Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Heathfield Town Centre Road Closure November. As my readers know I am an avid believer in supporting our local shops and village traders. I have also made comments on the state of the High Street road surface, especially the road surface outside Tilsmore Court. The proposed road closure during November is complete overkill and is causing great concern amongst the very hard pressed High Street traders. The main road through Burwash was resurfaced overnight, why cannot this be done in Heathfield? Having been in retail myself for many years with a major high street brand, November and December are the ‘feast to famine’ times, not only for the big boys but even more for the small traders. For eleven years I had my own business. Latterly, all I became was a tax collector for the government with my rent and business rates totalling more than £100,000 per annum. That was before I opened the doors to customers. How many major retailers have gone to the wall over recent years? Not a week goes by without a high street brand posting a profit warning. So what chance do our dedicated Heathfield retailers have? Speaking to many of them, I know this period is the time to climb back from the brink. I fear a road closure like this could see more ‘dead teeth’ in our High Street. Because of the disappointing response from the County Council, our local MP Huw Merriman visited the town on Saturday to discuss the problem with the traders. He has written to Leader Cllr Glazier pleading for the road works to be rescheduled. Cllr Glazier has responded saying more mitigation would be looked at. It is not mitigation that is required. It is just pure common sense! Of course the High Street will suffer. Customers will go elsewhere; staff will be laid off with the possibility of not having a job. All this just before Christmas. I am sure many retailers are trading on the cusp of closure and losing their life savings. This is an ill thought through and damaging proposal by ESCC. It just shows how out of touch with reality they are. Hopefully common sense will prevail and the road works will be rescheduled. As Maggie Thatcher once said: ‘It is not simply that tall oaks from little acorns grow. Small businesses are the very embodiment of a free society - the mechanism by which the individual can turn his leadership and talents to the benefit of both himself and the nation. The freer the society, the more small businesses there will be. And the more small businesses there are, the freer and more enterprising that society is bound to be.’ In a Tory led council, you would imagine its leaders would acknowledge this.

QUIZ: Twinning Association 20th Anniversary Pointless Quiz. The twinning association is rounding off their celebrations of the year with a Pointless quiz. Friday, November 2 in the State Hall, Station Road, Heathfield, 7pm for a 7.30pm start. £10pp to include a fish and chip supper. Nibbles, napkins and condiments will be provided but people should bring their own drinks, glasses, plates and cutlery. To book a place please contact Richard Ridley on 07970 237723 A maximum of six per table but smaller groups can be combined.

BATTLE’S OVER: Heathfield’s commemoration for 100 years or remembrance, the parish council asked us to include this and we are delighted to do so. Well done to all for the organisation and inspiration. There will be a Tea Dance which starts at 3pm at the Goward Hall, Cade Street on November 11. It’s a free ticket only event. The Heathfield Choral Society will be performing, followed by a performance by members of the East Sussex Dance Studio. There will then be 45 minutes for all the spectators to join in with the dancing. The dance finishes at 5.15pm. After this there will be hot food, music from the Heathfield Silver Band, the Army Cadets and more. The lighting of the Beacon and ringing of the church bells will take place at 7pm. Something we should all attend and a way to give our thanks to those who fought for us and enabled us to enjoy an evening like this.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Wealden District Council, together with Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes and Rother councils, seeks your views on the need for electric vehicle charger points across East Sussex: ‘The take-up of electric vehicles is predicted to rise sharply in the coming years,’ said Councillor Bob Standley, Leader of Wealden District Council. ‘This will bring environmental benefits, particularly in districts like Wealden. We have long been concerned about ecological effects vehicle emissions may be having on Ashdown Forest. We need to plan ahead and look at the provision of electric vehicle charge points. But that process needs to be in step with what our residents are seeking. Through this survey, we want to try to understand the charging patterns of existing electric vehicle drivers. It will also look at the potential interest in switching to using an electric vehicle.’ The consultation is being carried out by the five district and borough councils in East Sussex. Views are being sought from those who currently drive electric vehicles as well as from those who don’t. To take part in the survey, visit The availability of publically accessible charge points is seen by many as essential in reducing range anxiety and increasing adoption by new drivers. Public car parks, owned by local councils, could have a role to play. The districts and boroughs are also keen to hear suggestions of where good charge point locations might be.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: East Sussex Trading Standards are warning residents to be vigilant about companies who are cold calling and claiming to offer a home insulation scheme which is supported by East Sussex County Council. However, it is possible that similar improper approaches may be made anywhere across the county. It is not in the remit of East Sussex County Council to support schemes that involve cold calling, and companies claiming that they do are misleading residents and may be breaking the law. This warning follows a spate of recent complaints from residents in Hastings about cold callers falsely offering an ESCC supported insulation scheme, but incidents may also be occurring elsewhere. Grants may be available for home insulation for households that qualify. For further information on the current East Sussex schemes available please Trading Standards advise residents to be very wary of all unsolicited telephone calls, text messages, emails and knocks on the door. For consumer advice, or to report a concern to Trading Standards, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506. If you, or someone you know, is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud contact Sussex Police on 101. To report fraud or attempted fraud, visit or call 0300 123 2040. To contact Sussex Neighbourhood Watch please email or visit

