Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Action Fraud. Watch out for fake LinkedIn emails. Multiple reports have ben received about fake LinkedIn emails. They claim that your LinkedIn profile has appeared in multiple searches and provide links you can click on to get more details. These links lead to malicious websites designed to steal your personal and financial details. Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

Keep your identity safe. Your identity proves you really are you. Until it’s stolen. Your identity is one of your most precious possessions. Apart from defining you as an individual, it also proves that you really are you. As well as needing it for everyday tasks like buying online, banking and social networking, it is also essential for signing up for phone contracts, loans, mortgages and other finances and without it, you can’t obtain driver’s licences, passports or other official documents. When a criminal steals your identity, they can claim that they really are you too and do all of these things in your name. They can also sell on your identity to other criminals, and even commit criminal acts in your name. That’s why it’s vital to protect your identity against theft. Identity thieves most commonly work online, often taking advantage of the information you over-share on social media, or a weak email account password. However, they can also use printed documents that haven’t been shredded or securely filed. For more information on protecting your identity. Please visit www.getsafeonline.org, and click on Protecting Yourself and then select Preventing Identity Theft. To contact Sussex Neighbourhood Watch please E-mail enquiries@sussexnwfed.org.uk or visit www.sussexnwfed.org.uk.

OPERATION BLITZ: Update on last weekend’s Operation Blitz activity. Unfortunately, due to operational commitments, police were unable to provide a direct contact number for the Op Blitz team last weekend. However, they did manage to get out and about on patrol. It was a relatively quiet one on Friday. Officers spoke to a few youths in Hailsham Town Centre early on in the evening, but they weren’t causing any issues. A small group was also spoken to in Polegate, but they were perfectly polite to officers too. Other than a drunk and disorderly male who was arrested in Bell Walk, Uckfield around 8pm, everyone seemed well behaved. Saturday was even quieter. All our hotspot areas were patrolled and there were no issues to report at all. Let’s hope for more of the same this weekend.

FARM WATCH: Coordinator’s Update. Reported cases of loose animals on the public highways this week have risen dramatically from 31 to 136. This is made up of 133 sheep, two cows and one goat. Advice to sheep owners in particular please ensure that your field boundaries are sheep proof to protect them. Lots of sheep owners often rent fields for lambing and fattening up purposes for just a few weeks each year. Please be mindful that if the hedges and boundaries of the rented field are not sheep proof, any damage caused to another person’s property (such as a vehicle) should the sheep escape, it’s the responsibility of the sheep owner to pay for any damage caused, not the land owner. Do ensure that as a sheep owner, you are insured to guard against what could amount to expensive claims. Please ensure that you check your road, motorway and railway sided fields at least once a day to check that they are in a good state of repair. Please remember to ensure that there is plenty of fresh drinking water for all of your animals in this unusually hot dry period. There have been fewer thefts this week across both East and West Sussex, items stolen include an Ifor Williams trailer, a disc cutter, a magnetic drill, a heavy duty electric drill, a rotating laser level and a tripod.

WEALDEN ALERTS: Harnessing the opportunities provided by green energy. Wealden District Council is looking at ways to invest in low carbon and renewable energy for the benefit of council tax payers. It wants to find local opportunities which make both commercial and environmental sense for the District. A report to Cabinet this month summarises some of the options that may be available, including the potential for solar photovoltaic panels, both large and smaller scale installations, and the use of heat networks to distribute heat and (in the case of combined heat and power) electricity locally. It also considers the provision of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and whether the Council could play a role in promoting the take up of electric vehicles in the District. Investing in the local electric vehicle charging infrastructure could encourage the take up of EVs, lowering vehicle emissions and helping to mitigate the impact this has on Ashdown Forest. Councillor Standley said he was also conscious of the Council’s responsibilities when it came to landscape protection, and need to consider the 60 percent of the District which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Environmental mitigation measures already announced as part of the ongoing Local Plan include the provision of charging points for electric vehicles in public places. They also include the provision of appropriate EV charging infrastructure in new developments and the provision of electric public transport if proposed development leads to a net increase in traffic. In recent years, planning permission has been granted for some eight solar farms in the District, the largest being allocated 13 megawatts of generating capacity. The Council itself already has a number of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations on its retirement living courts, general needs housing units, and on the Council offices in Vicarage Lane. It is now classed as a multi-site generator.

