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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

ESCC Cllr Galley Monthly News September

09

September 2021
ESCC Cllr Galley Monthly News September

Local Housing Needs Assessment

In progressing the Local Plan, national guidance requires the Council to produce a Local Housing Needs Assessment. This is to determine the minimum number of homes required and proposals on the size, type, and tenure of houses. It looks at the local market and the needs of a range of groups such as older people, disabled people, affordable homes, and the appetite for self-build.

The initial figures are suggested a high number of houses required and on the higher level more than 1200 per year. However, as we all know with this sort of modelling, much depends on the assumptions built into the metrics.

More information will be available next month.

Solar Energy

For the second year, the Council is collaborating with other authorities across Sussex to help residents install photovoltaic panels and battery storage .

Solar Together Sussex is a group purchasing scheme that brings residents together to buy large volumes of solar panel installations to get the best possible price.

The first Solar Together auction enabled 50 Wealden households to install panels with a calculated saving of 33,000 kg of CO2 per year.

Until 30th September, residents can register their interest online. It is open to all homeowners, landlords and small businesses .

Registration is free and there is no obligation to proceed.

Solar Together will hold an auction to obtain the best price.

All who register will receive a personal recommendation and a quote.

This is a good opportunity for those interested.

Community Grants.

Wealden is promoting three types of grants to benefit our local communities.

A second round of Covid Related Recovery grants is available for those who did not benefit in the first round. Groups can apply for between £500 and £3000 and this has to be spent by the end of March 2022.Organisations can receive help with equipment and some bills if they are struggling with reduced income as a result of the pandemic.

Applications by October 14th.

Then there are small grants of between £ 500 and £3000 for voluntary activities in the year from April 2021 to March 2023.This is a usual Wealden grant process. Applications by 30th November.

Partnership agreements are open to key organisations helping multiple Parishes between April 2022 and March 2025. Examples of organisations currently benefitting include the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Conservators of Ashdown Forest. Applications by 30th November.

Further details can be found at communitygrants@wealden.gov.uk

Your local Councillors.

Roy Galley. cllr.roy.galley@eastsussex.gov.uk

cllr.roy.galley@wealden.gov.uk

01825 713018

Peter Roundell. cllr.peter.roundell@wealden.gov.uk

01825 722030

Toby Illingworthcllr.toby.illingworth@buxted-pc.gov.uk

01825 732115


Wealden Community Grants Fund is now open

06

September 2021
Wealden Community Grants Fund is now open

Wealden District Council has three strands to its Community Grants Programme in this round for groups and organisations to benefit the people of the Wealden District. Editable pdf application forms for each can be downloaded from our website: CommunityGrantsProgramme

Organisations may only apply to one strand of funding. There are no capital awards available in this round, although groups looking to make improvements to the fabric of a building or community space such as a playground or recreation ground may make contact for general advice.

A Recovery Fund is open until 24th October for Funding to be Spent by March 2022

A second round of Recovery grants is available to help any third sector organisation, which did not benefit from a Recovery grant in the last round. Groups can apply for between £500 and £3000, to be spent by the end of March 2022. Last year groups were supported with help towards equipment, measures to ensure safety, provision of alternative delivery methods, and help with utilities, rent and other expenditure which needed to be met when organisations were struggling with reduced income due to the pandemic. Expenditure for general activities to support communities was also provided. We are aiming to give decisions and start the procedure for releasing funding during December.

A Small Grants round is open until 30th November for activities between April 2022 and March 2023

Grants of between £500 - £3000 are available to third sector organisations which are planning activities in the next financial year (April 2022 – March 2023) to benefit Wealden residents. Decisions will be given in March 2022 and the funding will be released in April.

Partnerships Service Level Agreements of 3 years are also available with a deadline of 30th November

Three year funding is also available to key organisations which support residents in multiple parishes to be spent between April 2022 and March 2025. Please make contact if you are considering a Service Level Agreement application.

If you need any advice or have any questions after reading the guidance and application form, please emailcommunitygrants@wealden.gov.uk or call (01323) 443520

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