I hope everyone saw the PM’s announcement on Monday about our ‘roadmap’ out of the current lockdown - I’ve spoken before in this column about seeing light at the end of the tunnel, well now we are starting to move out of that tunnel and back towards normality! This has only been made possible by the incredible, nationwide roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines, so a huge thank you once again to all our wonderful NHS staff and volunteers across Mid Sussex. The big news is the return of schools on March 8th, which means no more home-schooling for parents, which I’m sure comes as big a relief - I’m certainly looking forward to a bit more peace and quiet in the house!
Last Thursday, I visited the Meridian Hall vaccination centre with Cllr Liz Bennett, meeting with the Site Coordinator, Rob Bannerman, as well as Clinical and volunteer teams. So much effort has gone into setting up this site to make sure everyone who visits is welcomed and looked after from carpark to exit, and I have received several emails from constituents praising the efficiency of the vaccination process at this site. On behalf of everyone, I cannot thank those involved with the running of this site enough.
I will be meeting councillors in Burgess Hill to discuss the Beehive Project soon and I’m so pleased to see them pick up this initiative, which was first proposed by Conservative councillors a few years ago. This project will create a fantastic, new community centre in the heart of Burgess Hill, on the site of the RBL building, which was first purchased by Burgess Hill Town Council in 2016. Unfortunately, the plans for the centre were halted a couple of years ago, following a campaign by Lib Dem supporters, but with a Lib Dem Council now in Burgess Hill, the project is now going ahead, with very few changes. I want to praise the foresight and tenacity of the previous council in Burgess Hill for putting these plans in place.
As President of Haywards Heath Rugby and Football Club, I want to mention the Club’s fundraiser, “Buy a Brick”, for the new Clubhouse in Whitemans Green. Mid Sussex would hugely benefit from a multi-functioning facility and sports pavilion, which would include state-of-the-art facilities for women, youth, and those with disabilities. Planning permission has been secured, despite the impact of Covid-19, and the Club is working to maintain momentum for this vital project, which will help encourage young people to take up sport and get active for years to come. This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved, join the club’s brilliant community and help make this happen. More information on the fundraiser can be found here: www.hhrfc.co.uk/