Section: Sussex

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NEW WRITER

EU nationals – second-class citizens in post-Brexit Britain

Cllr Marianna Ebel

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.

NEW WRITER

Local action for global change: Divest East Sussex

Fran Witt

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.

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Retired doctor turned community worker: Kim Shamash

Vivienne Griffiths

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.

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Lewes shares the love on Valentine’s Day

Ginny Foster

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.

The DIY dunce and the dishwasher

Bruce Smeath

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.

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

For those in peril on the sea: the Newhaven Lifeboat

Ginny Smith
Lifeboat in stormy seas leaving Newhaven Harbour, with water crashing high above the harbour arm.

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.

LONGER READ

Walking in the Downs – a lockdown odyssey

James Joughin
James Joughin and his dog Ringo on the South Downs, summer 2020

“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.”

NEW WRITER

The government needs to think and spend big on children’s mental health

Cllr Elaine Hills

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.

NEW WRITER

I got the power… installing solar panels

Pat Drake

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…

NEW WRITER

Selling to Europe from Sussex

Helen Gibbons

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.

Only days left to protect our NHS from trade deal threats

Rick Dillon

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.

The DIY dunce and the doorbell

Bruce Smeath

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.

Dinners to comfort distraught Remainers

Ginny Foster

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.

Defending the rights of citizen journalists and campaigners

Rev Susie Courtault

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.

Cuts in aid: Johnson and Raab open another front in the culture war

James Joughin

Johnson’s government is resisting the warnings of five former prime ministers and implementing major cuts to Britain’s international aid budget. Such significant reductions are grim news for people in the world’s poorest countries just as we are seeing the first year-on-year increase in extreme poverty in two decades.

Lewes community action against food poverty

Ginny Foster

On Saturday 12 December, shoppers in Lewes responded to the problem of food poverty by donating an astonishing 7,002 items of food and household products, up from the 5,661 items collected at Halloween. Organised by Mark Perryman, the 12-hour effort included entertainment from many of the town’s gifted performers.

Last orders… what have they done to my local?

Rod Watson

Rod Watson traces the origins of inns and taverns from the Middle Ages through to the present time: coaching inns, gin joints, the Victorian pubs, the licensing laws and their subsequent liberalisation, the smoking ban and its profound effect on the trade – and the new gangster on the block, Master Covid.

Have we witnessed the death of the high street?

Mo Kanjilal

Is a day out at the shops gone forever? The fate of our high streets and the retail brands that drew us to them, is in the balance. Mo Kanjilal explores whether new and innovative brands, and a radical rethink about what to do with existing retail space, can bring our dying town centres back to life.

Hungry for action − an environmental protest fast

Venetia Carter

To highlight lack of action to address the climate emergency, Extinction Rebellion activist Venetia Carter is fasting for seven days. She passionately believes that the catastrophe of climate breakdown isn’t a problem that can be solved by the people of the future; it is the responsibility of all of us – the people of the present – here and now.