MINUTES of a MEETING of the EAST SUSSEX COUNTY Council held at Council Chamber, County Hall, Lewes on 12 October 2021at 10.00 am


Councillors Sam Adeniji, Abul Azad, Matthew Beaver, Colin Belsey, Nick Bennett, Bob Bowdler, Chris Collier, Godfrey Daniel, Johnny Denis, Penny di Cara, Chris Dowling, Claire Dowling, Kathryn Field, Gerard Fox, Roy Galley (Vice Chairman - in the Chair), Nuala Geary, Keith Glazier, Ian Hollidge, Johanna Howell, Eleanor Kirby-Green, Carolyn Lambert, Tom Liddiard, Philip Lunn, James MacCleary, Wendy Maples, Sorrell Marlow-Eastwood, Carl Maynard, Matthew Milligan, Steve Murphy, Sarah Osborne, Paul Redstone, Christine Robinson, Phil Scott, Stephen Shing, Alan Shuttleworth, Rupert Simmons, Bob Standley, Colin Swansborough, Barry Taylor, Georgia Taylor, David Tutt, John Ungar and Trevor Webb


28.         Minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2021

28.1     RESOLVED – to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 23 July 2021 as a correct record.



29.         Apologies for absence

29.1     Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Charles Clark, Alan Hay, Julia Hilton, Stephen Holt, Peter Pragnell, Pat Rodohan and Daniel Shing.



30.         Chairman's business


30.1     The Chairman referred to the recent death of a former colleague, Jon Freeman who had represented the Seaford Blatchington Division from 1993 to 2013.  On behalf of the Council the Chairman offered condolences to Jon’s family and friends. The Council remained silent as a mark of respect to Jon Freeman.




30.2     The Chairman announced that Councillor Pragnell was unwell and therefore unable to attend the meeting. On behalf of the Council, the Chairman sent best wishes to Peter for a full recovery.




30.3     The Chairman reported that Councillor Pragnell had attended a number of events since the last Council meeting including the Festival of Accessible Sports, the centenary event of Hastings and Rother Voluntary Association for the Blind, meeting the new Lord Lieutenant and hosting a reception at Hendall Manor Barns in Uckfield. The Chairman reported that he had attended the Eastbourne and District Samaritans AGM.





30.4     The following petitions were presented before the meeting by councillors:


Councillor Stephen Shing                                                                                             

- calling on the County Council to address traffic control in Jevington

Councillor Stephen Shing                                                                                            

- calling on the County Council to resurface Old Drive, Polegate




30.5     The Chairman thanked Jez Field, Pastor at Kings Church, Seaford for leading the prayers before the meeting.




31.         Questions from members of the public

31.1     Copies of the questions from members of the public and the answers from Councillor Standley (Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability), Councillor Fox (Chair of then Pension Committee), Councillor Claire Dowling (Lead Member for Transport and Environment) and Councillor Glazier (Lead Member for Strategic Management and Economic Development) are attached to these minutes. Supplementary questions were asked and responded to.



32.         Declarations of Interest

32.1     There were no declarations of interest.



33.         Reports

33.1     The Chairman of the County Council having called over the reports set out in the agenda, reserved the following for discussion:

Cabinet report – paragraph 1 (council monitoring), paragraph 2 annual progress report on achieving carbon neutrality) and paragraph 3 (Waste and Minerals Local Plan Review)

Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change report – paragraph 1 (Notice of Motion – Climate and Ecology Bill)

Lead Member for Transport and Environment report – paragraph 1 (Notice of Motion – community involvement in planning)


33.2     On the motion of the Chairman of the County Council, the Council adopted those paragraphs in the reports that had not been reserved for discussion as follows:

Governance Committee report – paragraph 1 (review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme) and paragraph 2 (Councillor Parental Leave Policy)





34.         Report of the Cabinet

Paragraphs 1 (Council monitoring) and paragraph 3 (Waste and Minerals Local Plan Review)

34.1     Councillor Glazier moved the adoption of the reserved paragraphs.

34.2     The motions were carried after debate.

Paragraph 2 (annual progress report on achieving carbon neutrality)

34.3     Councillor Glazier nominated Councillor Bennett to introduce the reserved paragraph following which there was a debate.

