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MAKE A CHANGE, BECOME A LOCAL COUNCILLOR

Vacancies — 27th October 2020

Cuckfield Parish Council is calling on residents passionate about their community to consider becoming a Parish Councillor, as we currently have 1 vacancy to fill.

What do councillors do?

Councillors are the champions of their community and give residents a voice on the decisions the council makes. Becoming a councillor will allow you to make a real difference in your community by engaging with residents, local groups and businesses to find out their needs; making decisions on which services and projects the council should take forward; and getting involved locally to ensure the services are meeting your community’s needs.

The main areas of focus for Cuckfield are:

  • Reviewing planning applications against the Neighbourhood and District Plan and making recommendations to MSDC.
  • Working with WSCC Highways to identify and implement changes to the roads infrastructure to make Cuckfield a safer place for both pedestrians and traffic.
  • Focus on the immediate environment to ensure Cuckfield maintains its green spaces for the benefit of local residents and visitors.
  • Key areas of responsibility are:
    • The Cemetery, Observer Field and Nuclear Bunker
    • Allotment sites at Courtmead Road and Whitemans Green
    • The Queen’s Hall and Cuckfield Village Hall
    • Horsefield Green
    • Summer and winter planting schemes within the village centre
    • Speedwatch and the roving Speed Indicator Device
    • The annual Christmas Street Festival
    • The future transfer of the green site at Buttinghill Drive
    • Commenting on all planning applications relevant to Cuckfield

How long does it take?

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Local Councillor Census Survey found that councillors put aside, on average, three hours a week for council work. This often includes attending meetings, engaging with residents and speaking on behalf of the council to other bodies.  Obviously there are some councillors who spend more than this – and some less, but in the main, being a parish councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community, and helping to make it a better place to live and work.    Currently Cuckfield Parish Council meets once every 3 weeks.

Can I stand?

There are only a few rules to stand for co-option. You must be:

  • A British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth, or the European Union
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Live or work within Cuckfield

How can I get involved?

Contact Sam Heynes, Parish Clerk, Cuckfield Parish Council at 01444 454276 or [email protected] to find out more.

Councillor Vacancy

Our COVID-19 alert level is Medium

WSCC Press Release — 16th October 2020

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/...

Following the government’s announcement this week introducing the new three tier alert levels for England, we wanted to let you know that the alert level for the whole of West Sussex is currently Medium.

This means that current restrictions remain in place:

  • Only meet people socially in groups of six
  • Follow social distancing when you meet
  • Work from home if possible.

In the 14 days between 27 September and 10 October, 587 people tested positive in West Sussex.

Cases are rising but at 37.2 cases per 100,000 population (the weekly incidence rate), West Sussex remains below the regional and national level. For comparison, the seven-day incidence rate for England (published 12 October 2020) was 150.1 per 100,000 population, for the period 1 October to 7 October.

The seven-day incidence rate varies amongst our districts and boroughs as does which district and borough has the highest rate. Over the period 4 October to 10 October, Horsham had the highest rate with 54.2 per 100,000 population and Arun had the lowest rate at 19.9 per 100,000 population.

Of the people testing positive for COVID-19 in West Sussex over the seven-day period, 69% were aged under 40, and 9% were over 60. Young adults showed the highest age-specific incidence rate during this period.

We would like to thank all residents for following the government guidelines.

Please continue to do this so we Keep West Sussex Safe.


Cuckfield Twittens and Lanes

Council News — 26th October 2020

Like many, Lockdown brought an abrupt change in my working arrangements. The previous daily race to the station and The Smoke became a shuffle to the office across the landing. However, after another long day gazing at Zoom and Teams and not moving very much, I found the permitted daily exercise became vital, with the network of lanes and twittens around the village providing numerous routes to rediscover on an evening walk.

Twittens are unique to Sussex and a significant distinctive characteristic of Cuckfield. Some are quite long, whilst others are shorter. The Oxford English Dictionary defines them as “a narrow path or passage between two walls or hedges”. Whilst there are many around the village which fit this description, only a few have names – Mytten and Glebe Twittens for instance. I wondered why others didn’t, so scoured old Ordnance Survey maps and West Sussex Highways information for clues. It became apparent that the routes of many of these public rights of way can be traced back hundreds of years to field boundaries long before housing has extended around them – so perhaps it’s just that they haven’t been ‘twittens’ all that long.


So Cuckfield Parish Council has decided it would be an idea to decide on some names, and we need your help! Below is a list of twittens and lanes around the current urban edges, and we’re looking into what they could be called. It may be that you have information or memories regarding a local term used in the past, something that you use in your families, or you have ideas of what you think they should be called. Perhaps they already have a name but this doesn’t appear on the maps. Whichever way, we want to know, with the feedback we receive helping us to reach a decision. Afterwards, we’ll get some name plates made and placed at various locations, and perhaps see if we can add to Google maps.

Please send your comments to [email protected]

Like everything that the Parish Council does, we hope that making the most of what makes Cuckfield such a special place to live will help make the village even more distinctive.

Andy Burton
Chairman

Route From To
A Ardingly Road Horsgate House
B Whitemans Green Ardingly Road
C Longacre Scout Hut
D Ardingly Road Glebe Road
E Courtmead Road Holy Trinity Church
F Ockenden Lane Towards New England Wood
G High Street The Dell
H Whitemans Green south Corner of rec
I Whitemans Green north Trolls Dell

Twittens

Horsefield Green – Landscape Improvements

Council News — 26th October 2020

Cuckfield Parish Council has developed a landscape and maintenance plan for Horsefield Green, leading on from the plans submitted by the developers. The map below highlights the key activities which we are planning to undertake over the next year.

