Neville Wrenn died on Monday morning (18th February 2019)
The funeral will be on Saturday 2nd March, in Brightling church, starting at 11:30 am.
I have now called in aid the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to find out what is going on regarding the remaining properties in the parish that cannot get superfast broadband.
The following is an email that was sent on 17 February 2019 to the East Sussex Broadband team [slightly edited to remove personal details].
On visiting the postcode checker at https://www.esussex.org/CheckYourCoverage/CheckYourPostcode this morning, I find that there are approximately 18 properties in the parish of Brightling that are reported as “Final Few”. This is more than 10% of the total properties in Brightling. The properties concerned are in the following postcodes: TN32 5LE, TN21 9LF, TN21 9LQ, TN32 5HP, and TN32 5HL (part).
For each of these 18 or so properties, your web page reports
Records show that this premises is not yet able to access Superfast Broadband services …. You are not currently in a deployment plan BUT this might change post survey. We anticipate surveys to be complete by December 2018 [my underlining].
Since it is now past the middle of February 2019, I have the following questions.
Was the contract 3 survey actually completed on time by the end of December 2018? If not, when was it completed? If it has not yet been completed, when will it be?
If the contract 3 survey has been completed, please may I have a copy of the results. If they have already been published, please state where they can be found (I have searched, but without success).
In a previous reply (13 September 2018) you stated that “Refreshes are made to the website at the end of January, April, July and October. ” However, it appears that the data for the postcode checker has not been updated since October 2018. What happened to the January 2019 update? Has the policy on updating the website been changed? If so, what is the new policy? When will the next update be published, and will it reflect the outcome of the survey that was supposed to have been complete by the end of December?
We have also noticed that some parts of Brightling were able to order FTTP services starting in mid-January 2019 and other parts of Brightling were able to order them but only from the beginning of February. This suggests that contract 2 was not completed by the end of December 2018, as previously forecast. Has contract 2 now been completed, and if not, when will it be, and what are the reasons for the delay?
On behalf of my neighbours and fellow-parishioners, I look forward to hearing from you. I expect this request to be dealt with in conformity with the Freedom of Information Act (which, incidentally, applies to all requests for information, whether or not FoI is explicitly mentioned in the request).
The East Sussex “Your county” magazine went on-line only some time ago but is still worth a read occasionally for a flavour of what is going on in the county. The magazine can be read on-line and there is a link there where you can subscribe to the magazine to get regular updates.
Thans to the efforts of Brightling Parish Council, the Darwell Hole signpost is now back, and in a hopefully safer position.
Please do try not to crash into it.
As part of its “Dark skies” campaign, CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) is running a survey called “Star Count 2019”
Getting involved is simple – all you have to do is look up at the night sky and count how many stars you can see within the constellation of Orion. You can do this from anywhere in England between Saturday 2 February and Saturday 23 February, but your best opportunity is the week of 2-9 February, when the skies will be darkest.
Your results will help CPRE create a map showing the best places to enjoy the stars. And it will also support CPRE’s work to combat light pollution and reclaim our dark skies.
You can also note your results in the comments box below. It would be interesting to know how well Brightling is doing on the dark skies scale.
The FTTP (fibre to the premises) service has now been turned on for residents of the Hollingrove area, Brickyard Lane, Oxleys Green and the near end of Brightling Road – roughly speaking postcodes TN32 5HU, TN32 5HD, and TN32 5HB. This follows the FTTP service for the further end of Brightling Road, which went live in the middle of January. Residents of these areas are now able to order services of various speeds, up to a maximum of 330Mbps.
Points to note: 1 – you do not get an increased speed automatically. You have to order the new service if you want it (but even if you don’t want it, you might be able to get better service for no more money, or even the same service as now for less money, so worth looking into anyway).
Points to note: 2. You do not have to order from BT. Suppliers include Redline Telecom, Andrews & Arnold, BT Retail, Plusnet, Zen amd Cerebus (links below). Zen frequently comes top of customer satisfaction surveys. Plusnet is 100% owned by BT but has a separate operation with a generally better reputation for service and support than BT retail.
