Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

In church this Sunday… There’s a service of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s Church at 10.30 am, while later in the day, in the dark at 6 pm, there will be an Informal Communion service at St Peter’s on Broadway.

A week to go… to two important events in the village hall. The Village Hall’s Christmas Fair will be happening between 12 noon and 3 pm on Saturday, December 1 and, while there is usually a very good turnout for this event, a reminder will do no harm at all. Well worth a look – I’ll see you there!

The other event… later that day is the Fairfest Cheese and Wine evening from 7.30 to 11 pm, with dancing to music from the 50s through to the 80s. Tickets are priced at £6.50 each, and can be obtained from Fairlight Post Office, or secured by calling Jennifer, 812476, Wendy, 812297, or Margaret, 814866. Since their inception, Fairfest have mounted two excellent summer events on Wood Field at two-yearly intervals, augmented by several highly successful and much appreciated interim functions. There is no reason to believe the ‘do’ next Saturday will be any less enjoyable, and everyone looking for a pleasant evening’s entertainment should be booking their ticket now.

A Fire Service update… following the public consultation meeting on November 7 held by the Fire Authority and Fire Service at the Hastings Centre, our Parish Council Clerk has written, again, to the review team to obtain clarification of what was said about Fairlight at the meeting.

In previous correspondence the PC had been told that the response time would increase by some four minutes. However, at the meeting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Walsh elaborated on that, saying that the time would increase by 3 minutes should the Ridge engine be available and by just under 4 minutes should the Ridge engine not be available. Times run from the mobilisation of the engine.

He also said that the times were based on actual historic timings. Naturally, the figures are averages. Presumably times from Bohemia Road could be considerably longer in peak traffic conditions, for example at Bank Holidays when the motorcyclists are in town. The Council would dearly like to know the spread of these times.

In response to a question from the floor DCFO Walsh said that 90% of calls could be responded to in 12 minutes (Fairlight Cove) or 8 minutes (Fairlight), to which the comment locally is that an additional 4 minutes is a considerable proportion of those figures, added time in which fire can spread rapidly.

DCFO Walsh considered Fairlight to be a low risk area for fire, though those in the know in the village would reiterate that the village has a high proportion of elderly people and older wooden unnumbered houses down narrow lanes.

The Fire Service has offered to send a representative to Parish Council meetings, and they were informed that the next meeting is on Tuesday, November 27, but that there will be much normal monthly business to discuss and so the whole meeting could not be devoted to the Fire Station proposals. At the closing of the meeting, the PC repeated its opposition to the proposals.

The Fire Service – some afterthoughts… The times being bandied about are averages, so while there would be many calls longer than the times quoted due to traffic congestion, road works, inclement weather and the like there would be just as many shorter than the average, say down to a couple of minutes. From Bohemia even with all lights, bells and whistles? I don’t think so. It seems the Authority is being somewhat deceitful in not explaining exactly how they have calculated the time effect of the Ridge downgrading. It make you wonder if there is some ‘I know best’ thinking at work here, in which all of us peasants don’t understand the problems that are going to be solved by this cash saving which will leave us with an inferior and more dangerous service. It is reported that the Fire Chief earns – sorry, receives – a higher salary than the Prime Minister. Perhaps a little less scrambled egg would leave us with more firefighters? In a worst case scenario, in a few short years from now, someone in Fairlight is going to be badly burned instead of just singed, and will be trundled off to the safety of the A and E department. In Eastbourne. That’s 21st Century progress for you. Where can I buy a stirrup pump? Meanwhile, all is not yet lost, and your personal support for the saving of the station is the most effective thing you can do. Do it at www.savetheridgefirestation.weebly.com

