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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Stephen Lloyd's e-newsletter January 2014

February 7, 2014 4:59 PM

Well, it's only 1 month old and already 2014 is shaping up to be busier and busier - Eastbourne's economy continues to grow, and we've had some positive news regarding the consistently awful A27. But this year will also see the battle for our local hospital get even fiercer, starting soon when the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee meet to look into the maternity options presented. Read on:

Firstly, good news on the A27. As you've probably heard by now, after years of lobbying Ministers in the Coalition, it has been announced that the A27 is to be considered in a feasibility study for improvement. The results will be published in Spring 2015. This is long overdue and could be a game-changer for business and for the long term future of our town. If you're supportive, please give my office a call on 01323 733 030 for a free bumper sticker pushing our campaign, and sign the petition here. See here for more information.

While we're talking transport, my push for a fast train to London continues to gather steam (pun intended - it's slower than it was in the 60s!). Towards the end of last year I met with representatives from all 5 bidding train companies to emphasise the benefits that a fast train would bring to them and Eastbourne. I'll be writing in to lean on the Department of Transport (DfT) further, encouraging the decision makers to favour bids that include a faster train to Eastbourne. I'd love to include thousands of supportive notes from people who will be affected by this. So please click here to send a couple of lines why you think this fast train is urgent, and I'll make sure the DfT know how pressing an issue this is for our town. See here for more info.

The DGH - since my last update, the GP-led Care Commissioning Group (CCG) put together a list of long term options on the future of Maternity services across East Sussex. Controversially, none of their options proposed Consultant-led Maternity at both the DGH and Hastings' Conquest hospital, despite the Trust managers repeatedly reassuring me that their removal from DGH was only temporary. At a meeting last month, the Health Overview and Scrutiny Board (HOSC) agreed to look into these options over the coming weeks. I will be addressing HOSC on the 17th Feb, along with Liz Walke, and I'll of course keep everyone updated on what actions we can take. Click here for more info.

My other priority has always been jobs, and I'm delighted that unemployment continues to fall in Eastbourne, with our latest claimant rate down to 3.7 percent. This is over a third lower than just 18 months ago! But the issue of long term unemployment remains, so I've just launched an exciting new initiative to help more people back into work: The 100 x 3 campaign is looking to secure 100 hours of work experience for 100 people over the next 100 days. Rather than cruelly labelling people who are long term unemployed as either lazy scroungers or helpless victims, we are providing a practical positive step back into work. It's our own community we want to help and I'm sure Eastbourne will step up. Click here for more info, and if you have a business and think you can help, please get in touch with my office on 01323 733 030 or email me at stephen.lloyd.mp@parliament.uk and I'll send you the info.

Now an important date for the diary: Carnival is back for the third year running on Saturday 31st May, under the stunning leadership of our Pageant Master David Cooper. If you or your business/school/charity etc would like details of how to enter a Float this year, please email one of my team here, and we'll send you an entrance pack.

Last week was Big Energy Saving Week, sponsored by the CAB, and I was able to play an active part through my old role as Chair of the CAB Parliamentary Group and my new position of Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Energy prices are on everyone's mind at the moment, but thanks to the Lib Dems in Government, from replacing boilers through to switching providers, there are effective ways to reduce your bills. Please click here for more info.

Finally, A home-grown star is appearing at the Congress on Saturday 8th Feb at 7.30pm; the start of a nationwide tour. It's Steve Hewlett of Britain's Got Talent fame. He's a really funny ventriloquist, lives in Willingdon and is a genuinely nice bloke who I've known for years. I'm going to be there cheering him on so if you also fancy what I know will be a tremendous night do come along and support Steve. The Congress booking office can be contacted on 01323 412000 and more info can be found here. See you there!

All the best