WEALDEN ALERTS: Flu Jabs. There is a new, improved flu jab to protect more people and reduce local people’s £100k hospital bills. Having the free flu jab could stop vulnerable people ending up in hospital, or even dying, this winter, the local NHS has warned. Last year, nearly 50 people ending up in hospital across High Weald Lewes Havens due to flu and there were also a small number of deaths across Sussex as a result of the viral infection. The influx of people needing medical care due to flu caused extra strain on hospitals last year and cost the NHS more than £100,000. Local doctors believe this could have been avoided had those eligible taken up the opportunity to get their free jab. This year’s improved vaccine contains extra ingredients designed to help people’s immune systems develop a stronger defence against flu. The vaccine helps protect people from symptoms of flu, which include a dry, chesty cough, a headache and a sore throat.

UNIVERSAL SUPPORT: Your questions about benefits answered. If you are unaware or confused about the changes being made to help people on low incomes, unemployed or with disabilities, help is at hand. Wealden District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are organising a Universal Support Day on Thursday, November 1 at Hailsham Civic Community Centre. The Universal Support Day is free. It runs from 10am to 3pm on Thursday, November 1 and everyone is welcome, whether you receive benefits or not. Advisors from the DWP, Citizens Advice, District Council and the East Sussex Credit Union will be on hand to explain about the changes and provide tips and guidance about getting the best deal for yourself and your family. There will be support and advice for people receiving or applying for Universal Credit. Work coaches from the Department of Work and Pensions and an Employment Disability Advisor will be available to answer your questions connected with disability support. Citizens Advice will be offering help with a range of issues and the East Sussex Credit Union has advice on managing your household finances. Representatives from the Hailsham Foodbank and Wealden’s Energy Efficiency Officer will also be there to provide advice about how to save money on your important household bills. Thursday, November 1 is an opportunity not to be missed. For further information, please email or telephone 01323 443500.

