Town Centre
Neighbourhood Panel

The Town Centre Panel meets every two months at Eastbourne Town Hall and is open to all Town Centre residents. It is centrally involved with the Eastbourne Neighbourhood Management process and in addition to residents panel meetings are also attended by:

The work of the Panel is driven by residents’ issues and not surprisingly given its location the first two priorities are the impact of the night time economy and keeping the environment clean. The Town Centre Action Plan is a working document which describes actions taken to address these and other resident priorities. Appropriate officers attend panel meetings to hear residents concerns directly, explain the procedures to follow to ensure that their views are taken into account and to report back on actions which they have taken since the last meeting.

The Panel also deals with new concerns raised by residents.  This may take the form of a new hot spot within an existing priority or it may be an entirely new matter.  The Panel will refer the issue to the most appropriate officer or councillor in attendance and will seek to agree a course of action to address the situation. This should proceed in a timely manner and may involve additional meetings to progress the matter. The Panel will expect a report on progress at their next meeting.

Town Centre panel priorities are:

Devonshire Action Plan

Introduction In 2005 the Devonshire Ward Area Profile was published as a result of an initiative by the Eastbourne Strategic Partnership. This involved a large community consultation exercise together with a bringing together of factual data on the ward drawn from a number of different sources.

The profile described considerable areas of deprivation and need. The report led to the creation of the Devonshire Project, a coordinated strategy which involved key partners from the statutory sector together with other interested parties, most importantly the community itself.

A Steering Committee was established and partner agencies developed and refined strategies to address the needs into their service plans. A dedicated Devonshire Neighbourhood Worker was appointed in June 2006.

This Neighbourhood Action Plan therefore starts with a review of progress over the first two years of the project. Sections 2 to 10 use the headings from the Eastbourne section in Pride Of Place, the East Sussex Integrated Community Strategy.

Download the Devonshire Action Plan

Your Neighbourhood Team

Town Centre Neighbourhood Panel News

Meeting dates:

Meetings will be held, at the Town Hall Starting at 7pm.

  • 23rd April 2020
  • 23rd July 2020
  • 12th November 2020
  • 28th January 2021

Pat Taylor, Community Services Manager at Eastbourne Borough Council demonstrated the Healthy Eastbourne website as part of a review of the Panel Priority 17 Health.

25th July 2013

The Panel welcomed the news that a new Dispersal Order for the Town Centre and seafront was implemented from midnight on 21st July 2013. This measure has proved very effective when applied in previous years.

30th May 2013

Chris Richards, Town Centre Manager, gave an update on the work of the Town Team as part of the review of the Town Centre Management Action Plan Priority 5.5 - The Economy.
28th March 2013

Katy Bourne, Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex attended the meeting and after viewing proceedings complimented the panel on their work saying “ I can dine out on what I have seen here tonight”.

Assistant Chief Constable Robin Merrett was also present and witnessed appreciation being expressed for the work of the Neighbourhood Policing Team and the ten year’s Town Centre service by PC Franklin-Lester.

31st January 2013

The Panel noted that the arrangements over the festive season had worked well and expressed their appreciation to all concerned.  They also noted that the Planning Committee had approved the variation in hours at the Didac School to formalise the outcome of negotiations between the school and residents.  The Panel was very concerned about the misleading report in the local paper which failed to recognise that the residents received what they had asked for.  Following the meeting the Chairman wrote to the paper to set the record straight but all phases which were critical of the report were removed prior to publication.

19th December 2012

Good progress has been made on addressing issues in Elms Avenue. An officer action group involving the Police and Eastbourne Borough Council Officers and chaired by a Ward Councillor has ensured that efforts are coordinated.

Eastbourne Borough Council introduced larger community bins that are harder to knock over while notices have been served on certain property owners to encourage refurbishment. Rubbish and fly-tipping has also been cleared away.

The police have also stepped-up their presence in the area and the Pier management have deployed SIA staff into the beginning of Elms Avenue to remind Atlantis Nightclub patrons to keep the noise down and behave sensibly.

Date of Next Meeting 31st January 2013

24th October 2012

The next meeting of the Town Centre Neighbourhood Panel will be held in the Town Hall on 29th November 2012, starting at 19:00.

27th September 2012

East Sussex Police issued a new Dispersal Order for Eastbourne Town Centre on 24th August 2012 and it is proving to be very effective. Since the order was introduced 75 people have been dispersed and there have been no arrests for failing to comply with the order.  There has been a reduction in shoplifting as several prolific shoplifters have been dispersed reducing the likelihood of theft. The experience of the last Dispersal Order has also been repeated in the halving of the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour by street drinkers when compared to a similar period before these orders were introduced.

