Annual Parish Meeting

At the time of writing this article the Annual Parish Meeting on 22 May had not yet been held. In case you were unable to attend the Chairman’s report review of the last year follows:

 

One of our Councillors for Five Ashes had to tender his resignation due to work commitments in 2016 and we fortunately managed to co-opt a replacement Councillor at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council in May. Eleanor McDonnell-Slater has lived in Five Ashes for around 25 years and is a member of the Five Ashes Village Hall Committee and an honorary member of the Five Ashes Horticultural Society. She is looking forward to getting involved as a Parish Councillor and giving something back to the local community. Welcome on board Cllr McDonnell-Slater.

 

The overflow car park at the Mayfield Memorial Hall/ Court Meadow is now being well used, enabling residents and visitors to park off the village streets. New signs have been introduced at the entrance to Court Meadow enabling visitors to locate the Scout and Guide Hall, the Memorial Hall and the Pre-school. We have been looking at improving disabled access in Mayfield High Street with the possibility of introducing a dropped kerb opposite the church.

 

I am sure you will have noticed a lack of local police ‘on the beat’ since the PCSO was removed and hence the continued parking problems we all are enduring. This includes parking on double yellow lines, parking at junctions, on pavements and overstaying the two-hour parking restriction in Mayfield High Street. Until Civil Parking Enforcement is introduced, if anyone has any new, bright ideas, about how to solve the parking problems in our villages, please let the Clerk know.

 

The floral displays along the High Street last summer were well received and will continue this year. Thank you to my Clerk and Councillors who did all the hard work for this. This year we will be adding new planters on the barriers in South Street car park, a flowerbed alongside the overflow car park in Court Meadow and a new floral display in Five Ashes. The village sign that was damaged in the storm has been repaired with the final section being installed before this year’s Mayfair. A huge thank you to Chris Famer for all of his assistance with this and to Cllr Marsh.

 

We are trying to reduce the amount of business rates that we have to pay on the South Street toilets. We have asked for our Members of Parliament, Nus Ghani and Huw Merriman to support us with this. The public conveniences continue to be very well used and are kept very clean so many thanks to our Caretaker. Thank you also to our Litter Picker who does an excellent job along the streets, in Court Meadow and South Street car park.

 

We continue to support the High Street Christmas lights that were much improved this year and the late night Christmas shopping was a great success. A new Village Website is being formulated which we hope will give everyone more insight into what is happening in the villages. It is also hoped it will help to increase visitors and tourism in Mayfield.

 

In June we arranged a village picnic at Court Meadow to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The contingency plan for bad weather had to be put in place so the celebrations were held in the Memorial Hall and Scout and Guide Hall instead. Despite all the rain it was very well attended and all who joined in had a good time.

 

We are still awaiting the reduction in speed limit to 40mph on the A267 to be introduced at Argos Hill. When it is implemented the speed restriction in Bicycle Arms Lane will also be reduced to 40mph with a length restriction for HGV’s. We are also looking at ways to calm traffic through Five Ashes.

We continue to liaise with East Sussex Highways to repair potholes, clean drains and gullies etc as they arise. A number of our side roads were resurfaced during the year and we are hopeful that some of the remaining ones that are in a very poor condition will also be repaired.

 

As part of our on-going maintenance programme, several of the roadside fingerposts have been either replaced or refurbished. The two traditional telephone kiosks at Love Lane and opposite the Rose and Crown have also been refurbished. We are looking in to converting these to tourist information points.

The second tranche of the upgrade of streetlights to LED commenced during the year. The new light units are more environmentally friendly and we have seen our energy costs significantly reduce already. The few final remaining streetlights will be upgraded shortly.

 

Wealden District Council’s new Local Plan continues to be at the forefront of all new planning decisions because of the significant reduction in housing numbers now required due to nitrogen deposition in Ashdown Forest. If approved, the majority of housing will be distributed away from Ashdown Forest to the south of the District. Councillors have been informed that any new planning applications within the District will need to show that they will not generate any additional vehicle movements in order to be considered for approval. The new draft Local Plan stipulates that there are no allocations for housing development being pursued in Mayfield or Five Ashes and we have been informed that each new planning application will have to be considered on its own merits.

 

We have also worked with Wealden District Council on their Conservation Area consultation and in March they approved the designation of new conservation area boundaries which were more or less what the Parish Council had requested. Five Ashes has a new Conservation Area and there is an extension to the existing Mayfield Conservation Area with the addition of a new one at Coggins Mill. Maps of the new areas can be viewed on the Parish Council or Wealden District Council websites.

 

Finally, thank you to the Rights of Way Volunteer Maintenance team that has done such a valiant job around the parish. We are sorry to see that Joan Redford has retired from the Rights of Way Committee after many years help and support. Thank you Joan. We would also like to thank Shirley Holland for all the hard work she is doing to set up MAYFACS which is providing valuable support for our residents. Thanks to all my Councillors for the hard work they have put in over the year, especially with regards to speeding, highways and financial control – which is now in a much better state than it has been for a number of years. Thanks also to the Clerk who has continued to do an excellent job.

Cllr Deveda Redman, Chairman

May 2017

 

Update on the injured bin loader

Many people have been concerned and would like to know how the bin man is that was injured in Mayfield High Street a couple of weeks ago and Cllr Fox has been able to provide an update and it is mostly good news! The Contractor advised that the loader has had some pins and a plate put in his leg and ankle but this appears to be the only injury. He is in high spirits and recovering as would be expected.

 

Planning application for a telephone mast

Residents may be interested to know of a planning application that has been received from Wealden District Council:

Application No. WD/2017/7506/T

Address: Land To The South Of The Oast House, Little Trodgers Lane, Mayfield, TN20 6PN

Description: The installation of 1 18.0m lattice tower on a 4.0m x 4.0m concrete base with 6 . antennas, 1 dish, 4 equipment cabinets and ancillary development thereto .

Applicant: CTIL Ltd. Telefonica UK Ltd. & Vodafone Ltd

Link to documents on web: http://www.planning.wealden.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=138302

Expiry date for comments: 6 June 2017

The Planning Executive will discuss this application at its meeting on 05 June 2017. You can view the plans on Wealden District Council’s website either using the above link or by using the reference number on their home page. If you would like to comment on the application you will need to send your opinion to Wealden District Council either via the on-line form on the planning application’s webpage or you can write to them at: Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX.

 

Information from Action Fraud

Following the ransomware cyber attack on Friday 12 May which affected the NHS and is believed to have affected other organisations globally, the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has issued an alert urging both individuals and businesses to follow protection advice immediately and in the coming days.

 

Ransomware is a form of malicious software (Malware) that enables cyber criminals to remotely lock down files on your computer or mobile device. Criminals will use ransomware to extort money from you (a ransom), before they restore access to your files. There are many ways that ransomware can infect your device, whether it be a link to a malicious website in an unsolicited email, or through a security vulnerability in a piece of software you use.

 

Key Protect messages for businesses to protect themselves from ransomware:

  1. Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
  2. Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
  3. Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn’t left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.

 

The National Cyber Security Centre’s technical guidance includes specific software patches to use that will prevent uninfected computers on your network from becoming infected with the “WannaCry” Ransomware: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance . For additional in-depth technical guidance on how to protect your organisation from ransomware, details can be found here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware

 

Key Protect advice for individuals:

  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device (such as an external hard drive or memory stick) that isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.

Only install apps from official app stores, such as Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store as they offer better levels of protection than some 3rd party  stores. Jailbreaking, rooting, or disabling any of the default security features of your device will make it more susceptible to malware infections.