I gave a talk on “Rural Broadband” at the January meeting of RALC (Rother Association of Local Councils) with the result that I am now part of a RALC working party on this topic. Subsequently the working party had a meeting with our local MP, Hugh Merriman, at which we presented some of our findings. He emailed me the next day to say
“Thank you for your time in taking Frances and I through the presentation. It was extremely illuminating and gave me an opportunity to learn about the issues and the potential solutions which you listed for me. I was interested in what you presented to me and I am keen to help. We will, shortly, be sending out invites to the Parish Councils for our 2016 Parish conference where I hope to have County, BT and other broadband participants in attendance. I would be keen, as mentioned, to give you a slot. Perhaps we can discuss nearer the time.”
I have not heard any further about the Parish Conference, but do watch this space.
I have also contacted the East Sussex County Council broadband team to request details about current and forecast broadband coverage in Brightling. I contacted them on 17th January and – just under 4 weeks later – have not had a reply. Ten days ago I requested our County Councillor if he could chase them up and get a reply. I can only say that extracting hard information on this subject is proving extremely difficult.
A few people have reported back on their broadband experience. At The Street we have speeds of nearly 80Mbps (you lucky people). At Oxleys Green, you are on the cusp of superfast. Further down Brightling Road, the service tails off rapidly. At Holingrove the new service offers little or no improvement over the old service: unfortunately the phone lines to Holingrove go the long way round.
Message from Vanessa:
There will be a meeting of the Flower Show Committee on Wednesday 24th February in the Village Hall at 7pm
This is the first of our two planning meetings prior to the Flower Show and among the things we will be looking at are the schedule for 2016 and the calendar of events for this year. As ever, we will be interested in your ideas for improving the Flower Show and helping it move with the times but yet remain timeless!!! I look forward to seeing you and there will be some time to catch up over a glass of wine and nibbles.
We would very much welcome anybody who would like to join us – so please come along !
With very best wishes
A recent announcement from East Sussex Highways:
C280 Cackle Street, Brightling – on 25 February – BT to access underground plant under 2 way temporary traffic lights
There are many links to useful information at new.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/roads/
The next parish council meeting will be on Monday 14th March 2016. As always, we will in the Village Hall, starting at 7:30pm and members of the public are most welcome.
South-East Water’s Engineering Project Manager will be attending the meeting. He will be talking about the plans for fixing and upgrading Brightling’s water supply and will be answering questions from members of the public. This is a really good opportunity to put pressure (lol) on the company about the recent supply problems that Brightling has been experiencing, and I hope that members of the public will turn up. I know that there are many people who would like to stay for the whole of the meeting but are prevented from doing so by other important commitments. We will therefore have the water session near the beginning of the meeting so that you can slip away afterwards if you want to.
Rother District Council would like to know what you think about the proposed budget and Council Tax charge for 2016/17
You can see more information, and participate in the consultation, at rother.gov.uk/article/11768/Budget-and-Council-Tax-201617
The closing date for contributing to the consultation is Monday 15 February 2016.
Tuesday 19th Thursday 21st April 2016, there will be a beacon lighting at the Needle (Mount Farm). This is part of a national beacon lighting programme on that day. Further details will be available nearer the time.
The Parish Council has decided to commemorate the Queen’s forthcoming 90th birthday by planting an oak tree on the triangle at the Mount.
There will probably be a planting or opening ceremony of some sort for the new tree – to be arranged. This will probably be on the same evening as the beacon lighting.
Many Brightlingers will be aware of continuing problems with the quality of the water supply and the various breaks in service, particularly at the end of 2015.
We have been in touch with South-East Water and hope to get someone from the company to attend a parish council meeting (probably the one on 14th March 2016) and listen to people’s frustration and hopefully tell us what they are doing about it.
One particular parishioner has taken up the cudgels and has managed to extract some specific information, as follows:
“I can confirm that South East Water have plans to renew the worst affected sections of mains along the Battle Road and adjoin roads as per the schedule below:.
“Scheme prioritisation, expected delivery year and scope summary:
1 – Battle Road – 1532m 100mm bore, in 2016/17
2 – PRV [Pressure Reducing Valve] at junction of Battle Road and Kent Lane (Twelve oaks) in 2018
3 – Brightling Road – 626m 100mm bore, in 2018/19
4 – Hollingrove Road – 300m 100mm bore in 2019”
[NB 100mm = 4 inches in Brightling Standard Units]
The basic problem, the email explains, is that if they make the pressure high enough to serve people at the top of a hill, then the pressure at the bottom of the hill becomes high enough to burst the ageing pipe.
I think it is well worth getting a representative along to a Parish Council meeting so that they can hear directly of people’s frustration with the current service, and at the very least we can exert some pressure (LOL) to ensure that these dates don’t slip, and perhaps even get them brought forward.