April marks the end of the last elected Parish Council, although members will continue in a caretaking role until the Parish Council elections on May 7th. The new Parish Council will take their declarations of acceptance of office at the Annual meeting of the Parish Council which will take place on May 18th.

Application forms for nominations are now available from Wealden District Council and there are a few remaining packs in the Parish Council Office for any residents who would like to stand for election. By the time this edition of the Newsletter is published the deadline for application forms to be submitted to the Elections Office at Wealden District Council in Hailsham will be fast approaching, it being 4pm on Thursday April 9th. The cut-off is absolute and no nominations may be accepted after that time. It is in everyone’s interests if papers are submitted at least a couple of days before the final time so that candidates have the opportunity to resolve any problems that may arise.

Annual Parish Meeting

This is not a council meeting but a meeting of the parish electors which has to, by law, take place between 1 March and 1 June each year. Electors can contribute to the agenda and debate current issues in the community. This year the Annual Parish Meeting will be held on 29 April 2015 in Mayfield Memorial Hall at 19:30. There is a defibrillator demonstration booked and, following on from the shopping survey, we propose to hold an open session to discuss issues and ideas to support the High Street services in Mayfield.

Bus Service 224: Wadhurst – Mayfield – Crowborough

Further to the bus consultation, from mid-April 2015 East Sussex County Council is making changes to the frequency of some of the bus services that are supported financially by the County Council, including the removal of some evening and weekend services. 91% of passengers using buses in East Sussex will be unaffected by the changes, while 96 per cent will still have access to a six-day-a-week service. The alterations and new timetables for those services which are changing in the Wealden area can be found at:www.eastsussex.gov.uk/newbustimes

The bus service 224 days of operation have changed to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with a slightly revised timetable and buses will now stop in Rotherfield. To summarise, the bus will pick up at 10.28 and 12:28 opposite the Post Office in Mayfield High Street arriving at Crowborough Croft Road at 10:55 and 12:55 respectively. The return journeys from Crowborough will leave Croft Road at 11:10 and 13:10 arriving back at Mayfield High Street at 11:32 and 13:32 respectively. The three days a week service is maintained as a result of funding contributions from Mayfield and Five Ashes Parish Council and Wadhurst Parish Council. The timetable is displayed in the notice board adjacent to the bus stop in Mayfield High Street.

Overflow Memorial Hall car park

The construction of the overflow car park behind the Memorial Hall is scheduled to take place during the School Easter Holidays (Monday 30 March – Friday 10 April). During this time please be aware that there will be times when the car park is closed but the contractor will endeavour to keep any disruption to a minimum.

Information from the PCSO

Our PCSO, Julie Pearce –Martin, attended the March Parish Council meeting and provided a detailed report on current issues in Mayfield and Five Ashes:

  • Parking in Mayfield High Street continues to be a problem with residents assuming that the parking restrictions do not apply to them. Tickets will be issued to vehicles parked on double yellow lines and warnings issued to vehicles exceeding the two hour parking restriction. Parking on double yellow lines is not permitted at any time of the day or night – weekdays or weekends – although there are exceptions for Blue Badge holders.
  • Residents are reminded to report suspicious activity which includes duster sellers by telephoning 101. You may be put on hold on for a while but they will get to you, so persevere! Do however telephone 999 if you are feeling anxious or vulnerable – if the hairs are going up on the back of your neck you should telephone 999.
  • Due to the increased sentences for burglary, thefts from properties are reducing. Unfortunately, thefts from outbuildings, sheds and gardens have consequently increased. Remember that anything that is in your garden can be stolen. Also as the days get warmer and you are enjoying the garden, remember to close your windows at the front of the house which would be an easy target for an opportunity thief.
  • A request for a camera at the road crossing in Five Ashes due to vehicles jumping the traffic lights was turned down by Sussex Safer Roads due to the fact that there have been no reported collisions. This will be appealed due to it being a school crossing. Parents should make a note of the registration and if possible colour make and model of any vehicle jumping the lights and report it to operation crackdown
  • The PCSO has highly commended the sterling job that Mrs Martin, Lollipop Lady for Mayfield, does with helping children cross the road at such a dangerous junction. Regular visits to both the primary schools at dropping off and picking up times have been made and parents are reminded that the double yellow line parking restrictions apply to them too!
  • Horseback riders are warned that even though the days are getting brighter it is still difficult to see horses and their riders, particularly when the horses are brown. High-vis should be worn at all times.
  • The PCSO can provide ‘No Cold Caller’ stickers and shed alarms which are easy to install. Purse bells to hear if someone is stealing your purse from your bag are also available. There is a small quantity available in the Parish Council Office.
  • Would anyone like to be a community contact? This is a messaging service available to residents with access to email. You will receive community messaging from Sussex police every ten days or so concerning issues relevant to this area. The messages will also inform you about any criminal activity in the local area and ask for information to help prevent or solve a crime near where you live. If you provide your mobile number the police can text you in an emergency for incidents such as missing children or vulnerable elderly residents so you can keep an eye open for persons matching the descriptions and assist with the search. To become a community contact please contact the Parish Council office or pop in and provide your details.
  • The next PCSO surgery will be on 27th April at from 9:30 – 10:00 in the Parish Council Office.