CROSS IN HAND: Bad road crash at Cross in Hand, pm Monday, July 30. Full details on social media which is awash with comments, some fearing for the safety of their loved ones who take this route home. Posts state, what we always say, there must be a roundabout or some type of traffic control here. There was an event at the time at the Rugby Club too which meant drivers had to pull out of the B2102, A265, Isenhurst petrol station, Isenhurst gym, A267 and Rugby Club itself, all at the rush hour. There is no system to regulate traffic here. It is a disgrace.

ISENHURST JUNCTION: No reported incidents last week but a lot of reports of near misses on Facebook.

DARCH’S WOOD: The Amenities Society regret to report that one of the ducks was attacked and killed by a dog. Our male duck Desmond was also chased but he survived the attack, but he is once again back on his own. The owner of the dog contacted us and was very distressed about the whole episode and has offered to find us a replacement duck as recompense. The question we put to users of the wood is do we want to introduce more ducks to the pond when there will always be a risk of isolated dog attacks? Desmond survived for a long time on his own, and will again, but bear in mind that he is already several years old, and that is the normal lifespan for a duck. The ducks are much appreciated by visitors and they contribute to the ecological balance of the pond, but equally people have been getting a great deal of pleasure exercising their dogs in the wood for decades, and we have no intention of stopping this from continuing. Apart from it being impractical and hugely expensive to fence off the pond to protect the ducks, it would not be in keeping with a natural woodland. The wood is an ancient woodland, not a wildlife sanctuary, and nature will be allowed to take its course. There is no easy answer, so we ask for your constructive feedback.

A new bench overlooking the pond has now been installed. The society wishes to thank John Cowell for donating the bench.

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Local farmers are telling us they expect to face severe hardship next year. Before you all snort: ‘Farmers? Hardship?’ take a look at the browned meadows around which will need more than last weekend’s rain to recover. The problem arises when there is so little nourishment in the grass (for dairy and sheep farmers) that they must dig into their winter stocks. When they run out, then they must buy from wherever they can. And if rainfall is below standard expectations this winter, then we are in for real problems. In the meantime, the rest of us are urged to use water wisely. I do not like the water companies’ recommendation that we ‘grass’ a neighbour who might be hosing his or her lawn. Smacks a little of the Stasi to me (although I have known people who would be peering through their hedges, phone in hand, in the hope of finding someone at work with the sprinkler. If you do come across a random excessive waterer, then why not just have a quiet word with them yourself? It all smacks of the dog poo battles (people hiding behind curtains to watch next door’s pug relieve himself). Come on, we are not a nation of informers. Are we?

ROAD CLOSURE: Mutton Hill Heathfield Road Closure. East Sussex Highways, will be carrying out carriageway patching works on A265 Mutton Hall Hill, Heathfield. August 6 for two nights. Road closed 7.15pm to 6am.

GARDEN LOVERS: The Heathfield and District Horticultural Society’s Summer Show is at the Community Centre Sheepsetting Lane, Saturday, August 18 from 2pm to 4.30pm. Admission is £1, under 16s go free. I think we’ve mentioned this before but as a not-terribly-good-but-keen gardener I am always amazed at the quality and quantity of fine looking fruit, vegetables and flowers local people are able to coax from our heavy clay soil. This show is worth a visit if simply to make ou sit back, sigh, despair and plan to build decking over what’s left of your raised beds. There are always glorious flowers, vegetables of all sorts and plenty of classes for creative cooks as well as craftsmen and women. In keeping with supermarkets’ own ranges of less-than-immaculate produce, there is even a class for wonky fruit and vegetables; described in the programme as for most contorted/knobbliest/ ugliest fruit or vegetable. I think we all might manage one of those, if not a perfect dahlia.

PET FOOD SHOP: The lovely Pet Food Shop in Station Approach has now gone on-line. As well as its own loyalty card, the shop has embraced technology by giving customers the opportunity to shop online. It sells a wide range of foodstuffs and bedding for all types of pets and Mrs PP always buys her wild bird food here. Staff are lovely too. Find out more at: www.petfoodshopheathfield.co.uk

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Mayfield Cricket Club has the biggest game in its history being played on Sunday. Mayfield are the champions of the South East of the country and will be playing against the champs of the South West. This results in a South v North game in the next round at Lords. The club expects a fairly large turn out on the day (1pm start, bar open from midday, barbecue all day etc) but would love the support of Mayfield and the surrounding villages as well. It is worth mentioning that the opposition, Liphook and Ripsley, will be bringing over 100 people from their village in support.

