Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Update on last weekend’s Operation Blitz activity. Friday was a busy shift for the team. Fourteen calls were made direct to the Blitz officers, mostly reporting nuisance behaviour in and around Fernley Park in Uckfield. This appeared to be down to some drunk youths which had been evicted from a house party in Teelings Drive. Officers confiscated alcohol from a number of youths and took two boys home to parents. Unfortunately they had already caused issues for a number of residents on the estate. Officers were also called regarding some nuisance motorbikes in Farmingham Road, Crowborough, but they had disappeared before the team arrived. On the Saturday night, the team were tasked to visit the home addresses of the youths that came to their attention on the previous evening, in Fernley Park. Suitable advice was given in front of their parents and one lad was issued with an Acceptable Behaviour Contract at the Police Station. On the whole, it was a much quieter evening with only one call to the Blitz phone, which was to advise us of some nosy youths at the play park in New Road, Ridgewood.

FARM WATCH: This week they received reports of 17 loose animals on the public highways. These were made up of eight horses, seven sheep and two cows. As usual please check your boundary fences and hedges at least once a day, this should include boundaries to railway lines. It is important that you make a note of the serial numbers of any machinery or tools that you have. If any equipment is stolen, this will greatly increase the chance of returning your items to you should they be recovered.

LITTER: The statement below is applicable to all vehicles including waste/skip lorries. Readers with dash cams in their vehicles can use the footage as evidence when reporting a vehicle depositing rubbish on our roads. From April 1 this year if litter is dropped from a vehicle, the owner can be issued with a fine of £75 without the council needing to know who was responsible for throwing out the litter. ‘For too long drivers and passengers travelling through the District have thrown litter out of vehicles, thinking they can speed out of reach. Not any more,’ said Councillor Ann Newton, Cabinet member with responsibility for landscape protection. ‘We will be making full use of new powers strengthening the Environmental Protection Act to bring the culprits to justice and make them pay for the environmental damage they do. The new regulations allow local councils to fine the registered keeper of the vehicle if litter is thrown from it.’ A substantial amount of Council Tax is spent each year to try to keep Wealden’s verges clean, but as quick as it is cleared, it reappears. It is something we all notice, especially at spring time, when the evenings become lighter. ‘Much of the District has benefited from litter picking efforts of our local communities who took part in the Great Wealden Spring Clean last month. We want to keep our District looking good.’ The council is asking everyone to help. If you see litter being tossed from a vehicle, please get in touch with the council’s Street Scene Team immediately on 01892 602735 or via our website, with details of where and when the offence occurred, what was deposited and the registration and details of the vehicle involved. Up until now, Wealden District Council has had to prove the identity of the person depositing and leaving the litter which is almost impossible to witness in a moving vehicle. The new powers, which were previously only available to councils in London, are welcomed as a positive deterrent to the issue of litter on the roadsides of Wealden. Don’t forget: If you see litter thrown from a vehicle travelling through Wealden email, phone 01892 602735 or report via our website

This is an old chestnut as far as I am concerned. This is a statement sent out by Wealden. I would say over ninety percent of the litter that has been shed onto our highways and roads comes from industrial waste and not private cars. Well done Wealden, this is a start.

WORLD CUP TICKET ALERT: FIFA World Cup 2018 Ticket Alert. With the football World Cup looming this ticket alert is a timely reminder. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15. The worldwide demand for match tickets is expected to be significant. Action Fraud has been alerted to several websites which are offering World Cup tickets for sale, some at highly inflated prices. Action Fraud received over six hundred reports and intelligence submissions in relation to the previous World Cup so it’s vital that football fans exercise caution when considering a purchase or making a transaction. Don’t take the risk. Tickets for the World Cup 2018 can only be purchased directly from FIFA. For more information, please visit A fan ID is required for fans to be able to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums. Exercise caution if using a third party to obtain your Fan ID for you. You may be charged inflated costs for the service and your personal details may be compromised. For more information, please visit Visit the Take Five website for the latest guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. For useful advice and information on the World Cup please visit the Government Guidance Pages; guidance/be-on-the-ball- world-cup-2018

CROSS IN HAND: Isenhurst Junction. No reported accidents this week. I have received a copy of an email from John Plant that he sent to the operators of the Isenhurst petrol station. The email is very comprehensive, proactive and sets out the Cross in Hand Amenity Society’s objectives in resolving the ongoing problems at the junction. Hopefully Dale Poole of ESCC Highways, the service station operators and the parish council will see sense to resolve the problems at this dangerous junction.

Remaining on the subject of the Isenhurst Junction, last week was the Sussex Police Speed Awareness week. Driving along the B2012 on Thursday I noted police were operating a speed trap south of the Windmill Feeds entrance. Bearing in mind the number of accidents that have happened over the past months at the Isenhurst Junction, why was the speed trap not set up on the stretch of the A267 that passes the Isenhurst petrol station? It would have certainly been a very good exercise to record the number of motorists caught speeding for inclusion in future consultations.

PLANNING: Plans to convert the existing building known as The Saddlery at Windmill Feeds, Cross in Hand into three apartments now looks set to go ahead. The plan also includes demolishing the warehouse to provide two detached houses. The scheme was refused by Wealden District Council at committee stage, but the applicant took the proposal to appeal. An inspector visited the site and has given the go-ahead for the development. It now looks as it Cross in Hand is going to be quite a heavily developed small village. The problem is, at present, there are no shops or services and it is quite a lengthy walk into town, especially on the route back with heavy shopping. To access the bus route into town means crossing the A267, either at Dads Hill itself or opposite the Isenhurst garage. Not a move I would be brave enough to make. Let’s hope some cash from the scheme, paid to Wealden in the form of a Community Infrastructure Levy, might enable a light-controlled crossing to be put in place. Parking at the other development in the village (Dads Hill) is very limited, so sadly we look set to have even more cars parking on our roads.

