Mayfield and Five Ashes Chairman’s Report 2017/18
Another year has passed with a number of items that the Parish Council has worked on to try and enhance the villages that we are so proud of.
The Planning Committee and Council worked hard to fight against the Planning Approval given by Wealden District Council for the Permitted Development for the Telecoms Mast planned at Little Trodgers Lane. (Planning Committee minutes of 05 June 2017).
Parking problems continue as residents and shop keepers continue to park on double yellow lines, close to corners and at road junctions, for long periods of time. Wealden District Council voted against Civil Parking Enforcement and the introduction of parking meters, especially in our smaller villages. Any residents with bright ideas on how to improve the parking situation please speak to the Parish Clerk.
A Councillor vacancy occurred in June 2017 and a new young Councillor was appointed in November 2017. This was Tommy Buck; we welcome Tommy and hope that he will bring different ideas and a new perspective to our Council.
The Community Website went live and is a great success promoting parish events and keeping residents informed of information, clubs and societies. I would like to thank Cllr Jerry Watkiss and Roger Stone for all the work done on the Community Website and for the newly designed information leaflet that promotes the High Street and we hope will encourage tourism.
Thanks are also due to Cllr Ian Parker and the Skate Park Upgrade Team for all the work done on the first stage of improvements that we have contributed towards. His work with the team of volunteers to improve the Christmas lights, organising the Mayfair and the Late Christmas Night Shopping event are greatly appreciated.
The new Village Sign was erected in May 2017; our thanks are due to Farmers Oak Buildings for their great help in this project.
The Parish Council continues to manage the South Street Toilets and thanks go to the excellent maintenance by the Caretaker who keeps them in pristine condition and opens and unlocks them for daily public use. Thank you also to the litter picker who works very hard for us keeping the streets and Court Meadow clean and tidy.
The Parish Council Community Safety and Traffic Committee is working towards obtaining licenses for two speed-indicating devices in various locations throughout Five Ashes and Mayfield. These will record traffic speed that can be provided to the Police and it is hoped will slow traffic down. They continue to monitor and report potholes and street repairs as needed but getting the work carried out is proving to be a daunting task
Due to the necessity to cut budgets, East Sussex County Council went out to consultation on closing seven libraries across the county. Unfortunately Mayfield was one of these. The Parish Council worked really hard in trying to put forward plans to continue the service either in its current location or in a different building. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be economically viable due to the low number of residents that actually use the facility. The Library is now closed although we continue to investigate other options.
Austerity cuts have also led to the County Council reducing the number of urban grass cuts each year from 2018/19 from six to two and so to maintain the standards we expect, we will be funding the additional four grass cuts. We anticipate that there will be further services cut in the future with the Parish Council relied on for additional funding.
The Parish Council continues to support MAYFACS and recognises the excellent service it provides in helping and befriending the elderly and vulnerable residents of our villages.
The Parish Council is working with the Mayfield Business Forum to enter “Parishes in Bloom 2018”. There will be additional planters and improved displays that we hope will enhance the appearance of the High Street and surrounding Conservation Area.
Historic England has informed us that the Mayfield War Memorial has been added to the list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic interest. The Commonwealth War Grave society will also be hanging a plaque on the railings to indicate that there are First World War graves in the churchyard
During the year the Streetlight upgrade and conversion to LED was completed. This has led to significant savings of over 67% on the electricity charged to light the 102 streetlights we are responsible for which is very pleasing.
In 2017/18 the Parish Council has financially supported the following organisations by means of grants* or community donations:
Mayfield Bonfire Society
Five Ashes Village Hall
Primary School Prizes
Mayfield WI commemoration plaque at the Mayfield noticeboard.
A lot of work has been done on the design and requirements for the upgrade of Mayfield children’s play, particularly by Cllr Lilly which is greatly appreciated. It was anticipated to be completed during the year, however, we are currently awaiting the Section 106 money from Wealden District Council that has become available towards the project from the Love Lane development.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will apply in the UK from 25th May 2018. GDPR is a major reform, which will affect all organisations that hold and process personal data. The Parish Council is working towards compliancy engaging a Data Protection Officer, completing an Impact Statement and has the daunting task of a document audit. This also means that all Councilllor email addresses will be changed to a generic address rather than a personal one.
Finally, many thanks go to the volunteer Rights of Ways Maintenance Team for their support provided to maintain our footpaths and bridleways and thank you to all the Councillors and lay-members who dedicate their time and effort for the benefit of our very special villages.
Cllr Deveda Redman
Chairman, Mayfield and Five Ashes Parish Council
At the last Community Safety and Traffic meeting it was noted that there have been reports on the village Facebook page recently of a suspicious van and of theft from a van. The Committee would like to remind residents not to leave tools in their vans overnight and to please ensure that you report the registration numbers of any suspicious vehicle to Sussex Police. It is easy to email firstname.lastname@example.org to provide information. It may assist them with other previously reported activities by increasing their intelligence.
As you are no doubt aware we have seen an increase in the number of potholes forming across the County, notably since the beginning of January as a consequence of the winter weather. East Sussex Highways has provided the following update:
As a result we are experiencing a much higher level of contacts and reports from the public than usual and this has resulted in some delays in dealing with and responding to customer queries but we are working on resolving these as soon as possible.
To manage this and ensure that the network is safe we have more than doubled the number of gangs working to fix potholes with many working full time over holidays and weekends and we are currently fixing potholes at around four times the normal rate. In addition to the standard method of cutting out and applying hot materials to fix potholes we are also using a different method as an interim measure to ensure we can respond in time and maintain a safe network. This method involves a product which can be used both in wet and freezing conditions and simply requires the removal of loose debris from the pothole, the product is then raked into the hole with some water added to start the setting process, it is then squared off and hand tamped to compact it to a level slightly above level of the road surface. Normal trafficking then does the rest. This process is quick and enables more potholes to be repaired and the product is designed as a permanent material that does not necessarily need further work. However, we will be monitoring the effectiveness and the quality of the repairs and further works will be undertaken if required.
Changes to bus times
Although there have been no changes to Mayfield and Five Ashes bus services there have been some to others in Wealden. Please access the following link for more information: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/public/buses/bus-service-changes
Parish Council Grants:
Please not 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 www.mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk. Alternatively contact the Parish Council office on 01435 873784 for a copy of the grants policy and application form.