DAVID TUTT, LEADER OF EBC: Eastbourne will play part in housing Afghan refugees

For the past couple of weeks, the news headlines have been dominated by the heart-wrenching scenes from Kabul airport, as thousands attempt to leave Afghanistan and Taliban rule.


Many of us have felt helpless as we have watched pictures of people who have supported the efforts of our Government over the past 20 years, desperately struggling to flee their own country, due to fear of possible action that will be taken against them by the new regime.

Here in Eastbourne, we are in contact with the Home Office and will play our part in their resettlement plans.

A few people have contacted me to say that they would be willing to offer a room in their home to an Afghan refugee.

My current understanding is that whilst these offers are appreciated, what is actually needed at present are large properties that can house families of seven or more.

If that situation changes, I will post an update in The Herald.

July and August might not have produced either the warmest or sunniest of summers on record, but just to be free of most of the Covid restrictions that had been dominating our lives, the freedom to get out again was enough to give a lift to our spirits.

As we move into September, children return to school and that was the trigger a year ago which led to the second lockdown.

This year, hopefully things will be different.

Although the number of Covid infections continue to increase, the fact that the majority of us have now been double jabbed, means that a smaller percentage of those infected need hospital treatment.

The Government’s attention is now turning to the provision of booster vaccinations.

Starting with those who are most at risk of serious disease or seasonal flu, the booster programme looks like being launched this month.

If you are looking to keep fit, the Eastbourne Walking Festival will be taking place later this month.

Bookings are already underway and details can be found on the Visit Eastbourne website at https://www.visiteastbourne.com/walking-festival.

A good warm up for this would be to join the accessible family walk this Saturday September 4 along the seafront.

With sports activities along the way, why not bring a picnic lunch, have a go on the Smoothie Bike and eat together on the Western Lawns.

The route will be from Western Lawns along the seafront to Helen Garden and back.

The route is accessible, with accessible toilet facilities at Helen Gardens. Booking details can be found at https://www.townereastbourne.org.uk/event/stepping-forward-a-day-of-outdoor-activities-for-families/

Stay safe and enjoy summer!