East Sussex Benefit Helpline – (0333 344 0681 Email:  

There is a new email address and telephone advice helpline available for East Sussex residents who are affected by welfare reform changes. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Calls will usually be free because calls to 03 numbers count towards any inclusive minutes in landline or mobile packages. Otherwise they will cost no more than a call to a national number (01 and 02 numbers). 

Changes to benefits and welfare - support is at hand!
Do you wonder why it is so important for the voluntary sector to understand the changes to benefits and welfare? We asked Penny Shimmin, CEO at NCDA, who said this:

"During this time of cuts and complex changes to the benefits system, it is really important voluntary organisations realise that professional advice and support is available across East Sussex. Advice services have been set up to ensure organisations and the public can access free, timely, high quality advice on any query relating to the changes linked to welfare reforms.”

The Welfare Reform at a glance here:

Clean Seas Please!
The European Union will be introducing new directive which increases the standards required for our sea bathing water quality from the 10th October 2015.  This will affect all beaches that are designated as bathing beaches and around the country there are 55 beaches that have been identified as being in danger of missing the new targets unless further action is taken.  For East Sussex this is mainly Hastings, although a close watch is also being taken with regard to Bexhill.  With this in mind the Environment Agency have made a significant investment in the area and as part of this they have commissioned Hastings Voluntary Action and Rother Voluntary Action to manage a community engagement project – Clean Seas Please.

Unfortunately, if the new standards are not met then there will be notices posted all along the sea front of the affected beach stating that it is not safe to bath or paddle.  This will have disastrous effects on tourist towns, for Hastings alone this economy was worth over £240 million in 2011 and supported 5,160 jobs.   The increased standard that our sea water is likely to fail on is the bacterial count of the water and changes that we can all make with regard to what we flush down the toilet, how we dispose of fats, oils, grease and food waste, what we pour down surface water drains and how our homes are plumbed into the drainage system can make a difference to making the new standard.

With the implementation of the Sea Bathing Water Directive getting ever closer we would like to ask you to help:
Sign the Clean Seas Please pledge and ask your family, friends and work colleagues to do the same. It is quick and easy to do, just follow this link:
Take a look at the information about the campaign, the areas of concern and what you can do:
Follow us on twitter - @cleanseasplease or Facebook –

Six Weeks to go until the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Swimathon at Wave Leisure in Lewes District
With the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Swimathon just around the corner, Wave Leisure is encouraging people in Lewes, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Ringmer, Seaford and Teslcombe to take part in their sessions from 21–23 March 2014.  Lewes Leisure Centre, Ringmer Swimming Pool, Seaford Head Pool and Seahaven Swim & Fitness Centre are 4 of 600 pools across the UK taking part in the Swimathon including the Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the very first time.

The Swimathon is the UK’s biggest fundraising swimming event with thousands of people jumping into pools around the country. You can choose from 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k individual distances. For those who prefer a team challenge, you can form a relay squad to tackle the 1.5k and 5k distances with your water-loving friends and lap up the glory.

Enter the Swimathon today at


Changes to the concessionary bus pass scheme
Effective from 1 April 2014

Due to the reduction in our funding, we need to make savings on our transport budget. In December, we agreed changes to the time when concessionary bus pass holders can start using their pass on weekdays, which will change from 9am to 9.30am. 

A concession which allows pass holders in Lewes district to travel for free on dial-a-ride buses will also be removed, bringing Lewes into line with the rest of the county.

Last year, over 8 million bus journeys were made by concessionary pass holders in East Sussex. We reimburse bus operators for these journeys, at a cost of over £7 million a year.

Our decision to change the start time has not been taken lightly. In 2011, we decided not to make any changes, but our difficult financial situation means that we now need to make this change to save money. The later start time will begin on 1 April, when concessionary pass holders will need to pay for any journeys taken before 9.30am.

Free journeys can still be taken between 9.30am and 11pm on weekdays and at any time at weekends or on public holidays on eligible services. Most local transport authorities already use the 9.30am national start time.

At the same time, we will be changing the way we manage the scheme, which will help us make additional savings. We are increasing the cost of a replacement pass, so if you lose your pass you will need to pay £10, instead of £5, for a new one. Later in the summer, you will be able to apply for a pass online.

To find out more, phone 0345 60 80 194 and email

Hastings Borough Council
The Hastings Local Plan – Hastings Planning Strategy Adopted

The Hastings Planning Strategy is the key strategic document prepared as part of the Hastings Local Plan, and provides a long term plan to deliver regeneration and sustainable growth in the Borough up to 2028. It was adopted on 19 February 2014, and now forms part of the statutory development plan for Hastings. All relevant documents are available on our website at or you can view/purchase them at the Community Contact Centre, Town Hall, Hastings.

