Supporting and informing our local communities

Parish Council News – August 2017

I am sad to have to report that in July a noticeboard drawing pin was stuck to the inside of the baby seat in the Five Ashes play area, sticking inwards to deliberately harm a toddler placed in the swing. I would like to thank the member of the public who alerted everyone to this via Facebook. This has been reported to Sussex police who have advised that it is not something that has been reported to them from elsewhere so appears to be a local act of particularly abhorrent vandalism. The play areas have been checked with no other problems found however, please be extra vigilant when using the equipment in case the offender decides to strike again and please report any suspicious activity to Sussex Police or to the Parish Council.

 Councillor Vacancy

At the June 2017 meeting Cllr Johnny Marsh resigned from the Parish Council as he was moving away from Mayfield and he was thanked for his time in office. Wealden District Council has confirmed that the vacancy can be by co-option and we would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in filling this Councillor vacancy to represent the ward of Mayfield. To stand as a Parish Councillor you must:

  • be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or;
  • be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or;
  • be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union;
  • be a least 18 years old.
  • be an elector of the parish, or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
  • during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.

You do not have to be connected to a political party.

The Parish Council meets once a month (for about 2 hours) except in January and August. The meetings take place in Mayfield Memorial Hall and Five Ashes Village Hall. Its following committees carry out the detailed work of the Parish Council:

  • Planning Executive
  • Finance and General Purposes Executive
  • Community Development Advisory
  • Rights of Way and Trees Advisory
  • Community Safety and Traffic Advisory

You would be expected to attend the meetings of any of the Committees that you become a member of. Committees are scheduled to meet four times a year with the exception of the Planning Committee that meets every three weeks.

Parish Council Grants

One of the important roles of the Parish Council is to provide grants to organisations within Mayfield and Five Ashes to help them move forward with their own projects. Our grants policy can be found on the Parish Council website at www.mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk in the “Key Documents” “Finance” section along with the approved grant application form. To apply for a grant for 2018/19 you will need to submit your application to the Parish Clerk by 30 September 2017 with the financial information specified on the application form. Individual grants may be made available up to a maximum of £500. They must be match funded so applicants must cover at least 50% of the total project cost. If you do not have internet access please contact the Parish Council office on 01435 873784 so a copy of the grants policy and application form can be forwarded to you.

Footpath Volunteers

The Parish Council’s “Rights of Way and Trees” Committee manages a group of volunteers who help maintain our network of paths and bridleways. There are about ten members of this irregular band, set up with help from the County Council in terms of advice, training (in health and safety and first aid), equipment and some materials. Like the host committee, the group attempts to hold the ring between the landowners of the Parish, who are responsible for maintenance and access across their land, local and visiting walkers and East Sussex County Council (ESCC). ESCC has diminishing budgets and a diminishing role in carrying out work. However, statutory responsibility for aspects such as bridge maintenance and signage off roads remains with ESCC as does enforcement of regulations.

Mayfield’s group is one of the county’s few such groups, keeping signage up to date, carrying out occasional clearance, building steps and, in special circumstances, the repair of stiles. Improving surfaces on paths is a skill that the group struggles with and is dependent on the cooperation of landowners for achievement.

The citation in the report of “The Times”, with Mayfield as the best village in Britain made no mention of the attractions of walking in the local countryside, an aspect which our group members are keenly aware of and which motivates them in their work. The undulation of the landscape, the mix of woodland and open fields, the history of agriculture and industry (often evident on walks), with seasonal wildlife and flora, make for a truly special characteristic of the Parish. The downside, of course, is the Wealden clay that can cause problems in wet winters.

The work of volunteers can be helped by responsible behaviour from walkers and riders (following the Countryside Code), which in turn makes lack of sympathy from landowners and farmers less likely. The rich network of paths and bridleways is inherited from our predecessors and needs to be kept in good shape for the future. Mayfield Primary School (aided by the High Weald AONB) has a programme of “Welly Walks” and “Woodland Walks” which depend on access to paths in all seasons and weather conditions, thus introducing the children of the Parish to the delights of our surroundings.

