In praise of… “Songs of Praise”

“Songs of Praise” in the church on the Queen’s official birthday – what a wonderful choir, organized and licked into shape by Simon Tayler.

If you weren’t there, you missed some of the best singing ever heard in Brightling church.

And how nice to hear, for once, what a really competent organist can get out of our organ despite all its deficiencies.

Welcome to our new village community web site

If you are reading this, then you will know that we now have our new web site up and running under its new domain name: brightling.community

We chose the .community TLD (top-level domain) to emphasize that this is a web site for the whole Brightling community.

There is also contains a calendar of village events, which is linked to the web site.

The new site is fully mobile-, smartphone- and tablet-friendly.

As mentioned before, the idea is that various people within the village will be able to add stuff to the web site without having to go through a single central controlling person. For example, the vicar adds details of church services. So, if you are running a village organization or event and you would like access to the calendar and/or the web site, just ask. You will be given a password and any necessary technical support – it’s quite easy once you get the hang of it.

The events listing is at brightling.community/events/ Anything that anyone puts in the calendar will appear here.

It is early days for the web site in its new format. Any feedback, suggestions, advice etc will be gratefully received (you can use the “Leave a Reply” box below).

Broadband in Brightling

Here we are again. Our MP has now asked a question in parliament:

“My constituents in the Parishes of Dallington, Brightling, Mountfield, Ashburnham and Penhurst will welcome the Government’s new legal right to fast broadband. Can I ask the Minister if the ‘reasonable cost’ test will be benchmarked against (1) the reasonable cost to install in rural areas which are not currently connected to fast broadband and (2) the cheapest cost which any provider would charge rather than the cost which BT Openreach may calculate?”

The background to this is that the government’s proposed USO (Universal Service Obligation, or the right to receive a minimum 10Mbps broadband speed) is not envisaged as unqualifiedly universal, but will in fact be “universal with exceptions”, ie “where feasible and not excessively costly” and as the MP has said, the devil is in the detail on this one.

The answer from Ed Vaizey, and questions about broadband from other MPs, can be seen here.

Meanwhile, ESCC have at last set up their scrutiny panel to look into the issue of broadband within the county. However, I have not been able to find any information about the scope, working methods or timescale for this panel. I have written asking for more details and await their reply.

I have also written again to the county broadband team asking for an analysis of speeds within Brightling. This request was first made back in January and I have now made it clear that my request is made under the Freedom of Information Act.

Another resident has been enquiring into the business case for the county’s broadband project, also under Freedom of Information, and it will be interesting to see the outcome of this one.

For myself, a week ago I found a way of obtaining an adequate broadband service (11 – 14 Mbps download; 7Mbps upload; latency less than 80ms) at a not-too-bad price and it has been working satisfactorily, here at home, non-stop for the last 5 days. I don’t want to put too much technical detail here, but if anyone is interested in knowing how it is done, do contact me.

ESCC Countryside access consultation

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East Sussex County Council manages 2,000 miles of public rights of way and ten countryside sites across East Sussex.

They have recently been looking at how they can manage public rights of way and the countryside sites in the future.

Their findings are set out in a draft plan, which is called the ‘Countryside Access Strategy’. East Sussex County Councillors have approved the draft and are now consulting the public by means of a survey.

Full details including links to the plan and survey.

Parish council meetings

The next meeting will be on Monday 13th March 2017.  As always, it will be open to members of the public, and will start at 7:30pm in the Village Hall.   The Annual Parish Assembly will be on 10th April 2017 and the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (at which we elect the Chairman etc for the coming year) will be on 8th May 2017.

Why not put these dates in your diary now?

Village Action Plan   We have allocated the main themes of the Action Plan across individual parish councillors.  The idea is not for the individual parish councillors to do all the work, but rather to act as a focus of responsibility and assemble a small group of people who can each take forward the various areas that we identified.  Hopefully, over the next few months, you will see reports of progress, in this magazine, of the various areas.  The Chairman is going to be handling two areas: utilities (including broadband), and the web site.