Parish Council News February 2021

Office currently closed

As expected the Parish Council office is closed during the current Covid-19 restrictions. This will be reviewed as and when any restrictions are eased. Meanwhile you can contact the office by email:

As usual there was no Parish Council meeting in January so things have been fairly quiet. Planning Committee meetings have resumed via Zoom on a two-weekly basis and current applications are posted on the Community Website:


At the time of writing this article the number of new cases had started to go down but infection rates were above the national average – in some places triple the number of COVID-19 positive hospital inpatients compared with the first peak last spring. As information is received from the East Sussex Covid-19 stakeholder briefings, it will be made available and updated on the community website:

It is important that residents are made aware that criminals are using the Covid-19 vaccine as a way to target vulnerable people by tricking them to hand over cash or financial details. Action Fraud had received 57 reports from members of the public who have been sent text messages claiming to be from the NHS, offering them the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations. The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form has looked very similar to the real NHS website. The vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam!
The NHS will never:

  • ask for your bank account or card details
  • ask for your PIN or banking passwords
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills

I fyou have been targeted  please speak up  by contacting the Crimestoppers online: look up or phone 0800 587 5030

The COVID-19 vaccine is a remarkable scientific breakthrough but it will take time to get it to everyone who needs it. The NHS is asking people to be patient and await contact from the first NHS service who can offer you the vaccination. Over the coming weeks and months, they will have more vaccination services up and running across Sussex as more sites are approved and more vaccine is received, including in care homes and people’s own homes if they can’t get to a site. 

Residents are asked to wait until you are contacted. You will be contacted by the first NHS service that can offer you the vaccine, whether that is at a hospital hub or a GP led vaccination service. 
Please do not contact your GP or other NHS service to ask for the vaccine, you will be invited to receive it when it is your turn. 

Mayfield Community Centre update

Agreement has now been reached on a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Parish Council and Wealden District Council (WDC) and work is now able to proceed. The MoA establishes a partnership between WDC and the Parish Council to fund and build the integrated Community and Health Centre. It has been agreed that WDC will project manage the build in consultation with the Parish Council. 

The preliminary work is now underway, including an official signing of the MoA and subsequent publicity, defining a project plan and preparation of the necessary agreements between the Woodhill Practice and WDC. This will lead to the appointment of an architect and the generation of three proposed designs which will be shared with the village via a public consultation in the early part of 2021.

This is significant development for the Mayfield and Five Ashes Parish and a great encouragement for our Doctors surgery in Mayfield.

East Sussex Highways 2020 Review

2020 was unlike any other and identified as key workers in March, they continued to work in accordance with Government guidelines in order to keep the roads in East Sussex safe. They carried out all routine inspections, repaired over 26,000 potholes and answered more than 60,000 of our enquiries. some of the projects that they completed this year:

Velocity Patching
This year they worked to fix potholes and prevent them from forming. Velocity Patching fixes defects permanently in just a few minutes, keeping traffic moving without the need to close the road. This technique alone enabled them to repair 6,500 defects during 2020. It works by blowing the pothole clean, removing any dust and grit for a clean surface. Next, a cold emulsion is forced in to every crack and crevice that seals the defect and protects it by preventing any water from getting under the surface – this is how potholes often form. Finally, aggregate is coated in bitumen emulsion before being fired at high velocity in to the pothole. It is compacted densely and sets immediately. The process takes just a few minutes, and is ready to drive on immediately. 

Grass Cutting 
Each year, East Sussex Highways undertakes a programme of grass cutting across the county. In 2020 they cut the equivalent of 1,800 football pitches of urban grass and the distance of Eastbourne to Washington DC in rural grass verges. Their grass cutting programme takes place between March and November and more information can be found on their website.

Major works

Two major road reconstruction projects were carried out on Croft Road and Whitehill Road in Crowborough. In June, They completed an 8-week project at Croft Road to reconstruct the road to improve the road quality. As part of this reconstruction they recycled the old road surface wherever possible and reused it to reduce CO2 emissions and provide a good structure. 

Storm Dennis and Ciara
In February Storms Ciara and Dennis hit East Sussex and the emergency out-of-hours team dealt with flooded roads, fallen trees and potholes.  During those two weekends in February they dealt with over 100 fallen trees and flooded roads which needed to be closed with diversions set-up. Their out-of-hours teams work throughout the year to ensure that the roads are safe 24 hour a day.

Project ‘Stick of Rock’ 

In 2020 they undertook a project in collaboration with Hastings Borough Council to replace the energy inefficient promenade flood lights. As part of the project, we replaced and installed:

  • 52 lighting columns
  • 72 road lanterns
  • 49 floodlights

All the lanterns installed are the latest in LED technology and all columns are made from galvanised steel, with a design life of 25 years. They tested, repaired, and replaced where necessary, 2.5km of network cables and upgraded the lighting controls to ensure they met with current standards. These upgrades have helped save energy consumption by almost 50,000kwh per year.

Improvements in Cuilfail Tunnel
In October they completed a full lighting upgrade within Cuilfail Tunnel in Lewes. This work involved retrofitting new LED light units to replace the existing fluorescent tubes.

Bridge Repairs
A large part of the work is to ensure that highway structures such as walls, bridges and tunnels are safe and that any updates and repairs are made. This year they carried out a number of these types of works including the refurbishment of Bodiam Bridge and similar works at Hartfield Bridge.

Learn something new in 2021

The New Year brings new opportunities to embark on free adult learning courses through Street Learning.

East Sussex College is providing online classes in Creative Writing, Arts & Crafts for Wellbeing, Managing Stress and Anxiety, and Maths for Parents. Other courses taking place at the college include Experiments in Printing – using a range of printmaking techniques and materials. In addition to this, a course entitled The Strength in You – which is all about learning how to strengthen your emotional resilience.

East Sussex College is spending £1 million over the coming year to help local communities and businesses recover from Covid-19. It aims to help unemployed people on Universal Credit access work-related courses, provide digital skills and mental health training for people in employment, and help college leavers meet the changing needs of the workplace. 

Pre-GCSE courses in Maths and English, run by ACRES, the Adult College for Rural East Sussex, will begin in April. The full GCSE course can then be completed later in the year. They are also introducing a new online course, English for Speakers of Other Languages, beginning in February. Information about all these courses, and other sector-based training, is available in Street Learning’s January – March 2021 brochure. This can be downloaded from the Street Learning page here.

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 relevant documentation. This is also available for viewing at the Parish Council Office when it is open. 

Please email the clerk for meeting joining instructions up to half an hour before a meeting commences if you wish to attend.