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Quick Tier 1 East Sussex Update

Just to let you know, I attended the Eastbourne Cobra meeting this afternoon (Wednesday 21.10.20) and can report that there is no 'Circuit Break' lockdown planned for East Sussex.  Our infection rate is a quarter of the national average in East Sussex and people are taking care to minimise the spread of the virus.

The detailed notes of the meeting are here:

Eastbourne COBRA Meeting - 21st October 2020

Darrell Gale NHS Review

Now holding Public Health meetings weekly to review Tiers and numbers.  Previously bi-weekly.

Sustained increase in new cases nationally.  Mirrored in East Sussex but at a quarter of the national rate: 170 cases per 100,000 in England, just 43 in East Sussex, about a quarter.  Eastbourne is at 37, Wealden is 60, Lewes 45.  Most areas are dropping back.

No links to events or restaurants, mostly staff socialising. Care homes can be a focus of infection hotspots.  Mostly the spread in East Sussex is in 18-19 year olds.  However, counting is not taking location into account – so students at university are counted where their doctor is at home.  Govt have been asked to count students where they are based.

Wealden leisure centre staff were socialising and spread the disease, hence increase in  Wealden figures.

London is Tier 2, other boroughs near London are considering going up to Tier 2.  Also Essex have announced a move to Tier 2.  This unlocks an additional £2 per head of population to support fighting Covid.  The infection figures don’t support this move and so councillors have received death threats for the affect on jobs and business!

No support to move East Sussex up a tier.  All parts of the county are managing the situation well.  We must continue to be careful.  Communication is vital.  At ESCC all staff must wear masks when moving away from their desks.  This might be of value to other businesses. We will share with Chamber members.

Robert Smart - Devonshire Park testing centre is below capacity.  Could they test university students weekly?  Lab capacity is the issue rather than the local testing site.  Demand has actually dropped!  Get people to come forward if they think they have been exposed or have symptoms.  Most student infections are in Falmer and Brighton - infected in halls of residence - but this is not evident on Eastbourne campuses.

Christina Ewbank – Does temperature make a difference?  Winter does have an impact but the behaviours of citizens circulating makes more impact.  ‘Big nights out’ are popular in the North and make a real difference.

Christina Ewbank passed on that local businesses (researched via ACES) did not want to see a blanket circuit break lockdown in the South East unless the figures show that infection rates are out of control.  DG responded that they do not see a circuit break coming in East Sussex as the figures are low and appear to be under control.

Miles Berkley – What is the time lag on delivering test results?  It is 48 hours in East Sussex.  Can be a little slower on a Monday.  Darrell’s team reviews the figures daily at 4.30pm.

Darrell recommends that we welcome visitors to the town and explain to them how we are keeping them safe in Eastbourne.  Travel restrictions are impossible to enforce.

MP’s Office Report

There is no representative from Caroline’s office today – apologies received.  CA will send a  written response tomorrow.  Also apologies received from Annemarie Field.

EBC Update - Tim Whelan

177 homeless placements from Brighton at present.  The meeting with B&H CEO was cancelled and has been rescheduled to next week.  They are raising this as a significant concern with MHCLG.  Caroline has also communicated concern to the minister.  Rachel Barrow has data to support these discussions.

CE asked to extend the Safer Streets area to include the Crown & Anchor and Marine Parade Hotel.    EBC have approached the Home Office to request an extension.

Payments are available for people told to self-isolate after track and trace.  No applications received as yet.

Historic England have given permission to demolish and rebuild the Claremont.

Ash die back phase 2 – road closure in Upper Dukes Drive.  Ash die back in Pashley Road woodland to be removed.  Could be 4-6 weeks of disruption.

Home security packs ordered for residents. Will be sending them out very soon.

KH is due to meet the Safer Streets team tomorrow.

Phil Evans

Marathon taking place this weekend with Covid controls.

The Congress is opening up shortly to show a series of cinematic films.  Up to 400 people can be accommodated.  Aim is to build confidence in going out again.  RS is concerned about the numbers.  PE said we are allowed 400.

20% increase in visits to VisitEastbourne in September.  500,000 people engaged with LoveEastbourne campaign.

Weeds were removed from the bandstand roof which is looking much better.  Update on the bandstand refurbishment to follow this week.  CE also asked about weeds on the paths down to the seafront.  TW said they would check and remove these.

Beat the streets is going well with over 8,700 participants.  CE reported dramatic increase in her activity and significant weight loss as a result.

Visitor Summit is scheduled for late November.  To consider ways to promote East Sussex as a safe and lovely place to visit.

TC visited Towner cinema at the weekend and felt completely safe.

Rachel Barrow Police Report

CE asked about CCTV cameras.  Are they manned and monitored?  The Police mostly refer to the footage when reports are received.

Expecting half term hotspots and are ready for them.

Cameo opened with a good booking system.  Licencing officer visited to check their protections.  It was all good.  Premises are closing at 10pm but people are ‘pre-loading’ before going out.

Keeping an eye on Memorial events to maintain physical distancing.

Working closely on safer streets.  Nasty assault in St James’ Road near Seaside led to horrendous life changing injuries; victim was rescued by a passing fire crew.  Trial concluded this week and all were guilty.  12 – 14 years in custody expected which was a good result.

Third Sector Report Adam Chugg

Impact of Covid on the charity sector.  Charities are in the front line.  Social needs have increased but funding is down.  Funding events suspended.  Planning for 2021 is very difficult when funding is so patchy.

Have gathered intelligence which is on their website.

Volunteers came forward but numbers have dropped again.

Digital exclusion is a real problem.

Great collaborative working across the town.