Well I am sure many of us will be glad to see the back of 2011 and all the challenges it has given to so many both in work and business who have struggled or those depending on returns from savings in retirement, there really does seem to have been no let up for most of us. However, every new year brings new optimism and 2012 is no different. Many of the challenges remain but here in Sovereign Ward we have a lot to be hopeful about.
Langney Point suffered a very unpleasant incursion of travellers during 2011, causing damage to our much valued Five Acre Field and misery to residents living close to the popular open space and dog walkers alike. Your Councillors took the Council to task over this and this year we are pleased to be able to announce that further trees will be planted along the Princes Road edge in addition to measures currently being considered by Council officers to better protect the field at our request. These trees will continue the theme of the tree lined avenue along the Lottbridge Drove section and provide extra shielding in future years as the trees mature.
Long suffering residents in Ramsay Way and the surrounding roads have long complained about the speed some irresponsible motorists travel at which has caused a number of car accidents, deaths of much loved pets and noise pollution. Following years of campaigning, our County Councillor David Elkin has been successful in getting some traffic calming measures provided and a consultation took place during 2011 which will see a number of improvements that will hopefully reduce this problem and we will be keeping in touch with residents in surrounding roads to ensure that the problem does not move elsewhere.
In Sovereign Harbour there have been a number of positive developments. During December Doctor Adoki's surgery moved out of the house in Barrier Reef Way in the North Harbour to a brand new state of the art Medical Centre on Pacific Drive so residents now have one of the best medical facilities in the county with a whole host of additional services provided - if you've not yet had chance to go and see for yourself, I thoroughly recommend you do! Additionally, progress seems to have been made on the Sovereign Harbour Master Plan which has involved all political parties working together with residents and local interest groups to get the best for residents from the remaining plots of land and it is believed that this will see at long last a better balance being struck for residents with a new community centre and more open spaces. I have also called for an assisted living development so that elderly residents don't have to move away from the Harbour when they need a little more care than they can manage in their own homes - many people I have spoken to about this believe it would be a really popular addition to the Harbour community!
During later 2011, the owners of the Crumbles Retail Park (more recently known as Sovereign Harbour Retail Park) met with Councillors and community groups to seek opinions on their plans for redeveloping the Retail Park and this lead to a very well attended presentation being held in the site which was formerly occuppied by Fitness First. I believe these plans will not only improve the retail and leisure offer for local people but also help attract more visitors to Eastbourne. Furthermore as a positive side effect I am pleased to advise that the developers have listened and agreed to progress the installation of the long talked about Harbour Bus Gate before the redevelopment of the retail park takes place which will lead to big improvements to bus services in the North & South Harbours.
I am also consiously aware that even though there has been some positive developments, there is still much work to be done. I stand ready to continue to work not only with my ward colleagues, but also the other councillors of all parties, residents, community groups and our local neighbourhood police team who work hard for us all year round and I sincerely hope that 2012 gives further positive results for our community. As always, if anyone needs my help, regardless of their political views, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01323 471679 and I will be happy to help.