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.

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