NEWSLETTER ISSUE #Summer 2017    


SpeakUp Forum refreshes its commitment to local communities and strategic collaborations

The SpeakUp Forum is a countywide network for the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in East Sussex. Since it was created in 2009, SpeakUp has played a prominent role in cross-sector partnership working and influencing commissioning processes and service delivery across the county. Now, at a time when so much is changing regarding the planning, funding, design and delivery of services in East Sussex, SpeakUp has undergone a comprehensive process to refresh the forum and make sure their goals and activities remain fit for purpose. 

SpeakUp brings together a network of chief executives, senior staff and trustees from voluntary and community organisations across East Sussex. The network communicates and connects in person and online, enabling them to:

  • pull together information and views from communities, organisations and local VCS networks;
  • collate updates on strategic plans, policies and partnerships;
  • identify trends and shared VCS priorities; and
  • decide on key messages and actions. 

VCS priorities and messages are taken forward by SpeakUp, either through issue-based VCS working groups or through strategic collaborations with the public sector. SpeakUp appoint forum members to participate in specific partnerships on behalf of SpeakUp; host public sector directors, commissioners and senior staff for dialogue; and are committed to creating regular opportunities for cross-sector partners to reflect and learn together.

If you are in the VCS or public sector and you are interested in linking up with the SpeakUp Forum, or finding out more about our refreshed activities and goals, please contact Rebecca Luton at or see the SpeakUp website at (Please note the website is currently under reconstruction and the content will be limited for some weeks).     

May Local Election Results

Following the local elections on 4 May, there have been some changes to East Sussex County Councillors. 

The Conservatives won 30 of the 50 seats, the Liberal Democrats won 11 seats, Labour 4 seats, Independent candidates 3 seats and Independent Democrats 2 seats. The results mean that the Conservatives remain the largest party and have overall control of the County Council.

You can check all the final results on the ESCC website: Election results map.

You can also find a list of East Sussex County Councillors and which one represents your area at: Find your councillor.

New Digitised War Posters on East Sussex First World War Website 

This week, the East Sussex WW1 project has launched a new section on their website to host a collection of digitised First World War posters found in the East Sussex Libraries archives.  

Whilst both national and local newspapers were available throughout WW1, civilian radio channels were suspended for the duration of the war, cinema was still in its infancy and television did not yet exist. Posters and visual displays were therefore an expedient and important way of ensuring that specific messages could be spread quickly.

The digitised posters available on the East Sussex WW1 website are split into four categories: ‘Soldiers, Service and Recruitment’, ‘Women’, ‘Economy’, and ‘Food’. To view the collection, download PDF versions and read more about the important role posters played in the First World War, visit the website here.

The East Sussex WW1 project aims to provide a platform for previously unknown or untold stories about East Sussex and the First World War, and is dependent on content submissions from members of the public. If you have access to or know of any war posters that you think should be digitised and added to our collection, or would like to contribute any other content to the website, please contact us here. To keep up-to-date with the project, you can follow us on Twitter @EastSussexWW1, or if you have any other queries please contact Chris Kempshall at  

The East Sussex Joint Strategic Needs & Assets Assessment (JSNAA)

The JSNAA is available at The site contains both local and national resources for those who commission, provide or use health and social care services in East Sussex.

On the site you will find:

  • data in the form of scorecards
  • area summaries
  • local comprehensive needs assessments 
  • profiles that compare our local data with national data 
  • overview reports and briefings that pull information from a wide range of sources into one document 
  • ... and much much more.
To keep up-to-date with any new content please subscribe to a short monthly email alert here:

Don't forget, for more news and updates in East Sussex you can follow the East Sussex Strategic Partnership on Twitter at @ESSP_eastsussex - 



First phase of Rother District Council Community Governance review of Bexhill-on-Sea is complete

Rother District Council are undertaking a Community Governance review of Bexhill-on-Sea and conducted a consultation from January to March 2017 to gather more information and evidence about the options for governing Bexhill.

The Bexhill Community Governance Review Steering Group (a group of Rother District Councillors organising the review process) considered all information from the first phase of consultation at their meeting on 22 May and have recommended three options:

  1. there is no change to the current governance arrangements;
  2. a Town Council for all 9 wards in Bexhill is established; or
  3. an Area Committee for Bexhill is established.

What happens next?

The review's Steering Group reported its findings and recommended shortlist of governance options to its managing committee, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, on 12 June. Rother District Council Cabinet and Full Council will also consider the recommendations the final shortlist is put out to formal public consultation. The consultation is planned to start on 11 July and run for 8 weeks.


If you have any questions please email or write to Bexhill Community Governance Review, Rother District Council, Bexhill on Sea, TN39 3JX.

