Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Heathfield High Street. As of last Saturday when I visited the High Street, the road works were believed to be on schedule to finish today, Friday. This, I believe, is largely thanks to the Sussex Express for banging on about the traders’ plight and road works being behind schedule at the Phase 1 stage due to bad weather, water leaks and BT not turning up for essential works. This paper’s coverage, we like to think, encouraged Highways teams to put in extra hours and get the works back on schedule. This is what local journalism is all about, giving the community a voice. I talked to a number of traders who informed me, with the exception of one, that their sales during the roadworks were significantly down. The downturn in sales ranged from 20 to 50 percent. One trader said he was £14,000 down already for the month. The wood stove company told me they sold four stoves on the corresponding Saturday last. This year zero sales. This is a company whose harvest time is winter, by the very nature of the product. They will have to sell a hell a lot of kindling, firelighters and pokers to compensate for a £2,000 stove. I was informed by the owner of the Post Office that during the same period in 2017 he sold 60,000 postage stamps. Like for like sales of stamps for the same period this year had slumped to 5,000. He also informed me had been shunted around when making enquiries. He went on to say the Parish Council told him the roadworks were nothing to do with them and told him to speak to ESCC. He phoned ESCC who told him to call ESCC Highways. Highways told him the work was nothing to do with them and referred him back to ESCC as they signed the contract. I do hate to be negative in this matter but surely there must have been a point of contact that one of the above organisations/departments he could have referred him to. I believe council members and officers read this column and I would be delighted to include information from them which refers to community matters on a weekly basis. All they have to do is either email or phone me. Mayfield is a prime example where information is fed to me on a regular basis. We hear comments from individuals from time to time (thank you) and if anyone out there is happy/unhappy with what we say, they only have to email or contact me by telephone. There is always the forum of ‘readers’ letters’ in this newspaper where everyone can air their views. On a positive note, I did inform traders if they are running any promotions from now until January 2019 so please let me know and I will endeavour to accommodate them to stimulate sales.

FAMILY FUN DAY: Heathfield Chamber of Commerce have organised a family fun day at the following venues: Co-op car park where there will be. market stalls, hog roast, mulled wine, Believe in Play (Children’s Soft Play Area) Heathfield Community College Radio Station and much more. The Youth Centre, where there will be a dance studio, tombola stalls and face painting. Choirs: 10am Punnetts Town Primary School at Sainsbury’s, Station Road. 10.30am Heathfield Choral Society, Tesco’s Station Road. 11am Dallington Primary School. The Factory Outlet. High Street. 11.30am Maynards Green Primary School. Trading 4 U. High Street. Noon Five Ashes Primary School. Freeman Forman, Station Road. 12.30pm Heathfield Drama Club. Co-op High Street. 12.30pm Heathfield Silver Band Tesco’s Station Road. 1.30pm Cross in Hand Primary School. Factory Outlet High Street.

WINDOW COMPETITION: The Heathfield Chamber of Commerce are organising a window competition which can be entered on the day. Entry forms are available from the Youth Centre, The Heathfield Chamber of Commerce Stall in the Co-op car park and Gemini Cards in the High Street. All forms to be completed and handed in to Gemini Cards, High Street by 5pm Saturday, December 8. The Heathfield Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the following Sponsors of the event: Kay and Pascoe, Co-op, Melina Joy, CPJ Field including Cooper and Son, Print Matters, The Heathfield Partnership, Believe and Play.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Sussex Countrywatch. Last week saw the thefts from rural villages of silhouette statues which had been put up in support of Remembrance Day. The scrap value of the aluminium and plastic ‘Silent Soldiers’ is very low, however the impact these thefts has had on the communities which have been the victim of these have been high. Quad bikes, car batteries and vehicle parts have either been stolen or attempts made to steal them. Thieves will go to extraordinary lengths to steal items and although locking property away will deter the opportunists the more determined criminals will find their way around locks and gates. Property marking, security lighting, cameras, physical barriers and signage when used together with locks and gates offer a more comprehensive solution. Find out more here - https://www.cesarscheme.org/. There were no reported incidents in Wealden last week.

