Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb was in Seaford yesterday to see the new paramedic service for the town which the town’s Lib Dem MP Norman Baker had successfully lobbied for, as a stopgap until a proper minor injuries unit can be provided. He was also there to have a tour of the new Horder Centre, and to back Norman Baker’s call for the now redundant Homefield Place to be used to deliver local health requirements.
Norman Lamb says: “I was impressed with the new paramedic service which is doing a great job in Seaford and congratulate my colleague Norman Baker on pushing so hard for this. What the ambulance service has started here is a model that could usefully be copied elsewhere in the country.”
Norman Baker adds: “Getting local health services in Seaford that meet the needs of the local population is my top priority for Seaford. The new paramedic service is a great step forward but there is still much more to do. In my view, the local Clinical Commissioning Group should be looking to acquire Homefield Place and running services out of there, both the avoid the need for local people to have to traipse to the DGH in Eastbourne, and also to take pressure off the doctors’ surgeries in the town.”
The danger that Newhaven’s new University Technical College might have had to delay its opening by a year has been averted due to some nifty footwork by the town’s Lib Dem MP, Norman Baker.
There is a need for the provision of temporary classrooms for the first few weeks, but the Department for Education was resisting this as numbers enrolled had not reached a threshold by some arbitrary date. Without the classrooms, the College would have had to turn away the many who had enrolled and put back the opening for a year.
Norman therefore contacted the school minister, David Laws, Department for Education and won agreement for funding to be released to enable The UTC to open on schedule while the build on their permanent building is completed.
Norman says: “It would have been terrible, and sent all the wrong signals if the opening had to be delayed, so unlocking agreement from the DfE, confirmed to me in a letter this morning, is really good news.
The team is back on track to have facilities open in time for the 2015 student intake, thanks to this funding agreement.”
Lib Dem MP Norman Baker has welcomed news that CTLA along with other local community transport providers in his Lewes constituency are to receive mini bus funding to support their delivery of services.
Community Transport for the Lewes Area (known as CTLA), Cuckmere Buses, Bluebird Community Partnership and Hurst & Hassocks Community Bus Association are all to receive mini bus funding to support their delivery of services.
A £25 million fund was launched in November last year by the Department for Transport to purchase new minibuses for Community Transport organisations.
Norman says: “These organisations all play a vital role in supporting communities, especially where commercial bus services are not available. It is good news that their efforts have been acknowledged in providing them much needed vehicles to enable them to continue to deliver their services.
“The Department for Transport’s helpful approach is in stark contrast to the cuts mentality of the Tory-run East Sussex County Council.”
Local MP Norman Baker MP is backing a community action group who are looking at buying the recently closed Lamb Inn in Ripe.
The good village pub in Ripe has been for sale for some time. However earlier this year it was closed down for good by owner Shepherd Neame and boarded up.
Now a community action group has been formed with the aim of buying the crucial village amenity, and seeking members of the community to invest in the project.
Norman recently met with Caroline Adcock, Lib Dem Wealden District Council candidate for Ripe, and other community representatives to discuss their concerns and to hear more about the project.
Norman Said: “On average 31 pubs are closing a week. Pubs are the heart of so many rural communities
“As someone who has long campaigned for community ownership of local pubs, I was delighted to hear about the community action group and their fundraising effort to reopen the Lamb Inn and I will do anything I can in helping them to achieve this.”
Norman has been concerned about the high number of pub closures for some time and was recently awarded the prestigious “Parliamentary Beer Champion 2014 and 2015” award in recognition of his support for the brewing industry and local pubs.