Not the hole truth… Some of you will have seen the notices from East Sussex CC with the information that the patching work along the Pett Level Road and Battery Hill is to be deferred until January. Cllr Rev Val Gibbs, Richard Pollard’s PC Highways successor, has expressed her dismay to the Highways Dept about this delay along with a complaint about the uncleared drains on Battery Hill and the overgrown hedges which are a particular nuisance for high sided vehicles on a narrow part of the Fairlight Road. The white lines have also lifted near Pineridge on Fairlight Road. All the Highways Dept. has done so far is to plant a cone over the deepest pothole, on the notorious stretch between Pineridge and Hysted, though the cone has already been shredded. Put enough of them there and the bits of plastic will fill this hole, which surely serious enough to warrant immediate attention. If you hit it, hard, because of on-coming traffic, get your suspension and tyres checked and let the council know any adverse outcome.

Faster broadband..? Yes, but don’t hold your breath. East Sussex CC have reached the procurement stage which means they are in dialogue with various private companies who may be prepared to supply a faster broadband service, but this will not be a quick process! If you are interested and want more details, contact broadband@eastsussex.gov.uk Also, if you want to see some of the UK’s slowest broadband streets then get on to Revealed: Britain’s slowest broadband. Amazingly East Sussex doesn’t feature on this list, but Greatstone in Kent, does!

Have you heard of the Cinnamon trust…? The Trust’s primary objective is to respect and preserve the treasured relationship between owners and their pets and to this end it works in partnership with owners to overcome any difficulties that might arise. They have a national network of over 15,000 community service volunteers who can provide practical help when any aspect of day-to-day care poses a problem - for example, walking the dog for a housebound owner. They also provide a national fostering service is provided for pets whose owners face a spell in hospital - volunteers take pets into their own homes and supply love and care in abundance until owner and pet can be reunited. The Trust also provides long term care for pets whose owners have died or moved to residential accommodation which will not accept pets. Arrangements are made between owners and the Trust well in advance, so owners do have peace of mind in the knowledge that their beloved companion will have a safe and happy future. Have a look at their website if you could be one of those who might benefit from their caring help, or if you could be someone who could assist the Trust by becoming a volunteer. Just learn a little more about this excellent idea brought to life by the Cinnamon Trust. There are posters around the village at present.

Just like buses… there’s a Fair in eight days time, and whether you miss it or not, you might like to go along to another one – a Fayre this time – a fortnight later. This will be the (local) RSPCA Christmas Fayre in the hall on Saturday, December 15. This early call is to remind you that they could do with as many donations as possible for their fundraiser, including toys, costume jewellery, Christmas decorations, china and glass collectables and dog or cat accessories (such as beds, leads, bowls etc.). So, if you fancy an early spring clean, the RSPCA would be grateful for your donations to Ann Craske (RSPCA) Brigadoon, 12 Lower Waites Lane or Doris Fenner, Moonwind, 14 Lower Waites Lane. Or you could give Ann a call on 813434 and she will collect your goodies.

Keep yourself fit… at least until Saturday, January 5, which is the date when our excellent First

Responders will be demonstrating how to use the new public access Defibrillator that is already in situ outside the village hall. They will also be prepared to show us how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver for choking. I believe the procedure is effective, but warrants care in its operation. It will be interesting to find out.

A note from Wendy… with a big ‘thank you’ to all who went along to the Activate Quiz last Friday. The evening raised an amazing £365 for the club and a further £35 for ‘Children in Need.’ Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Special thanks to quiz queen Linda, and Steve, who totted up the results quicker than a Returning Officer at a General Election.

Thanks… to all those who inform me of the forthcoming attractions in the village for the church and countless clubs, groups and societies, particularly to Trevor Lewing, who took over Andrew Mier’s mantle as the Residents’ Association emailer-in-chief. If you are not on his list, do get on it, as it is especially useful in winter when buses stop running, or Battery Hill is icy, and very often people publish items through Trevor that have missed the Voice for the week ahead. In thanking all for their submissions, please remember that people also like to read about the results of events (like Activate above), and it’s good publicity, too, for those who didn’t go will kick themselves and not miss the next one!