Section: Sussex

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Blood on her hands

Ross McNally

Under Home Secretary Priti Patel, what was once the policy of fringe British National Party crackpots is now at the heart of government. Her response to the deaths of 27 refugees at sea is playing politics with people’s lives.

NEW WRITER

How Sussex can rediscover its wild side…

Ross McNally

Greater species diversity would transform the South Downs National Park from ‘pretty’ sheep-grazing fields into a vibrant landscape for all kinds of wildlife. Bring back the bison and let nature take charge again, urges zoologist Ross McNally.

Shout out! The RNLI volunteer team keeping you safe at sea

Anna Scott

The RNLI lifeboat at Newhaven is a part of a hugely popular, publicly funded charity that inspires loyalty and devotion from its volunteers, who selflessly dedicate their lives to saving the lives of others. How and why do they do it? This is their story.

Who will police the police?

Allegra Chapman
Downing Street police guards seen through the railings

Since Sarah Everard was murdered in March by a serving police officer, 81 women have been killed in the UK at the hands of men. How are women supposed to feel safe on our streets if the very people whose primary job is to protect us are instead disregarding, mocking or killing us? Can women trust the police? And perhaps more importantly, should we?

Labour conference buried gem: Land laws reform to stop the “free-for-all”

Rick Dillon
Labour Party Shadow Secretary for Housing Lucy Powell speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Sept 2021

Forget Starmer’s speech, McDonald’s resignation and Rayner’s expletives, says Sussex Bylines writer Rick Dillon, who attended much of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this week. Far more important were the under-reported land laws reform proposals, some put forward by the Hastings & Rye local party and passed enthusiastically by delegates, that would stop the developers’ planning free-for-all and could finally fix our nation’s housing crisis…

TOXIC SHOCK

For the birds: Brexit’s latest shock, a toxic threat to our water system

Ginny Smith & Rick Dillon
a yellowhammer bird in a tree

The safety of our water systems is now threatened due to the shortage of HGV drivers who deliver the chemicals needed to decontaminate wastewater. This is therefore a problem stemming directly from the consequences of Brexit – and one which, among many others, was predicted in the government’s own Operation Yellowhammer report, which laid out disaster contingency plans in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which has now become reality.

UPDATED

Letters to the editor

Sussex Bylines
An old-fashioned letterbox

We encourage our readers to write to us in response to any of our articles at: letters@sussexbylines.co.uk .
To submit an idea for an article please email the editor-in-chief at editor@sussexbylines.co.uk

NEW WRITER

Build Britain Better: why our housing industry needs urgent modernisation

Joe Harmston
Dreamscape painting of a tudor house in a bubble with a man and umbrella on top and pink clouds in the background

“Perhaps it is a tall ambition for Britain’s house builders, but why settle for a sentimental evocation of the past when you could aspire to an exciting journey into the future with all its possibilities?” New Sussex Bylines writer Joe Hamston, who is himself a house builder, makes the case for the urgent modernisation of our housing industry…

Recipe for success: how hands-on volunteers battle food poverty

Ali Ghanimi
Fare share volunteer loading donated surplus onions in a crate into a van for distribution to the community

Sussex food partnerships are at the forefront of finding long-term solutions to the growing problem of food insecurity. Affordable food projects, community supermarkets and organisations who take surplus fresh produce from local farms and turn it into soups, are all playing their part in relieving the food poverty that exists in all of our communities…

The unkindest cut – real life stories

Sussex Bylines
Woman looking at the "Keep the lifeline" petition on her smart phone

We invited Sussex Bylines readers to share their personal experiences of how the government’s planned Universal Credit cut will affect them. We have already received some courageous responses that make for sobering – and in some cases, heartbreaking – reading…

UPDATED

The unkindest cut of all

Ginny Smith
Tories Foodbank Soup cans mural in London by artist Georgie

Despite dire predictions and warnings, Johnson’s government seems determined to cut the £20 a week “uplift” payments for Universal Credit recipients. Yet as critics of the move point out, this cut is not only cruel and ill-timed, but doesn’t even make economic sense…

UPDATE ON COP26

Giving voice to climate activists – and the coat arrives!