34.4     The paragraph was for information.



35.         Report of the Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change

Paragraph 1 (Notice of Motion – Climate and Ecology Bill)

35.1     In introducing the paragraph, Councillor Bennett proposed an alteration as follows:



Tackling Climate Change is a priority for the UK Government. Britain was the first G7 country to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. East Sussex County Council (ESCC) policy is aligned with that approach. The UK’s interim target of reducing emissions by 68 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030 is faster than any other major economy. The government has recently made the decision to end direct support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas as soon as possible. Over the next 5 years, the government will spend at least £3 billion providing transformational international climate finance on nature and biodiversity, while the UK, with 357 Marine Protected Areas of different types, is on course to protect over half of our waters.


The Climate and Ecology Bill: seeks to audit the UK’s global carbon footprint by including indirect UK emissions from our international supply chains which may have an adverse impact on developing countries; would involve a re-profiling, broadening and deepening of already ambitious existing carbon budgets; is likely too proscriptive on the use of negative emissions technologies; contains difficult to reconcile aspirations around its approach to domestic, international and inter-generational equity; inevitably imposes a greater burden on UK residents, threatening adverse impacts on their living standards; has recourse to citizen assemblies which are of dubious efficacy and runs counter to our Parliamentary traditions.


The County Council resolves


1. That it believes that:


  1. Government climate and ecological initiative, as informed by its commitment to the Millennium and UN Sustainable Development Goals, its environmental policies and its current national carbon budgets as laid down in legislation, advised and audited by the Committee on Climate Change, strike the right balance for a country that leads the G7 on Climate initiative and accounts for approximately 1% of current global territorial emissions.
  2. Focus on properly valuing eco-system services, safeguarding and enhancing carbon sinks, conserving and restoring biodiverse habitats, natural and human modified ecosystems and the health of their soils must be an increasing focus for policy.
  3. High-level policy ambitions must be grounded at a national, regional and local authority level in direction & fine detail, supported by central funding.


2. To write to our MPs asking them to press Ministers for that greater direction, detail and support to assist us in delivering on net-zero. Additionally, to ask that they consider further policy action which puts a proper value on eco-system services, enhances carbon sinks, preserves and improves natural and human modified ecosystems and promotes biodiversity


35.2     The Chairman adjourned the meeting for 20 minutes to enable councillors to consider the proposed alteration.

35.3     The following motion moved by Councillor Tutt and seconded was LOST:

To defer consideration of the report to the next meeting of the Council.

35.4     The Council voted on whether to consent to Councillor Bennett altering his proposal. The Council consented.  

35.5     A recorded vote was taken on the wording of the original motion from Councillor Georgia Taylor as set out below:


The County Council resolves to:

1)    Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill;

2)    Inform the local media of this decision;

3)    Write to local Members of Parliament, asking them to support or thanking them for supporting the CEE Bill; and

4)    Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk).

35.6     The vote was LOST, the votes being cast as follows:




Councillors Collier, Daniel, Denis, Field, Lambert, MacCleary, Maples, Murphy, Osborne, Robinson, Scott, Stephen Shing, Shuttleworth, Swansborough, Georgia Taylor, Tutt, Ungar and Webb.  




Councillors Adeniji, Azad, Beaver, Belsey, Bennett, Bowdler, di Cara, Chris Dowling, Claire Dowling, Fox, Galley, Geary, Glazier, Hollidge, Howell, Kirby-Green, Liddiard, Lunn, Marlow-Eastwood, Maynard, Milligan, Redstone, Simmons, Standley and Barry Taylor.






35.7     A recorded vote was taken on the motion moved by Councillor Bennett as follows:


The County Council resolves


1. That it believes that:


  1. Government climate and ecological initiative, as informed by its commitment to the Millennium and UN Sustainable Development Goals, its environmental policies and its current national carbon budgets as laid down in legislation, advised and audited by the Committee on Climate Change, strike the right balance for a country that leads the G7 on Climate initiative and accounts for approximately 1% of current global territorial emissions.
  2. Focus on properly valuing eco-system services, safeguarding and enhancing carbon sinks, conserving and restoring biodiverse habitats, natural and human modified ecosystems and the health of their soils must be an increasing focus for policy.
  3. High-level policy ambitions must be grounded at a national, regional and local authority level in direction & fine detail, supported by central funding.


2. To write to our MPs asking them to press Ministers for that greater direction, detail and support to assist us in delivering on net-zero. Additionally, to ask that they consider further policy action which puts a proper value on eco-system services, enhances carbon sinks, preserves and improves natural and human modified ecosystems and promotes biodiversity


35.8     A recorded vote on the motion was requested and taken. The motion was CARRIED, the votes being cast as follows:




Councillors Adeniji, Azad, Beaver, Belsey, Bennett, Bowdler, Collier, Daniel, Denis,  di Cara, Chris Dowling, Claire Dowling, Field, Fox, Galley, Geary, Glazier, Hollidge, Howell, Kirby-Green, Lambert, Liddiard, Lunn, MacCleary,  Marlow-Eastwood, Maynard, Milligan, Murphy, Osborne,  Redstone, Robinson, Scott, Stephen Shing, Shuttleworth, Simmons, Standley Swansborough, Barry Taylor, Tutt, Ungar and Webb.  








