This week’s Bylines Network podcast comes from Sussex: Mo Kanjilal and Stephanie Prior in conversation about the importance of encouraging representation at a local level.
On International Women’s Day Lewes District Council hosted a lunchtime conversation between councillor Zoe Nicholson and two incredibly dynamic women who live in the area. Mebrak Ghebfreweldi, the founder and MD of Diversity Resource International in Eastbourne and Karen Dobres, co-director of Lewes Football Club, were asked what International Women’s Day meant to them.
Rise, a Brighton and Hove charity that has provided domestic abuse services since 1994, have recently lost their council contract. Jo Saunders tells the story of a community shocked and confused, rising to support Rise.
“In the UK, only 21-25% of science research grant applications are successful, meaning that over 75% are rejected…Additionally, the system drives competition, leading to inequalities. Managing a work-life balance is more difficult when you are constantly being made to feel that you could achieve more if only you worked more.”
To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we feature this selection of articles published in Sussex Bylines in the run-up to 8 March, along with other pieces about women who have fought for political representation, challenged prejudice, refused to remain invisible, and who have been proud to hold the banner of women’s rights high.
Behind the shocking rise in domestic abuse cases are the desperate voices of women themselves, captured in a moving new video from Hastings & St Leonards Women’s Voice.
Thousands of EU citizens were disenfranchised in the 2019 European elections – and yet the High Court has ruled that they have no redress against the government. And to avoid becoming an ‘undocumented migrant’ they are forced to apply for EU Settled Status. Cllr Marianna Ebel explains the issues.
“Grotesque over-development”: Lewes District Council fights government plans to “build, build, build”
Lewes district councillor Emily O’Brien warns of “grotesque over-development” if the government’s “build, build, build” policy doubles the number of planned builds for Lewes district. But despite the government’s U-turn, Conservative MP Maria Caulfield and Emily O’Brien can’t agree on the revised figures.
Nine months after contracting COVID-19, Sophie Wilson has still not recovered from the disease and is enduring a range of physical and mental symptoms on a daily basis. She describes the debilitating impact that Long COVID is having on her health and her life.
The pandemic shows the value of key workers, such as hospital staff, to our society. But will chancellor Rishi Sunak recognise this in the Budget?
Divest East Sussex is campaigning throughout the county, pressurising council pension fund managers to act on the climate emergency the planet faces by pulling their investments from companies mining and drilling for fossil fuels.
Kim Shamash told Vivienne Griffiths how the Brighton and Hove network sprang up just before the first lockdown. Within a week there were 42 areas with at least 3,000 people joining numerous area and street WhatsApp and Facebook groups to request or offer mutual support.
Despite Covid restrictions, and the coldest February temperatures for years, Valentine’s Day saw Lewes cultural, sporting, political and faith groups involved in a trolley dash to buy well over 7,000 food items for local food banks.
I took stock. I had spent half an hour taking off the inner door cover. I had cut my hand, maybe not badly, but nastily enough. I had got the latch back into the correct position. I had put the door cover back on. The dishwasher still didn’t work.
For over 200 years the Newhaven Lifeboat has been saving lives in the Sussex sea. Volunteers require enormous courage as they face both physical and emotional challenges. The desire to give something back to the people they live amongst is their driving force, and the relationships they form with local and seafaring communities give them the strength to carry on.
“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”
Mental health stigma persists and continues throughout people’s lives. If children are to cope with the scarring of the past year and the extra mental demands of living in a post-Covid society, we must talk about mental health more so they find it as easy as talking about their physical health, and embed that approach into society.
Councils around the country are struggling to work out how to fund the things they need to. Since 2010, funding to local councils has been cut by almost 50%. With tough choices for every council to make, and no clear sight of when we will emerge from the lockdown, there are tough times ahead for local communities.
This is the day the roof of my suburban semi-detached house becomes host to eight solar panels and a storage battery. I find myself excited at the tiny step towards self-sufficiency and realise, as the day dawns blustery and rainy, that my decision is the triumph of hope over experience…
Fishing fleets across Sussex feel betrayed by a Brexit deal which does not give them the exclusive access to British waters they were promised. At the same time, fish prices have slumped as a result of the pandemic.
The Pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the need for better insulated housing. Brighton & Hove Council hopes its plans for retrofitting new homes will be one small step towards the prospect of lower bills, lower carbon emissions and more local jobs.
Vivienne Griffiths turns the spotlight on the government’s decisions on re-opening schools. She exposes a predictable pattern of delays, U-turns and threats of legal action that jeopardise teachers’ and students’ safety, and cause anxiety and uncertainty among parents.
We’re on high alert now − but government failings have made the race against the virus more desperate
The tragedy of the hard Brexit pursued by the UK is that so many Europe-focused businesses have become instantly unviable, whether they’re selling Scottish langoustines to France, Welsh lamb to Germany or language services to the Netherlands. The Brexit impacts that are being disingenuously described as teething troubles are actually structural.
Next week MPs will decide whether or not to back crucial Lords’ amendments to the government’s Trade Bill. If these amendments are not passed, the health service will be treated like any business – its profitable parts privatised and its data (our data) sold to the highest bidder.
It’s January and the doorbell hasn’t worked for most of the previous year. We’ve kinda got used to it by now. I think my wife still believes I’m going to fix it, but it would be fair to say I’ve taken a relaxed approach to its repair. As I have to a number of other DIY issues.
In cities and villages alike, community life has long depended on key buildings. But how many of these beloved edifices will survive the pandemic?
The year 2000 promised to be a good one for transport campaigners in Eastbourne when East Sussex County Council (ESCC) published their first Local Transport Plan (LTP1). The plan was forward-thinking and exciting, but as the years have passed, little has been achieved. The promise has been broken.
A group of East Sussex Remainers found a foodie way to not only beat the Brexit blues, but to continue to travel Europe even during lockdown. Ginny Foster reports on a Covid-secure idea to share good food, drink and company.
While citizen journalists in the UK work to combat mainstream media bias, other countries arrest and torture the brave voices who speak truth to power. Susie Courtault examines the treatment of two women journalists, in China and Saudi Arabia, and fears for the future of human rights protection in the UK.