Latest News


February 20th, 2018.

Councillor Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, and Councillor Sarah Osborne, Leader of the Opposition Group, have welcomed working together in the public interest. The respective leaders were speaking after Lewes District Council met yesterday to agree on the council budget for 2018/2019.

In addition to successfully agreeing the proposed budget, councillors joined together to vote through five amendments tabled by Councillor Osborne. These included the allocation of £2.2m for the acquisition of land and property that will provide new temporary accommodation in Lewes district, £10,000 for the installation of ten on-street recycling bins and £50,000 to create an environmental initiatives fund.

Councillor Osborne said: “Punch and Judy politics doesn’t achieve anything for the people who elected us. All Councils face huge financial and social challenges, so we must work together were we can to deliver more housing and a cleaner environment and deliver the services our residents rightly expect from us.

“I welcome this spirit of collaboration and I am delighted that budget amendments I tabled were seconded and supported by the Conservative group. Four of five of my amendments received unanimous support from all councillors.

“Too many councils remain wedded to tribal politics, regardless of opportunities to share common ground, and, take decisions that are for the common good.”

The two largest groups on Lewes District Council, the Conservatives led by Councillor Smith and the Liberal Democrats led by Councillor Osborne, have been working closely together on a joint transformation programme with Eastbourne Borough Council. This work, which is considered an example of best practice in the sector, has seen internal systems and public facing services completely reconfigured, leading to enhanced service delivery and greater efficiencies.

Councillor Andy Smith said: “By pressing ahead with an ambitious transformation agenda with Eastbourne Borough Council, coupled with putting the authority on a much more commercial footing, we have been able to remove a third of operating costs and consequently withstand the austerity cuts.

“Key to this success has been our work with Councillor Osborne and her colleagues. Councillor Osborne’s amendments to the budget have been fully costed and, crucially, complement existing initiatives, not least the new co-mingled ‘blue lid’ recycling service that is being rolled out across the district.”