LDC’s updated COVID-19 plans – 23 March

A brief summary is as follows:

This week the Government sent out letters to 1.5m vulnerable people, outlining plans to provide support with food and medicines to what has been termed “shielded group”. If you know of anyone in this group who have received a letter, please advise them to register immediately.

If you or you know of anyone in the vulnerable (shielding group) who needs immediate help with food supplies whilst waiting for the government scheme to kick in, you can contact your local Councillor Neil Parkin you will be able to sign post you accordingly.

Meanwhile if they need immediate help with food supplies, please contact your local LDC Councillor as they will be able to sign post accordingly.

If you are a LDC tenant aged 69 you would have received a telephone call from LDC asking if you need any help.

LDC remains opens for business, ideally please made contact digitally, if you feel like you are not getting a response please use your LDC Councillor, they are here to help. If you need to visit LDC, a rugged telephone has been provided outside Southover House in Lewes which can be used in place of a face to face communication.

LDC are working with Central Government to implement the £10,000 and £25,000 grants to businesses. I hope we will have an update at our next meeting in a week’s time.

Businesses eligible for 100% rate relief will have or will shortly receive a letter from LDC confirming this, the letter will also confirm that the Council Tax instalment due next week has been cancelled.

LDC remains opens for business, ideally please made contact digitally, if you feel like you are not getting a response please use your LDC Councillor, they are here to help. If you need to visit LDC, a rugged telephone has been provided outside Southover House in Lewes which can be used in place of a face to face communication.

Emergency planning is well underway and contingencies are already in place to help elderly and vulnerable residents.

Organisation of a community hub is being finalised, to ensure as far as possible that food, medicine and assistance is distributed, to all those that may be unable to access essential needs. It will engage with existing organisations such as Age Concern, food banks, CAB, and local authorities.
Other opportunities to engage with groups such as CTLA and other transport and delivery options are also actively being looked at, so suggestions and offers of help will be collated and will assist with enabling a coordinated and successful community response to the issues affecting us all.

Information is available and will be updated regularly, on support for householders and businesses, struggling or concerned over rent, Council and Business Tax, as this evolves from Government measures and advice. So please check this if you can online and share with those who can’t access the internet. There will be telephone numbers made available for specific queries, but accessing departments via the Web will assist the Council, who themselves are facing staffing issues and asking officers to work remotely.

Please try to adhere to advice from local and national Government as it is issued and look out for vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours, within the constraints of advice over keeping our distance, where possible. Make regular calls if you can, to check up.

We’re in a distressing emergency situation and it will be some time before it is over, but if we pull together, it will be easier in the long run with the immediate and long term affects, easier to bear.

In the meantime, we will try and keep updating you on information as it is given, from Lewes District Council.

Coronavirus – what we’re doing to help East Sussex County Council

ESCC want to help East Sussex residents as much as they  can over this difficult time, taking into account the health and wellbeing of customers and staff.

They know how greatly library services and their staff are valued by local communities and wanted to let you know about some additional measures we’re taking to support residents and staff:

  • We’ve extended all current and new library loans until at least 30 June so you don’t have to worry about overdue library books or other items such as DVDs.
  • Until further notice we’re scrapping fines for any items that were due to be returned after 9 March 2020.
  • We’re suspending reservation fees until further notice.
  • To help people stock up on their reading matter, we’re increasing the number of books both adults and children can borrow to 30.
  • We’re buying even more eBooks. Our online offer is amazing and we provide a great range of eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines, as well as access to our online reference library – it’s all available in our eLibrary
  • Regrettably, as a precautionary measure we’ve decided to cancel all events in libraries such as rhymetimes, storytimes and code clubs for the foreseeable future. This is because our events involve a larger number of people being in closer contact for a longer period of time than other activities in our libraries.
  • In the coming days we’ll be increasing the space between our public computers. This will mean that there will be fewer computers available for you to use, but it enables us to maintain a safer distance between customers and keep you all safer

Please help us to keep you and our staff safe by maintaining a sensible distance from other customers and staff when visiting libraries and by keeping interactions to a minimum.   Please remember to regularly wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser.

We’re continuing to ensure that surfaces, door handles, keyboards and other equipment are regularly wiped down.

As a further precautionary measure we would like to ask all of our customers to only use our libraries during the first hour of opening each day if they are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with a disability, or an underlying health condition (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds), as detailed in the government’s guidance

Do not visit the library if you have any of the symptoms, however mild, of coronavirus or if you live with someone who does.  You should stay at home in line with NHS guidance.

