Community Dividend: Further to the problems with the waste collection service last year, Wealden District Council has received an initial payment of £110,000 from Kier with a further £30,000 payable over each of the next five years. The £110,000 is to be used for existing community schemes or to get new projects started. The additional £150,000 will be added to Wealden District Council’s community Grant Fund and spent on local projects across the District.

Each of Wealden’s District Councillors has been given an allowance and is responsible for identifying specific projects in their local wards to benefit from the Community Dividend This will give a welcome boost to smaller projects at parish or neighbourhood level.

The allocations are relative to community size. Cllr Brian Redman will receive just under £2,000 for the ward of Mayfield and Cllr Jonica Fox will receive around £1,470 for the ward of Cross in Hand and Five Ashes. The allocations do not have to be spent all at once or on just one proposal.

Your Ward Member needs to decide what the money should be spent on and are open to suggestions. It must be for the good of the villages and it must be spent by the end of December 2014. It could be used for ‘match’ funding to enable projects to go ahead that are already partially funded or it could be used for an entirely new project. The money cannot simply go into a society or organisation’s reserves. The minimum award is £100 and organisations must have a bank account and agree to required terms and conditions before funding can be released.

If you have a project that you would like to put forward please contact the Parish Council office for the application form which once completed will be forwarded to your Ward Member for approval.

Post Office Consultation: As you are probably already aware the Post Office consultation on the proposal to have a Post Office Local within the Mace supermarket is well underway and ends on 9 April 2014 so there is just time for you to have your say.

They would like to know your views on:

  • How suitable the new location and premises are and how easy it is to get there
  • Whether the new premises are easy to get into and if the inside is easily accessible
  • Concerns you may have about the new location
  • Suggestions that could help make the location better for you
  • Any community issues which you think could be affected by the proposed move
  • Anything you particularly like about the proposed change

Your comments will not be kept confidential unless you expressly ask them to do so by clearly marking them “In Confidence”. The Post Office can be contacted by: Email – consultation@postoffice.co.uk or Telephone – 08457 22 33 44; Textphone – 08457 22 33 55; Post – FREEPOST PO Consultation; Online at www.postoffice.co.uk .

Alternatively you can visit the Parish Council website and complete the survey at: www.mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk

Mayfield High Street: There is concern over diminishing trade in the High Street which has become more apparent since the Post Office closed and then the Bakery. The Parish Council urges residents to shop in Mayfield High Street and to use the facilities to support the businesses and to help prevent any more closures.

There has been a lot of talk in the village concerning the old baker’s shop and about whether La Roche from Tunbridge Wells will be acquiring it. I can confirm that on 19 March they informed us that the employees of Avards, that worked in the shop previously, have spent some time with them to learn product knowledge and their methods. They still intend to open the shop but there has been a delay as the legal paperwork is taking longer to complete than originally anticipated.

Fracking: Members of the public have attended the last two full Parish Council meetings to express the concerns they have with “fracking”. Any decision made on licensing for fracking exploration would be at National or County level, not Parish Council level, and it was agreed that until such time that there is a specific requirement, or the Parish Council is made aware of any intention to apply for permission to drill an exploratory well in Mayfield or Five Ashes [for which the applicant must negotiate access with the landowner, seek permissions and consult with various authorities including the Environment Agency] a decision is not required and the Parish Council remains impartial. Any decision required in the future will be determined using factual unbiased information.

Volunteer Maintenance team: As a cost-saving initiative the Parish Council is looking to form a Volunteer Maintenance Team to carry out the odd simple job around the parish. If you think you might be interested in joining the team please contact the Parish Council office with your details.

Messages from Sussex Police: You may be aware of the reported thefts of Royal Mail post boxes which have been occurring nationally. We have seen a number of reported incidents of this nature in Wealden. Please be aware of any suspicious activity around the small style post boxes, which are usually embedded into a wall. Always call 999 if you see anyone attempting to remove one of these post boxes. If you see one of these post boxes for sale at auction houses, antique shops or similar, and there is no key to access it, please report this on 101.

A vintage Ferguson tractor has recently been stolen from a farm in Berwick. The tractor was grey in colour and had an attachment on the rear. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of this tractor please call Wealden Police on 101 quoting ref 769 09/03/14

Once again we are seeing an increase in reports of theft of heating oil. This was a problem across Wealden last year, and it seems that it is starting again. Please protect your oil tank to make it less appealing to thieves. We are currently investigating a number of these crimes, and our local Neighbourhood Policing team are visiting a number of properties to offer crime prevention advice. Late night patrols of vulnerable hotspot areas are also being undertaken by officers. Please report ALL suspicious activity. If you see someone in a vehicle checking out oil tanks contact the police and be extra vigilant after oil deliveries and report anything suspicious. Report any alarm activations immediately. Report suspicious activity by calling 101 or by visiting the Sussex Police website. In an emergency please call 999.

Please note that during the week commencing 14 April 2014 the Parish Council Office will be open on Wednesday 16 April 2014 from 10:00 – 12:00 due to the Easter holiday.

Dates of Council meetings in April 2014:

Meeting Date Time Venue

Planning Committee

Monday 07 April

09:30

Parish Council Office

Community Safety & Traffic

Monday 07 April

19:30

Parish Council Office

Full Parish Council (Statutory)

Monday 14 April

19:30

Five Ashes Village Hall

Planning Committee

Monday 28 April

11:00

Parish Council Office

Finance & General Purposes

Monday 28 April

19:30

Parish Council Office