Point to note 3. Not all ISPs offer FTTP (full-fibre) broadband, For example Utility Warehouse are not currently offering it, nor are Sky and Virgin (Sky and Virgin only offer it over their own cables, which have yet to reach Brightling).. If you contact one of these other ISPs. be prepared for a disingenuous conversation with the salesperson (they may seek to persuade you that you can’t get it/don’t need it/ have already got it etc etc.).
Point to note 4: watch out for sneaky introductory pricing.
People also ask: what speed do I need? To give a simple answer: I think that 30 Mbps should be more than adequate for most domestic set-ups. My approach would probably be to order a low-end package and just check that you would be allowed to upgrade if you wanted to.
The situation so far is that two of our roads (Perrymans Lane and Coombe Hill Road) overlap somewhat with Burwash parish, so we need to ensure that Burwash also support our proposals before putting them to Rother, who have the power to update the National Street Gazetteer. I have therefore opened up discussions with Burwash Parish Council.
I also take this opportunity to clarify the situation regarding the road that goes from Darwell Hole crossroads, up past Riverhouses, past Twelve Oaks and up towards the village. This road is known to the Post Office as “Battle Road, Brightling” and to Rother and the National Street Gazetteer as “Cackle Street”. There are disadvantages to both names. On the one hand, there is another Battle Road in the parish: the B2096 from Netherfield to Woods corner, so that is confusing. On the other hand, most people think of Cackle Street as being a hamlet or short section of road, not the whole road. Faced with this, we are not proposing any changes to the naming of this road. The PO will continue to call it Battle Road Brightling and the NSG will continue to call it Cackle Street.
Our new Tree Warden, Doug Edworthy, is proposing a survey of the tree stock of the parish to discover what we currently have and also its ecological and cultural value. The plan is to use this valuable information in the creation of a tree management plan to guide future decisions affecting trees in the parish.
In a parish as large as ours this is much more than a one-man job, so Doug wants to set up a Brightling Tree Group to tap into local knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm.
This is where you come in!
Do you know of trees in the parish that are very old, are rare species, or culturally-important (culturally important to you, perhaps), or would you just like to be involved in the survey of parish trees?
If so, please contact the tree warden direct by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
It would be great to hear from you!”
Some good news as last for those along the eastern part of Brightling Road. You can now upgrade your broadband, not just to superfast, but even to ultrafast (at a price), with maximum download speeds of 330 Mbps (compared to the 1 or 2 that some people along here were getting previously). As far as I can tell, this applies to all properties in postcodes TN32 5EY. TN32 5ES and TN32 5EU.
We had also been told (by East Sussex County Council’s broadband project) that properties in TN32 5HB (near Swallowfield), TN32 5HU (Hollingrove), and TN19 7DL (Brickyard Lane) would go live with ultrafast (FTTP) by the end of December but this has not happened. The official East Sussex broadband website (essussex.org) is still proudly telling us “work is scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2018.” for properties in these postcodes.
Virtually all the physical infrastructure is in place (look for the little yellow labels on the telegraph poles), so I wouldn’t be surprised if these postcodes get turned on within the next few weeks (perhaps by the time you read this), but who knows? I will attempt to find out more information from the East Sussex Broadband team or via our elected representative Cllr John Barnes MBE, although past experience has shown that John Barnes finds it even harder to extract the information from the county council’s broadband team than I do.
Also by the end of December we were supposed to have found out the broadband plans for those postcodes that have so far been completely left out, ie principally TN32 5HL, TN32 5HL and TN32 5HP (towards and down Willingford Lane) and also TN32 5LE (around Mountfield Park Farm, which is, surprisingly, within Brightling parish). However as far as I can see no information has been released. Again I will chase up, without being over-optimistic.
Brightling Parish Council makes a small donation each year to the Rother Rural Trust, a registered charity with a mission to help individuals and organisations in need in the rural parishes of Rother.
Its specific aims are to relieve poverty, promote education and to do other charitable works.
In the past, the Trust has for example, given grants to people in real need, to replace beds or washing machines, or has given support to promising young athletes and musicians to pay for their equipment or instruments.
Do you know anyone in Brightling who could benefit from a grant from the Trust? The application process is very straightforward – no complicated forms to complete – and completely confidential. For further details you can contact the trust (contact details via the above link) or talk to any parish councillor.