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Conservatives win Tilgate seat in landslide victory

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It was deemed to be a close fought battle but the end result was far from close.

Councillor Maureen Mwagale was elected by a huge margin to represent Tilgate.

The final figures were:

741 Conservatives
396 Labour
82 Lib Dem
70 Green
5 Justice Party

Having been represented by both a Labour and a Conservative Councillor change came about in the last election when the Labour seat was lost and Tilgate became wholly represented by the Conservatives.

But as everyone settled down across the town to begin the work they had been elected to do then turmoil hit with the shocking passing of the newly elected Conservative Cllr Charles Petts.

Suddenly Labour had another chance to retake the seat they had so dramatically lost.

And so the canvassing began but what a time to be holding a By Election.

With all eyes on westminster as the current parliament rips into one another the last thing those in Tilgate needed was any discourse and yet here it was with news that rents for businesses on the parade were to go up by an astonishing 30%.

Just as this was taking place then upset as crime figures show the alarming increase in people reporting crime is far higher in the ward than anywhere else in the town.

Is it no wonder then that perhaps the result was always going to go against whoever was running the council?

But there are also wider implications here. Is this a sign of change ahead or is this just a bump in the road? Only time will tell but it is clear that something has riled residents up and changed their voting habits either as a result of something within the town or perhaps from actions taking place in a room in the capital overlooked by a big bell named Ben.

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Police reveal every community in Sussex to get a named PCSO

Every community in Sussex will have a named PCSO starting from next month, Sussex Police has announced.

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The confirmation follows an investment in 100 extra PCSOs secured through local funding by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner – bringing the total number to 296.

Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing Julia Chapman said the decision will put ‘eyes and ears’ into every part of the county and give local people a direct point of contact for local policing issues and concerns.

“When a new local policing model was introduced three years ago, we said it would be scalable. Now, thanks to this additional investment, we’re in a position to strengthen local policing and we know this is what local communities want to see,” she said.

“Our PCSOs do an incredible job, every day, working alongside their police officer colleagues to prevent and detect crime and tackle anti-social behaviour in local communities. 

“This change means communities will soon begin to see and feel the benefits of their investment as new PCSOs are deployed over the coming months, where they will provide a visible policing presence and be a point of contact for local policing issues.”

The change will take effect from November 4, when all existing PCSOs will adopt responsibility for a defined geographical area, and continue to be rolled out over the coming months as additional PCSOs are recruited and deployed. 

It comes in addition to recent announcements on the recruitment of 379 additional police officers for the county over the next four years, 250 funded locally and 129 through central Government funding.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said:

“My focus groups and conversations with local people clearly show that the public want PCSOs back in their communities, forming that essential and reassuring link with police.

“Neighbourhood policing needed modernising five years ago and that included giving PCSOs the necessary skills to help support police officers and investigations.

“Since then, Sussex Police have transformed PCSOs with more knowledge skills and powers, but at the same time keeping the best of the old model where PCSOs were known by their local communities.

“I know that communities across the county will be delighted to hear that Sussex Police are making their PCSOs more accessible and more visible by increasing the numbers on our streets by 100 and providing a named PCSO for each ward area.

PSCOs will continue to form part of wider local prevention teams, ensuring police resources are focused on the most critical issues, but spend more time in their dedicated area.

The uplift in PCSOs includes six new rural PCSOs who will provide specialist support and advice to those in rural communities with three based in West Sussex, two in East Sussex and one in Brighton and Hove.

The increase will help address some of the low level issues affecting communities, preventing the escalation of serious crime including violent crime.

The decision complements on-going transformation plans by Sussex Police to bolster local policing, improve public contact and modernise to remain agile and capable of responding to changing patterns of crime and vulnerability.

These additional PCSO posts are being recruited throughout the financial year with intakes of 18 in July 2019, 36 in September 2019, and 72 during two intakes in January and March 2020 under the PCSO apprenticeship scheme. 

With natural attrition the force should achieve the target of 296 PCSOs by March 2020, although the last cohort will be in training and not deployable until the end of next summer.

The 100 new posts will be allocated based on demand with details available locally and on the www.sussex.police.uk website from Monday, November 4.

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