Weekly news from Caroline Ansell MP
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Welcome to this week's newsletter!

More on the DGH
I am asking the new leadership of East Sussex Healthcare Trust and the CCG to look again at the decision to remove some of the valuable services we have lost from the DGH.

I will be making clear to the new trust leaders that the decision to move these services was detrimental to the people of Eastbourne, and it must be reviewed once they are in post.

The decisions were made under a now discredited management team and so, in my view, they are null and void, especially in regard to patient transport times from Eastbourne to Hastings.

When I met with the Trust Development Authority last week to discuss special measures, I made my views very clear on this subject. However, I accept that the priority of the TDA at the moment is to stabilise the situation at the trust and to move it forward.

Appointing a chairman and chief executive is a priority to achieve that forward momentum, and I will be knocking on both their doors once they are in post to discuss how the decision to move these services can be looked at again.

It may be the case that the decision is upheld, but I need to be satisfied, as does the community, that it was a decision competently made.

My meeting with the TDA on Friday was the first in series to provide support for the trust as it rebuilds confidence with the public.

We had a frank but very constructive discussion about the challenges ahead and it was clear that everyone is in for the long haul to get the trust back up and running.

We have much to be proud of at the trust, especially the staff, but there is hard work to be done to get it out of special measures. There is no doubt that the TDA has very able and experienced staff at the helm to achieve it.
Ian Gow Service of Thanksgiving 
The family of former Eastbourne MP Ian Gow and politicians old and new met at Westminster on Thursday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his murder in an IRA bomb attack.

I joined the Speaker John Bercow and around 150 others who attended the ceremony in the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft in Westminster Hall along with Ian’s widow Jane and other family members.

It really was a wonderful and very packed service and a very fitting one in memory of Ian.

His death, at the hands of terrorists, robbed this country of a brave and humble man whose legacy was shown today by the sheer number of people who came to the service simply because they held him dear to their hearts.

The service was conducted by the Rev. Rose-Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. Others who attended included former Prime Minister John Major, Lord Trimble and Lord Tebbit.

Afterwards there was a reception organised by the Speaker for the family of Ian and other representatives.

Ian Gow was Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary and died when a bomb was detonated under his car in the driveway of his home on 30th July 1990.

It was a great privilege to meet Ian's family, and I am pictured here with Jane, and former Prime Minister John Major at the reception.

I hope you have a lovely weekend, and I will be in touch next week.  By the way I am holding one of my public surgeries at Eastbourne Borough Football Club this afternoon (1-2.30pm.)  If you're around, pop down! 

Shinewater School
Of course the big news at the start of the week was the terrible fire at Shinewater Primary School.  I'd like to say well done to the school’s staff and local community for their hard work to ensure pupils can continue their education following the fire.
I'm told that all the children have now resumed lessons, just four days after the blaze, which is a great achievement.
On Wednesday pupils in reception class, years one, two and three and nursery children resumed lessons in the non-damaged areas of the school, and yesterday years four, five and six children started their classes using classrooms at the nearby West Rise Junior School, who have my thanks for making space at their site to help out the children.
This has been a very difficult time for pupils, parents and staff, so it’s wonderful that the education authority has managed to get the school back up and running so soon.  These will be the arrangements until half term and after that it’s planned for the children to all be educated back at Shinewater from 2nd November using temporary classrooms

Band of Brothers

I visited the charity Band of Brothers the other day (pictured here with co-ordinator Nathan Roberts), which is a superb organisation helping young men from the town rebuild their lives.

I attended an event at Eastbourne Blind Society in Longstone Road where young men ended their three-month long ‘Quest’ of reconnecting with society and rebuilding their confidence with a ‘Homecoming’ ceremony.

Volunteers from local businesses and trades act as role models for the young men who are experiencing difficult life situations, and they provide them with a range of coaching and support, both personal and practical, to enable them to turn their lives around.

The men are often referred to Band of Brothers from different sources including the probation and young offending services.

It was humbling to learn about this ceremony and to see young men, many from troubled pasts, take steps back into their families and community.

The work of Band of Brothers and its dedicated volunteers is really magnificent and so vitally important if these young men are to get the insight and courage they desperately need to be the best they can be.
Copyright © 2015 Caroline Ansell MP, All rights reserved.

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