Section: Sussex

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Is democracy in Sussex really too much to ask for?

Tom Serpell

In a democracy every citizen should have the right not only to vote, but also to have someone in parliament who speaks for them, which simply does not happen in First Past the Post races. For Sussex, and the rest of the country, a fair proportional representative voting system seems overdue.

Mid Sussex campaigners battle over cycleway proposal

Ginny Smith

Can one of the most ancient and last remaining bridleways in Mid Sussex be saved from being turned into a cycleway? Ginny Smith uncovers a controversy involving Mid Sussex District Council, furious residents, environmentalists, developers, landed estates, the vice-sheriff of West Sussex and a seemingly endless maze of complications.

Creative adventures in lockdown

Tamsin Shasha

Theatre maker Tamsin Shasha is passionate about the power of story-telling through live performance. Here she talks about two theatrical adventures during lockdown, in Brighton and in Berlin.

Good ghouls to the rescue in scary times

Ginny Foster & Ginny Smith

Lewes, the county town of East Sussex, does not fit the stereotype of communities where food poverty is on the rise – but beneath the surface there is very real deprivation. On Halloween dozens of volunteers turned out, collecting thousands of food items for people in need.

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 […]