Our Priorities for Lewes District

Our Priorities for the 2023 Council Elections

In 2019, we changed local government across Lewes District by coming second to the Conservatives and setting up an alliance to run District Council in alliance with LibDems, Labour and Independents. 

We have worked hard for residents, and achieved so much! (read about our achievements here). We are delighted to announce a full slate of candidates standing for election (and re-election). Our priorities for the May 2023 local elections are:

1) Protect our Local Environment including rivers and seas

We have led the way on highlighting the issues of untreated sewage discharge into rivers and seas. We made Lewes district the first council in the country to link new developments to increased sewage discharge and hold developers to account on this issue, and the first council in England to adopt ‘Rights for rivers‘.

We’ve introduced natural flood defences, a biodiversity strategy and one against pesticides and for pollinators. We’ve promoted wildflower verges and tackled litter. Voting Green means more of the same!

Our ground-breaking action has meant that Lewes District council now looks at the impact of HGV construction traffic at the earliest stage of a planning application and we have petitioned East Sussex County Council to introduce proper routing for HGVs.

2) Speed and Road Safety

We’ve campaigned on speed, HGVs and road safety, taking a petition on ’20’s plenty’ – and our priority is to challenge East Sussex County Council to put residents first, not just think about the motorists passing through a place.

3) Challenge our broken planning system

Green Councillors have stood with locals to fight off inappropriate developments being forced on our villages and put pressure on the local MP and government to fix the broken system. We will not rest until the system has changed, as what we have now just does not work.

Locally we will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with residents against inappropriate development, whether the Eton Mess development or saving Lewes Bus Station. We will develop a new local plan for Lewes District, to replace the one knocked out by the governments unfair rule – a plan with sustainability at the heart.

4) ‘Right home Right Place’

For too long, too many local people have been priced out of local housing. Building on the success of the last four years which has seen the council building hundreds of new low cost homes for local people, we commit to building hundreds more council homes.

The Green party’s ‘Right home right place’ commitment also means building these homes to the highest environmental standards – to reduce climate emissions, tackle fuel poverty and provide genuinely affordable housing and create fairer, greener communities.”

5) Do Politics differently!

So many people have become disillusioned and think that all politicians are the same – but we’re not! We will:

  • Tell the truth about what we can and can’t do
  • Listen to residents and understand what they need
  • Be prepared to do things differently
  • Focus on quality services – getting it right first time
  • Provide open and honest communication with residents
  • Work hard all year round not just turn up at election time!

Fact Check time…

It seems our opposition are getting a bit desperate and coming up with a few little porkie pies in their leaflets which we would like to set straight.

(1) Conservatives are claiming Lewes District Greens would introduce congestion charges that fine people for leaving their houses. This is pure conspiracy theorist fantasy as explained by independent organisation Full Fact here. What we do support is village style neighbourhoods that make it easier to shop and work locally, not huge out of town housing estates as built by the same Developers who are bankroll the conservative party

(2) Conservative literature is stating that the current council has ‘allowed the local plan to go out of date’. This is not true – the ‘five year review rule’ introduced by the Government in 2018 has wiped out the protection our local plan and taken away our local decision making powers – with our local decisions against inappropriate development repeatedly overturned by Government Inspectors. The Council has spent thousands on moving ahead as fast as possible with a new local plan, despite the obstacles Government has put in the way. Green Councillors have not only stood with residents on local developments but put pressure on local government to amend the five year review rule to give us back our local plan, including a letter writing campaign for local residents.

(3) Local Conservatives pamphlets are claiming that recycling rates have decreased over the last four years under the current alliance council. A quick check of the official national figures should reassure you that this is simply not true. rates of recycling have in fact have slightly increased – from 39.7% to 41% over the four year period.

And finally…. Conservative leaflets are claiming they lead the way on the environment and sustainability. However Conservative Councillors on the district council recently voted against our ‘Rights for Rivers’ motion, voted against Green Councillors’ action to address HGV traffic through the planning system, and voted against introducing a cleaner waste vehicle fleet (they mistakenly argued we couldn’t afford it – along with wildflower planting!) We say: if you want Green, vote Green!

See our May 2023 council candidates or some of our achievements, or have a look at the current Alliance Council’s Plan which will be our starting point for the next administration.