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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

The Buzz - Stephen Lloyd's e-newsletter March 2014

March 26, 2014 5:08 PM

It has finally happened! Spring has Sprung! That fantastic time of year is here, where Eastbourne once again glistens with daffodils in the sun and makes way for the onset of what we hope will be a wonderful summer. We have so much to offer the South East and beyond, but as many of you will know, access has long been an issue. This is why I'm currently campaigning so hard to improve our transport links by road and rail. There is also news on the Hospital, the Spring Street Market and more, so do read on:

I was very disappointed when the consultation into local maternity services was released and not 1 of the 6 options allowed for Consultant-led maternity at both the DGH and the Conquest in Hastings. So the SavetheDGH team have put together an excellent Option 7 which we all must encourage the local NHS Trust to adopt. Please email Better Beginnings here, saying that it is your preferred option. We don't have a lot of time to push this through, and as ever, your help is much appreciated. We will also be sending it to the members of the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee who are considering the 6 proposals put forward, which do not include our own Option 7. Click here for more information

The A27 Campaign is still collecting signatures for the petition and if you can't catch my Roadshow, please feel free to sign it online here. This petition is even more important now, as we've just found out that West Sussex County Council has a head start on us. But force of numbers along with some fantastic business data (thank you Chamber of Commerce) could bring more investment our way, so I'm looking to add to the 2500+ signatures we already have. This will show the Department of Transport just how vital this road is to Eastbourne. Click here for more info, and the next stops on my petition Roadshow.

Last week saw something remarkable in political circles - a popular Budget! And front and centre were two of our own key policies: the tax free allowance has increased to £10,000 already and will go up another £500 next year, meaning the Lib Dems in Government will have saved you £800 - a genuine progressive tax change. We also saw an announcement that people will have more access to their pension pots. This was pioneered by our own Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, and gives everyone the freedom to spend their own pension their own way. I've known Steve for years - he's not only a thoroughly decent bloke, he's one of the rare Ministers who is actually a specialist in the area he 'ministers'! We've even seen inflation down to a 4 year low, so the difficult decisions we've had to make over the last few years are starting to pay dividends.

My Fast Train push continues to pick up momentum. After collecting notes of support over the last few weeks I sent off a ream of correspondence to the Department of Transport showing just how much Eastbourne wants this faster train. Many of the letters were really powerful, but my favourite was from two young children who want a fast train so their 'daddy can give them a kiss good night' when he gets home for London daily - truly heart-warming stuff. Thank you to everyone who wrote in, fingers crossed we get some good news soon. See here for more info.

My 100x3 Work Experience Campaign has also taken off with 33 people in placements so far. I'd like to thank all the local businesses and organisations who are stepping up to help residents who are long term unemployed. It's a real blow when someone loses their job, and the longer it takes to get back into employment the harder it can be to break the cycle. Our 100x3 campaign is about trying to change this in a positive, proactive, 'Eastbourne' way. See here for more info.

I've also got another campaign going on at the moment to allow a sensible use of our loading bays in the evening. The Council have just launched a consultation which can be accessed here. Please complete it as it would make a real difference to our restaurant trade if more free parking spaces were available in the evening when the bays aren't even being used anyway. See here for more info

A quick shout-out as well for our local Neighbourhood Watch who are looking for volunteers in Langney North, Langney South and Sovereign. They need Street and Ward Coordinators to join in the fantastic work this excellent organisation does. If this interests you, please contact the Acting Chair and Hon Secretary here.

Finally, the Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival is now in its 3rd year! It will be on Saturday 31st May, the 2nd Bank holiday. (Bit of a muck up in my earlier email which got the date wrong - to be clear - its Saturday 31st May) The theme this year is 'Rio - Sussex by the Sea' and there will be plenty more info to follow. Mark it in your diary.