Noxious haze over Eastbourne: Not a phrase I expected to write but that’s what we had last Sunday. I received a welcome update from the DGH A&E department on the impact of the cloud, whatever it was, which swept across Birling Gap, parts of Eastbourne and down as far as Bexhill.
The DGH senior nurse and an A&E consultant told me the emergency team had dealt very effectively with the situation - 140 or so people with eyes streaming and clearly suffering the consequences of some sort of wind-borne cloud turning up at Eastbourne’s A&E was obviously a challenge.
Initially they were told to treat it as a full decontamination issue, so all the staff had to go through this and then the patients, which was obviously both difficult and worrying for all concerned.
However, midway through it became clear this was no longer necessary, and A&E staff were able to see those who remained without having to process through the arduous decontamination activity.
The clinicians also confirmed to me there appeared to be no after-effects after washing the eyes with cold water, and the respiratory itching soon disappeared.
It has subsequently been confirmed that two statutory agencies are now investigating what the noxious haze actually was (Maritime and Coastguard Agency at sea and the Environment Agency on land) and where it came from. Clearly it is important we find out the detail and if someone or some entity was responsible they must be held to account. I will keep pressing this.
Meanwhile I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at our Eastbourne A&E for responding so effectively to the many additional patients who suddenly turned up on their doorstep, and for dealing with the patients understandable concerns so effectively.
Equally to all those others who responded so quickly on Sunday; the Fire Service, Coastguards, Police, the Ambulance Service and our very own local RNLI. As ever, Eastbourne appreciates your efforts to keep us safe. Thank you.
It was good to receive a visit from the new Leader of the Lib Dems, Sir Vince Cable MP, to Eastbourne this week.
We held a packed meeting at the View Hotel to enable local members to quiz him.
I’ve known Vince for many years and have always been impressed by his ability to talk sense on the economy and he was on exceptionally good form. Wherever we sit on Brexit our nation is going to face some pretty difficult economic challenges, so his take is always worth listening to.
On a lighter note our splendid Royal Hippodrome Theatre played host recently to that great comedy-vent and local man Steve Hewlett.
I’m a big fan of Steve and still think he was robbed on Britain’s Got Talent. If it was up to me and I suspect many others he would have won.
Steve and one of his best known creations, Arfur Lager, popped into my office the other day and I was pleased to hear I got the puppet vote!
Finally, I’m well and truly getting back into the swing of things again as your MP and will be holding a constituency surgery in the Arndale Centre this Saturday, from 10am - 12noon . Do come along and see me if you think I can help on any issue you may have.
Have a good weekend folks, and I hope to see you around town.