 ESCC Consultations

Please visit the East Sussex Have Your Say Hub for opportunities to give your views. You can search for consultations by keyword, postcode, interest etc. You can also see how previous feedback has influenced our decision making process and what has happened as an outcome. 

  WHATS ON    


Hastings Gears up for Coastal Currents Arts Festival 2017

Coastal Currents, the end of summer festival which brings international artists and performers to Bexhill, St Leonards, Hastings, Rye and beyond will shortly be announcing its programme for 2017.

Now in its 18th year, the festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. Tina Morris of Sweet and Dandy Arts Marketing, who has been involved with Coastal Currents ( for the past five years, is leading organisation of the festival. 

The month-long programme, which runs from Saturday 2 September to Sunday 1 October, will offer an exciting mix of professional and community events with an Arts Council funded programme featuring a wealth of international, national and local artists.  

2017 will see the most ambitious festival plans yet, with new programming strands including pieces specially commissioned for children, guest curators, outdoor events, unique exhibitions, large scale performances and interventions in unexpected places, as well as a host of named artists.

The ever-popular open studios showcasing artists from across the region will take place over the weekends of 2-3 and 9-10 September.

Photo credit Alexander Brattell. 

Brighton Housing Trust Training – Essential Training for the Voluntary Sector

Brighton Housing Trust training courses in June and July in Brighton:
Understanding Trauma in Refugee Communities – 29th June (Brighton)
Mental Health First Aid - 3rd & 4th July  (Brighton)
Hidden Resources of the Welfare State – 13th July  (Brighton)
Person-Centred Relational Skills – 18th July (Brighton)
Groupwork Skills – 19th & 20th July (Brighton)
Leading Teams through Change – 24th July (Brighton)

Please visit the BHT Training website or contact the Learning & Development Team for further information: Tel: 01273 645420 Email: Website: 

Now! Charity Group Ltd is thrilled to announce their new free training workshops running in Eastbourne and Hailsham 

In the last two years Now! Charity Group Ltd has supported over 400 local people to build their confidence and skills by holding a variety of free activity workshops including: art, cooking, crafts, knitting, maths and english and as a result of this have supported many into voluntary work or employment.

They have recently announced that they will now be running:

  • free woodwork workshops every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am–1pm in Hailsham. The workshops are suitable for people who already have woodwork skills or for people who would like to learn the basics of wood. Learners will be creating bird houses, fixing furniture, making garden planters and more; and
  • gardening workshops every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Eastbourne and Hailsham, after being awarded £10,000 from Tesco plc to fund the project.

The Charity believe that running the woodwork and gardening workshops will allow them to reach out to more isolated people in the community and support them to connect with others and improve their wellbeing. 

All training workshops are available for anyone over 18. To find out more information please visit their website or contact Sophie on 01323 887199.

HealthWatch Annual Showcase

On 19th July, HealthWatch East Sussex will be opening their doors to showcase their work. Attendees will get a chance to hear all about HealthWatch East Sussex’s achievements, as published in their annual report, and also their plans for the future.

There will be opportunities to hear from some key partners on local issues, as well as plenty of time to ask questions and to give your feedback about health & social care services in East Sussex. 

Register for free
here. The event will run from 10am-1pm followed by lunch at the Hastings Pier. 



East Sussex Strategic Partnership (ESSP) Meetings

The agenda and papers for the next East Sussex Strategic Partnership meeting, to be held on 6 July in Hailsham, will be added to our website by Friday 30 June. The agenda for the meeting is set to include an introduction from Wealden District Council on their Local Plan, updates from the East Sussex Better Together and Connecting 4 You programmes, a presentation from Little Gate Farm and a discussion on the impact of the General Election result on all sectors in East Sussex.

The papers, minutes and presentations from all of our meetings to date, including our last meeting in April, can be found here:



Update on East Sussex in Figures – June 2017

East Sussex in Figures (ESiF) is the local information system for the county.  It’s a website that provides access to essential data, information and analysis.

June Headlines

  • The population of the county is projected to grow by 6% between 2015 and 2030, according to the latest dwelling-led population projections carried out by ESCC. Household growth will be faster, at 12%.
  • The workforce in the county is expected to decline slightly by 1.1%, although there is projected to be a 51% increase in the number of workers aged 60-74.
  • The number of people with disabilities is expected to increase by 29%, reflecting the increase in the number of older people in the county.
  • In April 2017, the annual rise in Claimant Count numbers (at 12.2%) was the largest since March 2012.

Latest datasets – highlights

Please contact the Research and Information team if you have any specific data or information enquiries.

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