ANNUAL PARISH MEETING: For the meeting in the Hall last Tuesday evening (May 10) Stephen Hardy had been invited to come along to talk to us about the Rural Rother Trust. With the help of funds contributed by many rural parish councils (including our own), this trust was set up to help in the alleviation of poverty and the advancement of education throughout the rural parts of Rother District. Over recent years, individual grants have ranged between £5 and £500, to meet specific individual needs. Anyone who would like to apply for a grant should in the first instance consult Cllr Bob Turgoose (01424 882657).

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: After a short interval for refreshments, this other important annual meeting began with the re-election of Cllrs Bob Turgoose and Keith Dean as chairman and vice chairman of the Council respectively. Cllr Dean has also taken on responsibility for liaison with the police, now that Cllr Knight will no longer be living in the parish. Among other allocations, Cllr Leonie Wheeler will be responsible for welcome packs for newcomers to the parish, and Cllr Louise Fuller will be responsible for footpaths, bridleways and stiles.

To reduce excess traffic speeds (and in particular dangerous overtaking) on our “speed restricted” section of B2089, Cllr Carl Maynard (ESCC lead member on transport) expressed his willingness to support our Council’s proposal to install a new “traffic island” midway between Stocks and Parsonage farms. This scheme, he agreed, was the one most likely to be effective, and at a cost most likely to be approved by ESCC (especially if the Parish Council contributes to it). He is to arrange a site visit next month by the Highways Steward (whose role has been considerably strengthened by the signing of the new highways management contract between ESCC and a Costains/CH2M joint venture).

Cllr Maynard also agreed to ask the Highways Steward to assess the extent of ESCC liability for the repair of the large pothole near the entrance to the Hall car park.

Councillors then discussed the changes to electoral district boundaries recently proposed by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, on which we are all invited to comment within the next four weeks. For ease of reference, I’m setting these out separately in the next paragraph.

The Parish Council’s next meeting will be at 6.30pm on Wednesday July 20, in the Hall. Please make a note of the date!

IMPORTANT PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON A PROPOSED RADICAL BOUNDARY CHANGE: The changes proposed by the Boundary Commission (see above) don’t greatly affect our representation on Rother District Council (we’d continue to be represented jointly with Brede, though by only one councillor, not two as formerly). Our Parish Council has voted in favour of this.

It has objected, however, most strongly to a proposed radical change in our representation on East Sussex County Council: instead of being linked with Brede, in the Brede Valley and Marsham ward, we would in future be part of the North Rother ward (with Robertsbridge, Northiam, Beckley and Peasmarsh). This would cut across many of our present community links, and would be in conflict with one of the Commission’s own criteria for establishing boundaries.

Please consider writing to the Commissioners about this: the more letters of protest they receive, the more likely they are to pay attention to our Parish Council’s objections. Their address is: Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th Floor, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP.

You can find more details of the Commissioners’ proposed changes on their website www.lgbce.org.uk. The closing date for objections to these changes is June 16.

CONCERT IN BREDE CHURCH: At 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) Gary Marriott and Duncan Reid will be presenting a Grand Concert in aid of the Friends of St George’s. A finger buffet and a glass of wine will be included in the price of tickets, which cost £8.50, and are available from Marion Firman (01424 751165), who would also appreciate any offers of puddings.

SERVICES IN UDIMORE CHURCH THIS SUNDAY: In St Mary’s, Trinity Sunday will be celebrated with a service of Holy Communion at 8am (not Family Eucharist at 9.30am, as detailed in the Parish Magazine) and Evensong at 6pm.

ST MARY’S COMMUNITY HALL AGM: This important annual event will take place in the Hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 25. All welcome, to come along and hear how much this important communal facility is being used, and appreciated. All Hall bookings may now be made through udimorehallbooking@gmail.com.

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