Next Parish Council Meetings


Recreation Ground

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Pavilion is closed for the forseeable future and the tennis court has been closed during the November 2020 lockdown. The open area of the Rec. remains accessible for exercise and the play area has 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 - 23rd November 2020

The most recent meeting of the Planning Committee took place remotely on 17th November. The minutes from the meeting have now been published and can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here .

Tree Felling Work: Forestry England have informed us that timber harvesting work in Friston Forest is planned to start from 30th November and continue until the end of February 2021. The area affected will mostly be to the north of the A259 between the waterworks at Friston Bottom and The Gallops and will involve the closure of some forest footpaths. Signs will be erected in the forest car parks explaining about the work ahead of time and at the individual sites once operations commence. A map of the areas affected can be found here.

Wealden District Council have published details of waste bin collections over the Christmas period, which you can see by clicking here.

The most recent Parish Council meeting was held remotely on Thursday 5th November. The minutes have now been published and can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here

Recreation Ground: Following the passing of the Government lockdown Bill, we are obliged to close the tennis court on the recreation ground for the duration of the lockdown. The Parish Council apologise for any inconvenience caused. Fortunately, we are allowed to keep the children's play area open but users must observe social distancing.

Councillor Vacancy: Following a recent resignation from the parish council, a vacancy has arisen, and this time the council is going to be able to fill the vacancy by co-option. The council hopes to be able to co-opt one member at their December meeting – Thursday 3rd December 2020. In the event that there is more than one candidate, a vote will be taken at the December meeting.

Community Speedwatch: The East Dean and Friston Community Speedwatch group has now been registered and volunteers will be receiving training in the use of equipment once the current lockdown restrictions are over. 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

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 could be up to £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.

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.