Tag Archives: ESCC

Report Back – by Cllr Sarah Osborne Spring 2018

Report Back by County Councillor Sarah Osborne

For residents in Ouse Valley West and Downs county division: (North: – Ditchling; Plumpton; Streat; Westmeston; South: – Falmer; St Ann Without; Iford; Kingston; Rodmell; Southease; Piddinghoe and Newhaven

County Report:

Sadly the news from County is grim. The Conservative administration put up council tax by almost 6% and there will be cuts of over £17m this year and even bigger cuts in the following 2 years at least.  The Chief Executive (Becky Shaw) summed up the challenges: “The reductions being put forward for 2018/19 and beyond will increase the longer- term demand and costs facing the East Sussex public sector. They are, therefore, not those Chief Officers would choose to make; If there are no new resources from Government, by 2021/22 the Council will be left with a minimum service offer”

This means that central services will be reduced to a democratic core with minimum support for departments and more self-service. County will not be able to fund early intervention or prevention services in Adult and Children’s Social Care or support schools to improve attainment. Also, management in highways will be towards more reactive maintenance, leading to long-term deterioration of condition.

My grave concerns

I am really worried about the proposed major cuts to community-based support services, refuges for those experiencing domestic abuse and to the Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme, which supports the very poorest residents. I fear the enormous cuts will not only increase the suffering of those residents in our area that need our help most but will result in a false economy as many people will instead need help from other higher cost services (such as the health and adult social care and children’s services sectors) These vital community support services currently enable people to continue to live independently and without them many will not be able to manage.

Examples of cuts already decided or being consulted on presently or in the near future:

  • Library Closures:  ESCC are to close 7 libraries
  • Cuts in funding for The Stroke Association.
  • Cuts in Day Centres: We are awaiting decisions on cutting or closing 4 day centres for the elderly and disabled including The Phoenix Centre in Lewes.
  • Cuts to support services for carers.
  • Cuts in funding for the Home Works service by 50%:  Home Works is a crisis support service for people and families in East Sussex, aged 16 to 64, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
  • Cuts in funding for STEPS:  This service plays a key role reducing demand support with many of our customers continuing to live independently despite significant health problems rather than requiring care.
  • Cuts of 70% proposed for the Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme (DESSS): The main cause of homelessness is the termination of private tenancies with most people becoming homeless through no fault of their own. A large number of those who become homeless do not have the savings required to meet the demands for rent in advance and deposits and are completely reliant on the loan schemes supported by the DESSS.
  • Cuts to East Sussex Music Service, which will close the music instrumental service by 2019. If you are concerned about the cuts to the music service please CLICK HERE to sign the petition my group support. 

Other matters

Given that the Centre for Public Scrutiny considers it ‘best practice’ for Scrutiny Committees to be Chaired by members of the opposition I proposed a motion to Council that ESCC should follow the advice. Unfortunately, even though the Conservatives have a large majority and Scrutiny recommendations are only advisory, they still voted it down.

In my role on The Health Overview Scrutiny Committee, I have raised the difficulties we are experiencing locally in retaining and recruiting staff in the health and care sectors because of Brexit.

I have continued to raise and successfully resolve problems for residents faced with problems with Adult Social Care, got the restoration of school bus transport for several families and lost count of the number of highways problems I have reported!

Regards

Sarah Osborne

Email: sarahosborne2000@yahoo.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.osborne.9406

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sjo400

 

 

 

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: https://www.sussex.police.uk/ It would be ideal if you could take a photo. Or you can report this incident to Operation Crackdown by clicking on http://www.operationcrackdown.org/ 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!?

