Elections to East Sussex County Council are being held on Thursday 4th May.
Since Sylvia Tidy and I were first elected to represent the residents of Crowborough in 2005, there have been very significant changes at East Sussex County Council. While the aspiration to create a leaner more efficient operation at County Hall was central to Conservative leadership policy, the financial crises of 2008, on the one hand accelerated major change, but on the other, made services much more difficult to deliver.
Budgetary issues remain as the principal challenge in 2017, major sums having been taken out of the County Council’s budget over the past three years and further major savings having to be made over future years to 2020.
The significance for Crowborough arising from these challenges has been considerable. From the outset, we perceived the main objective as having Crowborough’s voice properly heard, against a background, where the bulk of the County Council’s resource is directed towards more densely populated areas to the south of the County.
On the plus side, there has been success in ensuring that a substantive road re-surfacing programme has been, and is being implemented in regard to many Crowborough roads. At long last, too, a number of consultations will soon begin on a range of road junctions, where it is proposed to install double yellow lines requested by residents and supported by us.
Less successful have been our endeavours to promote the rationalisation of speed limits along the principal approach roads to the town and the concerns of residents in a number of different parts of Crowborough for the installation of speed restrictions. Our intention is to continue pressing for such rationalisation and necessary road safety installations.
The loss of the excellent team of PCSOs, who made up the Neighbourhood Policing presence in Crowborough, along with cutbacks to the Policing budget has had a notable disbenefit for Crowborough residents. We simply do not agree that the policy of redirecting Police resource to issues such as cyber-crime to the detriment of local policing is serving Crowborough well.
On a much more positive note, the County Council’s more recently expressed willingness to consider the installation of further pedestrian crossing facilities in Crowborough, must certainly be welcome by local residents.
We are also determined to continue working to improve provision of medical services in Crowborough, to ensure that a wide spectrum of medical facilities is available at Crowborough Hospital.
Four candidates are standing for each seat (click to find-out about them).
Crowborough North & Jarvis Brook
- Sara Rose Newman (Labour Party)
- Karen Jane Shaw (Liberal Democrats)
- Colin Geoffrey Stocks (The Green Party)
- Richard Stogdon (The Conservative Party)
Crowborough South & St Johns