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South East Water temporarily lifting the road closure on Fox Hill (B2112), Haywards Heath this weekend

Roadworks — 9th June 2021

As part of our project to install 464 metres of new main along Fox Hill (B2112) we are temporarily lifting our road closure between 5pm Thursday 10 June and 7am on Monday 14 June. 

This is to reduce traffic disruption in the area while the South of England Show takes place. 

The work is progressing well and we have installed 400 metres of new main with approximately 65 metres left to lay. 

Once installed the new main will secure the top quality drinking water supplies to the area as the local population grows. 

Project Manager, Matt Cooper said: “The work is progressing well and we are on track to finish in mid-July. 

“We appreciate the patience of residents and road users while we carry out this essential work under a road closure. 

“We will always look to work around the needs of the community when carrying out a scheme and are happy to lift our road closure for the weekend of the South of England Show, as we know how important and popular it is attracting people from across the region. 

“The road closure will be put back in place by 7am on Monday 14 June and remain until the end of the project.” 

For more details on the project as it progresses follow the link to our dedicated webpage below.

Water main reinforcement work in Fox Hill, Haywards Heath | South East Water Corporate

Fox Hill

Changes to parking arrangements for Health & Social Care Workers

WSCC Press Release — 1st June 2021

Changes to parking arrangements for health and social care workers

In line with Government guidance, a free national parking concession given to health and social care workers throughout the last year will be coming to an end in most parts of West Sussex on 21 June 2021.

The Covid-19 parking pass, based on an agreement between the Local Government Association (LGA) and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), has enabled free on and off-street parking for those on duty as an NHS staff member, health or social care worker, or NHS Volunteer Responder.

The passes were originally intended for temporary use during the Covid-19 emergency response period, which has proven to be longer than anticipated.

The increase in mobility as lockdown restrictions are eased is expected to result in an increase in demand for parking at many locations in West Sussex and so it is no longer sustainable to continue to allow free parking for these workers.

It is recommended that the majority of workers in West Sussex who are using a Covid-19 parking pass, either in a council-owned car park or on-street, should plan alternative parking arrangements from 21 June. Information on the potential alternatives, including off-street car park season tickets and on-street permits, is available on the parking pages of the relevant District and Borough Council websites (Arun, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, Mid Sussex and Worthing/Adur).

There is one exception in Chichester, where some new on-street parking restrictions are being introduced in early June. Because of the introduction of new restrictions, the Covid-19 parking pass will continue to be accepted on-street in Chichester until the 1 July. Please note, however, that the pass will not be accepted in any District Council owned car parks after 21 June.

Those still using a Covid-19 parking pass after 21 June , or 1 July for those parking in Chichester, will be liable to receive a Penalty Charge Notice.

The Government has now edited its own web page which refers to the Covid-19 critical care worker parking pass and this can be viewed online.

For further information please contact the news desk on 0330 222 8090 or email [email protected]. For urgent out-of-hours enquiries please call 07767 098415. 

Volunteers’ Week – a time to say thanks

WSCC Press Release — 1st June 2021

Volunteers’ Week – a time to say thanks

Volunteers’ Week starts next Tuesday, and West Sussex County Council is celebrating by recognising the contribution of the more than 900 volunteers who give their time to deliver services and support to vulnerable people across the county.

Running from 1-7 June, Volunteers’ Week is an annual event that says thank you to volunteers who give their spare time to help others.

This past year has been extremely challenging with Covid-19 and due to the pandemic, many volunteer opportunities offered by the County Council had to be put on hold.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Over the past year, volunteers have been an essential part of the pandemic response, with many more people coming forward to help in their communities, alongside those who were already volunteering. Some people who usually volunteer have also found themselves suddenly unable to continue, or having to volunteer in different ways, so it has been a time of constant change and evolution for many of our dedicated and hardworking individuals.

“This Volunteers’ Week, we simply want to say a huge thank you to everyone that volunteers for the County Council. We are also asking that if you get the opportunity, please share a thank you with every volunteer who makes such an invaluable contribution to people’s lives in West Sussex - we are so grateful to them all.”

