N WATCH: Farm Watch Coordinator’s Update. The number of reports of loose animals on the highway this week is up from six to eighteen. These included ten sheep, four horses, three pigs and one cow. Please carry on checking your roadside hedges and fences daily, this includes those where a railway lines passes by. There have been several reports during the week of a burgundy Suzuki Vitara driving into farms, mainly in the Wealden area. When approached, the occupants have enquired about hay of part warn tyres. Please keep an eye out for this vehicle, it has a registration number similar to HD5!EW! The clocks went back last weekend and our message is simple, keep a light on and stay secure. In the early hours of Sunday, October 29, the clocks changed and at this is the time of year there is an increase in burglary as the nights lengthen and daylight hours shorten. On Sunday, October 22 Sussex Police began a social media campaign to show how residents can bolster their home security with some practical crime prevention advice and highlight the impact of burglary can have. We aim to emphasise the dire and sometimes heart-breaking effect a burglary can have on a person who has experienced it by sharing their personal story. These stories are complemented with helpful and practical tips to help safeguard your home against burglar. Everyone in the community can help prevent burglary by looking out for each other. Between September 2016 and September 2017 there were on average 680 burglary offences per month across the force. This total includes both residential and non-residential burglaries. The change of season not only brings longer evenings but the opportunity to be out celebrating bonfire events . Be mindful that your home could be vulnerable to burglary if it isn’t protected. The best defence against burglary is prevention. Burglary isn’t only about the physical act of someone breaking in and stealing material possessions. It can have a profound and lasting emotional effect on the victim.
How secure is your home? Check. Do you pass the burglary prevention test? Daily security. Keep all wallets, credit cards and car keys out of sight and out of reach. If you leave your house empty, even if you are in the back garden, lock all the doors and windows. An intruder alarm can be an effective deterrent against burglars, seek advice to ensure it is the most suitable for your needs. Make it a habit to mark your valuables by using your postcode and house number or name. Some articles are unsuitable for marking so photograph them next to a ruler. Register your property at www.immobilise.com After dark leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home. When you go out in the evening, always leave a light on in a room that can not be peered into from the road. Fit security lighting, either dusk to dawn energy efficient lighting that will come on automatically as dusk sets in, or infrared activated lighting which draws attention to movement. Front door security. Don’t let anyone into your home that you don’t know. Always ask for identification, official visitors won’t mind being asked for ID. Fit a door chain or bar and, if you have a solid front door, a wide angle door viewer. In the garden. Ensure that gates or access to the rear of the house are locked and secure. Trim overgrown plants, don’t give burglars a hiding place. Secure garden tools and ladders in a locked shed or garage to prevent them being used to break in to your home. The best defence against burglary is prevention
WEALDEN ALERTS: What Not to Put in the Bin. Items that should not be placed in the waste wheeled bin are as follows: Electrical Waste Electrical items (WEEE). Following the new WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive you should no longer place any electrical items in your waste bin. Some shops will take the items back when you purchase a new one. Alternatively, they should be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Site (external link) or to one of the Neighbourhood Recycling Points where they will be recycled in accordance with the new directive. Hot ashes. These may cause damage to the bin. Please wait for the ashes to cool down before placing in the waste bin. Please note, if the ashes are from a wood fire then they can be placed in the bin for green waste in small quantities. Builders rubble. Builders rubble may cause damage to the bin and/or the collection vehicle. They may also cause injury to the crews. Builders rubble can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Site (external link) but it is limited to six bags per month. Large amounts of soil may cause damage to the bin and/or the collection vehicle. They may also cause injury to the crews. Soil can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Site (external link) but it is limited to six bags per month. Clinical waste (other than incontinence pads). Clinical waste may cause damage to the environment and may also cause injury to the crews. There are also risks of spreading infections and diseases. Clinical waste needs to be collected in yellow bags separately from the refuse collection, in order that it can be incinerated. Wealden can provide residents with a sharps collection collection. Clinical needles. Needles may also cause injury to the crews. There are also risks of spreading infections and diseases. Needles need to be collected in a sharps box separately from the refuse collection, in order that it can be incinerated. Wealden can provide residents with a sharps collection.
CROSS IN HAND: Once again last week saw another two vehicle accident at the junction of the High Street and the A267. Accidents at this junction are now becoming a weekly occurrence. A number of residents are suggesting either traffic lights or a mini roundabout is installed.
