Lead Member for Economy


DECISIONS made by the Lead Member for Economy, Councillor Rupert Simmons, on 7 December 2021 at County Hall, Lewes


Councillors Stephen Holt, Pat Rodohan, Alan Shuttleworth, Colin Swansborough, David Tutt and John Ungar spoke on item 4 (see minute 7)



4.            Decisions made by the Lead Cabinet Member on 12 November 2021


4.1       The Lead Member approved as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2021 as a correct record.




5.            Disclosure of Interests


5.1       Councillor David Tutt declared a personal interest in Item 4 in that he is the Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, but he did not consider this to be prejudicial. 




6.            Reports


6.1       Reports referred to in the minutes below are contained in the minute book.




7.            Consultation on the University of Brighton's 'Prospectus for change' advocating the withdrawal of the University of Brighton's campus from Eastbourne


7.1       The Lead Member considered a report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.





7.2       The Lead Member RESOLVED to (1) Agree to East Sussex County Council responding to the consultation by the 10 December 2021, expressing concerns about the proposed withdrawal of Higher Education provision by the University of Brighton from the county and its implications for the efforts to recover the economy in the wake of the pandemic;


(2) Delegate authority to the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport, to


(a) pursue ways in which the County Council can foster ongoing Higher Education provision via brokerage and partnership working with both the University, with whom the County Council will continue to engage, and our local Further Education providers;


(b) explore opportunities to broker relationships with Kent-based and other Higher Education Institutes who may be able to support learning across the county; and


(3) Confirm that in the event that the University progresses withdrawal, the County Council encourages the University to use all endeavours to minimise the damage to the provision in sectors of high growth and skills required within the local economy such as the Health and Social care sector, and the effect this will have on our ability to train individuals from across the county to become qualified staff.




7.3       The proposals in the University of Brighton’s ‘Prospectus for Change’ will have a negative impact on learning in East Sussex. It will have a detrimental impact on the local economy in terms of jobs, spend, post-pandemic recovery, and most significantly will remove Higher Education provision from the county. At a time when the health sector has recruitment shortages and when there are cohorts of potential learners across the county, particularly to the East, who are ready to enter the sector, removing allied professional health courses and sports science courses will have a detrimental effect on our NHS, Care, sport, health, and fitness sectors locally and on our important leisure infrastructure.


7.4       The County Council is also mindful of the need to maintain a positive working relationship with the University in order to encourage the aspirations of local students.