A new survey shows the majority of LGBT people in East Sussex feel isolated and believe the government’s austerity policies are hindering moves towards equality.

The LGBT Equalities in Hastings, Rother and East Sussex Forum’s project involved giving questionnaires to LGBT people across the county.

Key findings of the survey showed 59% of LGBT respondents either sometimes or always felt isolated.

Less than a quarter who experienced a hate crime or hate incident reported it; many felt these were not important or that reporting would be a waste of time.

Meanwhile, more than half believed that austerity policies would weaken local LGBT equality.

Project leader, Nick McGlynn, a PhD researcher in the University of Brighton’s School of Environment and Technology, said the main aim was to promote positive changes. “The forum hopes that this report will raise the profile of LGBT equality issues in the local area, and that it can be used to improve public services across East Sussex.”

Julie Eason, chair of local LGBT group, Hastings & Rother Rainbow Alliance, said: “There has been a shortage of local research to understand the needs and concerns of the LGBT community, and this work adds significantly to the research base.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the University of Brighton, and others, to ensure that the needs of the local LGBT community are understood and accounted for by policy makers and service providers.”

71 people responded to the survey.