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The Parliamentary summer recess means I'm back in my home town doing a part of the job I really like – getting out in Eastbourne and Willingdon to meet and listen to local people.
Now Covid restrictions have really eased, I have had a packed schedule of visits right across the constituency.
One of the highlights was a visit to the Motcombe Gardens excavations with Joe Seaman and Kelly van Doorn of Heritage Eastbourne to tour the site and discuss the latest discoveries.
The dig is trying to understand the story of one of Eastbourne’s most important farms, spanning over 700 years.
The exciting news is the team believes it has found a medieval floor. And, incredibly, a pipe they can trace back to one James Shoesmith in the 1820s.


Back in town, I helped open a new shop. Maybugs is now in business at the site of the old Laura Ashley in Terminus Road.
This independent retailer has other East Sussex branches. It’s great to be at an opening after such a hard time for high street shops these last 16 months. Good luck to the owners.

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 felt 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

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

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.
Back on the road and out of town, I visited Jevington Place Farm and saw lambs and Sussex Reds calves.
But there was serious business to address too, talking with farmers Stephen Carr and Henry Brown of Chalk Farm about some of the challenges farming is facing at the moment.
It is a defining moment for British agriculture, as the Government continues to develop a new agricultural and environmental policy for England, while also negotiating new free trade deals and exciting export opportunities.
I believe our farmers are up for the challenge of delivering on the Government’s levelling up agenda, while also producing world class, climate friendly and sustainable food.

Last week, it was a very happy 60th birthday to British Heart Foundation.
To mark the occasion, I paid a visit to the charity’s shop in Terminus Road and spoke with Fay and Chloe. The money, which is raised, funds vital research into heart disease. The results have been impressive. 60 years ago, seven out 10 heart attacks were fatal compared to now, where thankfully seven out of 10 people survive.
Eastbourne’s busy store is short of volunteers and you can download the application using this link 

And finally...

Just a little plea to younger people to go out and get a Covid jab. More than 90% of the adult population now has a vaccine but rates for those aged 18-29 are lagging behind other ages.
Young people have been brilliant during this pandemic even though it affected their education and job opportunities in a big way. In one final push, the more people we vaccinate in this age group, the better.

 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