Welcome to the East Sussex Have your Say Hub.

We're committed to involving people in decisions that affect them, and value their input in planning, delivering and evaluating services.

Opportunities to give us your views are included below. You can search for consultations by keyword, postcode, interest etc. You can also see how previous feedback has influenced our decision making process and what has happened as an outcome.

The results of consultations that were carried out before April 2013 are available on request.

If you would like information on any of our consultations in another format, including paper copies, please contact us:

email: haveyoursay@eastsussex.gov.uk

telephone: 01273 481503.

For more ways to have your say including petitions, council meetings, or by joining one of our forums, groups and panels, please visit our consultation page.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

Travel Support for post-16 and pre-school children with SEND

We Asked:

For views on the proposed changes to discretionary travel support for pre-school and post-16 students with SEND; with an increase in the level of contribution towards total costs, and overall support for post-16s being reduced through provision to exceptional cases only, through use of a revised post-16 SEND travel policy.

You Said:

35 people completed the SEND survey online following a direct mailing to over 500 families using SEND transport. 71% of respondents were parents or carers of a SEND child, and 80% were women. 

Concerns included how ESCC will determine whether a parent is available to help with transport, and which young people will be given travel support. Comments regarding the increase or introduction of a contribution were that some families of children with SEND may be unable to cope with the additional cost, and that these families have less expendable income as a result of the additional expenses for the child. There were fewer negative responses to the introduction of a contribution for pre-school children, although there were concerns about children not attending placements.

We Did:

The changes were agreed, as local councils have no statutory obligation to provide this and ESCC has to make savings against reducing budgets. From September 2016, there will be a higher contribution of £608 for all post-16 students using SEND travel support, and a new contribution of £304 per year for families demonstrating low income. Pre-school children using ESCC-funded transport will also be expected to make the same contribution, although there may be a reduction if they are very part-time. The contribution can be made in 6 payments to help spread the costs.

All new SEND travel applications made for post-16 students for the 2016/17 academic year onwards will be assessed using the new post-16 SEND travel assistance policy, which is available on the ESCC website. They will be asked for more information about their family circumstances and will be expected to contribute to getting their child to post-16 education if they are able to, as the Council needs to target the reducing budget on those who need it most.

Families of children in Year 11 and above using SEND travel support will receive information in November so that they have time to consider the possible impact of these changes to ESCC support. Professionals who work with these families are aware anyone wishing for post-16 SEND travel support from September 2016 is required to make an application between March and the end of June 2016, and staff will offer support if appropriate. ESCC will also continue to commission an Independent Travel Training Team so that young people who are ready will have the opportunity to benefit from an intensive programme of support which acts as a vital step towards adulthood. Early Years practitioners will also be encouraged to ensure that families of pre-school children with SEND are aware of possible disability benefits, which may help meet the costs of the new contribution.

Travel Support for post-16 students from low income families

We Asked:

For views on the proposed cuts to discretionary transport support provided by ESCC to 16-19 year old students from low income families, as well as to free ‘link transport’ to the nearest suitable bus stop or train station (which is not means-tested).

You Said:

There were 26 responses to the survey. Of these, one respondent was in support of the changes.

The most predominant concern (81% of respondents) was that young people may not continue in post-16 education, especially regarding vocational courses. There was also concern about unemployment and reduced social mobility, as well as the fact that those living in rural areas were being penalised. There was less interest shown in the proposal to cease FE Link provision, with the majority of respondents assuming that recipients are also low income (whereas there is no means-test).


We Did:

A difficult decision was taken to cease travel support for 16-19 year old students from low income families and free ‘link transport’ from the 2016/17 academic year; as local councils have no statutory obligation to provide this and ESCC has to make savings against reducing budgets. In order to help reduce negative impact, a quarter of the original budget for support of low income students is being given to the 5 colleges with the highest demand as a hardship fund, to supplement the existing financial support which is passed from central government to post-16 providers. Sixth forms and colleges are being asked to ensure that available support for low income students is promoted and accessible as appropriate, for example the EFA 16-19 bursaries (as well as the hardship fund if they have an allocation). Any students previously entitled to FE Link transport as they live more than 3 miles from the nearest bus stop or train station should be able to access this support if they are from a low income family.

We will also be making sure that relevant student finance and transport information, such as student discounts, is featured on the new 360 site. The Council continues to make a subsidy to Southern Rail so that they can offer a discount to post-16 learners.

Schools are being asked to alert their students and families (particularly those who are eligible for free school meals) to the changes in travel support in case this influences their placement choices.

Have your say on proposed changes to the local Deferred Payment Agreement for residential care

We Asked:
We asked for your views on our proposals to change the existing East Sussex Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) to reflect the requirements of the national Care Act 2014.
You Said:
You said there should be a choice about how to pay the charges, but you weren’t sure how often the annual administration charge should be invoiced. You said the DPA should be available to people moving into extra care and supported accommodation.
We Did:
We have given people a choice about whether to pay the charges or add them to the debt. We will invoice the annual administration charge on a six monthly basis. The DPA will be available as a ‘bridging loan’ to clients who are selling their home and moving into rented extra care housing or supported accommodation.

During the consultation process, we ask for your feedback, you tell us and then we make positive changes. Public participation is key to our work. See what happens with We Asked, You Said, We Did.