In March this year, the council also took the opportunity to survey their volunteers to get views and feedback to help them continue to provide a wide range of meaningful volunteering opportunities that offer a positive and fulfilling experience.

The survey received more than 300 responses which highlighted the following:

  • Nearly 80% of volunteers have been involved with the council for over three years; with nearly 50% of those having volunteered at the council for five years or more.
  • 96% of respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with their volunteer experience.
  • The top two reasons given for volunteering with the County Council were ‘to make a difference in their local community’ and ‘for a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement’.
  • They also said that the recognition they valued the most was a thank you.

If you’re interested in giving your free time to help and support people and services within the county, there are a variety of volunteering opportunities available at the council.

These include working with young carers or young offenders, becoming a community volunteer or a tree warden, volunteering with the Fire and Rescue Service, Library Service or with the waste prevention team.  

Whilst some of these opportunities aren’t currently available due to lockdown measures, some will be recruiting over the coming months.

For more stories about the amazing volunteers at the council, follow @CommunitiesWSCC on Twitter or if you’re interested in volunteering for the council, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/volunteering, or email [email protected]

For further information please contact the news desk on 0330 222 8090 or email [email protected]. For urgent out-of-hours enquiries please call 07767 098415

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Let’s SCRAP fly tipping across West Sussex

WSCC Press Release — 1st June 2021

WSFT GroupOrganisations across West Sussex are uniting in their effort to tackle the illegal dumping of waste this spring.

West Sussex County Council, the district and borough councils in West Sussex, the Environment Agency, the National Farmers Union, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are launching the Let’s SCRAP Fly tipping initiative to tackle fly tipping across the county.

The initiative aims to reduce fly tipping and advise residents how they can avoid inadvertently contributing to the problem, by following the SCRAP code. This encourages residents to: Suspect waste carriers, Check they are licenced, Refuse unexpected offers to waste disposal, Ask how the waste will be disposed of and obtain Paperwork.

Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of waste on land or in water, and can cause problems to local councils, land owners, the public, and the environment. As a criminal offence, it is punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months' imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates' court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years' imprisonment if convicted in a crown court.

Whilst large scale fly tipping is usually perpetrated by rogue traders and criminals, householders can avoid unwittingly contributing to fly tipping by ensuring they use a reputable company or local trader with a waste carrier’s licence, when employing someone to remove their waste.

Area Environment Manager Michael Turner from the Environment Agency said: “We all have a part to play in preventing our rubbish from being illegally dumped, buried or burnt. And we want to make sure that when people have rubbish to get rid of, they have the right information to help them make the right choice rather than break the law. Following the SCRAP code, such as checking that you are handing your rubbish to a licenced carrier, will ensure your waste doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

“Fly tipping and organised waste crime is blighting our communities and environment. Waste criminals undercut legitimate businesses by offering to get rid of your rubbish at prices too good to be true. Everyone has a duty to ensure their rubbish is disposed of legally and safely.”

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Fly tipping is both a criminal and an anti-social offence and there is no excuse for it.

“We are committed to tackling this issue and I am pleased to announce the launch of the Let’s SCRAP Fly tipping initiative in West Sussex, in partnership with the district and borough councils, the Environment Agency, the National Farmers Union, the Police and Crime Commissioner and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

“As well as spoiling the natural environment and costing tax-payers’ money to clear up, fly tipped waste is incredibly dangerous to wildlife and animals. Consuming waste is likely to be fatal to animals and birds. It is so important that we tackle this problem and ensure that all waste is disposed of correctly.”

