Eastbourne MP:Show of strength needed on DGH

EASTBOURNE MP Stephen Lloyd writes for eastbourneherald.co.uk to detail what a busy month it has been in the House of Commons.

Here are just a few of the issues I’ve been working on in June. It’s been a busy month!

DGH: Eastbourne is at its strongest when it pulls together!

The campaign to protect core services at our local hospital is gearing up, and when the most senior hospital doctors at DGH say they also do not have confidence in the proposed clinical strategy, it seems very clear that we are doing the right thing.

I will be taking part in the DGH Consultation on Saturday, July 28, at the Congress Suite. Liz Walke and other members of the cross party Save the DGH campaign will also be presenting and it would be really helpful if as many residents as possible joined us outside at 10am to show the strength of feeling in our town. See you there!

Carnival: Wasn’t the Carnival at the beginning of the month fantastic? Around 25,000 people turned up to celebrate its glorious return.

With 80 floats and walking processions, and 1800 participants in the parade; it was a huge success that raised over £8,000.

As promised, 50 per cent will be split equally between the 26 participating charities and 50 per cent set aside to ensure that the carnival comes back bigger and better next year!

Thanks to Dave Cooper, the Pageant Master, the superb team, and all the thousands of participants and spectators who made it such a great success. Roll on next year!

Sovereign Harbour: A successful event was held at the Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club last Saturday.

It was the culmination of an awful lot of hard work by the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association, the ward councillors, the council and key representatives from the political parties in a committee that I first brought together around a year ago.

Inch by inch we are moving towards a position where I’m hopeful some real progress will be made in bringing a long awaited community centre and other residential facilities to the Harbour.

I now understand what the phrase ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ really means, and I think we’re getting there.

Religious Education: For the last year I have been very active in the area of Religious Education in schools, and I was delighted to launch the brand new All Party Parliamentary Group on RE, of which I am now the Chair.

This group is set up to ensure that RE remains a critical subject in the school syllabus.

We need this to ensure that young people enter the world with a rounded understanding of people of all faiths, including those with none, which will help our children to understand the increasingly interconnected world that they are entering. A group I am very proud to lead.

Arndale Centre: As you will have heard, the owners of the Arndale Shopping Centre have re-affirmed their commitment to a £70 million extension and regeneration programme for the centre of our town.

It is all back on track again and in my meetings with Legal and General (the owners), I have been impressed with their commitment, backed by a very large sum of money! This is a really positive sign that Eastbourne is seen as a town with a real future.

Street market: On another positive note, the long awaited Eastbourne Street Market will start on August 1 and I for one can’t wait! A great deal of work has gone into ensuring that the market complements the town’s offering and increases the numbers of visitors to Eastbourne’s town centre.

Exactly what I’m working so hard to achieve, along with the Council, Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce and many other local stakeholders. It will be from the top end of Terminus Road to the pedestrianised section outside TJ Hughes. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Community Surgeries: As many of you know, I hold my surgeries across the constituency – from the supermarkets to the town centre, from Langney to Willingdon to Meads.

If you have an issue you need help with, please do call into my office at 100 Seaside Road or call to make an appointment on 733 030. It will be a pleasure to try and help in any way I can.