Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Operation Blitz. Wealden Operation Blitz. This is very good news and well done the police. Heathfield and the surrounding areas were subject to anti social behaviour during the last school break. Operation Blitz usually takes place every Friday and Saturday night in Wealden but during the school’s half term this week, they will be running it every night. If you experience any issues with anti-social behaviour during the week, please contact them on our dedicated Operation Blitz phone: 07912 896142.

DROP IN CRIME: Significant drop in crimes across Wealden district. Hard work and commitment by police in Wealden has seen a nine per cent drop in crime during the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2017. Police officers, police community support officers and special constables have all contributed to the reduction across the 323 square mile district. Burglaries were 19 percent down, vehicle crime 20 percent down, violent crime four per cent down and anti-social behaviour 28 percent down. Inspector Jon Gross, leading the Wealden prevention team, said: ‘It’s a welcome trend and one which we are committed to seeing continue.’ Particularly pleasing is a drop in reports of anti-social behaviour. Some recent issues in Uckfield, though relatively low-level in nature, were impacting badly on some parts of the community. Insp Gross said: ‘The number of incidents reported to us is greatly reduced from the height of problems in January and February. I’m very grateful for the efforts of my team and colleagues from other departments who have worked hard to address these issues in partnership with other agencies and key stakeholders within the town.’ Both the Wealden Community Safety Partnership and Uckfield Town Council had been notably positive in their support. Insp Gross said: ‘Policing such a large district is a considerable challenge, so it is always rewarding to see the team’s efforts contributing to a reduction in crime. However, we’re by no means complacent and will be continuing our efforts to keep people safe and feeling safe.’ This initiative demonstrates local policing model in action. Recent precept increases in Sussex will be used to strengthen these teams even further, to improve ways for people to contact them and to modernise how they work. To find out more about the local policing model and to read about our Transformation Plan please visit: www.sussex.police.uk/localpolicingmodel

WITNESSES SOUGHT: WTwo sports cars collided outside pub at Woods Corner, near Heathfield. Police are appealing for witnesses to a collision on the B2096 at Woods Corner, Dallington, near Heathfield, which happened at 5.30pm on Saturday (May19) and involved two convertible sports cars. A man driving a BMW Z3 left the car park of The Swan Inn, turning onto the B2096 where it collided with a Mazda MX-5, resulting in damage to both vehicles and with the Mazda left undrivable. The BMW, despite damage to the front nearside wheel, failed to stop and turned into South Lane towards Ashburnham. It continued into Herrings Road where it was abandoned. The driver was then believed to have got into a Mercedes-Benz estate car which returned towards Woods Corner. PC Stuart Kenway, of the East Sussex road policing unit, said: ‘I am asking for the driver of the BMW, for anyone who saw what happened or anyone who may have other relevant information to come forward, please’. They can make contact online or by phoning 101, quoting serial 951 of 19/05.

WASTE COLLECTION: Hooray. It’s 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday and the green waste vehicle has just collected eight weeks’ worth of garden cuttings, leaves, branches etc, all heavily pushed down so I could get more in. Well done to Wealden for getting the lorries through (as a bank holiday, I imagine overtime is involved?) but nevertheless, at least it is done. I can now carry on cutting back and sweeping up.

This is the official line from Wealden District Council. Sorry about the bins. Residents keep reporting them as missed so we have the full picture. It might be worth covering what Cllr Galley said to Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This is what he said: ‘Kier collect around 90,000 bins a week. Last week there were 812 missed bins.The weekly average for February was 116, for March it was 304 and for February 222.We apply defaults wherever we can prove that Kier have not performed well we claim money back from them. Last week there were 369 defaults compared to weekly averages of 90 for February, 115 for March and 142 for April. This performance is not acceptable. The Kier management of our contract is just not up to scratch. We will have to take some strong action and I am considering with officers a number of possibilities. We cannot allow this level of performance to continue.’

GARDENS: Carole Franks opens her garden at South Binns, Swife Lane for the National Garden Scheme on Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11. The house is near the junction with Foxhole Lane. It’s a two and a half acre garden with rural views, sloping with ponds and a stream, woodland walk, exuberant flower garden, orchard, wildflower meadow, formal parterre, vegetable and fruit garden and green house. Sculptures and seating throughout the garden. There’s a tea terrace and plants for sale. Steps and uneven paths make it unsuitable for wheelchairs. No dogs please. Visit between 2pm to 5.30pm. Admission is £5 and children go free. There will be home made teas. The National Gardens Scheme has grown by offering visitors access to many of the finest private gardens, ranging from courtyards to parks across England and Wales. Money raised goes to Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers Trust, Queen’s Nursing Institute, Parking’s UK, Perennial, MS Society and the National Autistic Society. There are many in and around Heathfield, Cross in Hand and surrounding villages. Pick up the little booklet at all our garden centres. On July 28 and 29 there is the seventh annual Macmillan coastal garden trail from 11am to 5pm where patron Christine Walkden invites people to take part in a trail of more than 20 private gardens along the cost from Brighton to Seaford. It costs just £6 for a day ticket or £2 per garden. Full details at: www.macmillangardentrail.co.uk or ring: 01323 899296.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Parish Council Office Opening Times. The Parish Council office will be closed today, Friday. It will open as usual at 9am on Monday.