The district and borough councils operate the kerbside collections in West Sussex, and collect general household waste, recycling, garden waste and in some area textiles and small electrical items. Larger items and those not suitable for kerbside collection can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Sites. More information about different types of waste is available here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/land-waste-and-housing/waste-and-recycling/recycling-and-waste-prevention-in-west-sussex/recycling-a-z/

Residents can find out more about Let’s SCRAP Fly Tipping here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/flytipping

For further information please contact the news desk on 0330 222 8090 or email [email protected]

For urgent out-of-hours enquiries please call 07767 098415

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Sussex Police's Rural Crime Team - 1st Anniversary

Sussex Police — 2nd June 2021

Sussex Police’s Rural Crime Team is marking its one year anniversary today (1 June) after it was launched a year ago with the aim of cracking down on unlawful behaviour in isolated and rural communities. 

The team has made great progress in tackling rural crime offences and building direct engagement with rural communities in Sussex. 

It was made possible with the precept increase, as acquired by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne. 

The funding has allowed for more enforcement and a greater local policing presence, part of which is rural crime. The team has a specialist focus on agricultural, equine, wildlife and heritage issues and it was formed to serve the rural community, increase confidence and encourage reporting through preventing crime and carrying out more proactive investigations. 

Made up of two sergeants, eight constables and six PCSOs, the team operates out of bases at Midhurst and Heathfield and takes a targeted approach to tackling rural crime based on the needs of each of the three policing divisions of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex. 

As a result of the creation of the team, there are much greater links between police, partners and the farming and landowning communities with increased reporting of crimes and convictions. 

Highlights over the last year include:

  • Stronger relationships with people who live and work in rural locations, as well as neighbouring rural crime police teams. 
  • Increased intelligence through increased reporting of crimes.
  • The launch of Op Collar, Sussex Police’s dedicated response to prevent dog thefts and working closely with partner agencies, gathering intelligence and highlighting crime prevention among the dog owning community. The most significant event being the search warrant which was executed and seized numerous dogs believed to be stolen or used for unscrupulous breeding. One of these dogs has already been reunited with her rightful owner, having been stolen over 6 months ago.
  • Work with partner agencies and lost dog charities to identify the owners of the dogs.
  • Working with partners, such as Brighton and Hove City Council to tackle illegal waste carried in Brighton, and with the National FU and CLA to highlight the dangers of livestock worrying.
  • Successful convictions include: Two men from London arrested for poaching in the Balcombe area who were found to be in possession of an air rifle with a scope, hunting knives, catapults and ball bearings along with dead pheasants and pigeons. Following an investigation by the team, in April both men were found guilty at court. They were both sentenced to 16-weeks suspended prison sentences for carrying knives in public along with 150 hours unpaid work and 12 month community order.
  • A man who pleaded guilty for a poaching offence in Rye and ordered to pay £199 in fines and costs.
  • A man who admitted night hawking – metal detecting on land without permission from the land owner and intending to steal anything found, in a field near Pulborough. He was summonsed for going equipped to steal and was fined £1,560 and costs.
  • A thorough investigation was carried out after an owner let their dog off the lead which chased a flock of sheep near Brighton resulting in two pregnant ewes dying from stress and injuries. An agreement between the dog owner and the farmer that a community resolution be completed to cover the costs incurred by the farmer. The amount agreed to be paid to the farmer totalled £1,080.

Tackling local concerns about disturbances and damage to wildlife including grass cutting being carried out on a flood plain in Bramber during nesting season.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “The team have had a busy first 12 months with positive results and great feedback from the rural communities.

“We’ve been actively encouraging members of the community to report crime and suspicious behaviour, because with this insight, we are able to deploy the team to where they are most needed in order to protect the most vulnerable. We have a great number of rural residents and businesses in Sussex and we have seen substantial results.”

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne said: “Through my ongoing consultations with local residents and organisations, including the National Farmers’ Union, I know that the Rural Crime Team are doing amazing work for our more remote communities.

“Rural crime is particularly worrying and, since the Covid-19 lock down, there have been many disturbing reports of fly-tipping and expensive equipment theft.

“Feedback from the rural communities is that they feel their concerns and reports have been taken extremely seriously by the team and that proactive and robust action is being taken to keep them and their livelihoods safe and secure.

