Looking at the current rate of Covid infections in Eastbourne, I find that there have been 167 new cases confirmed within the past 7 days. This is much higher than 12 months ago, when we were heading for the second lockdown. The difference of course is that the impact has lessened. This time last year, we were all hoping that a vaccine would be found, which would help to combat the effects of the pandemic and now, just a year later, three quarters of local residents have received at least one jab. This is a remarkable feat and credit must go to everyone who has helped to make this possible. It does not of course mean that the danger from Covid has gone away. There are currently 33 local people in hospital and 3 people have died from Covid in the past week. So particularly with winter coming, when more people will be gathering at indoor events, we must resist the temptation to be complacent. It has been good to enjoy additional freedoms again, let’s make sure that we remain alert to the risks.
During the Covid pandemic, the Government took the positive decision to pay an additional £20 per week to those in receipt of Universal Credit. That scheme is due to end on 6 October. Currently, just over 10% of people in Eastbourne receive benefits and with the impact of Covid still with us, gas prices soaring and the new National Insurance rates coming into effect next April, I hope that even at this late stage, the Government will rethink and continue to make these payments in order to help those most in need.
From the 13th-17th October, a spectacular new musical makes its world premiere at The Congress Theatre. Based on the Disney classic, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” will take to the stage. Be prepared to enter a world of magic and fantasy as you witness the adventures of three orphaned children, evacuated from wartime London. The Congress has a reputation for having staged some exceptional shows and I am sure that this will be another.