Marion Lovell, Abingworth, New England Lane, Playden

The Iden and Playden Garden Society held a most enjoyable Winter Party last week-end. Chairman Mr. Morris Metcalf welcomed everyone and invited them to take part in the horticultural Quiz displayed around the room. There was an awful lot of, “Well I know that, but I just can’t remember!” It was all good fun, and not to be taken too seriously.

The food for the supper had been provided by members, and was lavish and delicious.

The next Winter Talk will be by Mr. Hilary Newman about The Winter Garden. It will, of course, be illustrated. This will be on 11th February at 7.30 pm in Iden Village Hall.

The Iden and District Natural History Society will be meeting on Friday 8th February at 7.30 pm in the village hall, to hear Mr. David Fletcher speak about British Wildlife.

This coming Saturday at 1pm, - 2nd February - all bargain hunters will be heading for Iden for the BIG Bowls Club’s Jumble Sale. If you still have any goods to donate, ring Carol urgently on 280 464.

On Monday there will be the very popular Coffee Morning in the village hall to coincide with the arrival of the Mobile Library. Coffee is available from 11 am until 1.30 pm; and the library van will be there from 12.05 until 12.45 pm.

Iden W. I. will be meeting on Tuesday 12th February at 7.30 pm in the village hall.

Iden Parish Council met on Tuesday 22 January at the Village Hall at which all five Parish Councillors were present, together with County Councillor Keith Glazier and District Councillors Nick Ramus and Paul Osborne. There were also around a dozen members of the public in attendance

Before the meeting, the Chairman paid tribute to both Fred Coleman and Sarah Piddington who had died in recent weeks.

Fred was 94 and had spent 4 years as a prisoner of war in terrible conditions and for the most part had lived in Iden all his life. As the eulogy at his funeral showed, he was a very remarkable man and true “Iden hero”

Sarah had owned Iden Stores before she sold it in 1998 to Christopher Strangeways. The village remembers her with great affection and her early death came as a great shock to her many friends

The Chairman also thanked all those who had run the very successful Senior Christmas lunch and those who are organising the forthcoming Pantomime which will feature the cream of Iden talent. This showed the great community spirit which the Council is anxious to build upon and promote

Whilst there were not any planning issues to discuss, the Council agreed to send letters of support for the Rye Cinema application to both Rye and Rother Councils

The insurance for the Pavilion will now be arranged by the Council and reimbursed by the Sports Association. Although costly, it has been necessary to obtain a professional reinstatement value- it is hoped that as the cover is now being arranged by the Council this will mean lower premiums for the Sports Association

The Council then moved on to discuss the level of precept for the coming year- that is the amount to be taken from the Council Tax to pay towards running the village. The public present had copies of the budget which showed that basic expenditure will be some £13,000 compared with £11,000 for the current year ending on the 31 March. It was explained that the Council needed to be prudent by keeping back a small amount of surplus from previous years. One of the largest commitments was the maintenance of the playing field and play area where capital spending in future years will be required by way of replacements and improvements.

It was noted that the Council had negotiated with the grass cutters that they would freeze their costs for the next twelve months as well as improve performance whilst in previous years they had sought a 5% increase

The Chairman stressed that the budget was the bare minimum and that it continues to represent value for money as far as Iden Council Tax payers are concerned.

After a brief debate and comments from the public, the Council agreed reluctantly and unanimously to increase the precept to £13,000- this will mean a further £10 for the year on the Band D Council Tax payer.

A brief report was given on the Emergency Planning arrangements and although those who sent replies to the questionnaires were thanked, this represented a small percentage of those residents and businesses that were asked to complete them. This was very disappointing as the arrangements will be there for the benefit of all residents. The Forum’s meetings are ongoing and will be advertised as they are open to the public. If anyone still has to complete a questionnaire will they please do so and return it to Idem Stores or if a new form is required, speak to the Parish Clerk on 270790

The Village web site has now been revamped and the Parish Council has a section which residents are invited to view on

The Parish Council is still looking for a Tree Warden- if anyone is interested please telephone 270790

It appears that the County and District Council Tax will again be frozen

There will not be a meeting in February

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Tuesday 5 March at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

The Old Hall Singalongs have started and will continue for the next four Thursdays at 3pm in the Old Hall Church Lane. They are always great fun when songs from the Music hall, musicals etc are brought out. This is followed by tea and biscuits and all for £2.50 a session.

Please telephone Susannah for details- she emphasises that you do not have to be able to sing- it is all for fun and enjoyment and a good way to spend a winter afternoon!

The mid-week services continue on Wednesday at 9.30 am for Morning Prayer and 3.30 pm for Evening Prayer on Wednesday.

The 9.30 am service for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple at Jerusalem will be led by the Vicar. This commemorates the time when Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the temple, and old Simeon declared him to be the “Light of the World.”