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Stephen talking to the media
  • Article: Aug 14, 2017

    I was very disappointed to hear the talks between Southern Rail / GTR and the RMT trade union have stalled.

    Clearly the only way to break the deadlock is to get both unions, together with the Department for Transport (Dft) and Southern/GTR, to negotiate an end to this long-running despite.

    Meeting each union separately, at different times, and without the Dft is using the same failed approach which has got us precisely nowhere over the last 17months!

    Having finally got the Secretary of State Chris Grayling to engage with the union leadership I am incredibly frustrated the Dft have simply allowed the company to return to the failed negotiating tactic of seeing the unions separately 'without' the Dft being present.

    This MUST change and it must change NOW if we are to end the rail dispute, which has caused so much hardship and inconvenience for Eastbourne and across the South East.

    See my video below explaining what I believe should be done.

  • Article: Jul 19, 2017

    On Tuesday, I held a meeting in Parliament between myself and the bosses of the two unions involved in the Southern Rail dispute. At that meeting they confirmed to me they would call off planned strike action, set for early August, if the Transport Minister, Chris Grayling MP, agreed to talk to them personally to negotiate a resolution to this long-running dispute.

    Well, yesterday I received news that the RMT and ASLEF unions confirmed that they will suspend the strikes after Chris Grayling finally responded to my calls that he agree to talks with the unions with a view to ending the strikes.

    This is a significant breakthrough. Proper talks can now take place with the precise aim of bringing the dispute to an end. I want to take this opportunity to thank the General Secretaries respectively, Mr. Cash and Mr. Whelan, for joining me in Westminster for our press conference and for their willingness to make an open-hearted and positive offer to the Secretary of State, Chris Grayling. I hope he now responds in kind so that we can all move forward positively in the future.

  • Article: Jul 19, 2017

    Yesterday, I held a productive meeting with the two Trade Union Leaders in Westminster. They committed to calling off the strike planned for early August if Transport Minister Chris Grayling agreed to meet them to negotiate an end to the dispute. Time to step up to the plate Mr Grayling! See the video below...

  • evelina children's hospital
    Article: Jul 17, 2017

    As you can imagine weekends are humungously busy for me as I try to get to and support as many events as possible across our town, so my diary secretary (thank you Kathy!) doesn't leave a lot of space between the different functions.

    However I was delighted to squeeze one in this week which wasn't on my schedule.

  • Article: Jul 17, 2017

    Hi folks - link below to my weekly report courtesy of the good people at Eastbourne Buzz.

    It's been a busy week, I'm almost set up with my teams/offices in Westminster and Eastbourne, and I've been continuing to crank up the pressure on Chris Grayling and Southern Rail, as you'll hear.

    Weekly report: http://www.eastbournebuzz.co.uk/eastbourne-news.php…