Mountfield Village Hall Big Screen Cinema: I know it is reminding you yet again but surely you want to help the Cinema keep being the success that it has been so far. Remember the latest presentation is “The Lady in the Van” starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings. It is being shown on Saturday 7 May 2016, and the doors open at 7.30 pm. There is a £5 suggested donation per person and the club bar is open from 7.00 pm. All are welcome so don’t miss out.

Netherfield Stores and Cafe: As you know I have been reporting regularly on the shop’s refurbishment progress. Well, you will be pleased to hear it is nearly completed. The “Post Office Counter” is pristine and functional and the shop itself is bright and almost back to normal. Walls have gone, space has been extended, yet it has remained open throughout the changes which is a testament to Janette and her team on their commitment to serve the community. Yes the Coffee Shop has some bits to complete but that Lemon Drizzle will soon be on offer to tantalise the tastebuds of us all. So keep in touch.

Darvel Down & Area Residents Association: There was a meeting booked for the committee last Wednesday 20th April. Unfortunately, due to illness, working arrangements and lack of notification to some members there was not the required number of bodies around the table to meet the necessary minimum number of people needed to conduct any business. That was unfortunate as there are a number of issues which affect the local community. I am sure I will be able to report that one has gone ahead very soon.

Battle Neighbourhood Plan: To enable a community to thrive requires a proper strategy in place to meet the needs of its residents in a way which complies with both local and national strategies. However, as you will appreciate, first of all you have to find out what the residents in your area want. Some will have their main focus on roads and green spaces, whilst others on community projects and development. There are a number of ways of achieving these outcomes and our preferred option was the use of the “Survey”. Ok, it is a six letter word which some people find distracting but it can be an efficient way of “finding out”.

Therefore, a comprehensive document was posted through everybody’s letterbox asking a series of anonymous questions about the place in which we live. It asked for opinions and ticks against a whole series of benefits and possibilities in the area. In effect it was actually requesting details from everyone on how they wanted to shape the future for themselves and all around them.

Generally, these surveys produce return rates in the region of 20-25% of the numbers posted. However, it shows that the residents of Netherfield, Battle and Telham think more of their community than most. A magnificent 34.5% of the residents decided that they wanted to be involved. This is a clear instruction to the Battle Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group that the wishes of the community need to be listened to.

As a member of that august body I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey.

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