Councillors Maples and Georgia Taylor




36.         Report of the Lead Member for Transport and Environment

Paragraph 1 (Notice of Motion – community involvement in planning)

36.1     Councillor Claire Dowling moved the reserved paragraph in the Lead Member’s report.

36.2     The motion was CARRIED after debate.



37.         Questions from County Councillors

37.1     The following members asked questions of the Lead Cabinet Members indicated and they responded:








Councillor Osborne

Councillor Claire Dowling

Coordination of hedge/verge  cutting and drain clearance to ensure that drain clearance took place after and not before hedge cutting 


Councillor Osborne

Councillor Maynard

Protection in place for staff and clinically vulnerable residents now that shielding has ended

Councillor Lambert

Councillor Claire Dowling


Update regarding bridge an Exceat. 


Councillor Daniel

Councillor Glazier

Pay award to East Sussex County Council staff


Councillor Robinson

Councillor Maynard

Details as to how government funding in relation to domestic abuse was being used


Councillor Denis

Councillor Glazier

Mitigations to protect vulnerable residents  from the rising cost of living, changes to universal credit etc


Councillor Maples

Councillor Claire Dowling

Access routes to schools for young people taking part in Bikeability courses


Councillor Georgia Taylor


Consultation regarding the expansion of Gatwick Airport


Councillor Stephen Shing

Councillor Bennett

Plans for former library buildings and land at Hindsland Field, Eastbourne


Councillor Scott

Councillor Glazier

Update regarding Queensway Gateway Road


Councillor Field

Councillor Glazier

Timeline for progress regarding the Queensway Gateway Road




37.2     Three written questions were received from Councillors  Tutt and Murphy for  the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability, the Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health and the Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change. The questions and answers are attached to these minutes. The Lead Members responded to  supplementary questions.</AI10>








The reports referred to are included in the minute book



1.            Question from Sean MacLeod, Newhaven, East Sussex


On 23 July I asked a question regarding speech and language waiting times and SEND assessments for autism in your response you said the KPI of 16 Weeks for speech and language for example.

I am using a known case for a speech and language referral and the correspondence since.

On 15th March 2021 a referral was made for speech and language support, no contact was had from the services so on 11th May a follow up was made again just saying we will be in contact in next 5-7weeks, to this date no follow up has been had, when we actually contact the relevant department we are now being told: "we can not give you a date of when you will be contacted". This backs up my original question when I was informed that people are now waiting a year for speech and language assessments.

Now we move on to send and Autism, and another case study on the 17th March a referral was done for an Autism assessment, there has been absolute zero contact with the school who has made the referral or the parents of the children and to be absolutely clear you only have to look at social media to see this is not an isolated case with most people being told they are being told 2 years.

Services are clearly stretched due to covid but the children in our community have suffered astronomically for the past 16month with an extremely difficult education period and now these children are being failed by delays and delays and a clear lack of communication, when will ESCC start giving our children the education and support they need for to long they have been failed.

So can you please let me know exactly and truthfully the clear waiting times now for speech and language therapy and autism assessments and can you tell me exactly what you are doing to help the CCG improve waiting times.

Response by the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability


These matters, as the question recognises, are the responsibility of the NHS East Sussex CCG. We work closely with the CCG to try to ensure that everyone understands the referral arrangements and pathways and that there is good joint working across services. The CCG has sent us the following information in response to the question.

Response from NHS East Sussex CCG:

At the CCG we recognise how important it is for children, young people, their families and carers to access the right advice, treatment and care that they need.

We are working with all partners to monitor and review need, and continue to improve services for our local population.

Speech and Language Therapy

The Children’s Integrated Therapy and Equipment Service (CITES) provide support for children with speech, language and communication needs.  The current average waiting time for CITES is 12 weeks for an initial assessment and 8 weeks for follow up appointment. 

We are very sorry to hear the experience that has been reported, however we are not aware of any children who have been referred to the Children’s Integrated Therapy and Equipment Service who have been waiting a year for assessment. Any case where a child did not have an appointment within 12 weeks would be reviewed and monitored to ensure a resolution.

We understand that there have been delays for some follow up appointments but if the individual would like to contact us, we would be very happy to look into this further.

