Parish Council news December 2021

A Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year to all residents of Mayfield and Five Ashes!

New Councillor to represent Mayfield Ward

We are delighted to welcome back Councillor Ian Parker to the Parish Council. A lot of residents will probably know how much he already does to maintain the vibrancy of the Parish. He is the founding member of the Mayfieldians, the village organisation that arranges important social occasions for residents to enjoy including late night shopping, the Christmas lights switch on and the Mayfair. He has also been an active member of the Volunteer Maintenance Team that maintains our rights of ways. He is eager to carry on his work on behalf of residents making the Parish an enjoyable place to live.

Meeting with East Sussex County Council

The Community Safety and Traffic Committee recently met with representatives from East Sussex County Council and East Sussex Highways to discuss ongoing concerns which were predominantly problems with our roads, in particular drainage issues and poor road surfaces. Since the meeting they have informed of drainage work to be carried out on the A267 at Argos Hill and in Rotherfield Lane and replaced a missing drain cover. The old village name plate sign (kindly restored by our previous Cllr Watkiss) has been reinstalled in Coggins Mill Lane. They have cut back the vegetation on the zig zag path leading to the A267 at Fir Toll Close and added it to their cyclical cutting programme. 

They will be carrying out two large patch repairs in Newick Lane and have already repaired five potholes in the lane that were causing an immediate safety concerns. There were no imminent resurfacing works scheduled but advised us to continue reporting any potholes on their reporting system which can be found at: .

Considering Police priorities

In November, there was a very interesting and useful meeting with local Police officers to discuss policing priorities in the Parish. The exercise included placing magnetic pieces labelled with different Police priorities in order of significance on a board. It was very thought provoking at what should be prioritised for a fairly rural community compared to what might be important in a large town or city. We were reminded to use the Operation Blitz contact number 07770700642 from 18:00-00:00 on Fridays and Saturdays to report to officers out on the ground if you witness or become victim of antisocial behaviour including antisocial driving.

Christmas waste collection

Wealden District Council is not sending out Waste and Recycling Collection Calendars to residents again this year and will not be producing bin hangers with the Christmas Collection Dates on. The collection schedule has been uploaded to the Community Website however to summarise:

Normal Collection DatesRevised Collection Dates
Monday 27th DecemberTuesday 28th December
Tuesday 28th DecemberWednesday 29th December
Wednesday 29th DecemberThursday 30th  December
Thursday 30th DecemberFriday 31st  December 
Friday 31st DecemberMonday 3rd January
Monday 3rd JanuaryTuesday 4th January
Tuesday 4th JanuaryWednesday 5th January
Wednesday 5th JanuaryThursday 6th   January
Thursday 6th JanuaryFriday 7th January
Friday 7th JanuarySaturday 8th January

Extra recycling can be put out in non-black plastic bags next to your recycling bin. Christmas cards and wrapping paper can be placed in your recycling bin except those with foil and glitter.

Garden Waste collections are suspended from Monday 27th December to Monday 10th January. If you do not have a garden waste collection service, you can recycle your Christmas tree at one of the local Household Recycling Sites.

Household Support Fund

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a new grant that will run until 31 March 2022 and the fund will be used to support households in the most need with food, energy and water bills. It can also be used to support households with essential costs related to those items and with wider essentials costs. Further announcements will be made by Wealden District Council when the local scheme is ready to go live so keep an eye on their website if you feel it may benefit you.

Temporary road closures

A reminder that Piccadilly Lane will be closed to through traffic from 02 December 2021 to 25 February 2022, a period of 87 days to allow South East Water to carry out new mains connection works. 

Stay well and warm this winter

As the nights draw in and the temperature begins to drop, the journey into the winter months can start feeling like a bit of a slog. It gets harder to motivate yourself to do the things we all know we need to do to look after ourselves. Apart from being absolutely no fun, being cold can be extremely detrimental to your wellbeing. Many health conditions can also be made worse by cold weather. The recommended temperature to heat your home to is 18°C. This provides enough heat to keep you warm and healthy but keeps it low enough to help you manage your energy bills. Many residents struggle to keep homes warm, and this may be made harder by increasing energy bills. If you’re vulnerable and have pre-existing health issues such as heart and breathing conditions, it is especially important to find out how to keep yourself warm. The East Sussex Warm Home Check service can offer you free, impartial advice and support all year round. Subject to funding, the service may also be able to coordinate and source funding for the installation of heating & insulation measures. You can apply online, at the  Warm Home Check website, by texting ‘WARM’ to 80011 or by calling 0800 464 7307.

Get safe online – online Christmas shopping

Whether it’s getting the Christmas list ticked off, that last minute gift for someone special or a treat for ourselves, most of us will be buying more online this festive season. It’s fantastic being able to take advantage of the convenience, choice and value brought by the internet, but unfortunately it is also a favourite haunt of fraudsters, vying to take advantage of the fact that you have so many distractions in the lead-up to Christmas.

Your top ten online shopping safety tips:

  • Make sure a website is authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly. Ideally, type it in rather than clicking on a link in an email, text or post. It’s easy for scammers to set up fake websites that are very similar to the real thing.
  • Make sure payment pages are secure by checking that addresses begin with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar. The https and closed padlock mean that the page is secure, but the site could still be operated by fraudsters.
  • Social media sites/apps and online forums are a popular place for advertising gifts, tickets and holidays. Many are genuine, but you need to be aware that others are fraudulent. 
  • However desperate you are to buy that late present or an item that’s in short supply, don’t pay for it by transferring money directly to people or companies you don’t know. If it’s a fraud, your bank may not be able to recover or refund your money. If you can, pay by credit card. 
  • Log out of the web page or app when payment is completed. Simply closing it may not log you out properly.
  • Don’t knowingly buy fake or counterfeit goods, and do all you can to make sure brands you do buy are genuine. Fakes are of inferior quality, contravene copyright law and affect the livelihoods of workers who make the real thing. They can also be unsafe in use.
  • ‘Low-cost’ or ‘free’ trials can cause problems if you don’t read the small print and look for independent reviews. Whether they’re for the latest handset or slimming pills, you could be signing up for large monthly direct debits which are very hard to cancel. 
  • Learn how to spot fraudulent emails, texts or fraudulent offers on social media. At this time of year, emails and other messages featuring ‘special offers’ and ‘prizes’ are commonplace. Don’t click on links in emails, texts or posts that you’re not expecting, and don’t open unexpected email attachments.
  • Text messages and emails purporting to be sent by home delivery firms are also on the increase, commonly informing you that there’s a charge for re-delivering a parcel, or a shipping fee to be paid. However busy you are or how much online shopping you do, keep a record of everything you buy and, if possible, which parcel delivery firm the retailer is using.
  • Check that Christmas or New Year breaks you book online are genuine, by carrying out thorough research. Look for independent reviews, and make sure travel agents / tour operators are genuine by checking for an ABTA/ ATOL number. It’s always best to pay by credit card for extra protection.

Office opening times over Christmas

The Parish Council office will be closed over the Christmas period from 22nd December 2021 to 3rd January 2022. 

Parish Council Meetings

The meeting schedule on the website: shows this month’s Council and Committee meetings as well as agendas, minutes of meetings and other meeting documentation. This is also available from the Parish Council Office. Please email the clerk the day before a meeting if you wish to attend a committee meeting as numbers may be restricted due to Parish Council covid procedure.