The Hastings Local Plan – Revised Proposed Submission Development Management Plan subject to consultation

This document is a revised and updated version of the previous Development Management Plan, consulted upon between January and April 2013. The Development Management Plan follows on from the Planning Strategy, and contains detailed development management policies and site allocations for development. 

Formal consultation on the revised document runs from 9.30am on Monday 10 March until 4.30pm on Tuesday 22 April 2014.   For more information go to or pick up documents from 10 March from the Community Contact Centre, Town Hall, Hastings or contact the Planning Policy team on 01424 451098 or

Have your say on “Changing the Service – shaping our future”

East Sussex Fire Authority wants your views on a series of proposals which could change the way the Service meets the needs of the community in the face of funding cuts.

A public consultation will open on 17 February 2014 and can be found at It will remain open until Monday 28 April 2014. The findings of the consultation will be considered at a Fire Authority meeting in June 2014.

  WHATS ON    

BHT Training – Essential Training for the Voluntary Sector

Training courses running in East Sussex – March & April 2014:  

Personal Independence Payment - 12th March 2014
Understanding Personality Disorders (Intermediate) - 14th March 2014
Presenting with Confidence - 20th March 2014
Managing Difficult and Aggressive Situations – 15th April 2014
Equality and Diversity – 16th April 2014
Professional Boundaries – 16th April 2014
Safeguarding Adults – 29th April 2014

All of the above courses will be running in Brighton unless stated otherwise. 
If you would like further information about one of the courses listed, please contact the Training Team:

Tel:  01273 645401 Email:  Website:

Jerwood Gallery Events

Jerwood Collection: Revealed 
01 February - 23 April 
This exhibition offers an in depth look at the Jerwood Collection of 20th and 21st century British art, exploring the history and personal stories of the collection’s development. The exhibition is the most extensive collection display to this date and includes works previously unseen at the gallery.

In Focus: Alfred Wallis
01 February - 23 April 
Complementing the collection exhibition will be a single room display, profiling the work of Alfred Wallis (1855-1942). The exhibition will feature a selection of Wallis’ iconic seascapes, generously loaned by Kettle’s Yard.

In Focus: Marlow Moss 
01 February - 23 April 
This Tate touring exhibition features a group of works by Marlow Moss (1889-1958), now regarded as one of Britain’s most important Constructivist artists. The paintings, reliefs and sculptures, drawn from collections in the UK and Europe, are primarily concerned with an interrogation of movement, space and light. The exhibition includes letters and photographs drawn from the Tate Archive, which offer a fascinating glimpse into Moss' life.

For more information, please visit


Changes to MARAC arrangements in East Sussex.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) are meetings which focus on people at risk of serious harm from domestic abuse.

MARACs share information about risks to victims and create a multi-agency action plan to improve the safety of the victim.
From the 1 March 2014 the MARAC meetings in East Sussex will take place weekly, instead of monthly. The MARAC meetings will take place after the Children’s Services Screening Hub meetings in Eastbourne and Hastings and will use telephone conferencing facilities. Alignment with the Screening Hub has the potential to reduce duplication and make better use of time and resources for those agencies which are part of both Screening Hubs and MARACS. 

The use of telephone conferencing will reduce the need for large numbers of staff to travel to meetings. The change follows a ‘Lean’ review which involved all the key agencies involved in the management of domestic abuse.

All agencies remain key partners of the East Sussex MARAC meetings in order to share information and improve the safety of victims of domestic abuse. Any questions in relation to implementation of the changes to MARAC please contact Nicola Spiers, MARAC Development Officer:

East Sussex Strategic Partnership Board Meetings

To view papers and minutes of previous ESSP Board mettings, see the meetings page of the ESSP website.


East Sussex Strategic Partnership

Update on East Sussex in Figures –  February 2014
East Sussex in Figures (ESiF) is the local information system (LIS) for the county. It’s a website that provides access to essential data, information and analysis.

New datasets – selected highlights
gross full time weekly earnings in East Sussex for 2013 was £440.
new business registration rate in East Sussex for 2012 was 47.3 (new business registrations per 10,000 people aged 16 and over).
There were 1,312
live births in Wealden in 2012 (679 male and 633 female).

There were 1,614
deaths in Wealden over the same period
natural change in Wealden was therefore -302 and -782 in East Sussex as a whole

2011 Census datasets
26,289 residents of
East Sussex travelled to work using public transport. 150,099 people used a private vehicle
3,517 residents of Eastbourne
work in the construction industry
4,089 residents of Hastings work from home
2,190 Asian/Asian British residents of East Sussex work in Public administration, education and health professions

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

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