Parish Council News – May 2022

Kathy Setford

The Parish Council was very saddened to learn that Kathy Setford who was a lay member on our Rights of Ways and Trees Committee and our volunteer tree warden for many years had sadly passed away. She will be very missed, and our heartfelt condolences go to her family.

Annual Parish Assembly

This year’s Annual Parish Assembly will take place on 23 May 2021 and will be held in Five Ashes Village Hall at 19:30. This is not a council meeting but a meeting of the parish residents that must, by law, take place between 01 March and 01 June each year. Organisations, societies and residents can contribute to the agenda and debate current issues in the community. If your organisation or society would like to report to the meeting or if you have any current issues that you believe should be added to the agenda for discussion, please contact the Parish Council office before 09 May 2019. The agenda is issued ten days before the meeting and will be displayed on the noticeboards and on the community website meeting schedule as usual. 

Potential Waste & Street Cleansing Industrial Action

Biffa has informed Wealden District Council that it has received formal notification from the GMB union that its members intend to take strike action at the depots operating services in Wealden from Monday 25th April for at least two weeks. At the time of writing this article, Biffa was in discussion with the GMB union to try to resolve the dispute ahead of the intended strike action. In the meantime, all waste and street cleansing services continue to operate as normal so residents should continue to put their bins out on the scheduled collection day. Please be assured the District Council will inform residents of what is happening through their website, My Alerts e-newsletter and social media. 

Biffa is in active and ongoing negotiations with the unions and remains committed to reaching a solution as quickly as possible.

Litter picking

A big thank you to all the volunteers who have litter picked around the parish as part of The Great British Spring Clean. Your help and time is very appreciated!

If you would like to discuss taking on the role as the Parish Council’s litter picker, please contact the office – details at the end of the article. We currently payfor eight hours a month from October to March and 12 hours a month from April to September.

Skate Park

Unfortunately there has been more antisocial behaviour in the Court Meadow skate park. What can be described as a wooden pew was placed at the top of the tallest wooden ramp that had to be removed and there was evidence of a small fire within the youth shelter. In addition, a very large hay bale was somehow taken to the skate park and a member of the public informed that youths were pulling out handfuls of hay, setting fire to it at the bottom of the wooden jump box then cycling or skating through the flames. These acts are so dangerous and the antisocial behaviour has been reported to Sussex Police who will increase their patrols at Court Meadow.

If you see any antisocial behaviour there is dedicated phone number for Operation Blitz at Sussex Police. This runs on Fridays and Saturdays from 15:00pm and 22:30pm on 07770 700642. At other times you can talk to officers on 101 but dial 999 if you think it is an emergency. 

Bridle ways

We have received a complaints from a landowner that horse riders using their bridleways are not respecting the routes and are riding off the path over their land. They have also found that some are riding on their footpaths, churning up the surfaces and causing damage to their meadows. Please remember that when you are on private land your only permitted access is the bridleway and you are not allowed to deviate from designated paths. This applies to all users (including dogs) on all footpaths and bridleways.

Temporary road closures

West Street is scheduled to be closed on 16 May 2022 from 9:30 to 15:30 to allow BT Openreach to carry out apparatus repair works.

Lake Street is scheduled to be closed on 06 May 2022 to allow BT Openreach to carry out repairs

Hosting Ukrainian guests in East Sussex

There are three main routes by which Ukrainian refugees might arrive in East Sussex:

  • Homes for Ukraine
  • The Ukraine Family Scheme
  • By independent means.

Of these, it is the Homes for Ukraine scheme where the public sector in East Sussex is concentrating their efforts. This is the only current route by which they can carry out safeguarding checks and offer the financial support the Government is making available.

Advice from East Sussex county Council is to strongly recommend that anyone who is independently arranging to host refugees, registers for the Homes for Ukraine scheme. 

At the time of writing this article, the latest data for Ukrainian refugees that have been matched with hosts in East Sussex:

Total 852

There is a great effort going on across East Sussex to help refugees. Thank you to all who are part of it. 

Leader of Wealden District Council to step down

Wealden District Council leader Bob Standley has announced he is standing down as leader of the authority in May. During his 18 years as a district councillor – and 12 years as council leader – Councillor Standley has overseen a transformation programme that reduced the council’s costs, is acclaimed for improving the wellbeing and quality of life for Wealden residents and been the driving force to ensure the authority is in a strong position to enable continued excellent delivery of services to residents. Councillor Standley has also been continuously lobbying government and senior ministers to reduce the number of homes Wealden council is obliged to provide across the district.

Change to response to reports of vegetation

On receipt of a report or if vegetation is identified during a routine inspection, your local Highway Steward will carry out an onsite assessment of the hedge or tree.  If it is found to be causing a problem to the highway they may issue one of the following:
•   A responsibilities letter advising the resident/ land owner that they must maintain their vegetation to ensure it does not overhang or obstruct the highway.
•   A Hedge Cutting Notice that is issued where the vegetation is causing an obstruction that requests any necessary works are carried out within 14 days.  When a Hedge Cutting Notice is issued a reinspection will be carried out in 14 days by the Highways Steward.
•   If the vegetation is causing an immediate and severe safety issue the Steward may carry out works on site or arrange for a contractor to cut back the vegetation as an emergency, the cost for this work is then recovered from the responsible land owner.

When a reinspection is carried out and the works have not been completed and they have not heard from the owner or if they refuse to cut the vegetation back, their enforcement team will carry out further investigations. If the owner still refuses following an enforcement notice, the cutting will be arranged and the costs recovered from the land owner.

Parish Council Grants:

Please note that the application deadline for Parish Council grants each year is 30 September for payment in 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