GREETINGS: All is green and grey again this morning. Have you given up your New Year resolutions yet ?!!! Hope you’ve had a good week.
CHURCH NEWS: The 9.30 am Eucharist service will be taken by Rev. Canon Robin Whitehead. This will be a very special, emotional service as it will be Robin’s farewell to the parish as he approaches his retirement. Do try to come. At 3 pm on the same day, in St. Thomas’ Church, Winchelsea, there will be service shared with the Methodists, at the start of the week for Christian Unity. After the service, which will be led by Rev. Richard Orchard and Rev. Ian Pruden will preach, there will be an opportunity to chat over a cup of tea. During the coming week we commemorate the Conversion of Paul on Wednesday 25th, which is also Burns Night, and Timothy and Titus on Thursday 26th. Friday 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day. That same day we remember John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople in 407.
WEATHER: The snow was pretty while it lasted wasn’t it? Lovely to look at through the window. When the storm had blown away, the sky cleared and there was an almost full moon. So I went out into the garden to look. It was beautiful - so still, shiny and quiet. There was no wind by then, and it was quite magical. The blanket of snow was keeping the bulbs warm. There are lots of daffodils daring to show their noses.
QUEEN’S HEAD: The live music on Sunday 22nd will be played by Mick Mepham, the guitar legend. The Queen’s Head has for 30 years been in the Good Beer guide.
ROYAL BRITISH LEGION: Would you like to become a member of the local branch of the Royal British Legion? This local branch meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 11.45 am for 12 noon at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel, Fairlight Road, Hastings, TN 35 5 DR. Just come along and you will be made most welcome. To join, ring John on 01424 814 866 for a membership form. Meetings last approximately one hour and light refreshments can be purchased afterwards. Mr. John Pulfer is the current Chairman of the Pett District Branch.
SCHOOL NEWS: The music programme is in full swing this week. Many more recycled resources are needed. Can you help? The first rehearsal of the school Orchestra was on Thursday 19th January. The School Council has been discussing the new library design, sharing their ideas about the colour scheme, furniture and resources. Later in the term they will discuss children’s views about playtimes, the anti-bullying work, E-Safety and the music curriculum. There is some concern about a very few children who have a poor attendance record. This has an impact on the child’s education. The Head Teacher Awards reflect the attributes of Hope, Faith and Love. The awards this week went to Starfish Class, Deacon for encouraging others in their learning; Stingray Class, Cody, for always being very polite and kind; Dolphin Class, Heidi for showing a great attitude to learning; and Octopus Class, Joel for always doing the right thing. The class awards go to Starfish Class, Lucia and Finlay; Stingray Class, Will and Grace F.; Dolphin Class, Eve and Lily-Rose; and Octopus Class, Sienna and Joe. Well done everybody. Today, Friday, there will be two meetings in school: the first is at 2 pm to learn about the role of a school governor; the next follows on at 2.30 pm and is the Friends PTFA meeting, discussing the Valentine’s Disco to be held on Friday 10th February, and other plans for the year.
PARISH COUNCIL: From your Icklesham Ward councillors, Corinne Merricks, Jane Austen, Jim Horsman and Nick Warren.
The Parish Council meeting was held at Winchelsea New Hall on Monday 14th November.
Rother District Council devolution of assets - As we start a new year, your Parish Council faces difficult decisions regarding being offered the opportunity to take over the ownership and management of further assets that currently are owned and operated by Rother District Council.
We recently took over responsibility for Rye Harbour Car Park and Toilets and we are running the Car Park on a voluntary donations system. This is in it’s early days so it is difficult to yet fully assess the likely full affect on Parish Council finances with a summer season at the car park yet to be experienced and with discussions continuing with the district Council regarding both rates and cleaning contracts.
The other significant assets being offered are the public conveniences in Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach. The indication from Rother district Councils that these will close if the parish Council do not take them on. However, should we take these on this will come at a cost to the local rate-payer. Let us know what you think the Council should do? Are you happy to pay to keep these assets open for local people and tourists? If you are, how much extra are you happy to pay on your annual rates bill to keep these facilities?
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Visitor Centre - We have had a presentation from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, who manage the Reserve, regarding a new Visitor Centre proposed on the site of the current Limekiln Cottage.
They are just beginning the process of public consultation on the proposals and welcome public opinion.
At present there does not appear to be anything on the Sussex wildlife Trust website, but keep your eyes open if you are interested in this.
Tree Works - The Council has now had a full report on tree work required on parish land across the parish and has now instructed the contractors, P J Chaffin, to proceed, so expect to see a lot of tree surgery over the next few months.
Allotment Committee: The Council is setting up a new Sub-Committee to manage it’s allotments across the 4 sites in the Parish with a representative of the tenants at each allotment site in addition to up to 3 Parish Councillors. The Allotment Sub-Committee will be responsible for making recommendations to the Parish Council on all matters relating to allotment management.
Your councillors are here to represent you and welcome your views on any matter. Please do talk to them or send your reviews/requests to the Parish Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org or write c/o Wildgoose Cottage, Gorsethorn Way, Fairlight, East Sussex TN35 4BQ.
CONTACT: As we come out of our semi-hibernation, there will be activities gaining momentum. Do send in details to advertise your event.
AND FINALLY: Hope you are keeping colds at bay and are feeling fine. Have a good week.
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