Newhaven MP Demands Assurances as Town’s Last Bank Closes

Newhaven Lib Dem MP Norman Baker says he is disappointed that the last bank in Newhaven will be closing its doors for the last lime later this year and has sought assurances that people of Newhaven will be able to access a banking service locally.

HSBC Bank plc have announced that the Newhaven branch of the bank will close on Friday 12th September and will shortly be writing to all customers. Nearest branches for customers will now be in Seaford, Lewes or Brighton, all of whom operate longer opening hours than the Newhaven branch.

Lester Wynne-Jones from HSBS Bank plc says: “We have made this decision with great reluctance, but after a careful analysis of the branch’s commercial viability it was clear that it is no longer generating the custom necessary to justify its continued development.”

Norman Baker MP has met with HSBC representatives to get assurances that residents in Newhaven will still be able to access the services of the bank, especially the 23% of customers that HSBC say only use the Newhaven branch and are not registered for telephone or internet banking.

Norman says: I have been assured by HSBC that customers not wishing to access alternative branches will be provided support in how to access banking via the Post Office or training for alternative banking services. I have also insisted that HSBC investigate leaving a cash machine in place following closure, to maintain some sort of service to its customers

“HSBC have also assured me that there will be no redundancies attached to this branch closure as staff will be redeployed to other branches”

“Although I appreciate viability of a branch is a priority for HSBC, this does not help those individuals who are reliant on a counter service to access their own bank accounts and it is a real disappointment to those customers. Not everyone wants to bank online.”

Thousands of local parents to get help with childcare costs


A major tax-free childcare package will help 13,940 families in East Sussex, local Lib Dem MP Norman Baker said today and 2,660 of those will be in Lewes District.

Working families will get up to £2,000 to ease the cost of childcare as part of a scheme to be rolled out in Autumn 2015. It means a family with two children under 12-years-old could benefit by up to £4,000 a year.

Norman says:The announcement in the Queen’s Speech provides a huge boost to families in East Sussex. This is something Liberal Democrats have fought for and are now delivering in Government.

“We are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society and this helps children get the best start in life.” The Queen’s Speech outlines the legislative agenda for the Coalition Government over the next 12 months.

Norman added: “I am also really pleased that the Lib Dems have managed to secure free school meals for every infant, which will help their health and educational development.

“It comes on top of 15 hours free weekly childcare we have already delivered for all three and four year olds and pupil premium to help our schools.

“All these measures will help parents go to work and provide security for their families.”

Norman Baker welcomes Lib Dem successes in the Spring Budget

When I talk to people in my constituency, they often ask me what I am doing as their MP to help in their daily lives. I am proud that this week’s Budget is yet again cutting taxes for ordinary people and slashing childcare costs for parents.

At the last election the Liberal Democrats’ top priority was to give low and middle earners a £700 tax cut. And we’ve delivered. From this April, for the first time ever, nobody will pay income tax on the first £10,000 they earn. This is helping 36,880 people in my Lewes constituency.

As the economy continues to recover, I think it’s important that we make sure everyone can share in the economic benefits. That’s why from April 2015, we’ll increase the personal allowance yet again, putting another £100 back in people’s pockets. This means the total Lib Dem tax cut will then be worth £800 a year.

While the Conservatives were campaigning to cut tax for the richest 15%, I am proud that we have ensured the Coalition delivers our top pledge to help ordinary working people by increasing the personal allowance. And we have done this four times faster than Labour managed during their 13 years in government.

Income tax is not the only way the Liberal Democrats are helping cut living costs. We want to do everything we can do help reduce the cost of childcare for parents. That is why Nick Clegg announced new tax-free childcare to save working parents up to £2,000 per child.

From next year, working parents will be able to get 20p from the government for every 80p they spend on childcare. This will help 2660 families in my constituency, and around 2 million families across the UK. I am delighted that we have been able to introduce this support on top of the 15 hours a week of free early years education that we have already introduced for 3 and 4 year olds.

All of these changes have been possible because the Liberal Democrats put aside any narrow Party interest back in 2010 to form a stable Coalition government. By producing a long term economic plan, the Lib Dems have been able to deliver tax cuts which are building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

Economic recovery wouldn’t be happening without Lib Dems in government, says MP

Local MP, Norman Baker, has welcomed the news that UK economic output rose by 0.8% between July and September, according to figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The data builds on a 0.7% GDP rise in the April-June period and is the best quarterly performance since 2010.

A million more people are currently in work compared to early 2010, according to the ONS, and across the UK the number of unemployed people in the UK has dropped by 18,000 in the last three months. These positives can also be seen in Norman’s constituency, where the number of those unemployed has fallen by 283 between September 2012 and September 2013.

Norman has also been contacting local businesses to promote the benefits of apprentices, as part of the Lib Dems’ ‘Million Jobs’ campaign. This followed Norman’s announcement in March that there were 540 apprenticeships in the Lewes constituency for 2011/12 which was a 116% rise since the last year of the Labour government in 2009/10.

Norman says:

“The economic recovery is really good news for hard-pressed local people, but let us be clear this recovery would not be happening without the Lib Dems in government. Firstly by forming a Coalition in 2010 we provided the country with the political stability from which to recover. Secondly, the policies the Lib Dems have enacted have actively aided the recovery. These include:

  • Giving a £700 tax cut to more than 20m working people and lifted 2.7m of the poorest workers out of paying Income Tax altogether
  • Creating a record 1.5m apprenticeships, with 540 apprenticeships made in the Lewes Constituency alone in 2011/12
  • Putting millions of pounds into the Regional Growth Fund for hard-pressed businesses, £4m of which was offered to East Sussex Invest
  • Putting a levy on the banks which is due to raise £2.5bn
  • £600m Local Sustainable Transport Fund, of which £3.7m was awarded to ESCC

Norman adds:

While the Lib Dems and I are doing our bit to anchor Britain in the centre ground and strengthen the economy, we cannot afford to be complacent in the slightest. People are still struggling to pay bills and face a daily grind to improve life for their families. So, the focus must now be on bolstering the economy and making sure this recovery is sustainable.”