Section: Sussex

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Brighton’s cameo in Lisbon’s revolution

Richard Bernden

The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Windsor is the oldest international agreement, anywhere, that is still in force. While there have been wars between England and France and England and Spain, there have been none between this country and Portugal. Friendly relations have endured for centuries. Even bottles of port all seem to have English names (Graham’s, […]

All at sea over a Brexit deal – and fishermen may be left high and dry

Rick Dillon

The fishermen of Hastings once dreamt of a return to a Britain that charted its own course, freed from having to share its coastal waters and fishing opportunities with French, Spanish and Dutch rivals. It was a powerful message behind Brexit – symbolising ‘our island nation’, which once ruled the waves and now had to […]

For better local government, we need more diversity

Amy Heley

Since the local elections of May 2019, councillors of all parties and the residents they represent have been thrown from crisis to crisis. The word ‘unprecedented’ has never been used so many times. The following events have coincided with my time as a local councillor: Brexit, a snap general election, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black […]

Sussex MPs fought the law – and Loughton abstained

Robert Ellson

The dark days for British democracy are coming in battalions at the moment, but Tuesday’s House of Commons vote on the Internal Market bill still stands out. MPs approved the bill by 340 votes to 256, despite fears that it could lead to the UK breaking international law. The bill is controversial because it contradicts […]

Student housing for homes – not profit

Robert Ellson

In the face of Brighton’s housing crisis, imaginative solutions are required – and two local groups have found one. The Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) has launched a share offer to purchase its first property which it will lease to SEASALT, a student housing co-operative. The share offer, which closes on 31 October, is designed […]

Let the children speak

Perpetua Kirby and Rebecca Webb

As many children in the UK come to the end of their first few weeks of schooling after the first Covid-19 lockdown, we are reminded of a very different time a year ago. Children and young people in Sussex, and across the world, were marching out of school and making their voices heard for action […]

More Covid ageism … and the over-70s are fuming

Vivienne Griffiths

During lockdown, I narrowly missed being run down by a speeding van on an otherwise empty road, its driver giving me two fingers as I tried to slow him down. My angry reaction was: us older people are dispensable now. The feeling has been growing – fed by the enveloping Covid crisis. And I’m not […]

Holes in the self-employed support scheme are swallowing millions of people alive

Mo Kanjilal & Allegra Chapman

When the government announced the furlough scheme for workers hit by the coronavirus lockdown, they initially forgot about the estimated five million self-employed people in the UK. After campaigning from several MPs and lobbying groups, they did announce a scheme for the self-employed, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), on 26 March. This caused temporary […]

My 2000-mile lockdown rescue mission

Petra Kopp

After several months of Covid-19 confinement, the prospect of an ocean passage from the Canaries to Plymouth might seem like a rather extreme choice of escape. And to be honest, back on 3 August 2020, as I set off to meet up with two fellow sailors at Gatwick, it felt that way to me as […]

Plumpton College joins call to Save British Farming

Robert Ellson

Plumpton College joined a national call to Save British Farming yesterday amid claims that the double-whammy of the government’s agriculture bill and a no-deal Brexit could drive one in three farms out of business by 2025. Local campaigners warned that smaller farms would be worst hit. Thanking Plumpton College for its support, Save British Farming […]

Sussex villagers who took Syria to their hearts

Ginny Smith

Syrians fleeing their war-torn country have had a mixed reception in Britain – depicted as besieging our borders in Nigel Farage’s infamous ‘Breaking Point’ poster. Elsewhere they have been welcomed, and in some unexpected quarters. Such as the leafy Sussex villages of East Hoathly and Halland. The villages (pop 1,600) may seem an unlikely link […]

Sussex’s Sanctuary by the Sea

Ginny Foster

This has been a miserable month for anyone on the move in Europe, but especially for asylum-seeking refugees trying to cross the Channel from France to England. Both the UK and French Governments are seeking to wash their hands of responsibility for this humanitarian crisis, which has seen a young man drown and wash up […]

Eviction threat recedes, but anxious winter ahead

Rick Dillon

Thousands of renters will have breathed a sigh of relief as the government further extended the deadline that protects them from summary eviction. As well as the new deadline of 20 September, there is a six-month ban on most evictions taking place until the end of March 2021. So those who would have risked losing […]

Movin’ On Up – why everyone is on the move

Mo Kanjilal

It seems that everyone is on the move. So many of my phone messages are full of Rightmove links and property photos. As the photos of kitchens, gardens and bathrooms start to merge into one, I wonder why is it that it seems like everyone I know has decided to move? Well, since March when […]

Our World in Our Words: can creativity drive change?

Mo Kanjilal

This summer, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in the USA, there has been a reigniting of the Black Lives Matter movement around the world. There have been widespread protests, many of them driven by, and attended by young people from a variety of backgrounds.  For some, even if they want to […]

No real democracy until we Make Votes Matter

Josh Woolcott

On Saturday 22 August, thousands of activists and campaigners came together across the UK – in a socially distanced manner – for Make Votes Matter’s action day to call for change to the UK’s electoral system. Make Votes Matter, a cross-party grassroots campaign, seeks to replace the antiquated first past the post (FPTP) system with […]

Local needs are not part of new planning ‘revolution’

Peter Chowney

The government’s ambitious new White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’.  promises the biggest shake-up in the planning system since 1948, with a ‘fast track for beauty’. We urgently need to build more genuinely affordable homes, especially in the South East – but this White Paper won’t achieve that.  It misunderstands the reasons why houses aren’t […]

How the government’s algorithm has failed Generation Covid

Anna Willmoth

On 13th August, thousands of students in Sussex and across the country anxiously opened their A-Level results, many to bitter disappointment and confusion. This included me. After spending half a year turning in extra essays, often working from 9am to 11pm, and using all my spare time working in the library, I was confident my […]

An algorithm for change

The Assistant Headteacher

I have been a secondary teacher for 15 years, working my way up to Head of English and now Senior Leadership Team. I have always worked in ‘challenging schools’ serving areas of significant deprivation. It’s never been an easy ride and it often feels like the odds are stacked against our students and their communities. […]

On a beach in Sussex, ‘migrant’ myths exposed

Rick Dillon

The recent hot weather brought with it calm seas, and the calm seas brought with them an increase in the number of refugees crossing the Channel in small boats. To look at the reaction from the government and the right-wing press, one could be forgiven for thinking this was a massive invasion. What we actually […]

Keeping It Local – Lewes’ new party allies show the way

Ginny Smith

While Westminster politics remains resolutely tribal, out in the country things are changing. As more people begin to tire of yah-boo confrontation, Lewes provides a fascinating example of how successfully different political parties can work together and run a complex district council. After the May 2019 local elections, the Conservatives emerged as the largest single […]

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