Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

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UPDATE: On Significant Planned Road Works On The M23 And The Brighton Main Line Improvement Project. The following works are scheduled on the M23, subject to weather conditions. Next full weekend closure Friday May 18 at 8pm to midnight on Saturday May 19, 36 hour full carriageway closure at Junction 9 Gatwick Spur (into the Airport only). No exit Northbound at J9. Access into Gatwick Airport North and South terminals via M23 J10, and follow signed diversion route. The main M23 carriageway will be open as normal, there will be no access into Gatwick from the M23.

COMMONPLACE: The Smart Motorway team would like to remind you about Commonplace, which is a Highways England driven initiative which the SMP M23 is trialling at the moment. Below is the link so that you can see for yourself what customers will be able to comment on and ask questions about. As a positive, SMP will gain immediate reactions which will enable them to act promptly regarding issues such as Traffic Management, Environmental, operatives working, etc. https://m23j8to10smartmotorway.commonplace.is/

A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK: The SMP M23 recycle as much as they can from site but may have a surplus of wood chip becoming available. If you know of any local community projects in the area who could make use of them, please contact Carolyne Ferguson, Senior Stakeholder and Customer Liaison Manager at Carolyne.Ferguson@kier.co.uk or Jeannie.Dwyer@kier.co.uk. It can be delivered by the lorryload (locally only) when it becomes available.

BRIGHTON MAIN LINE: Improvement Project. Network Rail are carrying out major engineering works on the Brighton Main Line on April 7, closing the line between Three Bridges and Brighton and Three Bridges to Lewes. These are essential works as part of their railway improvement plan. Works previously scheduled for April 6 are being re-scheduled. There is also a closure Sunday, May 5, early morning between 1.20am and 9.30am. No direct trains will run between Three Bridges and Brighton and Three Bridges to Lewes. Two trains per hour will run from Brighton to London Victoria via Littlehampton with extended journey times. Replacement buses will also run.

For full details and to register for alerts visit www.BrightonMainline.co.uk Please check before you travel and visit National Rail for live departure updates and timetable information. To contact Sussex Neighbourhood Watch please E-mail enquiries@sussexnwfed.org.uk or visit www.sussexnwfed.org.uk.

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Heathfield Farmers Market, Saturday, April 20. The next market will be held on Saturday, April 20, Co-Op car park, Heathfield High Street. As it will be Easter Saturday there will be an Easter Egg hunt between 10am to 10.30am, find the hidden pictures hidden in the market and win Cream Eggs. Easter hat parade and competition 10.30am, arrival for 10.45am judging. Open to all local primary school children, girls and boys. The winner in each category (years R, 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6) will win a large egg. Judging by Huw Merriman, MP and Co-op member of staff. Easter eggs kindly sponsored by the Co-op.

There will be all the usual stalls selling fresh produce fish. Also on sale are dog treats, children’s books, cards, candles, stained glass suncatchers and wood bird boxes. Please come along and buy good food and local arts and crafts and support your local farmers and producers.

PILIO BISTRO: And Restaurant Opening April 16. I am pleased to report the wonderful and very well supported authentic Greek restaurant in the High Street is locating to the former Steamer Trading premises in Station Road. The new restaurant will be open as from April 16 for morning coffee, lunches and evening meals. The good news is that the restaurant will be increasing the seating capacity including an outside and garden seating areas. We wish Dora and Thanasis all the best in the new location. What a great place for a restaurant. We will be there.