Your County Councillor

Dear Residents,

The county election seem long forgotten now, with the snap General Election events and all the national and world events that have followed. However, local campaigners and councillors continue their work in the community and the council.  Liberal Democrat Sarah Osborne was elected for a 4 year term for our area. She represents villages on the south west of Lewes from Ditching in the north to Newhaven in the south: Ditchling ; Falmer ; Iford ; Kingston ; Newhaven (part) ; Piddinghoe ; Plumpton ; Rodmell ; Southease ; St Ann (without) ; Streat ; Westmeston

Contact Sarah: E: sarahosborne2000@yahoo.co.uk or T: 01273 401606

At the County Council Sarah is on 2 bodies:

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee  – This committee looks at the work of the National Health Service (NHS) clinical commissioning groups, healthcare trusts, and the NHS England Local Area Team.

East Sussex Fire Authority  – The Authority was created on 1st April 1997, as a result of  local government reorganisation and has significant statutory responsibilities laid down in the Fire & Rescue Service Act 2004 and The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Sarah is also a member of the Lewes District Council and is on Appointments, Devolution, and Scrutiny Committees  and Leader of the Liberal Democrat District Councillor Group. She sits in on the powerful Cabinet meeting. Ignoring any form of proportionality the Conservatives have taken 100% of the seats on this committee. Sarah is also a current member of  3VA which is a charity that supports and develops the voluntary & community sector in Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden.

Nationally,  Sarah is a member of the Local Government Association (LGA) and sits on the People & Places Committee which acts as the national group representing the interests of non-city areas.  The LGA is the national voice of councils and works to that ensure that local council’s voice is heard at national government level.

Sarah’s newsletter ‘Thank You’ for support in the county elections and in the general election is being delivered this summer. You can also see a copy by clicking the image to the left. The Focus newsletter covers a number of issues and here are some on them:

Tories drop plans to snatch free school meals after Lib Dem pressure

Theresa May has dropped plans to scrap free school lunches for infant pupils, after the Lib Dems criticised the Conservative plans, which would have deprived 1.7 million children of free school lunches, including 700,000 living in poverty.

SCHOOLS FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH

Commenting over the recent schools funding announcement, Lib Dem Shadow Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said: “This is a desperate attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Instead of providing the £4bn of extra funding promised, the Conservatives are recycling cash from the education budget. Schools still face cuts once inflation and increasing class sizes are taken into account.” Cllr Vic Ient said: “Whilst the the Tory Education Minister shuffles funds around to make us think the Tories are providing ‘new’ money, they are standing back and allowing services like Rodmell School to close”.

LIB DEMS WELCOME DEMENTIA TAX U-TURN

The Conservatives have also dropped plans to introduce a so called ‘Dementia Tax’. The tax would have forced the sale of family homes to fund care for the sick and elderly. “We do need to spend more on adult social care”, says Cllr Sarah Osborne. “But the Conservative plan was entirely the wrong approach and I am very pleased they have backed down.”

 

 

 

C7 Safety Campaign

Dear Residents,

Here is an update for on the C7 Safety campaign group. In July 2015 I reported that the Parishes of the Lower Ouse (POLO) had supported me in the setting up of a working group for all of the residents in the parishes in the lower Ouse Valley to investigate solutions to the problems of safety and traffic calming all along the C7 road. During 2015/2016 a number of workshop meetings were held with residents & parishes to document the issues. Comments and suggestions were documented in a series of drawings and list. I circulated and publish this information in January 2017. Click here to see the charts and report.

During the autumn of 2016 ESCC Highways met with POLO and positively responded to the research work we had been carrying out. Earlier this year I met with the ESCC Highways Department and discussed in what way they could assist the community in improving the traffic calming and safety measures along the road.  This report summarises my discussions with ESCC and proposes further steps towards pulling together a fully documented and costed plan to tackle the road issues. Here are my notes:

East Sussex County Council:

  • Are willing to help the community find a suitable highways design consultancy who could put together a safety and traffic calming strategy for the C7. ESCC have promised to send a list of consultants we may wish to work with.
  • Are going to carry out a survey this summer of the whole road detailing minor improvements and maintenance upgrades for things like signs & markings. This survey will also refer to possible other minor improvements for safety purposes. Once this survey is complete quotations will be obtained from their approved contractor and a proposal for implementation will be submitted (internally in the ESCC) so that work can go ahead.
  • Have now made detailed comments on our list of proposed safety and traffic calming measures. Here is a copy of that list, (click to download): C7 List of Comments 2016 POLO with ESCC info
  • Are willing to attend one of our workshop meetings to discuss their comments. We have agreed a date of the 2nd August at  6 PM. Please join us. please send an email to me & I will confirm the venue.  This meeting is open to all the parishes and residents in the valley.

