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
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

The Wadhurst Fish Van – Plea

For several years now, Wadhurst has enjoyed a unique opportunity : fresh fish caught and marketed by Peter every Thursday an Saturday morning from his van outside the Commemoration Hall (except during stormy weather or illness).

If you love fish and value Peter’s contribution to our village – and his prices are well below supermarket prices- please do support him.  His Thursday visits are no longer viable.  He intends to concentrate solely on Saturdays.

We must use him or lose him !

Do please spread the word and make his Saturdays worthwhile.

 

Update on Water Supply

Update on water supply issues from SE Water

We wanted to update you on the tap water supply issues which are currently affecting our customers across Sussex and Kent.
Yesterday, overnight and this morning we have been able to restore water supplies to 12,000 customers in the Mayfield, Bolnore Village, Cuckfield, Rotherfield and Wadhurst areas of Sussex as well as Lenham and Charing in Kent. We still have around 5,500 customers in Kent and Sussex without water.

Some areas in Sussex, such as Blackboys will have their supplies restored later this morning once the pipes have had time to refill.
In Kent the areas of Challock and Molash are currently without water as are parts of Crowborough in Sussex. We’re working hard to restore supplies here as soon as possible and we’ll continue to provide updates on our website and social media throughout the day.

Our teams have been working around the clock to find and fix pipes which ruptured due to ground movement when temperatures went well below freezing last week then increased rapidly. So far, 71 leaks have been repaired since Saturday. South East Water usually deals with eight to 10 bursts a day.

Today we will be continuing to find and repair more leaks across Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey. Customers may experience intermittent tap water supplies while repair work takes place but this will return once complete.

While we continue working to restore supplies, bottled water stations are in place at the following locations:

  • Rotherfield – Community centre, TN6 3LX (additional water on its way)
  • Wadhurst – Greyhound Pub, High Street, TN5 6AP (additional water available from 10am)
  • Crowborough – Waitrose, TN6 3LH
  • Lenham – North Down Business Park, Maidstone, ME17 2GR
  • Challock – Village green, TN25 4BL
  • Cuckfield- Beacon House, The Old Hospital car park, RH17 5HF

While we work around the clock to identify and fix these leaks, we continue to ask our customers who do have water to only use water for the essentials. Where possible, they should take short showers rather than baths, not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dishwashers when they have a full load. If possible, they should avoid using appliances at the peak times of 7am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm. This will make a real difference.

We will keep our website, Facebook and Twitter pages updated with information and bottled water stations. If you could re-tweet and report these messages on your local pages, that would be appreciated to ensure that these messages get out to as many people as possible.

Best regards

Douglas Whitfield
Head of Production                                                                                                         6th March 2018

Love nature? Care about your village?

Wadhurst Community Gardeners is a new group seeking members who are interested in caring for public green spaces around the village of Wadhurst.  They are currently working with Wadhurst Parish Council on restoring wildflowers to the following ‘green triangles’ : Sparrows Green, Turners Green , Old Station Road.  The aim is to increase biodiversity now and to preserve these iconic Sussex landmarks for future generations.

They are looking for volunteers who would like to meet on an occasional basis to help look after these spaces and also develop similar projects around the village in the future.  No need to have gardening experience, just enthusiasm !  To join the mailing list, email Wadhurstcommunitygardeners@gmail.com

The first meeting will take place in the Spring.  Ring 01892 783093 if you are not on email.

Wadhurst News

Sadly, we are once again losing a member of the Parish Council – Anne Oliver, who had had to stand down because of the requirements of her job.  We are very sorry to lose Anne, who has been an active and thoughtful member of the Council for the last couple of years.  By the time you read this, the notice of the vacancy should have been on our notice board for a while, offering people the chance to call an election.  If no election is called, we will then move on to co-opt a new member.  If you think you could make a contribution to the Parish Council, this is an excellent opportunity to find out if it is for you, because you will only be on it for a year before everyone stands again for election in May 2019.  So please think about it now.

 

Over the past year or so, there has been a steady trend for Wadhurst (like other rural areas) to lose the facilities and services it once had.  This is a national trend, caused in part by the diminishing of local authority budgets, and in part by the increasing tendency of most of us to purchase goods and services on line.  In addition, policy and commercial decisions are often made far from rural areas, in places where the impact of a “small change” on a community is not understood.  For instance, since we stopped having blood donor sessions in the village, I have been travelling to Tunbridge Wells to give blood.  A couple of weeks ago, I turned up for my booked session only to be told they had “phoned me” to say it had been cancelled.  Yes, they had, but on my mobile (which gets no signal at home) and after I had set out to get there (which now takes me the best part of an hour to drive and park).  A small example of the general lack of understanding of the needs of rural areas, but typical.

 

I’m mentioning this, of course, because yet another facility is under threat – the household recycling site.  It became a part time site (3 days a week) some time ago, now it is threatened with closure as part of East Sussex County Council’s efforts to balance their budgets.  A consultation on this will begin shortly – you should find it at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk by the time you read this.  The Parish Council will also be organizing a petition, so PLEASE DO BOTH – SIGN AND RESPOND TO THE CONSULTATION.  Closure of the site will inevitably lead to more miles driven, more pollution and more fly tipping – this is a valuable service and we must fight to keep it.

 

Times are clearly hard on the High Street too, with several shops standing empty or up for sale.  This is also something the Parish Council is very concerned about, and at our meeting in February we asked a small group of Councillors to look at what if anything the Parish Council can do to encourage trade, and tourism, and keep businesses thriving.  We are talking to Wealden District Council about how to encourage more visitors to the village centre, particularly on ways to improve links between the station and the village, but it is of course up to us too.  It’s a classic “use it or lose it” situation.  We have a great range of shops in the village at the moment, where you can buy almost anything you want, and most of them will quickly order items in for you if they don’t have them in stock.  So next time you reach for the computer to order an everyday item, ask yourself if there is an alternative just down the road.  I mentioned above that there was a vacancy on the Council – perhaps one of the High Street Traders would like to put themselves forward so their voice can be heard clearly on these matters.

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on May 15th this year – please put the date in your diary now.  The two main subjects will be the Neighbourhood Plan, and the pedestrian improvements to the High Street which should finally be put in place over the coming months.

 

We will soon be placing orders for first batch of the new “Dark Skies” street lighting which we hope to roll out eventually throughout the village, to preserve the wonderful view we have of the night sky.  Please think about whether you can do anything to improve your own lighting at home, to contribute to this – perhaps converting lights that are on outside all evening to be motion sensitive, or by shielding lighting so the beam only fall where it needs to.

 

And finally, after all I’ve said about using or losing our high street shops, if you really must leave the village, timetables for the Wealdink bus service, which links us to Crowborough, are now available in Carillon Cottage and in Jepsons.

 

I hope the weather is more spring-like by the time this is published!

 Felicity Harvest

(Chair Wadhurst Parish Council)

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.

Drought Order Permit for Bewl Water

You may have noticed that the water level of Bewl Water is depleted for this time of the year.  Southern Water has been granted a Drought Order Permit by the Environment Agency on 16th January 2018.  This will assist in the refill of Bewl Water Reservoir and reduce water abstraction. It is necessary to secure the supplies of water made available to the public.

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/