We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We asked

Over the summer we consulted on our plans for sexual health services in East Sussex ready for the new contract in October 2022.

The aim was to make sure that the proposed service model would provide easy access to services that meet people’s needs. It was important to hear people’s views as the service model has changed significantly in the last few years due to digital innovation and COVID-19.

You said

People were concerned that some groups of people may find it more difficult to access the service. 

We did

In response to the consultation feedback, the service specification has been adapted to allow two drop-in triage clinics for all ages at each clinic site in Hastings and in Eastbourne. This is in recognition of people who are digitally excluded, do not have phones, or rely on limited phone credit or are genuinely unable to access their GP.

We asked

East Sussex County Council’s SEND team commissioned a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) of the local area to find out what was going well for children, young people and their families and what could be improved. The outcome of the review will help the team, working with partners, to develop a strategy for 2022-24 which puts in place improvements and build on the successes.

You said

We did

After reviewing the current position across education, health and social care provision and services, the JSNA made recommendations for improvements including prioritising prevention, early identification and intervention; improving processes and capacity of services with the longest waiting time for assessment and treatment; and improving access to, and increasing provision for mental health support. The report also highlighted areas where the ISEND service can build on successes including the continuing efforts to ensure the involvement of children, young people and their families in the development of provision and SEND training in schools.

As well as informing the SEND strategy, the outcome of the JSNA will help East Sussex County Council and partners set joint commissioning priorities, ensuring the appropriate support is in place for children and young people across East Sussex.

We asked

The consultation asked stakeholders and the public for feedback on the proposal to replace the existing bridge at Exceat with a new two-lane, two-way bridge which will ensure the free flow of traffic and include safer crossing points for pedestrians, whilst taking into consideration the landscape and environmental sensitivities of the area.

You said

Thank you to all those who took the time to respond to the consultation, we received over 1000 responses. Overall feedback was in support of the project with 79% in favour of replacing the current bridge and 83% supporting the proposal of creating 2 way traffic flow on the bridge. A straight parapet was the preferred design option, whilst opinion towards the viewing platforms was split.

We did

The response to this consultation is being used to inform ongoing discussions with the South Downs National Park Authority to take forward and agree the bridge proposals. We received a lot of feedback on the use of traffic lights at the bridge and this option is being considered as an interim measure.

A number of concerns or alternative suggestions were made in response to the Public Consultation.  These have been reviewed and categorised into themes and responses to each of these are provided in the table below.

 

Theme No.

Theme Issue

Response

 

1

Retain existing bridge

 

In the short term whilst funding for the new bridge is being secured, the existing bridge will be retained and this may involve some repair works to the structure.


However the ongoing maintenance liability over a longer period with no improved arrangement for pedestrians or vehicles is not desired.

Retaining the existing bridge will not offer the benefits to non-motorised users that the replacement bridge would provide, such as a footway on the south side of the bridge avoiding crossing the carriageway twice.

Significant maintenance works would be required to keep the existing bridge in operation for the long term.  A long road closure, likely lasting months, would be necessary to carry out these works safely and this is not considered viable.

 

 

2

Install traffic lights and keep one-way operation

Traffic lights are being considered as an interim measure whilst funding for replacing the bridge is secured.

Whilst it is recognised that the recent provision of traffic lights did ease traffic congestion, they would not provide the long term resilience that a two-way bridge would offer. 

Funding for the replacement bridge is dependent on the proposals providing long term congestion relief.

Installing traffic lights alone would not provide the benefits to non-motorised users that the replacement bridge would provide, such as a footway on the south side avoiding crossing the carriageway twice.

 

3

Against the scheme based on the assumption that traffic will increase.  Concerned about the potential negative effects on local lanes and communities, i.e. Littlington and Alfriston

 

Traffic will increase nationwide over the next ten years irrespective of any improvements which are made at Exceat.

