Councillor Vacancy

During October Cllr Jonathan Nash resigned from the Parish Council due to increased work commitments. The Parish Council would like to thank Jon for his time in office and is sorry to see him go. We would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in filling this Councillor vacancy to represent the ward of Five Ashes. To stand as a Parish Councillor you must:

  • be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or;
  • be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or;
  • be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union;
  • be a least 18 years old.
  • be an elector of the parish, or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
  • during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.

You do not have to be connected to a political party.

Footpath Conversion to Bridleway

For several years now the Rights of Ways and Trees Committee has been working with East Sussex County Council to upgrade Footpaths 43a, 43b and 44b to bridleway status. These footpaths run from Little Trodgers Lane towards Coggins Mill. East Sussex County Council has confirmed that there were no objections received during the consultation period concerning the upgrade to bridleway status. We are pleased to be able to inform you that the order has been placed to add the bridleway to the definitive map and statement of public rights of way for North Wealden District.

For more information on local footpaths you can access East Sussex County Council’s Rights of Ways Map on their website: https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

Hedge Cutting

There have been many complaints received recently 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
  • Obscures streetlights or road signs

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 hedges and trees safely and responsibly.

Reporting Highways Issues

For those residents who are not aware and have internet access, there is a wealth of information on the new East Sussex Highways website that can be found at: www.eastsussexhighways.com . You can access information on local road works, gully emptying, grass cutting, gritting etc. It is easy to report any problems that you come across along the roads and pavements such as pot holes or blocked drains for example so that East Sussex Highways are kept informed.

Road closure and diversion signs

Since the resurfacing of Newick Lane in mid September there are numerous road closure and diversion signs left on the verges in Newick Lane, West Street and at the end of the High Street. A request was sent to East Sussex Highways to remove them and they have advised that the traffic management company that owns the signs has been contacted and they should be taken away soon. Hopefully they will have been collected by the time this article is published.

Is your home prepared for winter?

East Sussex County Council is working with National Energy Action and Osborne Energy to offer the Winter Home Check Service. This service provides eligible vulnerable households with a home assessment, advice on how to keep the home warm and information about help with heating costs.

If you are on a low income and are either: an older person, a family with children, a disabled person or someone with an ongoing health condition (or if anyone in your household is), then you may qualify for this service.

The Winter Home Check Service offers:

  • A full assessment of your home and how best to keep it warm
  • Small preventative works, such as improving insulation or repairing boilers
  • Installation of replacement boilers, central heating systems or home insulation (subject to additional eligibility and limited availability
  • Emergency temporary heating
  • Advice on getting help with the cost of heating your home

For further information about the service call free phone: 0800 085 1674

Lines are open Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 5.00pm, Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm

Be a Councillor in East Sussex Campaign

On the 4 May 2017 the people of East Sussex will elect the 50 representatives to serve as East Sussex County Councillors for the next four years.

East Sussex County Council have launched their Be a Councillor in East Sussex campaign to share the key messages for anyone interested in becoming a Councillor – the practicalities of standing for election, the remit of the Councillor role, the scope and scale of East Sussex County Council and the qualities that will enable someone to succeed as a Councillor. Anyone interested in finding out more about the campaign or about becoming a Councillor is encouraged to visit the dedicated Be a Councillor in East Sussex website: www.beacouncillor.co.uk/east-sussex

Homes needed for Syrian Refugees

Wealden District Council has committed to help find homes for up to 40 Syrian refugees over the next five years, all of whom are in desperate need of assistance. These vulnerable people are currently living in refugee camps and insecure accommodation in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Syria.

They are calling on private landlords to come forward with offers of accommodation that are self-contained, available for at least 12 months and within, or very close to, local housing allowance rates so that they are affordable to those newly arriving in the United Kingdom who may need time to find their feet.

If you are an owner or landlord with property to let in Wealden, or you know of someone who is, please contact Gemma Forshaw, Housing Options and Strategy Manager on 01323 443267 or email gemma.forshaw@wealden.gov.uk If you would like to offer other goods, services or support to refugees in Wealden, please also get in touch.

Autumn message from Chief Inspector Rob Leet, District Commander for Lewes & Wealden

Our new neighbourhood policing structure, which went live in July, has allowed me to focus a whole team of resources to specific locations in order to tackle issues and target those offenders who cause most harm to our communities. This approach has reaped dividends right across the district in a variety of ways. For example, two suspects were charged with 12 offences of fraud following a joint investigation between my Neighbourhood Policing Team and Trading Standards. The suspects targeted elderly victims in the Heathfield area in order to scam them out of £1000s. Many of the investigative enquiries, along with the continuing preventative work to raise awareness and targeted activity towards the suspects, has been an ongoing priority for my team and being able to devote the appropriate resources is absolutely key to keeping residents in the wider community safe.

