Section: Sussex

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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 […]

Future of Pooh’s forest hangs in the balance

Elizabeth Riminton-Drury

I remember when we heard our village shop was closing because the owners couldn’t afford to continue running it. If we had known the shop was in such difficulty we would have supported it more – but it was too late. The same fate may now hang over Ashdown Forest, the Sussex beauty spot famed […]

Take back control? Protect the NHS? No thanks, say Sussex MPs

Robert Ellson

Before Parliament went on its summer holidays, MPs were offered the chance to take back control of the government’s trade policy, and to protect the NHS from a US trade deal. And across Sussex, they rejected that opportunity. As Parliament debated the post-Brexit trade bill, Conservative MP Jonathan Djanogly brought forward an amendment requiring Parliamentary […]

Will Brighton lead the way on basic income?

Robert Ellson

Basking in the glory of the Conservatives’ 2019 election win, Rishi Sunak would never have guessed that, four months later, he’d be a Tory Chancellor playing socialist by paying the salaries of almost a quarter of the private-sector workforce. The government is keen to return to the old normal, but the coronavirus crisis has pushed […]

Has Covid killed our campus?

Harriet Willmoth

What’s the ‘new normal’ at uni? Going back for me and thousands of other students will be different, the environment strange, and the higher-ups will muddle through as usual. But inevitably our tuition fees will stay at an all-time high while our employability plummets to a likely all-time low. The coming months could be disastrous, […]

Life in lockdown: reconnecting with the natural world

Petra Kopp

Dyeing, sewing, foraging, preserving, baking – and connecting… Despite all the worry and frustrations of those long lonely weeks, lockdown gave me an opportunity to get creative in ways that I hadn’t been in a long time. It just so happened that immediately before lockdown I temporarily moved from a town-centre flat to housesit for […]

State of Play: Brighton & Hove’s Children Still Locked Out

Allegra Chapman

Brighton & Hove City Council’s website says that “Active, outdoor play is an important part of children’s development and health”. If they think this is the case, it seems odd that at the time of writing nearly a quarter of the city’s playgrounds are still closed, leaving children locked out of these vital facilities. The […]

Cost of Covid tips councils over the edge

Peter Chowney

Dramatic cuts in income have left councils with big budget shortfalls, and no way to get the money they need to provide day-to-day services. Had the Covid-19 crisis happened back in 2010, there wouldn’t have been such a problem. Ten years of austerity have left councils in no fit state to cope.  The government has […]

Gathering storm over our vital ferry link

Ginny Smith

During those first weeks of lockdown when the roads fell silent and there was hardly a plane in the sky, one service remained to ensure that fresh produce, fruit and vegetables continued to reach shops and supermarkets in Sussex. Unpublicised and uncelebrated, as so often in its history, the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry kept open […]