Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sussex Police Precept Consultation – please have your say

From Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner

As PCC I have a statutory obligation to set the police precept – the amount Sussex residents pay for policing in their Council Tax.

I need to consider the case to secure additional funding for policing in Sussex next year and I welcome your views on whether or not I should seek a precept increase in 2015/16.

The online consultation survey can be found here. Please have your say.

Why your views are important to me

In my first year in office I fulfilled my election pledge to freeze the precept meaning residents paid the same amount for policing in Sussex for four years.

Last year local taxpayers told me they would support a precept increase of 3.6%, which equates to an additional £4.95 per year per household (for a Band D property). This investment was required to fund additional resources to enable Sussex Police to respond to emerging crime threats including serious sexual offending and cybercrime as well as increasing the efficiency of officers on the frontline.

67% of those who responded to the consultation supported an increase in the precept. The Police and Crime Panel – who hold the important role of scrutinising my decisions – also endorsed the proposed rise. However, due to a limit, set nationally, on the amount that the precept could rise before triggering a costly referendum, I was only able to increase the precept in Sussex by 1.95% (£2.70 per household per year).

Despite this, good progress has been achieved in those areas of operational policing that required additional investment. A summary of how this money has been spent can be found here. However, the Chief Constable has set out a business case for additional funds in 2015/16 to meet the shortfall from last year.

How your money works

A precept increase in 2015/16 of up to 1.98% would provide additional funding in order to deliver the operational investments Sussex Police need to make. In particular, investigating serious sexual offences and protecting the most vulnerable victims, especially children, remains a key priority for me and the Chief Constable.

This means that a local household living in a Band D property would pay an extra £2.79 per year for policing. However, at £143.91 per year, Sussex would still have 4th lowest precept level in England and Wales.

The consultation will close on Friday 9 January and the results will help inform a decision in January 2015, which will be reviewed by the Police & Crime Panel.

Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you think.

Katy Bourne


Local Vehicle Crime and Burglaries

We hear from local police that on Monday 27th October there were two incidents where unlocked cars had property stolen, one in Grantham Road and one in Southdown Avenue.

It seems that groups of youths are systematically trying the doors of all the cars in a street and stealing loose change etc. Apparently there have also been two recent instances of break-ins at the rear of houses in this area.

Please be vigilant, make sure your cars are secured and report any suspicious activity to the police and to the SRRA website.

Regional burglary campaign

Police in Sussex, Surrey, Thames Valley and Kent are working together to target cross-county burglars as the clocks go back.

For the first time, officers from each force are co-ordinating activities during a three-week burglary campaign to catch offenders and educate residents to try to prevent them from becoming victims.

Officers regularly liaise with colleagues across the region about individual offenders or crime gangs but in the past ran operations at different times of the year – opening the possibility that burglars simply switched their attention to homes across the border during the campaigns.

This year a co-ordinated approach means that one campaign will stretch from Chichester in the west to Margate in the east and as far north as Milton Keynes – an area of more than 5,600 square miles and more than six million people.

The campaign is being run between 27 October and 16 November because in recent years the region has experienced a rise in reports of burglary in that period.

A combined total of 2,645 burglaries were reported in that period in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Thames Valley in 2012 and 2013 – up 3.5 per cent from the 2,555 burglaries reported in the three weeks prior to those periods.

Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones from Sussex Police said: “Burglary is a priority for us because we know what an impact this crime type has on people. The emotional effect of burglary, for many, is often far more devastating than the loss of their belongings.

“This campaign sees us working with our partners, including other police forces, to reduce burglary at a time of year when we know it traditionally increases.

“You can get involved by joining your local Neighbourhood Watch, visiting our website and registering your property on

“I would also urge anyone who notices people acting suspiciously in their area or vehicles that look out of place to report them. Your information could be what is needed to get a gang of burglars off the streets.

“Together we can, and will, tackle burglary.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has welcomed the campaign.

She said: “Burglars don’t respect borders. That is why I am pleased to see Sussex Police and its neighbouring forces taking this imaginative approach and working more effectively together to help beat burglary.”

If you have any information about burglaries, call 101 or email For crime prevention advice visit

If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.

Residents can also being encouraged to register their items on the world’s largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners – and so the offenders can be prosecuted.

You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting To watch a video about Immobilise and how it works, please click here.


Harvest supper 2014

London Road Station Partnership Blog

IMG_1144 Our 2014 harvest basket

Last night, we celebrated our fourthharvest supper. It was a very, very wet night. It had been raining all day. The station garden was drenched and sodden like a sponge when I went over to collect lettuce and the last of the chard.

This year, we actually started harvesting in a surprisingly hot July. We then had very dry soil, a cold August and a very warm (and dry) September. October has been completely unpredictable: sometimes warm, sometimes wet, sometimes stormy, sometimes cold, sometimes sunny. We didn’t have much to harvest by mid-October; it had all been and gone

2014 Harvest 1.7 (1) Our harvest at the beginning of July 2014 – mustard leaves, courgette, onions, strawberries

It’s not been a great year for fruit. We had virtually nothing on our apples and pears, and our raspberries didn’t like the dry spells. We did, however, get our first harvest of…

View original post 279 more words

The Greenway community clear-up day

The Greenway is a green corridor running through the New England Quarter from the New England Railway Bridge to Brighton Station. The Greenway is intended to provide an area of ecological and biodiversity value, and an amenity space which local residents and visitors will be able to enjoy.

It has become overgrown and under-used so a number of community groups have suggested coming together for an initial clear up and consultation day.  If you are interested then please come down and help out or have your say.

The clear-up day will be followed by a meeting to discuss how to make better use of the space. All welcome.

