Eastbourne MP reflects on an ‘incredibly difficult year’
The MP for Eastbourne says ‘there’s a future out there to reach for’ as we move into another phase of the road map out of lockdown today.
From today (March 29) outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households can go ahead. Outdoor sport can resume, and the order to stay at home comes to an end.
This comes as we reached the one-year anniversary since we went into the first national lockdown last week.
Caroline Ansell said, “It has been a challenging and, at times, incredibly difficult year. Probably the most difficult the country has faced since the Second World War.”
Mrs Ansell said she’s ‘incredibly proud’ of how people in Eastbourne have come together to support each other and do what they can to keep infections low.
She said, “The vaccine rollout is a tremendous success and we are just a few months away from going back to some form of normal as more and more of the population receive their Covid jabs. I’ve just booked mine.”
Mrs Ansell said Eastbourne Borough Council has received more than £156,000 from the Welcome Back Fund that gives councils and businesses the funding to boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stalls.
She said this comes on top of Eastbourne businesses also benefitting from a VAT reduction, continued furlough, grants and loans.
Mrs Ansell said, “Another big part of the government’s support for the town comes in the shape of the £4.8 billion Levelling Up fund. Eastbourne is a priority one area and up to £20 million is available to us, £50 million if it is a transport project.
“There are also opportunities to max the fund by working with neighbouring councils and pooling bids.
“The criteria says any project needs the local MP’s endorsement to stand the best chance of success and the pressure is now on the council to come up with a bid and business case for a project which is transforming and deliverable if Eastbourne is to get this money. There’s a future out there to reach for.”