Listening to the Prime Minister it appears that there could be some fairly tough times ahead. We know that the changes in rules on overseas workers following Brexit has had an impact on HGV drivers, which has already resulted in fuel shortages. The hospitality industry and caring professions are finding it difficult to fill vacancies, as is the farming industry, which is having to allow food to rot. This has had a knock-on impact in terms of supplies on supermarket shelves and we have also been told that some foods might be in short supply over the Christmas period. When the increase in gas prices is added to this list, there is plenty to keep Boris Johnson and his Government busy. These issues will of course affect us all, but as is so often the case, those who have the least will be hit the hardest. The removal of the £20 per week top up of Universal Credit at a time when prices are pushing up inflation will leave many struggling this winter.
The Government will also be breaking another election pledge as it is suspending the triple lock on pensions. This is a formula used to guarantee pensioners’ incomes rise by either September’s rate of inflation, earnings growth, or a guaranteed minimum of 2.5% – whichever is larger. Surely, in difficult times, the most vulnerable should be placed at the top of the list of those that we should protect, not the bottom.
I’ve been in close contact with those behind Eastbourne’s Lightning Fibre Ice Rink since tickets went on sale last week. The rink doesn’t open until the 1st of December, but the sales have already been strong, with over 1,000 tickets having been purchased. This fully covered real ice rink is a partnership between Your Eastbourne BID and Visit Eastbourne and will be located at the Enterprise Shopping Centre. This is the first time in a decade that Eastbourne’s had its own real ice rink. Tickets can be purchased online at www.visiteastbournetickets.co.uk. Alternatively, you can buy your tickets at the Welcome Building and the Seafront Office next to the Bandstand. I am sure that it will be a huge success and look forward to watching with a glass of mulled wine from one of the fantastic local traders who will also be at the site.