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district news Winter Edition 2016

in this issue: spotting fungi

festive recycling

christmas art housing news rock’n’rolling managing flood risk fly-tip investigator Your Lewes District Council Newsletter

FEATURES Managing flood risk Championing new business Become a play street Fly-tip investigator Festive recycling Nature reserves in winter

4 5 6 7 8-9 13

REGULARS Housing news 10-12 Council meetings 14 Bank holiday refuse and food waste collections 16


by Alexis Maryon

Jeweller Phoebe Sherwood prepares work to exhibit at 2 Fisher Street


District News is available in large print, audio disc or in another language upon request. To receive District News by email visit Write to Lewes District Council at Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes BN7 1AB CONTACT 01273 471600 EMAIL DESIGN Lewes District Council @LewesDC

Dreaming of a green Christmas Winter is a time to wrap up warm, pull on those wellies and go for a walk around our beautiful district as our cover shot suggests. Perhaps en route you might spot some weird and wonderful fungi, or see some of the habitat restoration work being carried out by our rangers (see page 13 for both). If you prefer a less muddy walk, why not follow the new Gallery Guide to Lewes (see opposite). Christmas is also a time to celebrate with friends and family, but as we feast and exchange gifts, we can also help protect the environment by making sure to recycle card and wrapping paper and reuse and recycle all of that festive food. For tips on how to enjoy a green Christmas, turn to pages 8-9. At this time of year, when the weather becomes colder and wetter, it is also important to think about safety – for ourselves and for elderly friends and relatives. On page 12 we have some winter safety tips for older people, while on page 4 we explain more about what we are doing to help lower the risk of flooding in the district. We wish you all a happy and healthy festive season!


Celebrate! presented by Sussex Arts Collective and Mohamed Hamid Pottery

Re-imagined buildings This autumn, we worked with Lewes Depot Cinema on a programme of four sellout cinema experiences in four unique spaces around our district. Each event celebrated what the building had once been and what it is now. The buildings and corresponding films were The Wedding Song at the Turkish Baths in Lewes, Exit Through The Gift Shop at The Crypt in Seaford, Jigsaw at the Gateway Café in Peacehaven and Life of Pi at the new UTC@harbourside in Newhaven.

Have an art-full winter Lewes district is a great place to buy, make or experience art this Christmas. Find many unique gifts from the venues featured in a new Gallery Guide for Lewes, or visit the two temporary exhibitions popping up in December. Artwave’s favourite artist, Keith Petitt and friends return to 2 Fisher Street in Lewes and in Seaford, Arts@theCrypt hosts a Last Minute Artists Event from 10-15 December. In Newhaven, artist Nick Bush is exhibiting at the Old History Museum near West Beach on 17 December, with a drawing class from 2-3pm on 18 December. Also taking place in the town on 18 December is a Sunday 6x9 Salon, featuring six varied acts, performing for nine minutes each. For full details of these and other events in the district visit or visit our friendly team at the Tourist Information Centres in Lewes and Seaford @enjoylewes @artwavefestival RIGHT

Felted hat by Mo Jackson

Each of the spaces turned into a cinema for one night only and invited speakers shared knowledge on the buildings’ history. Profits from bar and screenings went to four charities, Calais Refugee Project, Arts@theCrypt, Peacehaven Community Orchard and Newhaven & District RNLI.


Managing the Upper Ouse We are funding a three-year project by the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust (OART) and the Sussex Flow Initiative to lower flood risk in Lewes district. The first part of the project includes a survey of the Bevern Stream and Plumpton Mill Stream to look at ways to reduce the impact of floods, as well as plans for a flood storage pond near Ringmer. OART continue to work with the Environment Agency on the Anchor Wetland Project to create 60 acres of floodplain storage north of Barcombe Mills and are also looking at ways to re-connect the river with the floodplain around Isfield. They are also looking at natural flood management measures such as woody debris dams, diverters and deflectors in tributaries and drainage ditches. For more information please contact or go to or

