From the Parish Council August 2018

With all the wonderful weather we have been having in June and July, like many others, I have spent more time in my garden.  Usually I enjoy the sight of many butterflies and bees feeding on my Buddleia bushes and other flowers.  Sadly there seems to be fewer butterflies this year and I did not spot the first Peacock until mid July.  As a Parish Council, we have had a request from the Beekeepers Association of the High Weald to ask our community to be on the look out for Asian Hornets (as opposed to our native European Hornet) which are invading the British Isles from Europe.  These aggressive predatory insects have been killing our honey bees and other pollinators. Please report any sightings to the Beekeepers so they can deal with these hornets.

Wadhurst Household Recycling Centre                                                                                      Following the decision made by East Sussex County Council to close this much-used local facility on 30th September, the Parish Council decided at its July meeting to investigate alternative ways, perhaps setting up a Community Interest Company, to run the Recycling Centre.  The Parish Council cannot, according to current legislation, take on the Centre.  Cllr Bob Standley has arranged a meeting with the officer at East Sussex County Council who is responsible for Household Recycling Centres so we examine in detail the financing of running the Wadhurst Centre.  Any shortfall in income would possibly be made up by a small entrance charge for each visit.

Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan                                                                                                                The steering group has been very busy getting the message out locally through handouts, questionnaires and an exhibition.  From the Annual Parish Meeting, they got 400 comments.  Leafleting commuters at Wadhurst Railway Station for a week, resulted in 10 returned questionnaires.  In June at the Primary School and Tidebrook Fetes, 30 were returned.  The official launch day in the Commemoration Hall was well-attended and produced 600 ideas and comments as well as 25 volunteers for Focus groups.  At Wadhurst Country Fair another 4 volunteered their help.  Analysis of the comments so far reveals the key issues are highways/ parking and the variety of shops/facilities (20% of the returns).  There is interesting ‘evidence’ on the depth of feeling on the Wadhurst Recycling Centre and better mobile reception/broadband.

The next step is to set up Focus Groups to develop themes, vision, policies and include the many additional volunteers who showed an interest in the Neighbourhood Plan.  Also having set up a website, Twitter and Facebook, we are looking for a Social Media expert to really focus on this in order to get better engagement with the younger generation.

Wealden Local Plan Draft Proposed Document                                                                                 This contains a range of environmental measures to ensure growth can proceed without causing irreversible damage to our regionally important local ecology. The proposals are in line with the latest Government aims to meet the widespread housing need. Mitigation measures and a thorough review system will ensure that the growth and prosperity needed in Wealden does not conflict with our many environmental responsibilities. These include Ashdown Forest, one of the largest stretches of lowland heath in Britain. Developers will be expected to install certain infrastructure items on site and make a contribution to ensure this protection succeeds. The Wealden Local Plan will meet its Objectively Assessed Housing Need.  The focus of growth remains on the south but the 2018 Plan allows for a more balanced approach to housing and economic growth across the District to reduce the need to commute. It outlines opportunities for retail and employment to support this.

Smaller sites for housing allocations have been identified within sustainable settlements, such as Wadhurst. Windfall developments, taking advantage of opportunities that arise within existing development boundaries, may account for further dwellings. Some of these can be delivered through Neighbourhood Development Plans, which allow the local community an involvement in site allocation.

Governing the progress of the Local Plan will be the Constraints and Review Mechanism. Land won’t be released without the timely provision of the infrastructure necessary to deliver housing. This includes transport improvements in the mitigation measures for Ashdown Forest Special Area of Conservation. If these do not take place, it will trigger a review, in part or in whole, of the Plan.

The delivery of road improvements, schools and medical provision has always been a key part of the Wealden Local Plan. Wealden will be working with key local stakeholders, strategic transport providers and developers to enable the funding and delivery of the strategic road and rail infrastructure at the earliest opportunity.

The Draft of the Local Plan Proposed Submission Document takes into account the earlier Issues Options & Recommendations consultation which took place during the autumn of 2015 and resulted in 2,038 responses from 412 residents and organisations. It was presented to a meeting of Wealden District Council’s Full Council on 18 July and was approved.  There will be a period from 13th August to 8th October 2018 when the public can make representations as to the soundness of the Plan, before it is sent to an independent Planning Inspector for a final decision.

The Wealden Local Plan Draft Proposed Submission document, as well as its accompanying documents, the Implementation and Monitoring Framework, the Habitats Regulations Assessment and the Sustainability Appraisal can be found on the Wealden District Council website with Local Plan Sub Committee agenda papers http://council.wealden.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=534&MId=4548&Ver=4

It will be an item on the agenda of the September meeting of Wadhurst Parish Council.

Graham Wells

Chairman, Wadhurst Parish Council

From the Parish Council July 2018

From the Parish Council

 

With the Chair of the Parish Council, Cllr Graham Wells on holiday, I am pleased to be writing to you all this month.

 

How can we Treasure our Environment?

