Brexit would have been REMAIN if 16-17 year olds had the vote

EU referendum: the UK result would have been REMAIN had the vote been allowed for 16 and 17-year-olds. These young people are now, in 2018, eligible to vote. Since this business started with a referendum it should end with a referendum where people decide on whether they like what the Conservatives have negotiated. That vote should include 16 to 17-year-olds! For more information on what the Lib Dems policy, see:

According to the BBC the final figures were 16.1 million people voting in favour of staying in the EU. I think these people need representing as well as the 17.4 million. I hope you would agree. I campaigned for the 16 to 17-year-olds to get a vote in Brexit referendum. They should have been allowed to vote as it’s their future even more so than the older people who seem to have mostly voted to come out. In 2016 there were 1.46 million 16 to 17-year-olds and if they had voted in accordance with the opinion polls at the time we would not be coming out of the EU. The majority for coming out of the EU was about 1.27 million.

Thankfully we still live in a democracy and I believe it’s the right of myself and organisations like the Liberal Democrats to put forward proposals and suggestions, and indeed campaign on these matters. Would you rather we and the 16.1 million are silent? We have seen what happens when democracy is suppressed in places like Russia, Turkey, Syria and Zimbabwe to name just a few.

In most organisations, including all FTSE 100 companies, require a two thirds or three-quarter majority to change the constitution/articles of association. Why should that have not been the case with regard to such an important decision as our trading arrangements with 27 other countries? The decision by the Conservatives to operate on a simple majority could have meant we would be coming out of the EU if there was just one vote difference! Ridiculous!

The amount of misinformation promulgated before the Brexit vote was shameful including the promise by politicians such as Boris Johnson (now Foreign Secretary!) that £350 million a week would go to the NHS if we come out of the EU!

More road spending proposals by UK government!

Click the above image for more info

Only a few days left to have your say on the government’s plans for a major road network. The consultation closes on Monday 19th at 11.45pm. Respond to the consultation online at:
or by email to:

The government says that £1 billion will be available! They say it will:  reduce congestion + help build more houses + support cyclists, pedestrians & disabled people. I’m puzzled as to how they think building motorway style roads will help cyclists pedestrians and disabled people! Also, the proposals say nothing about road/rail integration or bus services.

In Sussex, the proposal is to include the whole of the A26 in the trunk road network and also include the A22 . There are also proposals affection Brighton and Hove City Council area.  Nothing is said about the A259 on the coast from Newhaven to Brighton via Peacehaven where there is very serious congestion!

I really can’t see why spending money on the A26 north of Lewes will actually help. There is already far too much traffic funnelling down through Malling Steet, Lewes and there is major congestion getting through the Cuilfail Tunnel. I can’t imagine that the government are proposing to build another tunnel to relieve the traffic in our existing one! What is needed is a rail link from Uckfield to Lewes which will relieve the traffic on the existing A26 and help people travel to and get to jobs in Eastbourne Lewes and Brighton. In the other direction, it will help people travel to London without relying on the only rail link north to London via Hayward’s Heath and Gatwick. The BML is a high-risk strategy and the government are doing nothing to solve the problem!

Click here to see the full consultation document

Click here to see what ESCC have said

Click here to see what WSCC have said

Residential waste and recycling collection in Lewes District

Cllr Vic Ient with one of the new 240 L recycling bins

New Recycling Scheme Update

The roll-out of the new recycling scheme is well underway. The coastal towns of Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven etc have all received a new recycling bin and are benefiting from the much-expanded recycling service. For more details of the service CLICK HERE 

The Lewes District Council scheme is separate to the East Sussex County Council recycling centres where you take your recycling and rubbish including such things as electrical goods, old fridges and bikes as well as garden waste. For more information on the county services and their proposed changes click here

Current status of the programme for roll-out of the full co-mingling service:

  • the new service is currently being rolled out in my council ward – Kingston Ward (Piddinghoe up to Kingston). See my recent post: click here
  • The next area will be Lewes which should roll-out in April.
  • All other areas will follow and be completed by July.

Some people have commented they don’t like the blue lids. I agree but I am pleased the new service is coming into operation. It has taken me over two years of badgering to get the Conservatives to implement a recycling scheme which will help us reduce the amount of plastic waste sent to the incinerator and help lift us off the bottom of the council league tables for recycling. When I joined the council we were down at 24% whereas other councils around the country were achieving around 50%. We are now steadily climbing the league tables and I’m sure we will well exceed the 30% which is where we are at the moment within the next few months!

What can you recycle?

Here is a summary from the LDC leaflet:

If you can’t take the 240 L bin you can ask the council to give you a smaller bin – 140 L.  If you have any queries or need assistance telephone 01273471 600 and press option 4 and then option 1.

Residents who can’t manage a wheelie bin can continue to use their existing containers (a combination of black boxes and bags) for recycling. If residents are using their existing recycling boxes and bags the advantages are that they can mix up what they’re putting in those containers after the roll-out has been carried out in their area.

So, what about the rest of the rubbish? In summary, there are two scenarios:

Those residents who can’t take a wheelie bin:

  • Recycling – residents can continue to use their existing recycling bags and boxes for the full ‘co-mingling’ recycling service.
  • Residents can use any receptacle for their ordinary waste but there may be an opportunity for the whole street to get a free bag (green) for their ordinary waste. This would only be issued where households cannot take any type of bin and where there is high gull/vermin activity. This has the advantage that it will be very difficult for vermin and gulls to break open the bag. This should keep the streets a lot cleaner in places where there are terraced houses and flats.
  • Food waste – residents can continue to use their existing food waste bins. This service does not change.

