Let’s Make It Happen - Lucy-Jo Symonds Commits to Focusing on Reducing Isolation, Increasing Participation and Inclusion – and Creating Opportunities

On 10th May, Councillor Lucy-Jo Symonds was elected as the new Mayor of Peacehaven Town for the year 2022 to 2023 by a unanimous vote from all her councillor colleagues. Lucy, who moved to Peacehaven in 1985 as a teenager, has served on the Council as an Independent Councillor for the North Ward since 2019. During her acceptance speech, Lucy reiterated her passion and dedication to the local community and has committed focusing on reducing isolation, increasing participation and inclusion and creating more opportunities for the residents of the town.

Lucy, who attended Tideway School (now the Seahaven Academy) is a single mum to four children and a proud grandmother to three grandchildren. Since moving to Peacehaven she has always been involved with the town and local community, organising many charity, fundraising and networking events, and continuously supporting local groups and charities with their own events and activities.

On being elected, Lucy said: “I am very privileged and honoured to have been elected as Mayor of Peacehaven Town. I would like to thank Councillor Sharkey and Councillor Hill for their representations as Mayor and Deputy Mayor and for all they have given to the town in their respective positions despite some very difficult challenges that they have been faced with during their term. I will work hard to continue to build on all the fantastic work and results they have achieved.”

Lucy continued: “In addition, I would like to thank my fellow Councillors who, during the last three years, have shown great dedication and commitment to the town and who give so much of their time working over a range of different committees to make positive and needed changes for the community - despite having to work against unforeseen circumstances and unprecedented times such as the COVID pandemic. I have gained so much knowledge from them and looking forward to being able to continue to provide any - and all - support that I can.”

“Peacehaven is a wonderful place to live. I think after 38 years I can say that I am in a good position to reflect on this especially as I have lived in the town as a teenager and single mum,” Lucy added.

“I have seen many changes over the years, but the biggest change has been with regard to the development of the town with an increase in the number of residents and a decrease in the services that are provided to them - and the town.

“However, we have recently seen the strong community network that has been building, where residents are coming together to fight against these losses - especially with the predicted library closure and the redevelopment of the Meridian Centre.

“It is so important to have the links with residents, as the town council is limited to what it can do. However, with the support of the community and the proactive work from the councillors, we can try to influence change with both Local and County Councils to start to revitalise and rejuvenate our town.

“During my term as Mayor, I would like to focus on reducing isolation for all, increasing participation and inclusion - and creating more opportunities.

“This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and I want to support organisations and charities to increase their memberships and look at ways that we - as a community - can create new activities and groups for everyone so that no one should have to feel, or be, alone.

“Isolation has a significant impact on both our physical and mental wellbeing and therefore by addressing this and creating new ways of engagement and participation for everyone, we can try to minimise the impact that this has on us.

“This is going to be a very busy year where I will be taking full advantage of the Deputy Mayor, Councillor David Seabrook – and, as most Councillors are aware, I do like to create ideas and make them to happen.”