Marion Lovell, Abingworth, New England Lane

Lovely bright winter morning today. Just the sort of thing to encourage outdoor persuits - until the sun goes in.

This week is a sort of lull before the real Christmas activities’ rush sets in.

Playden School Fayre had a wonderful response and raised - so far - £820. More will be coming in through the week as the other initiatives take place.

The school Nativity Play will take place in Iden Church on Wednesday and Thursday, 19 and 20 December at 2 pm.

Playden Parish Council met last Thursday and opened with a bomb shell. The Chairman, Mrs. Sam Stone feels she must resign for personal and family reasons. Mr. David Stone will cover the position until a successor can be found. Prospective new councillors are invited to contact the clerk urgently. If you have the good of the village at heart, then this is your opportunity to make contact. The job is not onerous, involves some reading and is interesting too.

All current councillors were present, also RDC members Mr. Nick Ramus and Mr. Paul Osborne, and ESCC member Mr. Keith Glazier. Three members of the public came. I wish more would come.

Mrs. Lovell raised yet again the state of New England Lane. Not only do the leaves obstruct the land drainage system, the drains themselves are blocked with silt and sludge and overflow when any water gets into them. The path down to the Military Road is lethal: broken pipes, blocked drains and inches deep leaf litter make it a very dangerous way to walk. All this was pointed out and backed up with correspondence from concerned residents. Whilst accepting that it is a country lane, it was felt to be unreasonable to expect residents to get out there with a shovel and clear up the mess. The fact that most residents are retired was also pointed out. Mr. Mike Sherwood will be asked to conduct a site inspection.

Mrs Kent asked about the proposed school hall and community use out of school hours. Although there is as yet no formal application, the local neighbours feel that some sort of consultation with the school could only be good. They are specifically concerned about the loss of light if the building is tall, and noise nuisance late at night.

Cllr. Dearden is liasing with PCSO Dan Bevan over the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. The new signs for the No Cold Calling zone are not yet available.

Cllr Glazier reported on the very satisfactory repair of part of the road to Iden. The pot holes in Houghton Green Lane will be dealt with. Although there must be a saving of £60m over 3 years, everything possible will be done to protect the most vulnerable people. Voluntary organisations will be asked to help old and frail people needing care.

At last the numbers of children in care are beginning to reduce.

The Council Tax is the highest bill and it is hoped not to increase this charge.

The improvement in the broadband connections will enable non-commercial areas to be covered.

Cllr. Osborne said that the waste collection contact had been assigned to Kier Waste. He asked everyone to refer to the timetable of collections printed on the Rother Views magazine delivered to all households. In practice, this means that we have had our last garden collection until Wednesday 9th January, but other stuff will be collected but on a different day. Don’t lose the timetable !

To get a name on the Housing Register, applicants must now show a local connection.

There will be changes to the Council tax benefits from next April, and there will be consultations soon on the Housing strategy. The recycling rate was up by 53% during the summer.

The insurance has paid for all the computer damage in the Ckerk’s office. Cllr. Sanderson offered advice on back-up discs.

There has been correspondence regarding common land in Playden.There is some near the Military Road. Boundaries CAN be changed by Rother and the Clerk was asked to seek clarification. Another peculiarity is the boundary between Playden and Rye Foreign.

Iden Council is keen to develop a cycle track to open up the countryside and link up with Rye. The proposed route crosses Playden, and the council must therefore make the application for development. There are plans available on the Iden Notice Board and comments would be welcome. Wind Farm funding is available. The plan will remain in the public domain until January. I have a copy of the plan showing the route, if anyone is interested in seeing it. It was thought to be a good idea for someone from Iden to come to the next meeting to talk about the plans.

Cllr Ramus advised everyone to observe the new speed limit of 30 mph in Iden. Checks are being made regularly and so far have caught several offenders, including the school bus !!

Cllr. Glazier expressed thanks to the retiring Chairman, Mrs. Sam Stone, for all her work.

The next meeting will be on 10th January 2013.

Ryesingers’ Carol Service at East Guldeford will be on Sunday 16th December at 2.30 pm. Not Playden news, but lots of people like to go.

Carol Singing round the parish is on Friday 21st. Meet outside the Memorial Hospital at 5.55 pm and travel around the village to sing.

The mid-week services will be at 9.30 am and 3.30 pm on Tuesday as usual.

The 11 am service for the 3rd Sunday in Advent will be Parish Communion.