It’s that busy church weekend again… the second Sunday in the month.
It starts with Holy Communion at St Peters at 8.00 am, with the service led by Rev Kay Burnett. Up the hill to St Andrews for Morning Praise led by Penny Button at 10.30 am. The preacher is to be Ron George from the Christian charity ‘World in Need.’ After Sunday lunch and an early tea, it’s back to St Peters for the 6 pm service of Evening Prayer, which is to be led by Richard Baines.
In the run down after the Parish Council meeting… some of the views of the public who attended were published in our Voice, with the promise that the Parish Council’s views would be put this week. Back into closed session, and with large numbers of the public still present, the Parish Councillors then discussed the question constructively, until a proposal was put ‘That this Council resolves to tell Rother District Council that it is prepared to work with them on site identification. However, SHLAA FC2 is an inappropriate site and Fairlight Parish Council is completely opposed to its development and will not co-operate in any plans to develop this site.’ This resolution was carried. In reply to a later Councillor query it was confirmed that this resolution does not preclude carrying out a Neighbourhood Plan.
In case we all get bogged down in the never-never land ruled by obscure acronyms, SHLAA means Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, which came into being in mid-2007, and was originally thought to concern people who owned land who could suggest it for future housing development, and for the planning authorities to assess the suitability or otherwise of any site suggested.
So, SHLAA FC2 is the assessment of the East Field site which is causing many locals, and not merely Nimbys, to point out the complete unsuitability of this site. (FC 1 is Fairlight Cove 1, the Market Garden site, the possible future of which has already recently inflamed local opinion)
As an eight year incomer who is also a nimby for the East Field site, I must say no searches prior to my move disclosed any likelihood of building on this land, but once in residence local talk suggested that the site had been the subject of an outline planning application, which was rejected. Word has it that the owners went to appeal, but that the Government Inspection confirmed that rejection. Currently, the situation is beginning to look like an Irish EU referendum – ve vill keep bringing zis up until ve get ze answer ve vant.
Except where it impinges on the Neighbourhood Plan, little mention has been made of the present Government’s Localism Act, which is supposed to give back to communities powers to be involved in the determination of, among other things, questions of housing. Our spirited village will surely have something to say in due course. But don’t leave it too long!
Dorey the Wise… first appeared in this column almost two years ago, when they won the inaugural Hastings’ Got Talent competition at Azur. And they’ve not been idle since, leading to their now winning a place in the South-East final of the Surface Festival. The competition they are in is for original new music, and they are in the last 20 out of 1,000 entrants. To get through to the international final, they need your votes to support them, and you can do this by texting South 5054 to 64343. As the band has Fairlight’s very own multi-talented Aidan Tigwell in it, (and as his band will be performing at Fairfest 2012 just as they did at the first Fairfest), a simple text for £1 + a standard network charge is a cheap price to pay to support this very real local talent. Do it now! Please! (And no, I still have no idea what Dorey the Wise means.)
More benches in the village…? You’ve had a week to think about it, and given the warm weather we’ve been having, you might have thought about it on one of the benches in the village. Except that there aren’t sufficient of them. So that’s the whole point. Please consider endowing a seat for all to use, whether it may be to remember a loved relative or friend, or through simple altruism. Just get in touch with Andrew Mier, to record your interest, and he will be able to guide you on the next step to be taken. Andrew is at Mistral, on the Circle, or call 814178.
Tomorrow in the Country Park… there’s a search with local naturalist Andy Phillips for summer butterflies, bees, spiders and other small creatures in a range of habitats in the Country Park Nature Reserve. The session is entitled ‘Bugs and Beasties’, though some may think of it as ‘Creepies and Crawlies.’ It runs from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, and you need to meet at the Visitor Centre. It’s a fun event for all the family, and it would be interesting to know the name of whatever it was that just walked up the leg of your shorts and bit you. The charge is £2, but free to Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. Sorry, no dogs. For more information contact Jill Howell on 815256
Have you got your name down to be a PC Handyperson? Make contact with Tony King on 814753 if you’d like to be considered to be put on a list of those willing to quote for works in the village on behalf of the Parish Council. Bus shelter repairs, hedge cutting, painting etc. – it could very well be mutually beneficial. I just wish it didn’t have to be ‘handyperson.’ We had a little dog once, and we called him Handyman. He was always doing little jobs about the house.
Don’t forget that annual favourite, Rural Past Times. It’s all at Pestalozzi in Sedlescombe tomorrow, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12. Opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm each day.
The Wine and Social Club meets in the village hall next Monday, when they’re having a Horse Racing evening in the village hall. Please take along a bottle of wine, and a bucket and a shovel.
The Fairfest programme is being fine-tuned as I write. Not to be missed is the professional Punch and Judy show, with three performances starting at 1 pm. Apparently, this year Mr. Punch celebrated his 350th birthday, and all should be determined to see the show. Hopefully it has been updated so Mr Punch can strangle a PC guru with a string of sausages.
You’ll be all-a-quiver to see the Bayeaux Bowmen, a target archery group based in Catsfield. There will be an archery display, where they will weave a veritable tapestry of arrows on their targets, and there’ll be a chance for you to have a go.
There’s going to be a Fun Dog Show, run by the RSPCA, which will start at 1 pm. Tell your fun dog he or she needs to register by 12 noon. More details will follow, but it will start at 1 pm.
King & Queen of Fairfest 2012… It’s not too late to put in an application to become King and/or Queen of Fairfest 2012 and to ride in style up Commanders Walk at the head of the parade. Where are they all – surely the village is full of Kings and Queens? Let’s be having you all!
Finally, the Fairfest team remind everyone to get their photos in for the ‘Four Seasons’ competition, so get them printed and entered - and children, if there’s a little rain (ha!), get your paints and crayons out and do your masterpiece (on A3 paper) And while you’re about it make sure you’re getting Mum organised to help and advise you on your fancy dress. Wendy Hatch is eagerly awaiting your entries.
Today at MOPPs… Those who are going to MOPPs at the village hall today will see Maxine Knight with STEPS – stay independent! And for next week, Friday 17th, you will hear an important talk from Carol Ganley on the subject of pensions.
Be heard - and be cast…! The Fairlight Players will be holding a read-through for their November production, to be directed by Keith Miller, on Monday, August 20, followed by the auditions on Thursday, August 23, with both events being in the village hall at 7.30 pm. The play itself runs from Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 November. If you are unable to make either or both dates but are interested in auditioning please let Carol Ardley know on 814178, and she will try to arrange a separate audition for you. The play details will follow later, but certainly prior to the auditions.
Steel yourselves… at Warrenders, formerly Warren Farm, the postponed arrival of a crane and a lorry load of steel beams will now all be happening at 7.30 am on Tuesday, August 16. The team erecting the steel frame should be finished by Friday, August 24. Although owners Jaqui Lait and Peter Jones say neither the crane nor the lorry is over-sized, it might be a good idea to keep your car safely out of the way on the incoming route, which comes up to the Circle and into Commanders Walk. The crane should be leaving on Tuesday, August 21. Apart from these two possibly major traffic movements, Commanders Walk can expect to be even busier on Sunday, August 26 when Fairfest gets under way.
Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway