My first week back to Parliament after Christmas I arrived to hear the statement on the Post Office Horizons IT scandal, a scandal which has seen a number of its victims take their own lives.
The Prime Minister announce new legislation this week to quash all convictions of sub postmasters and mistresses caught up in the miscarriage of justice that is the Post Office Horizon computer scandal.
Lives have been ruined and taken by what has happened with innocent people jailed and labelled criminals based on the erroneous Horizon evidence or behaviour of the Post Office.
The former Post Office Boss has now handed back her CBE in the face of mounting public outrage and the Liberal Democrats Leader and former Postal Affairs Minister is now under pressure to hand back his knighthood too. If you haven’t seen ITV’s dramatization ‘Mr Bates v The Post Office’ is essential viewing.
Concern over paediatric care at the DGH dominated my work before Christmas and so this week, I met with the Secretary of State for Health, Victoria Atkins. She will have new powers of ‘call in’ at the end of this month and I will formally write to her to ask her to use those powers to review the hospitals plans. We must have confidence in local services.
Meantime, I will continue to work with parents, the hospital and local NHS leaders. They stress services are not changing or being relocated, and that it’s about space and staffing. I completely understand that any change to how care is provided for our children is going to be super sensitive. I am that mum. My own child has complex medical needs.
Back in Eastbourne I have arranged for the team behind the seaside bus corridor proposal to meet local businesses and hear their concerns directly ahead of the next stage at County Hall next week. We have serious investment from the government to improve our local bus services in East Sussex - £40 million pounds; how it’s spent is clearly vital.