Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: This is an interesting case and should make all aware of the consequences when making false statements to the police. Driver who lied about speeding receives suspended prison sentence. On May 28, 2017, a black Audi A6 was recorded as travelling at 92mph on the A23 at Bolney, a 70mph limit. A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) was sent to the keeper, a woman from Manor Road, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire however she handed it to her husband, Benjamin Ludlow, as he was driving on the day in question, and he returned it to police.

The 43-year-old osteopath, of the same address, had nominated the driver as a woman from London, whom he stated had borrowed the car. Attempts were made to contact her but to no avail.Offence photographs were re-examined, which clearly showed a man driving the Audi. Following this, further documents were sent to the keeper and these were again returned by Ludlow, who again nominated the same woman from London. He was subsequently interviewed by officers at the Central Ticketing Summons Unit at Shoreham Police Station, where he fully admitted to making a false nomination in order to avoid the excess speed offence. Ludlow added that he had passed the papers to an associate in London, who told him he could make the offence “disappear”. It transpired his wife, the keeper of the Audi, had no knowledge of this. On October 4, 2018 at Lewes Crown Court, Ludlow pleaded guilty to the offence of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge. The investigation was launched as part of Operation Pinocchio, an ongoing operation set up by Sussex Police in 2016 with the following aims: To improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution; and to prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences. The offence carries a maximum term of life imprisonment.

PURSE THEFTS: Thursday, December 6. Around this time of year we can see an increase in purse thefts. The most common type of purse theft is ‘handbag dipping’ where offenders remove purses from handbags left unzipped or unattended, or by ‘accidentally’ walking into the victim. Keep your handbag on you zipped with no valuable items on display; keep your handbag close to your body; be mindful of distractions, thieves working in pairs may attempt to divert your attention in order to steal your handbag or it’s contents; attach your purse to your handbag with a secure cord and keep your mobile in a zipped internal pocket. Consider purchasing a purse bell, these are an inexpensive deterrent to purse thieves that can be attached to your bag and make a noise to alert you if someone attempts to take something from your bag. If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email them at: 101@sussex.pnn or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

RURAL AFFAIRS: A report from Tom Carter (Police, Sergeant, Rural, Wildlife, Heritage and Environmental Crime). Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the annual wildlife crime enforcer’s conference. There were many subjects discussed from badger persecution to raptors being poisoned and bat roosts being demolished, however there was one word which kept recurring cyber-crime. With more things being automated and connected to networks to increase efficiency there is a higher risk of becoming a victim of a cyber-attack. In the wildlife world the cyber threat comes from what is known as cyber enabled crime; an existing crime which is now perpetrated via the Internet. This could be buying and selling endangered species over the Internet without the correct permits and licences or filming hare coursing and live streaming it via a mobile phone for others many miles away to bet on. On the other side of the spectrum is cyber-dependant crime; these are crimes which can only be committed through the use of a computer such as hacking to steal data, malware and ransomware etc. There is a potential threat from this side of the coin to rural businesses. With rural businesses and farms turning to technology to increase efficiency and automate previously resource intensive areas of business, there is a risk that if a network is not securely protected a cyber-criminal can distribute ransomware and shut down the networked systems and machines until a sum of money is paid to regain control. Cyber-attacks can interfere with deliveries and collections and put both animal welfare and business and risk. In small businesses, where often the business computer and the personal computer are one and the same, there has been cases of businesses losing both company data and personal information such as family photographs. Luckily in the UK there are dedicated teams of experts working to counteract the threat from cyber-crime. They have produced guides for small businesses to help protect you from attack. The National Cyber Security Centre has also created Cyber Essentials; by working through the checklist and verification procedure the Cyber Essentials mark shows a commitment to cyber security. Some Government departments now will not offer contracts to companies who have not gone through the Cyber Essentials accreditation. By looking for the Cyber Essentials brand as either a consumer or business looking for a new supplier you know that your data is as safe as it can be. Please keep anti-virus software up to date and install computer, mobile phone and tablet updates as soon as they become available. Consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your data. Be very careful when using public wi-fi networks and make sure that you use strong passwords for your systems. If you are a business or organisation please consider joining the CiSP (Cyber Information Sharing Platform). There is a group within this system which has recently been created to raise cyber awareness within rural businesses. This system is only open to businesses and organisations unfortunately. Once you have an account search for the Rural Cyber Awareness group via the search bar and ask to join, I will do the rest.
WEALDEN ALERTS: Enjoy a waste-free Christmas. We love Christmas, but we hate waste. And Christmas can be the most wasteful time of the year. It is estimated that over the Christmas holiday, the UK produces 30 percent more waste than usual. With greeting cards, plastic decorations and unwanted gifts all creating a massive amount of waste, the real cost of a Merry Christmas can be devastating for the environment. ‘Packaging and wrapping may add to the excitement of Christmas but they add to a growing burden of waste after it,’ said Councillor Roy Galley, Cabinet member for Waste Management. ‘By thinking ahead, we can hopefully reduce the amount of waste we will leave behind not just after Christmas, but for future generations.’ The Waste Team at Wealden would like to thank you for your efforts which helped us to achieve an amazing recycling rate of over 50 percent.

