Parish Council News – October 2021

War Memorial flowerbed 

Thank you to residents who have kindly donated towards the replanting of the War Memorial flowerbed. So far, a generous £320 has been donated towards the estimated £700 costs so we are well on the way!

High Street tourist information kiosk

A polite request to residents to not dump bags of used books in the telephone kiosk. There are book exchanges where they can be donated in St Dunstan’s Church, Truffles café, the shopping basket and at Five Ashes Village Hall.

Mayfield Community Centre Committee update

There has not been much information to communicate in recent months; not because nothing has been happening – in fact quite the opposite. The challenge has been in achieving a design which is both within budget and meets the architect’s brief. The good news is that by the time this update is published we should have the basis for a design and an affordable way forward.

The architect was appointed and up and running in early April 2021 and immediately produced three designs which were all located at the northeast end of the site at the bottom of the slope. Unfortunately, the appointed full-time quantity surveyor was not in a position to provide costings until mid-July and their work suggested that these initial designs would be way in excess of the original budget, due mainly to the cost issues relating to building on a slope, together with factoring in a 15% increase in building costs over the last 12 months (due to a combination of Brexit and covid) plus the probability of additional cost increases likely between now and the time the building contract is actually placed (expected to be mid 2022).

Some attempts to reduce costs were made by reducing the size of the community centre but these resulted in designs that were unacceptably small for the community centre element of the project.

Another attempt to reduce costs was proposed by the architect which involved the refurbishment of the existing hall together with an extension for the health centre. However, this design was not deemed to be technically viable due to structural issues regarding the existing hall roof together with the suitability of the existing walls meeting current building standards and regulations. It also transpired that it was not a cost-effective solution overall, nor what the village was expecting.

With prompting from the Parish Council, design options which would be both within the Parish Council budget and meet the architect’s brief were produced. These options are in the process of being finessed and considered by the Parish Council. By the time you read this the finalised base design should have been approved by the Project Strategy Board at its meeting in late September 2021.

The base design with options for the external appearance and minor options for the internal floor layout will be presented to residents for their feedback at sessions which are now likely to be held towards the end of October. Details of this event will be made available on the village website, via Facebook and the usual village posters. The proposals will simultaneously also be available on the website for comment.

All the relevant and more detailed information is published on the Mayfield Community Centre section of the Parish Council website which can be found at www.mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk as it becomes available.

Vandalism in Five Ashes playground

It is sad to have to inform that vandalism has had to be reported to Sussex Police recently. Unfortunately, someone or some people, tried to set fire to the climbing ramp on the rear of the wooden tower in the Five Ashes playground. If you come across antisocial activity please report it to Sussex Police as soon as possible on 101 because arson often starts with a fascination for fire and progresses to lighting small fires and can quickly escalate. 

New Police Station in Crowborough
The new police station in Crowborough opened on 9 September 2021. This is the culmination of work with partner agencies to respond to the needs of the community in the north Wealden area and will provide more modern working facilities. In autumn 2019 the Police & Crime Commissioner purchased the former Crowborough Town Council building to replace the former outdated and out-of-town police station that had been used for generations. With its central location, officers will be able to spend more time proactively policing the community and tackling local issues, with less time travelling between hubs. It will enable officers and staff to focus on proactive problem-solving initiatives, addressing local concerns and the policing priorities for the area. The new address is Crowborough Police Station, The Broadway, Crowborough, TN6 1DA. Regular opening times for the front office are Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm. Alternatively you can contact them online or on 101 for all non-emergencies and 999 in an emergency.

Catalytic converter thefts

There has been a spate of catalytic converter thefts from South Street car park and it is rife across the Wealden District.

Signs to look out for: Signs that thieves may be targeting a vehicle to steal a catalytic converter include the vehicle being raised using a car jack in a car park or residential area, and a loud drilling or cutting sound coming from underneath the vehicle. Thefts of catalytic converters can not only have a serious financial impact on victims, but also an emotional impact as it can affect their day-to-day activity and livelihoods. They are stolen for the precious metals they contain and can take offenders less than a few minutes to remove; these metals have surged in value recently, leading to more offences committed by organised crime networks.

PROTECT, MARK, PARK.
• Protect your car by asking your dealer if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold.
• Mark your catalytic converter with a forensic marker and register your converter. They can be forensically marked using special liquids with a unique code detectable under a UV light. This can make it harder for thieves to dispose of stolen catalytic converters and can lead to the detection of crime and reunite people with their property.
• Park your car somewhere well-lit and overlooked, among as many cars as possible, alternatively in a garage overnight or in a secure compound. Try to park so the converter can’t be easily reached – close to a wall or fence. Try not to park at the end of the row if there are free spaces, and be aware that vehicles that sit high above the road are particularly vulnerable.
Crowborough Police Station has secured a number of marking kits which are being made available to members of the community to help mark and protect their vehicles from catalytic convertor theft. These can be obtained between 10am -2pm Monday to Friday. Please take identification and your log book and present to the staff at the front office who will be able to issue a kit. (These are limited and are issued on a first come first served basis.)


If you see anyone acting suspiciously around parked vehicles, report it to the Police immediately – if you think it is a crime in action and a theft is occurring call 999, remember to obtain any details of a get-away vehicle, and a description of the suspects. Witnesses or anyone with information can report online or call 101 and quote Operation Rhodium.

Temporary road closures

Vale Road is scheduled to be closed from 26 October to 27 October 2021 to allow Southern Water to carry out apparatus repair works. The diversion is via South Street – The Avenue – Cordbatt Hill.

Newick Lane is scheduled to be closed from 12 October – 25 October 2021 from outside the entrance to a property known as Old Mill to the junction with the A265 Burwash Road. This is to allow BT Openreach to carry out new connection works.

Wealden Community Grants Fund

Organisations and community groups across the Wealden district are being invited to apply for grants to help provide funding support for their activities or services. Wealden District Council has three strands to its Community Grants Programme for groups and organisations to benefit the people of the Wealden District. Editable pdf application forms for each can be downloaded from their website: CommunityGrantsProgramme

Organisations may only apply to one strand of funding. 

A Recovery Fund is open until 24th October for Funding to be Spent by March 2022

A second round of Recovery grants is available to help any third sector organisation, which did not benefit from a Recovery grant in the last round. Groups can apply for between £500 and £3000, to be spent by the end of March 2022. Last year groups were supported with help towards equipment, measures to ensure safety, provision of alternative delivery methods, and help with utilities, rent and other expenditure which needed to be met when organisations were struggling with reduced income due to the pandemic. Expenditure for general activities to support communities was also provided.  

A Small Grants round is open until 30th November for activities between April 2022 and March 2023

Grants of between £500 – £3000 are available to third sector organisations which are planning activities in the next financial year (April 2022 – March 2023) to benefit Wealden residents.  

Partnerships Service Level Agreements of 3 years are also available with a deadline of 30th November

Three-year funding is also available to key organisations which support residents in multiple parishes to be spent between April 2022 and March 2025. Please make contact if you are considering a Service Level Agreement application.If you need any advice or have any questions after reading the guidance and application form, please email communitygrants@wealden.gov.uk or call (01323) 443520

Parish Council Meetings

The meeting schedule on the website: www.mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk shows this month’s Council and Committee meetings as well as agendas, minutes of meetings and other relevant documentation. This is also available from the Parish Council Office. Please email the clerk the day before a meeting if you wish to attend a committee meeting as numbers may be restricted due to covid.

Janna Todd, Parish Clerk 

Old Manor House, High Street, Mayfield TN20 6AL 

Telephone 01435 873784          E-mail: clerk@mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk

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