Dear Wealden resident,
☀️ Summer is well and truly underway, and I hope that you have been enjoying some much-needed sunshine. Wealden is a wonderful place to be at this time of year as it has so many activities to offer and I hope that you will have an opportunity to take a break and take advantage of some of them.
While I also look forward to spending more time away from Westminster, there is much to be done over the summer and I will be out and about on visits and meetings across the constituency.
As the House rises for the summer recess, please allow me to reflect on some of the highlights of my work in Wealden and in Westminster over the past few months 👇🏽
🇬🇧🤝🏼🇺🇦 Over £418,000 secured to help Ukrainian families in Wealden 🇬🇧🤝🏼🇺🇦
Wealden has led the way in providing support to Ukrainian families arriving to East Sussex and is currently home to over 720 guests. Since the start of the Homes for Ukraine scheme I have been working closely with local volunteer groups such as MAYFACS regarding visa applications in order to secure faster and safer arrivals to Wealden and I'm immensely grateful for the kindness and hospitality of Wealden residents involved in local support.
I appreciate that some Ukrainian families may now wish to move on into their own accommodation and I'm pleased that Wealden is being supported by over £418,000 from the Government's £150 million fund to help Ukrainian guests to find employment and long-term suitable independent accommodation. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🎓 Another £1.5m secured for Crowborough's Beacon Academy 🎓
Beacon Academy is an outstanding local school and I'm absolutely thrilled that following the fantastic result of £1.3 million investment in 2021, they have been successful again in the latest round of the Condition Improvement Fund and awarded a further £1.5 million this year! The boost in funding will ensure that students can thrive in an improved environment and better facilities, enabling them to fulfil their potential. This is a fantastic result for Crowborough and for Wealden, and I will continue campaigning for more funding for Wealden schools in need of this vital support. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🏥 Enhancing opportunities for Uckfield Community Hospital 🏥
I recently convened a meeting with local NHS leaders to discuss the delivery of primary care and emergency services in Wealden and to explore opportunities for expansion of services at Uckfield Community Hospital. The hospital is an excellent service for our local communities and I would like to thank The League of Friends of Uckfield Community Hospital for their continued support for the service. I look forward to continuing working with them as well as Sussex NHS leaders and providers to ensure that for the benefit of local residents, the facilities at Uckfield Community Hospital are used to their full potential. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🚔 Working with Sussex Police to tackle crime in Wealden 🚔
I was pleased to meet with the new Wealden District Commander and Wealden Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector and receive assurances that the incidence of crime in the constituency remains low, with police resources focusing on reducing response times and increasing visibility on the ground. I look forward to continuing working closely with Sussex Police and the Wealden Neighbourhood Team to ensure that Wealden remains one of the safest places in the country. 👉🏽 Read more here.
⚡ Supporting Full Fibre roll out to South Hailsham ⚡
Poor broadband is one of the top frustrations for local residents and I'm constantly campaigning for improvements to the provision and reliability of internet across Wealden. I’m pleased that local companies such as Lightning Fibre are helping to build the new infrastructure needed and delivering a new phase of the full fibre roll out for South Hailsham, and across Wealden and East Sussex. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🤝🏼 Securing funding boost for Wealden charities 🤝🏼
The December water outages were hugely disruptive and unacceptable. I have been persistently campaigning for individual payments to all households affected and I'm pleased to have secured compensation to over 430 more South East Water customers. On top of this, I welcomed the £50,000 Community Fund which was set up to recognise the wider impact on the community and was in addition to individual compensation payments to customers directly affected by the outage.
The fund received an overwhelming response and I joined representatives from South East Water to distribute grants to 21 fantastic local charities who provide vital services and support for Wealden communities. 👉🏽 See the full list of recipients and read more here.
♻️ Congratulating Brighter Uckfield group on The King’s Award nomination ♻️
Litter is a blight on the beautiful Wealden countryside, and I know it is an issue of concern for many local residents. I'm delighted that Brighter Uckfield have been nominated for The King’s Award, which is the UK’s highest award for outstanding voluntary services. It was a pleasure to meet the exceptional volunteers who dedicate their free time to making Uckfield cleaner and brighter, and thank them in person. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🌾 Supporting Nutley Windmill fundraiser 🌾
We are incredibly lucky that Wealden is the home of so many unique and treasured historical assets. Nutley Windmill a fine example of the oldest design of windmill known in this country since the 12th century and I’m grateful to Brian and Robert Pike and all the wonderful volunteers who carry out a huge amount of restoration work to ensure that it continues to thrive. I was pleased to support the recent exhibition in Uckfield's Bridge Cottage and discuss the latest works to repair the windmill's sails. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🏽 Supporting Wealden carers and kinship carers 🏽
Every June, I'm proud to support National Carers Week to raise awareness of unpaid caring and recognise the invaluable contribution that carers across Wealden make. However, the wellbeing of carers is all too often forgotten, so this year, I was pleased to team up with Care for the Carers, who provide free wraparound service for carers in Wealden and across East Sussex, to raise awareness about the support available. 👉🏽 Read more here.
