The Annual Town Meeting this year was held on Tuesday 19 April at The Town Hall in Lewes starting at 6.30.
Groups such as Housing Associations, Bonfire Societies, campaign groups
and local charities were invited as a way to include as many
members of the public as possible.
The meeting was a much livelier and better attended event than in recent years, so much so that some attendees suggested that the meeting should be at least twice a year as there was so much to discuss. Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne (since re-elected to her post this month) began proceedings and explained her role in setting the budget, working on victim support, listing to the public and scrutinising and supporting the police.
The Lewes Civic Awards for outstanding contributions to the community were presented to the winners at the start of the event.
Items the audience brought up included:
- The effects of building developments at the Sussex Police headquarters in Malling, such as increased traffic (the police officer in attendance explained there was high priority to encourage staff to walk, cycle and use public transport).
- The possible closure of Lewes Post Office. There was a strong feeling that the post office should remain where it is; if it has to close, one possibility would be to move to the library though obviously the building would need to be adapted substantially.
- Whether there is Town Council support for improving cycling routes, eg the link from Lewes to the A27 cycle path/Ashcombe Roundabout.
- Making publicly planted spaces more bee-friendly.
- The need to advertise dates of Lewes Town Council meetings (eg on the front page of the council’s website).
- The news from the floor that the Blakes Walk poplars have been saved (this drew a round of enthusiastic applause).