Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell was out and about across the town supporting independent traders on Small Business Saturday.

Over the day, Caroline criss-crossed the town, with stops in the Town Centre, Langney and Hampden Park. She also joined up with Conservative councillors for this annual event that highlights the role of local retail and its importance to high streets.

Locations visited by the MP and Councillors Nick Ansell, Colin Belsey and David Small included Ann’s Flowers and Beans & Buds where they met up with the owners to hear about their plans for the first ever Rodmill Christmas market taking place this Saturday.  The group also visited Rodmill Post Office and Bravo Barbers in Ratton.

Caroline joined Councillors Nigel Goodyear and Kshama Shore to visit the Beatty Road parade and they popped into the Poppyseed Bakery and the Beatty Café.

“Everyone was in great form at the café and it was brilliant to catch up.  It was also great to learn about the Saturday jobs offered at Poppyseed and I’m keen to see many more of these opportunities in town.  We teach work readiness in schools now but you just can’t beat experience,” the MP said.

In Meads, Councillors Jane Lamb and Robert Smart were out supporting traders in Meads Street and Caroline got to meet the very busy team at newly opened business Ren’s Kitchen in Meads Street.

“It is so important we support our local businesses and recognise their contribution to Eastbourne,” said Caroline. “They give our town its character and colour.

“Small Business Saturday is a great way to highlight that contribution but support for our local shops and traders is actually needed all year round. We also picked up a number of important pieces of casework along the way. We’ll be straight on it. 

“In this internet age, we need to use or lose our independent shops and services.

“In the run up to Christmas – often a make or break time for local shops – let’s see where we can show some retail love by buying locally.”