More generally, we know that 7-9% of children present with language difficulties and for school age children with language and communication needs there is a graduated approach to support.

This is:

·         Step 1: the school will use the subscription based Language Link Speech and Language Link - support for SLCN to access an online standardised assessment of language understanding and to follow the advised, bespoke programme. Schools can use the support services of Language Link or speak to a SLT for additional advice through Therapy One Point is open across the week.

·         Step 2: the school can make a referral through the ISEND Front Door. They will be provided with comprehensive advice regarding the communication environment as well as language screening and bespoke packages for children with language needs.

·         Step 3: where a formal assessment of language and communication is needed a referral to Children’s Integrated Therapy and Equipment Service SLT can be made.


We do understand how concerning it is for parents who are waiting for their child to be seen for assessment for Autism.

We recognise that there are high levels of need and we are committed to addressing this.

We have identified significant investment in 2021/22 for this service in order to increase the service capacity. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is actively recruiting to additional posts to support this.

We are also working across Sussex to redesign the current pathway based on best practice.

If anyone has any particular concerns about a child’s case we would encourage them to contact us directly.


2.  The same or similar questions were asked by:


Jane Wilde, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Julia Waterlow, Lewes, East Sussex

Richard Moore, Lewes, East Sussex

Dinah Morgan, Lewes, East Sussex

Nicky Bishop, Battle, East Sussex

Emily Johns, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Rebecca McCray, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Clare Finn, Hove

Polly Charlton, Brighton

Andrea Needham, Hastings, East Sussex

Fiona MacGregor, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Serena Penman, Lewes, East Sussex

Hugh Dunkerley, Brighton

Clare Barrett, Lewes, East Sussex

Martin Atkinson, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Zoe Axworthy, Brighton

Guy Gladstone, Seaford, East Sussex

Emily Skye, Seaford, East Sussex

Ian Sheard, Battle, East Sussex

Penelope Steel, Woodingdean

Clare Halstead, Brighton

Dorothy Amos, Hastings, East Sussex

Anne Massey, Hove

Annabel Faraday, Fairlight, East Sussex

Carolyn Beckingham, Lewes, East Sussex

Simon Mercer, Portslade

Jason Evans, Saltdean

Keith McMurray, Brighton

Matilda Whittington, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Susan Murray, Lewes, East Sussex

Sara Meddings, Seaford, East Sussex

Penny Beale, Hastings, East Sussex

Jennifer Howells, Horam, East Sussex

Ayesha Mayhew, Brighton

Helen Doyle, Robertsbridge, East Sussex

Scott O’Rourke, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Mick Venables, North Chailey, East Sussex

Daniel Hope, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Jenny Embleton, Brighton

Cherry Lavell, Polegate, East Sussex

Jane Harris, Seaford, East Sussex

Hamish Walke, Hove

Noa Lachman, Hailsham, East Sussex

Denzil Jones, Lewes, East Sussex

Erica Smith, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Ann Holmes, Lewes, East Sussex

Sonya Baksi, Lewes, East Sussex

Alison Cooper, Hastings, East Sussex

Anthony Graham, Brighton

Carl Evans, Brighton

Nicky Reese, Saltdean

Caroline Donegan, Ticehurst, East Sussex

Mark Engineer, Barcombe, East Sussex

Carole Mortimer, Lewes, East Sussex

Jane Wigan, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Madeleine Bradbury, Brighton

Gary French, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Elizabeth Ottosson, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Suzette Attwood, Brighton

Paul Tibbey, Lewes, East Sussex

Manuela McLellan, Hastings, East Sussex

Duncan Armstrong, Lewes, East Sussex

Karl Horton, Hastings, East Sussex

Anthony Bradnum, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Paul Taylor, Lewes, East Sussex

David Allen, Brighton

Carol Turner, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Gabriel Carlyle, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex


Does the East Sussex Pension Committee agree with the UN Secretary General António Guterres, that the latest UN climate report (https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/) 'is a code red for humanity' which 'must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet'? How does it square this assessment with its continued refusal to stop investing local people's pensions in the giant fossil fuel companies – like Shell and BP – that are driving the climate crisis?

 Response by the Chair of the Pension Committee   

It is not for the Pension Fund to comment on a statement made by the UN Secretary General in response to a report published by IPCC. The Pension Fund’s primary responsibility is the management of  the financial risk to its memberships’ pensions and ensuring there is sufficient money to pay pensions as they fall due and this is where it focuses its resources and decisions.

