A NEW strategy to reduce rough sleeping in Eastbourne and Lewes was launched at an event attended by around 40 people.

Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council have been working with key partners such as police, charities, business leaders and government agencies to develop the Street Community Strategy.

The overarching plan is in response to an increase in the number of people sleeping, drinking or begging on local streets in the last two years.

Councillor Ron Maskell, Lewes’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “We are working closely with our partners to ensure appropriate services are accessible to members of the street community and that an effective route into settled housing is established for rough sleepers.

“Our priority is that the streets are safe for everyone.”