The Parish Council wishes a Merry Christmas to all residents of Mayfield and Five Ashes and a Peaceful New Year.

 

Wealden Local Plan and Conservation Areas Consultations

During November, Councillors and Lay Members of the Community Development Committee have been spending a good deal of time working through these consultations. As informed in last month’s newsletter this plan will shape Wealden District (excluding the South Downs National Park) over the next 22 years. The section of the consultation on Wealden Conservation Areas is particularly pertinent to our Parish. There are recommendations to extend the existing Conservation Area in Mayfield and for new areas to be introduced at Coggins Mill and in Five Ashes.

The closing date for the consultation is 5pm on 14 December 2015 so there is still time for you to have your say. All of the documents relating to the consultation can be found on the Wealden District Council’s website at www.wealden.gov.uk/wealdenlocalplan and they are also available for viewing in the Parish Council office.

 

Rights of Way update

We rarely report on the activities on one of our more enterprising committees – The Rights of Way and trees. Apart from the admin side we also run a team of volunteers who help repair stiles, install finger posts, cut back vegetation, and generally monitor our paths and bridleways.

Recently we have undertaken to build some steps on footpath 14 at Cranesden where a particularly steep and muddy slope had made navigation difficult. I am pleased to report that our crack team of volunteers installed no less than 30 steps on either side of the stream and hope this will make this section safer and easier to navigate. My thanks go, on this occasion to, Peter Cudmore. Tim Cornish, Andrew Burnett, Janet Crossley, Rob Foster and Jerry Watkiss – a fine mornings work!

We hope our efforts go some way in ensuring our rights of ways are enjoyed by all and if the thought of a mornings activity in the fresh air appeals to you, do get in touch with the Parish Council office – its good fun and a sure way to enjoy the sticky delights of the Wealden Clay!

 

Winter Maintenance

Preparations are being made to make sure we are prepared for the winter. Our grit bins are full however when the temperature does drop please remember that the salt is for communal paths and roads and not for personal use!

East Sussex has informed that they have taken their gritters out on their practice runs and are now on standby for any cold-snap events. With temperatures predicted to fall this winter all of their gritters were taken out on their gritting routes to make sure that their drivers are familiar with them and that there are no obstructions. You can see which roads in the area are being gritted by visiting:

www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/roads/maintenance/saltingandgritting On this webpage you can see updates on daily gritting decisions and maps of the routes and zones. If you are interested in finding out if they are gritting overnight and at weekends you can follow them on twitter @esccroads  www.twitter.com

Get Ready for Winter – whatever the weather

The Met Office is hosting the ‘Get Ready for Winter’ web pages on behalf of a range of Government departments and voluntary organisations at: www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/get-ready-for-winter . The pages offer advice and links to a range of information to help individuals, families and communities prepare for every aspect of the winter season. By taking simple steps, such as signing up to The Met Office’s National Severe Weather Warning Service members of the public can ensure they keep warm, healthy and safe this winter.As the Met Office’s new corporate Charity, the RNLI also play a key part in this campaign, providing advice and information for people preparing for coastal walks and being at sea.

So how can you be more prepared for severe weather?

  • Prepare your property and vehicle ahead of winter, and take responsibility for your own safety.
  • Be aware of the latest weather forecasts and warnings from the Met Office.
  • Be prepared to alter your plans in times of severe weather.
  • Look after the elderly and more vulnerable in your community.

 

Protecting your home during winter

  • Leaving your home during hours of darkness, without putting a light on or drawing the curtains, is an open invitation to the opportunist criminal that there is no-one at home.
  • Use an automatic time switch on an indoor light, either in a room that cannot be peered into from the road, or upstairs. Regularly change the timing on the switch.
  • Put a time switch on a radio that has been tuned to a chat station, this will give the impression that the house is occupied. Regularly change the timing on the switch.
  • Fit security lighting, either dusk to dawn energy efficient lighting that will come on automatically as dusk sets in, or brighter passive infrared activated lighting drawing attention to movement.
  • Ensure that gates or access to the rear of the house are locked and secure. Don’t forget to lock your shed, your tools can be used to break in. Trim overgrown plants – don’t give burglars a hiding place.
  • Secure windows, paying particular attention to those on the ground floor and above flat roof areas. Use locks and bolts and keep all your keys, including car keys, out of sight and out of reach.
  • Property mark your valuables by using your postcode and your house number or name. Some articles are unsuitable for marking so photograph them – with a ruler in view to show scale.
  • Intruder alarms are an effective deterrent against burglars. Before choosing a system ensure it is the one most suitable for your needs

