Despite lockdown, June has been a very busy month with seven meetings scheduled to take place on Zoom and work is being done on updating the Parish Strategy. There has been a large number of emails and letters received too supporting the development of the community centre with integral medical centre following last month’s edition of the Newsletter. I would like thank residents for letting us know of your thoughts and concerns.
Co-option of Councillor to represent Five Ashes Ward
At our Council meeting on 08 June 2019 James Lench was co-opted as Councillor to represent the Ward of Five Ashes. James brings a wealth of experience to the Council as he has for most of his professional working life been a Solicitor and is also the lead Partner in commercial property. Welcome on board Councilor Lench!
Recycling site at recreation ground
Unfortunately further to last month’s newsletter article, the recycling site at Court Meadow continues to be used as a dumping ground for waste and it appears that now we are getting builders waste fly tipped there. We are providing evidence to Wealden District Council several times a week and it is apparent it is not all from Mayfield and Five Ashes but other Parishes such as Stonegate and Rotherfield. Clearing up the areas is a complete waste of taxpayer’s money so please remember any items left on the ground or beside the recycling bins is fly tipping and is a criminal offence.
Wealden Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) – Call for Sites
Following the withdrawal of the Wealden Local Plan (January, 2019) Wealden has started work to progress a new Local Plan that will set out a vision and framework for the future development of the District. As part of this process, they are updating their land availability evidence through the SHELAA. The SHELAA is an essential piece of evidence that is required to support the Local Plan process. It is a technical assessment that considers the availability, suitability and achievability of land in the District for the purpose of identifying deliverable sites to meet the housing and economic growth needs of the District. The ‘Call for Sites’ exercise to invite landowners to put forward sites for consideration for housing, economic development and/ or other uses is running to 10 August 2020 and details on how to submit sites can be found at the below web address.
It is currently anticipated that site surveys will commence shortly after the deadline for the ‘Call for Sites’ in order to inform Local Plan production. The report will be published alongside the Regulation 18 consultation of the Local Plan, which is anticipated to take place in 2022. If you have further queries regarding this letter, or would like to discuss any aspect of the SHELAA, please do not hesitate to contact Wealden’s Planning Policy team.
Covid-19: Wealden rate of cases slows
As at 15 June the rate of lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in Wealden had slowed with the total figure for the district standing at 222 which gives a rate of 138.6 per 100,000 population in. At that time Wealden remained 32nd on a list of lower-tier local authorities. The rate per 100,000 inevitably increases as the number of positive tests goes up and a change of just a handful of cases can alter where an area sits in the national list of authorities.
- Brighton and Hove 478 – rate per 100,000 population 164.6
- Rother 103 – rate per 100,000 population 107.7
- Eastbourne 154 – rate per 100,000 population 149.3
- Tunbridge Wells district 262 – rate per 100,000 population 221.9
- Lewes district 209 – rate per 100,000 population 203.4
- Mid Sussex 291 – rate per 100,000 population 194.4
Let’s talk face coverings!
The government guidance on face coverings has changed. If you are going into enclosed spaces that can be difficult to social distance, such as a supermarket or public transport, you should now wear a face covering if possible.
The good news is that you can make a face covering from home using an old t-shirt. East Sussex County Council has created an easy to follow guide here: Make you own face covering.
NHS COVID-19 contact tracing message: how to tell if it’s real or a scam?
People are being warned to be wary of scammers pretending to be from the NHS as coronavirus contact tracing launches in the UK. It’s feared fraudsters will pretend to be from the NHS contact tracing services to con people into handing over personal details. Contact tracing works by asking people who have tested positive for the virus to share the details of others who they have been in contact with who could have caught it from them. Unfortunately this is exactly the kind of information fraudsters want and need in order to trick people out of their money, making the service an ideal target.
How the real contact tracing process works
If you have coronavirus symptoms you can get tested. If your test is positive you’ll be contacted by the NHS England by text, email or phone. The NHS England Test and Trace service will only get in touch with you for one of the following two reasons:
1. You’ve tested positive for the virus
If you test positive for the virus, you’ll be contacted within 72 hours of taking the test. Genuine texts, calls or emails from the NHS service won’t ask you for any personal details upfront. You’ll be given a unique ID number to log in to the NHS England Test and Trace website. The only official web address for the NHS Test and Trace service is: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/. Once you’ve logged in using your ID, you’ll be asked to enter some basic information about yourself including:
- your name, date of birth and current address
- the names of the people you live with
- places you’ve recently visited
- names and contact details of people you were in touch with around 48 hours before you developed symptoms.
If you can’t access the website, you’ll be asked to give these details over the phone.
If you get a call about testing positive for coronavirus, but you haven’t taken a test in the past few days or have never taken a coronavirus test, then the call isn’t real. At the time of writing this article, a smartphone app that will alert people that they’ve been in contact with other app users with coronavirus was still being trialled on the Isle of Wight. It’s not currently available for the general population, so avoid downloading any apps that claim they’re contact tracing.
- You’ve been in contact with someone else who has tested positive for the virus
The NHS will also contact you if someone else who has tested positive for the virus has been in close contact with you. You’ll be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. You’ll be given advice on how to do this, what symptoms you should look out for and what to do if you develop the illness. You won’t be asked for any other personal details or payment information in this kind of call or message. Crucially, you won’t be asked to pass on the details of anyone you’ve been in contact with either. This is because unless you have tested positive or developed symptoms, there is no need to notify anyone you’ve been in touch with at this stage. It’s a red flag if you’re asked to hand over this information to a caller or by replying to a message.
Check the caller or sender’s details
The NHS Test and Trace service will only be contacting people by phone, text message or email. Calls and texts will come from one verified NHS number: 0300 013 5000. However, there’s still a risk of this number being spoofed. Calls from any other numbers, or from a withheld number, should be treated as fake.
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 https://mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk/
Planning Committee meetings are now being held remotely every two weeks and all consultations are being posted on the website. The meetings this month shall be held at 10am on Monday 06 July and Monday 20 July. Council and Committee meetings shall be convened as and when urgent decisions are required and for financial matters. The meeting schedule with agendas, minutes of meetings and other documentation is available for viewing online at: www.mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk and at the Parish Council Office when open to the public. Please email the clerk for meeting joining instructions up to half an hour before a meeting commences.