‘Redeem Our Communities’ launch event

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LEADING church officials have joined forces with police and fire chiefs to launch ROC - Redeeming our Communities - at the Winter Garden.

Sussex Chief Constable Martin Richards and the Borough Commander for the Fire & Rescue Service Julie Gilbert-King were among 400 people who attended the event to hear the speakers explain that through faith, partnerships and action, relationships within the community of Eastbourne can be created, improved and energised.

The evening was introduced by chair of Churches Together for Eastbourne, Martyn Relf, who thanked all those who had helped to bring ROC to Eastbourne.

The Chief Constable spoke about public service and likened the police service to that of the clergy with many shared principles such as the desire to form strong, positive communities and promoting equality, fairness and respect for all.

The Community Safety Partnership was one of a number of organisations that were represented at the meeting with information stalls.

The Eastbourne Police stall was staffed by sergeants Fi Munro and Ed Ripley and there were numerous other information stalls for organisations such as Save the EDGH, Eastbourne Foodbank, the Winter Night Shelter and Action for Change.

A presentation by the senior head of Community at Eastbourne Borough Council, Ian Fitzpatrick, highlighted how Neighbourhood Management relied on a partnership approach to help improve all aspects of community life including health, job creation and education opportunities.

Portfolio holder for Community at Eastbourne Borough Council and Devonshire councillor Margaret Bannister said, “The launch of ROC in Eastbourne will enable the different organisations and faiths to transform the lives of many people by working together much more closely.

“We know that the experience of Redeeming Our Communities in other towns and cities has helped cut crime and antisocial behaviour which is already very low in Eastbourne.”

The next stages of ROC will be developed at a meeting at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday, November 24, starting at 7pm.