However we can’t just rely on progressing things through one small department in the ESCC. As I have said before, the community needs to lead on this issue and produce a strategy and a plan for implementing safety and traffic calming measures. I have already proposed the production of a safety strategy document for the road which should be accompanied by a design/finance plan. As members of POLO may remember a proposal to engage a design consultant was discussed last year and the POLO Clerk put out a request to the parishes to support the cost of producing the design document bearing in mind that the district council (click here for further info) had agreed to fund 50% of the £2000 cost. I am not sure which parishes agreed to help with the cost or if the particular consultant proposed is still the preferred supplier.

Rationale behind a strategy & financial plan: Some improvements will come through the normal county council maintenance budget. Residents just need to make sure they report maintenance items but other measures will be more costly and will require funding from the county council, parishes or/and from a combination of organisations, possibly including the Local Enterprise Partnership (which deals with applications for funding locally on behalf of the government) or/and from special charities and other organisations. all of these organisations will require an application proposal and an estimate of costs. That is why we need a strategy plan and financial costings . Once we have these we can approach the organisations for funding . Hopefully we will be able to do this in by this autumn such that funds can be allocated in the next financial year ( 2018/19).

I will continue to work on the C7 safety issues and I am pleased to say that Joe Attwood (joe.attwood@btinternet.com) has volunteered to become the C7 Safety project coordinator. I’m looking forward to working with him to produce the safety plan for the road. We have set up a workshop meeting for 5 July at 6 PM. Please join us.  Please send an email to me & I will confirm the venue. This meeting is open to all the parishes and residents in the valley.

In parallel with the continuing work we shouldn’t forget that there’s always an opportunity for everyone to help improve things on the road. Here is some information:

Sources of Finance: Hopefully we will be able to find a volunteer who can research the different sources of funding. There may be just a short window of time available for applications to the EU as existing programmes run to the year 2020. However, apart from the county council, we will need some research into how one makes applications to the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Parish Councils: In parallel to this initiative the parishes (​Kingston, Iford, Rodmell, Southease  & Piddinghoe) and residents association (Kingston Road) continue with their own actions. I hope residents will discuss safety and traffic calming measures with their own parish council or association.

Report it: If you see a sign, pothole or verge which needs repairing or maintaining please use the automated reporting system. Click here for information and links

Accidents: Many people are keeping a log of accidents along the road and I hope you’ll share this at the workshop meeting

Speeding –  This is of concern to many people, the question is proving it! I hope we can get police, albeit with their scarce resources, to devote some time to the C7. In addition, there are a number of ways to kick off an initiative in your area. Here are some websites which may be of interest: Information on reducing speeding

Enforcing the weight & width restriction: Luckily past councillors for the ward got a weight restriction implemented for the C7.  A width restriction exists on the C324 through Kingston. Some residents feel these regulations are being broken. Ways of reporting and enforcement could be discussed by all the parishes.

Traffic Calming:  Volunteers are needed to research traffic calming measures. Here is a link of what I have found:   https://www.evernote.com/pub/vic182/trafficcalming

Other initiatives?

Road: I’m following up on the future of the A27 especially the section from the Ashcombe roundabout to Beddingham. Whether or not the A27 is turned into a motorway east of Lewes changes are needed to the three roundabouts at Ashcombe, Southerham & Beddingham to encourage the traffic to take the A26 to Seaford and Newhaven rather than the C7. I’m attending a seminar with Highways England on 10 July in London to follow this up.