Reducing tidal floods Work has started on a scheme to reduce the risk of tidal flooding from the River Ouse to protect over 800 homes and businesses in Newhaven. Environment Agency contractors JacksonHyder started construction in November 2016. The Newhaven Flood Alleviation Scheme will be designed and constructed in phases. Works have started on the first two areas (Swing Bridge to West Quay and Swing Bridge to Cantells Boatyard) and are scheduled to be completed by March 2017. These works include:

• 150 metre bund (embankment) north of Cantells Boatyard; • 130 metre wall built along the edge of the footpath either side of Denton Island Bridge;

• a realigned and raised bund at the rear of Riverside Park. The Environment Agency is working with us on new landscaping designs for the Riverside Park;

• 140 metre reinforced concrete wall which will run from near the Swing Bridge to just north of the Ark pub with various access points to allow entry to fishermen’s jetties; and

• 20 metres of bund will be raised by around 250 millimetres in West Quay. During the construction phase, you may be affected by the works. Further details can be found on our webpage at search ‘Newhaven’. For more information contact the project team by email at, or call 03708 506506.

Calling all entrepreneurs LEAP (the Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Platform) is dedicated to championing new enterprise in Lewes district. It supports local people through an intensive training programme to help them with their plans to start a new business. It also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to win £2,500 to get their business off the ground. After a very successful programme in 2016, we are delighted that the programme will run again in 2017, delivered by Edeal. The

initial one-day business start-up workshop is open to all residents and potential entrepreneurs who wish to gain essential knowledge to start a new business. Fifteen candidates will then be selected to advance to further training and mentoring support to complete a robust business plan, before an expert panel select the overall winner of a cash prize of £2,500. For more information please contact Edeal on 01323 641144.

Growing low carbon business Businesses in Lewes district are being offered support and grants to help them become greener.

To find out more and register for support visit or call the Green Growth Platform on 01273 641949.


To be eligible you must be an SME with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than Euros 50m. You will receive free advice on how to make your business more environmentally friendly and grants covering up to 40% of the costs of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. For low carbon businesses there is tailored business support and R&D grants.

Jim Holden

The University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform initiative is part of the £8.8million Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) Project to drive green business growth across East Sussex, Kent and Essex. It is a partnership between the University and a number of councils across the South East, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


Meeting towns and parishes Our annual Town and Parish Council conference this year had a focus on planning with a presentation by Tim Slaney, Director of Planning for the South Downs National Park Authority. The well-attended conference held in Lewes in October provided an opportunity for councillors from towns and parishes across the district to put questions to the panellists, develop our partnership working as well as meeting our new chief executive (right) Robert Cottrill. Other panellists included Rob Leet, Chief Inspector of Sussex Police, who spoke about community safety and the Prevent programme to stop people being drawn into violent extremism, as well as our Leader Cllr Andy Smith (left), Director of Regeneration and Planning Nazeya Hussein (below), Director of Finance Alan Osborne and Don McBeth, Chair of the Lewes District Association of Local Councils.

Make your street a play street We are inviting applications from the beginning of January from residents who want to turn their street into a play street, allowing children to play freely with friends for a few hours without fear of traffic. Parents and neighbours can apply for a single temporary road closure, or several at one time, using a new process. Applications need to be made via by the end of January for the launch weekend 21-23 April 2017. Applicants have to demonstrate that at least 60% of residents and businesses affected agree to the road being closed for up to three hours at a time during daylight hours. Parents should be available to supervise the play and ensure the road is closed off to vehicles with suitable signs, but allowing access to residents to park in existing bays. Cllr Tony Nicholson, Lead Member for Customers and Partners at Lewes District Council, said: “We want to make it easy for parents and neighbours to apply to close their road and turn it into a play out area. I’m sure people can remember the benefits of playing out in the street many years ago and the strong community spirit it fostered between neighbours and parents.”