WEALDEN ALERTS: Be Deer Aware, stay safe on the roads. The South East’s roads see the highest numbers of deer vehicle collisions (DVCs) in the country. The High Weald is the South East’s wooded heart and the Ashdown Forest area (including the A22, A275 and minor roads) and roads around Tunbridge Wells have been identified as particularly dangerous. Whilst deer are a constant risk to drivers, they are especially active during autumn and spring, at dusk and dawn. To stay as safe as possible on the roads, please take note of the following advice from The Deer Initiative, The Ashdown Forest and East Sussex County Council: After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time. But, when a deer or other animals is noted on the road, dim your headlights as animals startled by the beam may ‘freeze’ rather than leaving the road

When approaching deer warning signs, drivers should slow down and be prepared to stop. If you encounter a deer: Watch out for more deer following the first one, deer will more often move around in groups rather than alone. Use your hazard warning lights to alert other drivers. Don’t over-swerve to avoid a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch or tree could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals. Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to a stop as far in front of the animal(s) as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic. Do not approach an injured deer yourself it may be dangerous.

In case of collision, report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police. If the deer (alive or dead) is blocking the road and is causing an obstruction or is a likely danger to traffic please call 999 and ask for the Police. If the deer is at the side of the road (alive or dead), call the Police on the non-emergency number 101.

CALL FOR EVIDENCE: Have your say on the future of AONBs. The Government is currently looking at whether the protections for AONBs and National Parks are still fit for purpose; in particular, what might be done better, what changes will help and if the definitions and systems in place are still valid. The independent advisory panel leading the review has launched a public call for evidence, offering everyone a chance to have their say, whether they live in a National Park or AONB, run a business in them, enjoy visiting, care about landscapes and biodiversity, or represent an organisation with relevant views. The panel has launched a public call for evidence which will be open until December 18, comments are being collected via an online questionnaire on the Defra website: https://consult.defra.gov.uk /land-use/landscapes- review-call-for-evidence/. The review will explore how access to these beloved landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy. Undertaking a review is one of the key commitments of Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan, which was launched by Michael Gove earlier this year. The Plan outlines the Government’s vision for improving the environment over a generation by connecting people with nature and helping wildlife to thrive. The review panel is expected to report back to Government in 2019. More details will be published when available; please subscribe to our High Weald AONB eNews to receive updates.

Note here to Wealden District Council. Given the above review, do officers and members not think it would be sensible to carefully observe AONB boundaries and place an absolute block on any development taking place in or around them.

NEW DEMENTIA INITIATIVES: Are being launched in Wealden helping to improve levels of care and support. The first session of Crowborough’s new Dementia Memory Café was held on Thursday November 29 at the Woodlands Care Home, Crowborough. It will be a singing session with the help and vocal talents of Dementia Support East Sussex. It’s open to everyone. It provides a chance for people with dementia and their carers to meet up, socialise and take part in a range of activities. The second initiative is the Hailsham Dementia Forum. It launches on Friday, December 7 at Bowes House, 25 Battle Road, Hailsham, BN27 1TJ. It will take place from 10am till noon at Bowes House. Among the other events for people with dementia taking place in the run up to Christmas are: A Movies Make Memories screening of the classic film White Christmas on Friday, November 30 at Ninfield Village Hall from 2pm to 4pm. The Polegate Memory Café meets on Thursday, December 6 at the Polegate Community Centre from 2pm to 4pm. There will be Christmas crafts activities. Polegate Dementia Forum takes place on Thursday December 13 in Joan Hughes Court from 10am till noon. Friday, December 14 sees a special Movies Make Memories compilation screening at Hailsham Pavilion Cinema, Hailsham, of Morecambe and Wise Christmas Specials. The ‘sunshine’ starts at 2pm. Keep up to date with the Wealden Dementia Action Alliance on its new Facebook page: just search in Facebook for Wealden Dementia Action Alliance. There’s a lot going on.

CROSS IN HAND: Cross in Hand Primary School. Mrs Massheder reports: He knows if you’ve been sleeping. Father Christmas. It’s the Christmas Fair on Friday, December 7 from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. One of the biggest attractions is our fabulous Father Christmas. We usually have over 100 children to visit him. Slots for visiting Father Christmas this year are filling up fast, so don’t miss out! If you would like to book for your child/children to have a magical meeting to remember, please return the booking form that was sent out in book bags. If you cannot find it, copies can be obtained from the office.