I was also pleased to meet with Hailsham kinship carers at a local peer support group spearheaded by Wendy Turner to discuss the challenges they face and the support available locally and nationwide. Becoming a kinship carer is a lifechanging situation and can be a very isolating experience, especially as many children in kinship care will have experienced trauma and are in need of a lot of support. Please know that there is support available, if you need it and do reach out. 👉🏽 Read more here.
⚽ Funding secured for Fords Green in Nutley ⚽
Over the past three years alone, I’m proud to have secured over £24,500 in grants via the Premier League for several Wealden clubs including Crowborough, Hadlow Down, Hailsham and Uckfield. In addition to this funding, Fords Green in Nutley is one of the successful projects that will benefit from over £1,300 Government investment as part of the £68 million fund to support multi-sport use pitches. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🏆 Supporting Sussex Sixes girls tournament in Uckfield 🏆
It is always heart-warming to see Wealden residents of all ages benefit from improved access and sports equipment. In May, I opened the girls’ session of the popular Sussex Sixes football tournament hosted by Uckfield Grasshoppers, which brings together over 250 junior teams of boys and girls aged 6-16 and over 6,000 spectators. It was fantastic to witness the next generation of Lionesses in the making and be part of their journey. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🏃 Construction begins on Horam GAP project 🏃
For the past two years, I have been supporting Horam Village Hall Trustees in boosting exercising opportunities in the village, and I’m pleased to have helped secure the Get Active Pathway project, which is a 1km long path around the perimeter of the recreation ground for all-year and all-weather use. The construction works have already started, and I look forward to celebrating the completed project in the autumn.
👏🏽 Celebrating prestigious awards for Bluebell Vineyard and Hailsham gift shop Maybugs 👏🏽
🍇 Bluebell Vineyard is a fine example of some of the best quality wines produced in the UK and it is wonderful to see them prosper and being recognised by several Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at this year’s WineGB Awards. I'm enormously proud that Wealden is the home of so many exceptional vineyards and I will always champion our local winemakers, who work incredibly hard all year round to produce their excellent, award-winning products while also providing job opportunities for local communities. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🛍️ Small independent businesses are at the heart of our local economy, creating vibrant town centres across Wealden. MAYBUGS is an exceptional business and a great asset to Hailsham, offering unique products and exciting brands to local customers. I'm pleased to see it thrive and being recognised not only by customers locally, but also by national awards including the High Street Hero Award at the Small Business Awards 2023. 👉🏽 Read more here.
🚗🇬🇧 It has been a hugely successful week for British automotive industry after Tata Group announced investment of over £4 billion and confirmed that the UK has been chosen as the home of its first gigafactory outside India.
As the Minister for Industry responsible for the automotive sector and Chair of the Automotive Council, I am proud that after months of negotiations, Britain will become the home of Tata Group’s first European gigafactory. The investment of over £4 billion is fantastic news and a huge boost to our automotive sector, which will fast track EV production, help grow our economy by driving forward our lead in battery technology, and create thousands of new jobs in the industry. 🇬🇧👏🏽
The new gigafactory will be one of the largest in Europe and will create up to 4,000 highly skilled jobs, as well as thousands of further jobs in the wider supply chain for battery materials and critical raw minerals, helping grow the economy and take forward the UK’s commitment to net zero. 🔋🌱
👉🏽 Read more here.
🚂 Take part in consultation on changes to local train ticket offices 🚂
Due to a significant decline in the use of ticket offices, with only around 1 in 10 transactions occurring at a ticket office in 2022/23 and the vast majority being sold online or via ticket machines, train companies are currently consulting on plans to modernise customer service across the railway network.
👉🏽 The consultation, led by Transport Focus, is open until Wednesday 26th July and can be accessed here.
I appreciate that the way people buy tickets have changed and this needs to be reflected in service provision at train stations. However, I'm also aware that mobile phone network provision, which is crucial to purchasing tickets online needs improvement at some of our remote train stations such as Eridge, and I am keen to hear the views of Wealden commuters on how their journeys might be impacted by the proposed changes, so that I can put further pressure on providers to enhance coverage at stations and ensure that anyone using the rail network in Wealden can request additional assistance via their phone.
Please share your views with me via a dedicated platform on my website 👉🏽 here 👈🏽 to inform any decision-making impacting Wealden train stations following the consultation.
☎️ Contact ☎️
If you need my assistance regarding a particular issue, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide as much information as possible about your query.
Casework is undertaken daily and surgery appointments are currently taking place in person, over the phone, or virtually.
I hope that you have a fantastic summer and I look forward to seeing you in Wealden.☀️🏡