Marion Lovell

Abingworth, New England Lane

Some summer sunshine last week, but not much evidence of it this morning. Grey, overcast, decidedly cool.

The Playden Weekend of Arts, Crafts and Music was very successful. Lots of “Friends” came to view, and a late sale on the Sunday certainly boosted the takings. There were very many beautiful things to look at and admire; the talent around is amazing. There was always someone in the church and the compliments were widespread.

The concert on the Saturday was a delight. Ken Roberts took us Around the World in 80 Minutes with anecdotes, biographical information and superb performance of the music. He really is a skilled performer, also a teller of very funny jokes !

Many people were involved in the setting-up, taking-down, making of canapés, serving of refreshments, arranging of flowers and stewarding, and most sincere and grateful thanks are offered to them all. It was hard work but worth it all. We have no idea yet of the funds raised, but we hope they are substantial because of the reshingling of the spire which is scheduled.

Thank you to all our visitors. We hope to see you round the Open Gardens on June 22-23.

The AGM of the Friends of Playden Church will be held on Saturday May 25t 10.30am in the church.It would be very nice if all those loyal people who pay their subscriptions could come to the meeting.

Playden Parish Council held the Annual Parish Assembly and AGM of the Council last Thursday. Councillors Rose Dearden, David Stone, Tony Lenehan, ESCC Keith Glazier, RDC Nick Ramus and Paul Osborne and Clerk Ray Harrington-Lowe were all there, plus 7 members of the public. Apologies were given by Mrs. Alison Cade.

Cllr. David Stone was unanimously elected as Chairman.

Councillor James Sanderson was concerned that his pattern of work made it very difficult for him to attend meetings, and he offered his resignation. The Chairman hoped that he would continue to attend when he could.

A new resident to the village is interested in becoming a councillor, but has been here for only six months and is therefore not yet eligible. Marion Lovell volunteered to cover the few months until he can take his place, so that the council is now up to strength. This will prevent the possibility of meetings being inquorate.

Cllr Dearden was confirmed as the Neighbourhood Watch / Cold Calling co-ordinator.

It was suggested that the Annual Report could be sent to parishioners by e-mail if residents wished. If this would suit you, let the Clerk know your e-mail address, either by phone 230 177 or and a file will be created.

The trees in the Butt Field supplied by English Woodlands are not doing very well. One has died and the other three need attention. The sheep currently grazing in the Butt Field sometimes escape to the churchyard because the gate doesn’t shut properly. If you go that way, please ensure that you close the gate really tightly.

*Questions from the floor included one about the Precept. The very small increase to £5,000 was deliberately kept modest in this economic climate. In the future, Parish Councils might find their Precepts capped. The majority of the expenses are the Clerk’s salary, and expenses, the Loan repayment,, Hall rental, and insurance. There is nothing in the budget for a potential Election.

Cllr Glazier said that Rother has offered services to Parish Councils. Playden does not have a need.

The parish Council web-site is not supplying any relevant information regarding dates, forth - coming events etc..Please contact the Clerk if you have this kind of information which you would like publicised. This will be agendered for the next meeting.

The Coronation Oak tree opposite the Memorial Hospital is being choked by brambles which the ESCC contractors ignore. There is a small sum of money available for bids for specific projects which could deal with this.

There were two meetings at Playden School to liase with residents about the proposed new hall. One meeting was totally in favour of the project and this was reported. However, the other meeting raised serious concerns over parking, noise, community use and the proximity to a neighbouring property. This was NOT reported until now. There is no way forward until a Planning Application is made.

*The Postcodes are not giving correct addresses. This will be looked into. Is it the responsibility of the Royal mail or Rother?

*The Tree Warden asks that if you notice any Ash tree die - back, you report to him, Alan Dickinson or the Clerk. It will become more noticeable in August and September.

In conclusion of this report I will quote the Council’s manifesto.

”Our Parish Council operates at a local level within Rother District Council, itself part of East Sussex County Council. Our aim is to work within the Local Government framework, to consult and inform residents of Playden, that any actions taken are generally in accordance with their wishes, and to protect and improve the rural environment of Playden and to maintain its identity and independence.”

Playden Floral Group will meet on Monday Ma 20y at 2.15pm in the WI Hall to recreate an arrangement demonstrated at the April meeting..

The mid-week services are on Tuesday at 9.30am for Morning Prayer and 3.30 pm for Evening Prayer in St. Michael’s Church.

The 11am service on Sunday will be Parish Communion led by the Vicar.