One of the major comments coming out of the Annual Village Meeting a few weeks ago was how much Wadhurst residents value our rural setting.  In the exercise identifying the things we liked about the village, over half of those attending specifically noted the surrounding countryside as being something they treasured.   In the Parish Council we are responding to your comments and are looking to manage our roadside verges in a way that will enhance the development of wild flowers and wildlife.  In the past East Sussex County Council has undertaken the cutting of the verges around the village. The vigorous growth of the verges in the village and in the lanes this year is not only a result of a very wet spring, but also the reduction by the County Council in the number of cuts from four to two a year as part of their cost cutting measures.  Reducing the cuts to two does give us the opportunity to encourage the development of wild flowers, if the cuts are taken at the right time and managed appropriately!  We have therefore agreed with the County Council that if they gave us the funding we would arrange for the verges to be cut at the optimum time of year.  We will be approaching the communities around the village in the coming months to ask local residents whether they would like to mow the verges near their houses more frequently or whether they would prefer to increase biodiversity and develop wildlife verges.

 

A number of residents have formed Wadhurst Community Gardeners to help improve the quality and biodiversity of our urban spaces.  Helen Yemm (garden writer and lecturer) and Nessie Ramm (a local artist) are acting as consultants to introduce proven techniques of transitioning grassland into rich wild-life meadow.  You will be pleased to know that the wildlife meadow at the Jardin d’Aubers, outside the fire station, has been re-seeded and selected triangles in Wadhurst have been selected to use these techniques.

 

The Future of Wadhurst Recycling Centre is in the Balance

Cllr Bob Standley and I delivered the Village’s petition with 2,684 signatures to the Chair of ESCC at the close of the consultation on May 15th.  The Chair of the Parish Council and I have been invited to speak to the Cabinet of the County Council on June 25th before they make their decision.  I would like to thank the students from Uplands and the Wadhurst Primary School for all they have done to raise this issue in their schools and further afield.

 

Have your say in the Rail fares consultation 
The Parish Council has been asked to respond to a public consultation on rail fares that is being conducted by the train operator companies.  The consultation asks about various options for charging train fares. A prominent example is the idea of making discounts for off-peak travel higher or lower, with compensating increases or decreases in peak hour fares. Another example is changing the way in which reductions are offered to regular travellers.

While the Parish Council will respond (and will take account of residents views) it is also urging members of the public to respond directly. You can do this by visiting britainrunsonrails.co.uk/fares. If you would like to raise points for the Parish Council to consider in its submission, please email them to clerk@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk For those who prefer not to work online, copies of the survey will be available in Carillon Cottage”

 

Local Wealden Plan

After over two years of consultation the Wealden Plan is about to be published.  The Plan frames development within the District over the coming years. Wealden report that the Proposed Submission Wealden Local Plan will be published for the Joint Planning Committee on 6th July 2018.

 

Get involved in determining our Future of our village

What will the village look like in 10, 20 or 30 years?  The Neighbourhood Plan identifies what the community decides our vision should be and what needs to happen to achieve that vision. The Neighbourhood Plan sits alongside the Wealden Plan and must be taken into consideration by the planning authorities when making decisions on local developments.  If you want to help shape our future, there are lots of opportunities for getting involved.  Speak to Jonathon Bishop, the Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group or one of the Wadhurst Parish Councillors on the Group (Chris Morris, Lynda Moore, Felicity Harvest). Email: wadhurstnpp@gmail.com or visit the website: www.wadhurstnp.org.  Thank you.

 

Anthony Dunnett

Vice Chair, Wadhurst Parish Council

Wadhurst News April-May 2018

From the Parish Council

 We have a new member of the Council.   I’d like to welcome Alan Buckle, who has a background in both accountancy and public policy.  He is Chair of the Child Poverty Action Group and an active member of Wadhurst Runners.

I am delighted to say that we now have over 2000 signatures on the petition to save the recycling site, and though there are still copies around which you can sign, our focus is moving now to trying to influence the politicians by other means.  Even if you have signed the petition, please do also respond to the ESCC Household Waste Site Consultation available on the ESCC website or Google ESCC waste recycling consultation: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/household-waste-recycling-sites-have-your-say-1/.   This is not “double counting” – it is the formal consultation, rather than the petition, and both are important.  And please keep up the social media campaign: send a ‘selfie’ of yourself at the site at Faircrouch Lane to bmeredeen@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk or attach it to a tweet #wadhurstrecycles.  We have a month yet till the consultation closes – now is the time to make your views heard.

Just one more reminder that the Annual Parish Meeting will be on May 15th this year, where one of the main subjects will be the Neighbourhood Plan.  You should find a newsletter about this in this copy of Focus.  There will also be a formal launch of the Neighbourhood Plan consultation on Saturday 23rd June (please note change of date).  I am delighted to say that since last month, a couple more members have joined the steering group, but we still need more – Contact the Steering Group on 07757 141221 if you’d like to get involved, or email wadhurstnpp@gmail.com.

At the April meeting, the Council gave the go-ahead to a small working group to look at how we might support the High Street – we want to do our bit to make it a lively and exciting place to be.  So we will be looking at the feasibility of the Council itself taking a short term let on one of the shops, if a suitable one is available at the right price, which we could use from time to time as a public face for the Parish Council or the Neighbourhood Plan, and which could hopefully be used as a “pop up” shop by local businesses, charities and individuals for just a few days as a temporary high-street presence to promote their services or sell their wares.  If you are at all interested in this, please contact Cllr Morris and let him know what your interest is – 01892 783226 or cmorris@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk.

