EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell has been busy meeting people in Eastbourne and Willingdon.

She said: “Now Covid restrictions have eased, I have been out and about across the length and breadth of Eastbourne and Willingdon meeting up with shops, tourist places, charities and a host of others to see for myself how the pandemic recovery is going.

Like many, I now realise how much I have missed meeting people and with the Government’s lockdown Road Map still on track, I remain confident we can step out more in the months to come and that Eastbourne is going to have a successful staycation summer.

This week has been English Tourism Week. I am hoping we are looking forward to a strong summer season for our hospitality sector.

Nearly one in three jobs depend on it locally and that is why over the past year I have been relentless in Parliament to lobby to support this sector through the pandemic.

My top ask was the 5% VAT rate for hospitality to be extended post-March as well as extending repayment of business support loans.

I also lobbied strongly for additional business support grants with hospitality eligible for up to £18,000 through the restart grants announced in the budget.

Hospitality has been steadily unlocking as we progress through the roadmap and last week we took another stride back to normal. The next test is to keep infections low and vaccination uptake high so we can progress to Step 4. The data is promising so far.

Thanks to all our all traders who have worked tirelessly to make their venues covid secure and safe!

Now all we need is some sun!”