Emotional week for those of us who love Eastbourne

Caroline Ansell, David Cameron and members of the Cabinet on a visit to Eastbourne following the pier fire in 2014 SUS-150729-092253001
Caroline Ansell, David Cameron and members of the Cabinet on a visit to Eastbourne following the pier fire in 2014 SUS-150729-092253001
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We remember the death of the towns’ former, popular MP Ian Gow, who was murdered by the provisional IRA 25 years ago this week.

A lunch has been held in his honour, and there will be a service in London later in the year.

In last week’s Herald Column I launched my schools contest, the Ian Gow Memorial Public Speaking competition’ and I am glad to say I have had several local schools confirm they will take part in this initiative for year nine students.

Ian clearly was a remarkable MP.

An early memory of mine is being awarded a prize at my schools’ prizegiving by the man himself, and on the campaign trail over the last few months it was obvious 
that many still remember him with great affection and respect.

Then of course it is a full year since our beloved pier had the devastating fire that saw much of it destroyed, and closed for several weeks last summer.

Like thousands of others, I was on the seafront that day and watched in horror as what looked like scenes from a Hollywood disaster movie were beamed around the world.

On the day, thanks to the good work of the pier management, the coastguard, RNLI and the Fire and Police services, there was no loss of life, although we remember with sadness the death of Stephen Penrice, a workman from Cumbria who had been 
working on the pier as part of the renovation; a tragic accident led to his death in late August.

It was wonderful last September to see the pier re-open, at least partially after such a short period of time, and there has been much good work going on since.

I am looking forward to meeting up with the pier management in a couple of weeks for an update on the plans from hereon in.

The town is also due to benefit from the £2million announced by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor on their visit to the town a couple of days after the fire.

If we haven’t yet met, do come and say hello at one of my Supermarket Surgeries’which I hold 
most weeks - details on my website www.carolineansell.co.uk