4th November 2011

The Town Centre Management Group now meets regularly with some residents from the Town centre Panel attending.  It has been agreed that Town Centre Management meetings will take place every two months midway between the Town Centre Panel meetings.

31st March 2011

Chief Inspector Jayne Dando and Licensing Inspector Charles Connaughton attended the meeting to hear about residents experiences and how it affects the quality of their daily lives.  Together with Council Officers they clarified the respective roles and powers of the Police and Council in the licensing procedure.   There was a wide ranging discussion about known Town Centre hot spots, how they are monitored and the measures that can be taken to address them. (See the minutes of the meeting).

The first draft of the Town Centre Neighbourhood Management Action Plan has been produced and a number of residents have agreed to form the Operations Group to refine this before wider consultation with other residents.

27th January 2011

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing
The proposed variation of license for the Funktion Rooms was the main item of discussion.  An objection to the proposals has been made on behalf of the panel as there is considerable concern about anti-social behaviour and crime associated with these premises.  Three hot spots were also identified for police attention.

25th November 2010

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

Anti-Social behaviour in Trinity Trees is considerably improved with the residents reporting less litter and noise disturbance.  Disturbances in Trinity Place continue and the Council’s Licensing Team is meeting with representatives of the Vernon House Hotel to consider ways forward including an Action Plan.

30th September 2010

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

Residents in the Trinity Trees/Trinity Place area continue to have concerns about noise and antisocial behaviour from a number of sources.  Separate meetings are being held to look at these issues in greater detail and will be reported back at the next panel meeting.

29th July 2010

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing>

The World Cup passed without major incident.  Residents in the Trinity Trees/Trinity Place area have concerns about noise and antisocial behaviour. Similarly Elms Avenue residents continue to experience problems of noise and criminal damage.  These matters are being investigated by members of the Licensing Team and the Crime Reduction Partnership.

27th May 2010

Installation of a Controlled Traffic Crossing in Ashford Road

This has been approved in principle by East Sussex County Council and awaits budgetary provision.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

The situation remains fairly constant at the moment. Plans are being made to anticipate the World Cup.

25th March 2010

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

Although it is pleasing to note that the recent poor weather had served to calm things down slightly there is still the need for constant vigilance to maintain the Police and Licensing Departments robust response to incidents.

10th January 2010

Speeding Traffic in Seaside Road

Although this area has been monitored no cases of speeding have been detected.

Poor Quality Lighting in Wharf Road and the Alley through to Enterprise Centre

This matter has been referred to East Sussex County Council. Additional police patrols have been initiated.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

An update on Police and Council activity in this area is available in the minutes of the meeting. Elms Avenue and the NCP Car Park in Trinity Trees were identified as being problematic at the moment.

26th November 2009

Benches outside Post Office

Proposals are progressing and it is hoped to implement them in the spring. The gating of the access road besides the Post Office is also being pursued.

Cycling on the Pavement in the Town Centre

Since the last Panel meeting fifty warnings and one fixed penalty notice have been issued for cycling in the Town Centre. Forty warnings were also given in the Seaside Panel area.

Poor Quality Lighting in Commercial Road and St Leonard’s Road

This matter has been referred to the Highways Department at East Sussex County Council.

New Priority – Poor Lighting in Wharf Road and Concerns about the Alley through to the Enterprise Centre.

Issues were identified at a recent street meeting. The Police and the Borough Council are looking into the situation.

New Priority – Speeding Traffic in Seaside between Bourne Street and Langney Road

This area is hazardous as the bend is quite tight and motorists are not taking this into account.

15th October 2009

Street Drinkers in the Town Centre

Following the Eastbourne Herald’s front page article readers’ letters and a follow up article quoting Police action were published in the subsequent weeks. The situation has improved at this location following all this publicity.

Benches outside Post Office

Proposals for alternative seating arrangements are being developed. The intention is to deter street drinkers congregating in this area but to maintain the facility for shoppers and visitors.

Late Night Parking in Devonshire Place

The parking restrictions and signage are being looked at to identify changes as a result of the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement for this area.

Driving with Excessive Speed in the Town Centre

Twenty six penalty notices and many warnings have been issued in the affected area since the last panel meeting. Noisy exhausts which give the impression of greater speed are a particular issue.

