On Boxing Day the BBC announced that the government is looking to invest in roads across the country and has opened a public consultation about their possible options. Can you imagine my frustration then, that on reading their Report (link below) there was no mention of the A27 East of Lewes (or for that matter, our other dreadful road - the A21 south of Pembury).
This is simply wrong so I am writing to ask you, readers, if you can help me turn this appalling oversight by the Department of Transport around?
As we know locally both these roads are vital to the success of the towns future economic prospects and simply must be properly improved. So my 'ask' is that to ensure they are included and as dual carriageways, please respond to the Highways England on-line survey.
The first report is the summary/introduction and the second is the survey. As is always the way with these things, it's a bit convoluted (shades of Yes Minister!) but if we can get thousands of Eastbourne people (and beyond) completing the survey making it abundantly clear that the duelling of the A27 Lewes to Polegate either as is or with a new road spur MUST be included in the governments proposals, we may force their hand.
If you agree with me that something serious should be done to improve our road please also share the link with your friends and neighbours. Let's have an absolute deluge of responses onto the government website so they have to take on board, finally, just how much we need the shocking A27 sorted once and for all.
Eastbourne & Willingdon's Profound Sense of Community: Your response to my request for Christmas presents for those elderly and frail people in the DGH and in the community who would be on their own and not be receiving any presents on Christmas Day, was nothing short of sensational. Over 200 gifts were donated along with well over 300 individual gifts of Xmas nibbles. The feedback since from our wonderful NHS nurses both in the hospital and in the community who delivered the gifts on the day to their patients, has been just heartwarming to hear. The sheer difference to so many individual's day that your generosity made possible. Over the last few days I've had relayed back to me lovely stories of how peoples' whole face lit up when they received their surprise present. Just magnificent. My office team had also added a handwritten card to every single gift saying 'Happy Christmas, from Eastbourne' and that's exactly what it was. Thank you all for your kind support.
And of course my initiative was just the tip of the iceberg for what our town does over the Christmas period. I know that there were dozens of other similar acts of generosity across the community, which is why I am sure our town really does get that wise old maxim, "that to keep what you have, you must first give it away." Be it Eastbourne Rotary organising Christmas lunch for their home-alone guests at Our Lady of Ransom or Don and Abby McPhee's brilliant Variety Show on behalf of the Mayors two charities, Embrace and Rebourne Corner, at the Willingdon Golf Club a day or two before Christina's Day, or on the day itself at our beautiful Bandstand where there were plenty of volunteers collecting for Eastbourne Cancer Research and St Wilfred's; all these and so much more would have been going on across the community over the last week. I am absolutely convinced it is one of our town's core strengths - the commitment and passion to serve others, to put out our hand to help someone in need. And that is my New Year's message, my friends. We live in challenging times at the minute, of course we do. We can all see that, but if we approach 2018 with optimism and a continuing desire to help others less fortunate than ourselves, along with a continuing love and appreciation for our lovely Eastbourne. You know what - I believe we'll be just fine!
Happy New Year, folks, and I hope to see you around town.