COUNCILLOR VACANCY: There is a councillor vacancy to fill by co-option and we would like to hear from anyone who wishes to be considered to represent the ward of Five Ashes. To stand as a Parish Councillor you must: be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union; at least 18 years old; an elector of the parish, or for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish; during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary. You do not have to be connected to a political party. The parish council meets once a month (for about two hours) except during the months of January and August. The meetings take place in Mayfield Memorial Hall and Five Ashes Village Hall. For further information Email: clerk@mayfieldfiveashes.org.uk

ST DUNSTAN’S: The Choir of St Dunstan’s is always looking for new singers, both young and old, to join its ranks in its task of leading the music in worship in this ancient and beautiful parish church. It has an extensive repertoire and a long standing tradition of excellence. Choral singing is a team activity that can involve all age groups, the common bond being Christian worship and a simple love of singing and music. The choir is always looking for members that are looking for fulfilment and enrichment in their lives, through singing to the Glory of God. Singing to a high standard, the choir has an increasingly varied repertoire which consists of service settings, anthems, psalms, responses and hymns, the music ranging from sixteenth century to the present day. For children and adults alike, choral singing is a most rewarding and increasingly popular activity.

JUNIOR CHOIR: The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music which enables young people in particular to progress through a training scheme based on the RSCM Voice for Life scheme. Andrew is seeking new children locally (aged seven years plus) to join. What does Choir Membership entail? Enthusiasm and sympathy in singing to the glory of God; a commitment to regular rehearsal and service attendance. Rehearsals: Junior Choir Wednesday evenings 5pm to 6pm; Senior Choir Wednesday evenings 6pm to 7.30pm. Sunday 9.15am to 10am for 10.15am Eucharist (Family Service once a month). Services: Sunday, Family Sung Eucharist at 10.15am, first Sunday in the month. Sung Eucharist at 10.15am on subsequent Sunday. Evensong twice a term on the first Sunday in the month. Occasionally, Feast Days and other special occasions. Please contact Andrew at 01435 866485 or by email andrewbenians@gmail.com

HORAM: Horam Day Centre. This is an email we have received. Good morning, I hope this is of interest. My mother is 78 years old, has early Alzeimers dementia and recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer and she has mobility problems, she has not driven for several years. She lives in her own house which has a residential manager. She has carers which come in three times a day for half an hour to give her medication and prepare and serve her food. My sister and I both work, but I get to see her most days for a short while, and take her shopping and to various appointments. Apart from this she sees no one else as her neighbours all drive and therefore are out a lot of the time. She started going to a day care centre in Heathfield on a Tuesday, the Age Concern bus collected her from her doorstep at 9.15am and brought her back around 4pm. Here she got to socialise with other people of her age for a day, was given lunch and beverages, they also played games and had entertainment on occasions and she enjoyed herself. They had to move to Christ Church in Horam (not sure why), then last Friday July 20, I had a distressed phone call from the lady that organises this to say that although they had come up with cost cutting ideas (as requested by the council) the centre was to shut with immediate effect. She has 20 clients that she has had to let down, like my mother this is probably the only day they get to leave the house. The council part paid for this service and the clients contributed if their financial circumstances allowed them, my mother contributed. I’m very angry and surely in this day and age, when the government are insistent that the elderly need looking after, and to try and make sure they stay in their own homes as long as possible, cutting funding to enable them to go out one day a week is wrong. I hope this is of interest to you and that you print it, to let the local people knowhow bad funding has got.

UPDATE: Currently we’re continuing to try and find out more about why the Age UK day care centre at Christ Church, Horam had to close so suddenly. We were told by the Age UK Sussex chief executive that not enough people used the service so it was therefore uneconomic to continue. However reading your emails, it appears there were plenty of older folk and their carers and friends, for whom this service was a lifeline. The service was part-funded by East Sussex County Council so we need to find out whether it was the proportion of the council’s money that was cut, or whether the decision was made entirely by Age UK. The fact remains a great many people are desperately upset by this news, particularly the way they were informed. One minute the service was there, the next it was not. Older people used to be able to go to the Centre at about 10am and stay until 4pm, with lunch provided. Now where can they go? As soon as we have more information we will let you know.