ROTARY CLUB: Heathfield and Waldron Rotary Club. President’s Report. We were delighted to welcome Justine Clark, local wedding singer, to our club Valentine’s evening at Blackstock’s Farm, Hellingly, our regular weekly venue. She sang a medley of love songs and we all danced, after a splendid meal. That evening we also welcomed three new potential members and they have subsequently all joined our club. The total number of members worldwide has now risen from 1.2 million in 35,000 clubs to 1.2 million plus three. Some events, as the one above, are purely social, most others have a fund raising aim and the most recent one, our Pointless Quiz, was a huge success. We raised over £1,300 with 120 attendees in the King’s Hall in the centre of town. Richard Owen and his fundraising team deserve great praise, as does Alexandra Clark for catering the main course and running the kitchen and washing up for this large number. As always in Rotary many others contributed among those were Graeme Hird, our faithful barman, served drinks all evening, while Linda Mason, Richard Ridley, Trevor Goldsmith, Mike and Sue Lamble and John Kay all played essential supporting roles. We continue to edge ever closer to raising nearly £35,000 for the Sanergy project, which will bring toilet facilities to slums in Nairobi. Great work by Peter Williams has required him to go with his wife, Liz, to research the many issues surrounding this in the capital city of Kenya and now he is liaising closely with the Minimani Rotary club to finalise the details. Our international giving has also included sending Shelterboxes (www.shelterbox.org ) to three disaster zones worldwide this year and most latterly we sent two more to Mozambique. Each box costs £500 but contains a large tent and many pieces of basic equipment required to sustain life in the immediate aftermath of a major disaster. At home we are supporting our local schools and I was delighted to receive a letter from the Community College this week telling of the impact our £1,000 donation made to the re-establishing of their Duke of Edinburgh award scheme after the county had withdrawn funding for schools. Without our support they would not now have properly functioning Bronze and Silver groups, with confident youngsters emerging with much improved life skills. We also are making sure that our three local primary schools are receiving support for a variety of projects this year. Mention should also be made of the Rotary partners’ evening when an inspirational speaker came to talk about her dedicated and sacrificial work for the charity Embrace, which gives support to all those whose physical, educational or emotional handicaps prevent them from accessing the education they deserve and need. This includes some hours of respite for parents, lessons for the school age children, activities for the youngest ones and litigation in the courts in London to ensure all those who need help receive a fair deal from society. The club gave £500 to this charity and the partners will give another sum to support this very worthy cause. We look forward to the activities of next month and especially to the Golf Day on April 25, which is one of our major fund raising activities of the year. Thank you as ever to all fellow Rotarians and their partners for all you contribute to this very successful club and to Ray James, who has boldly taken on the production of this monthly newsletter.

COMMUNITY AND VOCATIONAL COMMITTEE: Parkside, Cross-in-Hand Primary and Old Heathfield schools are proposed for support this year. Parkside have requested £1,000 for classroom re-cycling bins. It is proposed that we support their recycling programme for £1,000 and that Cross-in-Hand and Old Heathfield be offered a similar sum for acceptable projects. Cross in Hand school would like support for an Arts week they are hoping to run. The Head Teacher of Cross in Hand school, Sarah Massheder, would like to use the £1,000 donation from the Rotary Club to help towards running an Arts Week. She writes: ‘We are intending to design, plan and deliver an arts week where we can use equipment and materials that we are simply not able to buy normally - clay, modroc, wire, fabrics, dyes, special paints and so on. We also want to investigate buying in performers and artists who will work with the children and develop both 2D and 3D artworks as well as performance art - dance, mime etc. At the end of the arts week we will hold an ‘open house’ exhibition (a ‘Celebration Evening’) where parents, carers and friends (and the Rotary Club, of course) are invited to tour the school and see the outcomes of the work, and perhaps even enjoy performances by the children in the main hall. At the end of the evening we will hold an outgoing collection to help us to raise funds towards buying a Buddy Bench in memory of one of our children who sadly died last year’. She writes further that without this proposed donation, ‘we would never have been able to offer our children such an exciting and memorable opportunity’

WEALDEN ALERTS: Fun and Safety for all the family. Hailsham, Uckfield, Crowbourgh

Fun and Safety Easter holiday events. Hailsham. The event will be taking place at the James West Community Centre, Brunel Drive, near Hempstead Lane, Hailsham from 10am to 1pm on April 10. There are many attractions at this year’s free event including a children’s entertainer, face painter, fire engine and police vehicle (operational requirements permitting), arts and crafts and a play zone. It will also be an opportunity to find out about accident prevention and road, water, fire, rail and community safety. One You East Sussex will also be on hand to offer advice and support about healthier lifestyles, including giving up smoking, weight management and doing a bit more exercise. Children and young people are welcome at Wealden’s Fun and Safety days but those aged 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please note parking is not available at the site. The event is organised by Wealden District Council and attended by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Sussex Police, Network Rail, One You East Sussex and Freedom Leisure. Uckfield and Crowborough fire stations are hosting Wealden’s ever-popular Fun and Safety days during the school Easter holidays. The Crowborough event takes place on Tuesday April 9 from 10am to 1pm at the Beacon Road fire station in Crowborough. The Uckfield event takes place on Thursday April 11 from 10am to 1pm, at the Bell Lane fire station in Uckfield. We’ve planned a mix of fun and learning through interactive displays such as water, road, rail, fire and community safety. Other attractions include a children’s entertainer, face painting, badge-making, arts and crafts and outdoor games. Children will be able to sit behind the wheel of a fire engine and meet some of the local fire fighters. Children and young people can come along to Wealden’s Fun and Safety days but those aged 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please note there are no refreshments or parking on site and parking nearby is limited, so please try to walk or use public transport, if possible.

FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS: Don’t lose your right to have your say on local issues. You have until Friday, April 12 to register to vote in the forthcoming local government elections. If you have recently moved house or been away, you may not be on the electoral roll for the parish and district ward where you are entitled to vote. If you are in doubt, you can go online and register. It takes five minutes. To register to vote, visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You will need your National Insurance number to hand. The other deadline which is fast approaching is the April 15 cut–off point for applying to register for a postal vote. If you are not registered for a postal vote and want to receive one for the May 2 elections, you will need to apply to the Wealden elections team by 5pm on Monday, April 15. Students are able to register both at their place of study and at home, but can only vote in one area. You can learn more about the new Wealden ward boundaries on the Boundary Commission for England’s website: http://www.legislation. gov.uk/uksi/2016/1237/ contents/made Phillippa Saray, Electoral Commission Regional Manager for the East and Southeast of England, said: ‘If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote. It takes just five minutes online and means that you can take part in this important election. If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you will still be registered to vote.’

CROSS IN HAND: Singing for Fun for Everyone continues on Monday from 2pm at Cross in Hand Methodist Church at the top of Firgrove Road. The car park is on the left hand side. Favourite songs. Do bring along songs and and music for the group. Time for refreshments and a chat afterwards. Expenses are just covered.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Road closures between Mayfield and Rotherfield during £2.4 million water main project. People living in and around Rotherfield and Mayfield were given details of a major construction scheme involving local road closures at a drop-in session hosted by South East Water at Rotherfield Village Hall. Residents met company engineers and contractors to find out more about the £2.4 million project to lay three miles of new water main between Coggins Mill water treatment works in Mayfield and Cottage Hill underground storage reservoir in Rotherfield. They were told that while much of the new pipeline would be buried in private land, the route of the new main would also lead to the phased closure of a number of local roads when work gets underway in late April for a nine month period. Affected roads will be Little Trodgers Lane, Mayfield; Old Tunbridge Wells Road, Mayfield (not the A267); Bassetts Lane, Mayfield; the B2101 Bicycle Arms Road, Rotherfield and B2101 High Cross Road, Rotherfield. Road diversions have been agreed with East Sussex Highways and bus passengers, whose services will be affected as work progresses, will be notified of contingency arrangements by the bus company in due course. Further details of the phasing of the work and road diversions at corporate.southeast water.co.uk/highcross

HORAM: Crematoriam Update. The official opening date has been put back to May. There will be open days in May and information for local businesses and how to engage with the crematorium will be available at a later date.

DAVIES AND SONS BUTCHERS: It is good to see the shop is flourishing and keeping up its high standards. Mrs PP bought some home-made sausages and a French trimmed rack of lamb last week both products were delicious. I was very impressed with the Waitrose envelope style of packaging which is freezer proof Keep up the good work.

BLACKBOYS: Blackboys School. Parent Survey 2019. The school is pleased to show the Parent Questionnaire results from 2019. Governors, staff and children are very proud of Blackboys School and it is pleasing to see many parents also share this pride in making Blackboys School ‘the best it can be’. This was the first year that they have conducted their survey online. They hoped this would raise the number of people who engaged in the survey, but actually saw a drop of 29 responses, meaning that the survey had half the reach of the previous year. The first six questions, the core role, continue to show 100 percent agreement. However, it is noted that ‘making progress’ has a lower ‘strongly agree’ percentage than last year. Parents were clearly aware that the Government’s Progress measure, particularly in writing, for Key Stage 2 did not match the high expectations they have at Blackboys. Staff have been working hard to address this issue. The Learning Code and Watch Your Writing Grow boards are just two of many initiatives put in place to boost progress and this will be an ongoing action point for school improvement. Your child’s class teacher would be delighted to speak to parents who are keen to work in partnership to help raise their child’s writing progress. They will continue to have the highest expectations of what your child can achieve. They ask parents to support these high expectations. Looking simply at the ‘agree strongly’ criteria, we are delighted to see continued increase in effective communication and being welcoming. The Governing body plays a huge part in the leadership of the school, but from the results here will need to look at promoting ways they can be contacted. It’s known they are keen to become more involved with parents at weekly cafes. There were two new questions this year. These are starting points and show us that we need to think more.

EAST SUSSEX WILDLIFE RESCUE: And Ambulance Service. Founder Trevor Weeks is always in need of pillowslips, towels and blankets, Whiskas cat food and old newspapers (staples removed please). If you can help please contact Virginia Heaton on: 01435 812541 or email oberon@uwclub.net