Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, Offham, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

PARISH COUNCIL: The next meeting for East Chiltington PC is on Wednesday November 7, in the smaller meeting room at Plumpton Village Hall.

REMINDER: November 11, Armistice Day. The service at St Peter’s Church, Offham is at 10.30am when poppy wreaths will be placed in the Garden of Remembrance along with the children placing their poppies. All parish councillors will try to attend the service. Cllr Ginn will lay the poppy wreath on behalf of Hamsey Parish Council. Beacon lighting in the evening at 7pm, which will be a joint event between Hamsey PC and East Chiltington PC, when the beacon will be lit on the Downs at Mount Harry.

GREEN BELT: So much is being mentioned about allowing more development in out beautiful countryside, and it was interesting to read very recently that new government data shows that councils have already released some 24,700 acres of green-belt land for building since 2012. Surely, the fact that most of it was, and is, in protected areas, should mean protection and not covering our wonderful countryside in huge developments and leaving nothing for future generations.

FASHIONISTAS: Britons buy more clothes than any other European country, but this fast fashion is packing landfills and polluting the sea with microfibres. I wonder what could possibly be next to pollute the universe?

SOLVING CRIME: With all the reports concerning rural crime, perhaps we will be seeing drones being used. Durham Police is the latest force to announce that it will use drones to combat rural crime. It would be nice to see more police instead of drones flying around the countryside.

ROADS: It was nice to see Lewes District Council officers saving the toads. It would have been nicer still if someone had thought of saving the protected Great Crested Newts before the small dew pond was filled in at the development site in Offham.

DUCKLINGS: When the five mallard ducklings and their mother finally flew off to pastures new, it was sad to see them go as they had been here since spring. Now, instead of five tiny ducklings to keep my eye on, I have ten guinea fowl to serenade me first thing in the morning. They belong to my son who, after keeping them in for some time to save them from the foxes, let them out and they have decided to spend their time in my garden and eat some of my bird food. They certainly let me know if anyone is about, but do wander all over the place. They watch for my light to go on in the morning and come down from their roost in one of the trees and make a tremendous noise. Come spring and the mallards will fly in again to nest here. I wonder what they will make of the new lodgers.

WATER PROBLEMS: I wonder if other people have had problems since the changes from South East Water have taken place? We had been with South East Water for very many years and had never had problems. In 2016 we received a letter telling us about changes that were to take place in 2018. Many farmers are furious that we were not given a choice to change and a petition was started following correspondence from Castle Water, who are in Scotland. Over 250 signatures were gathered to register complaints against the company and since then there have been many others who have signed the petition. Being an NFU member, I got in touch with them following correspondence and I was told that they had been inundated with complaints about Castle Water. Although I have not had time to look, I was told the NFU have taken it up and there is a report on their website. Like myself, many people did not receive an invoice before receiving what can only be described as a threatening letter. After complaining to the company I received an invoice a fortnight later and I hope that those who are having problems will not let them get away with such sdisgraceful and threatening behaviour. WE will be changing our water company, as will many others.

FOOD REPORT: A new report called UK A Nation United by Food, has been launched by the NFU and sent to hundreds of MPs to open up the discussion about the future of food in Britain. Focusing on four key areas, the document raises important questions about what Britain needs for a thriving domestic good industry.