Parish Council News – November 2014

As the Parish Council has already been made aware that not all of the present Parish Councillors will be standing for election in May 2015 we need to encourage residents to think about whether they would like to become a Parish Councillor. We will be holding two drop-in sessions in the Parish Council Office – the first is on the evening of Christmas late night shopping on Friday 5th December from 18:00 – 19:30 and the second will be the following morning on Saturday 6th December from 10:00 – 12:00. Please come along to meet councillors and to ask any questions that you may have. Light refreshments will be available!

The main duties and responsibilities of a Parish Councillor

  • To represent effectively the interests of the whole parish by listening to views from the electorate
  • Understanding the needs of different groups in the community (such as the young and elderly)
  • To improve the quality of life for those that live, work or visit the area
  • To undertakes appropriate training and development to help fulfil the requirements of the councillor role
  • To deal with resident’s enquiries and representations fairly and without prejudice
  • To keep up to date with significant developments affecting the Parish Council at local, regional and national levels
  • To represent the Parish Council on outside bodies to which the Councillor is appointed and report back activities
  • To prepare for, attend and participate in Parish Council meetings, decision making
  • To take part in voting and respect decisions made by the majority of those present and voting
  • To maintain proper standards of behaviour and comply with the Council’s code of conduct
  • To participate fully in the formation and scrutiny of the Community Council’s policies, strategic plans, budgets and service delivery
  • To ensure that the Parish Council is properly managed

Skills needed by a Parish Councillor

  • Making decisions
  • Exploring and expanding ideas
  • Interpreting information
  • Visualising what might happen
  • Using imagination
  • Understanding budgets and financial paperwork
  • Encouraging yourself and others
  • Listening
  • Questioning
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Evaluating
  • Reviewing
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Assessing objectively
  • Public speaking.
  • Persuading and motivating
  • Prioritising
  • Negotiating
  • IT skill

Community Dividend

The closing date for Community Dividend funding to be allocated by Ward Members is the 15th November 2014. Any local organisations intending to apply for Community Dividend funding need to forward their application forms as soon as possible to the Parish Council office.

Hedge Cutting

This year more than the average number of complaints have been received concerning hedges and vegetation encroaching the roads and footpaths. Most hedges are the responsibility of the person who owns the land next to the road. Your hedge needs to be cut back if:

  • It restricts the width of the pavement
  • Forces people to walk at the edge of the pavement
  • Forces people to walk on the road
  • Forces vehicles towards the centre of the road

A failure to do this could result in a formal notice being served by East Sussex County Council or you could also face legal action from an injured member of the public. So, please maintain your own hedges and trees safely and responsibly and do please report any junctions you come across where the view is blocked by overgrown vegetation.

Warning! Deer Crossing!

Around this time of the year there is an increased risk of accidents caused by deer crossing roads. This occurs more frequently during the rutting season in October/November and then in May/June, the time of year when young deer disperse from their breeding areas. Between 40,000 and 75,000 deer are killed in collisions on British roads every year. These accidents kill car occupants as well as injuring hundreds and causing £11 million of damage to vehicles. So please be warned and take extra care when driving

Consumer Contract Regulations

We have been asked by Sussex Police to pass on important information concerning the changes to consumer contract regulations which came into force on 13th June 2014.  As a consumer, in a nutshell, here is what you can expect from a business that is selling goods and/or services to you in your own home:

  • The right to cancel period has increased from 7 to 14 days
  • There is a new model cancellation form,
  • Extra information is now required to be given by the seller to you detailed below.

What information should you as a customer get?

This applies to contracts for goods and/or services provided they cost more than £42.00.

  • The main characteristics of the goods or services
  • The sellers identity, such as a trading name
  • The address where the seller is trading from and, where applicable, a telephone number, fax number and email address
  • If the seller is acting on behalf of another trader, their identity and geographical address
  • If there is a different address for consumer complaints, this must also be given
  • The total price of the goods or services including tax (such as VAT). If that cannot be calculated in advance the seller must say how it will be calculated
  • All delivery and other costs. If these cannot be calculated in advance the seller must say that they are payable
  • The seller’s complaint handling policy
  • The conditions, time limits and procedure for exercising a right to cancel
  • If the seller is offering a contract where consumers can request the seller to start within the cancellation period, the seller must tell you that if you choose to cancel you will be required to pay the seller the reasonable costs of the service that they have delivered, up to the time of the cancellation within the cancellation period.
  • If the seller offers any after sales consumer assistance, services or guarantees, the seller must make consumers aware of this and any applicable conditions
  • If the seller is a member of a code of conduct, the seller must inform consumers as to how they can obtain a copy
  • If you are required to give deposits or other financial guarantees, the seller must inform you of this obligation and any applicable conditions
  • Any alternative dispute resolution schemes that the seller is subject to and how to access them e.g. Ombudsman Services, etc.

Careers Fair

Wealden District Council are hosting their first Careers Fair on the 19th November at Uckfield Civic Centre. Businesses, colleges, universities and training providers have been invited to come along to meet the young people of Wealden and inspire them on what choices they make for the future. Around 50 exhibitors have confirmed to be involved with the event, where they will make their stands as interactive as possible to engage with the students. The event is open for 14-25 year olds and will be open from 10am – 4pm at Uckfield Civic Centre, Uckfield, TN22 1AE.