A reminder to report utility problems via this web site. So far we have one report – about brown water. If we are going to try and hold utility companies to account, we need to build up a solid database of problems – with specific dates and times.
About Chairman, Brightling Parish Council
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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 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.
Sussex 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.
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.
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.
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.
This will get off the ground soon. We are just in the process of obtaining a printed map of the gullies in the parish. This is meticulously documented at http://www.eastsussexhighways.com/ – and I am told that every single road gully is listed and individually recorded on ESCC’s asset register.
On that web site you can see when every single road is due for gully cleaning. On the home page, check “Gully cleaning” and then zoom in the map until you can see the road you are interested in. Hover the mouse pointer over said road until the pointer changes to a single finger (you have to be fairly precise, or zoom in a lot), then click on it. You should see a pop-up that tells you when the gully is due to be cleaned. We could use this information to hold ESCC to account if the gully cleaning does not take place. I have checked several round Brightling and all the ones that I looked at said “Mar-17”
We are getting a second defibrillator. It will be located at the entrance to the Darwell Hole car park. The order has been placed, we have established that there will be no objection if we locate it on the road verge and we are now organizing the necessary post and fixings. I think these defibrillators, which are increasingly common, are like life-belts at the seaside: one hopes that they just sit there and never get used, but if they are, they can literally save a life.
Saturday 10th December, 5:00 pm in the church: The Brightling Singers will be leading a musical celebration of Advent. Seasonal readings by candlelight, music for choir and organ, and carols for everyone to sing. Entry is free, but contributions to the organ fund will be welcome.
Tuesday 13th December, 6:30 – 9:30 pm at Hunters Farm. Brightling Church Christmas Drinks Party! Entrance is £10 a head and this includes your first drink. Thereafter it will be a pay bar (all proceeds to church funds). All villagers welcome.
Sunday 18th December, 6:00 pm in the church: the traditional service of lessons and carols. After the service, the congregation (and others) is then invited to have a mince pie and glass of mulled wine in the Village Hall, by courtesy of the Village Trust.
Tuesday 20th December, 6:30 pm meet up at the Village Hall for carol singing round the village, led by David Gasson.
Saturday 24th December, Christmas Eve at 11:30 pm : Midnight Mass in the church; a particularly atmospheric way to herald the birth of the Christ child.
Sunday 25th December, Christmas Day at 10:00 am: Rev. John Hawkins will lead a family Christmas Day service at Brightling church (the vicar will be at All Saints Mountfield celebrating a Christmas Holy Communion at the same time).
If you would like to join the Brightling singers, it is not too late. There are two rehearsals prior to the performance on Saturday. Contact Fenella Tayler on 01424 838573 or 07913 557459.
For more information about the church Christmas Party at Hunters Farm, contact Biddy Akerman on 01424 838725. Or just turn up.
Finally a message from the vicar ” To those who I will see and to those who I won’t, a happy and blessed Christmas to you all. “
Having placed the order for the refurbishment of four of our eight signposts, we are now having to chase the contractor rather firmly into actually doing the work – a not unfamiliar problem. Our parish clerk is very persistent and will no doubt nag the contractor into eventual performance. The perpetrators who affixed their notices with metal staples have responded to our complaint with a complete apology, and promised to use plastic cable ties in future. Personally I would prefer something bio-degradable but sometimes one just has to let these things go.
Once we have a full set of smart-looking signposts we will publish the “adopt-a-signpost” register. It seems right to wait as there is little point in someone cleaning a signpost that is about to be taken away for complete repair and re-painting.
The Rother Rural Trust is a fund that can make modest grants to people with specific needs in the rural parts of Rother.
In practice, applications for funds are most likely to come, not from the actual person in need, but probably from a neighbour, friend, relation or carer. If you are aware on anyone in the village who might benefit from such a grant, do let me, or any other parish councillor, know about it. It will be completely confidential and there is no need to complete any paperwork.