Eastbourne bids farewell to Stephen Lloyd
This morning saw us rise to a most unexpected result. A genuine and stalwart supporter of Eastbourne as a place to do business, as well as to live, was voted out of his seat as our local MP.
I had the pleasure of photographing Stephen Lloyd MP on many occasions. Forming a trusting and long lasting working relationship.
I first met Stephen Lloyd at my place of work, Cohub . Stephen was a keen supporter of Cohub, a place that promotes Eastbourne as a place to do business, develop technology and to find innovative ways to do business and further Eastbourne's reputation as a center of technological excellence.
Stephen Lloyd was constantly engaged helping businesses in Eastbourne. Generous with advice and a helpful word, connecting like minded individuals and introducing potential work partners.
These were, of course, the day-to-day networking commitments of a town's MP. Understanding and facilitating solutions to business owners and residents, alike. Each facing unique challenges in the town and taking their opinions and ideas to council meetings and even to Westminster.
30th July 2014
Eastbourne pier fire. A day we will all remember. Stephen was alerted fairly early on and made his way to the pier. He knew his role, reassuring worried residents of Eastbourne that everything would be done to save the pier and help those who's livelihoods depended on it. He would find support for them and pledged to get the pier open again as quickly as possible - a task he largely succeeded in.
The 19th of August 2014 may be one of the darkest in Stephen Lloyds career. This was the day Stephen Penrice, a contractor on the fire ravaged Eastbourne pier, fell to his death whilst working on making the twisted structure safe.
The day started with an early committee meeting with General manager of the pier Christos Stylianou, and councillors and town planners to action various plans to create an efficient and appropriate response to the tragedy.
It fell to Stephen to head the meeting and form the official response, a heartfelt and personal message to the family.
This was another side of the job, rarely seen. A duty embraced by Stephen and professionally and thoughtfully completed.
Back to the office. It was a sombre day, but Stephen's role as the town's MP demanded he continued his role to promote Eastbourne and support those that needed his help.
The media were out in force. Stephen's role as spokesperson for Eastbourne continued. He had to be briefed on the progress made on the pier in the days since the fire, up to the tragic death of Mr Penrice. These were the questions being asked and Stephen needed to have answers.
Happier times were ahead, with Stephen Lloyd MP's continued support of innovative ways of maintaining Eastbourne's confident stride into the 21st century. One such venture was TechResort
Stephen fully supported efforts by residents of Eastbourne to improve the town. Championing ideas and helping every way he could to ensure they succeeded.
A realistic and supportive mentality, with a deep understanding of the bureaucratic nature of 'getting things done' made sure many people were fond of Stephen Lloyd MP. I have seen first hand the effort he went to on a daily basis, and my respect for him grew as I got to know him more. I hope our new MP can work just as hard, maintain the level of duty shown by Stephen and wish her luck in filling some very worn shoes. Thank you for your long service, Stephen, with best wished for your future.
Phil Burrowes - Photographer