Wear the white ribbon For two weeks in November and December, we are marking White Ribbon Day, celebrating men working to end violence against women, when men and boys are urged to wear a white ribbon. We are aiming to regain our White Ribbon accreditation by working in partnership with agencies such as Sussex Police and nominating male ambassadors to take the campaign forward. All of our male staff members will be encouraged to take the pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. We are also working with the community including local sports clubs and music venues to highlight how they can inform men about violence against women and girls and encourage them to challenge it.

y-tipping IS A CRIME

A day in the life of Robin Fuller Street Services Investigator Members of the public are our eyes and ears and we treat every report we receive seriously. If a fly tip is reported I visit the scene, take photographs and sift through for evidence, carry out house to house enquiries, check any CCTV footage, take witness statements and interview suspects. Then I submit a file to our legal department for a decision, which might be issuing a caution, recovering clear-up costs, or a prosecution. My job also includes identifying posters displayed on street furniture without planning permission, which are then removed and retained for 14 days before being disposed of. I carry out spot checks on littering which can be committed by a pedestrian in the high-street, a vehicle driver throwing waste out of a moving car, or a waste carrier using main roads without covering their load properly. I also visit any reported graffiti, photograph and investigate any tags using social media. Any racist or abusive graffiti is removed within 24 hours. Other aspects of my work include investigating reports of unlawful encampments and abandoned vehicles and working with dog walkers on the Paws on Watch scheme. Anyone with any information on suspected fly tipping in Lewes district are asked to report online at or by emailing


’Tis the season to


Christmas is a time for giving and receiving and sharing food and drink with friends and family. But all those presents and festive treats can create a huge amount of waste. By thinking green this Christmas, recycling cards, packaging and wrapping paper and reusing leftover food, we can help to reduce waste and save the pennies at the same time!

Tips for a greener Christmas

• Card packaging – it is estimated that in the UK we use a whopping 300,000 tonnes of card at Christmas – enough to travel from London to Lapland and back 103 times. Save space at home and help the environment by dropping items off at your local recycling centre. Find your nearest stop on Recycle Now’s Recycling Locator at

• Flatten cardboard boxes before recycling to save room in the recycling container.

• Remove ribbons, bows and other adornments before recycling wrapping paper.

• Make sure all food is removed from card and paper packaging before recycling.

• Keep card or paper packaging with glitter out of the recycling container.

• Almost all wrapping paper is recyclable. The only types of wrapping paper that can’t go in the recycling bin are the shiny metallic and glitter varieties. If in doubt, try the ‘scrunch test’ – if you scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can be put into the recycling.

• Why not cut up last year’s Christmas cards to make inexpensive gift tags for this year’s presents? Then make sure to save this year’s cards for Christmas 2017!

Eat, drink and make merry… and then reuse and recycle!

• The big Christmas food shop doesn’t need to be stressful: by making lists, the shopping trip will be a lot easier and you are more likely to buy what you need, saving on money and food waste!

• Cool leftovers as quickly as possible and store them in the fridge for up to two days. Leftover turkey and other meats are great eaten hot or cold – but remember if you do reheat them make sure they are piping hot.

O Christmas Tree If you are buying a real tree for Christmas, don’t forget to recycle it. Real Christmas trees are usually shredded into chippings which are then used locally in parks or woodland areas. You can bring your trees to one of the following drop-off points by Sunday 22 January. Lewes Brook Street car park Newhaven Bay View car park Peacehaven Piddinghoe Avenue car park Seaford Richmond Road car park and Buckle car park

• Get creative to use up any leftover turkey. has an extensive collection of delicious recipes to ensure turkey sandwiches are not the only option on the menu.

• At Christmas, the freezer comes into its own: almost any food including hard cheese, milk, potatoes and bread can be frozen at any point up to the end of the “use by” date; defrost food at room temperature to eat straight away; or defrost in the fridge overnight and eat within 2 days.

• Remember to place any leftover food waste that you cannot use into your lined food caddy before transferring to your food waste recycling bin.


