Fairlight

In our churches this Sunday… there will be a 10.30 am service of Parish Communion at St Andrew’s, when the Guest Speaker will be David Jackman. He will be asking ‘The authority of the Bible - is it trustworthy today?’ And then, at 6 pm, there is to be Evening Prayer at St Peter’s.

Fairfest… no need to hold your breath, our third Music and Arts Festival is almost upon us. Your 50p programme, which you can pick up from the Post Office, will tell you all the details and timings of the goodies that will be on offer on Sunday, July 27 starting at 12 noon, and going on until 10 pm. Get your programme soon, although you won’t actually need it to gain admission, because this is free.

The Players… find themselves somewhat short-handed at the moment when it comes to the question of availability of directors. And they need one urgently to propose a play and then direct it for their November production. If you, or one of your friends, would like to direct a play for this long established, friendly and talented am dram group, please give Keith Pollard a call on 813631. And if you have further friends who would like to act, then they would be welcome to call, too, as the more people who are available, the wider the range of scripts that can be considered. If you are already the member of another group, why not come to Fairlight ‘on loan’ to broaden your horizons and experience. If you live outside Fairlight, you would be joining a group with a healthy proportion of such folk among the existing acting strength.

Don’t miss the bus… further to the lead story in last week’s Observer, it is important that local residents in our cul-de-sac village get involved in the County Council’s consultation as a matter of urgency. The proposal has been put to reduce the 344 Hastings to Northiam bus service from hourly to two hourly intervals in off-peak periods. Please do express your views on this proposed reduction, by going to Citizen Space on the consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/ website, even if you are currently only an infrequent user. The time may come when you find you need to use the service more often, which you won’t be able to do if it is no longer there. The proposed cuts apply to Monday to Saturday timings. The Sunday service is to disappear altogether.

Water, water everywhere… with some good news from our supplier, Southern Water, that lower average bills are coming our way, according to their updated Business Plan for 2015 to 2020.

Under this newly refined plan, average bills will rise by 3.2 per cent less than the rate of inflation, compared with an increase of 1.5 per cent below inflation in the plan they put forward to the water industry regulator Ofwat in December last year. As an indication, the rate of inflation at present is 1.7 per cent, meaning that bills would go down by 1.5 per cent.

Southern Water believe their proposals strike the right balance between the need to deliver the improved services customers want, catering for a growing population in our region, safeguarding the environment and making sure bills are affordable, and are based on the views of more than 27,000 people from across our region. Included are 26 promises being made to customers about the quality of service they receive.

The water company is aiming to make £200M efficiency savings in addition to a £100M cost sreduction, thus reducing their overall plan to £3.1 billion – an apparent drop of 8.8 per cent, which makes the 1.5 per cent bill reduction less generous than it at first appears. Improvements promised are numerous, and can be found on the Southern Water website. Some will make you smile – give them a look, especially the one aiming to reduce leakage by 2 million litres a day, (which would be enough to fill Summerfields swimming pool four times a day, every day!)

What do you know about Step in Time…? Maybe not a lot? Well, now is your chance to find out. Organiser Dale Bowen is having two summer classes for existing and prospective members, so why not go along and try it out? The first date is Tuesday, July 29 and the other is in mid-August, about which we shall remind you later. The classes are in the village hall from 10 to 11.30 am and are followed by refreshments, which are included in the price of £3. What a bargain! No need to book, just be there and enjoy yourself.

Annual appeal for the Annual Appeal of the Royal British Legion… In this, the Centenary Year of WW1, extra help with their annual appeal is urgently needed. Could you spare just a few hours helping to collect locally at weekends? The weekend dates are October 25 and 26, November 1 and 2 and also 8, during daylight hours. Not only would your help be useful and appreciated, it’s also an enjoyable experience. If you’d like more information, please call John Pulfer on 814866, or email him at johnatbobhs@gmail.com

Activate’s Busyart… will be meeting on Monday next, July 21, for the final session before the summer holiday. This will be a bit of a party, while still being creative! As ever, Wendy has the details and if you need to talk to her, she is on 812297.

It’s blooming well here at last...! The Gardening Club’s Summer Show, in the village hall, is open to the public from 2 until 3.30 pm tomorrow, Saturday, July 19. Handing out the prizes will be Amber Rudd, MP, - and you should be there, too, as you are promised some astonishing exhibits. Those planning to exhibit have only today, Friday, left to get their entry forms into the box in the Post Office. Admission to the show itself is free.

Did the earth move for you… with the first collection of the new brown bins? Well, not actually, because earth is one of the few things they don’t collect. But apart from that, it certainly did for me. My new-use green and black boxes contained more bottles than you could shake a stick at, while the brown bin held more sticks than you could shake a bottle at. The green wheelie, now a real catch-all repository, had everything recyclable plus a bag for the surplus. All of which was collected. Only one item was left behind – an iron. Or rather, an ex-iron. An iron that ‘is no more, has ceased to be, is bereft of life, it rusts in peace.’ They left it because ‘it is electrical’, which is untrue – it’s now no more electrical than a tree. The Waste Booklet we all had in June clearly states ‘Please don’t put electrical items in your wheeled bin. Electrical items smaller than a toaster, including mobile phones, can be collected from the kerbside; place these items in a clearly marked old carrier bag and place them next to your green wheeled recycling bin.’ All of which I had done. What a pity Rother didn’t send a copy of the booklet to the new contractors, so they could all sing off the same hymn sheet…

Next Tuesday’s Parish Council meeting… will include a discussion on the replacement of the distorted salt and grit bins, and consideration of a grant to the Royal Sussex Regiment. There will be an update on how matters stand with regard to UK Power Networks, first reported last month. The Council will also discuss the proposed cuts to the 334 bus service, as mentioned in the fourth item above. An update will be forthcoming on the Knowle Wood clearances and other footpaths, too, along with information about Knowle Wood footbridge. The question of the cutting back of the Leylandii trees in the children’s play area on Wood Field will get a mention, and after all this, it will be your turn to have your say when the Open Forum begins.

Gone at last… the three-way traffic lights controlling the T-junction of Waites Lane and Battery Hill seemed to be there just to be traffic lights – all too often no men were working there so there was ‘no workforce to protect’, simply an inconvenience for local motorists. Of course, as happened at the bottom of Meadow Way, but without any lights, nobody working has been par for the course, but a new green box has eventually appeared at each location, duly plumbed in under some new tarmac. Rumour had it that fibre optics were coming along, but it seems more likely that the boxes are DSLAMs, Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers and pronounced dee-slam, BT’s mechanisms that link many customer connections to a single high-speed line. It appears that the installations will enable more customers to be connected to broadband services, but there doesn’t look as if any speed increase will necessarily be forthcoming. I may be wrong, but I’m not waving here I’m drowning!

And, as one Pett Level Road resident pointed out, the front of the new cabinet is no more than a yard from the roadway, which probably means that every time an engineer has to open it up, we’re likely to get the three-way traffic lights back again…

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway