With the slowly improving weather, the last few weeks have been busy for our contractors. Items of equipment in the Mayfield and Five Ashes play areas have been refurbished and the top shelter in Court Meadow is due to be painted imminently. Three streetlights have been entirely replaced including the one in The Glades that was knocked down last year. The initial stage of the project to upgrade the streetlights to LED lighting is also well underway. We will be introducing additional hanging baskets for some of the heritage style lamps and tubs of flowers along the High Street to improve the appearance of the Conservation area.

 

We would like to build up a list of good local reliable contractors. If you have any recommendations of local contractors who have achieved high standards of work we would like to hear about them. Please provide information to the Parish Council office.

 

Annual Parish Meeting

Your Annual Parish Meeting will be held in the Five Ashes Village Hall on 23 May 2016 at 19:30. This is not a council meeting but a meeting of the parish electors that 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. There will be a presentation from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services on influencing driver behavior and Operation Crackdown dealing with antisocial driving. In addition, Hospice in the Weald will be discussing their plans for a hospice in Five Ashes on the site of the Church of the Good Shepherd. If you have any current issues that you believe should be added to the agenda please contact the Parish Council office.

 

Natwest Mobile banking Service

Unfortunately Natwest has informed that they will be reducing their mobile banking service by half an hour because they get caught up in the school run traffic. Future visits to the Memorial Hall car park in Tunbridge Wells Road will be on Mondays from 13:15 – 14:15.

 

WDC Big Switch

Wealden District Council has partnered up with iChoosr to help residents save money on their energy bills. The Big Wealden Switch is a collective energy-switching scheme that will run from 22 March until 22 May 2016.

From 22 March, you will be able to register online with Wealden District Council and put your name down for the Big Switch Energy auction that could save you £200 -£300 a year on average. When registered, the collective bargaining power of people like you will be used by I-Choosr to get energy companies to compete for the business with the cheapest tariff at auction on 22 May 2016.

Once the auction has taken place, you will be sent a letter offering you a new tariff. You do not have to accept it but it could represent a real saving on your current contract. There are no obligations and no fees involved. Just go to www.wealden.gov.uk/thebigswitch after 22 March, or call them on 01323 443322 to find out more. Make sure you have your latest fuel bill to hand. As long as you are the bill payer you can take part, regardless of whether you are a homeowner or tenant, or the meter type.

 

WDC Mobile/Internet Survey

As one of the most rural districts in the South East, Wealden District Council is asking residents and businesses about their day-to-day experience of mobile phone connections and broadband services.

The survey includes questions about your mobile phone reception and internet access at fixed locations in the Wealden area including your home, your place of work/business or your school/college where appropriate. Click on www.wealden.gov.uk/mobileandinternetsurvey to take part in the survey.

The Council hopes to use the information provided by residents, schools and businesses to campaign for better connectivity across Wealden. Printed copies of the survey are also available on request by contacting Wealden District Council on 01323 443322. The survey will close on 18 April 2016.

 

Wealden’s new campaign “We’re keeping an eye on you”

You may well already know that Wealden has the worst record for the number of serious road crashes in East Sussex and one of the worst records in the South East. ‘We’re Keeping an Eye on You’ is the branding for the new road safety campaign which was born out of research with local young male drivers.

It is clear that the majority of road users are motivated to comply with the law and take care when driving – so you do not have to worry too much about this group of road users.  However for a significant minority, what motivates them to behave on the roads and comply the law is the threat/ risk/ fear of being caught. This project plays on those fears.

 

Insights from behavioural sciences tells us that if we think we are being watched then we are likely to behave more virtuously.  Wealden is planning to have a whole series of the posters on the roadside throughout the district with this message will be changed regularly to keep them fresh.

 

Combined with and as part of this campaign there is also community ‘Speedwatch’ with many active groups of volunteers in the area; increased activity and project work by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) including the support for communities that have no ‘Speedwatch’ and targeted enforcement from the roads policing team of Sussex Police.  ESFRS are identifying locations for and putting up the campaign posters.

 

PCSO Surgery

PCSO Julie Pearce-Martin will be holding her next surgery on Wednesday 13 April 2016 at 11am in the Parish Council office. Please come along to see her if you have any police related concerns that you wish to discuss.

 

Wealden Sergeants update:

The value of equipment kept in sheds and outbuildings can be considerable. The majority of these items will be portable, difficult to identify and can be easily be sold on for a quick profit. More often than not, property is not security marked or adequately secured. For this reason, sheds and outbuildings are still being targeted by thieves across the Wealden district.

Below are some suggestions for how you can increase the security of your shed or garage by taking some simple steps:

  • Gravel paths act as a deterrent as they make a noise when walked upon
  • Secure your outbuildings by reinforcing hinges, fitting doors with non-returnable screws or coach bolts and secure padlocks
  • Keep your outbuildings in good condition – split, rotten or warped door and window frames could provide an easy way in for thieves
  • Install a good shed alarm or even extend your house alarm to cover your outbuildings
  • Plant thorny shrubs to create a natural barrier
  • Security mark all items and secure valuable items inside your outbuildings using security cables or chains with strong padlocks
  • Register your property at com, it’s free of charge and can increase your chances of being reunited with your property

Local Police have shed alarms available on request. The alarms are extremely simple to install, with no drilling or screws required and there is no cost to the resident. If you would like to find out more, please contact Wealden District Police by emailing district.wealden@sussex.pnn.police.uk. There is also a small supply of shed alarms in the Parish Council office so please drop in to pick one up.