Eastbourne's local elections


Louise Stewart looks at the key election issues in Eastbourne.

With the local elections just around the corner on 5 May I travelled to Eastbourne and spent the day talking to business leaders and residents to see what they're looking for from their local politicians.

While many seaside resorts have struggled in recent years, hoteliers in Eastbourne say the town has worked hard to attract new visitors.

Marco Giorgi owns the Afton Hotel near the famous Edwardian seafront. He believes the key priority for the local council must be to improve the transport system, particularly reducing train times to and from London.

There's also cross-party support for regenerating the town centre which business leaders say is long overdue.

Bill Plumridge, who manages the town's Arndale Shopping Centre, says there's been been lots of talk about re-development but believes it's time for action, which he says is crucial for the future of Eastbourne.

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Whichever party leads the council after the local elections in May, local businesses say the council must listen to residents and be proactive.

Jim McRobert owns the The Lamb Inn, which dates back to the 12th Century.

It's the oldest pub in Eastbourne - and is believed to be the oldest hostelry in the UK. He's decided to diversify his business and has a small theatre upstairs which holds plays, stand-up comedy as well as folk nights.

Mr McRobert, who owns two other country pubs in East Sussex, says what he's looking for from the local council is a 'can-do' culture.

He says it's important to engage with the young people in the town and again he raised the issue of better transport links.

Eastbourne and Lewes are the only two councils in the South East run by the Liberal Democrats. Many residents I spoke to believed decisions taken by the Government, particularly on tuition fees, will affect support for the Liberal Democrats locally.

With a large majority in Eastbourne the Liberal Democrats are very unlikely to lose control of Eastbourne council but they will be hoping they are not punished at the local elections for decisions taken nationally by the Coalition.

Louise Stewart Article written by Louise Stewart Louise Stewart Political editor, South East

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  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    #2 - The lib dem promised to scrap tuition fees if they won, and vote against any increases if they lost - they neither won or lost so voted for an increase. People have every right to be angry. The libdems will be remembered for broken promises, in a few years they will apologise and admit it was wrong, but the damage would have been done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I really hope they get punished in Eastbourne; they stuck the tuition fees pledge on the front of all their election leaflets, went on about scrapping Trident and talked about putting more money in public services, and as a result, people voted for them. They haven't done any of that. As somebody who'll be paying 9,000 a year more for uni than Clegg ever did, I want his party to be obliterated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    People keep harping on about the Liberals breaking their election promises over tuition fees...you can only keep an election promise if you win...they didn't so had to compromise in the same way as the Conservatives had to....what was the alternative, Brown spending more years bankrupting the country? When did any left wing government ever leave a countries finances in good order?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    I think the Lib-dems may be in for a shock, as people turn against them. They have presented themselves as all things to all people, you could vote for them without taking much of a stand in a wooly slightly leftish sort of way. Now the Lib-dems have set out there stall and broken election pledges Labour and aybe the Greens ought to benefit, but Labour seem to be making headway.



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