Ginny Smith
Barbara Teal wearing the Coat of Hopes before any patches have been added, leading a group in song on Newhaven Beach

From Sussex to Scotland: Coat of Hopes just embarked on an inclusive, inspiring, and uniquely creative 500-mile, 60-day pilgrimage to the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. And at its centre is a community-made patchwork coat that is transformed as it travels…

NEW WRITER

Fixing our faulty food system: how community food partnerships work

Ali Ghanimi
People cooking in Community Kitchen at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

Across Sussex, local food partnerships are springing up to address the myriad problems stemming from the UK’s flawed food system that is not only making us ill, but also harming our planet. And our central government is lagging far behind these growing grassroots community groups…

TOXIC SHOCK

Profits from pollution: how private monopoly Southern Water is failing the public

Ginny Smith & Rick Dillon
Protesters on a Hastings beach following yet another sewage spill by Southern Water

A spate of sewage discharges and spills into our seas and rivers is prompting protests as demands grow across Sussex for Southern Water to clean up its act and stop putting profits ahead of clean water. As a private monopoly it is accountable to its shareholders rather than its customers, but a growing number of campaigners believe it’s time to bring it back into public ownership.

TOXIC SHOCK

Beautiful but deadly: the pollution of Sussex rivers

Ginny Smith & Rick Dillon
River Ouse at Barcombe - looks beautiful but the water is often polluted

Raw sewage has been flowing into Sussex’s rivers and streams – often discharged straight from Southern Water treatment works. In the second part of Sussex Bylines’ Toxic Shock series we look at the effects of this pollution on our fresh waterways – and speak to some of those demanding it be stopped…

Destroy these outdated A27 plans, NOT the South Downs

Norman Baker
Before and after images showing (top) how the countryside east of Lewes looks now and (bottom) how it would look if the proposed new A27 motorway was built right through it

“Pristine countryside lost to concrete cannot be recovered: once gone, it is lost forever. Is that what we really want to see for this beautiful section of the South Downs?” Former Lewes MP and Transport Minister Norman Baker demolishes the persistent proposals to build a new four-lane highway that would decimate the Low Weald countryside, including ancient forests, protected wildlife, working farms and historic villages, and calls on the lead Conservative Councillor to change course NOW, before it’s too late…

TOXIC SHOCK

Warning: Sussex seas may damage your health

Ginny Smith & Rick Dillon
Photo of some of the South Coast Sirens, a group of concerned swimmers who are combatting pollution in the Sussex sea

Raw sewage is being pumped into our seas at an alarming frequency and the water company responsible seems unable to stop it. Sussex Bylines talks to the swimmers who are doing something about it, in the first of our series on the polluted seas and waterways of Sussex.

LONGER READ

Further adventures on the trigging trail: The 2021 Pangdean Bottom Trespass

James Joughin
People protesting by walking on part of the South Downs that is owned by Brighton council but is not accessible to the public

Author James Joughin joins a very polite and orderly ‘mass trespass’ on the South Downs – 300 people walking into a valley at Pangdean Bottom. This is not land owned by a caricature evil landlord but Brighton Council-owned and rented out to tenant farmers. The trespassers’ point was that it was totally unavailable for use by Brighton city residents and taxpayers, even though the footprints of walkers would surely do no more harm than the hooves of cattle.

WHAT SUSSEX MEANS TO US

My own private (rented) beach chalet

Hilary Lawson
Painting of Rottingdean beach chalets by John Haywood

It’s a little-known secret that you don’t have to shell out in excess of £20,000 to be the lucky owner of a Brighton & Hove beach chalet. You do need, however, a bucket-full of patience to wait for your name to rise to the top of the Brighton & Hove beach chalet rental waiting list…

WHAT SUSSEX MEANS TO US

Power of the people

Mo Kanjilal
Sussex Uni students demonstrating against privatisation of the university

“Being involved in Sussex Bylines since day one has shown me that there is another way; that there are so many of us out there who want to see a different, better world.”