Rail: I’ve already put my views forward concerning the reopening of the Lewes to Uckfield line. I am continuing to follow this up and support the initiative by Railfuture. Also I would like to see, linked parking/ticketing initiatives at stations in Sussex to persuade drivers to take the train.

Bus: I would like to see the introduction of Sunday services and an extension to their 123 service along the valley. To persuade drivers to take the bus instead of the train I would like to see an express coach service operating between Brighton, Lewes and Eastbourne along the A27 rather than just the busy coastal road

PS:  Swanborough

As some of you will know a planning application has been submitted and approved for holiday lodges next to the fishing lakes in Swanborough. Click here to see my report.

One of the good things that come out of this development is that the National Park have made a condition that a section 106 agreement must be signed before the development can start. We hope this will provide for some footpaths and safety measures on the C7. Here is the latest map showing the developers proposals for cycle/footways: (click to enlarge)

 

ESCC Election Results!

Dear Residents,

It was a great result yesterday here in the Lewes constituency for the county council elections. Lib Dems won all 4 of their target seats including the Ouse Valley West and Downs County division where our candidate was Sarah Osborne. She will now be the county councillor for our area for the next 4 years. Click here to see details of Sarah’s County ward/division.  I remain your district councillor. Click here to see: About Vic Ient’s ward. Sarah’s result was:

 

 

Party Votes Percentage
Lib Dems 1722 52% Sarah Osborne elected
Tory 1253 38%
Lab 205 6%
Greens 144 4%
Total votes 3324 100%

Lib Dems won in these wards:

  • Ouse Valley West and Downs – Sarah Osborne
  • Ringmer and Lewes Bridge – Philip Daniel
  • Newhaven and Bishopstone – Darren Grover
  • Seaford South – Caroline Lambert

Conservatives won in these wards:

  • Chailey
  • Peacehaven
  • Seaford North
  • Telscombe

Independent won in this ward:

  • Lewes

Click here for all Lewes District results.   Lib Dems gained seats and Labour lost seats in East Sussex.

Click image to enlarge and go to BBC table of results

Click here to see BBC report of East Sussex

Nationally, for Lib Dems,  results were a mixed picture. The headline don’t show the many council seats where the Lib Dems increased their share of the vote coming a good second place. There were also some stunning results for the Lib Dems in places like St Albans. In Eatbourne the Lib Dems won all 6 county seats. Overall the Tories gained from the demise of UKIP and the collapse of the Labour vote. Lib Dems increase their share of the vote by 7% to 18%. With proportional representation the actual council seats would be very different from those declared on Friday 5th May 2017!

Elections! May 4th and June 8th!

Dear Residents,

The surprise general election called by the Conservative Prime Minister means to say that we have two election days coming up  – one on 4 May to elect a new county council and one on 8 June to elect a new MP.  Next week on Thursday, 4 May we have elections for the East Sussex County Council. There will be 50 councillors on the new council and they will serve for a 4 year term until 2021. I remain as your district councillor  until 2019 when the Lewes District Council comes up for re-election. The new county ward which include the villages on the western side of the lower Ouse in situated is now called Ouse Valley West & Downs.  It includes the villages of:

Click to enlarge/download: County wards in Lewes District

Falmer, St Ann Without, Kingston, Swanborough, Iford, Northease, Rodmell, Southease, Piddinghoe,Ditchling, Westmeston,  & Street

Our candidate for this area is Sarah Osborne who already has experience as a councillor as she has been on the Lewes District Council for 10 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah’s contact details are:

sarahosborne2000@yahoo.co.uk    phone: 07986776105   Twitter: @sjo400  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.osborne.9406

Sarah’s recent newsletters:   Mid April Campaign Newsletter          April/May Campaign Newsletter

The LibDem are fielding candidates for all 8 county wards/divisions in the Lewes Constituency area. Click below for some links to info about them:

Currently the make up of the Council is:

21 Conservative
10 Liberal Democrats
7 Labour
6 UKIP
5 Independent

Whether we’re talking about the general election or the county council election the fight is between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives in the Lewes area:

Conservative 19,206
Liberal Democrat 18,123
UKIP 5,427
Labour 5,000
Green 2,784

There is only just over 1,000 in it!  In the 2016 referendum the majority of people in the Lewes Constituency voted to Remain in the EU.