Any increase in traffic along the A259 and the connecting roads as a result of the improvements will be cancelled out by the A27 improvements which Highways England are currently progressing. 

 

 

4

Concern that air pollution will increase

Air pollution is not expected to increase given there will be less queuing traffic. A study is being commissioned to assess this.

 

 

5

Concern over not providing pedestrian islands

Significant consideration has been put towards the provision of pedestrian crossings.   The reasons for not providing new pedestrian refuge islands is as follows:

A recent survey identified a large number of bicycles and buggies being used around the pub and bridge. It would be unsafe for these users to use standard width refuge islands meaning that extra wide islands would be required.


Further carriageway widening required to accommodate wide pedestrian islands would either significantly affect a residential property or prevent the existing bridge remaining open during the works.

 

Furthermore, widening the carriageway would also further encroach the hill on the western side of the carriageway and would result in a taller and longer retaining wall – which would alter the fragile landscape.

Road safety engineers have confirmed that it would be safer for pedestrians to wait slightly longer on the side of the road, than become stranded in the middle of the road with passing traffic either side.

Analysis of pedestrian wait times will be made available as part of the planning application, however traffic modelling confirms that the increase in wait times is marginal.

 

 

6

Not providing a pelican crossing

Protecting the rural landscape is a key consideration. The provision of a pelican, or any controlled crossing, would spoil the natural landscape, in particular at night.  Detailed assessments confirm that the uncontrolled crossing points, which will have significantly better visibility than the current provision will be safe and suitable for all pedestrians.

 

 

7

The eastbound bus stop being moved further away from the pub

The eastbound bus stop (west of the bridge) has been moved further up the hill towards Seaford. Given the frequent service and regular usage of the bus stop, the highway layout needs to allow for vehicles to safely pass a stationary bus. The positioning of the bus stop has been done to improve visibility for both drivers of vehicles as they approach the bridge and pedestrians using the pedestrian crossing immediately to the west of the bridge. Visibility for all road users is significantly better than the current provision. 

 

 

8

No proposals for improvements outside the Visitors Centre

This project is limited to replacing the bridge over the river Cuckmere and providing improved pedestrian facilities in the immediate vicinity. Improved pedestrian crossing facilities outside the Visitors Centre is not included in this project however the South Downs National Park and East Sussex County Council have agreed to support each other in exploring options as part of a separate scheme.

 

 

9

No proposals to upgrade the footpath along causeway (stretch of road between the bridge and the Visitors Centre)

 

The footway along the Causeway is not affected by the new bridge and therefore works to improve it are not included in this project. Improvements to the footway may be considered at a later date.

 

10

Perceived lack of facilities for walkers, cyclists, horse riders & bus travellers

The scheme provides a reduction in the number of occasions pedestrians will need to cross the A259 as the footway on the southern side of the bridge will connect to the existing footways either side of the river.

The footpath on the southern side of the bridge will be a shared facility to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists  which opens up a future opportunity to provide a more continuous shared facility across the Cuckmere valley.

Cycle stands near to the pub will also be considered.

The bus stops are being improved through better signposting and higher kerbs.

No equestrians were recorded in a recent survey monitoring behaviour and usage at the bridge. The lack of off-carriageway equestrian routes means that it is unlikely equestrians will use the bridge or footways. 

 

 

11

Reducing the speed limit to 20mph or 30mph

Reducing the speed limit from the national speed limit of 60mph to 30mph is included in the proposals.

Reducing the speed limit further to 20mph is not suitable for the road classification being part of the major road network.

 

 

12

Use of Manual for Streets (design guide) for a more balanced design favouring non-motorised users

 

Manual for Streets is being applied to the highway design.

 

13

Redesignation of road status to B Road

 

Redesignation of the A259 which is part of the major road network would not be appropriate and is does not form part of the project.

 

 

14

Parking may occur in shared space outside pub

 

Parking restrictions on the shared space outside the pub will be considered.

