EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell says lockdown now seems to be working with infection rates falling.

She said: “However, the death toll has risen and it appears this will continue for some time.

My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one to this terrible disease. 

This has meant very difficult decisions for our local hospital, specifically around maternity.

I spoke this week with our lead midwife about the temporary suspension of births at home and at the DGH’s Midwife Led unit again and was pleased to hear how well mums and their babies were doing despite all the challenges. 

As soon as the ambulance service can confidently provide support again, this suspension will lift.

There is an end to this pandemic and how we boost our economy and get back the jobs lost over the last year, especially in the crucial hospitality sectors that are so important to our town is very much in focus.

This will be a challenge and The Chancellor is looking at what will be in his budget to help support the country.

I will be making my representations on this and it will include an extension to the VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism industries to stimulate our local economy and create jobs and businesses.

But we can all be in no doubt that the government has spent huge sums generously supporting millions through the pandemic and we cannot continue to borrow money at this level.

My post bag is full of those who want a focus on many very important areas but there are also many emails from people really concerned about how and who will pay what the government has spent.

Building back better is not all about infrastructure or business but also about the social capital of this country too. I remain immensely proud of how charities and groups have come together to support communities across Eastbourne and Willingdon but I also know they have been unable to fundraise and they are exhausted by their efforts.

Young people too have been hard hit by Coronavirus and we must have to find ways forward to specifically help these groups. The government has already launched Kickstart to offer employment for young people but more work is needed here.

There are rarely easy answers but I will do all I can to support Eastbourne and protect the vulnerable.”