OUR Tory MP Caroline Ansell is sending out a positive message today about Lockdown 3.

She says: “This lockdown at this time of year is going to be incredibly difficult and I know many people will be suffering with their mental health and loneliness as well as grappling with money and job worries. It is a perfect storm but one we must weather together.

There are many positives. We have a tremendous community spirit here in Eastbourne and Willingdon and many organisations and individuals are standing ready to help. I am incredibly proud of how our town has responded and I know it will rally again over these next weeks.

It’s not back to square one. There is a big difference from what happened in March last year. We have independently approved vaccines to tackle this virus and local people are receiving them as I write.

The NHS is now rapidly scaling up the vaccination programme and the Prime Minister has said the top four priority groups – residents in care homes, over 70s, health and care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable will get it by mid-February.

This is the only way to get the country out of lockdown and return life to as normal as it can be. Already more than 1.3 million people in the UK have got the jab and 23% of over 80s have it and will then be protected from Covid over the coming weeks.

With infection rates so high, this is vital and I would urge absolutely everyone who is called for the vaccine to go and get it with confidence. Until then, we must all play our part in sticking to the lockdown restrictions so that the NHS, which is under grave pressure, can cope this winter and lives are saved.”