Marion Lovell, Abingworth, New England Lane

Iden Parish Council met on Tuesday 5 November at which 4 Parish Councillors were present together with District Councillors Nick Ramus and Paul Osborne and County Councillor Keith Glazier. Apologies were received from Parish Councillor Richard Philipps Jones, There were also 12 members of the public present.

Under Planning, consent has now been given for May House in the Wittersham Road with regard to change from agricultural usage.

An application for the improvements to the Village Hall is now being submitted which is hoped will command universal support

The Council still awaits a second quotation for the regular removal of moles and rabbits from the playing field. This problem has worsened in recent months, particularly with regard to the former. The situation is now posing serious safety issues and as a result the Council agreed to employ a rural pest controller on an annual basis.

The Clerk has received an initial report on the condition of the mature trees on Council owned property and recommendations will be considered in due course.

The Council was due to agree the Emergency Plan for Iden but following the recent storm and power cuts, it was agreed to postpone this to enable the Committee to consider what lessons can be leant from this experience and whether the plan should be amended accordingly.

Of concern was the report that the power to around 30 houses could have been restored far sooner rather than the 3 days they had to wait and that many of the village’s more elderly and vulnerable residents had been affected. The Bell Inn also had no electricity which meant loss of business at what should have been a busy time

For the village as a whole, the effect of the power cut was the widespread loss of Broadband which meant the Post Office could not operate for 3 days and other businesses dependent upon the internet suffered.

In the circumstances, the Clerk has been asked to write to the people responsible for restoring the power asking why there was such a delay in getting the system back into operation when residents have been advised this could have been done within a matter of hours had the engineers known about the circuit layout.

The Council will shortly be starting work on the 2014/5 budget which will need to be agreed in the New Year.

The updated Village Plan has been circulated to Councillors and will be agreed next month. Many of the routine action points highlighted in the original 2010 plan have now been worked through and the updated version is concentrating on fewer ongoing and more complex issues.

The County and District Councillors in their reports stressed the pressures on costs and the challenges all Councils will face as they come to decide spending for the 2014/5 financial year. Whilst Council Tax has been frozen for 4 years running, it is quite likely there will have to be modest increases next time around

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 3 December in the Village Hall. It is hoped to have before this an update from the Rye Police in which case the meting will commence at 7pm

Paula and Alan Riley would like to thank all those who came and supported the Pop In Coffee morning on the 28 October which raised £210 for the Macmillan Charity

Heather Carson would also like to thank the many people who came to the “Recollections of Old Iden” event held in the Village Hall on the 31 October. This was truly amazing as there were numerous photographs and memorabilia brought along and special thanks must go to Peter Spencer who gave a very interesting talk about the village and his time at Oxenbridge when it was a working farm and orchard. It was also good to see the Regandanz family there who brought along many items from Rene’s collection.

So successful was the event (we counted at least 45 people there) it is the intention to hold another in 2014.

Do not forget “The Big Autumn Spruce Up” is this coming Tuesday 19 November. Volunteers are asked to arrive, suitably dressed, at the car parking entrance to the playing field at 10.30am. Afterwards, hot drinks and cakes in the Old Hall! Details from Mary on 270790

And finally, motorists be warned, the Iden Community Speed Watch Team is now up and running and they will be undertaking regular checks in the village. They report that they are appalled by the number of motorists they see who are using mobile devices whilst driving. This is unacceptable and it is probable that prosecutions will follow for those caught breaking the law in the way.

The 9.30am service will be Parish communion with the Rev. Stella Halmshaw.