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Dear <<First Name>> 

The shorter days are upon us and Bonfire Night has been and gone. I have had a series of important opportunities to engage with organisations who deliver services in our town and their plans for the winter.

I’ve also been helping celebrate some interesting milestones. Recently, I was delighted to join the Royal Marine Association, Eastbourne Branch  at The Oval to celebrate the local branch’s first anniversary and the 357th birthday of The Royal Marines and attended a couple of events marking the 40th birthday of St Wilfred's Hospice.

I also had update meetings with local services to be briefed on winter plans and Covid preparations. 

First stop was the borough council to talk about support for the homeless. The council said the Government’s funding to help those on the streets was generous. Ministers have announced a £600,000 support grant for homelessness and also an additional £149,000 for renters over the winter.  


The Rough Sleeper Initiative has been extended for three years allowing rough sleepers to be supported into sustainable housing.  I was also told that the number of homeless from Brighton housed in Eastbourne continues to fall and this is easing pressure on services linked to their support. 

On the health front, I met with hospital leaders. I also met South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb). The service is under sustained pressure due to covid shortages but it has been increasing the workforce. They talked about winter contingencies and the service has been given additional funding to build staffing capacity.  

Secamb is also the only ambulance trust in the country to have a separate Covid booster hub and are ahead of other trusts in getting their workforce better protected. 


Nationally the COP26 environmental conference in Glasgow has dominated the headlines and I am really pleased about action to cut methane production and reverse deforestation. 

Locally, there was a big success on the environmental front. Treebourne has been awarded £418,000 by the Urban Tree Challenge Fund to plant 1,000 street trees in Eastbourne over the next two years.  


The organisation is inviting people to suggest where the trees will be planted. Many congratulations to everyone involved in securing these funds that will make a difference to our carbon footprint and enhance our local environment. There’s a great deal of work ahead to plant 500 trees by April! 

On Thursday morning Wealden District Council's Planning Committee  met to determine the Mornings Mill Farm application.

In March I objected to this application, joining Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council and hundreds of local residents. You can read my grounds for objection below.

I very much welcome the planning committee's decision to refuse planning consent for this application. Thank you too for all local residents for all of your efforts. This has made a difference.

I have written to Wealden Council to ask for clarity on the next steps now this decision has been referred to the north planning committee. I will work with local residents and neighbouring MP Maria Caulfield to take this to the very top.

Last Friday ( 29th October)  St Wilfrid’s Hospice celebrated its fortieth birthday! I was delighted to attend the celebration with staff and volunteers in the evening and had the pleasure of presenting the “because you matter” award.

Founded in 1981, the hospice cares for anyone with a life limiting illness and is a much loved local charity that has touched the lives of many people in the town and surrounding area. It was very moving to hear how the team had rallied over lockdown.  

More formal proceedings followed this Thursday when I had the honour of welcoming Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall to Eastbourne when she visited the hospice.

The Duchess spent some time meeting members of staff and volunteers, After a tour of the Inpatient Unit, The Duchess met Head Gardener, Kevin Loveland, and planted a tree in the garden as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy project.

The Duchess had officially opened the new hospice building in 2014, so it was fitting to welcome her back on their 40th Anniversary Year. Here’s to their next 40 years of dedicated compassionate care. 

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

On Sunday I visited a brilliant event at the Winter Gardens. A huge well done to Andy and all the team at Wyntercon for making it happen this year.

It was great to speak to local families, exhibitors and visitors although I may just have inadvertently said I’d go as Princess Leia next year - I’m a child of the 70s, what can I say!

Last Saturday I  joined the Mayor for a spooky Macmillan Coffee Morning at The Beacon organised by regular fund raisers, Don and Abbi McPhee.

I was very impressed with The Ratton School Irish Dancers, both for their dancing and for their costumes! They attracted a good crowd and received a  very warm applause at the end of the performance!
Last week I reported on  joining the Royal Marine Association, Eastbourne Branch to celebrate the 357th birthday of the Royal Marines. 

I highlighted the minutes silence with the Last post beautifully 'played by young  Cadet, Jim'. 

That should have read played by young  Cadet, Scott.  My apologies to you Scott.
Last Saturday I also dropped into the Newart Gallery in Hyde Gardens for a preview of an exhibition of Louisa Crispin’s work called Botanicals and Bees. I was so impressed with the fine detail in her work. Well worth a visit.

And finally...

Yesterday I paid a visit to Motcombe Community Infants School and Victoria Medical Centre, both in Old Town.

The Poppy appeal  in Eastbourne has had some difficulties this year. My team and I have stepped in to help distribute boxes across the Town over the next couple of days and today, we will be in the Town Centre selling poppies.

I am especially looking forward to tomorrow with the Remembrance Concert at Our Lady of Ransom. This marks the beginning of a week of remembrance in Eastbourne.

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