CAROLINE ANSELL MP: Some good news on Beatty Road parking

My inbox on Beatty Road and the dispute about paying to park between the new owner, shop traders and residents is still running hot but there is some good news.

Local residents using the shops cannot be made to pay to park. At the meeting with the owner last Friday I attended via Zoom, it was rightly asserted that the businesses on the parade have legal rights of access to this car park for themselves and their customers. It seems that it has never been the case that the new owner could try to impose such charges.

I have been down to Beatty Road on a number of occasions with Sovereign councillors and we will continue to support the traders in seeking a resolution. They are so valued by the community and this has all been very stressful.

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I have spoken with many businesses across the town over the summer about the future. The Government’s kickstart scheme has been an excellent opportunity to bring in new young people and I was pleased to meet two ‘kickstarters’, Matt and George, at the railway station and see them in action, supporting the travelling public.

This last week I also got to meet the guys behind a fantastic new business, Cadence. They are to be found by The Congress and take e bike tours into the South Downs. It was great to get out on two wheels in the September sunshine. I was back at The Congress later that day for Rob Brydon’s show. The place was packed and the atmosphere was brilliant. The atmosphere was just as spirited when I waved off the wonderful Wayfinder Women bright and early the next morning, on a fundraising walk from Eastbourne to Hastings Pier.

It was the right call by the Government to end restrictions at the start of the summer and this week, the Government unveiled its Winter Covid Plan. I think it shows we have come a long way since this virus struck through our amazing vaccination programme, but the pandemic is not over and the situation could change if hospitalisations and deaths rise.

First and foremost, please make sure you have both jabs. The Office of National Statistics released figures this week that I hope will back up the jab message. Out of 51,281 Covid deaths recorded between January 2 and July 2 in England, only 256 died after they had been given two doses and the majority of those were clinically vulnerable patients.

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My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones but this is a startling statistic. It shows the jabs are saving lives and they could save yours too.

The booster jabs for those over 50 along with the flu jabs will do much to help ease pressure on the NHS too. We are in a much better place but we have to be vigilant now winter is coming.

Eastbourne is a tennis town and so I am sure many residents cheered to the rafters Emma Raducanu’s US Open Tennis triumph. This 18-year-old Briton is an absolutely brilliant role model and I hope very much to see her competing in Eastbourne next year.

Something to enjoy a bit sooner would be a walk through, ‘The Delights of The Garden’, an arts trail inspired by the natural environment at Churchdale Road Allotments, this weekend and next.

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I was delighted to join Tempo Arts, Compass Community Arts, The Gather Community and Blackberry Buzzards at their opening event. It’s wonderful how it has brought people together and the sense of peace was amazing. I pitched for a return and a night garden experience too!