New Priority – Cycling on the Pavement in Terminus Road

The pedestrian area between TJ Hughes and Debenhams was identified as being particularly problematic with a high risk of injury to pedestrians. Better signage is required.

New Priority – Poor Lighting in Commercial road and St Leonard’s Road

Inadequate lighting in this area which is used as a cut through to the station was identified at a recent street meeting

10th September 2009

Street Drinkers in the Town Centre

There was little further to report on this issue at the meeting as the strategy is now firmly in place. The Police continue to challenge antisocial behaviour by street drinkers and this will be reported on to future meetings.

Subsequent to the meeting the local paper contained a prominent article on the problem of street drinkers on the benches outside the Post Office. This makes the new priority proposing the replacement of the benches at this location very timely.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

This continues to be a major source of concern to Town Centre residents and businesses. Strict conditions were applied to the Funktion Rooms before there licence was reinstated.

Student Antisocial Behaviour

The Police arrangements for briefings to students as part of a more proactive approach to deal with student antisocial behaviour are now in place.

As Street Drinkers and issues to do with antisocial behaviour and late night licensing will continue to be a regular priority for the Town Centre Panel it was agreed that other issue which needed addressing should be identified as priorities for referral to the District Panel.

New Priority - Benches outside Post Office

Concern was raised about the further problems which occurred at this point. It was agreed that they should be removed to see if this made a difference.

New Priority - Late Night Parking in Devonshire Place

Problems caused by illegal parking from 10pm onwards were described. It was agreed that enforcement by the Police should be considered as the Parking Enforcement Officers do not operate at this time.

New Priority - Driving with Excessive Speed in the Town Centre

Vehicles going too fast for the road conditions were identified.

30th July 2009

Street Drinkers in the Town Centre

There are now six ASBOs and one curfew in place to deal with this problem. Although the general situation is improving there are still occasional incidents which require police intervention.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

This continues to be a major source of concern to Town Centre residents and businesses. The Police are currently reviewing the staffing allocated to Operation Marble which deals with the late night economy. It has been agreed that the Chairman of the Panel will object to all new licence applications on behalf of Town Centre residents in support of Eastbourne Borough Council’s Accumulative Impact Policy.

Vehicles Driving on the Pedestrian Precinct in Terminus Road

All businesses have been contacted and enhanced enforcement is now in place.

New Priority – Student Antisocial Behaviour

The Police have been asked to provide briefings for students in addition to those given to Brighton University as part of a more proactive approach to deal with student antisocial behaviour.

18th June 2009

Street Drinkers in the Town Centre

One ASBO is now in place and the street drinker concerned has been arrested a number of times and spent time in custody for failing to comply with the conditions of his ASBO. There was clear evidence that the situation is improving.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing

It is quieter when Police are in Elms Avenue. Plans are in hand to arrange for some posters to be displayed and some CCTV options are being explored. The Eastbourne Borough Council Licensing Manger is collating information for further consideration.

Condition of Town Centre Pavements

It has been confirmed that the area outside the Funktion Rooms has been included in the programme to provide a veneer coating to improve the surface.

New Priority - Vehicles Driving on the Pedestrian Precinct in Terminus Road

Vehicles are driving on this area to make deliveries outside of the designated times. This is unnecessary as all but two of the premises have rear access for this purpose.

7th May 2009

This meeting was well attended with many new residents. Positive progress was reported on two of the three priorities.

Street Drinkers in the Town Centre

A number of ASBO applications are now with the Police Solicitor as part of the process of deterring street drinking. Further evidence to support this approach has been provided through a petition of 130 members of the business community concerned about street drinking near their premises. There has been a considerable improvement to the situation but constant vigilance is required to maintain this. Areas where the displaced drinkers congregate have been identified and are being monitored.

Anti-social Behaviour and Lack of Respect

The Windermere Court residents confirmed that the previous problems have been resolved and it was agreed that youth disturbance at this location should no longer be a priority.

Condition of Town Centre Pavements

The Chairman reported that he had written to the appropriate officer at Eastbourne Borough Council and will report progress on this at the next meeting.

New Priority - Anti-Social Behaviour, Late Night Licensing.

A resident described the disorder that regularly occurs in and around Elms Avenue as a result of late night licensing. It was agreed that this area should be prioritised by the Police to see what steps could be taken to improve the situation.

12th March 2009

Excellent progress has been made on all three priorities identified at the previous meeting and the Chairman thanked all concerned.

