Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 25-Jan-21

Covid infection rates, whilst slightly lower this week remain high in Eastbourne and currently place us as having one of the highest levels in the country.  It is not clear why this is , as rates in other places have dropped much faster during the current lockdown.  Locally, our hospitals are stretched, and staff are working flat out to address the challenges.  I know that I have said it before, but this virus is a killer.  Already the number of deaths in the UK is similar in number to the total number of people in Eastbourne, which drives home the seriousness of the situation.  We now have several vaccination centres with the Sovereign Centre open and the Welcome building at Devonshire Park being setup.  Therefore, providing supplies of vaccines are available, local people should not need to travel too far for their injections.  Being vaccinated is an important step forward in fighting the virus, but not a licence to ignore the restrictions. Firstly, it takes several weeks for the antibodies to build-up and secondly, you could possibly still be a carrier of the virus and pass it onto others.

With so much focus upon Covid there is a risk of missing other things.  Last Wednesday was Holocaust Memorial Day.  It is important that the world never forgets the horrors of the Holocaust.  The millions of: Jews; political prisoners; members of the gay community; travellers and those with physical and mental disabilities who were killed by the Nazis, during the second world war.  I took time to reflect on how fortunate I am not to have lived at that time, but also to remember more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  We must all in our own way be prepared to stand-up against oppressive regimes if such events are to be prevented in the future.

Being at home so much I have embarked upon the long-resisted task of tidying-up my home office.  Whilst doing so I came across some old copies of the Eastbourne Herald.  It was interesting to be reminded of names from the past and events such as the opening of Upwyke House.  To also see pictures from a long-forgotten Carnival.  It served to make me yearn for the return to the events that Eastbourne is famous for but cannot take place again until we are the other side of this pandemic.  I am sure that we will get there.  In the meantime,

Stay  safe!

David Tutt

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