The Annual Assembly (village meeting) for Brightling will be at 7:30 pm on Monday 9th April, in the Village Hall. We will be continuing the practice of the last few years of making this a social (or sociable) occasion by providing refreshments (hard and soft drinks) and nibbles, and running the meeting in a fairly informal way. I’ll give a brief (really brief, I promise) report on what the parish council has been up to, and there is an opportunity to put questions to parish councillors, make suggestions, and give feedback about things that we might do to improve and develop the life of the village. There will be reports from various village organizations but we don’t force people to read these out loud: copies will be available to be perused during the meeting, and published on the website afterwards. If nothing else, it is an opportunity to have a drink and a chat with your neighbours. I look forward to seeing you there.
Some more progress: East Sussex County Council have now agreed, in writing, with the following road names: Hollingrove Road (from Oxley’s Green to Twelve Oaks via Hollingrove), Brickyard Lane, Rectory Hill, and Observatory Road. I forwarded this confirmation to Ordnance Survey and they have confirmed that these names will be added to the next edition of their database, in May. The road names will then start to appear on large-scale maps, as and when they are re-drawn.s
That leaves a few roads where East Sussex’s official road name is (in my opinion) silly or just plain wrong. For example East Sussex Highways think that the stretch between the far end of Brickyard Lane and the turning to Burwash (which everyone else agrees is Perrymans Lane; there is even a road sign) is in fact a continuation of Fontridge Lane, and they think that Perrymans Lane is the road from the Burwash turning all the way up to the triangle at the Mount (we are saying this is Combe Hill Road). I plan to deal with these later.
Everyone who has a motorbike or quadbike [pedestrians are welcome too] is invited to join Bishop Richard [who rides a Harley] at this morning service.
We will congregate with vehicles in the carpark in Brightling Park. Access is through the large gates on the bend of the road. After the welcome from the bishop we walk through the door in the wall to the church where a short non-communion service will take place.
For further details nearer the time phone 01424 838504
On 31st March 2018 at 7:30 pm, there will be an Easter Vigil. The vicar writes:
A celebration of Easter beginning with a bonfire at sunset in Brighlting Park. This is lit to be a sign of the first light of Easter. The light is then carried into the church where candles are lit and the service proceeds. After an egg hunt in church we gather in the Village Hall to continue the party with drinks and nibbles.
The previous day, Good Friday, there will be a liturgy of the word in Mountfield Church starting at 11:00 am
On 1st April 2018, Easter Day, the traditional Easter Eucharist service will be at Netherfield church
The village picnic is on Sunday 3rd June 2018 between 12 and 3 approximately. As before, just bring along your own picnic, your family, and set yourself up for an enjoyable and sociable lunch at the COADE STONE SUMMERHOUSE with its romantic setting and superb views down to the coast. Henry and Helena have agreed to let us use this location. Parking will be as you can find it, BUT NOT IN THEIR FIELDS; either on the road or some other public location. No need to book, just turn up on the day. If you need to ask any questions, telephone Jane or Geoffrey on 01424 838352
Meet at the entrance to Little Hollingrove Farm. Footpath 17b is the path that runs from Hollingrove, along the side of Little Hollingrove Farm and then either towards the Tower or the top of Rectory Hill.
A good attendance will help to show to East Sussex that people care about this path, and past experience shows that this may encourage them to take action.
To the Chairman or Clerk of all East Sussex Parish and Town Councils,
East Sussex Libraries – The Way Forward
Libraries Strategic Commissioning Strategy
I am writing to let you know that on 6 March 2018 the County Council’s Cabinet will consider a recommendation to agree a revised Strategy for the future of East Sussex Libraries. This follows a 12 week public consultation on the draft Strategy between 21 September and 14 December 2017.
Today we have published on our website the report that the County Council’s Cabinet will consider, together with the proposed revised Strategy document and all of the supporting papers. They can be downloaded from eastsussex.gov.uk/librarystrategy.
We received a significant response to our public consultation and we are very grateful to everyone who took the time to provide their input and feedback on our original proposals. Over 3,600 consultation questionnaires and a further 1,100 pieces of correspondence were received, as well as petitions. Overwhelmingly most respondents were current library users and the majority were users of one of the libraries we propose to close, including the Mobile Library.