General Election

Kelly-Marie with ex MP Norman Baker

On June 8 the whole country will vote to choose their new member of Parliament. Kelly-Marie Blundell is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the Lewes constituency.  Kelly-Marie lives in the constituency at Seaford. The daughter of a farmer and a teacher, Kelly-Marie Blundell read Law at the University of Kent before going on to work as a Citizen’s Advice Bureau advisor. She now runs her own consultancy firm, advising charities on communications and fundraising.  Click here for more information

Kelly-Marie’s contact details are:

Telephone (Office): 01273 615075   Email: kelly-marie@kellymarieblundell.co.uk     Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kellymarie.blundell   Twitter: @KellyMarieLD    Web: http://www.leweslibdems.org.uk/

Lewes constituency Liberal Democrat Perspective Parliamentary Candidate, Kelly-Marie Blundell is interviewed about the upcoming general election.

More information?  sign up for the Lib Dem Newswire:

Where is ESCC Rural Cycling & Walking Investment?

Cycle Walk ImageFor a number of years I’ve been campaigning for more safety measures and improvements for cyclist and walkers. Since I became a district councillor I have continued to speak up for alternatives to simply getting in the car and driving everywhere. The car is essential but since the creation of county councils their focus has been on providing roads. The last coalition government with Lib Dem ministers in office re-balanced the focus to include provision for cyclists & walkers. Sadly now we are almost back to square one with the current Conservative government. Luckily, the Conservatives didn’t get rid of all of the Lib Dem policies. The funding grants made available by the Lib Dems in government were removed but were replaced with a ‘cycling and walking strategy.’

Albeit with much reduced funds, the government, last year, called for bids from county councils for both capital and revenue projects covering cycling and walking. Unlike West Sussex, East Sussex County Council simply did not bid for the capital funding. However they did bid for revenue funding. However, having won the money they decided to focus all of the investment in the coastal urban areas leaving out the towns and villages in our countryside.  It’s great that the County Council has been successful in winning funding for cycling and walking but I’m very disappointed to see that these funds will only be able to be spent in the Newhaven, Eastbourne, South Wealden, Bexhill and Hastings areas. Of course, I’m pleased for those areas”.

Earlier last year I met with officers of East Sussex County Council and pleaded with them to include schemes to improve safety for walkers and cyclists using and crossing the dangerous C7 road which connects Lewes to Newhaven.  Sadly they ignored my pleas leaving my rural area without funding as well as Lewes and much of the rest of the county.

I aim to continue the campaign and hope that the political composition of the county council changes in May this year so we can make some real progress right across the county. In the meantime if you agree with me and want to see funding shared between urban and rural areas for cycling and walking please write to:

Cllr Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, and let him know that you want fairer treatment for the rural areas to improve safety for both walkers and cyclists. email: cllr.carl.maynard@eastsussex.gov.uk  You can read his press release here about the allocation to the urban coastal towns:  http://news.eastsussex.gov.uk/2017/01/26/funding-boost-for-walking-and-cycling-schemes/

Here is a copy of a recent press article about this issue. Also below is an article published last year in the Sussex Express about the same issue

Click to enlarge:

vic-ient-sussex-express-fri-03-02-17

Sussex express article Feb 2017

Here is a link to an article in the Sussex Express from last year on cycling & walking: http://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/lewes-councillor-calls-for-urgent-cyclepath-funding-1-7493718