East Sussex County Council

Election 2017 Results

CON GAIN FROM NOC
Party Seats 2013 Seats 2017 Change

PartyConservative

Seats 201322 Seats 201730 Change+8

PartyLiberal Democrat

Seats 20139 Seats 201711 Change+2

PartyIndependent

Seats 20134 Seats 20175 Change+1

PartyLabour

Seats 20137 Seats 20174 Change−3

PartyUKIP

Seats 20138 Seats 2017- Change−8
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Latest updates

Most recent

Councillor raises pavement repair questions

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

An East Sussex County Council cabinet member faced questions on the council's pavement repair programme.

Liberal Democrat Eastbourne councillor Pat Rodohan asked Nick Bennett, lead member for transport and environment, to explain what plans the council has to repair pavements around the county.

The question comes after a motion put forward by councillor Rodohan at Eastbourne Borough Council last month saw councillors agree to lobby for more money for pavement repairs in the town.

The motion, which received unanimous backing from borough councillors called for at least half of the surplus funds from the Eastbourne Controlled Parking Scheme to go towards repairing the town's pavements.

Mr Bennett said that around £720,000 had been spent on the maintenance works in Eastbourne.

Hopes for share of PCC funding

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

GV of East Sussex County Council
BBC

East Sussex County Council hopes to bid for a share of a grant intended to steer young people away from crime, councillors heard this week.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, the council's lead member for children and families confirmed the council hoped to gain a share of an £890,000 government grant, which was recently awarded to the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner's office.

If successful in securing funding from the PCC, the council says it would expand on its current youth work projects, with the aim of reducing involvement in gangs, knife crime and antisocial behaviour.

Cllr Sylvia Tidy made the announcement in response to a question from Hastings councillor Godfrey Daniel (Lab. - Braybrooke and Castle), who raised concerns about the sustainability of such one-off funding.

If awarded, Cllr Tidy said the funding would also go to make the #kNOwknives Project - currently running in Hastings as part of the town's opportunity area funding project - into a countywide scheme and to expand its activities programme with Hastings Borough Council's Street Games project.

She said: "There is more need for diversionary activities in community venues and community locations and parks. We would expect these sessions to identify individuals suspected to be at a higher risk.

"I think if we could get that money into our services then we would be doing a much better job, than if the PCC herself just decides that this will just go to a particular activity."

Calls to webcast council meetings rejected

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

County councillors have voted down calls to extend the webcasting of council meetings.

Members of East Sussex County Council voted against a motion from Liberal Democrat councillor John Ungar to begin broadcasting its people and place scrutiny committees online at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

The motion was recommended for refusal by the council's governance committee due to concerns webcasting would "restrict an open and frank debate".

Mr Ungar argued: "There are a myriad reasons why people can't get to the meetings. We do have the technology to webcast, so why don't we do this?"

Several Conservative councillors spoke out against the plans, including Councillor John Barnes, who said: "It is not so much the principle of open government that worries me, but the practice.

"Whenever you bring a camera into a chamber, people's behavior actually changes."

The motion failed to win the support of the majority of members. It was defeated with 14 votes in favour to 30 votes against.

Call for scrutiny meetings to be broadcast

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

A councillor has called for the meetings of council scrutiny committees to be broadcast live online.

East Sussex County Council will consider the motion put forward by Liberal Democrat Councillor John Ungar on Tuesday.

The council already broadcasts a number of its public meetings but leaves others un-broadcasted.

Those include two out-of-three scrutiny committees, which aim to hold cabinet decision-making to account.

However, the council's governance committee is recommending the motion be refused, after a review of the council's scrutiny arrangements in March concluded that webcasting could "hinder" proceedings.

The report said: "Some members have suggested that webcasting scrutiny committees can hinder effective member participation.

"Cabinet and full council meetings are webcast and it is at these meetings where the outcomes of scrutiny work are visible and the discussion itself of greater public interest.

"There is therefore a good case against the automatic webcasting of meetings of the place and people scrutiny committees."

Councillors back pavement funding calls

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Eastbourne councillors are to campaign for a larger slice of the county council's parking fees in an effort to do something about the town's damaged pavements.

At a meeting on Wednesday, members of Eastbourne Borough Council unanimously backed a motion to lobby East Sussex County Council to fund an annual programme of pavement improvements around the town.

Put forward by Liberal Democrat councillor Pat Rodohan, the motion calls on East Sussex to allocate at least half of the surplus funds from the Eastbourne Controlled Parking Scheme to the proposed programme.

The motion had been inspired by local campaigner Marie Hennelly, who told councillors she began calling for repairs after suffering several bad falls around the town.

She said: "Following three bad falls which involved broken bones I contacted several councillors about the dreadful state of the neglected pavements in Eastbourne.

"A few responded, but there was no funding due to the cuts other than the maintenance budget, which is often used for patching here and there. That is not the answer."

The scheme won the support of the town's deputy mayor Kathy Ballard, who seconded the motion despite her position traditionally being a non-voting role.

'Core offer' report agreed despite criticism

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

East Sussex County Council
BBC

National funding for local government came in for heavy criticism as East Sussex councillors considered the details of the authority's "core offer".

In July this year Conservative-led East Sussex County Council said the core offer was intended to be "an articulation" of what its minimum level of public services would look like.

But at a cabinet meeting to discuss the details on Tuesday councillors heard how this stripped-back offer would still leave a shortfall of £33m by 2021/22, unless additional funding is found from central government.

Council leader Keith Glazier (Con - Rye and Eastern Rother), said the discussions around the core offer had "been heard and recognised" by central government as it undertakes its comprehensive spending review.

However there was less support from Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors, with many criticising the quality of the core offer as well as the level of funding available.

Following a lengthy debate, cabinet members agreed to endorse the report.

Any budget decisions for the next financial year 2019/20 will be made in February by all councillors.

Warning over Hastings home insulation scam

East Sussex County Council logo on the door of a building
BBC

People living in Hastings are being urged to watch out for scammers making false claims about a home insulation scheme.

East Sussex Trading Standards says leaflets have been delivered to houses in the area claiming it's supported by the county council.

It's thought residents elsewhere in the county may also have been targeted.

Dispute over St Leonards camp eviction

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

A dispute has broken out between two East Sussex councils over who should be responsible for evicting a group of people from St Leonards seafront.

Hastings Borough Council leader, Peter Chowney, said East Sussex County Council has the responsibility to move on a large group of people living in motorhomes and caravans along Sea Road in St Leonards.

However the county council says it does not believe it would "be appropriate" to use its powers, and says the borough council is responsible as the landowner.

Mr Chowney said the county council had agreed to take responsibility for the area after he had written to its leader, Keith Glazier, about the issue.

However, the county council says this is not the case, and argues that it would not be appropriate to use its powers as they are designed to deal with abandoned vehicles only.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: "While we understand residents' concerns, we also have to bear in mind that these caravans are effectively being used as dwellings by people who have become homeless.

"Having taken legal advice, our view is that it would not be appropriate to use powers under the Highways Act which are intended to deal with abandoned vehicles to remove caravans that are being lived in."