 

15

There is a perceived negative impact on biodiversity

An Environmental Statement and an Ecosystems Services assessment will form part of this planning application.

The ongoing design aims to avoid impacts as far as practicable.

Where impacts are unavoidable, the mitigation strategy will be in line with National Planning Policy Framework and Environmental regulations.

 

 

We asked

This consultation asked stakeholders and the public for feedback on proposals for Phase 2 of the Eastbourne Town Centre Movement & Access Package. The proposal focuses on the section of Terminus Road between Bankers Corner, Bolton Road and Langney Road. Public feedback was sought on:

• The scheme objectives

• What respondents thought of the key aspects of the proposals

• How the proposed civic space could be used

You said

Overall, public and stakeholder feedback was in favour of the proposals with 63% of respondents supporting or strongly supporting the proposals. The majority of respondents felt that the plans would achieve the scheme objectives and were positive about how they would improve the Town Centre.

We did

On 22 April 2020 the Lead Member for Transport & Environment approved the publication of the Eastbourne Town Centre Movement & Access Package – Phase 2 public consultation report, and; approved Phase 2 entering detailed design and construction stages as set out within the 2020/21 Capital Programme of Transport Improvements.

A full breakdown of responses can be found in LMTE 22 April 2020 Eastbourne Town Centre Movement Access Package Phase 2 Appendix 2 (item 44 - appendix 2).

We asked

Schools, parents/carers and other interested parties to give their views on the proposed school holiday and term dates for 2020/2021.  Thank you to all those who responded.

You said

During the consultation period 307 responses were received.  The feedback was generally positive.   

We did

The Local Authority is currently responsible for setting school term and holiday dates for local authority maintained schools.  Foundation, trust and voluntary aided schools and academies are responsible for setting their own school term and holiday dates. Following consultation the school holiday and term dates for 2020/2021 have been agreed and are available on the East Sussex County Council website.

We asked

For views on the proposed admission arrangements to Community and Controlled Schools for the 2020/21 school year. The main change was to amend the the definition of 'previously looked after children' so that it may include children from outside of the UK.

Views were also sought the co-ordinated admission schemes and on the Proposed Admission Numbers at all schools but in particular to increases at Buxted CE Primary School, Danehill CE Primary and Willingdon Community School.

You said

There were a total of 7 responses. Not all respondents answered every question.  

80% of respondents were in favour of amending the definition of previously looked after children. This was agreed by Lead Member.

A full breakdown of responses can be found in the Lead Member report 26 February 2019

We did

The Co-ordinated schemes were agreed and so were the changes to the admission numbers at Buxted and Danehill. At Willingdon Community School, the request to increase the PAN was deferred until 2021/22 as the number of children transferring to secondary school in Eastbourne in September 2020 is less than previously forecast.

The changes that were agreed will come into force for September 2020 onwards.

We asked

For views on the proposed reduction in the admission number from 20 to 15.

You said

375 responses were received. 365 opposed the reduction in the published admissions number.

The Council listened carefully to concerns raised during the consultation period and has reconsidered the decision previously taken to stop the project to replace some of the classrooms.  The Council has concluded that as the project was originally agreed under an earlier capital programme that had wider ambitions and supported projects beyond the Council’s statutory duties, the project should be completed.

We did

The Lead Member agreed that 20 should be the Published Admission Number for Ninfield CE Primary School.

We asked

Schools, parents/carers and other interested parties to give their views on the proposed school holiday and term dates for 2019/2020.  Thank you to all those who responded.

You said

During the period of the consultation 505 responses were received.  368 (73%) were in favour of the proposals whilst 137 (27%) disagreed.

We did

The Local Authority is currently responsible for setting school term and holiday dates for all Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools.  In the case of Foundation, Voluntary Aided Schools and Academies, Governing Bodies are responsible for setting their own term dates. Where possible we have taken into account feedback received during the consultation period including aligning dates with neighbouring authorities. Following consultation the school holiday and term dates for 2019/2020 have been determined and are available on the East Sussex County Council website.

