JUMBLE BONANZA: Tomorrow (Saturday) the village hall management committee will stage a jumble sale in the village hall at 2pm. There will be stalls, cakes and tombola and after the bargain hunt there will be a chance to sit down to enjoy a cuppa and other light refreshments while gloating over your bargains and maybe enjoying a chat. If you have jumble to donate please take it to the hall during the morning.
PARISH COUNCIL: The council will meet on Tuesday in the village hall at 7.45pm.
SMUGGLERS IN SUSSEX: Kent will also feature during what is described as likely to be a lively talk by Geoff Hutchinson on the phenomenon of smuggling - from days gone by to modern times. He appears in character and is not to be missed. Organised by Chailey Commons Society in Chailey Village Hall at 7.30pm.
HUMILIATED: That is the only way I can describe the way Network Rail felt following the LDC Planning Committee’s unanimous rejection of the application to replace our level crossing gates. They deserved it but, despite the shocked looks on the representatives’ faces, subsequent words and actions demonstrated that they continued to hold our community in utter contempt and propose to make us pay for daring to oppose their repressive regime They must have spent well over £1m on work in preparation for the replacement of the gates even before they had applied for Listed Building Consent. On the way they issued threats that if they didn’t get their own way they would make us pay. They have vast sums of subsidies from the taxpayer and one can expect that they will fritter the money away in hiring grossly overpaid lawyers to further their callous cause. I spoke on behalf of the parish council at the planning meeting and Rob Banks and Richard Wells had their say on behalf of the community. Our local MP plus County and District Councillors also had a powerful input in the proceedings. We now learn that our bus services could be under threat if the road closure remains in operation and the success of a highly popular horseracing fixture could be in jeopardy if Network Rail continues its vendetta. The Parish Council has been willing to compromise and alternatives are available, but Network Rail will not budge an inch. It’s all about standardisation and cost cutting. They promise a 63 percent higher safety factor, but 63 percent of what? In the past five years not one vehicle has collided with the gates, there have been no fatalities ever associated with the crossing and not one member of staff has been injured or even faced injury. What a farcical saving, 63 percent of zero. A report indicates that a security team was allotted to the site after the planning decision. I must add that although I have represented the parish council in this matter, any words that I write in this column are totally my own. I am a local resident in my own right. Latest is that Network Rail says that it will know how and when the gates can reopen by October 12.
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