The Fund has updated its website, which clearly sets out the Fund’s Investment Strategy and Statement of Responsible Investment Principles, which are regularly reviewed and updated by the Pension Committee. The Fund has a policy of engagement over divestment as its primary approach, which is supported by Department of Works and Pensions, the Work and Pensions Select Committee, the Minister for Pensions and investor groups. Engagement to encourage companies to change their behaviour will help the real economy transition to net zero. The exposure of the Fund to oil and gas or coal companies once the implementation of existing approved strategic changes are fully implemented is very limited, with residual exposure held as tactical investments by the relevant investment managers and supported with engagement. The Fund’s Statement of Responsible Investment Principles continues to acknowledge that where material risks remain following engagement activity, it retains the ability to divest where possible. As part of the climate strategy for the Fund, a quarter of the equity allocation is now invested specifically to fund sustainable opportunities from the energy transition or solutions to climate risk.

 There is more information on the Fund’s website (www.eastsussexpensionfund.org) as to the investment strategy approach and principles.


3.  Question from Maya Evans, Hastings, East Sussex


Can you tell me what methodology you will use in order to take into account the needs of East Sussex’s vastly differing communities when putting together the Bus Service Improvement Plan?


Response by the Lead Member for Transport and Environment  

The Government launched its Bus Back Better strategy in March of this year setting out an ambitious timescale for all local Transport Authorities to produce a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) by the end of October.

The BSIP Guidance issued by the Department for Transport makes it mandatory for authorities to seek and report the views of passengers and third parties on the merits and demerits of bus services locally and the performance of the LTA and the local operators. These were to include local transport users' groups, MPs, local services and business organisations.

To help us understand the needs of the residents and businesses in East Sussex we undertook an online consultation exercise seeking the views of bus users, residents, businesses and local transport operators. The consultation specifically included two free text questions (see questions below) in our online survey and we received more than 2,500 responses to these questions.

Q. If you would like to make suggestions for improvements to an existing bus service or propose a new one or any other specific suggestions on bus services.

Q. Do you have any general comments or suggestions on how bus use could be improved?

We have analysed all of the responses and over 50 additional submissions from a broad range of organisations and developed our BSIP proposals accordingly.

A draft Bus Service Improvement Plan will be presented to Councillor Claire Dowling at her Lead Member Decision Making Meeting on 25 October, a copy of which will be made public on the ESCC website from 15 October.


4.  Question from Bernard Brown, Battle, East Sussex


This question is about what risk evaluation East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has in place regarding a significant creditor in which it has a significant interest. It is about how the Council is protecting Council tax-payers money. East Sussex County Council has a four tiered relationship with East Sussex Energy Infrastructure and Development Ltd - better known by its trading name of SeaChange Sussex. ESCC is a Class A Member of the Company and has a nominated Director on the Board. ESCC is a Contracting Authority with the Company, primarily acting for SELEP. ESCC is a significant multi million pound Creditor of the Company. ESCC is registered as a Person of Significant Control in the Company at Companies House. The question is in 3 Parts.

1. When, as required under the Articles of Association, will the Council’s appointed Director be reporting back on the latest results and the current and future activities of the Company to the Members of East Sussex County Council?


2. Can the Council assure residents a) that a formal Risk Assessment exists on the question of the exposure faced by ESCC in relation to the Company and b) when and how that Risk Assessment was reported to Council Members?


3. Given the history of the predecessor of the Company having had a wholly owned subsidiary, Coastal Innovations Ltd, compulsorily wound up and liquidated with debts of some £2m (to an external funder) and given the Credit Risk Assessment currently published by outside Credit Agencies, what is the Risk-Rating East Sussex County Council have applied to this Company.

Response by the Lead Member for Strategic Management and Economic Development   


1.            Under the Articles of Association, there is no requirement as such on individual Directors to provide reports on the Company within a specified timescale. However the appointed Director does ensure that ESCC officers report back on behalf of the County Council to the Lead Member for Strategic Management and Economic Development (SMED) for individual projects from SeaChange Sussex (SCS), which County Council members and the public are entitled to attend in relation to decisions made by the County Council.  In addition, once projects are approved, ESCC reports quarterly to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and on all SELEP funded projects including the SCS projects. The reporting also includes an annual report to SELEP on those SELEP funding projects including the SCS projects together with a year- end annual financial statement being provided to the Lead Member for SMED 


2.            Risk assessments are undertaken on the individual projects loans and grants provided to SCS by ESCC. Risk assessments are included in the reports to the Lead Member for approval prior to entering into the legal contract agreements on each project. The legal contracts reflect risks such as financial, deliverability, reputation, termination and recovery of grant.  