We asked

For views on the proposed admission arrangements to Community and Controlled Schools for the 2019/20 school year. The main changes were

  • To make a change to the community area for Hankham and Stone Cross primary schools so that the current discrete areas are merged to form one shared community area;
  • To include the community area formerly served by Rodmell CE Primary School in the community area for Iford & Kingston CE Primary School following the agreed closure of Rodmell CE Primary School;
  • To include the villages of Ditchling and Streat in Chailey Secondary School’s community area to create a shared area with Priory School.

Views were also sought the co-ordinated admission schemes and on the Proposed Admission Numbers at all schools but in particular to increases at Ditchling St Margaret’s CE Primary School, Polegate School and  Robertsbridge Community College and decreases at Forest Row CE Primary and Uplands Community College.

You said

41 people completed the online survey. A further 30 responded to the issue of raising the admission number at Robertsbridge Community College which was an addendum to the original survey.

92.7% of respondents were in favour of the change to the Hankham and Stone Cross community areas (primary)

85.4% of respondents were in favour of the change to the Rodmell and Iford and Kingston Community areas (primary)

87.8% of respondents were in favour of the change to the Community area for Chailey School (secondary)

The changes to the admission numbers were agreed. A full breakdown of responses can be found in the Lead Member report 19 February 2018. (item 37)

We did

The changes that were agreed will come into force for September 2019 onwards.

We asked

For views on the proposed admission arrangements to Community and Controlled Schools for the 2018/19 school year. The main changes were

  • To extend the definition of ‘looked after children’ in priority 1 of the admissions criteria;
  • To change the Eastbourne primary community area due to the  of the home to school distance tie-break from shortest walking route to straight line;

Views were also soughton the Proposed AdmissionNumbers and co-ordinated admission schemes.

You said

8 people completed the survey.

87.5% of respondents were in favour of the change to the definition of ‘looked after children’ in the admissions criteria.

75% of respondents were in favour of the change to the Eastbourne primary community area.

A full breakdown of responses can be found in the Lead Member report 28 February 2017. (item 29 - appendix 6)

We did

The changes were agreed and will come into force for September 2018 onwards.

We asked

We asked what you thought about our plan to change the way we provide residential and day services in the Crowborough area.

You said

Most people are very positive about our plans. Some people are worried about things changing. People had lots of ideas for how we could help them to prepare (see results section above).

We did

We will work closely with people and their relatives and carers to get used to the changes. We will use your ideas to help people prepare. We will also involve everyone in the improvement work at Hookstead.

We asked

We asked what you thought about our plan to make changes to the day services in the Hastings and Rother area.

You said

There were mixed views on our plans – a third agreed; a third were unsure; and a third disagreed. People said if they did go ahead that they would need lots of support to get used to the changes. They also wanted to be involved in the refurbishment process. There were lots of suggestions for how we help people to prepare for the changes (see results section above).

We did

We will work closely with people and their carers to get used to the changes. We will use your ideas to help people prepare. We will also involve everyone in the improvement work at Beeching Park and the Working Wonders building.

We asked

What you thought of our plan to ask people who can afford it to pay for the community support service.

You said

You told us you need more time to prepare. You also wanted to know what would happen if a session was cancelled and whether people could pay less for group support in the community. 

We did

We were planning to ask people to pay from April 2016. Now, if you have to pay, we will ask you to start paying in July 2016 instead of April 2016. We have sent everyone who uses the service a copy of the cancellation policy that will apply from July 2016. We agreed that people should pay less for group support in the community. We have set a lower cost for group support.

We asked

We wanted your views on how we were proposing to make the savings in Adult Social Care. 

You said

The vast majority of people who responded to the consultation were concerned about the long-term harm that would be caused to people and the services that support them.

