CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday, at St Peter’s Church Offham, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee/tea, cake and biscuits in the church hall.
AFTERNOON CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on February 11. This month will be Dance and Sing with Patsy at 2pm in Offham Church Hall, followed by a lovely tea and home-made cakes. Lifts available by contacting Judith on 07889 281214.
ASH WEDNESDAY: Advance notice. On Wednesday March 6 there will be a short service in St Peter’s Church Offham at noon which will be followed by a light lunch in the church hall. Cost £8. Please let Chris Glover know if you would like to attend by ringing 01273 400981.
GARDEN PEST: A new garden pest has been identified by the RHS, it forms ugly strings of eggs that wrap around branches, targeting the pretty late-winter flowers.
GAME FOR A LAUGH: I have played so much Monopoly over the years with my two grandchildren that I think that the following will make even them laugh. I have just read that the makers of board game Monopoly have come under fire after complaints that the Oxford edition uses images mainly of male graduates in gowns, with some women shown riding in punts in bikinis. Leaves a lot to the imagination.
SOUND OF SILENCE: A plan to cut noise will see extra-smooth surfaces laid on motorways and A roads. Highways England will also offer double glazing to homes beside roads as part of its £300 million environmental strategy. They should get along here on the B2116, especially at weekends when we get the motor bikes tearing along here as they do a circuit.
STAR COUNT: How to take part in Star Count 2019 from February 2 to 23. After 7pm on a clear night, look south to find Orion, which has four corners and a three star belt. Allow your eyes to adjust, then simply count the number of stars within the rectangle. You shouldn’t count the four corner stars, but you can count the three stars that make up the belt. Don’t use a telescope or binoculars. Note the total and complete the survey at www.cpre.org.uk/starcount. Later you will be able to see the results and how your area compares to the rest of the country. Social media sharing is welcome using @CPREstarcount2019 and @BritAstro
BIRD COUNT: The Big Farmland Bird Count is now taking place until February 17. The initiative, which saw a record number take part last year, offers a simple means of recording the effect of any conservation schemes currently being initiated by farmers and gamekeepers on their land. This may be supplementary feeding or growing wild birdseed crops and game cover crops.
RABI: Farming charity Rabi saw a huge 47 percent rise in the amount it paid to working farmers, farmworkers and their dependants last year. The charity gave out grants of £437825 to 215 working families in 2018. Overall Rabi paid out around £2.22m to 1,248 individuals/families in financial need in 2018.
PARISH COUNCIL: Hamsey PC met on January 24. A resident queried an article in the Hamsey Newsletter stating 33 percent of respondents wanted a tennis or multi-court at the recreation ground in Beechwood Lane, Cooksbridge. He had raised his query with the chairman of the Village Hall Trustees. It should have read 33 percent of those who responded to the question wanted a tennis court of multi-court at the ground. Cllr Dodd offered to look at the statistics. Cllr McBrown declared an interest in item 7, LW/18/0853 and SDNP/18/05048.
VILLAGE HALL: Cllr Dodd said the treasurer to the hall trustees would be resigning in the summer and this had been a cause of great concern. Trustees are very pleased to have found a replacement. Jenni Toomey has resigned after eight years of managing the bookings for the hall and trustees are very pleased to accept an offer from Kate McBrown to take this job on. Trustees will be considering whether to install outdoor exercise equipment, which is especially good for the health of older people, possibly also a drinking fountain and maybe a bike repair area. Dog mess and dogs off leads is still a great concern. Some dog walkers have been very aggressive towards anyone trying to enforce the rule. The ladies toilets have been decorated. The November parish party was a great success. Kate McBrown has suggested a small event to thank hall keyholders, regular users and helpers.
MEETINGS: The Chairman and Vice Chairman gave a report on the SDNPA Parishes Workshop this looked at possible projects within the park. They put forward suggestions for projects that might be considered in the future ie: cycle paths, and the SDNP could cooperate with. These could be flagged up through the newsletters.
OTHER NEWS: Council considered the requirements for 2019. Three quotes had been received for mowing/hedge cutting at the recreation ground and council agreed to appoint Barcombe Landscapes for 2019. Council agreed to ask ESCC to provide six annual cuts to verges in Offham and Cooksbridge which will be paid for by Hamsey Parish Council. There was an emergency planning training session at the village hall on February 5. Cllrs McBrown, D’Arienzo and Cllr Ginn attended. Cllr Baughan circulated a report on Highway Parking and Traffic Issues. There is an SLR meeting arranged for February 13. The clerk was asked to send letters to three properties with overgrown hedges. The chairman reported that there is still a shortage of volunteers for Speedwatch. The PC have approached Hamsey School regarding a clean air kit that can be used to monitor pollution from vehicles near the school. Network Rail will put up No Idling signs on the new barriers. District Cllr Isabelle Linnington said ESCC are pursuing a campaign of Switch Off your engines outside schools. Safety issues at Downsview car park will be discussed at the SLR meeting. Fuel has again been syphoned from vehicles there. Police attended the community meeting in November where the hedge height was discussed. Council has requested the bus shelter in Cooksbridge should be cleaned. The telephone book box is being well used. Jane Baldwin has stepped down from editing the community newsletter and Natalie has kindly offered to help Kate with it.
NEXT MEETING: The next meeting of Hamsey PC is on March 7 in the village hall, Beechwood Lane, Cooksbridge at 7.15pm.