CHURCH SERVICES: Palm Sunday, St Peter’s Church Offham, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Parish Communion with Palm Procession, followed by coffee in the hall.
MONDAY CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on April 10 in Offham Church Hall at 2pm. Film Show: A Sussex Farm in the 1950s shown by Ian Everest, followed by a lovely tea with home made cakes. Lifts available by calling Judith 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.
PARISH COUNCIL: East Chiltington PC met on March 2. Council noted the resignation of Cllr Fleming and considered the vacancy. Council thanked Cllr Fleming for his service to the parish and will present him with a framed millennium map of the parish. The clerk has advertised the vacancy but had not, at the time of the meeting, had anyone come forward for the role. Cllr Sarah Osborne reported on the recent LDC budget meeting. She said LDC plan to start a local lottery to raise money for local good causes. They will carry out a feasibility study into the use of modular units to house the homeless and also a study to look at accommodation in rural areas. They would also look at the impact and implications of converting outbuildings for residential use and will also look at home sharing between the elderly and younger lodgers. Cllr Osborne will look at the sustainable tourism strategy in May. She will be standing as a county council candidate for the Plumpton Area. The chairman proposed that Cllr Mary Symes should join and chair the planning and environment committee, with was agreed by all.
Following correspondence from a resident in Wickham Lane about the telegraph poles, which have been installed, council agreed to write to LDC asking if pressure could be put on to BT to get cables routed underground. Cllr Funnell has been dealing with reports of a padlocked gate on footpath 73a and informed the PC that the landowners have now installed a kissing gate. It has been agreed that the Parish Day will take place on Saturday June 24. Council discussed a letter from a resident who had contacted ESCC regarding verge maintenance and agreed that the PC were not prepared to take over responsibility from ESCC and this would not be an agenda item.
WEBSITE: The chairman reported that the new website is up and running but there is still a question about whether the alerts were getting through. Very few people had signed up to the new site at the time of the meeting and the clerk will check if the alerts are working and encourage more people to sign up.
TECT: Cllr Farmelo reported that TECT had held a couple of pruning days. The quiz as a success and raised over £800. A mulch of manure has been applied to the trees. A document will be drawn up to allow permitted access from the gardens of adjoining properties. A resident had offered to become a TECT Trustee and this was discussed and approved by all. Cllr Mary Symes will represent the PC as one of the TECT Trustees.
ANNUAL MEETING: The Annual Parish Meeting will be on May 11 at 7pm to be followed no earlier than 7.30pm by the Annual Parish Council Meeting.
TANUKIS: Also known as raccoon dogs. The RSPCA has now called for the sale of these dogs to be banned. The animals, which are native to Japan, Siberia and China, have already escaped into the wild and re posing a threat to British wildlife. They can be bought online for £150. They come from the canine family, but are closer to foxes than dogs in their behaviour and scavenging eating habits. In Sweden Tanukis are already regarded as pests to be eradicated because of the threat they pose to wildlife, particularly amphibians and ground-nesting birds. Apparently it was a Japanese owner who rescued an abandoned Tanuki and chronicled his efforts to care for the animal, named Tanu, on Twitter. His photographs of Tau curled up in front of a fire soon attracted 10,000 followers. British owners have spoken of taking their Tanukis for walks on a lead, with many regarding them as a breed of dog which can be domesticated. If only the people who bought them had read more about them.
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