Since 2001 I have been the Coordinator for Churches Together in Sussex. I work with sixty Churches Together groups and a number of individual churches. My role is to assist them in their work, sharing good ideas and learning from their experience. I also work with the strategic leaders of the various church networks across Sussex and nationally.
On behalf of the churches in Sussex I attend a number of strategic committees and networks including Local Strategic Partnerships in the areas covered by Horsham; Chichester; Adur; Mid Sussex; Lewes and Wealden District Councils. I also participate in the Local Strategic Partnerships for West Sussex; Brighton & Hove and East Sussex. I have been chairperson for several of these LSPs previously and I currently chair the Wealden LSP.
Since 2000 I have been a board member at Sussex Central YMCA and chair of the board since 2004. The charity is one of largest local charities in Sussex and works with vulnerable young people with particular emphasis on the city of Brighton & Hove and the towns of Horsham, Crawley, Lewes and Burgess Hill. Since 2000 I have helped to facilitate and enable a number of mergers with other charities. The YMCA is a large employer in Sussex and as chair, I have been faced on a number of occasions with making some very difficult judgements. This experience will help to inform my work as Police and Crime Commissioner.
Between 2004 – 2009 I was a member of the Sussex Courts Board and then chaired the combined Surrey and Sussex Courts Board. These statutory boards were made up of candidates appointed by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs including members of the Judiciary and Magistracy as well as professional courts users and local residents. The Courts Board was developed to secure local accountability and scrutiny of all courts within Surrey and Sussex and replaced some of the functions of the Magistrates Courts Committees.
From 2002 – 2009 I was a Stakeholder member of South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA). I spent six years of this period as chair of the 17 Social and Environmental Partners and one year as Vice Chair of the entire Regional Assembly, an post which depended on being elected by a majority of the political party members within the Assembly. My membership of the Assembly helped me to understand how to work with party politicians even where differences of opinion exist. I was lead member for scrutiny for three years (scrutiny of the Regional Development Agency was one of the three core roles of the Assembly). This experience of scrutiny will assist me in understanding how to fulfil one of the core functions of the Police and Crime Commissioner.