A Happy New Year to you all!

Pews News: There will be an All Age Service at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, at which the theme will be ‘giving thanks to all our volunteers’. In the afternoon, at the 4 pm start now the norm for winter evening services, there is a service of Holy Communion at St Peter’s.

At MOPPs this week and next: Up and running once more after the Christmas break, MOPPs first meeting, entertainment and lunch is today, though I can’t tell you exactly what you’ll be getting in way of both entertainment and food for either this week or next. Just watch this space and you will be fully up-dated, which just may tempt you, at last, to get along down and join in the fun for yourself in future!

Had enough of meat?: A change is as good as a rest, they say, but those seeking a bit of a change on the home front will have to wait a little longer yet, as the Fairlight Fish Van will not be in attendance today. Next Friday, January 9, will see the operation fully functioning in the village hall car park from about 4.30 pm, when you are used to seeing it.

Whist as well: Not today, but also back with us next Friday, January 9, is the latest in the Bowls Club’s winter series of Whist Drives in the village hall. You know the form by now – 6.30 or 6.45 for the 7 pm start. Don’t be late!

It’s in front of you!: Oh, yes it is! The Pantomime Group’s Rapunzel will be with us on Thursday 22, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 January nightly at 7.30 pm, with a 2.30 pm matinée on the Saturday, too. Tickets are £3 for children and £6 for adults, except for the final performance when they are all £6. They can be purchased at the Post Office. Get yours before they all go.

The weather may be getting colder: But the pace of the campaign to bring to fruition Community ownership of the Post Office and General Stores is hotting up day by day. Patently, the shop is already a going concern. There is clearly an income from the shop and PO, plus the opportunity of rental from the flat and a predicted sales increase due to new ownership and development of products and services to ensure its future sustainability. The team moving the project forward has 40 volunteers offering over 100 hours a week, and a clear understanding of what the village wants, from the 200 survey responses they have collected. The proposed legal structure is an Industrial and Provident Society, in which the management committee role is no different from that of a trustee or committee member role in a non-profit organisation. Management committee members do not have a financial stake or any risk of liability. The proposed funding model is a combination of Public Works Loan, Community Shares, Power for Change Grant, and various other grants available. A loan is also available as a last resort.

If you become a management committee member, your role would be to provide guidance, input and oversight of the performance of financial and management issues at board meetings on a quarterly basis. During the planning and take-over process between January and April, more hands will be required to help make it happen, with a weekly meeting and input, averaging four hours a

week. A SWOT analysis, (which assesses all the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats possible) has been undertaken, and there are only minimal risks or concerns involved in going forward with this venture. The only risk is not being able to raise the funds, but this process will commence in January once the legal structure is established.

So, more Management Committee members are still required, and if you possess the necessary skills and would like to be part of this exciting venture, please give Heather Black a call on 272817.

The team involved in Community Planning for the Post Office and General Stores will be holding a second open event in the village hall on Saturday, January 31 from 10 am to 12 noon. This will give residents the chance to see how they are busy putting flesh on the bare bones of the plan originally outlined last year. Diary this event now!

Getting ready for winter: UK Power Networks is the company responsible for the security of the electric supply to our homes. They offer extra support in the event of a power cut to those who need it. There are forms available in the Post Office if you want to apply for extra support in the event of a power cut, or know of anyone who might need it. You can also apply on line at www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority or by email to psr@ukpowernetworks.co.uk

A peel-off sticker is included with the application form reminding us how to report a power cut. By text: POWER and your post code to 80876 or email: ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut, or simply phone 0800 31 63 105

Can you help?: Cllr Jennifer Annetts is looking to complete her schedule of Emergency Street Wardens, each of whom will be responsible for a smallish area of the village, and will let all those on their particular patch know of items of urgent importance that could affect them, or to pass relevant information back up the chain of command. The areas still in need of cover are from the corner of Waites Lane and Pett Level Road, along to Wakehams Farm shop, that portion of Rosemary Lane that is in Fairlight, and Fairlight Gardens. If you would be prepared to help out, or know of anyone who else who could, please contact Jennifer on 812476, or by email to j.annetts@hotmail.co.uk

Roads alert: The state of Battery Hill surface is distinctly poor, with yards of it on the south side resembling an elongated cattle grid. But the general news that almost £141M will be coming to Brighton and Sussex is good news, one hopes. At first I thought how are going to repair each pothole for £1, but then I realised there probably aren’t that many holes. Not quite. Despite the AA man saying on the telly that it was a fine thing, to get everything up-to-date in one go, the money won’t be coming on line until next year, and will then be spread over five years. Just like now, then. I’ve recently driven many miles through some remote East Sussex villages, lined with beautiful properties, quite possibly the homes of a number of County Councillors. There wasn’t a pothole in sight!

Christmas 2013: Do you recall the halcyon days of a year ago? When Rother DC, imaginatively, said we could put extra black bin rubbish in our brown bin, which was then actually green, and free. What stress that decision removed from us fun-loving, gluttonous holiday makers. What a contrast with this year, when our black bins were already full to the brim a week ago with yellowing sprouts, turkey carcases, by now lightly dusted with curry powder, and great gobbets of blood, no, sorry, they’re congealed cranberry sauce. And they won’t be emptied until next Tuesday, January 6. Meanwhile, the actual brown bins are having a holiday until January 21, a full month off. This accounts for the fact that Fairlight, as the garden bonfire champions of the UK, sees more Boxing Day bonfires than anywhere else. What a pity that, having given their customers what they wanted last year without being asked, Rother hadn’t the wit to do it again. If your house is beginning to pong, and you’re worried that Environmental Health inspectors will descend on you, you can put the surplus rubbish out in black bags. They probably won’t be collected, but the foxes, be they urban or rural, will have a Happy New Year. I hope you’re having one, too!

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway