HUNG PARLIAMENT: So we now have a hung parliament. I understand that young people eligible to vote, plus older people voted in droves to have their say in a most spectacular way. The abolition of tuition fees was a big hit with the youngsters (my son is 35 and still has a £4,500 debt from his university days). The retired and elderly would have seen pensions, winter fuel allowances, possibly bus passes and, for the over 75s, the possibility free TV licences could be taken away. So what future do our local young folks have? A lot of the ASB in the area is attributed to the young. There is something radically wrong when they congregate in groups from 5.30pm until the early hours drinking alcohol and, in some cases, taking banned substances. Basically there are no local activities for them. No late night bus services, no late night cafés or any midweek activities. Wealden/Heathfield Works is a brilliant organisation for supporting local youth. Although I understand funding is secured for 2017, future funding is in jeopardy. Is it not possible to expand it’s horizons to set up an activity programme for the younger population? I am sure if this happened, funding for 2018 could be secured. I do feel the Parish Council could get more involved, for example recruiting youngsters to participate on local committees, say on the Leisure and Environment Committee or alternatively set up a Parish Youth Committee. I am sure the youth participation and ideas would be appreciated and most of all give them a say.
As for the elderly I am sure Age Concern could do with extra help in the area. These are just my thoughts. If readers of the column have any bright ideas to engage our youngsters and help our elderly in the community please contact me.
CROSS IN HAND: Operation Blitz. In Heathfield four youngsters were spoken to at the recreation ground and searched for alcohol. In Jubilee Park, Cross in Hand, nine youths were found. They had been reported as drinking but they turned out to be over 18 and causing no problems. Well done to our Police. Operation Blitz is highly visible in the Heathfield area on Friday and Saturday nights between 6pm and midnight. Why not join up to Operation Blitz to report and incident and anti social behaviour?
VOLUNTEERS WEEK: Locally in Wealden, Special Constables were deployed for targeted action under local, and force-wide, priorities. Starting on Thursday, June 1, they concentrated on ‘scams awareness’ with pop-up events at key locations. Engaging with those most deemed at risk, they gave out information booklets and advice on how to keep themselves safe. On Saturday, June 3, they carried out spot checks on drivers under our ‘road safety’ priority, resulting in five being caught without a seatbelt and one for no insurance. On Tuesday this week, they visited the more vulnerable or elderly residents of the district, who can often be targeted by rogue traders. They were given reassurance and crime prevention advice, particularly advising them never to make any financial deals with cold callers.
PRIMARY SCHOOL: Congratulations to the school staff, pupils and parents in working with the local residents especially at pick up and drop off times to eliminate parking problems This is a very pro active initiative which I am sure other schools could adopt where the school and the residents work in tandem, prioritising health and safety of the children
DOCTORS SURGERY: A very interesting notice is in the Firs Doctors Surgery. During May 2017 130 No Shows were made by patents. This represented 21.75 hours of the surgery doctors’ time being wasted. I am sure you will all agree this is unacceptable and means sick patents have to wait longer for an appointment. Please let the surgery know if you are unable to make an appointment on the allotted time and day. BLACKBOYS: Woodland Trust. Congratulations to the Woodland Trust which keeps both Turnmill and Kiln woods in such excellent order. Both are accessible from the Blackboys Inn and both are different, Turnmill is clearly a wood for specimen trees and is protected from damage by deer. It’s a pity to see first-hand the damage caused by ash die-back but I suppose the Trust can measure the health of the tree population by this experimental piece of woodland. It’s full of wildlife too, including a family of buzzards, probably attracted by the huge rabbit population.
CLASSIC CAR SHOW: The Blackboys Inn presents a classic car show with live music, a barbecue and outside bar from noon until 5pm on Sunday, June 25. Donations from the proceeds will be made to St Wilfrid’s Hospice. It’s organised by Annabel Gould whose stepdad was under the hospice’s care. If anyone would like to take any classics along, just turn up at around 11am or arrive for the day at noon where you can admire them. You can contact her or the pub via Facebook.
HORAM: Horam Fun Day, Recreation Ground Sunday July 9 at 1pm. Anyone interested in having a stall contact Brenda Macklin 01435 812018.
ENHANCING HORAM: In plain English, to build on all that is good about Horam Parish and ensure the village moves with the times, attracting more footfall to keep shops, businesses and clubs alive. How The Enhancing Horam Project was born. Inspired by Wealden’s Street Ahead initiative, Horam Parish Council set up the Enhancing Horam Project in January 2013 to ensure that, with the development of the Merrydown site imminent, the village capitalised on the growth and was better able to support its many shops, clubs and societies. Grant funding was provided and with the initial sum a rebranding exercise was undertaken for the village including a logo, stationery and design templates. Following on from this, the website was redeveloped. Tourism plays an important economic role in Horam and there is much on offer: explore the Cuckoo Trail, discover the Horam Manor Museum and enjoy the numerous parish clubs, societies, shops, pubs and cafes.
FIVE ASHES: Congratulations to Huw Merriman, our local Heathfield Tory MP who was re-elected to represent our community in the General Election. Not only does Huw live in the community (unlike other MPs) but is very pro-active in his constituency supporting local initiatives and schools.
FIVE ASHES PRIMARY SCHOOL: It has been another productive few weeks here at the school. Its new library area started to take shape. The school is so proud of its revamped library and Project Paperback which has taken formation after superb teamwork from staff, parents, friends and children. Maple and Willow classes spent days in local woodland, exploring their learning journeys by utilising all that our wonderful local environment has to offer. Maple class created some ‘bug hotels’ and go back later next term to review their inhabitants. A coding and programming specialist has visited Oak class to further develop their ICT skills. The children learnt many new techniques, in particular about microdots and worked at being able to program their own Tamagotchi. Maple class performed excellently at the Tri-Golf tournament at Beacon Academy this week, finishing second out of seven teams. Both their exceptional teamwork and putting skills were commented on. Everyone is looking forward to Term six which is jam packed full of spectacular learning experiences: STEM activity day, Globe Theatre workshop, Safety in Action, whole school theatre trip, end of year production to name but a few.
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