3.            ESCC and the external funder SELEP undertake a risk based assessment on a project by project basis following the submission of the full business cases. These are reported to the Lead Member for SMED and SELEP Accountability boards following an Independent Technical Evaluation of the project and the organisation.



5.  Question from Laurie Holden, Burwash, East Sussex


Pension Fund members are no doubt pleased to see that the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF) has gradually started to disinvest from some of the more controversial companies that have been in its portfolio, such as oil and armaments companies. This has been through the movement of funds to ESG (environmental, social and governance) entities Storebrand Global ESG Plus, WHEB Sustainability Fund and the Wellington Global Impact Fund. These constitute approximately 20% of the Fund's equity allocation. That means that the ESPF has 80% of its funds that do not take into consideration ESG factors. So clearly there is more work to be done before the ESPF can be said to adhere to its Statement of Responsible Investment Principles which states: “RI (Responsible Investment) is an approach to investing that aims to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions, to better manage risk and to generate sustainable, long-term returns (according to Principles for Responsible Investment)?”

There are moves within the investment industry to take a serious response to companies that supply the Israeli military and/or are complicit in Israel's illegal settlement industry. This has come about because of the recent Human Rights Watch report which concluded that Israel is guilty of the crimes of both apartheid and persecution. The HRW report shows that these are crimes against humanity which “stand among the most odious crimes in international law.” It calls for sanctions, travel bans, even prosecutions against “those credibly implicated in the crimes of persecution and apartheid....”

It is as a result of this report that the London CIV (Collective Investment Vehicle) has drawn up a list of its investments in companies that are complicit in Israel's crimes. London CIV is the asset pooling company involved with 32 London Local Authority pension schemes with £11.2 billion of assets.

The CIV has stated that it will “commit to engaging with investee companies” and has stated that it is prepared to use “escalation measures if required.” This can mean divestment.

In the CIV's list are 17 companies that are in the East Sussex Pension Fund. Some of these are armaments companies which provide Israel with the means to bomb the Palestinian population. The Pension Fund has more than half a million pounds invested in one of these companies: Northrop Grumman. This company supplies the Israeli Air Force with the Longbow missile delivery system for its Apache helicopters and with laser weapon delivery systems for its fighter jets. So when Israel targets homes, schools and hospitals in blowing up and incinerating men, women, children and babies – it is only made possible by firms such as Northrop Grumman. And by its investors. For the record, there are more than 20 companies that supply the Israeli military in the ESPF.

There are other recent developments on this issue. Norway’s largest pension fund KLP – which manages £69 billion of assets – has just announced it has divested from 16 companies because of their links to Israel's illegal settlements economy.

Also, Lancaster City Council has recently passed a motion calling on Lancashire Pension Fund to divest from companies active in illegal Israeli settlements or that supply weapons to Israel.

Clearly there are other agencies that are taking this seriously. Will the ESPF, in conjunction with its associates, follow the lead of these organisations? Will the ESPF implement screening and due diligence procedures to pinpoint investments in companies that are complicit in Israel's violations of international law? Are you prepared to carry out “escalation measures if required” including divestment?

Will you adhere to the ESG principles that are stated in your Responsible Investment Principles?

The ESPF has, or is about to, take a position in the Baillie Gifford Global Alpha Growth Fund. There are no indications to suggest that it is an ESG fund. This fund follows the MSCI ACWI Index. This index has numerous armaments companies which supply the Israeli military such as Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Elbit and Thales. It also has oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Has the ESPF carried out due diligence procedures to ascertain whether this fund has incorporated ESG factors?

We are moving into a situation similar to the 1970s and 1980s where there were large moves to divest from companies complicit in South Africa's crimes of apartheid. The difference now is that people generally are more in tune with how their pension contributions are used. Hopefully the ESPF can work in the interests of its contributors and recipients on this issue and become on the right side of history.


