New co-opted councillors
At the June 2015 Full Council meeting the final two Parish Councillor vacancies were filled when Jonathan Nash and Julie Upton were co-opted.
Jonathan, who will represent Five Ashes Ward, is married with three young children and has lived and worked in Wealden all his life. He is keen to continue the work on improving road safety through Five Ashes village especially within the vicinity of the school and also has particular interest in the environment.
Julie, who will represent Mayfield Ward, is retiring from teaching this summer and is keen to ‘give something back to the community’. She has lived in the village for over twenty years and feels her experience gained in running departments, implementing presentations, writing development plans, managing budgets and communication skills will stand her in good stead.
Welcome to both of you.
Committees of the Parish Council
Recently there have been a few occasions when residents were surprised to discover that the Parish Council operates a committee system to assist in its day to day management.
The committees either operate with full executive, decision making powers without reference back to the full council or as an advisory that can meet, make decisions which then need reporting to full council for approval. There are several advantages to the committee system:
- They work for the council and share the workload resulting in shorter full council meetings
- They can focus on specific issues in relation to the council’s statutory functions and powers
- Non-councillor members can give a wider perspective on matters and provide specialist skills and knowledge
- Decisions are made more quickly with fewer people involved
There five committees which meet on a regular basis consisting of a selected number of councillors and, on the advisory committees, a selected number of lay-members:
Mayfield and Five Ashes Parish Council is a consultee on all planning applications that are made to Wealden District Council and are within the parish. The Planning Committee is delegated to make comment to Wealden District Council on behalf of the Parish Council on all planning applications and when applicable appeals and enforcement action.
Finance and General Purposes Executive
This oversees the finances of the Parish Council and day-to-day administration, including the budget setting process, receipt and payment of monies and Council Tax (precept) requirements.
Community Development Advisory
Matters such as: Parish plans and associated matters; Wealden Local Plan consultations; Court Meadow issues; youth matters; environmental land and garden plots.
Community Safety and Traffic Advisory
Items such as: Police matters; road issues including surface problems, drainage road signs, junctions and finger posts; traffic calming; speed enforcement; emergency planning; parking and car parks.
Rights of Ways and Trees Advisory
Matters concerning footpaths, bridleways and byways including stiles, gates, bridges, vegetation clearance and tree preservation. We are very lucky to have a dedicated volunteer maintenance team which regularly maintain the footpaths and our own dedicated tree warden.
Horse dung on the pavement
There have recently been several complaints of horse dung on the pavement which has resulted in pedestrians and parents with prams or pushchairs having to walk in the road. The section of the Highway Code, Rules About Animals, paragraph 54 does state that “You MUST NOT take a horse onto a footpath or pavement, and you should not take a horse onto a cycle track”. Please try to keep horse off the pavement if at all possible to prevent this from happening. For information please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/rules-about-animals-47-to-58
Cars damaging the High Street pavement
Very recently the Community Safety and Traffic Committee met with representatives of East Sussex County Council for our quarterly “Strengthening Local Relationships” meeting. High Street pavement repairs were discussed and advice was received that due to budget restraints any repairs will be made using materials from their existing supply. It is not possible to provide matching brickwork even within the conservation area.
It was pointed out that damage to some areas is due to cars mounting the edge of the pavement when parking which causes the brickwork to collapse. It is therefore important that drivers pay extra attention to the location of the kerb when parking their vehicles. East Sussex County Council advised that the only alternative to brick pavements would be to have a tarmac surface which I am sure you will agree would not be appropriate in our High Street.
Youth Discount Card Extended Availability
A pioneering youth identity and discount card is now accessible to more young people after East Sussex libraries backed this scheme. The 3i-D card was developed by East Sussex Youth Cabinet in association with East Sussex County Council, Citizen Card and bus providers in the county.
The card allows 11 to 19-year-olds who live, work or study in the county to prove their age and claim some reduced bus travel on Stagecoach services and discounts in shops and leisure outlets. Libraries across East Sussex are promoting 3i-D and are able to approve applications for a card, opening the scheme up to more young people.
The card is also now being made available for free to youngsters aged 11 to 19 in possession of an i-go card, which allows greater access to leisure activities to disabled young people.
The under-16 card ensures youngsters can claim child fares on all East Sussex bus routes through all companies, while the card for 16 to 19-year-olds offers child fares for off-peak travel during the week, at weekends and on Bank Holidays on Stagecoach buses.
The card is available for £12 and is offered free to young people aged 11-16 year olds from families entitled to free school meals. For more details visit http://connexions360.org.uk/3id/benefits.aspx
Mayfield and Five Ashes PCSO report
Hi Viz patrols have continued in the High Street to crack down on parking on the double yellow lines. Eight parking tickets were issued and 11 warning cards given to vehicles exceeding the two-hour restriction on the parking bays.
There have been two thefts – one of a ride on mower and another of two valuable terracotta statues from a garden in Coggins Mill Lane. Photographs of these have been published on the police website and a reward has been offered. Please can everyone be vigilant about reporting suspicious persons hanging about and in particular suspicious males making enquiries about gardening work and tree cutting. A resident in Mayfield gave a day’s work to these opportunistic gardeners who are well known and always overcharge. Please get descriptions of any cold callers and details of vehicles and phone 101 or 999.
A handbag was stolen from a vehicle in the Memorial Hall car park. The bag was in sight in the passenger foot well. Please remember to secure your vehicle and hide valuables from sight
A Mayfield resident has been scammed over the phone by a caller purporting to be from Microsoft and offering to repair a serious virus on her laptop. This is a SCAM and the lady parted with money. The caller sounds extremely believable but please put the phone down and report to Action Fraud. For details visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk
I regularly patrol Five Ashes, in particular in the evening and I also try to carry out Hi Viz patrols at school times. Many parents comment that the traffic always slows down when they see me. I have suggested to the Parents Action Group ‘Five Ashes Calmer Traffic’ that they fundraise to buy Hi Viz jackets and get a group of volunteer parents to stand outside the school at 08.45 and 3.15 in pairs. I think the Hi Viz presence would have a calming effect on the traffic every day instead of my infrequent visits.
The next PCSO Surgery will be held at the Parish Council office on Wednesday 22 July at 9.30.If any residents would like me to hold a street meeting in their road, please do get in touch.