Parish Council News – February 2022

Community Safety Action Group

The first Community Safety Action Group (CSAG) meeting of 2022 was held in January for the Parishes in and around Heathfield. These meetings, instigated by Sussex Police, embed a ‘bottom up’ approach to community safety across Wealden. Representatives from each Parish identify local community safety priorities and key issues affecting community safety in their area. Priorities are agreed and actions are set for the CSAG to progress. Statistics on crime data is shared at the meeting and the below table summarises that in and around Heathfield from 01 August 2021 to 30 November 2021. It indicates that overall crimes have decreased slightly compared to the same four-month period last year:

Crime Type20212020Difference (+/-)
Violence against the Person9796+1
Theft3474-40
Public Order4232+10
Arson and Criminal Damage5447+7
Vehicle Offences1318-5
Burglary1916+3
Miscellaneous Crimes Against Society45-1
Drug Offences220
Sexual Offences85+3
Possession of Weapons110
Robbery110
Total Crime275297-22

An interesting question was raised at the meeting concerning the difference between theft, burglary and robbery:

  • Theft is recorded when it occurs in premises when the offender is not trespassing.
  • Burglary is recorded when the theft occurs in premises when the offender is trespassing (this can include theft from behind a counter in a shop for example where you are not permitted access).
  • Robbery is theft with an element of violence that can be without trespassing.

Another interesting snippet of information was that arson and criminal damage are recorded together as these are both offences committed with no financial gain.

At the meeting we were informed of Sussex Police’s new Speed Management Plan. There is a new email address set up for reporting speeding complaints: roads.communications@sussex.police.uk . A designated Traffic Management Officer will look at collective complaints in the same area and assess the concerns using ‘The Three E’s’: Engineering, Education and Enforcement.

Councillor vacancy

At the time of writing this article Wealden District Council has not confirmed whether the Parish Council can proceed to co-option to fill the current vacancy to represent the Ward of Five Ashes. This will be advertised on the website and social media if and when the go ahead to proceed is received. If it is and you would like to be considered, please send your CV and a letter outlining why you would be a valued member of the Council to the Parish Clerk: clerk@mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk

To be eligible to apply for co-option you must:

  • be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union (yes, this still will apply);
  • be a least 18 years old.
  • be an elector of the parish, or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
  • during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), 
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.

Temporary speed limit reduction on A267

Please be aware that there will be a temporary 30mph speed restriction on the A267 at Wellbrook Hill for an anticipated 210 days from 28th February 2022 to 20th September 2022 to allow SGN to carry out new gas mains connection works. It is necessary to carry out the temporary speed restriction to replace the 50mph speed limit to a 30mph speed restriction from the Mayfield Roundabout to the junction with Meres Lane. 

Temporary road closures

Pennybridge Lane will be closed from the junction of Lake Street to Coggins Mill Lane on the 3rd and 4th February 2022 to allow BT Openreach to carry out repair works. The diversion is via Lake Street and Coggins Mill Lane.

Newick Lane will be closed from the junction with the A265 Burwash Road to the junction with West Street in Mayfield on 28th February 2022 to allow BT Openreach to carry out apparatus repair works. The diversion is via the A267.

Lake Street will be closed on 3rd March 2022 from the junction of the A267 and Little Trodgers Lane to allow BT Openreach to carry out apparatus repair works.

Omicron grants available

Applications from businesses eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant are now being accepted by Wealden District Council. The latest government scheme was announced on 21 December 2021 in recognition of the rise in the Omicron variant of Coronavirus and the subsequent impact it had and continues to have on those sectors.

The Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant is designed to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed Business Rated premises, within the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. You can apply for the grant by visiting https://wealden.grantapproval.co.uk/ Applications close at midnight on 14 February 2022.

In addition to this grant, Wealden will be introducing Discretionary Grant Schemes over the coming weeks to support other business sectors. Funds for these schemes are limited and at the discretion of the authority. The council is also accepting applications for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant Top-up, an additional grant for those businesses eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant. As this is a discretionary fund, eligible businesses are required to make a separate application to the OHLG. Applications can be made through the same portal as above. Applications for the top-up also close at midnight on 14 February 2022

For more information on the available grants and the eligibility for each of them, visit: Advice, support and information for businesses – Wealden District Council

For further information: 

Laurence Woolven, Wealden District Council, Tel: 01323443260, Email: laurence.woolven@wealden.gov.uk or

Annemarie Field, Wealden District Council, Tel: 07985 812076, Email: Annemarie.field@wealden.gov.uk

Free courses for Wealden residents

Street Learning free courses return this January for Wealden residents. This is a partnership project providing access to a range of free courses designed to help residents develop new skills and enhance existing ones. The aim is to reduce social, digital and financial exclusion and improve access to training.

Courses are provided in venues in the local community including East Sussex College, Hailsham East’s Children Centre, Willingdon Trees Community Centre and many of the courses will be held online. They are completely free of charge and are available to all Wealden and Eastbourne residents aged 19 years and over. There are practical courses like family cooking and sewing, arts and crafts courses to help with wellbeing and those that will help parents connect with their child through maths as well as those designed to help with career progression. Wealden District Council leader Bob Standley said, “These courses are very relevant to increasing self-confidence and helping with job opportunities. For some, the opportunity to learn from the comfort of their own home may provide an additional incentive.” Street Learning is a project run by Wealden District Council, in partnership with ACRES, East Sussex College, Sussex Community Development Association, East Sussex County Council Library, Job Centre Plus, GRH Training, Compass Community Arts and Sussex Recovery College. New courses are being added on a regular basis.

Visit www.wealden.gov.uk/streetlearning or email streetlearning@wealden.gov.uk

Chancellor meets Wealden council leader

Wealden District Council leader Bob Standley, together with Nus Ghani, Wealden’s MP met with Rishi Sunak the Chancellor of the Exchequer in January. Cllr Standley voiced his concerns on new unfunded obligations imposed from Whitehall such as the collection of food waste and changes to green waste collection. He also raised the issue of new housing numbers. Wealden District Council recognises the need for new housing and infrastructure required but government proposed numbers are too high given that more than 60% of Wealden is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or other protected designation. The Chancellor asked questions on central government funding bids such as the Levelling Up Fund and Cllr Standley said Wealden rarely seems to be allocated further funding from central government despite having areas of deprivation. 

Parish Council Grants:

Please note that the application deadline for Parish Council grants each year is 30 September for payment in the following financial year. Information on how to apply and the application form can be found in the “Key Documents / Finance” section on the Parish Council website at https://mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk/

Parish Council Meetings

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

Janna Todd, Parish Clerk 

Old Manor House, High Street, Mayfield TN20 6AL 

Telephone 01435 873784          E-mail: clerk@mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk