First of all the good news:
Further to last month’s Newsletter article we received the confirmation that the contractor engaged for the refurbishment of the Mayfield play area could commence work during February which is earlier than anticipated. By the time this article is published it is hoped that the project will be nearing completion or ready to be enjoyed by youngsters.
We are also pleased that our licenses to install moveable speed indicating devices have been approved. There will be six locations where the signs can be installed temporarily in Five Ashes and Mayfield that we hope will remind drivers to keep to the speed limits and generally slow the traffic down.
Dropped kerb in Mayfield High Street
Now the bad news: The Parish Council has been looking into the possibility of installing a dropped kerb on the north side of the High Street to improve access for the disabled and people with prams, and pushchairs. We finally managed to convene a meeting with a representative from East Sussex Highways and it was not good news. We were informed that under no circumstances would a dropped kerb be permitted to be installed in front of St Dunstan’s Church or, in fact, anywhere along the north pavement of the High Street due to the height of the pavement.
If a dropped kerb were to be installed in front of the ramp to the church, the width needed to allow the permitted gradient of the drop would mean that the pavement would have to start sloping in front of the Middlehouse Deli door all the way to the Mayfield Wine shop premises. The following problems were noted:
- The heritage lamppost would have to be relocated
- The three large BT utility covers in the pavement would have to be re-sited – which would be enormously expensive, and BT might not even allow it.
- The slope required for the drop would reveal the damp proof course for each of the shops it is in front of which would cause problems
- The required sight lines to see past parked vehicles are not available. Basically, a disabled person would have to be almost in the middle of the High Street to see past the parked vehicles which is too dangerous.
East Sussex Highways informed that a pelican crossing in the centre of the existing double yellow lines in front of the church would be their preferred solution, however it would cost in excess of £50,000. There would have to be zigzag keep clear lines painted on each side of the road for a set distance which would mean the loss of multiple parking spaces to allow necessary sight lines.
The Rights of Ways and Trees Committee discussed the issue that England and Wales have about 140,000 miles of footpaths, but that it is estimated that more than 10,000 have been lost from current maps. Right-to-roam law means pre-1949 rights of way that are not on official maps must be recorded in next 10 years or will no longer be protected. From 1 January 2019, walkers, horseriders – and even those taking regular shortcuts to the shops will have 10 years to apply to save any rights of way that existed before 1949 but do not appear on official maps. On 1 January 2026, old footpaths and bridleways that are not recorded on the official Definitive Map of Rights of Way may cease to carry public right.
Volunteers across the country have been working to rediscover them and put in legal applications for the recovery of lost paths before the deadline. Some tips on how to rediscover a lost footpath:
- The first port of call is the Ramblers, whose website gives clear advice on how to identify a lost path and make an application. The method involves comparing new and old maps, plus examination of historical sources. Walking and exploration is involved, but don’t forget that a lost path has to be proven before you can use it, otherwise you are trespassing.
- It is also important to be sure you are not replicating work already underway. Government’s Rights of Way order information – decisions and maps websitegives information on current applications.
- You may also know of paths that are used regularly but are not on the definitive map. Any footpath walked by the public for 20 years without any attempt by the landowner to prevent access can be made a right of way.
Changes to how the police handle lost property
All police forces nationally will no longer record reports or accept responsibility for some found property items. Traditionally, police have accepted the responsibility of recording lost and found property, although there is no statutory duty to do so. The public are now encouraged to retain the property themselves and try to reunite it with its owner wherever possible. In all cases reasonable steps to trace the owner should be made.
Items that contain personal data should be reported to the issuing authority for example, the relevant bank for a debit card. If you are unable to do this and you hand it in to the police, they will forward this onto them for you. The card will not be retained by the police. If you find an item on licensed premises, private premises, such as a hotel, house, in a taxi, on public transport, on business premises or educational premises, you should hand it to staff as they should operate their own lost and found procedures. If you find an item and you believe it is stolen or has been involved with a crime, please report this online, via 101 or visit your local police station.
Please beware of an email scam that Wealden has been made aware of trying to persuade residents to click on an email link to receive a council tax rebate. This is not an email from Wealden District Council. There have been a number of calls from the public who have received an email from ‘Andrew Walsh, Head of Digital Communication Services’ advising them that their council tax account is in credit and please click on the link…
Please ignore the email. In cases where council tax is in credit, they send written notification and a revised council tax statement.
Free warm home checks
Living in a cold home can harm your health and can make a range of health conditions worse. It can also impact on your mental wellbeing. If you struggle to afford the energy you need to keep warm and well in your home, you may be eligible for a free warm home check. This service is available all year round and includes:
- advice on getting help with the cost of heating your home
- a full assessment of your home and how best to keep it warm
- small preventative works such as improving insulation or repairing boilers
- emergency temporary heating.
To find out more and if you’re eligible text WARM to 81400, call 03444 111 444 or visit the Keep Warm and Well website at warmeastsussex.org.uk.You’ll also find handy tips, DIY hints, details about grants and payments, and information and support to help you keep warm.
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 https://mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk/