Norman Baker MP’s update on fire at Newhaven North Quay.

Newhaven MP Norman Baker has spoken with Chief Fire Officer Des Pritchard for an update about the fire at Newhaven North Quay.

Norman saysI am reassured to hear the East Sussex Fire and Rescue are doing all they can to contain and put out the ongoing fire at Newhaven North Quay.

“The Environment Agency, Public Health England and Lewes District Council have been working together for the benefit of all in the surrounding area to keep this incident under control.

“Any risks of contamination to waterways has been prevented by the actions of the fire service, with water sludge being taken to Southern Water Treatment works to prevent any contamination of the surrounding area.

“Although smoke has been present in the area during the tackling of the fire, this is not considered to be toxic but could be an irritant, for that reason the advice for people in the surrounding area has been to keep doors and windows closed.

“200 tonnes of household rubbish is on site but to create a fire break some of this is being moved by 20 tonne tipper trucks.

“East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are seeking to have the fire out within the next 24 hours.

I am concerned that this appears to be the third incident in as many years within the area and have raised that with East Sussex Fire Rescue Service asking by what means of review and precautions for the future can be made. However the priority must be, at this time, to have the fire put out.

“I wish to pass on my thanks to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service who should be acknowledge for the ongoing work they are putting into extinguishing the fire, along with the firm Skip It who appear to be doing all they can to co-operate.

Lewes County Councillor and MP call on East Sussex County Council for public review of St Anne’s site sale

Lewes ESCC Councillor Rosalyn St Pierre and Norman Baker MP have called for a public review in to the process by which East Sussex County Council has gone through to sell the former St Anne’s School site.

Lewes residents have raised many questions about the process of the sale and although a public meeting was held earlier this week, organised by local residents, people do not feel they are having their questions answered.

Cllr Rosalyn St Pierre saidMany residents have asked that the sale of St Anne’s came under review when questions started to be asked about the lack of consistent information being provided to potential bidders and the lack of answers being provided by the County Council.

“This is a site where we should seeking best value and addressing the community needs that people want but doing so in a way that is not transparent and causes confusion is not the way to proceed. It is for this reason I have requested that a full review in public takes place”

Norman saysI want my constituents to receive the answers they are seeking from East Sussex County Council in the interests of transparency and as of yet that this has not happened.

I hope this public review of the process will enable people to have these questions answered”

Local MP calls for discount bus travel for under 21’s

A Scheme developed by Lewes MP Norman Baker to help young people with their transport costs has been adopted by the Lib Dems and will feature in the party’s manifesto for the next General Election.

Under the scheme, developed by Norman when he was a transport minister, under 21’s would receive discount bus passes so they can afford to get to college or work.

The education leaving age has now risen to 18, but entitlement to support for school transport now ends at 16. Bursary payments are not always enough to cover rising bus fares. More people have started an apprenticeship under this parliament than ever before, with nearly 2 million new apprenticeships, training our workforce for 21st century jobs and by providing support for young people to access travel the LibDems are seeking that more young people can access training and work opportunities.

Norman says:Young people have identified travel and the cost of travel as a barrier in accessing work and employment.

“By investing in our young people and enabling them to access the opportunities being opened to them we are insuring not only individuals but also the future of a skilled workforce and stronger economy

Local MP and Councillor condemn closure of Seaford household waste site as unnecessary

Seaford’s LibDem MP Norman Baker and Councillor Carolyn Lambert has condemned the County Council’s decision to close Seaford Household Waste site for four days a week. 

Norman says: “Whether it’s ignoring public opinion on the waste tip or the incinerator before that, the Tories show time and again that they don’t care about how people in Seaford feel. This reduction in hours for the amenity site is completely unnecessary.”

Councillor Lambert says: “The County Council’s proposal to close the waste tip met with almost universal disagreement and huge protest from the residents of Seaford.  The campaign group worked extremely hard to show that as the biggest town in the District, Seaford needs and deserves to have its waste site kept open.

“The County Council claims that it is saving money by this closure but Liberal Democrat budget proposals made earlier in the year identified funding to keep the waste site open and still meet the necessary overall budget reductions.  The Conservative administration refused to even consider these proposals.”

“I will continue to work with the campaign group and will be asking for details of the savings the County Council claims to have made.”