Response by the Chair of the Pension Committee   

The Pension Fund investment strategy is published on the Funds website which explains the asset allocation of the portfolio, which includes a wide range of assets to diversify risk to protect our memberspensions. The Fund does not invest solely in shares. The 20% noted in the question is in relation to a decision to invest specifically in impact equity funds and the Funds new smart beta passive fund. All investment managers have screens when structuring the underlying portfolios and have large responsible investment teams to carry out research in each underlying asset or company. The Fund invests its portfolio through investment managers and not as direct holdings. The Pension Committee papers from September 2021 can be found on the Council’s website which discusses the ongoing implementation of its investment strategy into a resource efficient product and the Baillie Gifford Paris aligned fund, these changes are still being implemented and much of the exposure to companies relating to this question will drop out of the portfolio once complete. The Pension Committee has previously made a statement relating to occupied territories which can be found on its website . Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is taken into account in all investment decisions as outlined in the Statement of Responsible Investment Principles and the Fund carried out an impact assessment of the ESG capabilities of each of the Funds investment managers in July 2021, with the aim of considering these assessments when performing future stewardship or ESG activity and for future reference if considering future investment strategy changes. This impact assessment will be updated and reviewed annually to track where managers are making changes to improve the stewardship of the portfolios.  The investment work plan in the Committee papers shows ESG work streams that are planned over the next 12 months.




1.  Question by Councillor Tutt to the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability   


At the July meeting of the Council, I questioned the award of contracts for home to school transport for vulnerable children to a company based in Essex and asked whether Due Diligence had been conducted?  You assured me that it had and that this would continue.  In light of this please can you explain how just the week before children were due to return to school, we were informed that the company concerned would be unable to fulfil two of the contracts and that these would now be awarded to the second placed bidder?


As a supplementary question I asked if you would inform me when consultation would take place with the parents of the children concerned, but you failed to answer this.  Please can you now provide details of how this consultation was conducted and when?


Answer by the Lead Member for Lead Member for Education and Inclusion,  Special Educational Needs and Disability      


In July a contract was awarded for several home to school transport journeys to a company, called 24x7. 24x7 are a reputable home to school transport provider, known to this council. Unfortunately, they were  let down by a major motor manufacturer from whom they had ordered over 150 new vehicles well in advance of the new term. They were only advised just over a week before the start of term that they would not receive the vehicles they had ordered in time, and that their order had been transferred to the continent. They therefore had difficulty sourcing sufficient cars for the school journeys so close to the start of the new school term. As soon as they told us of this, the council’s transport team took appropriate action and appointed other transport companies to provide the journeys to school where needed.


The contract was awarded to 24x7 following a competitive tendering exercise with clear and rigorous criteria. 24x7 scored highly for both the quality and value of their bid and as such the contracts awarded to 24x7 were appropriate, complied fully with the Council’s Procurement Standing Orders, and represented best value.


With regard to consultation with the parents of the children concerned, it is important to note that we do not consult on home to school transport provision and are not required to do so.  The Council procures and manages home to school transport based on the needs of the pupils being transported.  Parents of the children concerned are advised of any changes to their home to school transport provision, and in this case parents or carers of the children affected by the 24x7 changes were informed of a potential change to their transport provision on the 16 July and the changes confirmed on the 29 July. Unfortunately, a consequence of 24x7 being let down by the supplier of new vehicles and the resultant last minute changes, we weren’t able to notify parents of the names of their drivers and passenger assistants until a day or two before the start of term. Whilst this aspect of the arrangements was regrettable, it was beyond the control of the Council. However, transport arrangements were confirmed and no children were left at home on their first day of term.


 2.  Question by Councillor Tutt to the Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health    


Would the Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health please outline the potential impact upon the Council of the recently announced Government decision to give self-funders the right to ask the Local Authority to arrange their care


Answer by the Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health 


Whilst the Government included reference to the right for people who fully fund their own care to ask the Local Authority to arrange their care in the launch of ‘Build Back Better’ on 7 September, 2021, this option has been available to people since the inception of the Care Act in 2014.


It is, however, anticipated that there will be a significant increase in the proportion of the (estimated) 3,500 self-funding individuals in residential and nursing care in East Sussex taking up this option.


It is not possible to make any meaningful estimate of the financial impact of this initiative until the government issues more detailed guidance as to how it will function in practice and the level of funding to be made available to authorities to support this shift in market proportion. 


It should be noted that self-funding clients often pay a significantly higher rate for their placement. As many care home providers have a mixture of self-funding and local authority funded clients any increase in the proportion of those on local authority rates could have an impact on the overall income for a care home.


It is therefore, likely that providers would seek to mitigate this loss of self-funding income by seeking to increase the rates that they charge local authorities resulting in an inflationary impact on the rates that the council pays for care.


It is also likely that additional costs will be incurred to accommodate the anticipated increase in activity, including increased staffing capacity for additional Care Act and financial assessments and commissioning and brokerage resources to manage the increased volume of supported placements, including those with whom we do not currently have a contractual relationship. Existing existing systems and databases will also need to be amended and enhanced to record additional data and monitor spend against each individual’s care cap.