“The type of specialist knowledge, skills and training this team possess is vital to police our rural communities and I look forward to hearing more of their successes in the future.”

You can report rural crime online and also anonymously online using The National Farmers' Union's Rural Crime Reporting Line or calling 0800 783 0137 and follow the team on Twitter @SussexRuralCopsEmail tracking gif

Sussex Police 02 06 21

A Thank You To All Neighbourhood Watch Volunteers

Neighbourhood Watch — 7th June 2021

We are now in Volunteers’ Week - a time to say thanks for the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too. It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that crime prevention, neighbourliness and community spirit are just as important as ever. Neighbourhood Watch Week (next week 5th-11th June) is an opportunity for us to build on the existing and new neighbourly relationships formed throughout the pandemic. It is a time for us to build on the connections we have made before and during lockdown. 
The reason why we are contacting you today is to thank each and every Neighbourhood Watch member and supporter, which includes our friends in the Sussex Community Search Team, for the time and effort which you contribute towards helping to keep Sussex such a safe place.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “We are incredibly fortunate to be supported by so many amazing people who volunteer their time to help keep our communities safer.

"The last year, with the global pandemic, it has been particularly challenging for volunteers, but I have watched in awe as our communities have come together and supported each other in ways that we’ve never done before. “On behalf of myself and Sussex Police I would like to thank all of you in Neighbourhood Watch for being the eyes and ears of our communities over the last year. We are all incredibly grateful for your ongoing support, admirable public spirit and willingness to help in any way you can.” Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless. To quote a few figures:

  • In Sussex, Neighbourhood Watch has 3,877 co-ordinators looking after 3,346 schemes. We regularly send out around 27,000 important Alert messages, and these are widely distributed to other members and supporters by our co-ordinators and social media users.

Around 700 volunteers, including Neighbourhood Watch and Sussex Community Search Team members, have supported the NHS vaccination programme on a regular basis. Over 1 million people in Sussex have now been vaccinated since the programme began. You can see a message from the CEO of the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, in which she outlines the critical importance of this role, at https://fb.watch/5RRdiBqqYJ/

Thank you again to all of our very much appreciated and highly valued volunteers.
John Wright MBE
Chair, Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation

Crime Prevention Logo Priority 5 Good News

The Repair Cafe in Chailey is open on 12th June!

Village News — 7th June 2021

The Repair Cafe in Chailey is opening again

Repair Cafe Chailey 2021

West Sussex Unwrapped goes live on Sussex Day

WSCC Press Release — 7th June 2021

Sussex Day is the 16th June and West Sussex Record Office and Screen Archive South East will be hosting an exciting free online event at 7pm called West Sussex Unwrapped Live: South Downs National Park.

This virtual event is a special opportunity to get up close and personal with unique documents and film footage telling the story of the magnificent South Downs National Park and to hear from the archivists and curators who care for these collections.

Viewers will be able to experience:

  • detailed drawings by famous landscape designer Humphrey Repton,
  • find out how the Downs has been used for hiking, camping and more,
  • follow actress and author Nancy Price’s campaign to protect this unique landscape,
  • see Land Girls bringing in the wheat harvest,
  • view what is probably the oldest surviving film of West Sussex,
  • and go on a journey to see how the South Downs has developed and changed over the centuries.

West Sussex Unwrapped Live starts at 7pm on Wednesday 16 June 2021 and will last for around one hour. It will be held via Zoom and bookings can be made through Eventbrite by searching for ‘West Sussex Unwrapped’.

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “The onset of the pandemic may have stopped people attending the Record Office, but the team didn’t let that stop them from bringing the Record Office to the public with West Sussex Unwrapped.

“Now in its second series, West Sussex Unwrapped has allowed people across West Sussex and beyond to explore the historical, celebratory, nostalgic and quirky sides of our fantastic county. I’m really excited for the live event on Sussex Day as it will allow both the Record Office and Screen Archive South East to bring the history of West Sussex to life. It will also showcase what they do best - share their love of history and the archives with others.”