New local policing model for Sussex

In March, Sussex Police unveiled its vision for policing. It will make significant changes over the next four years to ensure local police services are directed to where they are most needed.

Key changes for the future:

  • Public safety is a priority. Response teams will have the same strength and they won’t be constrained by the organisational boundaries of East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove – the most appropriate officer will respond to those most in need.
  • A resolution centre, staffed by officers, will provide professional advice online or by phone to resolve issues at the initial point of contact. Where a problem would be more effectively dealt with by a partner, people will be directed to them.
  • More online services will be available to meet people’s changing needs – to report crime and find out information.
  • Officers will be equipped with mobile devices to easily access information and complete administrative tasks whilst out in the community, reducing the need for them to spend time at police stations.
  • Officers will carry out intelligence-led work, focusing on crime hotspots and the most vulnerable.
  • PCSO roles will change. They will be equipped with a wider range of skills and become more flexible so that they can focus on those most in need, actively contributing to reducing crime, alongside partners.
  • Officers will be trained to deal with a range of problem-solving issues, reducing the need for specialist officers.
  • With a flexible model, officers and staff will be available where they are needed at a given time and not be constrained by organisational boundaries.
  • There will be a named person for each ward in the county who can be contacted if needed.
  • Victims and witnesses will have an officer dedicated to them throughout their case, reducing the need for handovers.
  • Officers will provide joint services with partners, including Surrey Police.
  • Officers and staff will work closely with partners, including co-locating whenever there are benefits to the community, thereby reducing costs.
  • Policing districts will be combined for effective command, consistency and partnership working.
  • Officers and staff will be trusted to use their discretion to do the right thing for the public we serve without multiple layers of supervision in place.

For more information on the new Sussex Police model please visit www.sussex.police.uk

Highways issues

East Sussex Highways has informed us that across the County they have filled 8,073 potholes, plus 13,380 by the Jet Patcher; totalling 21,453 since 2 January 2015! They continue to fix emergency potholes within 24 hours and do aim to fix less dangerous ones within one month.

On 30th March 2015 to 2nd April 2015 UK Power Networks will be carrying out essential electrical works on the C14, Tidebrook Road and there will be a temporary road closure. There will be a diversion via: C14 Tidebrook Road – C568 Lake Street – A267 Mayfield Road – B2100 Wadhurst Road and vice versa

Between 11th and 13th March Piccadilly Lane in Mayfield is scheduled for closure for carriageway patching so please follow the diversion.

National Plant Monitoring Scheme

A new National Plant Monitoring Scheme is hoping volunteers can help achieve the same understanding of changes in plant populations that has been achieved for birds, butterflies and bats. Their aim is to collect data to provide an annual indication of changes in plant abundance and diversity. If you join you will be randomly allocated a convenient 1km square to visit. Anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn can take part- you do not have to be an experienced botanist. To become involved visit www.npms.org.uk.

and finally…

During the Easter holidays, the Parish Council office will be closed from Monday 6th April – Friday 10th April 2015.