Street Drinkers in the Town Centre

Since the last Panel meeting when street drinkers was agreed as a priority a range of measures have been introduced. This has brought about a considerable improvement. The new section 27 orders, which require people to vacate an area, have proved particularly effective. In addition to this other enforcement measures have been used and evidence is being collected to be presented to support ASBOs for persistent street drinkers.

The Panel in welcoming this news expressed concerns that although this was a success for the Town Centre it merely displaced the problem to other areas and street drinkers are not being helped to address their problems. The Panel was reassured to hear that the Police and Council were committed to discouraging street drinking in any places that cause offence. They were also told that when drinkers are in the enforcement system then referrals for support and treatment can and often are made which can lead to a more permanent improvement for the street drinker.

The Panel agreed to keep this as one of their priorities.

Anti-social Behaviour and Lack of Respect

A productive meeting has been held between residents and a language school to discuss disturbances created by students congregating outside it in the evening. The residents’ representative thanked the Police for their involvement and told the Panel that the situation has improved markedly.

The Panel discussed the wider issue of finding acceptable evening activities for young people in the Town Centre. They welcomed that this is a priority in the Devonshire Neighbourhood Action Plan and agreed that this should continue to be one of their priorities. They asked for further information to be supplied at the next panel meeting.

Use of CCTV to Monitor Town Centre Incidents

Acting Inspector Julian Williams reported on the improvements to the CCTV operation since the last meeting. The Shop Watch link has been restored and the new digital system allows situations to be viewed and downloaded for evidence purposes to desktops in more police stations. This represents a major improvement over the previous system. In welcoming this news the Panel agreed that this should stop being one of its priorities.

New Priority – The Condition of some Town Centre Pavements.

During a discussion concern was raised about the condition of some Town Centre pavements, the state of some empty properties, poor quality street lighting and the lack of street rubbish bins. It was agreed that the condition of pavements should be the third priority and that the Chairman should contact East Sussex County Council to progress the issue.

8th January 2009

The inaugural meeting of the Town Centre Neighbourhood Panel was held in the Council Chamber at Eastbourne Town Hall. Following an introduction by Sergeant Julian Williams to explain how the new neighbourhood panels will operate there was general discussion of current concerns.

From these three priorities were agreed to take forward to the next District Panel Meeting.

Street Drinkers in the Town Centre

Street Drinkers are proving to be a problem at the moment and are frequently congregating outside the Post Office in Terminus Road. The Police are seeking to pursue a strategy where the Council will prosecute for contravening existing By-laws so that ASBOs can be used for persistent offenders. This approach was welcomed by the meeting and it was agreed that this action should be commended to the District Panel for immediate implementation.

Anti-social Behaviour and Lack of Respect

Town Centre residents frequently experience noise during the evening and night time from anti-social behaviour. This is often associated with the night time economy as people make their way to and from late opening pubs, nightclubs and takeaway food outlets. There are also instances where people congregate around street benches and cause considerable noise to nearby residents. It was pointed out that in extreme cases the benches may be removed but the situation could be alleviated by changing the style of bench.

Noise from language students in Trinity Trees was discussed and it was agreed that this location should be referred to the District Panel for action.

Use of CCTV to Monitor Town Centre Incidents

During the discussion it emerged that CCTV is not being used as effectively following the monitoring being moved to Brighton. It was agreed that this was a worrying development and that our concern should be communicated to the District Panel.

Devonshire Project Priorities

Prior to the Neighbourhood Panels being created there has been extensive consultation and many public meetings held to enable town centre residents from the Devonshire Ward to contribute to the Devonshire Neighbourhood Action Plan. The three priorities from this plan listed below are therefore part of the baseline for the new Town Centre Panel.

To reduce overall crime in the Devonshire Ward by 20% as recorded by the Police, during the lifetime of the Crime Reduction Plan from the baseline year 2007/8

Since the majority of crime occurs in the town centre there is a heavy focus on this part of the ward. The action plan contains many activities to address particular types of crime.

Improve cleanliness of streets and alleyways

Environmental Visual Audits (EVAs) in which the Police and Council Enforcement Officers review an area are now firmly established in the town centre. In addition to this Operation Synergy which is repeated twice yearly provides an in depth clean up involving many different agencies.

Provide positive activities for young people to be involved and improve facilities

Proposed activities include exploring a late night facility in the town centre for young people on Friday and Saturday and improving drop in facilities for young people.