In anticipation of more detailed guidance, the local authority is undertaking the following preparatory action:


·         Engaging with the care market to quantify the potential loss of self-funding income and how it could be mitigated.

·         Working with the Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) to develop a consistent approach to quantifying the potential impact of this change.

·         Monitoring the numbers of new full-cost / self-funding clients whose placements have been arranged by the local authority.

·         Identifying areas that require clarification and guidance, such as whether the fact that some self-funding clients pay higher fees as a result of having a larger room or more facilities will be taken into account, or whether it will be necessary to offer the facility to self-funding individuals who do not have sufficiently significant needs to meet the Care Act eligibility threshold.


Once more detailed guidance has been issued, calculations will be completed to estimate the potential resource implications and incorporated in the council’s Reconciling, Policy, Performance and Resources process and Medium Term Financial Plan.


3.  Question by Councillor Murphy to the Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change 


1.            Community centres and village halls across the county play a vital part in the life of the local community they serve. They provide a focal point for diverse activities and cultural events such as dance classes, exercise classes, indoor sports, Golden years and nursery groups to name just a few. There is a wide range of ownership and management of these centres from Parish Councils, Town Councils and Charitable Trusts. These centres let their rooms out to local groups for a set charge per hour that includes locking up out of hours after the groups have finished their activity. Research I have undertaken appears to show that no centre in the County charges extra for locking up.  


This Council leases Hailsham East Community Centre from Wealden District Council and is the only such centre managed and operated by East Sussex County Council. Is there another Centre in the county that charges community groups £22.50 per hour in addition to the room letting charge for out of hours security lock up?  Will this County Council abolish forthwith this discriminatory and unfair charge at Hailsham East Community Centre?


2.            Hailsham Town Council have recently expressed a view that they would welcome the opportunity to discuss matters concerning the Centre with a long term aim of taking over the lease of the building. Will this County Council appoint a Cabinet member who is not a joint Wealden District Councillor, to avoid a conflict of interest, to investigate all aspects of the operation and management of this centre and to work collaboratively with Wealden District Council and Hailsham Town Council to ascertain if the transfer of the lease is feasible?


3.  Hailsham East Community Centre sits adjacent to Maurice Thornton Playing field, an area which provides much needed sport and recreational facilities for the local community. 

On four weekends at the start of this football season this Council refused to allow a girls under 15 football team to use the community centre toilets.  The absence of any appropriate welfare facilitates for young girls, under FA rules, resulted in pre-arranged fixtures having to be cancelled. Why is the council discriminating against Hailsham’s under-15 girls football team by not allowing them to use the Community Centre’s facilities and what steps will this Council take to prevent this happening again?



Answer by the Lead Member for Resources and Climate Change


1.            Making a charge for an out-of-hours attendance is usual practice and is a clause in licences for other settings.  ESCC reserves the right to make an additional charge for a call out to a setting for additional cleaning out of hours, over and above the licence fee, and would apply that charge if attendance were needed.  It is unusual for most premises to have out of hours use as a regular arrangement and East Hailsham Community Centre is only one of very few to be available in the evenings.  The hourly security charge for Hailsham is £22.50. For some buildings such as the Robertsbridge Youth Centre that ESCC operates, the security charge is included in the hourly hire charge for out of hours opening.


All of our Children’s Centres have an external security charge added to the room charge if a group wishes to run out of hours. This was set up to cover security costs of the company used to cover the site. The current charge from the company that covers Hailsham East is £17.50 + vat per hour (2 hour minimum). Sidley Children’s Centre also has a charge of £20 per hour.  Security costs in 2019/20 (the last year that is directly comparable given Covid) for out of hours security charges for the Children’s Centres totalled £6,466.25 which would have to be met from within Council budgets if they are not passed on as part of the hire charges.


2.            Wealden District Council are the freeholder of the building. ESCC have leased the centre from Wealden District Council from 2002 to run it primarily as a Children’s Centre rather than as a Community Centre. East Sussex County Council has not had any formal request from Hailsham Town Centre to discuss taking back the lease at the property. If such a request is received, it will be considered in accordance with normal practice, with any consideration taking into account the critical nature of the children’s services provided by the County Council to the local area from the building.


3.            Hailsham Football Club approached the centre manager directly and were given a set of keys so that they could access the toilet facilities. They have been using it for over four weeks now and will continue to use these facilities until further notice and until the pavilion in the field is up and running. The Chair of Active Hailsham emailed with his thanks and to report that the under 15 girls beat Worthing Town under 15’s 4 -3 at their match in September. Plans are also underway for other sporting activity to take place at the centre.