Speaking of planning, and Wealden’s policies generally, driving across the Ashdown Forest the other day (several times as I had several journeys to make) the traffic was exceptionally heavy in both directions. The weather was good and car parks were full. There was also an ice cream van with engine running, presumably all day, to keep the refrigeration going. How does this fit with Wealden’s Forest environmental no-development programme? The council actively promotes the Forest as a tourist attraction and the only way to access it is by car. And of course, planes inbound to Gatwick cross at two minute intervals during the summer. What difference does limited housing make in terms of pollutant cut-backs? Or is this just a cunning plan to ensure no-one builds on protected Forest territory, and also has to pay (or provide alternative green space) elsewhere in the District? We’d like to know.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Paragon Garage. I was sorry to hear that the well respected Porsche garage was damaged by a roof fire on Sunday morning. Thankfully nobody was injured. Hopefully the damage cam be repaired as soon as possible . I understand it is business as usual.

MAYFIELD BAND: The Bretons are Coming. By the time you read this, there will only be just under a month to go before the village is awash with stripy shirts and berets with the visit from Orchestre d’Harmonie de Dinan in Brittany. The village is looking forward to meeting them all and being a part of their concert at St. Dunstan’s Church on Saturday May 19 at 7pm. To remind you, OHD are a community wind orchestra based in Dinan, where they are fortunate to be linked with the Town’s conservatoire. Unlike us, the French Harmonie has a woodwind section, so it’s a very different sound to the British brass band. An orchestra of 30-35 players is expected on the night. It should be a great concert. The programme will be a mixture of light orchestral and popular music, and as well as joining forces with them for a couple of their pieces, Mayfield Band will also be playing some brass quartets, thus creating a variety of musical textures to enhance your enjoyment of the evening. They are also promised some goodies from Brittany for interval refreshments, and there will be a free raffle of some Gallic delights. Band members are privileged and honoured that they have chosen to come to Mayfield, and hope that you will come and join us for this unique evening and a flavour of France. Tickets will go on sale towards the end of April, and will be available from Burnett’s in the High Street. It will be a fitting end to a day of Royal celebration, and coincidentally also marks the saints’ days of St Dunstan and St Yves of Brittany. So the omens are all pointing to something special, and when you factor in the high probability of Haz and Megs becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, people will be singing Sussex by the Sea into the early hours. The day will go down in Mayfield history, and everyone will remember where they were on May 19. That all assumes the band has recovered from the May Fair the week before, where the band will again be playing for the maypole dancers. It may be simple folk music, but when you’ve played 16 repetitions of Barwick Green, it gets a bit tough on the lip. Nonetheless, it’s always a fun day, and this is another unique occasion that Mayfield is blessed with that which is not to be missed. So much to look forward to. For further information contact Simon Rudge simon@mayfield 01435 872007

JUMBLE SALE: Scouts Massive Jumble Sale Sat April 28. The Mayfield Scouts Supporters Committee are holding a massive Jumble Sale tomorrow, Saturday, in the Memorial Hall from 11am to 1pm and all profits from this are going to support the Scouts who are venturing onto the canals again this summer. This will be such a worthwhile cause to support to allow youngsters to have a fantastic and fun-filled summer break so please dig through your jumble and bring it along on the morning and then come and buy some back. They can also collect jumble for you from now, please ring either 01435 872057 or 873112 for collection.

COMMUNITY PLAY: Exciting times Mayfield Community Play. Despite the snow and lack of water. Six workshops have been held. About 65 local adults and children will be acting in the play with another 25 people helping behind the scenes with costumes, props, publicity, tickets and refreshments. The Mayfield Silver Band, Beggars Gate and MayZing Choir are also working with the group, so well over 100 people from Mayfield and Five Ashes will be involved in the project. The organisers are now liaising with three Mayfield filmmakers about their possible involvement as well. Thanks to St Dunstan’s Church, Skipper’s Hill Prep School, Mayfield Primary School, and especially to Tony Woodliffe and Jo Compton for all their support with the workshops. The workshops’ playwright is now busy researching and writing the play so there will be a part for all actors. She is aiming to have a first draft ready by the middle of May in time for the four script development workshops taking place at the Memorial Hall on Mondays in June. During these workshops all the actors, the playwright, musicians and director will work on the play by making suggestions and giving ideas to help improve the final draft of the play. Rehearsals will start at the end of August, with performances taking place from Wednesday October 24 to Saturday October 27 (with a matinee and evening performance on the Saturday). If you want to be involved in the play please contact Stephen Israel, Director of the Mayfield Community Play: stephen@mayfield or ring: 0771 265 0568.

HORAM: Horam and Vines Cross Diary. This follows last week’s announcement that the Horam and Vines Cross Diary has not published the April edition due to advertisers not paying for their ads that were placed. This led to the editor having to cover the loss as the Diary costs approximately £600 per month to produce. Advertisers are charged approximately £12 per insertion when signing up for an annual subscription. Not only does this deprive the community of an interesting and vital resource and diminishes the reputation of those companies who clearly expect to get something for nothing. I know how difficult and time-consuming it is to chase up non-payers and most companies employ debt-collecting firms to do the job for them. That is not possible for a small, community-led project and we must congratulate the publishers on their perseverance to date. If any non-paying firms/organisations are reading this I hope you feel guilty, contact the publisher and do the decent thing.

BLACKBOYS: Kiln Wood. Many thanks to the Woodland Trust for coppicing the trees on the from the main road down to the stream in Kiln Wood. I must say the work done has certainly given more light to the area.