Next Parish Council Meetings


Recreation Ground

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Pavilion,  and Play area are closed for the forseeable future. The open area of the Rec. remains accessible for exercise and the tennis court 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 (Service resuming on 18th June)
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 - 9th August 2020

The most recent Parish Council meeting took place remotely on Thursday 6th August, The agenda can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here. The minutes of the meeting will be published shortly.

Council Vacancies: The Parish Council currently have three vacancies for councillors. We have now been informed by Wealden District Council that a request has been received from ten residents for 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 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. For further information, please contact the parish clerk (details here).

East Sussex County Council have issued plans for a new two-way road bridge over the Cuckmere River at Exceat. You can view the document on the ESCC website or by clicking here. The consultation period for this has now closed, but the plans may still be of interest.

Anti-social drivers from outside the village have recently been causing much danger, noise and disruption, particularly in the Friston Hill, Gilberts Drive and Birling Gap Road areas. 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 a local Speedwatch team, please contact the Parish Council at

Cuckmere Buses have announced that the No. 41 Tuesday bus service is being brought back from 11th August, in addition to the existing Thursday one. There is still no pm service but they have changed the morning times marginally to allow passengers a little extra time in town (at their request). The revised timetable for Tuesday and Thursday can be found here.

An Extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council was held on Thursday 30th July to approve the placing of an order with contractors to move the Cricket square at the recreation ground. The minutes of the meeting can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here. Now that the work has been approved, the contractors should begin towards the end of August, allowing plenty of time for the new Cricket square to bed in before the start of the 2021 season.

The most recent meeting of the Planning Committee took place remotely on Tuesday 21st July. The minutes can be found on our "Council Meetings" page or by clicking here.

Play Area and Pavilion: Although the government have now allowed children's play areas to reopen, there are strict regulations in place governing their use and the cleaning regimes that must be followed, including the need for a full safety inspection. The Parish Council has ordered a safety inspection which will be carried out on 19th August, so, unfortunately, the play area on the Recreation Ground must remain closed for now. The Pavilion will also remain closed and unavailable for private hire for the forseeable future. The council apologises for any inconvenience these continued closures may cause.

Dog Waste: Regretably during recent weeks, there seems to have been an increase in bagged dog waste being left around the village, particularly along the twittens (footpaths). We appeal to all dog walkers to please use litter and dog waste bins where provided or take their waste home for disposal. Dropping dog waste in public areas is an offence and, if observed, can lead to a fixed penalty of £75 or to a summons to magistrates court, where the maximum fine is £1000. Anyone witnessing dog waste being left can report it to WDC via their website.

Wealden Council have advised us of a special Covid-19 information website that they have established giving up to date information for residents and businesses in the area. For more information go to 

 ·     Wealden Citizens Advice continues to be there to help in this time of national crisis. Whilst all face to face contact has been suspended, clients can continue to access the service through Adviceline on 0300 330 9022 and the Text facility.

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.