ISENHURST: Following on from the above. Yes more complaints reach us about the new layout of Isenhurst service station. They concern, in the main, focus on drivers who fill up with fuel, leave their cars at the pumps, do their shopping in the Spar store and pay. Meanwhile because their vehicles are blocking pumps, there are always long queues. The other concern which is probably more important and concerned with safety, is the driveway out of the station which is shared with the health club. Why couldn’t the service station design engineers have routed traffic into the station at that point and out opposite Groombridge’s? As it is, cars have to join those leaving the health club and indicate right or left. If right, they have to cross two lanes, one of which inevitably heads into Cross-in-Hand High Street where there are always hold-ups. Many pull out in the hope traffic heading west from Heathfield will slow down for them, but few do. I won’t say this is an accident waiting to happen; it’s a series of smashes which already have happened. Is some sort of re-think on the cards? Regarding queues, would it be possible for Esso bosses to place notices on pumps asking drivers to pull into parking spaces when they shop, freeing up the pump spaces?
HIGH STREET: Cross-in-Hand High Street. What a mess this all is. Dads Hill is now blocked to through traffic, the queues both east and west are horrific, particularly at rush hours, and many drivers use the Mayfield Road, dicing with death as they turn right towards Heathfield in the face of traffic heading from Tunbridge Wells. And the development itself reminds me of the old days of the London docks, pre-Docklands, when huge warehouses blocked out the sky and roads appeared narrower as buildings were so close to the road. Driving west along the B2102 is like driving through a canyon. I imagine the new homes will be flush onto the narrow pavement and their access will be via Dads Hill. An opportunity to create a visually appealing development on a beautiful green site with extensive views has been wasted, and the buildings have a totally negative impact on the historic Cross-in-Hand mill close by.
PRIMARY SCHOOL: Mrs Massheder, the energetic head at Cross-in-Hand Primary School is asking if any parents would like to be more involved with the school community. In her latest newsletter she says: ‘Being a parent rep is a much underestimated role, it’s not just about bake sales and Christmas stalls (well, not all the time). A parent rep is the vital link between the teachers, the parents and Friends. If you’d like to get involved with our whizzy new Friends Committee, but don’t have time to be a Committee Member; if you’re a bit nosey and like to know all the goings-on at school before anyone else; and if you like the idea of supporting our amazing school in its quest to be even better, then we need you. Being a Parent Rep is also a fantastic way of getting to know your child’s class and get involved without a huge time commitment. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you could help.
SINGING: Singing for Fun for Everyone continues on Monday, 2pm at Cross in Hand Methodist Church at the top of Firgrove Road. The car park is on the left hand side. Favourite songs, Carols and Christmas songs. Do bring along songs and music for the group. Time for refreshments and a chat afterwards. Expenses are just covered.
MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Northdown Christmas Tree Plantation. I am pleased to report the above company has donated a Christmas tree to be located outside the Heathfield fire station. All the festive lights will be turned on in Heathfield December 1 at 4pm. Christmas Festival day Saturday December 2. Please come along and support our local businesses.
FIVE ASHES FIREWORKS: Five Ashes Village Hall management committee will be holding their annual Firework Display and Bonfire tomorrow, Saturday, on the Playing Field from 5.30pm. Last year they had an unprecedented number of attendees with almost 500 people enjoying the evening, which is their maximum capacity for this event. To avoid disappointment they are asking everyone to obtain their tickets in advance this year (outlets to be advised). There will be a maximum of 350 tickets available which will include the traditional cup of home made soup and locally sourced sausage in a roll for sale prior to the event. The committee have also agreed to have 150 entrance only, ie no food, available once the initial 350 have been sold.
BLACKBOYS: Blackboys Primary School. There’s still time to show you care by filling the boxes which Blackboys schoolchildren prepare to send to underprivileged youngsters. The school points out that it supports the Love in a Box charity which sends filled shoeboxes out to underprivileged children throughout Eastern Europe at Christmas time. The school has already sent home, via children’s book bags, the leaflet which they will need to take part in this year’s appeal. The head teacher asks for all filled shoeboxes to be back in school (please hand in at the school office) in preparation for the collection date at the very latest Tuesday, by the end of the school day.
HORAM: Stonehill Farm have reported they have had a bumper year for pumpkins and have sold out. They are asking for customers to post their carvings on Facebook, Instagram@ stonehill PYO for inspiration next year.