Isfield & Little Horsted

CASH SUBMISSION: There was, to some people’s surprise, just one submission for Section 106 funding for Isfield village projects when the parish council met last week (March 24). It came from the Isfield Village Hall management committee, which is seeking financial aid for a planned extension and refit of the century-old hall which at one time was the local school. If the entire proposals (given in some detail in last week’s notes), were to proceed, the cost could approach £200,000; the hall committee is seeking some £80,000 from S106 cash, with the hope that more might come from National Lottery and other sources. Presenting the management committee’s case, Katherine Meakin said ‘The hall is an extremely valuable asset to this village. Many groups use it and would use it more if we could provide more space. We want to build a wonderful asset.’ Geoff Sambrook, parish council chairman, queried whether it was right that money should be provided for an asset such as the hall and then people being charged to use it. Peter Rigby, a long-time supporter of the hall, pointed out that ‘what money we make we plough back into the hall’. The S106 money comes about as a condition of planning permission for the Millwood Homes development on the former Army camp site near the Lavender Line. The parish council decided to defer a decision until at least its next meeting (date) when the clerk, Alison Stevens, will report back on whether Wealden District Council declares whether the submission meets various criteria. Mr Sambrook said: ‘We will seek an amicable agreement that meets the wishes of as many people as possible.’ Other topics discussed at last week’s meeting included, Recreation Ground pavilion: Much of the flooring as now been replaced and/or renewed and the pavilion given a deep-clean. Linda Brooks, one of the local residents overseeing a programme to give the facility a brighter and cleaner appearance, said: ‘We’re getting there very slowly, but we’re getting there.’ The council clerk is to seek talks with Wealden Council with a view of having a proposal to charge business rates on the pavilion overturned; Boundaries: The parish council continues to oppose Boundary Commission proposals to, as part of an electoral review of East Sussex, link Isfield with Uckfield West rather than with Fletching and Dane Hill as at present. Councillors feel that merging rural and urban communities is not in the best interests of small villages such as Isfield. The proposals, which have been put out for consultation, would link Little Horsted with parts of Uckfield along with Ridgewood, Framfield and Cross-in-Hand. Litter: Jim Smith, council vice-chairman, presented a gloomy report on roadside litter in the village, most of which, he believed, was caused by one or more motorists driving through the village and throwing material from their vehicles. ‘A lot of it is certain alcohol bottles (empty) which originate from outside the village as they cannot be bought in it.’ He also drew attention to an unacceptable amount of dog mess being left close to the children’s play area at the recreation ground.

BEER RACE: Thankfully, the heavens closed their shutters and the winds abated a little on Easter Monday to allow the traditional Tommy Trot Beer Race to get under way in Isfield, for the 60th year. The popular event, which attracts more than passing interest from people outside the village, saw 49 contestants clutch their half-pint tankards of ale for a walk from The Laughing Fish to the old mill and back roughly 1½ miles, with the winner being the one with most left in their glass at the finishing line. This year it was Decland Emmerson, followed closely by Clara Rich in second place at Helen Stonham third. The children’s Lemonade Race, over a shorter course, was won by Sam Howard (aged 10 years and over) and William Gimm in the under-10s. Maisie Templeton won the Easter Egg Hunt with a haul of seven eggs of the 48 hidden in the Fish’s garden. Profits from the event will be going to Friends of Sussex Hospices, the pub’s chosen charity for this year. The day’s programme of entertainment rounded off with a display by the Ashdown Morris Men. Pub licensee Andy Brooks said: ‘It’s been an extremely successful day, especially considering the dreadful weather forecast we saw three days ago.’ If that forecast had come entirely true, perhaps jugs of Gales would have been more appropriate than the bitter provided by sponsors Isfield Brewing Company.

CHURCH SERVICES: St Margaret’s, Isfield (10am): First Sunday of the month, Holy Communion; second, Matins; third, Holy Communion; fourth, Family; fifth, Holy

Communion. St Michael’s, Little Horsted: First Sunday, Communion (11am); second, Holy Communion, Book of Common Prayer (8am); third, Family service, (11am); fourth and fifth, Holy Communion, Book of Common Prayer (8am).

OPEN DAY BOOST: The open day held by Isfield Village Hall, at which some of the facility’s users had stalls to show the many activities that take place there, raised around £200 to help the hall’s maintenance costs.

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