly impacted by the high number of businesses, and employment, in risk areas such as Tourism and Hospitality. 

Pat Rodohan says, “The Government must do what they promised to do at the start of the pandemic and contribute to the huge loss of income Eastbourne has experienced and the direct Covid related costs.  As a tourism reliant town, we have been hit harder than most."


East Sussex Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat East Sussex County Councillor John Ungar, Opposition Lead Member for Adult Social Care, has put forward a Notice of Motion asking the County Council to call on Her Majesty's Government to publish its White Paper on the re-organisation of Social Care. This Notice of Motion is supported by County Councillor David Tutt, Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition.

At a Lead Member meeting, the Conservative Lead Member for Adult Social Care decided not to support the Notice of Motion calling on Her Majesty's Government to publish its White Paper on the future of Adult Social Care. He did not put forward a strong reason as to why the County Council would not support the Notice of Motion. The Motion now goes to full County Council where we will do our best to persuade the whole council to support this most reasonable motion.

John Ungar said, "It is a pity that, once again, East Sussex County Council Conservatives have refused to work with Liberal Democrat County Councillors to improve services to the people of East Sussex. There are many families in East Sussex who don't know what is expected of them when funding the care of their relatives. Many see their life savings disappear."

County Councillor David Tutt said, "Boris Johnson, when he was first elected as Prime Minister, he promised to fix this problem. As is typical with this government, we are yet to see any action."


Combatting Anti-social Behaviour in Gildredge Park

After the illegal gatherings and parties and other incidences of anti-social behaviour during the summer months, police patrols have been stepped up.  Upperton Councillors met with PCSO Ania Raczynska and accompanied her on one of her regular patrols around the park.  As well as engaging with members of the public enjoying the park, she’s also on the lookout for potential incidences of ASB.

Councillors were reassured that these patrols would be a regular occurrence throughout the year.  However, residents are still encouraged to contact the police in the event of any anti-social behaviour occurring in the park or if the Covid-19 regulations are being broken.


More County Council Cuts – Time for a Change

Upperton Residents will have seen a letter from Keith Glazier, the Conservative Leader of East Sussex County Council assuring us that in these difficult times there will be no new cuts to services in the new Budget cycle.

What he fails to say is that there are £3.25 million of cuts already announced for next year’s Budget including cuts to Childrens' Services, Early Years, Safeguarding and Library Services.

There are also £7.28 million of cuts already planned for future years; add to this a further £2.8m of savings (oops cuts!) which were not achieved.  Pat Rodohan says, “This is a time when we should be adding services - like supporting Youth Employment and Mental Health issues - rather than continuous cutbacks”.

There have been £138 million of cuts to County Council Services during the last 10 years.   For the last 30+ years the Conservatives have run East Sussex County Council.                                           

30 wasted years of residents paying more and getting less.

County Council rates have increased by 24% while average earnings increased by only 13%

Meanwhile we’ve had our libraries, our specialist facilities for older people and amenities for children with learning difficulties all closed or cut.

This cannot be right – it's time for a change


Preserving The Hermitage for Future Generations

The Hermitage is a Georgian “folly” situated in Manor Gardens.  It’s a Grade II listed building and is truly a classic example of Georgian architecture inside and out. 

Originally built at the end of the 18th century, this unique Georgian building, local historians believe, could have actually originally housed a Hermit!  The Hermit would have been supported by the family in the Gildredge Manor located nearby.  The Hermitage is thought to have been built slightly after the Manor House and early images show The Hermitage in open fields, long before Eastbourne was built and the Manor Gardens and Gildredge Park laid out.  Over the intervening years, The Hermitage fell into a state of great disrepair, requiring a full restoration by Eastbourne Borough Council in 1990.  Memorial plaques confirming this can be found by and inside The Hermitage.

Sadly, over recent winters The Hermitage was severely vandalised to the extinct that, if left, its future could have been in jeopardy.

The Friends of Manor Gardens and Gildredge Park with the invaluable support of Upperton Councillors Pat Rodohan and Robin Maxted collaborated with the Council and brought about a refurbishment of the exterior of the building, restoring it to its former glory and preserving it for the future.

Now nearly in perfect original condition, the Friends have taken over the care of this special building from the Council and have many plans to care for and enhance the Hermitage and preserve it for future generations.  Fundraising and other events will be held at The Hermitage by the Friends - Covid allowing - when The Hermitage will be opened to the public.  Follow the Friends on Facebook for more information or contact Annie on  annemggp@outlook.com

Pat Rodohan commented “I would like to thank the Eastbourne Borough Council Heritage Team for the care they took in restoring the exterior of The Hermitage.  I am delighted that The Friends have taken over the care of this special building. I know that they have many plans to enhance and preserve it for future generations, and to open it to the public”.

 

 

 


Congratulations to Local Man Josh Babarinde on his OBE Award

Josh Babarinde has been awarded an OBE in recognition for his social enterprise business, Cracked IT, working with London gang members to help turn their lives around.

Josh led the Award winning #EBtogether Campaign which telephoned over 5000 elderly residents across the town, 500+ in Upperton, during the first Lockdown. The project connected those in need with local support services and volunteer help.

