The Role of Newhaven Town Council
There are three tiers of local government with areas of responsibility in Newhaven – East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council and Newhaven Town Council. Newhaven Town Council is the equivalent of a village parish council. It receives annually a small percentage of the money raised by Council Tax, known as “the Precept”.
Eighteen local people serve as Councillors on the Town Council. They are all volunteers and receive no pay for the work they do on behalf of the town. Elections are held every four years.
There are full meetings of the Town Council about every six weeks throughout the year, which take place at Meeching Hall, in Fort Road. All meetings of the Council are open to the public and there is a short period at the beginning of each meeting put aside for questions from the public and for the receipt of petitions. Please see the list of meetings for further information.
An important part of the role of the Town Council is to represent the views of the town in response to various public consultations.
On a regular basis our Planning Applications Committee meet to look at planning applications received by the Planning Authority and to pass on to them our comments. The Town Council always try to represent the views put forward by local people in this regard, although sometimes this can prove difficult when an application is controversial and has both vocal support and opposition amongst local residents. Nevertheless, members of the Planning Applications Committee take a vigilant approach in representing the local viewpoint, and encourage objectors/supporters of planning applications to attend meetings and put forward their views. Please see the list of meetings for further information.
At the present time, Newhaven Town Council provides the following for the local community:
- The Town Council offices in Fort Road act as an information point for local residents. The offices were the subject of a major refurbishment in 2003-4 and are now much more people friendly, with easy public access from street level. Internally there is now a lift for the less agile or parents with buggies and the interior is light, modern and convenient. The building also has a private interview room and a small meeting room. Current planning applications may be viewed there during normal office opening hours. Leaflets and posters are displayed concerning local events, places of interest and other items of general interest. The meeting room is in regular use in hosting various meetings. The offices are owned by the Town Council.
- Four social centres are owned, maintained and run by the Town Council. They are available for hire by local organisations and individuals. They are Denton Social Centre, East Side Social Centre, Lewes Road Social Centre and Meeching Hall.
- Some of the town’s recreation grounds are maintained by the Town Council. These are the Denton Recreation Ground and Children’s Play Area, the Valley Road Play Area, and the Lewes Road Recreation Ground and Children’s Play Area.
- Three amenity areas in the town are maintained by the Town Council. The Bay Vue Amenity Area in Bay Vue Road is owned by the Town Council and maintained as a grassed area with public seating together with some play equipment for small children. The Valley Ponds area is looked after by the Town Council as a wildlife conservation area and amenity area for local residents. The strip of land known as the Rose Walk Amenity area (behind Southdown School, linking Church Hill and Rose Walk) is maintained as a grassed area by the Town Council.
- The town’s war memorials are looked after by the Town Council. All three memorials – the Canadian Memorial, the Transport Memorial and the town’s 1st World War Memorial – now stand together in the Memorial Gardens in South Way. Each year in August, the Town Council host a commemoration service at the Canadian Memorial to mark the anniversary of the Dieppe Raid in 1942. The Town Council also work in partnership with the Royal British Legion to organize the annual service of remembrance during November.
- The Town Council has produced a Book of Remembrance containing the names of the people of Newhaven who died as a result of the Second World War. This book was published to mark the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the summer of 2005. Copies of it can be seen at the Town Council offices and at the Newhaven Local and Maritime Museum.
- Newhaven Cemetery is owned by the Town Council, which acts as the local burial authority. The Cemetery includes burial plots, a garden of remembrance for ashes interments, and a chapel which can be used for funeral services.
- There are a small number of allotments adjacent to Newhaven Cemetery, which are let to local residents for a nominal annual fee.
- The Town Council own and fund the CCTV cameras in the town centre, which are operated and maintained by Sussex Police.
- The Christmas Lights and Christmas trees in the town centre are funded and managed by the Town Council. A number of local businesses allow the Town Council use of their electricity supply for this purpose.
- The floral boat at the junction of Bridge Street and South Way is owned and maintained by the Town Council together with the floral displays in the High Street. The Town Council have also planted bulbs in grass verges in various locations in recent years.
- CTLA offer a dial a ride bus service which is partially funded by the Town Council.
- Some of the public seats in the town are owned and maintained by the Town Council.
- There are 9 Town Council noticeboards around the town which are used for the display of Town Council minutes and agendas and a list of Town Councillors together with information on local events.
The Town Council are represented on the following outside bodies:
- Access in Seaford and Newhaven Committee
- Community Rail Partnership
- Community Transport for the Lewes Area (CTLA)
- East Sussex Association of Local Councils
- Egrets Way Committee
- Friends of Riverside Park
- Heat Network Board
- Lewes District Associations of Local Councils
- Lewes District Citizens Advice
- Lewes District Foyer
- Meridian Mature Citizens Forum
- Newhaven Chamber of Commerce
- Newhaven Day Club
- Parishes of the Lower Ouse (POLO)
- Uckfield Railway Parishes committee
East Sussex County Council’s responsibilities include:
- Highways – including roads, footpaths, pavements, alleyways, street lighting, the cutting of grass verges, etc.
- Education – schools, adult education, etc.
- Social services – including the provision of care homes, etc
- Waste sites, such as the tip in New Road.
Lewes District Council’s responsibilities include:
- Deciding planning applications
- Rubbish collection from premises in the town; provision of recycling facilities
- Street cleansing
- Environmental health
- Provision of leisure and sports facilities, such as the Seahaven Pool, recreation grounds
- Collection of Council Tax on behalf of all three tiers of local government
- Licensing of taxis