In Lewes and the surrounding area, a spate of house burglaries triggered some extensive police work to identify and apprehend a suspect. We subsequently charged John Paul Healey with several offences, including burglaries, and he is currently remanded in custody awaiting appearance at Crown Court. Similarly, Darryl Dempsey was found guilty of a multitude of offences across Wealden, including burglary, frauds, a ram-raid and driving offences, resulting in a custodial sentence of 44 months and a lengthy driving ban. That’s another persistent offender we’ve been able to keep communities safe from for a while. The judge commented that if he’s up in court again he’ll be looking at years in double figures rather than months!

It causes me great concern that there are offenders active on our District who specifically target the vulnerable. So called “rogue traders” are a particular example of this. We receive several reports each week of cold-calling tradesmen (and women!) who prey on the elderly in order to ply their questionable “skills” by repairing roofs, cleaning driveways, doing gardening work and other such jobs which are usually quite unnecessary. The extortionate prices charged are invariably accompanied by intimidating demands to the elderly victim – and sometimes even a lift to the bank for the money to be withdrawn. Considering how many of these instances will go unreported to police, it is clear that we must all be vigilant as to what is possibly going on in the roads where we live. This is something my officers are very much alive to and we will do our utmost to safeguard those most vulnerable, in a variety of ways. We also pursue those responsible and as I write this message, we have just executed five warrants on the District to target suspects, make arrests and obtain evidence. These suspects have been particularly active in places like Crowborough, Westham, Mayfield, Ringmer, Chailey and Newick so they are truly operating right across the District. It is important that the public assists us too and I urge all of you to spread the warning to vulnerable neighbours or relatives. And if you witness any suspicious activity in your streets, do tell us immediately and make a note of vehicle number plates and descriptions of those involved. The key message here is not to give work to those who cold-call telling you that work needs doing on your home.

Reported crime and anti-social behaviour incidents have reduced since May on both Lewes and Wealden districts. Whilst that is good news, I am conscious that such statistics can only ever be a guide and that some people and communities may suffer more than others, not necessarily feeling as safe as they could do. It is important that incidents are reported to us and that we continue to have meaningful engagement with those who need us the most. You can find the policing team for your particular area by visiting either of the following web addresses and inputting the town/village where you live:-

www.sussex.police.uk/wealden or by e-mailing: district.wealden@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

Incidents should be reported at 101 by phone or, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk, or 999 in an emergency.

Rob Leet

Chief Inspector, Lewes & Wealden District Commander

Fraud information

Take Five campaign, a new campaign has launched offering five simple and easy to remember steps to prevent fraud:

1) Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password

2) Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic

3) Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting

4) Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right

5) Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret.

Visit the Take Five website for more information and advice: https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk

Reminder about phishing emails

Sussex residents continue to be targeted for phishing emails, where fraudsters send legitimate-sounding emails asking you to click on a link and provide personal details. Remember: opening attachments or clicking links contained within emails from unknown sources could result in your device being infected with malware or a virus. Banks, the police and other genuine organisations will never email you asking for you to disclose personal information

Remember: banks and police will NEVER call and ask you to transfer funds to a new account, NEVER collect your cards from your home, NEVER ask you to buy high value goods and NEVER ask you to hand over cards or money.

Keep your money safe with these tips:

  • Check people are who they say they are. Not sure? Don’t open the door!
  • Never send or give money to people you don’t know or trust
  • Remember to protect your identity – don’t share your personal information with unexpected callers
  • Beware of email and computer scams. Treat all emails from unknown senders with suspicion and never click on links within them
  • Never share your PIN number or enter your PIN into a telephone
  • If in doubt, phone a relative, friend or someone you know personally

Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it could be fraud.

East Sussex Fire Authority Consultation

East Sussex Fire Authority (ESFA) is seeking your views on how it can improve its services for local communities in East Sussex. They would like to consult you about some key issues on the shape of their services for the future and they would like your help in considering how they can improve their local services for local communities on an affordable basis. The Authority will be asking you to consider their proposed Integrated Risk Plan for 2017/18 to 2019/20 which has a number of aims:

  • To set a strategic direction by identifying a new purpose and commitments
  • To review how they measure performance
  • To help them match their resources to their risks including looking at how the Authority best use their staff and volunteers

If you would like a copy of the plan you can access it on the ESFRS website http://www.esfrs.org/about-us/publication-of-information/planning-performance/integrated-risk-management-plan/

The Authority would be very grateful if you could take the time to complete the questionnaire which can be found at:https://www.ors.org.uk/web/index.php/survey/index/sid/826236/lang/en

Please note that due to Wealden District Council’s Parish Conference, the Parish Council office will be closed on Wednesday 30 November 2016