Draft Waste and Minerals Sites Plan consultation

East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and the South Downs National Park Authority have jointly produced a consultation draft Waste and Minerals Sites Plan. This Plan sets out where waste and minerals development may take place to meet the requirements contained within the Waste and Minerals Plan, adopted in February 2013. The Plan also safeguards existing sites that are already contributing to the management of waste or production of minerals within the Plan area. They are now seeking representations from all stakeholders and members of the public on the soundness and legal compliance of the Draft Waste and Minerals Sites Plan, over a period of eight weeks.

Comments should be made between 28 October and 23 December 2015. The Draft Plan and a full set of supporting documentation can be found online at http://consult.eastsussex.gov.uk. There are four categories of sites identified in the Draft Plan:

  • Allocation of sites for potential waste uses;
  • Areas of Opportunity on previously developed or allocated land;
  • Areas of Search;
  • Expansion to Existing Waste Sites.

A draft policy is also proposed on existing industrial sites that may be suitable for waste development within the Plan area. A schedule of existing industrial estates which may be suitable for waste development has also been produced and is available to view on the consultation portal.

How do I make representations?

The online consultation portal has been designed to make submitting comments via a website much easier. Anyone can view the proposed consultation draft documents on the portal but to make comments you will need to have a username. If you have not registered before please click on the ‘Login/Register’ icon on the website and enter your details. Please contact us (details below) if you encounter any problems.

You can also submit your representations by completing the online form and emailing to wasteandmineralsdf@eastsussex.gov.uk. Representations can also be sent to us by post to the following address:

Waste and Minerals Sites Plan Regulation 19 Consultation 2015, Planning Policy and Development Management Team, West Floor C, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, BN7 1UE.

If you have any queries please email wasteandmineralsdf@eastsussex.gov.uk or telephone either: East Sussex County Council, Waste & Minerals Planning Policy team on 01273 481846; or Brighton & Hove City Council, Planning Policy team on 01273 292505.

Rooted In The Community

The strength and wellbeing of urban and rural communities alike is rooted in its trees. Strong healthy trees are a mark of a strong healthy community, and to continue to grow strong together, it’s essential for communities to keep on planting trees. Each winter, The Tree Council inspires thousands of people across Britain to join forces and plant upwards of a million trees during National Tree Week – the UK’s largest tree festival.

Launched in 1975, National Tree Week is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The campaign has its roots in the national response to the Dutch Elm Disease crisis of the 1960s, which destroyed millions of trees. Communities across the UK answered the call to help replenish their depleted treescapes by taking part in the groundbreaking Plant a Tree in ‘73 initiative. Following the campaign’s success, The Tree Council was founded and the first ever National Tree Week took place two years later.

We are once again facing a major threat to our trees in the form of ash dieback. To stem the damage to our landscapes and neighbourhoods, it is more essential than ever that we grow more trees in our parks, streets, woods and green spaces. Tree planting activities and workshops are taking place around the country organised by schools, community groups, The Tree Council’s member organisations and its volunteer Tree Wardens. Details can be found on The Tree Council’s interactive ‘Near You’ map, while tips for hosting an event and a downloadable poster to promote it are also available via the website: http://www.treecouncil.org.uk.

Natwest Banking Service

The Natwest mobile banking service is now operating on Mondays from 13:15 – 14:45 in the Memorial Hall car park in Tunbridge Wells Road, Mayfield.

 PCSO Surgery

This month’s PCSO surgery will be on Wednesday 9th December at 11am in the Parish Council office.

Christmas Opening times

Over the Christmas holiday the Parish Council office will closed from Wednesday 23rd December and will reopen on Monday 4th January 2016.