East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre

East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre is a registered charity working in partnership with Adult Social Care to provide a no charge mobile information and advice service for Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people living in East Sussex. It has a vehicle, funded by the Big Lottery, which is equipped to offer demonstrations of assistive equipment and hearing screening tests (when time permits).

Their mobile unit will be visiting Mayfield on Thursday 24th August 2017, and will be in The Memorial Hall Car Park, Tunbridge Wells Road from 10.30am – 3.30pm. The bus is accessible to wheelchair users and representatives from both the East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre and Adult Social Care will be available to provide individual information and advice on all aspects of hearing loss.

For further information please contact East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre:

Tel: 01323 722505 (voice/text/fax) e-mail: info@eshrc.org.uk

Overgrown Vegetation

August sees the end of the RSPB’s recommended months to avoid hedge cutting due to the nesting season. Overgrown hedges and trees (particularly overhanging branches) are a major cause of refuse vehicles not being able to access certain roads. Often the vegetation is overhanging and causes damage to the vehicles and also prevents the driver from being able to use their mirrors, particularly when reversing. Wealden District Council work closely with East Sussex Highways to ensure any problems with vegetation are resolved, however, they are unable to do so when this occurs on private or unadopted roads.

In these situations they rely strongly on residents cutting back any overhanging branches and overgrown hedges, on their property, to ensure collections can continue as scheduled. Cutting back the vegetation along the highways also improves sight lines and the visibility of road sign to assist drivers.

Aviation Noise Impacts

The Civil Aviation Authority is looking at how residents can influence the aviation industry’s noise performance, and they would like to hear from people impacted by aviation noise to get a better understanding of what they would like them to do about noise. They would like to understand what residents think they should prioritise when acting to reduce noise. Their consultation can be found at: https://consultations.caa.co.uk/policy-development/aviation-noise-impacts/ Answering the questions will help them to understand which areas people who are affected by aviation noise would like them to focus on and help to define their work programme. The consultation runs until 05 January 2018.

Wealden Works Careers Fair

Wealden District Council is inviting all local businesses to reserve a free space at the Wealden Works Careers Fair, taking place at East Sussex National on Monday 2 October, to promote their firm to young adults from across the District.

Exhibiting at the Wealden Works Careers Fair 2017 will give you the chance to:

  • Raise your profile and promote your brand, products and services;
  • Engage with hundreds of young people;
  • Be recognised for your commitment to vocational skills, training and apprenticeships;
  • Inspire the next generation and the talent of tomorrow;
  • Meet and inform key influencers, including teachers, parents and professionals from across business, the third sector and government;
  • Network, share and create new ideas with a diverse range of visitors.

If you work for or run a local businesses and would like to register , are part of a school or college interested in attending, or have any questions, please contact Kat Jenner on 01323 443266 or regeneration@wealden.gov.uk.

 Healthwatch East Sussex Information and Signposting Line

·     Healthwatch East Sussex provides an information service about accessing health and social care services.

·     The information and signposting line is open on Monday – Friday, 10am – 2pm.

·     Healthwatch East Sussex information and signposting service provides:

·     Free, friendly and confidential service that is independent from the NHS and social care services.

·     As a signposting role they can provide contact details for a range of services that best supports your request.

·     They can provide information about choices you have with regard to where you might get help in relation to your health, social care and wellbeing needs.

·     They can put you in touch with sources of information on NHS and social care services in East Sussex.

·     They can give you information about what to do when things go wrong and understanding how to make a complaint.

Contact Details: Phone:   0333 101 4007, Website:  www.healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk, Email:        enquiries@healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk

Freepost:  RTTT-­‐BYBX-­‐KCEY, Healthwatch East Sussex, 32 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3UT

 Summer Holiday Office Closure Dates

The Parish Council Office will be closed from 04 August 2017 to 18 August 2017, however it will open for the Planning Executive meeting on Monday 07 August at 9:30 am.

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