OUR MP Caroline Ansell has been reflecting on the past 12 months and how Lockdown has affected us.

She says: “One year ago this week, the country locked down for the first time to battle Covid.

Since then, more than 126,000 have died of the virus in what is a national tragedy. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones and to all those who are still suffering from the effects of the disease.

It has been a challenging and, at times, incredibly difficult year. Probably the most difficult the country has faced since the Second World War. I have been incredibly proud of how Eastbourne and Willingdon have come together to support communities and to do our best to keep infections low.

The vaccine rollout is a tremendous success and we are just a few months away from going back to some form of normal as more and more of the population receive their Covid jabs. I’ve just booked mine.

Already the government is looking to further support our town with the council receiving more than £156,000 from the Welcome Back Fund that gives councils and businesses the funding to boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stalls. As a coastal town, we have received more money.

This is very good news and comes on top of considerable other support for Eastbourne and Willingdon in the shape of the VAT reduction, furlough and businesses grants and loans.”