OPEN GARDENS: Mayfield Gardens Open for Charity. As part of the National Gardens Scheme open gardens, eight Mayfield gardens are open on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10 from 1pm to 5pm. Homemade teas and plants for sale are on offer. It only costs £6 to view all eight of these wonderful local gardens, with children free and dogs welcome. For more details go to http://www.ngs .org.uk/?bf-garden=17886. The website sets out the fantastic fundraising achieved by the NGS for many deserving causes.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS: Scouts Supporter Committee would like to thank to everyone who came along and supported our Massive Jumble Sale at the end of April, all the monies raised are going to help the youngsters on their summer canal trip. Two more have fundraising activities to come in the next couple of months and, as always, they would be most grateful for your support. A Coffee Morning in London House on Saturday, June 16 from 10am to noon with wonderful home-made cakes for sale and there will also be a raffle. The main fundraising activity of the summer will be a Barbecue/Garden Party on Sunday June 24 by kind invitation of Sue and Charles Marshall in their gardens in Five Ashes and tickets (priced £10 each or £25 for a family of four) will be on sale very soon. As well as the food there will be a programme of games for all ages, a raffle and other activities. Please keep an eye out for further details. All the profits raised from the two events will go into the funds that support the running of the Scout and Guide Hall and support the scouting groups as and when they need some extra help. They are always looking for members of the community to join our Supporters Committee If you would like any further information on ways that you can help, please contact Nicky Higgins, Secretary, Scouts Supporters Committee on: 01435 873054.

GARDEN PARTY: The Friends of St Dunstan’s Garden Party and Open Garden will this year be held on Sunday July 8 at Clayton’s Farmhouse, Newick Lane, from noon to 2pm by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Richard Nabavi. All are welcome. Tickets are £10 at the gate and include a glass of wine, light refreshments and a walk around the garden. Annette Nabavi, Chair, Friends of St Dunstan’s Parish Church 873476.

CROSS IN HAND: Isenhurst Junction. No reported incidents last week.

CROSS IN HAND PRIMARY SCHOOL: Head teacher Mrs Massheder tells us that Mr Pinard took a team of children to represent the school at the North Wealden Quadkids competition. They had to do a 75m sprint, a 600m race, a standing long jump, and a vortex throw (see picture) followed by a whole team 8x50m relay. They came second overall, runners up. Well done to everyone involved. Mr Massheder would really like to say a special thank you to volunteers. The school has lots of parents and carers who come in to hear readers (and also some who are not parents or carers, such as Mrs Reader and Mrs Cresswell). However, they also have a couple of parents who come in to help them with lunchtimes, both in the hall and out on the playground. ‘This is such a great help. Those two ladies are Miss Brookbank (Oliver and Noah’s mum) and Mrs Coombs (Lucy and Alex’s mum). Thank you ladies and thank you to all of our volunteers, we really appreciate it.’

HORAM: Hidden Spring Vineyard. From now until Sunday, June 3 these likeable owners will be celebrating all that’s great about English Wine with sparkling and still wines to try by the glass and the chance to take a stroll in the vineyard which has been freshly trimmed for the occasion and is looking stunning. A great initiative for us all, English winemaking is really doing well and we hear that English wines are now served at many royal occasions, particularly when overseas visitors are visiting the Palace. Upcoming events: June 30, Dinner at The Vineyard; July 21, Bacchus (2017) launch; July 28, Dinner at The Vineyard; September 8, Last Night of the Proms.

BLACKBOYS AND FRAMFIELD: Turnmill Wood. Many thanks to the Woodland Trust for putting in a hard standing at both the entrances to the woods. I am sure walkers will appreciate the improvements when climbing over the stile. This fabulous little wood is perfect for a summer walk and because the Trust maintains it so well, I note that users also take great care. There is never any rubbish or damage. Now both accesses have been improved we now know we can enjoy our walks winter and summer.

ASPARAGUS: If you haven’t already found it, then track down South Brockwells Farm near Framfield. The farm grows and sells its own asparagus; in my opinion, the best you can buy. Last year a very smart chap on a state-of-the-art BMW motorbike roared up to buy a couple of bunches. ‘Just down from London’ he said. ‘I do this every year. You can’t find anything like it in town.’ Like so much produce, strawberries, cherries, apples, raspberries, English asparagus is a seasonal delight and at its best when it’s grown, picked, bought and eaten quickly. I bought some bunches to give to a friend, a restaurateur in Cyprus (I also take him fresh-caught Channel fish too). These are localised products, from our own ‘terroir’ if you like. At South Brockwells you can also buy chutneys, mayonnaise, pickles, jams etc., and there are lambs and ponies frolicking around outside. Well worth a visit.