Read My Latest Newsletter

Dear Friend,

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on what my team and I have been doing for you across Wealden and in Westminster over the last few weeks.

💉Covid-19 updates 💉

Many of you would have seen the update from the Chief Medical Adviser and the Chief Scientific Officer today. We have a difficult winter ahead of us and I am aware that you are concerned about the spread of the virus, as well as the impact of further lockdowns on people’s wellbeing and our local economy. I continue to press the Government to ensure that any decision they make in the months ahead puts our care homes, schools and testing capacity as top priorities.

From your correspondence, I also know how difficult it has been to access a test in Wealden. I have been urging the Government to ensure sufficient resources for Wealden since July (watch HERE) and I pressed the Health Secretary on testing capacity again this month (watch HERE). It is my priority to ensure that residents across Wealden have access to Covid-19 testing and that our services are fully prepared for the winter ahead. You can read my statement HERE.


🏡 Wealden updates 🏡

🏰 Saving Michelham Priory Moat 🏰

In August, I visited Michelham Priory to learn more about the issues regarding water management to its moat (read more HERE). I secured an urgent debate in Parliament (watch HERE) and demanded firm commitments from the Ministers to act immediately and for the Environment Agency to find a workable solution. I am determined to meet with the Environment Agency to get this issue resolved. I spoke about the issue on the South East Programme and on our local radio stations (listen HERE). To let such a unique, historic site disappear would be a devastating historical, social and economic loss for East Sussex and I am not going to let this happen on my watch. Read more in the Sussex Express HERE.

Michelham Priory

🌈 Wealden Hero Awards 🌈

I have been inundated with nominations for the Wealden Hero Awards. So many Wealden residents have gone above and beyond to help others throughout the pandemic and many wonderful community projects have emerged during this most difficult time. I had pleasure to meet these extraordinary individuals and businesses this summer and to present them with the Award.

Here is a list of our Wealden Heroes:

  • Alison Cousins and Maisie Jones, founders of the Sewing Crow-Bees (read more HERE)
  • Spencer Miller, driving force behind Supporting Crowborough (read more HERE)
  • Tess Flower, owner of The Village Shop at Upper Dicker (read more HERE)
  • Allison Wright, leaseholder of the Laughton Village Shop (read more HERE)
  • The Patel family, shopkeepers of the Maresfield Village Store (read more HERE)
  • Nick Bolton, founder of the Buxted Inn Volunteer Group (read more HERE)
  • Sue Willmott and Louisa Henderson, key volunteers of the Buxted Inn Volunteer Group (read more HERE)
  • Shirley Holland, project manager of Mayfacs (read more HERE)
  • The English Soap Company, Waldron (read more HERE)
  • Charlotte Ward, founder of Happy to Help (read more HERE)
  • Wendy Coleman, manager of T22 Club (read more HERE)
  • Sarah Merriman, Groombridge (read more HERE)
  • Chrissie Litchfield, founder of Scrubbers United (read more HERE)
  • Julie Ruse, Withyham (read more HERE)
  • John Smith and the Perryhill Farm Shop (read more HERE)
  • Kim Dopson, Maggie Dopson, Nicola Almond, Sam Coltman, Five Ash Down Post Office (read more HERE)
  • Reverend Alan Weaver, Jarvis Brook (read more HERE)
  • Stephen Dann, Hailsham FM (read more HERE)
  • Christine Skinner, Uckfield FM (read more HERE)
  • Sue Foster, Uckfield (read more HERE)
  • Charlotte Brazier and Helen Lawrence, founders of Hailsham Crisis Support (read more HERE)
  • Dec Davies, owner of Davies&Sons Family Butchers, Horam (read more HERE)
  • Kirti Karia, manager of Hartfield Village Stores (read more HERE)

Wealden Heroes

🎓 New School Opening 🎓

I am delighted that The Ropemakers' Academy, a new free school in Hailsham, has opened its doors to pupils this September. The Ropemakers' Academy is one of more than 50 new free schools across the country that have opened their doors at the start of this new school term. At full capacity, it will educate and care for 80 pupils aged 4-16, who have been identified as having social, emotional and mental health issues. Read more HERE.

🌸 New Business Opening 🌸

I am delighted to have opened Flowers by Maybugs, a new business in Hailsham. Flowers by Maybugs is a contemporary florist, which is located in Vicarage Field Hailsham. Their flowers are fresh and locally sourced, and they cater for all kinds of events, from weddings and parties to sympathy tributes. Read more HERE.

Flowers by Maybugs

🍽 Support for the hospitality sector 🍽

I am pleased that Wealden has shown such a great level of support for our brilliant restaurants and hospitality businesses, with more than 105,000 meals claimed in Wealden under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme! Read more HERE.

🎭 Support for Live Events Sector 🎭

I am proud that Wealden is home to many award-winning events such as the Black Deer Festival and the Elderflower Fields Family Festival, and to many of the country’s best technicians who are behind our world-class events. Following many concerning conversations with Wealden constituents who work in the sector, I have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, raising the issue and urging him to consider further assistance to support the industry. Read my letter HERE.

👆🏽 Situation in China 👆🏽

I continue to make representations on human rights abuses in China as well as on the data collection of China’s arm’s length companies (watch HERE). I’ve also joined forces with The Jewish News to call for Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials, as well as a human rights tribunal to hold China to account for its human rights violations of the Uighurs (read the article HERE).

I continue to be in daily contact with residents to help with urgent cases and crisis support. To name just a few, over the summer my team and I have dealt with support for hospitality businesses, support for schools, planning issues, support for the Ashdown Forest, support for the travel sector and increased policing in Wealden.

If you need my help urgently, please email me at

Take care and stay safe.

Yours sincerely,