Next Parish Council Meetings


Recreation Ground

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Pavilion is closed for the forseeable future. The open area of the Rec. remains accessible for exercise and the tennis court and play area have now re-opened, but you are urged to comply with Government restrictions regarding keeping a safe distance from others.

Coronavirus: UK Government Information


Community Services within the Village

Charity of the year 2020/21

Cuckmere Community Bus route 41
Community Watch / Neighbourhood Watch
Emergency Plan 
Residents' Association
Tree Warden
Village Directory (at Feb 2020)
Village Hall

Village website

Who Looks after What?

Quick Links 

Your Councillors

Finance Meetings

Full Council
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group 

Contact Us



Welcome to the East Dean and Friston Parish Council website. We hope that you enjoy browsing it and finding out more about our village and its council. We always welcome feedback from our site visitors, so if you have any comments or suggestions for improvements then please let us know via the "Contact Us" link.

What's new?

Coronavirus: The Parish Council and volunteer groups are currently carrying out plans to deal with any outbreak in the village. They are also planning to support individuals and families having to self-isolate because of the virus. Government policy is changing daily and details are broadcast on TV and Radio so the council is not repeating this information to avoid confusion. However, matters specific to our village will be posted on this website (see below), and sent to those on the Council email alert list. Any residents not on the Council email list are strongly recommended to join by contacting the Parish Clerk on  If you want more medical information, you can find it on the NHS website:  or by clicking here.

Latest Update - 30th October  2020

The next Parish Council meeting will be held remotely on Thursday 5th November beginning at 6:30 pm. The agenda can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here. The agenda contains details of how members of the public may observe the procedings and how to submit items to be presented in the public session at the start.

Community Speedwatch: The East Dean and Friston Community Speedwatch group has now been registered and volunteers will soon be receiving training in the use of equipment. Community Speedwatch is a national initiative where, in partnership with the police, members of communities use detection devices to monitor local vehicle speeds. If the data proves a driver is ignoring repeated warnings police can prosecute them. If you would consider volunteering to join our local Speedwatch team, please contact the Parish Council at

Remembrance Sunday 8th November 2020: Subject to no changes in Government restrictions, it is hoped to hold the traditional Remembrance Ceremony at the War Memorial on the Village Green, beginning around 10:45 am.The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the Parish Council, Coastguard, Residents Association and others, together with the Rector and PCC members. The traditional two-minutes silence will be observed at 11:00 am followed by the laying of wreaths at the memorial. Participants will be asked to observe social distancing throughout and, unlike former years, the ceremony will not be followed by a church service. Should any changes to government regulations affecting this event occur, information will be placed on the Parish Council website and noticeboards.

The most recent meeting of the Planning Committee took place remotely on 20th October. The minutes from the meeting have now been published and can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here.

Congratulations to Community Watch, the members of which have been chosen by Wealden District Council to receive special recognition for their work supporting villagers. The Chair of Wealden District Council is planning to award a certificate of recognition to the group and to add their name to the Roll of Honour at the council offices in Hailsham. To find out more about Community Watch click the link here.

Council Vacancies: The Parish Council currently have four vacancies for councillors. We have been informed by Wealden District Council that a request has been received from ten residents for three of these vacancies to be filled by a by-election. The official notice for this can be seen here. Under the Government Coronavirus restrictions, no elections can take place before May 6th 2021, and the council are now unable co-opt new members for these vacancies before then, despite having willing volunteers. The election, when it happens, will be organised by Wealden but the Parish Council Tax payers will be charged for the cost of mounting this and, for a contested election, this will be in the region of £3000. For further information, please contact the parish clerk (details here).

Friston Safety Kerb Re-alignment Completed At Last: After four years of lobbying by the Parish Council and a payment of half the cost from the precept, ESCC Highways have now finished work on a safety build-out of the kerb next to the Crowlink Lane turning at the top of Friston Hill. This change to the kerb will allow pedestrians to cross the A259 more safely by preventing motorists from “undercutting” cars waiting to turn right towards Jevington. For pictures of the new kerb alignment go to our News Page or click here.

An annual report listing some of the main activities of the Parish Council in the period from May 2019 to April 2020 can be found in our on-line library page or by clicking here. This report would normally have been presented at the Annual Village Meeting, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Wealden District Council have now launched a website titled "Healthy Wealden" giving details of places in the district where people may enjoy safe outdoor activities. Further details can be found at 

Play Area and Pavilion: Although the government have allowed children's play areas to reopen, there are strict regulations in place governing their use, including the need for a full safety inspection before opening. This safety inspection was carried out on 19th August so the play area on the recreation ground can now be re-opened, however adults and children using the facilities must follow UK government guidelines. The Pavilion remains closed and unavailable for private hire for the forseeable future. The council apologises for any inconvenience these closures may have caused.


The Parish and its Council


The Parish of East Dean and Friston is located between the south coast towns of Seaford and Eastbourne, situated on the southern edge of Wealden District in the County of East Sussex and within the South Downs National Park. It is a relatively large rural area, comprising the village of East Dean and Friston, together with the smaller hamlets of Birling Gap and Crowlink. The A259 main coast road passes through the Parish with the old village to the south and the newer parts of the village (known as the "Downlands Estate") to the north. The Parish is primarily residential, covers an area of 3.3sq miles and consists of some 760 households with a population of around 2,200. 

East Dean Village is centred around the Village Green with its war memorial, medieval church and long-established inn, “The Tiger”. To the North-West of the village, as the A259 ascends Friston Hill, is the area known as Friston, which was originally a separate village with its own church at the top of the hill.

Birling Gap is a coastal hamlet with a long shingle beach, backed by the famous Seven Sisters cliffs and not far from Beachy Head. The Birling Gap visitor centre and cafe, and some of the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

Crowlink is a small hamlet grouped around a manor house; in the 18th century it was a haven for smugglers of Gin that became known as "Genuine Crowlink". It was also once the home of the Edwardian author, Edith Nesbit, whose best-known work is “The Railway Children”.

Parish Councils were formed in England under the Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. Before this date a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical (church) parishes had responsibility for these matters, in a system of local government that originated in the feudal system of the 8th century. The establishment of Parish Councils effectively separated church from state and today's councils are totally secular in nature and independent from the Parochial Church Councils that deal with the administration of the local Church of England places of worship.

Following the 1894 Act, both East Dean and Friston began Parish Meetings (not council meetings) and East Dean then formed a Parish Council in 1924. The Friston Parish Meeting merged with East Dean to form the East Dean and Friston Parish Council in 1948.

Parish Councils are the first tier of local government and have limited variable tax raising powers. The component part of the Council Tax, which comes to the Parish Council, is known as the Precept.
Parish Councils are responsible for areas known as civil parishes, and there are approximately 9,000 Parish Councils in England. East Dean and Friston is one of those civil Parishes. Although there is nothing to prevent Parish Councils being political in nature, the current East Dean and Friston PC members are all independent of any party political sponsorship. The current Parish Council was elected in 2019 and is due for re-election in May 2023.