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We are now approaching Remembrance Sunday and the first engagement for me was last weekend when I joined councillors Colin Belsey, Penny DiCara and the Conservative team to sell poppies in the town centre.
There have been issues with the supply of poppies this year and I am aware of them.
It is very disappointing and frustrating that The Poppy Appeal has not had the same roll out this year as historically. 
However, what hasn’t changed is the generosity of spirit of people in Eastbourne and I thank everyone for stepping forward to buy their poppy, share their story and volunteer for next year’s appeal. 
My team has also stepped in to deliver as many boxes to schools, shops and businesses as we can and I urge everyone to look out for any opportunity to donate as the funds raised really do make a difference. 
We owe such a debt of gratitude to those who have served and died to protect us.
On Sunday I also attended a Remembrance Concert organised by the Eastbourne Silver Band at Our Lady of Ransom in Eastbourne in aid of local military charities.
The event was postponed due to covid last year. It was especially poignant as tributes were paid to key workers, as well as Dame Vera Lynn and Captain Tom. Thank you to Keith Marshall and his team for putting on such a beautiful concert.

On Remembrance Day itself I laid a wreath at The War Memorial in Hampden Park, as I have done for many years. It is such a moving occasion as the names of all the residents of Hampden Park who gave the ultimate sacrifice, are read out.

This year, instead of the last post on a bugle, the Reverend blew a replica whistle of the kind that was blown to send the soldiers 'over the top'. -truly moving!


This week in Parliament, in Justice Questions I raised the tremendous work of Sussex Pathways and asked about what steps are being taken to connect women to employment and education.

I asked:  
I warmly welcome my right hon. Friend’s work to bring together employers in the offender employment summit, and the significant investment that is to come. One more key element to addressing reoffending is the third sector. Will he join me in paying tribute to Sussex Pathways, which does such tremendous work for offenders pre and post release, so that they can make good on some of the opportunities afforded them in prison? What specific steps is the Department taking to connect women with employment and education opportunities?

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice responded:
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We need a tailored approach to the female prison estate. I can tell her that the number of women in custody has fallen by almost a quarter since 2010. That reflects the Government’s investment in community services and community sentences. Custody should remain the last resort for women, but we need to ensure we have better services that are better tailored. That is why we have 500 new places in the women’s estate—a mixture of open and closed conditions—tailored particularly to mental health challenges, addiction, skills and work. Indeed, there are some trailblazing examples of work in prisons, such as The Clink restaurant in HMP Downview.

I believe that reducing the number of women entering into the criminal justice system must remain a Government priority, and it is good to hear of the work being done.

The Environment Bill has now passed into law after the final touches around an obligation to tackle sewage discharges into rivers and seas were agreed.
Water companies will now have new legal duties. 
It has set up an independent Office of Environmental Protection to provide clear targets for environmental protections and it puts the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan into law.
The Act will support nature restoration and looks at the whole of the environment – including land and air as well as sea.
Its passing into law makes the UK ahead of many countries in protecting the environment and reaching our target of limiting climate change. It has been broadly welcomed and I think it is good law.


Where to pick them up and how to do the test.

Our vaccination programme is rightly a big driver in getting back to normality but so is testing and we need to make it as normal as brushing our teeth to protect our progress against the virus and community transmission. 

Recent openings will inevitably mean more cases, but free testing for those without symptoms is an important new line of defence to protect our recovery.  I now TEST regularly.  It is pretty easy and comforting to see a negative result when so many can have the virus without symptoms.  You still have to keep the usual safety measures but it feels good to step out knowing.

✅ Testing will help us
✅ Keep on the roadmap to freedom👣
✅ Stop the spread
✅ Protect the NHS 💙

TESTS: Now available free to all without symptoms and you can do 🏠 at home, order online or collect locally.

You can get a pack of 7 tests sent to your home. Order rapid lateral flow home test kits on GOV.UK
If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone.

The video below explains how to do the test.

How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test)

Community Collect Site

Fort Fun Princes Park Car Park, Royal Parade, BN22 7LQ site is operating as a test site for symptomatic testing  but only in the mornings.  In the afternoons 2:30pm – 8:00pm, following a clean down, it is operating as a Community Collect site for people to collect home test kits and supports the Government statements on providing universal asymptomatic testing.

Eastbourne Pharmacies

✅ A.E. Pharma Limited, 11 Grand Hotel Buildings, Compton Street, BN21 4EJ - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ A & S Shillam Limited, 82 Seaside,  BN22 7QP - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Asda, Crumbles Harbour Village, BN23 6JH - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Boots, Princes Park Health Ctr, Wartling Road, BN22 7PG - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Day Lewis, 2 Furness Road, BN21 4EY - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Day Lewis, 10 Freshwater Square, BN22 0PS - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Osbon Medicals Limited, 116-118 Cavendish Place,  BN21 3TZ - Pick up site - for at home test kits

✅ Tesco Stores, Lottbridge Drove, BN23 6QD - Pick up site - for at home test kits

You can find further details 

Vaccination Information
How & Where to get a Test
Community Help & Support
Free Transport for Covid-19 Vaccinations
Vaccination Scam Information
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Support for Businesses
Test & Trace Support Payment

This week I have welcomed more than £13.5 million of government cash going to apartment leaseholders in the town to cover costs of removing cladding.

