Lib Dem Conference Report – Inspiring speech by Dr Vince Cable

The Liberal Democrat party autumn conference has just finished. Vince Cable’s excellent closing speech was inspiring!  – click the image below to view/listen:
It was necessarily comprehensive and wide-ranging, covering many of the issues which we in Britain face and how the Liberal Democrats, under Vince Cable’s leadership, will tackle them. It was compelling, easy to understand and well paced.
Also here is the full text of his  speech:
For the closing words of his speech on the BBC’s daily politics twitter blog below. The covering image shows Lib Dem leader Vince Cable MP with the deputy leader, Jo Swinson who is MP for East Dunbartonshire in Scotland.


Dr Vince Cable’s speech


HGVs breaking 6′ 6″ width restriction in Kingston near Lewes!?

Dear Residents,

A number of people have complained to me about the increasing number of HGV lorries coming through Kingston including grain lorries, articulated vehicles and coaches. On Wednesday, 13 September I actually caught one on camera (see below) outside the school. The lorry was on its way to Wyevale and, in my opinion, it should not have been travelling through the 6’ 6” width restriction in Kingston. I have written to the police to report the matter and to ESCC to ask them to write to the businesses along the C7 requesting them to provide information to their suppliers and drivers that Kingston via the C324 is not a permitted route for HGVs.

If you see a large lorry or coach travelling through Kingston please would you report it to the police on their 101 service. Or go to: It would be ideal if you could take a photo. Or you can report this incident to Operation Crackdown by clicking on Here you can upload photos as well.  Please also email me with the information.

Continue reading HGVs breaking 6′ 6″ width restriction in Kingston near Lewes!?

Update on funding – FREE advice event on 5th Oct!

Financial support for local projects is getting tighter. National government continue to reduce funding for local councils and in turn local councils have less money to spend. This also affects what grants we can apply for. But it’s not all bad news. There are still opportunities to get funding for our communities. There’s an event coming up on 5th October where we can get free advice on how to apply for grants from two important funds:

EU Funding for Rural Development

Find out more about the EU  ‘EAFRD’ and ‘LEADER’ funds at a special FREE event being held at Plumpton College, Ditchling Road, Plumpton BN7 3AE on Thursday 5th October 2017, 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Book your free place:

Yes,  these two EU funds are still open for local organisations to apply for grants , despite the Conservatives ploughing ahead with Brexit!

I’m going and I hope organisations in my council ward will also attend. Whilst writing I thought it would be useful to provide an update on other sources of funding. If you know of one I have mentioned please let me know and I’ll publicise it.

Update on finding sources of funding

Earlier this year I wrote about the Lewes District Community Safety Partnership through which one can apply for small amounts of funding. At the time I was particularly focusing on grant funding to carry out designing technical studies for improving safety and traffic calming on the C7. Obviously there are other areas of safety where communities and organisations can apply for funding. Last year I also wrote about gaining grants from various organisations and, in addition to the above, I listed a number including:

EU funding, Community Safety Partnership, Sustainable Communities Fund, Matched Funding, LEPs. For more detail click here

Explanatory note:


This is really a government agency through which the Government are channelling investment into the local area. When the Conservative government came to power in 2015 they combined the separate funds for a number different transport modes into one fund administered by the LEP’s – the Local Growth Fund. However we shouldn’t be put off and should still apply for grants for capital projects relating to cycling, pathways and bus services. It’s tougher than before because you’re competing with funding for new trading estates and urban area roadways schemes. However it’s the only way to get the money!

Sustainable Communities Fund

This fund is run by the National Park and organisations including parish councils who can apply for funding if they believe their project is bringing social, environmental, economic or cultural benefits to a community within the National Park.

EU funding

There are two funds which despite the Conservatives ploughing ahead with Brexit you can still apply for:

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development Fund (EAFRD) will support capital grants for Rural Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure projects. Applying for funding is through a two-stage process, the first stage of which is a very straightforward Expression of Interest form.

LEADER funding is used to support projects proposed by farmers & growers etc, as well as small rural business and rural community groups It aims to improve the economy and quality of life for people in rural communities.  I am hoping that community groups in the Lower Ouse including the parishes of Kingston,  Iford & Swanborough,  Rodmell, Southease and Piddinghoe will investigate the EU LEADER grant scheme to help sustain their local communities. This could include projects to support projects such as:

Small Enterprises and Farm Diversification
Rural Tourism
Rural Services
Cultural and Heritage Activity

See the note above about the event on the 5th Oct 2017

Useful links for funding 

(click on the headings for links)

The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. Their mission is to support fundraisers.

