Herald Opinion: A business and education partnership to be proud of

Back in early summer, Eastbourne set itself a challenge.

Life looked grim, particularly for younger job seekers. Opportunities were thin on the ground yet willing hands, hearts and minds were there in abundance.

So the challenge - spearheaded by MP Stephen Lloyd and supported by so many - was to create 100 new apprenticeships in 100 days. To give some of those frustrated unemployed a genuine opportunity; a reason to smile, a purpose to their lives.

Three months on and it’s mission accomplished. Eastbourne can hold its head high with the campaign having created not just 100 jobs, but close to 150.

Some towns and even cities have struggled to deliver with similar campaigns but Stephen Lloyd was always confident that our town was more than up to the challenge. And there’s no doubt that positive thought and momentum can be a galvanising force.

This was a real business and education partnership and one all those involved should be proud of. The key test is for those apprenticeships to now flourish into full-time jobs and for the cycle to go full circle.

But for now, take a bow Eastbourne on 150 jobs well done.

...............................................

EASTBOURNE area’s rail commuters are again being taken for a ride.

Beleaguered passengers have become used to being at the bottom of the pile when rail bosses hand out the medicine.

Not content with imposing eight per cent fare increases on local travellers, now they are planning to close local station ticket offices, too. The hit list is believed to include Hampden Park, Pevensey and Westham.

Although Southern Rail denies any closure plans, passengers are unlikely to take its word. Meanwhile, as autumn draws in, users can look forward to a grim winter of paying through the nose for tickets they’ll have to buy through a hole in the wall - if the machine’s working and if they don’t have the embarrassment of defending their innocence to an on-board collector.

...............................................

A RIDE on the prom will soon be just as familiar as a walk, after a shared cycle and pedestrian path was given the go-ahead for part of the seafront. Good manners and a little tolerance will need to be shown by all if our lovely promenade is to be enjoyed as much on foot as in the saddle.