These include:
• continuing to mow grass areas on a seasonal basis • sowing additional wild flower mixes, and further bulb planting
• removing trees affected by ash die-back, and replanting with other species
• cutting back overgrowing hedges
• maintaining the formal paths in areas which have become washed out
• planting to screen the machinery container
• clearing the brambles in the south east corner and creating a new community orchard, with a mix of apple, plum and cherry varieties (with assistance from the Independent State of Cuckfield)
• moving the informal path in the south-east corner to a higher, drier level, and creating a meandering wood-chip walking surface through the new orchard

If you have any comments or feedback on the plans, we would be pleased to hear from you at [email protected]

Hg Plans

Council to launch £300,000 grant support for the local community and businesses

MSDC Press Release — 22nd October 2020

Mid Sussex District Council will award £300,000 in grants to local businesses, community groups and voluntary organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Covid-19 Recovery Grant Fund was formally approved at a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet Grants Panel on Monday 19 October. The coronavirus pandemic has created a challenging environment for local businesses, community groups and voluntary organisations. 

Many were not able to benefit from national Government grants and need additional support to help them adapt to the changing environment and shape their services for the future. Mid Sussex District Council grants of £1,000 to £5,000, will be available to help local businesses and organisations through the Covid-19 crisis. 

Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Community said:

“The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown measures have taken their toll on the resilience of our local community groups and voluntary organisations. Many have incurred unexpected costs or lost significant revenue because they have been unable to generate income or carry out fundraising activities as they would normally. 

“This new £300,000 grant fund is in addition to our regular grants programme and will help local organisations to adapt to the current restrictions and develop new ways of working in the future.” 

Councillor Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth added: 

“Whilst the economy of Mid Sussex is resilient the impact of Covid-19 has severely tested the business landscape and many of our residents whose jobs are at risk. The Covid-19 Recovery Grant will ensure local businesses are offered the technical and financial support which helps them adapt to the new operating environment and to ensure sustainable businesses maximise opportunities to thrive, grow and provide job opportunities for our residents. 

“The financial impact of Covid-19 has been horrendous for everyone, including this Council. Our decision to provide support funding, at a time we ourselves are struggling, shows just how committed Mid Sussex District Council is to supporting local organisations and protecting our local communities.” 

The Covid-19 Recovery Grant Fund is available to help in three key areas: 

Emergency Response – Financial help with the additional costs that are incurred whilst operating under Covid-19 restrictions 

Return to Pre-Covid Provision – A grant to local groups and businesses to help them reopen, and return to business as usual in a way that is Covid-19 secure 

New Service or Business Innovation – Financial support to help local businesses and support organisations adapt to new ways of working

The application period opens on 30 October and closes on 30 November. The grant awards will be determined at a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet Grants Panel on 14 December.

Council ‘extremely concerned’ by proposed changes to the current planning system

MSDC Press Release — 2nd October 2020

Mid Sussex District Council has written to Central Government to raise serious concerns about proposed changes to the current national planning system.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is currently consulting on ‘Changes to the current planning system’ and Mid Sussex District Council has responded to strongly object to some concerning aspects of the proposals, in particular:

  • The proposed standard method for assessing local housing need; and
  • The proposals to reduce delivery of Affordable Housing on smaller sites

Proposed changes to the methodology used to calculate housing need would see a huge increase in housing targets in the South of England. For Mid Sussex, this would increase already challenging house building targets from 1,114 dwellings per annum to 1,395 per annum.

Local councils that have taken significant growth in the past will be expected to take further growth in the future. Mid Sussex District Council strongly believes that this is not an accurate reflection of local housing need. 

The future delivery of Affordable Housing for local people in Mid Sussex is also of significant concern. Currently developers are required to provide Affordable Housing on schemes with over 10 homes, but the proposed Government changes would see this threshold increased and only applied to developments with over 50 homes. Clearly this will have a significant impact on the number of new Affordable Homes that are available to support local people in housing need. 

Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning said: 

“A standard method for calculating housing need has the potential to simplify the planning system, and this is welcomed, but the formula currently being proposed by the Government is fundamentally flawed. 

“As a result of this formula, Mid Sussex will be expected to provide for unprecedented levels of growth in the future, beyond the already challenging housing requirement set by the Inspector of our District Plan. With suitable sites in our area in finite supply, particularly as we live in a rural area with more than 50% designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), this position is unsustainable. 

“We currently have over 1,800 people waiting for Affordable Housing in our District. Those people are in serious housing need and are reliant on developers building Affordable Housing units as part of new developments, so they can finally have a place to call home. In 2019/20, 94% of planning applications for new housing in Mid Sussex were for developments below 50 units. Under the Government’s proposed changes, these developers would not have to provide any Affordable Housing for our local families who need it, and this is extremely concerning.”       

Staying Safe Online

Advice — 8th October 2020

Get Online week takes place from 19 - 23 October. To help support this event, Staying Safe Online are offering FREE webinars that provide advice and tips on how to protect yourself and others online. These webinars are available on Monday 19th and Wednesday 21st October and can be booked via Eventbrite - please click the relevant link below.

19 October 10:30-12:00 book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/.../staying-safe-online...
21 October 13:00-14:30 book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/.../staying-safe-online...

In addition, on Tuesday 3 November, our partners Get Safe Online are offering three FREE webinar sessions aimed at parents/carers, entitled Staying Safe Online, Children’s Digital World - the good, the bad and the in between. These can be booked via Eventbrite. The webinars will cover the following: • Children’s online habits
• The risks and dangers children face online
• How you can support your child and report any concerns.

3 November 10:00-11:00 book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/.../staying-safe-online...
3 November 13:00-14:00 book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/.../staying-safe-online...
3 November 18.00-19:00 book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/.../staying-safe-online...

These are FREE training sessions offering invaluable online safety tips and advice.