Lottery Funding 

Action in Rural Sussex – contact them for help and advice

Heritage Funding Directory

Sussex Community Foundation –  Typically funding will be for: youth clubs, lunch clubs, health and well-being, community transport, homelessness, community advice and support, food banks, and projects addressing drug and alcohol misuse.



Have your final say on National Park plan in Sussex!

The final consultation for the South Downs Local Plan will run from 26 September to 21 November 2017.

The actual consultation document will be launched towards the end of September – Re check the website then or register for updates:

At the bottom of the above mentioned web page  it provides a link to register for consultations.

All the villages in my ward are within the South Downs National Park, including:  Falmer – St Ann Without – Kingston – Swanborough – Iford – Northease – Rodmell – Southease – Piddinghoe

click to enlarge:

Lack of government funding to solve air pollution in Lewes district!

Following new low emission proposals published by the EU in 2016, the ClientEarth group of lawyers forced the Conservative government to  publish proposals to tackle the toxic air crisis. The government published it’s response in May 2017:   ‘‘Consultation on Reducing Nitrogen Dioxide in our Towns and Cities’

The Conservative Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said in June 2017, when speaking at a National Farmers’ Union event in Parliament, said it was ‘vitally important’ to tackle the UK’s poor air quality, which is responsible for 40,000 premature deaths every year. 

It seems that at last the government have recognised the air pollution threat and their consultation report shows that almost 75% of air pollution comes from roadside and background road pollution, – see the diagram below. Sadly, the government have proposed no timetable for new legislation on this matter or put forward any funding plan to tackle the problem. The government suggested in their report that the problem should be dealt with by local councils. That’s all very well,  but they mentioned nothing about financial support for a clean air programme! On behalf of the people in the Lewes district and especially residents, school children and old people in my council ward,  I responded to the government’s consultation. Here is a summary of my submission:

  • Where is the strategy (& funding) for controlling air pollution in the future?
  • Clean Air Zones – lack of Government Financial/Technical Support
  • Reducing vehicle pollution – it’s no good passing the buck to local councils!
  • Government already has Defra & the Environment Agency to develop strategies & policies!
  • Government already has the power to reduce the impact of air pollution of new housing developments!
  • Scrappage & retrofit schemes – government must bite the bullet!
  • Government action is needed to resolve air pollution in the Lewes District.

I also put forward two proposals covering:

  • Action Teams
  • Information for consumers & drivers

Click here to see my submission

As you will see from the diagram below, most air pollution comes from diesel cars, buses and lorries. Obviously I’m particularly concerned for pollution hotspots in Lewes district, including:

Lewes town – A26 through the Cuilfail tunnel and Malling Street – Newhaven town – A259 between Peacehaven towards Brighton and….

In my council ward, which includes:

  • A27 – I suspect pollution levels are high at the Ashcombe roundabout at peak times and:
  • At peak times/ school times outside places like Iford & Kingston School
  • Wellgreen Lane at the junction with the C7
  • Between Piddinghoe & Newhaven during the late afternoon peak period.

Unfortunately there aren’t any NOx (nitrogen oxides) monitoring points in these places. I’ve asked the district council for a list of NOx monitoring locations. Also I’m hoping to get the co-operation of both the district council and parish councils in getting more NOx monitoring points installed. They are not expensive but to get detailed figures you need to regularly take readings. Sadly there is no government support to fund staff costs to take readings. That has to be done either by the district council, town or parish council. Finding the best locations for NOx monitoring could be done with the help of volunteers using portable devices.

As far as the A27 is concerned, Highways England has set aside funds to tackle air pollution near trunk roads. I’m hoping that they will monitor air pollution at Ashcombe and Southerham roundabouts where there is heavy traffic most days.












In response to the the EU proposals, ClientEarth’s campaign and public’s comments the government have published their proposals. Click here to view them. You will see that the figures look pretty good but behind most of the funds that they mention there is EU funding which as we know will cease in the next few years because of Brexit!

Can you help me in my campaign to improve the air quality locally? If so call or text me on (07788) 720929 or click here to email me.