 

We did

Following the consultation, the proposed savings were amended to take account of the additional money that would be raised by the social care precept for Council Tax and what people told us through the consultation. For some services this meant not going ahead with the saving or revising the amount we were planning to save.

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.

We asked

We asked for people’s views about proposed changes to how meals in the community are provided in East Sussex.

You said

117 people (68.4%) disagree with the proposals to end the subsidy, and of those 84 people (49.1%) strongly disagree. People are mainly concerned about the affordability of the meals and the associated risks with not having a regular hot meal and safety check.

We did

We listened to the concerns raised during the consultation, particularly around the subsidy. As a result, the subsidy will be maintained while we change over to the new arrangements. We will then consider whether or not to continue with the subsidy as part of our financial planning for 2016/17. We will change from a single provider model and instead put together a list of providers to choose from. The consultation found that people were concerned about possibly losing the safe and well check, and about the nutritional quality of meals. As a result, all providers who want to join the Approved Provider Framework will be required to demonstrate how they meet the service needs, which will include the safe and well check. They will also have to pass an accreditation process managed through our Support with Confidence service. This will ensure we can monitor the quality of service provided to people.

We asked

For your comments on 6 proposed cycle routes in Eastbourne

You said

There was a high level of support for all 6 routes (over 73%) but some further work was required on some of them.

We did

We have agreed the following: (1) To progress the following routes to detailed design and construction in 2014/15 - University to Town Centre/Seafront - Town Centre to Seafront - Horsey Way Section 1 (2) To progress the following routes to detailed design only in 2014/15 with construction after 2014/15 - Seafront route - Horsey Way Section 3 (3) For the Town Centre to Hospital route further feasibility work would be carried out in 2014/15..

We asked

For your comments on proposals for pedestrian, cycling and bus improvements in Newhaven and Peacehaven.

You said

There was a high level of support for all the proposals.

We did

We have agreed to take forward all the proposals to detailed design.

We asked

For your views on proposals along a central stretch of Marina between Sackville Road and Devonshire Road to improve the economic vitality of the town centre area by improving access for pedestrians and bus users as well as improvements to the traffic management arrangements.

You said

The results show that Phase 1, the proposed improvements to Marina Court Avenue, received a mixed level of support. The majority of comments received were about the perceived reduction in pedestrian safety that respondents felt would occur if the centre island was removed and if the zebra crossing was relocated closer to the Devonshire Road junction. Comments were also received about the loss of green space adjacent to the De La Warr Pavilion that would result from closing the access to the car park to create a turning area and new parking. The results show that Phase 2, the Marina pedestrian and bus stop improvements, received support. The results show that Phase 3, the changes of layout to Sackville Road roundabout, received support.

We did

At the April 2014 Lead Member for Transport and Environment meeting the Lead Member noted the results of the consultation and authorised the progression through detailed design and construction, to include modifications identified during the consultation exercise, as part of the 2014/15 Capital Programme for Local Transport Improvements the following measures: (a) the changes of layout to Sackville Road roundabout; (b) the widening of the footways and introduction of a 20 mph speed limit on Marina from Sackville Road roundabout to its junction with Devonshire Road; (c) the introduction of the bus stop build-out on Marina; and (d) the improvements to the existing zebra crossing on Marina in the vicinity of the Devonshire Road junction. In addition, the Lead Member authorised that the proposed changes to Marina Court Avenue should be reviewed in light of the feedback from the public consultation and a further set of revised proposals be developed for implementation as part of a future year’s capital programme.

We asked

If you supported the measures being proposed in Wivelsfield and Wivelsfield Green to help support the introduction of a 30mph speed limit.

You said

The measures were generally well supported by the majority of the residents that returned their questionnaires.

We did

We will now meet with the Parish Council to discuss the consultation results in more detail and finalise the measures that will be introduced in Wivelsfield and Wivelsfield Green to help support the lower 30mph speed limit.