Marion Lovell, Abingworth, New England Lane

Almost no leaves left on the trees now. This has the advantage of letting the winter sun through into the garden.

Now, if you were very quick and rang me today, I might be able to find you a ticket for the “Come and Dine and Solve Who Dunnit” event tomorrow night in the Playden W. I. Hall at 7.30 pm. A delicious 2 - course supper will be served, you bring your own drink, watch the play, observe the clues and come up with the solution. Tickets are £10. Phone 22 26 15 .to book.

Playden Parish Council held a meeting last week. You will know that there have been difficulties, but finally we made it .All councillors were present, plus 3 members of the public. County Councillor Keith Glazier, and District Councillors Nick Ramus and Paul Osborne were also able to be with us.

Unfortunately PCSO Dan Bevan was not able to come on this rescheduled date.

Subsequent to the necessary publicity and there being no request for an election, Alan Blackham offered himself and, on being proposed by Cllr. Lenihan and seconded by Cllr. Lovell, he was duly co-opted as a member of the council.

The Clerk read out the latest police bulletin. Rye Bonfire went very well.There has been a spate of burglaries in Peasmarsh, targeting money and jewellery.There will be a public meeting in Peasmarsh Memorial Hall with the Police, on 19th November to discuss this.

Mrs. Kent brought to our notice a dangerous branch of a tree poking out into Houghton Green Lane. Cllr. Blackham will investigate and take the necessary action.

Due to the previous resignation of Mrs. Dearden, there has been no councillor involved with the Neighbourhood Watch. Cllr. Lenihan offered to liase with PCSO Bevan and report back.

Cllr. Glazier told us that of the ESCC total budget a large proportion is allocated to Social Services, e.g.the elderly and children’s services. 600 children are being looked after at a cost of £23m. The concessionary bus fares cost £14m. There is a strong possibility that Council Tax will have to rise in the not too distant future.

Cllr. Osborne advised that in addition to the voluntary redundancies there have been some compulsory redundancies including IT and Planning departments. He also pointed out that there is a strong possibility that Council Tax will HAVE to increase.

Cllr. Ramus has been moved from Services to Resources. Reductions will mean that people may not receive the support they are used to. There are problems being experienced with the proposed combined Council’s waste Contract. Monitoring is on-going. Central Government is counselling District Councils on the charging for waste collection.

No action has so far been taken on the tree in the Butt Field.

Cllr. Glazier gave the results of the speed analysis carried out by ESCC over a 7 day period, in Houghton Green Lane.All readings were below 30 mph. They will continue to monitor the situation. The road markings are clear and there is no justifiable reason to change the status quo, particularly in these difficult financial times. It would cost £10 - £20,000 to implement changes.

There have been no accidents reported in the lane in the last 10 years.

The Iden Cycle Route is being managed by Iden PC.

The Local Action Plan has been analysed by the chairman, who reported that a number of things have been successfully implemented.

A Welcome Pack for new residents is being considered, giving details of local organisations. Cllr. Lovell is investigating possibilities.

The Precept for the coming year is suggested as remaining at £5,000.

The web site is old, out of date and needs remodelling. Cllr. Blackham will bring some suggestions to the next meeting.

The new mast with bits sticking out, opposite the Memorial Hospital, is a weather station capable of giving wind speeds, road surface temperatures etc.

Due to holidays, personal and public, the next meetings will not be on the first Thursday of each month.

In January it will be on 30th 2014; in February, NO MEETING; in March back to normal on 6th.

BUT the next meeting will be as expected on 5th December at 7.30 pm in the W. I. Hall.

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

Please do not forget that we are still collecting used ink cartridges and Actimal, Activia and Shape containers. Please leave them in the box in the porch of St. Michael’s Church.

I hear that the Vicar, Rev. Teresa Munro is making progress; slow, but steady progress.

There will be a service of Parish Communion at 11 am for Christ the King, being the last Sunday before Advent.