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Christmas lights, what to say? Not very much really as you are lucky if you can actually make them out. Such a shame as I am sure a great deal of time and effort goes into putting them up and lighting them. What happened to the lovely lights we had in the village a couple of years ago? If I remember, they were brightly coloured and a joy to see. After a heavy day you were cheered as you drove towards the High Street and home. One of the problems with the trees on the front of the shops is that the bulbs are just not bright and visible enough. Other towns and villages have managed so well. We’re just back from the west of Scotland where our son got married. All the tiny villages, some no more than a high street straggled across a mountain side, are decorated overall. It seems that Scotland embraces the Christmas spirit with fervour and not a great deal of public money. Up in East Grinstead when the electricity company said they were not prepared to fund the cost of power to the town’s lights, shopkeepers banded together and each provided a power pick-up point. The town itself is a pleasure to visit. We know it’s bigger and possibly richer, but there’s a principle at stake here. Should we have, as they do in other towns, a business group comprising solely our wonderful traders? I know we have a Chamber of Commerce but there seem to be few shop owners involved. Their input was desperately needed when the November roadworks were first proposed. Perhaps I am wrong? If so, tell me what you think. Good or bad I am really open to comments and I am happy to include them in this column.

FARMERS MARKET: Tomorrow, Saturday, Co-Op car park, Heathfield High Street 9am to 12.30pm. There will be all the usual stalls selling: fresh fish, vegetables, in season fruit, meat, sausages, chicken, eggs, cheese, bread, olives, spices, Indian food, cakes and plants and flowers. Also on sale are home made cards, wooden bowls, dog treats and candles. The Heathfield Silver Band will be playing outside the entrance to the Co-op. Please come along, support your local traders, buy good food, local arts and crafts and see just what your local farmers and producers can offer. There is a jam and marmalade seller sought for the market. You must have public and product liability insurance in place, comply with food hygiene regulations and be able to attend regularly. If interested please contact: or call: 01892 610314.

HEATHFIELD TAVERN: It is sorry to hear the Heathfield Tavern has closed down. I once owned a similar business and so I am fully aware of the pleasures and pitfalls of the very tough licensed trade. It is not a business for the faint-hearted, unsocial hours, very late nights, staffing, dealing with chefs, paperwork, purchasing and coping with the many issues that arise when you offer a service to the public are difficult for the most enthusiastic to contend with. Hopefully a new owner/tenant can be found as soon as possible, the customers who had made Christmas bookings now have to find alternative arrangements and are hoping to get their deposits refunded. We hope all goes as well as it can at a difficult time of year.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Progress on the New Cottage Hospice in Five Ashes. If you pass through Five Ashes on the A367 you cannot fail to be impressed by the progress being made on constructing the new Cottage Hospice there. It is due to open in Spring 2019 and will be unique; the culmination of years of work and research by Hospice in the Weald in conjunction with the International Observatory for End of Life Care at Lancaster University. Hospice in the Weald has five services which support patients, families and carers: an in-patient ward, Hospice in the Home, Hospice Day Service, counselling and support service, and now Cottage Hospice. As our fifth and new service, Cottage Hospice will have the same values as all the services and a number of the volunteers and staff will transfer from Pembury. This new service is all about enabling family caregivers to continue to care for their loved ones at the end of life. It isn’t about the building, it’s about person centred care. But it does help greatly though that the Cottage Hospice will be in an entirely new purpose-constructed building which has been specifically designed and planned to achieve these aims.

ST DUNSTAN’S CHURCH: Services for Christmas. Wednesday, 6pm Poetic readings and carols by candlelight. Christmas Eve, 5pm Children’s torchlit crib service. 11pm Sung Mass of the Nativity for Midnight. Christmas Day, 10.15am Family Eucharist and carols (children, please take along your single favourite present.) Sunday, December 30 10.15am. Parish Eucharist and carols. Sunday, January 6 Feast of the Epiphany. 8am Said Eucharist. 10.15am Procession and ‘all together’ Family Eucharist.

COMMUNITY BOOK SWAP: The trial for the Community Book Swap in St Dunstan’s Church is up and running and there is a nice selection of books so thank you for those who have donated them. The book swap is open to all Mayfield residents so please come along and (if possible) exchange a book with something that you would like to take home and read.

PARKING: At the entrance to Royal Oak Mews. This is a request for vehicle owners not to park on the double yellow lines in Mayfield High Street either side of the entrance to Royal Oak Mews. This is the residential street that is diagonally opposite The Pink Cabbage. When vehicles are parked there, the refuse trucks are not able to reverse into the road from the High Street and residents’ waste and recycling collections have been missed on multiple occasions recently. Please pay attention to the road markings in the High Street as they are there for a reason and should not be disregarded.

HORAM: Wessons Café. News for all of us who are interested in what’s happening at the former Wessons Café, much missed by many, I am sure. There is a Facebook posting from the new operators. The rumour mills have been in full swing since the sign was put up a month ago. Rumours are rife that it was going to be a Burger King, Macdonalds, Tesco or a hairdressers. None of these are true. So what is happening? It’s going to open as the Horam Emporium opening in January, 2019 selling mid twentieth century, modern collectables, 1960s/70 retro-chic, auto memorabilia, furniture etc.

There will be between 15-20 individual pitches/stalls that will be up for rent. People can be part of this exciting new venture if they would like to. It will also have TPODZ Tearoom run by Pippa Durrell who has lived in Horam for more than 20 years. Her plans are to sell home-made cakes, bespoke sandwiches, toasted ciabatta, home-made soup, jacket potatoes and full English always available.