CAROLINE ANSELL MP: Gearing up for the General Election

The calling of a General Election is exciting for politicians, although I understand for some of the public there might be a rolling of the eyes!

Friday, 28th April 2017, 7:00 am
Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne SUS-160604-141512001

But, for us, it’s the equivalent of a retailer’s Christmas, a tennis player’s tournament and an A level teacher’s results day in August.

That said, it’s also a little frustrating when MPs up and down the country are busy working on projects, helping constituents or stuck into getting legislation through Parliament and then it all stops to start the campaign.

This has meant a very busy week for myself and my staff before Parliament is dissolved as we try to get as much casework sorted out and to help as many people as we can with serious issues.

Constituency post bags are pretty large these days and it’s a very satisfying part of the job helping people with a wide range of issues – some of them high-profile like the threat of deportation or the loss of a home.

In Westminster, the dissolution of Parliament has meant the cancellation of meetings with ministers on important matters like the school budget where I wanted to make clear my support for Eastbourne headteachers and their campaign to get more money.

This was a shame but my support for our schools remains.

Of course, the delay is only temporary and I sincerely hope I can pick up where I left off on June 9 and carry on the work.

That would be a very happy day!

Elsewhere, I was very unhappy to see Eastbourne’s Jo Konta in tears over comments from a former male tennis player, Ilie Nastase who apparently shouted insulting words at her.

Jo is a lovely person, a superb tennis player and fine ambassador for our town and it is completely unacceptable she was treated this way. I hope Nastase is suitably reprimanded.

Alongside the posters starting to appear around town we can soon expect the tennis flags too as the town gears up for our major international pre-Wimbledon tournament.

Truly, how amazing it is that images of Eastbourne are beamed around the globe and, from the Devonshire Park, the site of so much future ambition and lately, millions of pounds of government investment, it is a showcase indeed.

In Europe, it’s been a busy week politically with an earthquake in the French presidential elections.

Having two candidates not from the traditional left and right parties is a big deal and having lived and studied in France in younger years, I will be watching closely.

But now, with only eight days until our county elections and 40 odd to the General, matters at home will occupy my heart and mind.

I love my town, I love my country and long live democracy!