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Buxted Parish Council

Buxted Parish Council came into being in 1894 when the present system of Parish Councils was instituted to give rural communities a voice. Buxted Parish covers some 7,000 acres with an electorate of about 2,500 out of a population of 3,200. It encompasses the villages of Buxted, High Hurstwood and Five Ash Down.

The parish is divided into two wards – Buxted/Five Ash Down (10 councillors) and High Hurstwood (5 councillors). Councils are elected for a term of 4 years. Council meetings are held on the second Tuesday in every month (except August), alternating between Buxted Reading Room, High Hurstwood Village Hall and Five Ash Down Village Hall, at 19.30. Meetings agendas are displayed one week in advance on the Parish notice boards in Buxted (on the Ionides Trust site), High Hurstwood (near The Hurstwood pub) and in Five Ash Down (outside the Village Hall) and on the website. The agenda includes a list of any planning applications received from Wealden District Council for consultation. All meetings of the Council and its committees are open to the public, who are welcome to ask questions or raise issues with the Council before the meetings formally begin.

An early requirement was to provide allotments, which we do. Councils can also support arts and crafts; contribute to maintenance of churchyards; protect commons, provide buildings for public meetings, functions and entertainment, maintain public footpaths and bridleways (jointly with ESCC), provide footway lighting (we don’t), provide and maintain public open spaces, and comment on planning applications.

We also take an active interest in highways matters, policy and our environment (e.g. trees and hedgerows). More and more we have to comment on government policies for local government and voice our electors’ concerns.

Parish assets include Buxted Reading Room, two recreation grounds (Buxted and High Hurstwood), two allotment areas in Buxted (recently re-generated) and High Hurstwood, children’s play areas in Buxted and High Hurstwood, and two bus shelters. The budget is set annually over the period October to December. Planned expenditure less income forms the ‘Parish Precept’ which is levied as part of annual Council Tax. Apart from meeting general running expenses of the council – specifically employing our Parish Clerk – the council makes grants to local organisations and contributes to local projects e.g. Buxted Traffic calming.

The Parish Council recognises the burden of Council Tax but is also conscious of local needs for improvements in the Parish that increasingly are not being covered by either County or District as they seek to keep within national government budgets. Before increasing Precept to cover costs of local improvements such as the recent traffic calming, the Parish Council ensures that such improvements are what our electorate want and are prepared to pay for.

Councillors sit on various committees (e.g. Finance, Planning, Communications) and outside bodies (e.g. Ionides Trust, Buxted Community Hall Trust). Each keeps an eye on different parts of the Parish, e.g. for planning purposes and trees.

Our Parish Clerks, Beccy Macklen & Claudine Feltham (01435 812798) who act as the Council’s ‘proper officers’ on the Council’s behalf and under its direction. Both Clerks are available at the Reading Room to handle enquiries personally from parishioners on the first Thursday of every month from 10.15-11.30.

Latest Parish News

Please join the Priority Services Register or update any existing registrations

06

December 2022
Please join the Priority Services Register or update any existing registrations

We are about to go into a period of cold weather, so now is the time to make sure that you have support available should power, gas or water cuts occur.

The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Energy suppliers and network operators offer it. Each keeps their own register, although some share with each other.

We recommend that people who may be vulnerable or at risk during severe weather should be on a Priority Services Register. Friends and relatives can assist those who may be in need of a bit of help to register, such as the elderly or people with serious medical conditions, or those who may not have Internet access and therefore may not have received this message. Each operator can be contacted online or by phone.

Similarly, if your household is already registered, please make sure that your registration is fully up to date, for example, to ensure that contact details and special needs remain accurate.

Please act now, don’t wait!

Power cuts don’t happen very often, but if the electricity, gas or water supply network is damaged or develops a fault, engineers work around the clock 24/7 to restore supplies as quickly as is safely possible. Being on a Priority Services Register will ensure that extra support will be received if the customer experiences an outage. Support is likely to include:

· A priority number that you can call 24 hours a day

· Text and voice message alerts, letting you know when they are aware of a large power cut in your area or should your water supply be interrupted

· Tailored support if needed such as home visits, hot meals, advice and keeping your friends and relatives updated

· Where possible they will send you text and voice messages when severe weather is expected, to help you prepare

· In certain scenarios they may also offer a free hotel overnight and transport to the hotel

· For complex power cuts, community welfare teams provide on-site support which includes hot drinks, hot meals, a Wi-Fi connection and charge points.

OFGEM has a summary at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/getting-extra-help-priority-services-register, and this includes help in finding the suppliers in your area. As various energy suppliers and network operators are active in Sussex, the following are the ones who cover most of the county, but there are some others. If you try to register with the wrong operator they will usually steer you in the right direction.

Electricity
UK Power Networks – most of the SE of England https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/power-cut/priority-services/about-the-priority-services-register
SSEN – parts of the West of Sussex https://www.ssen.co.uk/PriorityServices/

Water
Southern Water https://www.southernwater.co.uk/help-advice/join-our-priority-services-register
South East Water https://www.southeastwater.co.uk/get-help/help-for-priority-customers

Thank you for helping to keep Sussex safe

New Street Learning courses available

05

December 2022
New Street Learning courses available

The Street Learning programme has been released for January to March 2023. It offers FREE practical, educational and wellbeing courses to residents in Wealden, aged 19 and above.

The project offers free courses to help develop new skills, enhance existing ones, and expands on education, encouraging growth and self-confidence.

Courses such as maths, English and accounting to boost job opportunities as well as sign language, painting, and cookery for people wanting to learn a new skill or take up a hobby are available.

The courses are both practical and fun and provided in local community venues including East Sussex College in Eastbourne, Uckfield College, Uckfield Civic Centre or online.

Councillor Philip Lunn, Wealden council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for Commercial, Economic Development and Leisure, said, “Street Learning offers a wide range of courses for people in Wealden and Eastbourne. The free courses are great for residents wanting to build confidence, increase their job opportunities or to have some fun.

“It’s a fantastic service and I encourage anyone wanting to learn something new to take a look.”

Street Learning is a project run by Wealden District Council in partnership with ACRES, East Sussex College, East Sussex County Council Library, Job Centre Plus, GRH Training, Compass Community Arts and Heathercroft.

Visit www.wealden.gov.uk/streetlearning, @StreetLearning.Wealden on Facebook, or email streetlearning@wealden.gov.uk for more information and feedback left by others who have attended the courses.

Updates, new courses and other training opportunities available throughout Wealden can be found on the website.

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