The Greenway community clear-up day

Date: Sun November 2nd
Time: 12.30 – 3.30pm
Location: Meet at the back of the Clarendon Centre

What to bring / wear:  Please remember to dress appropriately for the season with warm clothes, waterproof items if necessary and sturdy shoes. Young people up to the age of 12 and vulnerable adults need to be accompanied by a parent / guardian / carer.

Future of greenway meeting

Date: Tues November 11th

Time: 7.30 – 9pm

Location: The Edwards Room, Clarendon Centre

If you would like to find out more info please contact:

Many thanks

Helen Starr-Keddle

Harvest Development Officer

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

The Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD

01273 431718 / 07850 002596

More than 3,500 members support our work join today

BHFP logo Signature

City Plan Agreed

From The Argus

Councillors have agreed to launch a public consultation on the future development of Brighton and Hove in a bid to stop the city becoming a developers’ “Wild West”.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s policy and resources committee voted through the City Plan to the next stage at a meeting tonight.

A six week public consultation on the document which will lay down the ground rules for development in the city until 2030 will begin on November 4.

Councillors warned that if the City Plan was not agreed decisions on development in the city would be taken out of the hands of local decision makers and create a “planning by appeal” process that developers would win.

But dissenting voices said the plan had put urban fringe places at risk by indicating sites that could be developed.

The proposals for more than 13,000 homes had first come to the committee in July but were put on hold following pressure from environmental groups.

The council’s head of planning Martin Randall told the committee that the three month delay had allowed time for “reflection and adjustment within the tight regulations” set by the Government’s planning inspectorate.

Without agreeing it, Mr Randall said the council would be in a weak position to resist inappropriate development and be at risk at losing more decisions by appeal.

The committee was told that the City Plan would protect 90% of the city’s urban fringe.

The City Plan if agreed would ensure that urban fringe sites would only be allocated for housing with further consultation and should be used to meet local housing needs through community land trusts and low-cost self-build housing.

Green Councillor Geoffrey Bowden said: “If we don’t have a City Plan in place, there will be opening to a Wild West, a developers’ paradise.

“We might as well pack up the planning department and go straight to Whitehall so there are huge dangers if we don’t agree to this.”

Labour Councillor Warren Morgan said the council had to protect the city’s allotments, parks, open spaces and urban fringe.

He said he hoped residents would use the process to tell the Government planning inspectorate what they think.

Conservative Councillor Geoffrey Theobald said the report was almost identical to the report which had come to the committee three months earlier with just cosmetic changes.

He said: “By identifying these sites and putting them in the public domain, we have given the green light to developers for our most cherished sites next to the Downs.

“We should have consulted first and come along with a sites allocated rather than this haphazard of dealing with it.

Green Councillor Ollie Sykes said that the fact the environmental groups were now supporting the City Plan which they protested against in July did show significant progress had been made.

Moulsecoomb Forest Gardens and Wildlife Project Celebrates 20th Birthday

From The Argus

The new eco-classroom

A community garden celebrated its 20th birthday with a party and the unveiling of a new eco-classroom on its allotment site.

Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project opened its gates to the public with the offer of food, drinks, bush-craft, party hats and a treasure hunt.

Project manager Warren Carter, 48, said 20 years ago he and his friends just wanted to get an allotment, never dreaming it would become the all-inclusive community project it is today.

He said: “Over the years it just keeps evolving. The more you do things and the longer you run, people come to you. A lot of it is being open to ideas.”

Now the garden off Crespin Way, Moulsecoomb, spans nine allotment sites and an area of woodland that was added to the South Downs National Park due to the campaigning of Warren and his team.

The main aim of the project is to bring people together and support those who may otherwise be facing challenges in society.

Primarily, children experiencing educational or behavioural difficulties at school are encouraged to help out and learn about gardening, cooking, and forestry among other things.

Amyas Gilbert, 28, an outdoor youth worker, said the garden should be as therapeutic as it is educational.

He said: “I think the biggest impact on the kids is confidence building. Up here they feel like trusted, valued members of society.”

The new two-storey eco-classroom has a frame made of sweet chestnut, floorboards of Douglas Fir and walls made of straw bales with lime rendering.

Carpenter, Russel Kingston, 26, said: “Building it was tiring but rewarding, definitely. I think it will attract a lot of people to the garden because of its eco credentials.”

Guests of all ages enjoyed the birthday party, exploring the gardens, drinking tea and eating pasta with home grown pesto or burgers cooked in a clay oven.

Visitor Graham Lee, a 63-year-old psychotherapist from Brighton, said: “I think it’s fantastic. It’s like an outside classroom – plus it puts kids in touch with nature and sustainability.”

Sussex councils are losing recycling race

From The Argus – full story here.

Four Sussex councils are among the worst performers in the UK for recycling, new figures reveal.

The statistics, put together by national recycling and waste management company SITA UK, are displayed on an online interactive map, which ranks 326 councils in Britain.

Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) came in 302nd out of 326, recycling only 26.8% of its waste.

And Lewes District Council not only fares the worst in Sussex but is also among the worst in the country, coming 320th out of 326 (22.3%).

Crawley Borough Council came 305th, recycling 26.1% of its waste, while Hastings Borough Council came 314th, recycling 23.7%.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Horsham District Council is the best- performing in Sussex, coming 42nd out of 326, with 52.5% of waste recycled.

BHCC’s Green administration made a promise in its election manifesto in 2011 that 70% of all domestic waste would be recycled in the city by the end of its current term in office – May 2015.

And there is the prospect of BHCC’s rating becoming worse. In an annual performance update for 2013/14, the council’s recycling figure was 25.6%.

This new national data is based on 2012/13 figures. BHCC’s score in this case is 26.8%, so it may slide down the national rankings when the 2013/14 figures are released at the end of this year.