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Dear <<First Name>>


For obvious reasons, during the pandemic, good work carried out by the Government has been missed by the media.  
One such announcement was the National Disability Strategy unveiled late last month. 
 
This comprehensive document was developed with the input of more than 14,000 disabled people, as well as disability organisations, businesses, policy experts and many others. 
 
It sets out the Government’s vision to improve the everyday lives of disabled people so that disability is not a barrier to people living full, independent lives and they can reach their full potential. 
 
The strategy came in three parts, and I do not have space to go into the details, but it spells out practical steps that need to take place right now and longer-term ambitions to improve disabled people’s lives. 
 
It shows we need to step up. Only around 52% of disabled people are in work. The strategy found that just 8% of disabled people, 8% of carers and 12% of the general public ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that the views held by members of the public about disability are generally helpful for disabled people. 
 
Here in Eastbourne some of the challenges were spelt out to me during a recent online roundtable discussion with local groups and the disability minister Justin Tomlinson. 
 
We also have practical challenges to improve services for disabled people when major attractions include a beach and downland. 
 
The Government aims to have one million more disabled people in employment by 2027 but they are over a third less likely to be employed than non-disabled people. 
 
If we are to see better opportunities for all and a fairer society then this very poor 52% figure needs to rise dramatically. The employment rate for people who are not disabled is 81%. 
 
I know that disabled people, those with mental health problems, those with learning disabilities, want to work, but the employers are not often there to take them on despite Government support being available. 
 
In addition to this national strategy, we need a joint response here in Eastbourne with disability groups, the chamber of commerce, the job centre and charities to get a plan in place to raise awareness of the support the Government has available for employers and the need for better access. 
 
Watch this space for further developments on this important issue. 
 
Last weekend I paid a visit to Chalk Farm Summer Festival and arrived in time to see the dog show. Well done to Bailey for winning the prize for cutest puppy and a special thank you to all at Chalk Farm Learning Disabilities Centre, who do so much to give adults with learning disabilities an opportunity to receive training within a realistic working hotel setting.

Hearing loss is another disability and during a visit to East Sussex Hearing Centre, recently, I discovered that one in six in Eastbourne suffer from it. 
 
This is a hidden problem in many ways and people often hesitate to seek help from their GP for a referral. It’s clear we need to raise more awareness. 
 
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to help.
 

 FRIENDS of SEASIDE REC FAMILY FUN DAY 

At the beginning of the month, I had the pleasure of drawing the raffle prizes at The Friends of Seaside Rec Annual Family Fun Day.

My congratulations go to Carol and John Bowman, and their team, for putting on another excellent event for their community. Formed in April 2014, they have done so much to improve the facilities at Seaside Rec, the only ‘green space’ in the Devonshire Ward.

LATERAL FLOW TESTS - OUR NEW NORMAL
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 - Test site for people with no symptoms - a booking is required

✅ Day Lewis, 10 Freshwater Square, BN22 0PS - Test site for people with no symptoms - a booking is required

✅ 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

LINKS TO USEFUL INFORMATION
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
STEP 4 OF THE ROADMAP

Below is from the Government website:

The Government has decided to move to step 4 of the roadmap on 19 July, a new phase of continued caution whilst managing the risks of COVID-19. This follows a four week pause, announced on 14 June, which as of 10 July has allowed an additional 7 million (3.5 million first and almost 3.6 million second) vaccination doses to be given. Every adult is expected to be offered a first dose, and two-thirds of adults a second dose, by 19 July.

The pandemic is not over. Cases are increasing rapidly and a third wave is underway. Step 4 does not mark the end of the need for caution and restraint. At step 4, while many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic will be lifted, cautious guidance will remain, making it clear this is not yet a return to normal. While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. We will continue to manage the virus and provide guidance over the coming months.

While there is no perfect time to relax existing restrictions, moving to step 4 on 19 July means relaxations coincide with the end of the school term and take place over the summer when more activities can take place outdoors and pressures on the NHS are less than in the autumn and winter months.

The success of the vaccination rollout has paved the way for the safe and gradual lifting of restrictions. No vaccine, however, is 100% effective and, like all viruses, COVID-19 can mutate. As further restrictions are lifted, there will sadly be more cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

Key protections

That is why we are keeping in place key protections:

  • testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
  • isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace or when advised to by the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries, and for those people arriving from amber list countries, other than those UK residents fully vaccinated in the UK vaccine programme.
  • cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
    • whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer;
    • Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
    • being outside or letting fresh air in; and
    • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
  • encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings to help to limit the risk of infection. The Government will work with organisations that operate large, crowded settings where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS COVID Pass in certain venues at a later date.

And finally...

On Monday we look forward to further relaxing of self-isolation rules for the double jabbed. From then, those identified as close contacts will not have to isolate but will be encouraged to take a test.
 
This is another huge step forward as we learn to live with the virus and increasingly get back to normal.


Have a good day, take care and with my best,


 






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