Marion Lovell, Abingworth, New England Lane

Totally uninspiring morning - grey, misty, cold, hibernating weather. Although there are quite a few daffodils in full flower in some places. They must be an early variety.

Tickets are selling now for the Ghostly Encounters evening on 23rd February at 7.30pm in the Playden W. I. Hall. The price of £7.50 includes hot soup and a ploughman’s supper. Philippa Urquhart , a locally based actress, will be telling tales from the Edwardian era which have a local connection. Ring me on 01797 22 26 15 to reserve your place. Bookings are essential because of catering.

The Mobile Library will be at Poppyfield at 11.30 to 11.50 am on Monday.

Playden Parish Council needs more councillors. The meeting was quorate last week, but with everyone there, it is only just legal. Surely there is a public spirited person - or two - who feel that they could serve their community?

Apologies were received from PCSO Dan Bevan. All current councillors were present, also ESCC Mr. Keith Glazier and RDC Mr. Nick Ramus and Mr. Paul Osborne. Only 2 members of the public attended.

Mud was again mentioned as a concern in Houghton Green Lane, and the lower end of the lane is very messy. Water is missing the drains on the road from the Peace and Plenty to Iden although they have been cleared out. There is a works order out for the blocked drain in New England Lane, but during the icy weather, a resident slipped on the frozen overflow, fell on her back and banged her head on the road. Cllr. Glazier reported that teams were out working, but they could not keep up. We were advised to continue to report potholes, on 0345 60 80 193 or the ESCC website.

Cllr. Mrs. Rose Dearden is now the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, with Mrs. Cathy Lenehan helping her.

Cllr. Glazier brought us up to date with news of the road repairs in Rye. The work should begin in April, and information packs will be sent in February to local people affected.

The Budget will be set at 0% increase, and the Fire and Police services will also be 0% increase. Because there will be a £60m shortfall, it is inevitable that services will be cut.

Cllr. Ramus said that the joint Scrutiny Meeting will recommend to Cabinet that Council taxes will remain the same. The rate for a band D property will be £161.9. Councillors will have no increase in salary. Details of the revised Refuse Collection plans will not be revealed until the Government decisions are known.

There were no objections to the development plans for The Coach House in Rectory Lane.

After discussion, it was decided that the Precept for the year 2012/13 would be set at £5,000. This is a very slight increase from £4,950.

Playden has passed the papers about the Cycle Route back to Iden offering support.

Cllr. Dearden reported that the meetings with residents about the proposed school Hall were very useful. Concerns were raised about traffic, verges, cars reversing into drives to turn round, and speed in the lane.

The Bobble Hat Day raised £49 for Age Concern at Playden School.

The mid-week services will continue as usual at 9.30 am for Morning Prayer, and 3.30 pm for Evening Prayer in Playden Church.

The 11am service for the Sunday before Lent will be Parish Communion led by the Vicar.