Eastbourne Panels

Eastbourne has twenty-one Neighbourhood Panels, in three main areas of the Borough:

Each panel sets it own priorities and meeting schedules, and recruits members according to local situations

Panel Chairs meet quarterly, within their districts, and the whole group meets annually.

About Neighbourhood Panels

The objectives of a Neighbourhood Panel are determined by the unique needs of the community it serves, and a Neighbourhood Panel aims to give local people and communities more influence over decision makers, so as to improve the quality-of-life issues that most affect them. They are about creating strong partnerships between local people and the agencies and service providers responsible for their area; local people working as equal partners, making their own choices, monitoring progress, and ensuring accountability.

Borough and County councillors, local people and other agencies, are now expected to work in partnership with Police to ensure crime free areas in which the people want to live and work.

Neighbourhood Panels, driven and chaired by local people, are a proven way of fostering and ensuring good working partnerships. Cash and resources are limited, and competition for them is intense; by pulling together all the agencies involved, the Neighbourhood Panel might be able to draw on a pool of funding that would otherwise not be available.

Neighbourhood Panels are mostly about identifying the root causes of problems, and trying to find resolutions whatever the law and order issue. There is a myth that only high-crime areas benefit from the creation of a Neighbourhood Panel. Not so, a Neighbourhood Panel provides a solid platform from which a strong relationship can be built between local people and the police. An added benefit is that any area with a Neighbourhood Panel is a safer one. Prevention is always better than a cure.

Neighbourhood Panels are non party-political, with the emphasis on empowering communities from the grass roots level. They can co-opt expertise from any appropriate source, as and when necessary. They can address crime and antisocial behaviour, environmental issues, highway issues, in fact all the needs of local people, and are most effective when members of the local community feed in their every-day concerns and issues.

Neighbourhood Panels are, above all, about empowering the community, and giving local people the help needed to manage their own neighbourhood.