PARISH COUNCIL: At their meeting in the Hall on Wednesday January 20 councillors and the more-numerous-than-usual members of the public who were there welcomed Cllr Bob Turgoose back into the chair, after his recent serious illness.

Cllr Dean reported on the frustrating lack of progress on measures to reduce excessive traffic speeds through Udimore. Before Christmas an officer of the County Council had suggested a procedure for funding and installing the only feasible measure available to us, a traffic island (with speed limiting diversions on either side) on the straight section of the road between Stocks and Parsonage farms. Subject to public consultation, this would seem to offer an active discouragement to the high speed overtaking prevalent there. As nothing further had been heard of this since then (partly as a result of numerous recent job changes at Rother District Council) more enquiries were to be made.

Cllr Turgoose then reported on the current graveyard situation. The only area apparently still available for further burials lies between the northwest corner of the church and the graveyard wall. Councillors approved the expenditure of some £230, half the cost of an exploratory survey of this area, to be commissioned by Fr Martin Harper. Unless this shows that there is in fact a significant number of vacant burial sites within this area, the diocesan authorities may be obliged to close the graveyard. Its upkeep would then become the legal responsibility of the Parish Council, at an annual cost to ratepayers. The result of the survey is therefore awaited with considerable interest.

The much deteriorated road surface in the entrance gateway to the Hall was causing some concern. Because at least part of the damaged area lies within the public highway, the local authority may well be responsible for its repair. The Highways Steward was to be consulted.

Representing Rother District Council and speaking on behalf of Sussex Police, Cllr Johnson confirmed recent reports in the press that the system of individual PCSOs, each responsible for an individual area, was to be replaced by a system of teams, each team responsible for a larger area than at present. It wasn’t clear how this change would affect Udimore. He apologized for Cllr Maynard, who had been detained at a previous meeting which seemed to have overrun.

It appeared that the introduction of improved broadband on the 01424 exchange was still likely to meet the March completion target date. There was no further news about work on the 01797 exchange.

Please make a note in your diary that the next meeting of the Parish Council will be in the Hall on Wednesday March 16 at 6.30pm.

WINTER LUNCH: £750 was the amazing sum raised by this highly successful event in the Hall, on Thursday January 21. This is much to the credit of the organizers, the committee of the Brede and Udimore Overseas Group, members of which would like to thank their hardworking team of helpers in laying on a delicious meal (and clearing up afterwards), and donors of the prizes for a very successful raffle. Combined with the money raised by Matt Burrows’ sponsored run, this will enable the committee to substantially increase its grants to the four active charities supported by the group.

CHURCH SERVICE: This Sunday the one service in St Mary’s will be a celebration of Holy Communion at 8am.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.ryeandbattleobserver.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RyeandBattleObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @RyeObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.