Following on from last week’s Friday Special, I would just like to set the record straight regarding the car that was parked on our neighbour’s drive. The driver of the car popped in to see me to let me know that they have permission to park on the drive as the neighbours are family friends. We also had a chat about double yellow lines. I am glad that we have been able to sort that out. However, it is still a good reminder for us all to remember to park considerately. On Friday, December 14 there’s a mufti day. We have been invited to go down to the fire station forecourt and sing some Christmas carols for the tree lighting ceremony today, Friday, and Heathfield lights switch on.

All of the children are invited to come down with parents and carers for a 3.30pm start, the more the merrier. We should only be singing for a few minutes, five or six songs. If last year’s event was anything to go by, it will be a lovely way to start the festive season, so please do come along

Very Important. Just so you’re aware, a couple of weeks ago, one of our Y6 girls was walking home from school. As she went to cross the road at the entrance to Waldron Thorns/Leeves Way an old, small, grey car stopped at the junction. The man in it looked at her and then sped out of the junction and mounted the curb in front of where she was heading. The man sat and watched her pass by, and the girl thought that he had a phone behind the steering wheel pointed towards her. The police were contacted. Their advice was that if any child is walking alone and feels worried or concerned by an adult behaving suspiciously, they or a parent should call 999 as soon as possible. They said that it is better to ring than not to if children suspect something isn’t right.

LEAVING THE EU: Public Meeting Chaired by Huw Merriman MP , Thursday December 6, 7pm to 9pm Community Centre, Sheepsetting Lane. Please come along debate and air your views on the decision of the century.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Consultation on County Council’s Future Services. East Sussex County Council has opened its public conversation on the ESCC Core Offer. The Core Offer is an assessment of the services that ESCC think are most needed by residents, businesses and communities and that they should be expected to provide in a difficult financial climate, it will inform and direct their budget planning over the coming three years. They are seeking views of those that live and work in the county, particularly whether they agree with the approach, whether the priorities and services in the Core Offer are right, and if there are ways they can work differently with partners and communities to do more to support each other. To complete the survey, you can access: https://consultation.eastsussex. gov.uk/governance-and- community-services/a -core-offer-for-east-sussex/

CAFOD COFFEE MORNING: Saturday, December 15, 10.30am to 12.30pm in the cosy courtyard of Mayfield School. There will be bottle and chocolate tombola stalls, games, raffles and a fabulous refreshments stall serving tea, coffee, mince pies and plenty of home-made cakes to buy. Everyone is welcome and entry is free. All funds raised will be donated to CAFOD. (Catholic Aid for Overseas Development).

CAROL SINGING: Five Ashes Community carol Singing. A note for your diary for December 8. The Hall Committee will be holding a community carol singing event. This has now become an annual event and is much enjoyed by all those who attend. The local school children will again be leading the carols with singers from the MayZing choir and members of the community joining in with all the favourites. There will be refreshments available from the committee volunteers.

MAYFIELD SCOUTS: Christmas Tree Sale, Saturdays December 1, 8 and 15. Christmas tree will be on sale at the Mayfield Scout HQ from 9am to 5pm. From 9am to 5pm Contact Mark for info: 07810 800428. Cash or cheques only.

BLACKBOYS: Bignose and Beardy Cider Framfield. Congratulations to Bignose and Beardy for being nominated as finalists in the Sussex Drinks Producer of the year in next year’s 2019 Sussex Food and Drink awards. Cast your vote by logging onto: www.sussexfood awards.biz/vote/ Voting closes January 17.

HORAM: Accident. Last week saw Horam gridlocked due to a serious accident between a van and a lorry It was reported at about 3pm on Tuesday, November 20. Traffic was diverted onto the A267 and, due to the parked cars near the garage, traffic heading south during the evening rush hour was queuing from the junction with Sheepsetting Lane to the village itself. Then on November 7 in the small hours a car smashed into the front window and façade of the new Co-op store. Repair work there is still ongoing.