We have now agreed an outline emergency plan which is on our website.  Hopefully it won’t be needed for a while!

The verges in the village areas (rather than on the roads outside the villages) used to be cut by East Sussex County Council, but they have now stopped doing this (unless the Parish Council is prepared to pay a considerable amount for them to do it).  So we have taken their offer of a small amount of money which will pay for us to do some cutting ourselves.  However, we are going to do it a bit differently.  The Parish Council has a commitment to biodiversity, and so we will try and encourage the return of wildflowers and a greater variety of plants to the verges.  This may mean less regular cutting, except in those areas where safely is an issue (for instance, where growth on verges might obscure your view of oncoming traffic).  And, while on the subject of roadsides, we are working with the newly formed Wadhurst Community Gardeners to find ways to encourage the growth of wildflowers on the little grass triangles around the parish.  In order to support this, we are looking at ways to fund the installation of curbs, which might just deter drivers from driving over the triangles – which at the moment are only protected by the shiny windmills which have been added to them by wellwishers!

And finally, I really do mean finally:  this is my last Focus article because I will stand down as Chair at the coming Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council in May, having done my full 3 years.  I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Councillors for all the hard work they have put in, Parish Council staff past and present, and those of you who have read these articles, acted on them, and even from time to time said they were interesting.  I’ve certainly enjoyed the role, and look forward to supporting a new Chair next year.

Felicity Harvest

(Chair Wadhurst Parish Council)

 Contacts: fharvest@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk. tel 783226, or the Clerk (Amanda Barlow) – The Pavilion, Sparrows Green Recreation Ground, TN5 6TW, tel 07375 062428, email clerk@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk.  Fiona Hensher, Finance Officer, address as above, email rfo@wadhurst-pc.gov.ukFollow us on Twitter:  @wadhurstpc.  Website: www.wadhurst-pc.gov.uk.  Or download the free Wadhurst Parish Council app for your Apple or Android mobile device.  Search for ‘Wadhurst Parish Council’ in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Save our Recycling Centre at Wadhurst

Subject: The Proposed Closure of the Household Waste Recycling Site on Faircrouch Lane

Dear Friends and Residents of Wadhurst and the Surrounding Villages

 

Many of you may have already heard of East Sussex County Council’s short-sighted decision to close Wadhurst Household Waste Recycling Centre as part of the cost cutting measures. Any decision to close the recycling centre will increase fly tipping, reduce overall recycling, increase traffic and pollution on the roads to Crowborough, Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells, increase transport costs to residents and increase traffic movements across the Ashdown Forest.  We will be circulating a petition to all Wadhurst’s Clubs, Societies and the shops in the village.  We will also be speaking to the local schools and the Parish Councils in the surrounding villages.  You may well be accosted at the station or on a Saturday morning the High Street in coming weeks!  The consultation closes May15th. but we don’t want to leave any response until the last minute.

 

PLEASE ADD YOUR VOICE AND SIGN THE PETITION.  In addition, can you please:

Would you consider approaching your friends and neighbours?  If so, please print off a copy of the attached “Keep Wadhurst Recycling Petition”. Once you have filled out a sheet, please take the completed forms to Carillon Cottage on the High Street.

With many thanks for supporting your community in this way.

 

Kind regards

Anthony Dunnett

                                                KEEP WADHURST RECYCLING

We the undersigned deplore the short-sighted decision of East Sussex County Council to close Wadhurst Household Waste Recycling Centre as part of the cost cutting measures. Any decision to close the recycling centre will: increase fly tipping, reduce overall recycling; increase traffic and pollution on the roads to Crowborough, Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells, increase transport costs to residents and increase traffic movements across the Ashdown Forest.  We the residents of local villages who use this site ask that the decision be reversed and our local recycling centre be retained.

 

Name Post Code Comment Date Signature
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

New flats & houses to rent or part-buy 2019

Wealden District Council will have 6 one and 2 bed flats and houses to rent and 6 two and 3 bed houses for shared ownership available approximately in August 2019. The location is the Lower High St., Wadhurst.  To apply for rented accommodation, you must be on the Council’s Housing Register.  Preference will be given to applicants with a local connection.  For details, go to www.wealden.gov.uk/applyforhousing or phone 01323 443390.

Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan website 2018

Wadhurst Parish Council is pleased to announce that in the first quarter of 2018 the Steering Group which is leading the development of the Neighbourhood Plan will start the process of community engagement to gather the views and opinions of those living and working in and around Wadhurst about the future of our neighbourhood.

For more information on this community led plan, please see the Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan website https://www.wadhurstnp.org/

Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan

The Area Designation for the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) has been submitted to Wealden District Council. The Parish Council has several volunteers who want to help with the NP and a Steering Committee has been set up to guide us through the process.  Its Terms of Reference will be brought to Full Council for agreement on 12th October.