Next Parish Council Meetings

Parish Council - 5th August.

Planning Committee - 17th August

Recreation Ground

Bookings are now being accepted for one-off hireings of the pavilion (subject to availability). The open area of the Rec. is accessible for exercise and the tennis court and play area are now open, 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 2021/22

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?

Latest Update - 22nd July 2021

New Council Chair and Vice-Chair: At an extraordinary council meeting held in the Village Small Hall on Tuesday 20th July, Councillor Paul Seeley was elected Chair of the Council, succeeding Councillor Mike Keller who had occupied the post for the past four years. Cllr. Seeley was formerly council Vice-Chair and so to fill this position Councillor Simon Thorogood was elected. The minutes of the meeting can be found here and you can find out more about all your Parish Councillors by clicking here.

The most recent meeting of the Planning Committee took place in the Village Small Hall on Tuesday 20th July. The minutes can be viewed on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here.

Calling all Village Clubs and Societies:The Parish Council have agreed to continue with the annual grant scheme for local groups in 2021/22. A maximum of £2000 will be available to be shared among applicants, so if your group needs funds to restart after the pandemic or has a project that needs financial help, please contact the Parish Clerk at for further details.

The latest full Parish Council meeting took place in the main Village Hall on Tuesday 29th June. The minutes have now been published and can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here.

Defibrillator donated to Beachy Head Chaplaincy: The Parish Council have presented one of the defibrillators obtained from the former first responders group, for use by the Beachy Head Chaplaincy. For the full story go to our "News and Information Page" or click here. We are also pleased to announce that the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team have been chosen as the Parish Council's Charity of the Year 2021/22.

Community Speedwatch: The traffic problems experienced over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend have made the establishment of a Community Speedwatch group ever more urgent. The East Dean and Friston group has now been registered and volunteers have now begun receiving training from the police 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

The Recreation Ground Pavilion is now available for hire (subject to availability). Hirers will, however, have to ensure that Coronavirus restrictions in force at the time of the hire are strictly observed. For further information, please contact the Parish Clerk.

Cuckmere Buses Return: Cuckmere Buses plan to resume all services to their pre-COVID timetables from 12 April. Therefore, East Dean Service 41 will be back to running on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 13 April. Social distancing will need to continue so buses will only be able to accommodate up to 10 passengers. For timetable details click on the "Community Services"link or here.

Annual Village Meeting: The Parish Council have reluctantly accepted that, for the second year running, it will not be possible to hold an Annual Village Meeting. The rules for such meetings require that they be held between 1st March and 1st June but, under the current restrictions, indoor meetings of more than 30 people will not be possible before 21st June. An annual village report will still be produced and published in due course.

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.