Housing advice surgeries If you are having difficulties paying your rent or mortgage, want advice on your rights as a tenant or owner, need to find somewhere to live, or are having problems maintaining your home then come to a “Housing Advice” drop-in surgery: Peacehaven Community House, Meridian Centre, Meridian Way Monday 9am-12.30pm Lewes Council Offices, Southover House, Southover Road Tuesday 9am-12.30pm Newhaven Saxon House, Meeching Rd Wednesday and Friday 10am-12.30pm Seaford The Police Building, Church St Thursday 9am-12.30pm You can also visit our website and complete an online housing advice request or email For our duty housing officer rota visit: For people living in villages with no means of transport, or people with disabilities our advice officers would be happy to arrange a home visit.

ABOVE Tenant of the Year Robert White and winners of our sheltered housing gardening competition

Tenants enjoy tips, talks and awards This year’s tenants conference held at Lewes Priory School was well-attended by tenants from all over the district who enjoyed workshops on healthy eating, fire safety and DIY tips. The morning included a presentation about the housing changes being proposed by the government and local MP Maria Caulfield also came along to meet our tenants. Our ‘Tenant of the Year’ award for an individual who has made a difference to the lives of people in their local area over the last year was presented to Robert White from Meridian Court, who was nominated by two of his neighbours. Angela Sharman from Join Us presented prizes to the winners of our sheltered housing gardening competition. Andy Chequers, Head of Customer Services, said:

Yet another fantastic turnout from our tenants and staff. I was particularly pleased to see so many new faces this year.

young at heart Older residents in the Lewes district enjoyed a Rock ’n’ Roll themed event at Lewes Priory School this autumn. Our young-at-heart older residents were treated to a 1960s-style buffet and danced to music from the 1950s and ’60s. Prizes were awarded for the best dancing, best chair dancing and best rock ’n’ roll costume! The event was organised by ‘Join Us’ in partnership with our sheltered housing team and tenant participation team. Join Us is a social network for older people in our district, which helps them to support one another, expands the range of activities on offer for those living in sheltered housing and promotes equality and digital inclusion for all older people. The event was part of our celebrations to mark Older People’s Day 2016, a global awareness day to highlight the contribution made to our society by our ageing population and to challenge outdated stereotypes about older people. By 2035, 23% of the entire UK population will be aged 65 or over.

Letting you know how we are doing Our annual report to our tenants is now available. The report covers the year 2015 to 2016 and includes property and repairs information, community improvements, support given to tenants, tenant involvement in service improvements and our housing plans for 2016/2017. Key points include:

• The number of properties we have and how many we have re-let this last year.

• The percentage of tenants who were satisfied with our repairs service.

• The number of community improvement projects funded from our external and environmental budget. • Information on how tenants have provided feedback to help us shape changes to our services. • Updates on our work this year and a summary of our plans for 2016/2017. A full copy of the report is available on the Lewes District Council housing webpage, or from our Tenant Participation team on 01273 471600.


Keep warm this winter If you are older, it is important to keep warm in winter. Wear plenty of thin layers rather than one thick one, and don’t forget to put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside. Heat your main living room to around 18-21°C (64-70°F) and the rest of the house to at least 16°C (61°F). Set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed.

New affordable homes We have made significant progress on the construction of 22 new affordable homes being built across five separate sites, formerly occupied by run down council-owned garages. The homes, which are being built by Sussexbased construction company Thakeham, are a mix of one and two bedroom flats, as well as two bedroom houses. We will allocate and rent out the new homes to households on our Housing Register. The homes all meet excellent space standards and two of the flats are designed specifically for the needs of people with a physical disability. Construction will be completed at different stages up to summer 2017 Councillor Ron Maskell, the Cabinet lead member for housing, recently visited one of the sites and was shown around the houses by representatives of Thakeham, who explained how they are working hard with local residents to reduce disruption and to finish the homes within agreed timescales.

A warm home at night Try to keep the temperature above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom overnight. Never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off and unplug blankets before you go to bed. Test your electric blanket every 3 years for safety. Eat well and stay active Eating regular meals will help keep your energy levels up. Have plenty of hot food and drinks and keep your diet as varied as possible. Exercise can keep you warm. If possible, try to move around at least once an hour.

