Potholes and fly-tipping

Potholes, fly tipping

Some good news!: a parishioner reported pot hole problems on 16th December 2016. On 21st December they got a message to say that repairs would be done within 28 days. The following day, ie 22nd December, the repairs were actually carried out.

All because (they tell me) they went to this website and followed the instructions for how to report potholes. Through this they were able to submit photographs and precise details of the location.

Similarly I have followed the instructions for reporting fly-tipping, and on each occasion the nuisance has been removed within a couple of weeks.

Rother Housing Consultation 2017

Rother District Development and Site Allocations Local Plan (DaSA)

This is out for consultation until 20th February 2017 and you can read all about it (and submit your own feedback) at https://www.rother.gov.uk/dasa

Basically it is the second stage in Rother’s local plan and it is all about allocating precise sites for housing and other land uses. The first stage, known as the “Core strategy” allocated sites in general terms, eg x number of houses to be built in North Bexhill and so on; the present stage puts forward specific site locations. Once a site has been included in the Site Allocations Plan, then any application to develop it in line with the plan would be likely to be approved (subject to other conditions of course).

This doesn’t affect Brightling directly. We were allocated zero houses in the Core Strategy, so the question of where exactly to put them doesn’t arise. However, the plan also covers Gypsy and Traveller sites and this is of direct interest. Part of the justification for allowing the (temporary and personal) planning permission for a site at Coldharbour Farm (on the border with Dallington) was that Rother did not have the required number of G&T sites allocated. The new Site Allocations plan does provide the required number of sites; therefore as the plan approaches approval, this justification falls away. In fact the Site Allocations Plan specifically reviews the suitability of the Coldharbour Farm site and specifically states that it is not suitable.   Thus one might predict that the temporary permission will not be renewed when it expires (sometime on 2018) – subject of course to all the usual caveats about any prediction about the future, let alone one involving planning policy.

Helping the police with their enquiries

sussexpolicelogoSussex Police are looking for people to join a panel to help them get feedback from the various communities that they serve. They say “We’re looking for people to join our newly-formed group which aims to represent people’s views across Sussex. You would need to live in Sussex and be happy to complete up to four anonymous, confidential, online surveys a year. In the past, we have used feedback from surveys to help us to improve the way we keep victims informed and identify priorities within communities. So you can be confident that by taking part you will be making a difference to policing in Sussex.

Full details are here.

New Monday morning Pilates class starting 30th January

Pilates teacher Emily Baldwin-Charles will be running pilates classes in Brightling village hall on Monday mornings 10am-11am, starting 30th January.

6 week course: £50.

Small group class (maximum of 8) for more individual attention. Focusing on core stability and increased strength. Exercises to assist with postural realignment and body awareness. All equipment provided (including thick mats).

A perfect opportunity to get your body (and especially your back) ready for the start of the gardening season!

For more information and to book your place call 01424 870919 / 07835 837719 or email Emily1to1pilates@gmail.com

Phone box opposite the Village Hall

To be removed - or ours for £1
To be removed – or ours for £1

BT are going to remove the phone from the phone box opposite the Village Hall. They will remove the phone box itself as well, but will offer to sell it to the community for alternative uses, if we want it, for £1.

The scheme is described at https://business.bt.com/solutions/small-business/communities/adopt-a-kiosk/

There is no realistic possibility of retaining it as a working phone box, so the choices are to buy it for £1 and find a use for it, or let it go. I’m sure that the parish council would be willing to spend the £1, so it would just be a question of finding a use for it. The internet throws up a few ideas of what other people have done: see “the world’s smallest library”, “the world’s smallest pub”, “the world’s smallest art gallery” etc.

"Consultation"
“Consultation”

Quite a popular choice is to house a defibrillator in the phone box. We already have a defibrillator on the wall of the Village Hall, but we are planning to put a second one in at Darwell Hole, so we could move the phone box there and use it for that (subject to planning permission, of course).

Whatever is done with it, if we keep it, then there will be some on-going cost, for painting, repairs, cleaning and generally keeping it looking smart. And the more zany ideas will only happen, I would suggest, if there is someone in the village who has always passionately wanted to run the worlds smallest library / pub / art gallery / petting zoo / university / communal shower or whatever, and is prepared to put in the time and energy to make it happen.

Banksy was here
Banksy was here

Or one could take the view that all this is a case of a solution looking for a problem; that the phone box is just another piece of roadside clutter; and that once its original function has become otiose it is better for it to just go.

All suggestions welcome.

One thing I learned when researching the demise of phone boxes, is that if you make a 999 call from your mobile phone, it will automatically use any network that is available, notwithstanding the fact that your SIM card is from one particular network. Consequently there are very few places where you can’t make an emergency call from your mobile.