Local MP calls for Lewes District Council to mend Splash Point

Seaford MP Norman Baker is calling upon Lewes District Council to make urgent repairs to Splash Point, Seaford following damage caused by recent storms. The area is now gated off from the public preventing access, due to safety concerns.

This popular spot, where both visitors and locals can enjoy the coast, and during warmer months view the rare colony of kittiwakes, is now out of bounds after Lewes District Council erected substantial gates and fencing to warn people off.

The damage caused by the storms include the falling away of the path and the wall underneath has been undermined. Local residents are calling for these repairs to be made a priority.

Norman saysUnless action is taken to make these repairs, the problem is only going to get worse. We are fast approaching fine weather and holidays, when visitors to the area will want to be enjoying walks, views and the beach and instead will be greeted by a large gate and a lack of action. Lewes District Council must progress with this work to help save Splash Point and ensure the local economy is not affected by a lack of visitors to the area

Local MP welcomes latest drop in unemployment figures

Norman Baker has welcomed the latest drop in unemployment figures that show the number of Job Seekers Allowance claimants in Lewes Constituency represents 2.2% of the economically active population aged 16 and 64, that being 244 lower than in March 2013.

Figures published today by the Office of National Statistics show more people are in work than ever before with levels of employment up to 30.4 million. Unemployment figures have fallen by 77,000 in the 3 months to February 2014 to a rate of 6.9% – the lowest level in 5 years.

Whole economy total pay grew 1.7% in the 3 months to February.

Norman says: “It is encouraging to see a continuing upward trend of people entering employment, along with growth in pay. We have record numbers in work and unemployment falling at the fastest rate in over decade. This can only help in pulling us out of the economic downturn, both at a national level and in the local area.

Helping local people to find jobs is a key priority for me. Quarter by quarter, job by job we are rebuilding Britain’s economy. Every job created is a family helped and a boost to our economic growth. This is further convincing evidence of the key Lib Dem contribution in building a stronger economy and growth in our country.”

Opportunity for full time Caseworker available in busy constituency office of Norman Baker MP

Job Title:
Caseworker

Details:
An opportunity for a full time Caseworker (37.5 hours per week) has become available in the busy Lewes-based constituency office of Norman Baker MP.

The successful applicant will have strong communication, IT and organisational skills, enjoy working in a busy office environment, have a good sense of humour, be a team player and possess enthusiasm for the job in hand. Previous office experience would be an advantage but is not essential.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Dealing with constituents, either in person, in writing, or over the telephone
  • Providing information and advice for constituents on a range of areas, including  subjects such as housing, healthcare and social security
  • Liaising with local authorities, government agencies and the voluntary sector in order to resolve issues
  • Drafting correspondence
  • The role will also include filing, occasional audio-typing and other administrative duties.

Starting Salary:
£17,000
Closing date:
Friday 25 April

Those who have been shortlisted for an interview will hear by Tuesday 29 April.
Interviews will be held on Friday 2 May.

Start Date:
As soon as possible.

Contact:

To apply, please send a CV with a covering letter to Emma Welfare

Email: emma.welfare@parliament.uk
Address: 23 East Street, Lewes, BN7 2LJ
Tel: 01273 480268.

Independent Reviewer Issues Critical Report on Tory-controlled Seaford Town Council

*MP’s key Points of Concern upheld

*MP demands apology from council to people of Seaford

“Substantial issues have been identified which need to be acknowledged as requiring urgent attention”. So states the independent reviewer, Sheelagh Douglas, drafted in to consider the ten points of concern set out by Seaford’s MP Norman Baker in his press release of January 20th.

In particular:

  • The MP alleged a culture of bullying: the Report identifies shortcomings in personnel handling (most of Ms Douglas’s conclusions on this point are in a confidential annex not available to the MP)
  • The MP complained of an almost endemic failure of the council to answer letters: the Report says “The evidence supports the general view that it is often difficult to get replies to correspondence or telephone calls to the Town Council
  • The MP complained of huge delays in dealing with relatively simple administrative matters: the Report says “It is…clear that Town Council processes have been less than efficient…and that management has failed….The Museum Trust deserve an unequivocal apology for the way in which the issue of their lease has been dealt with.”
  • The MP complained of the extent of delegation of matters to the town clerk: the Report says this has not been excessive, but adds that “inappropriate delegations” have been made
  • The MP suggested endemic infighting within the controlling Conservative group was costing the town dear, not least by generating lots of by-elections: the Report says: “it appears that politicisation of the Council has delivered divisive approaches between and within political parties”
  • The MP complained of spiralling costs from town council inaction over their property in Broad Street, Hurdis House: the Report says “the lack of timely and consistent action in respect of the lease is a proper matter for concern.
  • The MP expressed concern about the bill being racked up for Seaford Head Golf Club. The Report says “there remains concern…about future targets and funding being achieved” and recommends that a proper risk assessment be carried out

Norman says: “I called for this investigation to take place because it was becoming clear to me, through my own experiences and those of my constituents, that Seaford Town Council was dysfunctional. This independent report proves that my main concerns were justified and that there are serious shortcomings in the Tory management of this council.

“Since 2011 the Conservatives on the Town Council have had five resignations and another leave their party. This is not a sign of a group capable of running a Town Council and the people of Seaford deserve much better than this.

“I hope now at last the Tory group will take its head out of the sand, stop denying there is a problem, and act on all the recommendations of the independent examiner. The first thing the Tory council should do is to apologise to my constituents in Seaford for the appalling service and lamentable management that has been the hallmark of this administration.”