MCC Update – October 2023

Progress may appear slow, but the recently formed new Mayfield & Five Ashes MCC Committee has been working hard to find a way to build a new Community and Health Centre that couples the needs of our Parish with the budget. In order to avoid the disappointments of the past, we have also wanted to be in a position of greater certainty about what is achievable before sharing details.

We are, however, pleased to inform you that significant progress is being made in a number of areas: most notably, as a result of meeting attended by MCC’s project team on the 15th September, Wealden District Council (WDC) confirmed its continuing support of the project and that funds have been allocated. However, given the change of councillors since the last local election and the proposed changes we are making in how the project is run, full Council approval by all elected Wealden councillors is required. We anticipate that this will arise for discussion at a full Cabinet meeting soon.

The changes in approach to the project are spearheaded by our proposal for a design and build contract which simplifies the process of design and construction via a single point of delivery. It involves using a pre-approved supplier for public sector projects through a Framework Agreement and our conversations with a local contractor under this framework have been very positive. We will therefore continue to work with them to progress the design and explore cost saving options.

The new MCC committee has a number of newly elected Parish Councillors with skills and expertise complementary to the project, which are now coupled with those of the experience of the existing committee members. This combined ability will be utilised to drive the project forward. The MCC Committee will also continue to do all it can to address the number of inevitable potential issues of a construction project of this scale and complexity.  

During this protracted period we appreciate how frustrating it is that the existing hall is not being used. The decision to close the hall was based on the information we had at the time and we acted in a way we felt best for the project and hence ultimately the village. As many of you may be aware, we have subsequently explored the option to re-open the hall but unfortunately this cannot be justified on the basis that the reduced revenue for just a few months would not come near to covering the costs incurred.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project and is continuing to do so. We will do everything we can to get this done as soon as possible.