Those residents who can take a wheelie bin:

  • Recycling – residents can get a free 240 or 140 L wheelie bin (blue lidded).
  • Ordinary waste – residents can continue to use their existing receptacle or buy a 140 or 240 L ordinary waste bin for £20 or £30 (see below).
  • Food waste – residents can continue to use their existing food waste bins. This service does not change.

Ordinary refuse bins

  • Smaller 140 litre bins are suitable for households with 1-4 people. They cost £20 including VAT and delivery.
  • Larger 240 litre bins are suitable for households with 5 or more people. They cost £30 including VAT and delivery.

‘Bring sites’

  • In coordination with the roll-out of the full co-mingling service ‘bring’ sites are being upgraded. This has already happened in some of the coastal towns.
  • ‘Bring’ sites are also being upgraded with a large bin to take tetra packs and coffee cups – see the example picture below.
  • The number of ‘bring’ sites will be reviewed as part of the current review and roll-out programme.
Councillor Vic Ient and LibDem campaigner and environmental spokesperson for the Lewes Town Liberals, Oli Henman, visiting one of ‘bring’ sites which has been equipped with one of the new recycling bins which will take ‘tetra packs’ at the car park near the precinct in Lewes


New recycling scheme for household collections in Lewes District

Dear residents,

Many residents in Kingston Ward (Falmer – St Ann Without – Kingston – Swanborough – Iford – Northease – Rodmell – Southease – Piddinghoe) will have had an envelope delivered to their homes entitled “The way you recycle is changing.” Inside there is a letter to residents saying that your new recycling bin will be delivered in the next few weeks. Yesterday I had a meeting with the recycling team at the district council and have been informed that bins will arrive very soon:

  • Falmer – Monday 5 March
  • Piddinghoe, Southease & Rodmell – Wednesday, 7 March
  • Kingston and Iford – Monday, 12 March

The parish of St Ann Without will be split into two – the Ashcombe area (A27) is likely to be done with Falmer. The racecourse area will be done with Lewes in April.

These dates are subject to change but provided all goes well these dates will hold.

The council will deliver the 240 L bin. If you need a smaller bin or can’t take a wheelie bin at all, please contact the council on 01273 471600. Press option 4 followed by option 1 when the auto answer system starts. A 140 L bin is available but there will be a delay of at least a month. Hopefully, in the meantime, you can use the 240 L bin.

If you have any other questions or queries, please contact the council on 01273 471600 Press option 4 followed by option 1 when the auto answer system starts.


Cllr Vic Ient

Click the image below for more infromation

The future for food, farming and the environment in Sussex

Click this photo to read the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) initial reaction to the publication of the consultation

Defra (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) is seeking views on proposals for future agricultural policy in England. This a golden opportunity for farmers, those associated with farming and food production as well those concerned with our rural environment to have their say on creating a farming policy which works for the farm industry, rural communities and improves the environment.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 8 May 2018. See:

Budget success at the Lewes District Council for the Lib Dems

Lib Dem leader Sarah Osborne (centre) arriving at the LDC budget meeting on Monday night with some of her fellow councillors L to R: Will Elliott, Steve Saunders, Sarah Osborne, Olivia Honeyman & Graham Amy

Budget success at the Lewes district council for the Liberal Democrats and their leader Sarah Osborne!  All 5 of Lewes District Council Liberal Democrat Leader Sarah Osborne’s amendments to the Lewes District Council budget were approved with cross-party support this week. Measures include:

  1. Special fund of £2.2 million to provide new temporary accommodation for the homeless
  2. Introduction of on-street recycling bins
    Feasibility study to create a trade waste
  3. recycling service for small businesses
  4. A major environmental initiative to develop new standards in relation to new planning applications & building regulations which will include a range of sustainability measures such as renewable energy for new developments and ‘green corridors
  5. A series of events during 2018 to celebrate the Representation of the Peoples Act 1918 where women began to get the vote for the first time. The events would also promote equality and diversity in our society.

Councillor Osborne said: “Punch and Judy politics doesn’t achieve anything for the people who elected us. All Councils face huge financial and social challenges, so we must work together were we can to deliver more housing and a cleaner environment and deliver the services our residents rightly expect from us.



Lib Dems campaign in by-election in Newhaven and Peacehaven

Dave Twaits and Matthew Milligan have been selected as the Lib Dem Town Council candidates for Newhaven and Peacehaven Town Councils in by-elections set for 8th March; and are already out knocking on doors. In a busy weekend of campaigning, local volunteers joined the candidates to speak to residents and share key priorities.


Dave Twaits said, “I have lived in the Denton Ward of Newhaven most of my life and I now want to give something back to the community as a Town Councillor. The issues I feel most strongly about in Newhaven are regeneration of the town centre, youth employment, adult social care and the worsening traffic congestion which affects the area. Having lived in the area for many years I know how great the community of Denton is and I very much look forward to working with the local Lib Dems and fellow residents to keep it that way.”

The Lib Dems are the strongest group on Newhaven Town Council, where they stand up for local residents and fight for investment in Newhaven, which the Conservative-led District and County Councils have failed to deliver.

Meanwhile, standing for Peacehaven Town Council, Matthew Milligan said, “On the doorstep I have heard a number of issues that the residents of Peacehaven care about that are being neglected by the Tory-run council. Peacehaven has been run by the Conservatives for years. I think its time for something different, I want to bring fresh energy to a stagnant council.”

In Peacehaven, the Lib Dems offer a real alternative to the Conservatives, they are pushing for improved infrastructure and renewal of local priorities.