Parish Council News – May 2019

Annual Parish Assembly

This year’s Annual Parish Assembly will be held in the Memorial Hall on 20 May 2019 at 19:30. This is a meeting for residents and not a council meeting although we have the responsibility to organise it. So please come along and feel free to ask any questions about local issues. I am pleased to be able to confirm that South East Water will be attending the meeting to inform residents about all the work they are doing to install a new pipeline which should be interesting. The agenda will be issued on 03 May 2019 and posted on the website and placed in the noticeboards.


Farewell to some of our Parish Councillors

Three of our Parish Councillors have decided not to stand in the election on 02 May 2019. We therefore have to say farewell and give big thanks to Cllr Robert Fitzsimmons (Five Ashes), Cllr Herb Hills (Mayfield) and Eleanor McDonnell-Slater (Five Ashes). All have been active in their support and care for the local area, through their roles as Councillors and have given many hours to addressing and finding ways forward with local issues.


Mayfield play area

I am pleased to say that the newly refurbished play area is being well used. Some teenagers have been spotted behaving antisocially in the play area which is disappointing. It would be most helpful if everyone can remain vigilant and report any antisocial behaviour.


High Street bus services

You are probably well aware that Tunbridge Wells Road is closed for through traffic (scheduled from 23 April 2019 for 10 weeks) which obviously impacts the bus services and timetables.The buses are having to access the High Street from the A267 roundabout and turn around at the entrance to Mayfield School just south of Little Trodgers Lane then exit Mayfield via the roundabout.


Buses are observing the stops they normally serve to pick up, i.e. on the north side of High Street/Station Road for Tunbridge Wells (before turning) and the south side for Heathfield and Eastbourne. Amongst the instruction that Stagecoach has given drivers is to exercise discretion around this, e.g. passengers from Tunbridge Wells could be dropped off on the north side rather than waiting for the bus to turn and drop on the south side. We are most grateful to Mayfield School for their co-operation in what is a difficult situation.


A New Way to Report Crimes and Information Across Sussex

Police Forces across England & Wales are using a new system called Single Online Home (SOH). This is a policing portal which allows the public to easily report crimes, incidents and information online.

The police non-emergency phone number 101 remains available if personal contact is required. However, using SOH significantly reduces wait times for those reporting crimes or incidents, or if you simply wish to provide some information to the police. Reporting online via SOH is easy and effective. It has been positively endorsed by a number of Neighbourhood Watch members who have had the opportunity to use it.

The new portal can be found on the home page of the recently updated Susses Police website at: In addition to the Report area, here you will find a new box “Tell us about …”. There is a drop down from which you can select, for example, “Something you’ve seen or heard”.

There are some shortcut links available as below, which have been tested:

  • If reporting a crime or incident which has occurred in Sussex, SOH is available directly via the link: You can scroll further down that page to see other options.

  • To report a crime or incident that has occurred outside of Sussex, SOH is available at:
  • If it’s something that you’ve seen or heard the link is:

SOH should not be used for an emergency – dialling 999 remains the means of contact if there is danger to a person or if a crime is being committed. All reports submitted via SOH will receive an immediate acknowledgement message. Reports are reviewed in live time, and within 48 hours Sussex Police will provide a personal response from a named staff member.

The Big Wealden Switch

At the last Parish Council meeting Cllr Graham Wells provided some more information on Wealden’s Big Switch

that is open again to save money on energy bills. This year all those who register will be entered into a free draw with a cash prize of £500. By taking part in the Big Wealden Switch collective buying scheme, residents could save around £200 – £300 a year on electricity and gas bills. (In 2018, 294 people switched accounts, saving on average £337 a year.)


The success of The Big Wealden Switch scheme got Wealden District Council noticed at this year’s iESE Public Transformation Awards for the way the scheme had successfully involved so many local people and they won the Gold Award in Public Transformation for Community Focus.

Tobe included in the £500 prize draw, you must register by midnight on 20 May. When you register for the Big Wealden Switch online, you will need a household energy bill handy to provide details of your current usage. (Unfortunately, this is not available for Economy 7 Heating.) To find out more go to thebigswitchor call 01323 443322.

Sheep Worrying

Following local incidents of sheep worrying, Sussex Police has an important message to share. Livestock worrying is a criminal offence and comes under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, ‘worrying’ is where a dog attacks or chases livestock causing injury or suffering. This isn’t just a threat to a farmer or land owner’s livelihood, it’s also a dangerous situation for the animals involved, and could lead to more risk if the animals get onto the road.

Please be aware that a farmer is allowed to kill a dog if it’s worrying their livestock. Remember: always keep your dog under control around other animals, and if you see a dog on the loose worrying animals, contact Sussex Police on 101 or in an emergency 999.