Cllr Ron Maskell (centre) with LDC Housing Development Manager Leighton Rowe (left) and developers

Garages to let We have garages to let across the district, including in some villages. Rental charges range from £16 to £25 per week. Priority will be given to council tenants and neighbouring residents in areas where parking is restricted. For details visit

Creating homes for our wildlife At this time of year when wildlife and plants are sheltering from the cold weather, our rangers can carry out vital conservation work to restore flora and fauna friendly habitats.

Fungi spotting During the winter, when most animals and plants are seeking shelter from the cold weather, fungi spotting is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy those crisp sunny mornings. There are roughly 15,000 types of fungi in the UK and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Here are three amazing looking fungi that you can spot in our district: Yellow Brain (left), also known as Witches Butter. This fungi grows on dead twigs up in trees. It especially likes hazel and gorse, so see if you can spot it on Chailey Commons. Waxcaps (left) are brightly coloured and often shiny and can be found on unimproved short grassland. They can be found in a variety of colours including orange, yellow, green and pink. Visit graveyards, cemeteries or Castle Hill Nature Reserve in Newhaven to catch a glimpse of them.

Across our nature reserves we are clearing scrub to create sunny glades full of wildflowers, restoring ponds for protected amphibians, coppicing trees to revive our woodlands and refurbishing gates, steps and paths for all our human visitors. With over 14 sites to manage across the district, it’s a job that can’t be done alone. Each year volunteers give over 400 days to help our rangers carry out this work, but we are always looking for new recruits. To find out more about our nature reserves and wildlife visit

Scarlet Elf Cup (top), also known as Fairies’ Baths, can be found on the ground on decaying sticks and branches. Keep an eye out for them in the woodland at the Railway Land Nature Reserve in Lewes. Remember some fungi are very poisonous and even touching them can be dangerous. So admire from a distance. Find out more about our nature reserves by visiting



These scheduled Lewes District Council meetings for Winter 2016/17 are open to the public:


Planning Applications Committee 1 Employment Committee 2 Cabinet 3 Planning Applications Committee 1 Scrutiny Committee 3 Audit and Standards Committee 4 Planning Applications Committee 1 Cabinet 3 Scrutiny Committee 3 Planning Applications Committee 1 Council 1 Employment Committee 4 Landport Bottom Management Committee 3 Planning Applications Committee 1

14 December 19 December 4 January 11 January 12 January 16 January 1 February 8 February 17 February 22 February 23 February 6 March 8 March 15 March

5:00pm 10:00am 2:30pm 5:00pm 10:00am 10:00am 5:00pm 2:30pm 10:00am 5:00pm 6:00pm 10:00am 11:00am 5:00pm

Venues: 1 Council Chamber, County Hall, St. Annes Crescent, Lewes 2 Telscombe Room, Southover House, Lewes 3 Telscombe & Ditchling Rooms, Southover House, Lewes 4 Ditchling Room, Southover House, Lewes For further information and to confirm meeting times, dates and locations, contact the Committee Section at or call 01273 471600. Information is correct at time of going to press.

Winter bank holiday collection days REFUSE and FOOD WASTE COLLECTIONS Normal Collection Day

Altered Collection Day

Monday 26 December

Bank holiday, no collection

Tuesday 27 December

Bank holiday, no collection

Wednesday 28 December Normal collection Thursday 29 December

Normal collection

Friday 30 December

Normal collection

Monday 2 January

Tuesday 3 January

Tuesday 3 January

Wednesday 4 January

Wednesday 4 January

Thursday 5 January

Thursday 5 January

Friday 6 January

Friday 6 January

Saturday 7 January

Monday 9 January

Normal collection schedule resumes

Please put your refuse and food waste out by 6am on your collection day

KERBSIDE RECYCLING COLLECTIONS Please refer to your kerbside recycling calendar. If you do not have one you can download one from our website: or you can request one by calling customer services on 01273 471600

For commercial recycling of paper and cardboard collections please follow your normal fortnightly cycle and allow the same bank holiday alterations as shown on the collections table (left). Our garden waste collection service runs from February to November and will be expanding to Lewes, Ringmer and Kingston in spring 2017. To find out more visit

District News winter 2016  
District News winter 2016