Speaking on the night will be Frank Gray, Director of Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton, and Jennifer Mason, Assistant County Archivist (Collections Management) at West Sussex Record Office.

The event will be introduced by Wendy Walker, West Sussex County Archivist and there will be an opportunity to ask questions via the chat box after the event.

Dr Frank Gray said: “It is a pleasure to be collaborating with West Sussex Record Office on a live version of West Sussex Unwrapped for Sussex Day. Series one and two have been packed with a variety of interesting films, pictures and blog posts that cover everything from railways to rural traditions.

“To celebrate Sussex Day, we have specially prepared a compilation that provides a grand tour of the National Park. It features panoramic views of the Downs, Land Girls bringing in the wheat harvest and concludes with probably the oldest surviving film of West Sussex. We can’t wait for people to see it and to interact with viewers on the day through the live Q&A session at the end.”

The event will be recorded and will be shared on West Sussex Record Office’s brand-new YouTube channel which will be launched in the days following the talk.

To catch up on series one and two, visit www.westsussexrecordofficeblog.com/westsussexunwrapped20.

Archive Photo Of Walkers On The Downs

South East Water - Dry Weather Plan

Public consultation — 8th June 2021

Letter from Lee Dance, South East Water

Consultation for our draft Dry Weather Plan, previously called the Drought Plan, is now open – and we welcome your feedback over the next eight weeks.

Occasionally droughts can happen, even in the UK. That's why it's important we're all prepared for when they do.

Our dry weather plan sets out the steps we would take during periods of low rainfall to ensure we can deliver a reliable water supply for the essential needs of drinking, washing, cooking and cleaning.

It details what actions we'd take to conserve water and secure customers’ supplies, while balancing the needs of the environment.

These actions include:

  • Moving water around our network
  • Fast-tracking schemes to increase water resources
  • Working even harder to fix leaks
  • Promoting sensible water use
  • The introduction of temporary water use restrictions (commonly known as hosepipe bans)

To ensure our plans are up-to-date we review them every five years and publish a draft document for consultation. Although we published our latest plan in 2019 we are in the process of updating this plan following recent changes to Government drought plan guidance. This guidance encourages us to talk about our plans and ensure they are easy to understand and for everyone to follow.

Having your say

All our customers and stakeholders have the opportunity to have their say on all our work, including our dry weather plan. Using our experience from previous heatwaves and droughts, and research into possible future impacts, we have prepared a plan we hope will receive your support.

We know that working together with our customers and stakeholders is vital to the success of our plans as it is only through collaboration that we can make the best plan possible. We have worked with customers, stakeholders and our colleagues to prepare this draft plan.

For a start you'll notice we've changed the name from a drought plan to our 'dry weather plan'. This is because our customers have told us they don't tend to think of droughts happening in the UK. Thankfully droughts are relatively rare, but being in the water stressed south east we regularly see extended periods of dry weather and heatwaves. That's why ensuring everyone understands what we do at this early stage is important. We’ve also created some magazine style summaries of our plan that we hope will be more engaging for the communities we serve.

We have taken a traffic light scale approach which reflects that the need to save water is more extreme during periods of prolonged dry weather but that also acknowledges that water, as a precious resource, is worth saving whatever the weather.

It’s important for us to create a plan that has had a chance to be considered by as many of our customers and stakeholder groups as possible and so we’re keen to engage with you at this draft plan stage. Your thoughts and opinions will help us to shape our final plan.

Next steps

We’re keen to build further on the engagement we have undertaken with you to date and look forward to hearing your thoughts on our plan. Our consultation period will close on Monday 2nd August 2021 and we will then review all the feedback received and prepare a statement of response and a revised plan in the autumn. We will keep you updated throughout.

The draft Dry Weather Plan and consultation forms can be accessed by clicking here.

But if you need any assistance of further information please contact us at [email protected]

Out Of Hours 0333 000 0365

www.southeastwater.co.uk

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