Midway Quay – a development of 260 flats in six buildings - has received £6,271,562.26 from the multi-billion government Building Safety Fund to ensure the unsafe cladding is removed from buildings. 

Devonshire Court received £7,242,837.47 from the fund in a move that will help 89 families in the development.  

As many of you know, I have consistently campaigned for the Government to spend more to help leaseholders caught up in the problem of unsafe buildings following the 2017 Grenfell fire in London. 

I am very pleased these substantial funds have now been received by these developments in Eastbourne and that the work can now take place to make them safe. This has been a very unsettling time for many, many residents in our town who, through no fault of their own, have had to deal with this and it has caused considerable stress.  

Andy Dunbar from Midway Quay Management Company reported: “Last year we were faced with a dire situation when it became clear that unsafe cladding had been used in the construction of our buildings. 

“Not only did we feel unsafe, we were trapped as it was almost impossible to sell. This caused untold stress and worry. Many saw the possibility of losing their home and financial ruin. 

“The bill for rectifying our buildings came to £8m, an average of over £30k for each flat. We applied to the Building Safety Fund and received a grant of £6.2m.  

“All the work should be finished within two years. This situation was not of the leaseholders' making but the Building Safety Fund has enabled us to move forward and feel safe in our homes". 

“Throughout the process we worked with Caroline Ansell and our local councillor Paul Metcalf. 

“As a partnership we were able to problem solve some issues and give feedback on the process. I believe Caroline’s intervention had a positive effect on our application." 

It was good to be able to work with residents’ groups to make the case to ministers that this money was needed. Without their input it might have been a different outcome and I thank them for working with me. 

I am pleased the government has given this cash and that is now being put to good use. I am also pleased the Government has announced a developers’ levy to create a £5 billion fund to ensure unsafe buildings receive financial aid. This should mean more cash will be available and the taxpayer is not picking up the entire bill. 

I met with local campaigners led by Marie Hennelly last week ahead of a county council decision to pump an extra £1.8 million into pavement repairs that will benefit Eastbourne. Together with campaigners we have been lobbying the authority to spend more and a proposal for the one-off £1.8 million to spend on the county’s pavements in addition to the usual budget of £1.3 million was passed by the council’s cabinet.

The state of the town’s pavements has been of some concern for many years and I would like to thank Marie, Eastbourne Residents Campaign for Safer Pavements and Eastbourne Access Group for all they have done to keep this issue in the local spotlight. I am very pleased to be working with them.

I asked the county council to include pavements when they considered this one-off investment and  am delighted the decision was made to adopt the proposal, it means the budget for pavements will almost triple for next year.

This will make a difference to our pavements – something I know many people would like to see.
The children at Motcombe Community Infants School had a lovely Enrichment Day last week learning about British values.

As part of this, I was invited to meet with the School Council to answer their questions, discuss the importance of these values and share in the activities with the children. Thanks for having me!
Wayfinder Women, a local charity, held a very special occasion this week to formally receive their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service from the Lord Lieutenant at the Town Hall.

The honour is richly deserved. This amazing group has now supported over a thousand women to build or rebuild their confidence and self esteem and reach for new opportunities. The very moving occasion provided the springboard for the launch of their book, Lockdown Diaries.

I was honoured to write the foreword with parliamentary friend and colleague Sally Ann Hart MP for Hastings.

It was great to meet with the wonderful people down at Amaze at the YMCA in Seaside on Thursday to hear more about their peer support project,  "Amazing Futures"   Amaze is a Sussex charity for children & young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25.  

Please share to spread the word amongst local families that there is support available from Amaze if they need it. You can find out more about other services in East Sussex which support parent carers through the following links:

Also, see Eastbourne Parent Carer Forum at  who Amaze hosts, supports and works closely with. They are the recognised parent carer voice group for East Sussex and work closely with ESCC, health and other agencies to help shape and improve SEND services.

They gather families’ views and train/support parent carer reps to be co-producing services with commissioners and providers. They have 450 parents in membership but are keen for more!

I was delighted to chat to local brownies on Wednesday and help them towards their Jobs Interest Badge by taking a series of questions about my job!

How did I get my job?  A two year long interview and 70,000 people on the interview panel.  Not the average recruitment process! 

And finally...

Tomorrow is, of course, Remembrance Sunday and I will be joining the Civic Party to lay a wreath as Member of Parliament at the Remembrance Service at the Town's War Memorial.. The parade will start at 10.30 from Terminus Road and make it's way along Cornfield Road to the War Memorial for the service and two minutes silence at 11.00.

Later in the day I will also attend the Ruthless Memorial Service, as usual, which will take place at 3pm on the Downs above Butts Brow. This commemorates 10 American airmen who lost their lives when their Liberator bomber, badly damaged by enemy action and in very low cloud, crashed into the downs .

Take good care and keep in touch,


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Caroline Ansell MP · Eastbourne Town Hall · Grove Road · EASTBOURNE, EAST SUSSEX BN21 4TX · United Kingdom