We will continue to keep the situation under review, taking into account the latest information and we will keep you updated of any further changes to your libraries.

If you have any queries or need any further information, please contact us at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/libraries/form-library-enquiries/.

Please don’t forget that you can renew your library books, search and reserve items and download eBooks and eMagazines from our eLibrary and you can use your library card at any East Sussex Library. You can also renew items using our 24/7 automated renewal line on 0345 60 80 195. Please have your library membership number (on your library card) and your PIN to hand.


We are well aware of the large amount of information related to coronavirus now in the public domain, but would encourage everyone to only follow the official guidance provided by Public Health England: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Lewes District Council agrees funding for creative workspace

Lewes’s creative community received a huge boost today (February 10, 2020) as Cabinet councillors earmarked £250,000 to support the development of a co-working hub in the town.

In addition to the funding, Lewes District Council has granted a lease on 4 Fisher Street to The Werks Group who will set up and manage the hub. The organisation specialises in providing sustainable workspace for creative industries and has a track record of creating co-working hubs in the south east.

Councillor James MacCleary, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said:

“When the Co-operative Alliance was formed last year, we promised to support the growth of all kinds of creative industries in the district, whether that is artistic dance groups, digital enterprises, IT providers or the town’s artists and makers.

“It is fantastic news for everyone. Lewes has a creative economy which is embedded in the town’s unique character and Lewesians are justly proud of it. Working with The Werks Group, experts in this field, the new creative hub will help it prosper and grow, to the benefit of all who live here.”

The hub in the centre of Lewes will provide an attractive and affordable environment for local makers and creative enterprises, allowing them to use the space to work, have meetings and hold events on flexible terms.

It will include a café, space for activities and events, offices, and a board room. The layout will be designed to create a community and encourage co-working among its members.

Council gives green light to blue light sites for sustainable homes

The old Police Station site and Fire Station land in Newhaven could see new sustainable homes being developed under plans being worked up by Lewes District Council.

While detailed scheme designs are yet to be produced, the council has ambitions to create a mix of over 30 council houses across both sites, with sustainability central to the design of a mixture of flats and houses.

Councillor William Meyer, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

“In the same week we launched our new corporate plan for the district, that puts the climate emergency and housing at the heart of everything we do, we announce this incredibly exciting proposal for new council homes.”

Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) vacated their Newhaven premises to move into a shared office at Saxon House. The former Police Station site is in the centre of the town and the old Fire Station is in Fort Road. The Police and ESFRS are keen to assist the delivery of much needed affordable homes by selling their land to Lewes District Council.

Councillor Meyer added:

“I am hopeful we will be able to design, gain planning consent and consider a fully costed development at Cabinet, before the end of the year.

“The Newhaven Neighbourhood Plan has identified the police station for residential development and an old planning consent on the fire station means that we should get these homes built and residents living in them, much sooner than typical housing schemes.”

Councillor James MacCleary, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said:

“It will be fantastic to see the old Police station given a new lease of life. These are two prominent sites that have stood vacant for too long.

“As a Newhaven resident I am ambitious for our town and these sites have been neglected, but not anymore. This is great news for the town.”

Published on 11 February 2020

Free Gardening for Wildlife Drop-in sessions

Homes First and the Open Spaces Teams have organised “Gardening for Wildlife’ drop-in sessions in Lewes and Eastbourne, to engage with residents about encouraging wildlife into our gardens.   

The drop-in sessions have been paid for from TOLD and Eastbourne Area Panels via the environmental budget

 The FREE drop-in’s are as follows:

Thursday 5th  March, 10.30am to 1.30pm at Tenant Resource Centre, 2a Horsfield Road, Lewes, BN7 2TA;

Tuesday 10th March, 10.30am  to 1.30pm at Langney Shopping Centre, 64 Kingfisher Drive, Eastbourne, BN23 7RT

Gardens make up a substantial resource for wildlife and when managed with nature in mind can provide vital food, shelter, and corridors for movement.  Our Specialist Open Space and Nature Reserves team would absolutely love to offer advice and helpful hints on how to do this in your garden.  There will be free wildflower seeds, and bird and bug homes too.

Please come to talk about how we can all work together for the benefit of our beloved local wildlife. 

With climate change being a ‘hot’ topic and British wildlife being in serious trouble, the Council has committed to adopt measures to help tackle these issues head on.   This includes the adoption of a Pollinator Strategy, a Pesticide-free Policy, alongside the ambition to become Carbon Neutral by 2030.