Ripe for a Reopening

The Lamb at ripe

Local MP Norman Baker MP is backing a community action group who are looking at buying the recently closed Lamb Inn in Ripe.

The good village pub in Ripe has been for sale for some time. However earlier this year it was closed down for good by owner Shepherd Neame and boarded up.

Now a community action group has been formed with the aim of buying the crucial village amenity, and seeking members of the community to invest in the project.

Norman recently met with Caroline Adcock, Lib Dem Wealden District Council candidate for Ripe, and other community representatives to discuss their concerns and to hear more about the project.

Norman Said:On average 31 pubs are closing a week. Pubs are the heart of so many rural communities

“As someone who has long campaigned for community ownership of local pubs, I was delighted to hear about the community action group and their fundraising effort to reopen the Lamb Inn and I will do anything I can in helping them to achieve this.”

Norman has been concerned about the high number of pub closures for some time and was recently awarded the prestigious “Parliamentary Beer Champion 2014 and 2015” award in recognition of his support for the brewing industry and local pubs.

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Local MP welcomes a return to council house building

Norman Baker MP with Cllr John Stockdale visiting the new homes in Lewes

Norman Baker MP with Cllr John Stockdale visiting the new homes in Lewes

Lewes Lib Dem MP Norman Baker and Lewes District Councillor John Stockdale inspected newly built houses at Lambert Place on the Malling Estate in Lewes .

Two houses have been built by KSD in Lambert Place to trail low-cost, rapid build housing in Lewes, in partnership with Lewes District Council, to be made available to people on the council housing waiting list, at lower cost rents.

These new houses also have a high energy saving rating so will help towards lower fuel bills for the tenants.

Lib Dem Councillor John Stockdale said: “This is the type if housing investment the Lib Dems have been pushing for. Affordable, sustainable and practical

Norman Baker said: “Although “Right to Buy” benefited some, the lasting legacy has seen many more left struggling to find housing.

“It is great to see this type of partnership working to provide lower cost housing in our communities. It is a step in the right direction but two houses is just the tip of the iceberg

MP forces door open on Lewes to Uckfield line

Effective lobbying by Lewes Lib Dem MP Norman Baker today passed dividends as the chancellor announced a new £100,000 study in to the reopen of the Lewes- Uckfield railway line as part of his budget announcements.

The budget statement says: “People in the South East will benefit from the Government providing £100k for a further study into reopening the Lewes–Uckfield railway line”.

Norman says:It has become clearer than ever in recent weeks that there is a need for an alternative line from the Sussex Coast to London. A reopened Lewes-Uckfield line would provide exactly that, enabling through trains to run from Seaford and Newhaven via Uckfield, and also freeing up space on the Brighton main line for more Brighton trains. It would also strengthen the resilience of the railway which at the moment is very vulnerable to problems with either the Balcombe Tunnel or Balcombe Viaduct. Yet again this weekend we have engineering works at Balcombe, forcing my constituents to travel by bus from Lewes to Three Bridges.

“I have been lobbying for the reopening of this line for over 25 years and the case gets stronger with every passing year. The coalition government, thanks to the Lib Dems, has a good record on rail expansion. Taking Lewes-Uckfield forward would be the icing on the cake

“Now it is time for everyone, including those who have advocated BML2, to get behind this study and start pulling in the same direction. We have a real chance to get this line re-opened and we need to grasp it with both hands

“I will be discussing the terms of reference of the study with the Transport Secretary shortly.”

A27 Money secure, Secretary of State tells MP’s delegation

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The £75m earmarked for the A27 between Lewes and Polegate is firmly committed to local road improvements and is not dependent on the outcome of the work of the Airports Commission into Gatwick Airport. That was the clear message yesterday from Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The Transport Secretary was meeting a delegation led by Lewes MP Norman Baker, which also included other local representatives from his constituency, namely district councillor Charles Peck, Selmeston parish Chairman David Quysner and Glynde parish councillor Johnny Denis.

The delegation took the opportunity to reaffirm the conclusions of the recent meeting of local parish councils chaired by Norman Baker, which unanimously supported a call for near-term measures to improve traffic flow, safety and access to the existing road, with particular focus on Wilmington crossroads, Selmeston and Firle.

The delegation heard from the Transport Secretary and the Highways Agency representatives that there was “a high degree of overlap” between what the local representatives were proposing and what they themselves had in mind.

Norman Baker says: “This was a good meeting, and useful to confirm that the £75m is there without any Gatwick strings. It was also good to hear that the Department for Transport is thinking along the same lines as those elected within my constituency, rather than the siren voices of those who live outside it and fail to understand the local issues.”

David Quysner, speaking on behalf of the parishes, adds:It is really encouraging that we now have a commitment from Highways England to consult with local communities on the measures that need to be taken.”