Josh and his firm also launched a scheme to provide free video phones to Eastbourne Care Home Residents so they could stay connected with their families during the lockdown and see their GPs online.

Pat Rodohan says "I've known Josh since he was a bright young Head Boy at Cavendish School.  He continued to return to Eastbourne, supporting Stephen Lloyd’s campaigns.  What’s impressed me about Josh is his commitment to making Eastbourne a better place for all residents, his easy manner and his ability to organise".


Road Closure for World Car Free Day, 22nd September 2020

“I’ve never seen such a wide pavement” – Gildredge House School Pupil

As part of the Eastbourne Walking Festival, and to mark World Car Free Day on 22nd September 2020, a section of Compton Place Road was closed to through traffic between 8am and 5pm.  This was designed to encourage children attending Gildredge House School (and their parents) to walk, scoot or cycle to school and, by closing the part of the road that runs alongside Manor Gardens, to provide a safer, cleaner and secure environment for them to do so.

A steering group was created some months beforehand which comprised local resident Antonia Lucas, Tom Nevill (organiser of Eastbourne Car Free Day) and Cllr Robin Maxted, also a local resident.  The local council were extremely supportive, especially Neil Peters from Neighbourhood First and Peter Martin, acting manager at EBC Events Team.  We would also like to thank the people who volunteered to help on the day.

Cllr Robin Maxted said “It was liberating for children who have to endure the stress of mixing with, and avoiding, heavy traffic along this potentially dangerous road on a daily basis.  The happiness, relief and newly-found security felt by the children was palpable, as some sang and danced down the middle of the road to school”.  Sounds of enjoyment were mixed with some memorable and poignant quotes from the children, such as “I’ve never seen such a wide pavement” and “why can’t it be like this everyday?”

With the support of local residents, staff, governors, parents and pupils of Gildredge House School, Upperton Councillors are working towards creating a School Safe Zone, where this road closure could eventually happen every school day between 8am to 9am, and 3pm to 4pm. 

 

 

 


Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 2-Nov-20

If you watched the Prime Ministerial broadcast on Saturday evening, like me you may have breathed a large sigh when the fresh lockdown was announced.  This has been a tough year and the thought of returning to tighter restrictions is wearying for us as individuals and worrying for businesses, who were seeking to recover from the first lockdown.  When however you look at the reasons for the decision, based on the rapid spread of the virus, rise in the number of deaths and expert predictions of the impact if we continue to live the way we have recently, the need for these measures is obvious and I am supportive of them. In truth they should probably have been implemented sooner, but these are difficult decisions to make as the evidence upon which they are based changes quickly.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the 25th Anniversary of the International Children’s Conference.  This event, which was staged in Eastbourne was led by my late colleague Maurice Skilton, together with Michael and Kitty Ann who were then the owners of Drusillas.  In many ways this event was ahead of its time as it recognised the environmental challenges which face our planet and brought together young people from around the world to discuss the measures required for sustainability.  In celebration of the anniversary of this event and recognition of the town’s Environmental programme, Lord Ralph Lucas and his wife Antonia, supported by the Council, have organised a programme of environmental events running from the 9th to the 20th November.  Michael and Kitty return to share their memories of the conference, as do a number of the young people who participated and are now in their mid to late 30s.  Others taking part include: Sir Tim Smit (founder of the Eden Project), Dr William Bird (from Beat the Street) and Baroness Floella Benjamin. These events are on-line so can take place despite the lockdown.  Details can be found at: www.crowdcast.io/makingnaturalhistory so why not take a look and join in?

Stay safe!

 

David Tutt


Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 23-Oct-20

Covid-19 cases have continued to rise again this week with the number in Eastbourne being 44 per 100,000 of the population, roughly in line with the average for East Sussex.  Mercifully, this remains well below the average for England at 192 and as a result we continue to enjoy greater freedoms than many other areas.  It is important for our health and economy that we do not become complacent and remember the mantra of ‘hands, face, space’ in all that we do.  I know that the rules have changed many times and I was asked this week about family gatherings.  The current rule is that whether family or not, groups meeting up from different households indoors or out, should not exceed 6 people.

The team at the Council-run Environmental Services Company (SEESL) have done a fantastic job keeping our bins empty during the pandemic and deserve our thanks for all of their hard work.  They also do their best to keep our streets clean, but this can be a hard task as some people irresponsibly drop their litter.  I remember when I was young the item I was most likely to see discarded were cigarette ends, then when the number of smokers reduced, it became plastic carrier bags, the introduction of a charge at supermarkets tackled this.  Now, it appears to be disposable face masks.  Please think of others when your mask reaches the end of its useful life and pop it in a bin instead of dropping it on the pavement for someone else to clear up.  If there is a street that you believe needs to be swept, this can be reported either via the Council website or by using the smartphone ‘report it’ app.

We are now entering the final week of ‘Beat the Street’, which ends on 4 November.  This has been a huge success and congratulations go to all involved in making this possible, especially Dr William Bird at Intelligent Health, who organised the event.  As it comes to a close, I have no doubt that it will have left many (myself included) much fitter.  The challenge now is to maintain this level of exercise!

Stay safe!

David Tutt


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