CROSS in HAND: Cross in Hand Primary School. Report from Mrs Sarah Massheder, head teacher. Children in Years 3 and 4 had some very special guests this week for their Roman Day, Timaeus the Gladiator and his slave Corrinius. They came from Living History to bring the learning to life for the children and they were fantastic. The children learned how to make a testudo (the Roman tortoise shield wall) while they were attacked by some vicious Celts; they dressed up, tried authentic Roman food and made an amulet each to protect them from bad luck. Wow – what a day! It will really stick in their memories for a long time, I’m sure. Thank you to the Y3/4 team for arranging such a great learning experience. Look what we can do when we work together. What can I say except thank you for your generosity for the incredible Harvest collection that you sent in? We were all amazed at quite how much we collected. Incredible. The food was collected on Monday by the Family Support Work charity which works in partnership with the Diocese of Chichester. The collected packets and tins will be distributed to families who are having a tough time at the moment. On their behalf I thank you very much. On your marks. It was Parents’ Evening on Tuesday (and Thursday) and while the teachers were busy chatting there was a team of groundsmen in the playground putting some markings in. We now have a netball court (just in time for the Y3/4 netball season) and a throwing/jumping target that the children love, as do the parents who were playing on it after school on Wednesday. Great jumping, Mrs Owen. One of the important jobs that our children do in Year 5 is to become librarians. We have 12 librarians, and here are some of them reading to some Early Years in school this week. How lovely that we have children who are happy to give up their spare time once a week to help to run the library. Thanks, girls and boys we are very grateful to you. Dance yourself dizzy. On Tuesday, October 16, Early Years and Pre-School held a joint Dance-athon to raise money for equipment for the outdoor area. It was in the main hall and there was a raffle, tea and cakes were served and the dancing was led by Beau’s mummy. Donations of cakes were gratefully received by Mrs Cooper. Christmas Fair Art Competition 2018. For the first time this year Friends are offering children the opportunity to design the front page of our Christmas Programme. The designs need to be portrait and ideally drawn in felt tip or coloured pencils. The brighter the better. Please write your name and year group in the bottom right corner of your poster - no other text required. All entries must be handed in to the school office by Monday, November 5. The Fair is on Friday, December 7 at 3.15pm, straight from school. There will be all the usual stalls, hot food available (no cooking when you get home) and of course the unveiling of the 2019 Staff Christmas Video. And finally, it was a pyjama day. Last Friday, children came to school in pyjamas, dressing gowns, slippers and onesies, the Green Token reward is a Pyjama Day. Friends would like to say thank you to all of the people who came to the AGM. We had a great turn out with some new people too, which was wonderful.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Badgers Mead apprentice is top of the class at Plumpton. A teenager working at Badgers Mead Farm in Five Ashes, near Mayfield, has been named Learner of the Year by his college. Leo Smith, 19, from Rotherfield, joined Badgers Mead as an apprentice three years ago after leaving school at 16. Since then he has been studying for a Level 2 Diploma Traineeship in Agriculture - working four days a week at the farm looking after chickens and turkeys and one day at Plumpton College. Leo said: ‘I really enjoy working at Badgers Mead as something different happens every day. The work really suits me as I am an outside person and the working atmosphere is very supportive. I definitely want to progress my career in agriculture.’ Farm owner Nev Champion added: ‘Leo is a great lad and a key part of the team. He is really good with the poultry and has developed into a reliable employee. We are very proud of him for doing so well at college and also pleased that we chose to take part in the National Apprenticeship Scheme. I do believe it’s important that we all do our bit to help young people. Leo’s tutor at Plumpton, Catherine Daw, said: ‘I am very proud of Leo. He went from a student who was not very confident to a young man who knows what he wants to do and being the top apprentice across the whole college. His employer Nev has been supportive every step of the way and is helping Leo to develop his skills in the workplace alongside is college work.’

HORAM: A new crematorium south of Horam is on track to open in March 2019 according to the leader of Wealden District Council. A consultation ran between July and September where the council sought the views of local residents and nearby businesses as well as funeral directors and celebrants. The results of the consultation covering regulations for the soon-to-open crematorium were noted by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday (October 17) and the final set of regulations approved. Authority was delegated to the council’s chief executive to set the day the regulations would come into force. The agreed regulations specify that the first service cannot begin earlier than 9am and the latest at 4pm. Each service would last around 60 minutes, a council report says.

BLACKBOYS: Blackboys Allotments. The Parish Council have been busy clearing plots ready for new tenants and are really pleased to see lots of new faces. There are still a few available and it’s a good time to take a plot, so you can get it ready for spring over the winter months. Digging in fresh manure now will prepare and improve the soil ready for your seeds and plants next year. If you take on a plot in October 2018 you will be charged half of the annual rent until April 2019 (this will be ₤12.50 per plot, it is usually ₤25 per plot per annum). Please contact Ann Newton, Parish Clerk on for more details. We hope to see you up the allotments soon.