I was contacted during the summer by a constituent who is a retired police officer, Bob Diplock, to tell me of a campaign that one of his former Sussex Police colleagues, Kevin Moore, had launched.
They are petitioning the government to commit to a Royal Commission into today’s policing.
Their rationale was that so much smoke and mirrors information has been put out by government, the media, and various pressure groups as to how well or badly our police services across the UK are resourced, it had become impossible for the public to get a clear understanding of what resources the police need to do their job properly. They also pointed out the last Royal Commission into policing was in 1960, so the idea of an updated and independent review, with recommendations, seems pretty apt to me.
Consequently I promised I’d pick it up as soon as Parliament resumed after the party conferences break. Which is exactly what I have done. Last week I tabled an Early Day Motion seeking support from other MPs. You can see it online here: https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1656
The EDM is already gathering support across the political spectrum, which, in turn with a few other actions I am planning in Westminster, will, I hope, build up a head of steam that makes it impossible for the government ‘not’ to ultimately implement a Police Royal Commission.
By coincidence I had the pleasure of going out with some of our local force only a few weeks ago (and was enormously impressed) but it was clear to me that across Eastbourne and the surrounding area, our boys and girls in blue are over-stretched.
Another reason why I am keen to get behind the petition, and to do all I can to make it a reality in Parliament. So if you hadn’t already signed it, please go to Change.org and search for Police Royal Commission. Thank you.
Caring for Eastbourne
As I have often mentioned, I consider it an enormous privilege to be your MP. Eastbourne is a lovely town with a lot of people deeply committed to the good of our community, the town and all it stands for.
I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when I was walking along to my office on Seaside Road and noticed that, as is often the case in the town centre sadly, there was a lot of litter and detritus on the street. Of course I know all town centres can easily become untidy despite the best efforts of our brilliant street cleaners, but I thought to myself, “This isn’t something Eastbourne should ignore.” Our beautiful seafront is known for its cleanliness so why not the whole town? So I am writing to ask if you, the readers of the Herald, will help me with a campaign I am launching called Caring For Eastbourne. Rather than leaving it for others to sort let’s roll up our own sleeves and make a difference. After all, it is the Eastbourne way.
I’m trialling the initiative this coming Saturday, so if you’d like to join me to help pick up the litter on the streets around Seaside Road, it will be great to see you. I’ve got our excellent council service, Neighbourhood First, coming along to give a little training.
Morrisons in Hampden Park have generously agreed to provide a few bananas to keep us energised, and a wonderful local group called Litter Warriors are also joining me.
We’ll be meeting at the coach park behind the Queens Hotel (and thanks to them for their support) at 9.45am this Saturday. All will be given a brief and a map, along with litter pickers and bin bags - then away we go. Caring for Eastbourne.
Eastbourne Allotments, an unsung success story.
It was a real pleasure for me to visit the allotments off Gorringe Road recently and to have a chat with their manager, Gillian Dare.
I’d been meaning to do so for a while as I was aware that Eastbourne Council is one of the most pro-active councils in the South East when it comes to allotment provision.
In fact there are more than 1,000 plots at 18 different council sites across the town. Very impressive.
Gorringe Road is the biggest with around 450 plots and it’s also where the main office is. There’s a shop on site staffed by volunteers which is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday am and if you’re a gardener it’s well worth visiting, as they’ve some excellent discounts.
Please note though, that you have to join the Society first but the product savings make that £6 outlay worthwhile.
I took the opportunity to join myself as, who knows, one of these days I can just see myself bent over a spade digging up some spuds on my own allotment. Eastbourne’s society currently has more than 900 members anf if you’re interested in joining, please email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you Gillian and John Dann (trustee) for showing me around. I enjoyed every minute.
That’s it folks. Have a good weekend and I hope to see you around town.