How East Sussex County Council works

Political leadership of the Council

East Sussex County Council is a ‘no overall control’ council, with a Conservative minority administration.

The residents of East Sussex elect 50 councillors (also known as members). The people who stand for election as councillors may belong to:

  • one of the national political parties
  • a local political party, or
  • be completely independent of a political party.

The last County Council elections took place on 4 May 2017. The current political make-up of East Sussex County Council is:

  • 30 Conservative
  • 11 Liberal Democrats
  • four Labour
  • three Independent
  • two Independent Democrats 

What councillors do

Councillors make sure that the services that the Council provides meet the needs of residents and those who work in the county.

They do this by setting the overall policies and strategies for the Council and by monitoring the way in which these are carried out.

The full Council of 50 councillors is responsible for agreeing the main policies and priorities for all services, including the Council’s budget. They meet six times a year and meetings are open to the public. Visit our page about meetings of the full Council for more information.

You should talk to your councillor if:

  • you want to influence the future development of the county
  • you want to influence specific things going on in your area
  • you have a problem that cannot be solved by officers

What Council officers do

Council officers are the people who work for the Council and who are paid to deliver the services agreed by councillors.

Chief officers help councillors to develop policies and objectives. Their main role is to provide the public with the highest possible standards of service within the money that the Councillors make available.

Full details of individual roles of our chief officers

Council departments and responsibilities

The five East Sussex County Council departments and their main responsibilities are:

  • Adult Social Care and Health
    Provide social care services for residents over 16, including residential care and sensory care services. It also has the public health remit.
  • Governance Services
    Provides advice on governance of the council, including legal and constitutional arrangements.
  • Children’s Services
    Provide social care for people under 16, state education and other childcare services.
  • Business Services
    Responsible for managing our finances, IT, human resources, procurement and property.
  • Communities, Economy and Transport
    Responsible for community services such as libraries and registrars, customer access/services, roads, transport planning, economy and the East Sussex environment.

Both councillors and officers work together to supply these services for East Sussex.