We have read and carefully considered every single submission received. Based on feedback and support for new service offers during the public consultation, we have made a number of changes to our proposals. These provide a fuller picture of how we will create a modern, sustainable needs-based library service. Key proposed new services are summarised as follows:
- Greater emphasis on the role of libraries to promote numeracy, as well as literacy, to support the life chances of both children and adults
- Closer alignment of spending on the library service to meet identified needs, ensuring we can deliver the proposed Vision and Strategic Outcomes. This primarily involves:
o re-focussing the service so that our work is centred on promoting and delivering against each of the Strategic Outcomes.
o increasing our outreach offer to serve communities with higher need, including Ore and Langney, with activities taking place at the East Hastings and Shinewater Children’s Centres.
o profiling spending on stock and resources to prioritise investment to meet needs, including materials and support for children and young people.
- Prioritised investment in a modern eLibrary service to meet the needs of a growing online customer base, including additional Computer Buddy support, particularly for people who may benefit from practical support to overcome an initial lack of skills or confidence to use the eLibrary.
- A new Community Library Membership aimed at supporting more rural communities, to enable them to make library materials available at times and in a location of their choosing.
- New pilots of Homework and Study Clubs in libraries, based on feedback from young people about how the service can meet their needs better at significant points in the academic year, and the continuation of our popular new Code Clubs for children and young people.
- Replacement of the Schools Library and Museum Service (SLAMS), following very useful feedback from schools, with a more flexible and affordable offer, including launching a new Teachers Library Membership for East Sussex schools.
Turning to library closures, we recognise that communities do not wish to lose well-regarded local services. We also understand that in every community across the county there are individuals and families with needs and that in those communities where it is proposed no longer to retain a library or the Mobile Library Service, there are individuals who would be affected by the loss of the service. We have analysed all of the responses and revisited the evidence base again. We do not consider that new information has been presented in the consultation responses and other forms of stakeholder engagement which means that this evidence base for the draft Strategy was incorrect or had been wrongly interpreted.
In view of this, and taking into account the revised draft Vision and Strategic Outcomes for the East Sussex Library and Information Service and the context in which it needs to operate, which includes the financial position of the council, we believe that the original proposal for a smaller network of 17 libraries is correct. If the revised Strategy is agreed by Cabinet, this would result in the closure of Langney, Mayfield, Ore, Pevensey Bay, Polegate, Ringmer and Willingdon libraries and the Mobile Library Service, and the end to support for Northiam Village Library. 92% of members of the current 24 East Sussex libraries would be unaffected by the closures and we have ensured that overall high levels of access to the library service for residents would remain, fulfilling our statutory duty.
If Cabinet were to agree the revised Strategy on 6 March we would maintain our commitment to support each community in their considerations of whether they wish to take on the continued funding or running of the library.
If you have any queries or comments at this stage please let me know.
Director Communities, Economy and Transport
Communities, Economy & Transport
The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 5 March 2018, starting at 7:30 pm in the Village Hall. As always, members of the public are very welcome to attend, and will have an opportunity to speak. Do come along and see what we get up to. It may be worth mentioning that you don’t have to stay for the whole of the meeting: you can come, say your piece and go. In fact this is what usually happens when members of the public come.
Also, if you haven’t already done so, do put in your diary now the date for the Annual Parish Meeting: Monday 9 April 2018, starting at 7:30 pm, in the Village Hall. As in previous years, there will be refreshments. This meeting provides an opportunity to hear about what is going on in the village, to raise any issues you may have, and to socialize with your neighbours over a glass of something.
Brightling footpath 17b is the public footpath that runs up the side of Little Hollingrove Farm towards the centre of the village (or you can fork off towards the Tower). Its condition, particularly in the winter months, has been a cause of concern. We have now arranged to meet the East Sussex Rights of Way team, on site, to discuss what can be done about it. We will be meeting at 10:00 am on Tuesday 27 February, starting at the start of the path at the bottom of Little Hollingrove Farm’s drive. All welcome to join in. The last time we had such a meeting there was quite a good turn-out and I think this definitely helped to secure some action – the more that they can see that people care about this path, the more likely they are to help.