STEPHEN LLOYD MP: Care homes petition now 8,700 signatures

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd with petitions to retain Milton Grange and Firwood House care homes SUS-180215-100419001
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd with petitions to retain Milton Grange and Firwood House care homes SUS-180215-100419001

Serious concerns about East Sussex County Council’s proposals to possibly close our two outstanding dementia respite, care and rehabilitation homes in Eastbourne, Milton Grange and Firwood House, continue to build across Eastbourne and beyond.

The online petition is now 8,700 signatures and I have received back at my office in Seaside Road around a 1,000 more. It’s very clear the town is determined to stop the proposed closure. We recognise that two such first class service providers must be saved, come what may. Of course we’ve also heard the county council are facing some shocking cuts to their budget from central government. Which is why I have sought and received a commitment from a health minister to meet with me and two of the key players at County Hall, Cllr David Elkin, who is in charge of the finances and resources, and the leader of the council, Cllr Keith Glazier. I hope we can work together to do what it takes to keep these two homes open.

With a Conservative County Council proposing these closures crying foul that it’s the Conservative government cutting central government funding too much, it may take a Lib Dem MP to square the circle. Whatever it does take, we must all do the necessary to keep the pressure up, particularly on the two key local Eastbourne councillors David Elkin and Colin Belsey. If we allow them to say “its nothing to do with me” and hide behind the council/ decision-making process, then we are more likely to see the closure pushed through.

So keep signing the online petition here - http://bit.ly/CountyCutsPet - or send your letters and signatures to me at 100 Seaside Road BN21 3PF. And whenever you see Messrs Elkin and Belsey around Eastbourne remind them (politely) that we are holding them responsible to protect these two fine respite and rehab homes. It’s our town, the homes serve a key function for residents, and Colin and David represent Eastbourne at County Hall. With responsibility and power comes accountability!

Another successful local business: I have long been an active supporter of new and established businesses in Eastbourne so it was good to pop in and see Jo Sullivan and her team at The Chick Box a couple of days ago. Doing what they do best - coaching women in their fantastic ladies-only pink gym.

Having known Old Town lass Jo and the Chick Box from the very beginning, just over two years ago, I was very impressed to see how much it has flourished since. The atmosphere/buzz was friendly and welcoming. Something Jo felt was missing in the fitness world - unless that is you had the funds for personal training.

Jo along with her head coaches, Heidi and Steph, have made it their mission to bridge the gap between personal training and group exercise - and they’ve obviously hit the spot if the growth of this business is anything to go by. It was a pleasure to visit such a relaxed (if energetic!) environment. I also suspect that one of their strong selling points, particularly for members who are young mums, is they provide a secure play area on-site along with the toys and blankets with a TV and DVDs for babies and children.

There were a fair number of young children there when I visited so it’s obviously a valued bolt-on for the training mums. They cater for women and girls of all ages, from Mini Chicks, Teens, New Mums to women in their over 60’s. The gym is at 142 Langney Road (above Phoenix Boxing) or Jo can be emailed direct on: info@thechikbox.co.uk

Re the old favourite - our lamentable A27 - 2,000 people have now signed my petition to Chris Grayling, the Transport Minister, demanding the A27 between Eastbourne and Lewes be duelled. If you haven’t already done so please follow through on this link: http://bit.ly/A27Blues. To keep the pressure up I want to show him your real stories so he can appreciate just how grim this road is for local people and businesses. Hopefully when Grayling actually sees what we have to contend with day in day out, he’ll get an understanding of just why we need this shocking road duelled.

I’d like to create a commuter dossier of your videos and pictures, showing the reality of using this section of the A27, and the negative impact it has. Will you help me convince the Secretary of State of the reality of the #a27blues? If you can, please do the following: 1/ Tell me your story.

Videos are best, but ‘must’ be by passengers (safe driving please). Show the traffic, tell us about the delay, let him know the A27’s impact on your life. 2/ Send it to me on a) What’sApp - Click and upload to bit.ly/a27blues or b) my Facebook - upload in a message on my page www.facebook.com/StephenLloydEBN/ then 3/ please share your story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #a27blues.

Seeing is believing as we all know.

That’s all folks. Have a great weekend and I hope to see you around town.