One of the effects of climate change is raising sea levels as the polar ice caps melt. Over recent years the rate of erosion has increased rapidly and is already resulting in higher sea levels which threaten many countries, including the UK. Without enhanced sea defences, here in Eastbourne as a coastal area, much of the town is at risk of flooding. This is recognised by the Environment Agency, who are planning to spend in excess of £100m to develop a flagship coastal flood and erosion risk management project for Pevensey Bay and Eastbourne. In order to assist them in planning the scheme they are keen to consult with local residents and learn more about how we wish to use the seafront. In conjunction with Eastbourne Borough Council, they will be holding 3 online webinars:
Tuesday 30th November 18.30 – 19.30
Wednesday 1st December 10.00 – 11.00
Thursday 2nd December 14.00 – 15.00
If you would like to learn more about the plans, please join one of these sessions. You can register at https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/solent-and-south-downs/pevensey-bay-to-eastbourne/ where you can also complete a 5 minute online survey to share your views and concerns about our coastline.
I would like to congratulate Sandy Medway for her letter in The Herald last week, in which she highlights what she describes as ‘a once in a lifetime chance for Eastbourne Hospital services.’ Like Sandy, I am a member of the ‘Save the DGH’ Group. This group, led by local campaigner Liz Walke, is made up of members of all political parties, medical professionals and concerned local residents. Our aim is to ensure that all core hospital services are provided here in Eastbourne. As Sandy (a former non-executive director of Eastbourne Hospitals NHS Trust) highlights, ‘we have already lost in-patient beds for orthopaedics; obstetrics; paediatrics and general surgery.’ There are plans to move more services away from the town and despite huge protests, we lost consultant-led maternity services many years ago.
Eastbourne is a large town of over 100,000 people and our General Hospital serves a much larger population extending along the coast and into South Wealden. The Government made a great fanfare of their announcement that we are to have a new hospital and now they must deliver on that promise. This does not mean some refurbishment of existing facilities, but new state of the art provision, with 24/7 access to A&E and all core services included. The once in a lifetime chance is now and as Eastbournians we need to ensure that our voices are heard. If the new hospital is not provided, the town will suffer for generations to come.