WEDDING BELLS: Tomorrow, Saturday, will herald the moment when Paul Shorter will tie the knot with Lisa Thom(p)son in All Saints’ church at 3pm. Paul is a member of the infamous Upton family and has been a stalwart in the Plumpton Scout movement since he first graduated from within it. Ironically, the couple are making their home in one of the new houses in Sun Close that backs on to the Scout HQ, no excuse for turning up late at a meeting, Paul. I am sure that there are many local residents, including past and present Scouters, who will join me in wishing the happy couple a long and happy life together. Just as a happy aside, the Sun Close homes were built to benefit local people and the fact that Paul’s next door neighbour is his cousin, Tracey, makes the story even happier.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: It would be amiss of me not to take the opportunity to wish my wife, Su, a happy birthday as she celebrates her 21st birthday again today (Friday). No, it’s not my way of getting out of paying for a birthday card, whatever my ‘friends’ think.

PARISH COUNCIL: Apologies to those residents who were looking forward to attending the parish council meeting this month, but there is no meeting held during August. Do not fret, however, as although a number of councillors have packed their buckets and spades and gone off to such idyllic places as Portslade-by-Sea the Council is still operative and the parish clerk is available to ensure that disaster does not befall our community (she took her holiday early).

PLUMPTON YOUTHSAPCE: This initiative for young people from Plumpton and East Chiltington has been highly successful and has a bright future but it faces a major setback as the Secretary, John Moore, is stepping down because of other major commitments. His organisational skills have created the success and, although there is a strong and dedicated support team, a new co-ordinator is urgently required. The talents and capabilities within the team are great, so it is not a one man band that is required, just someone with a little spare time, an interest in the wellbeing of young people and an ability for organisation and co-ordination. If you care and wish to take part as the leader of a dedicated team please contact me in the first instance. 01273 890722 or will find me. The project has the backing of Plumpton Village Action Plan Fund and both Plumpton and East Chiltington Parish Councils together with the Police, ESCC and others. The young people involved are enthusiastic and appreciate the facility, but someone is needed to facilitate it. The task is not one that demands a great deal of time and effort, but just a modest commitment. John Moore will co-operate to the full to secure a smooth handover and back-up advice. It’s our village and our community, so is there anyone out there willing to provide a modest effort?

VEGGIE OR VEGAN: The WI will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday in the village hall at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Diane Page whose subject will be Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking. Visitors are always welcome the meetings.

POP-IN PARLOUR: This very popular village service will not operate during August, but will re-commence on September 1.

AWFUL AUGUST: It seems that most things grind to a halt during August when most young families are forced to take their holidays because the schools have closed. Almost everyone on the face of the earth seems to take unfair advantage of this and the costs of transport, holidays and everything connected with them simply rocket out through the ceiling. Not only that but few community events take place during the month, meaning that those who do not or cannot go off on holiday have little to do at home and can become very lonely and possibly feel isolated. This system seems to be wrong. Is there a solution? There should be.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: I have previously tried to explain the complexity of the preparation of Plumpton Neighbourhood Plan and how I’s have to be dotted at least twice with the same applying to T’s being crossed. Please note, however, that the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has announced a public exhibition of the draft proposals for the allocation of recommended sites. It is set to take place at the village hall on September 15 and will be open between 3pm and 9pm. Inevitably not everyone will be happy but the aim is to make the best of the situation imposed on the community. Note the date, drop in and make your observations known. It’s our village and our community, so it is up to everyone to participate if you really care. If you do not then you will have absolutely no right to complain at a later date. Personally I would rather have a silent minority than a silent majority because that is no way to achieve democracy. Apathy should not be allowed to rule. If the apathy club does actually met anywhere then I suggest that the venue be closed on September 15.

FINE PLANTS FOR SALE: Plumpton College is well known for its excellence in the horticultural field. During the course of its operations it has produced some container grown plants, shrubs and trees that are surplus to requirements and these are being offered for sale on Sunday mornings at the college glasshouses during August. Anyone interested can just go along and see what fine specimens the students have produced and probably snap up some bargains. The college has a reputation for excellence, so take advantage of the opportunity. My commission on sales from this plug is zero percent so I will gladly share this with all of you.

ROADWORKS: Last year Plumpton Lane and Station Road were given resurfacing treatments that many, including the Parish Council, subsequently said were defective in many respects. ESCC followed this up and said that the alleged defects would be rectified within a specified timeframe but that did not materialise. Now the parish council has been told that remedial works will take place on August 14 and 15. We await the result.

VALUE FOR MONEY: Plumpton Parish Council has been pressing ESCC to implement several quite minor schemes to improve safety for a long time. As I have indicated previously, these have failed to receive funding. In neighbouring Wivelsfield Green speed limits were reduced not long ago to improve road safety. There is no problem with that, but within no time at all extensive works were undertaken in the interests of so-called traffic calming. In other words to secure the objective of reducing speed limits through the village before the original measures had been given time to show their effectiveness. Large sums have been spent on widening pavements, splodging red stuff on the roads, painting more white lines, installing verge-side posts and putting up expensive looking signs. The immediate results that I have seen are that a car sales business continues to park vehicles on the verge and that in some places buses and other large vehicles now have difficulty in passing and risk damaging each other. In the meantime Plumpton is neglected because of this reckless, extravagant and pointless spending spree. That’s what I think anyway and I do know that others agree with me.

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