ONE of our local Tory MPs says Eastbourne should be in Tier 3, not Tier 2.

Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, said: “It is surprising that the decision has been made to put parts of East Sussex in Tier 3, and keep other parts in Tier 2.

There has been no meaningful engagement from the Department of Health with local MPs, our local NHS or local authorities leads.

We have all engaged with each other but have had no joy getting our voices heard.

“If there had been engagement, the message from our local NHS would have been heard; we do not have one hospital per district or borough council.

Our county hospitals, in Eastbourne and Hastings, are already at 97 per cent occupancy.

“Their operational circumstances as tight and on the cusp of needing assistance from outside the area. Given the rate increases are heading from the east, it could be argued that the west of the county is going to rise next without county-wide action.

“District borders are hard to define – the villagers of Ticehurst (Rother) will not be able to travel two miles to the Wadhurst High Street (Wealden) to do their shopping; they could not go to nearby Heathfield (Wealden) or Tunbridge Wells (Kent) either. They would have to travel a much further way to get their essentials.

“Unlike MPs in London, there has been no chance for East Sussex MPs to discuss this beforehand. I am not particularly surprised that this illogical decision has therefore been made.”