Council Structure

The Parish Council consists of nine members, supported by the Parish Clerk, and Council meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of each month (except September) in the Village Hall starting at 6.30pm. From April 2020 meetings have been held remotely using the Zoom platform, however members of the public are still able to observe procedings and submit items for the public session at the start. The meeting agendas, which are posted on the council noticeboard and on the "Council Meetings" page of this website, contain the necessary codes to allow public access.

The Parish Council has one Standing Committee - Planning - which meets on the third Tuesday of each month also in the Village Hall. All Councillors sit on this committee. Like the main council meetings, these committee meetings have been held remotely since April 2020.

Members of the public are very welcome to attend any of the Parish Council or Committee Meetings. At the start of every meeting there is a public session at which members of the public are permitted to make representations in respect of any item of business. Since the start of remote meetings it has been neccessary to ask that these representations are submitted in writing to the Parish Clerk, no later than 24 hours before the meeting begins.

Agendas are placed on the Downlands Way and Car Park Noticeboards, as well as the Council website The Minutes of all Parish Council and Committee Meetings are included in the Council website. From September 2015 all decision papers are also posted on this website. 

The Parish Council (and the Committee) operate within a strict Governance framework which is set out in three formal documents. These are Standing Orders (operating rules), Code of Conduct (behavioural rules) and Financial Regulations. These documents are included within the Governance section of the 'On Line Library' on this site.. The Terms of Reference of the Planning Committees are also held within the Governance section. 


What Do We Do?

In essence the Parish Council is a statutory body - a branch of local government - which is responsible for what goes on in East Dean, Friston, Birling Gap & Crowlink and which represents all who live here.

The Parish Council owns the Recreation Ground, cricket pavilion, playground, tennis courts, Friston Green (including the pond & car park) and Downlands Way car park. It maintains all of these along with the bus shelters, the white highway finger posts, numerous waste bins, public seats, and 38 rights of way. The Council is the custodian trustee of the Village Hall



In addition, we are responsible for, amongst other things:

a) the Village Design Statement (VDS) to help influence the planning authority (SDNP) in determining short and long-term planning and development issues for the village

b) commenting to SDNP on local planning applications (anyone interested may come along and speak about any application at our monthly planning meetings)

c) the Village Emergency Plan and Self-Help Guide (available here or from the clerk)

d) liaising generally with ESCC, SDNP and WDC (eg on speeding, parking facilities, verge cutting)

e) working with and supporting the Parochial Church Council, the Village Hall Trust, the Residents Association and other local groups

f) supporting and encouraging East Dean Responders and Community Watch

g) supporting the twice-weekly shopping bus service (timetable)

h) mowing certain areas of grass and Rights of Way - Village Green, Church Green, Friston Pond, the Greensward, the Recreation Ground, and strimming some 10 footpaths in the village

i) arranging the Annual Village Meeting

j) aiming at good value for money for that portion of the council tax we receive.

The Council aims to act in a responsible, ethical, democratic and transparent manner. Its meetings are held at 6.30pm in the Village Hall on the first Thursday in each month (not September). So why not come along and let us hear your views?

Who Looks After What?

The following tables show which organisation/group looks after what for the village. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, rather to help direct residents to who may be able to help for specific items.

Parish Council 

Annual Village Meeting
Bonfire Display
Bus Shelter Maintenance
Downlands Way Car Park
Emergency Plan

Flag Flying on The Green
Footpaths & Associated Signs
Friston Pond

Litter Bins
Mowing, Strimming and Verge Cutting*
Parish Council Noticeboards (3)
Parish Council Website
Planning (see also SDNP)
Playground Maintenance

Police Liaison
Public Seats
Recreation Ground
Village Design Statement
War Memorial

*a shared responsibility with ESCC and WDC

Wealden District Council

Benefits and Council Tax
Birling Gap Coast Guard
Building Control
Bus Passes
Car Parks (WDC owned)

Council Housing
Dog Bin Collections and Dog Fouling
Elections Management
Environment, Noise and Pollution
Food Safety and Hygiene

Fly Tipping
Pest Control
Recycling and Waste Collection

East Sussex County Council

Conservation and Wildlife
Education and Schools (incl pre-school)
Highways (eg drains, gritting,
potholes) and pavements

Parking Permits
Public Transport
Recycling Centres

Registry Office
Rights of Way
Social Care (adult, youth, child)
Trading Standards

Southdowns National Park

Planning Authority (Applications)
Planning Enforcement