Pews News: This Sunday, January 25, we have a service of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am. Incorporated into this service will be the second session urging you to ‘Beware complacency’, with the speaker on this occasion being David Hornsby. Later on, actually at 6.30 pm, St Peter’s will once again be hosting ‘Sunday Live’, the popular monthly informal and interdenominational gathering, which was only omitted last month because of the Christmas rush.

MOPPs today, and coming shortly: Today you’ll have Keith Osbourne’s Music for Health, with a nice meal consisting of bacon pudding followed by banana custard. Next Friday, January 30, your entertainment will be by the ‘All Aloud’ Choir, and they’ll be followed by scampi and chips, and then fruit crumble. Not a member yet? Joining is one New Year’s resolution you really shouldn’t break!

Many happy returns: This year’s Panto group offering, Rapunzel, opened last night. If you missed it, don’t worry, there are still three performances remaining - tonight, Friday, at 7.30 pm, and tomorrow, Saturday, at both 2.30 and 7.30 pm. Seats may or may not be available for any or all these times, but it’s worth checking anyway as illness at this time of the year can often lead to returns. Get yours quickly!

The Cat and the Canary: The Players read and cast their April production last week, but are not going to tell you who’s in it until they’ve fine-tuned the provisional casting. It’ll have to be next week now…

Trefoil: Start their new year with a meeting next Wednesday, January 28, at St Peter’s from 10 am to 12 noon. The speaker will be Margaret Pulfer, and her subject – ‘Don’t believe all you read’. Of course, this has nothing at all to do with the Observer series (creep, creep!)

Darn! Missed it!: The Floral Club’s first meeting of the new year was yesterday, I’m afraid, and despite knowing that the first of January was a Thursday, the meeting day on the fourth Thursday of the month came round more quickly than I expected, with a practice afternoon. Sorry, ladies – better service will be resumed next month!

The Parish Council meets again: Back in meeting action after their barren December, our PC meets next Tuesday, January 27 at 7.15 pm in the village hall. Apart from the Open Forum which follows the closure of the meeting proper, their will be an update from Cllr Mrs Jennifer Annetts on the community purchase of the Post Office and General Stores, together with a discussion about funding. Under Financial Matters, the Council will discuss and approve the Precept for 2015/16. The precept was explained here comprehensively a fortnight ago. The salient points of that summary were that it is thought that, instead of the current weekly payment of 72p, it will be necessary to increase this to £1 per week per Band D household, in order to raise almost £13,000 on top of the £32,000 that currently accrues to Fairlight. You know already that major parish cash demands are imminent. The real and urgent point behind all this is that if you have any views about changing the precept, get in touch with the Council, as they really need to know what you think, for or against. Please contact the Chairman, Cllr Andrew Mier either by phone on 814178, or by email to AndrewMier@aol.com Your view will be added to the two formal and one informal comment the Chairman has so far received. It’s your money they’re talking about - get in touch! For Fairlight’s Emergency Plan, there will be a report by Cllr Mrs Jennifer Annetts on the Street Warden Scheme. Concerning planning, the Monthly Report will come from Cllr Mrs Carole Gallagher, including the work of the PC Planning Committee. This report would usually come from Cllr Stephen Leadbetter, who has been unwell for a while. It is hoped that he is firmly on the mend by now. Under the heading of Land Management, there will be two main points for discussion or comment. One is the Land Survey of Knowle Wood, closure of the twitten and Woodland Way entrance, and the other concerns the raw sewage issue in Lower Waites Lane, together with consideration of possible options. This is mentioned below in its own paragraph.

Southern Water caught between two stools?: Or maybe more. Southern Water are being urged to resolve the question of raw sewage lifting manhole lids in Lower Waites Lane. It is thought they may have the matter in hand. With rubber gloves on, I trust. Last year they claimed that the Lower Waites Lane stretch of the main sewer was full to capacity, a stance that they reversed late in the year when the proposal to add the outfall from 20 new properties to this sewer was mooted. They then said there would be capacity to cope with this development. This disgusting discharge is not ‘a 100-year event’, as it has happened twice in five years. Meanwhile, in a westerly direction, one resident has had flooding through shower, toilet, basin and floors on two occasions in the past year. Southern Water say the problem is theirs, but admit neither responsibility nor liability for the floods, which seems a bit like ‘heads I win, tails you lose’. Let us hope both areas of concern are properly resolved with some urgency. A Lower Waites Lane resident informs me that he is worried it will soon be impossible to take a normal walk down that way. You’ll just have to go through the motions.

I hope it wasn’t something I said: Kier has not performed very well on our rubbish for a while, and Broadway’s recycling has been missed again. It looks as if the contractor is trying out a ‘twice in five weeks’ schedule, which would save them a quarter of their collections. This time the term ‘recycling’ took on a whole new meaning as the wind got up, (shortly after the collection was missed,) upended a fullish bin and deposited the contents liberally over several neighbouring gardens and verges. While this column often gently mocks official inefficiency or pomposity, in the hopes that the subject under attack will improve, Kier should remember that sticks (no more than 10 cm diameter, in your pre-paid brown bin) and stones (not acceptable in any receptacle) may break their bones, etc, etc. Just empty the bins on the date you tell us you’re going to. Please!

Pot hole plaudits and pleas: It appears that several nasty bits in Martineau Lane have had corrective treatment, and are now much better. For this relief, much thanks. I heard that there had been some sort of motor incident on the southern side of Battery Hill which was featured last week. I’m not sure of the outcome, and I hope the cause was not the state of the road, but I do know the road has not yet been attended to. Nor, indeed, has the major hole in Waites Lane, or its slightly smaller brothers, most but not all of which are on the eastern, incoming side of the road. This major hole is unavoidable, and should lead to massive repair claims. In Broadway there was an unpleasant hole last year, which eventually was repaired. Now a new hole is developing barely a foot from the original. And as you look at the village hall from the road, the first roadside drain just to the right has sunk three or so inches below the carriageway. It needs more than a bucket of asphalt to put it right, before a Smart car disappears down it.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway