Parish Council News – January 2022

The Parish Council would like to wish all residents very best wishes for the New Year! 

It has been very busy since writing the last newsletter article as there was little time to prepare for the public information day on the 29thNovember after we got the go ahead to proceed from the Public Sponsor Board meeting on 16th November. It all went smoothly, and we appreciate the number of residents that turned out in awful weather!

I am pleased to be able to inform that there is a new information page on the community website for the nature trail in Rotherfield Lane and an information leaflet has been published that can also be downloaded. This has been distributed to our schools and is available at the office, the High Street information kiosk and in the Memorial Hall. A big thank you to Ros Hetreed for designing the leaflet and getting it published. The new bark chips in the Five Ashes paly area have finally been installed. These were purchased at the beginning of the financial year, but the ground was so very damp it was not possible to lay them until now.

One of our representatives for Five Ashes Ward, Cllr Rait, has resigned from the Council and will be very missed. He has been a very valued member of the Planning Committee and provided lots of local information on applications submitted in Five Ashes. He has very kindly informed that he is happy to become a lay-member on the Community Safety and Traffic Committee and will continue to maintain the management of our speed indicating devices.

At the time of writing this article, the government’s Plan B had just come into force so please keep an eye on the website for information on when and where council meetings will be held and on the office opening hours.

Operation Blitz Anti Social Behaviour Patrols
Over the last decade this operation has had massive successes and is a key part of what Sussex Police does to work to keep communities safer. However, the way it works and the times they patrol to make it more relevant and appropriate for the current climate and crime trends is changing. Residents can continue to speak directly to officers, but between the new times of 15:00pm and 22:30pm on 07770 700642. What is changing is they will now be using more current and accurate information and intelligence to target the two or three most vulnerable areas each Friday and Saturday and moving around the district to different areas each night. The locations will change each week, driven by community reports, as well as being nominated by local Police Community Support Officers and areas identified by the neighbourhood intelligence team.For example they could be locations that have seen an increase in burglaries or car crime, or locations where they are undertaking specific police operations to look at anti-social driving or drug dealing.

More thefts of catalytic converters

This message is to bring the attention of the local community of Wealden to a recent increase in Catalytic Converter thefts within the surrounding areas of Uckfield, Crowborough and Ashdown Forest. The suspects have been stealing specific parts of the exhaust systems from vehicles that contain precious metals, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. Whilst Sussex Police has been responding robustly to these crimes being committed, because the process of stealing Catalytic Converters takes a matter of minutes, the suspects are usually gone before officers manage to attend. Should residents notice any suspicious behaviour, specifically:

  • People underneath vehicles and using power tools in local areas,
  • Any suspicious activity by individuals or vehicles in the local area,

report it via 999 as soon as possible. Should you believe that your vehicle’s exhaust system may have been tampered with, call 101 and quote ‘Op Rhodium’. Any further information residents are able to provide on these unknown suspects, including vehicles they are using (including registrations) and descriptions of the suspects, is proving vital to Sussex Police, as the information can be used to help mitigate this crime being committed in the future.

Temporary road closure

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 apparatus repair works.

Household waste collections

A reminder that the new rubbish, recycling and garden waste collection calendars for 2022 are available to download online at Below are the changes to collections dates in January: 

Normal Collections              Revised Collections
Monday 3 January 2022Tuesday 4 January 2022
Tuesday 4 January 2022Wednesday 5 January 2022
Wednesday 5 January 2022Thursday 6 January 2022
Thursday 6 January 2022Friday 7 January 2022
Friday 7 January 2022Saturday 8 January 2022

Priority Services Register

This is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations offered by energy suppliers and network operators. they recommend that people who may be vulnerable or at risk during severe weather should be on a Priority Services Register. Parts of the UK have recently had severe weather – our turn may be coming! Friends and relatives can assist those who may be in need of a bit of help to register, such as the elderly or people with serious medical conditions, or those who may not have Internet access. Each operator can be contacted online or by phone.

Power cuts don’t happen very often but if the electricity or water supply network is damaged or develops a fault, engineers work around the clock 24/7 to restore supplies as quickly as is safely possible. Being on a Priority Services Register will ensure that extra support will be received if the customer experiences an outage. It is likely to include:

  • A priority number you can call 24 hours a day
  • Text and message alerts, informing of a large power cut in our area or if the water supply is interrupted
  • Tailored support such as home visits, hot meals, advice and keeping friends and relatives updated
  • Where possible they send text and voice messages when severe weather is expected, to help you prepare
  • In certain scenarios they may also offer a free hotel overnight and transport to the hotel
  • For complex power cuts, community welfare teams provide on-site support which includes hot drinks, hot meals, a Wi-Fi connection and charge points.

OFGEM has a summary at As various energy suppliers and network operators are active in Sussex, the following are the ones who cover most of the county, but there are some others. If you try to register with the wrong operator they will usually steer you in the right direction.
UK Power Networks – most of the SE of England
Southern Water
South East Water

South East Water’s 25 Year Plan consultation

A unique draft 25 year Environment Plan written by South East Water now needs feedback from local residents on its strengths and weaknesses before it is published. South East Water is the first UK water company to produce such a plan, following an intensive period working with its customers, employees and other environmental organisations to shape it. The appeal for feedback from local communities is the final stage before it is published in early-2022.

The plan sets out how the company will limit its own impact on the environment and how it will improve the overall health of the environment and increase its resilience to the effects of drought, flooding and growing demand for tap water. Supplying drinking water to 2.2 million customers across the south east, the company maintains 83 water treatment works and 9,000 miles of underground pipes as well as 33 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, two local nature reserves and numerous Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

The water supplier also works with farmers, landowners and other water users to protect the quality and quantity of the rivers and underground aquifers which are used to produce an average of 520 million litres of tap water each day.

The company is now looking to expand the work of its in-house team of environmental experts to work with other local companies and individuals to improve the environment within a generation. The consultation runs until  7 January.  Read the plan and have your say on South East Water’s website –

2022-23 Policing Priorities and Funding Survey 

The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner is asking residents about the crime and community safety issues that matter to them, their experience of contacting police, and about police funding. She would like to know what matter most to people, and what can be done to address them by partners working in collaboration with the police. This helps set policing priorities for the Police and Crime Plan. You can find the survey link on the PCC’s website closing date for this survey is 9th January 2022.

Parish Council Grants:

Please note that the application deadline for Parish Council grants each year is 30 September for 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

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. Please email the clerk the day before a meeting if you wish to attend a meeting as numbers may be restricted due to Parish Council covid procedure.