Fairlight village voice

Sunday, sweet Sunday… but not with nothing to do! There will be three services this Sunday, July 8.

The first is at 8 am at St Peter’s, with Holy Communion led by Rev Kay Burnett. At 10.30 am, St Andrew’s is home to Morning Praise, led by Lay Reader Ken Holmes. Finally, back at St Peter’s at 6 pm, Richard Baines will be leading Evening Prayer.

The Gardening Club Summer Show… is a week tomorrow. There are 16 flower categories to enter, 2 for floral arrangements, 6 fruit, 13 veg. and 7 ‘domestic’, one of which is a Pavlova made to a given recipe – and a section requiring 6 flapjacks, which is for men only to enter. Don’t do what you did last year – get to the show and think, very privately, ‘I’ve got better flowers/fruit/veg. than that in my garden’. Enter what you’ve got, and you could walk off with pride, a prize or a trophy! The box for your entry forms for the show is in the Post Office now, or alternatively you can deliver them to Carol Ardley at Mistral, Shepherd’s Way, on the circle. Entries must be in by Friday next at 6 pm. On the day itself, the show will be open to the public from 2.30 pm.A final round-up… Fairlight Midsummer Gardens on June 24 for the Fairlight Community First Responders was a great success after a morning of torrential rain. Ten gardens opened and on average 100 people visited each garden. First Responder Liz Brooker says that just £7 short of £2000 was raised. (Ten minutes more sun would have done it!) The money will be put towards equipping Fairlight Village Hall with a public access defibrillator and awareness training for the villagers. A big thank you goes out to everyone who visited the gardens and it is hoped everyone enjoyed themselves but a massive ‘thank you’ goes to the garden owners who gave up their time and put themselves under pressure to get their gardens looking their absolute best for the day.

MOPPS to the fore… Jim Saphin has created a new website for MOPPS, and it is now up and running, with Jim promising regular updates. It really is a pleasant, interesting site that’s worth a browse or two, and it can be found at www.fairlightmopp.co.uk

Fairfest competition… One for the children who may like to enter one of their specially done pictures to try and win a prize. For those who are 7 and under, their subject is ‘The Jubilee’, while the 8 to 11 year olds get to picture ‘The Winner’; in the oldest, 12 to 16 years old, group their subject is ‘Party’. Each age group is inviting submissions painted or crayoned on an A3 sheet, and the closing date for Wendy Hatch to receive the pictures is August 20, so you’ll be fine even if the weather isn’t, on a day or two in the holidays. Wendy is at Tamarisk, Shepherd’s Way.

And another competition for Fairfest… this time it’s photography and the subjects are one of the four seasons. Entrants are allowed three shots each, and each entry should be no larger than 7” x 5”. This competition is divided into three age sections - Under 12’s, 12 to 18, and Adults. Just write your name, address, phone number and the age category in which you are entering on the back of each shot, and submit it, or them, to Wendy Hatch, Tamarisk, Shepherd’s Way or Norman Dengate, 1 Heather Way by Saturday, August 18. We’ll remind you later about sizes, age groups, closing dates and who wants the finished efforts. If they get four entries, one of each season, from one Antonio Vivaldi, they’ll be mighty surprised.

Tomorrow week… There is to be a Church Treasure Hunt. It all starts from St Peter’s at 2.30 pm, and will cost an adult £5 to join the fun, while two adults are £7.50 (that’s right – buy one, get the second half price!) What’s more, children go free. When all get back to St Peter’s, you’ll get refreshments, while they work out who gets the prizes.

The Parish Council Meeting… last Tuesday was a lively affair, largely because the subject of possibility of building on the field that abuts the back gardens of houses on Pett Level Road, Waites Lane and Broadway. This has long been a bone of considerable contention for residents, most especially for those who are actually Nimbys (Not In My Back Yard) And so, where the average public attendance at a Council Meeting is usually just under or just into double figures, here there were, eventually, no fewer than 37 present, and comments from the floor arrived early, even though the Chairman, Andrew Mier, had pointed out that the public was not permitted, by law, to comment during the transaction of Council business. Sensibly, he suspended Standing Orders to allow public participation for ‘ten minutes’, which became twenty. Rother DC is apparently likely to recommend 20 to 30 homes on this field, including 12 ‘affordable’ homes. They envisage this building to take place in three stages from 2012 to 2028. The selected access to the site is to be from Waites Lane, meaning a property on the east side of this road will have to be demolished – and it appears possible that feelers are already being put out to discover a willing seller.

The capacity of the water and sewage facilities and the general infrastructure - like the ability of Fairlight Road to cope with increased traffic - are well known problems, raised by several residents. The ‘planning gain’ carrot of a new doctors’ surgery, village hall, allotments and a children’s play area are hardly likely to be forthcoming considering the small size of the development – though it was made clear that this was not being raised as an excuse for a larger development.

It is interesting that in the Fairlight Action Plan, which received 65% replies, a high among Rother villages, I believe, residents urged that no new housing development was considered necessary in the village. With the Hastings to Bexhill Link Road, which could mean 2,000 extra houses on brown field sites, having the green light, Rother still needs more, despite properties already being built on several of the larger older gardens in the village. It was suggested that an action group will be needed, and there were certainly many among those who spoke with the insight and drive that such a group would find more than handy. Never mind the village, Rother just see it as some more Council Tax payments for their coffers.

A charge for your Green Bin… In the course of the discussion on building plans, the topic of the proposed charges for green bin emptying was aired. Cllr. Carl Maynard, usually a regular at our Parish Council meetings, was absent. The mood of the public present was disbelieving and angry, even if mostly politely so. It was stated that the charges were necessary, because as Cllr. Maynard had explained, the current free arrangement is not fair ‘as not everybody in the district puts out a green bin’. Of course, countless thousands of people pay taxes that sustain our education system, regardless of whether or not they have or have had children, but this is not reckoned to be ‘unfair’. Cllr. Robin Patten explained that Rother DC was constrained by a reduction in monies coming from the Government, which means they need to raise more from their tax-payers. It’s very like the old school days when a big bully hit a smaller child. The smaller child would often look for someone even smaller that he could bully. The trouble here is a high proportion of our residents are on fixed retirement incomes, with poor interest rates, and are right at the bottom of the financial food chain. When weekly rubbish collections started to be abandoned, some said there was a law, extant, guaranteeing weekly collections. What, I wonder, happened to that? When the green bins came in, Rother trumpeted the achievement, and claimed that this was good recycling, producing a product that could be sold. People were asking what exactly we got for our Council Tax. It seemed like a good question. Before green bins arrived, Fairlight was the bonfire capital of the south-east. We don’t want it to be so once again.

It is hoped that many residents will demonstrate their continuing interest in Council affairs and attend the next meeting, which will be on Tuesday, July 24, starting at 7 pm (not 7.30)

Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway