SOUTHERN WATER NEWS: Peter writes: There are two major items of news this week. First, we have the independently audited results of the Mountfield Residents Group Survey. As we reported last week, the response rate was 72%. Which, if you don’t know about these things, is extraordinarily high. Having said that, it is baffling that there were 21 households that were in such a weakened state that they couldn’t lift a biro and tick as many as five boxes. (Whereas we had one Survey response emailed from Singapore!) Perhaps they felt like the person who at a recent village meeting said that nothing anyone did or said would make any difference. Wrong. The plain facts are that we are slowly but surely beginning to win. The Mountfield Residents Group (MRG) Committee members have put in the time, pooled their expertise, got the word out to the front line residents (and the Committee are nearly all front line residents) as the news breaks, are ealing with the key people and agencies, including our MP, and spent the Bank Holiday weekend discussing tactics and delivering Newsletters.

MRG SURVEY: Apart from the amazing response rate, the key headlines are:

- there were 54 respondents (out of 75);

- 46 of these (85%) would connect to the system if there were a treatment plant;

- but 17 (over 30%) would not unless there were a treatment plant;

- and 42 of those 54 (77%) want to connect within 6 months of the system going live.

This blows all the excuses we have heard over the last few years out of the water. In particular, those 46 households represent over 60% of the currently eligible properties. If 1-18 Eatenden Lane were to come back into the scheme, the connection rate would be closer to 70%. We have been fed drivel.

The MRG Committee have sent these Survey results, including the full data, to Environmental Health, ESCC Planning Enforcement, our MP who is working with us, our county and district councillors, the Environment Agency — oh, and Southern Water. If you would like to see the full Survey data, please email and we will send the full information as PDF files.

THE SUMMIT: While all this was going on, Southern Water called a meeting with ESCC (who are the Planning Enforcement Authority) and RDC (who are the Environmental Health Authority). Whatever they’d had in mind, Southern Water were firmly told by both ESCC and RDC that the treatment works must be built and will be built. Full stop. Southern Water (profits £258m, corporation tax paid less than 1p) have said they need authorisation for budget to build the treatment works. Which is understandable after four years since Planning Permission was granted, and over twenty years since the initial direction to build the scheme. MRG are plugging the loopholes and increasing the pressure in several ways. We’re getting there.

SOLOMON’S LANE: It’s open! (What a contrast with everything above.) South East Water finished the laying of the new water main ahead of schedule (again — they did the same thing up at John’s Cross last year). They did a good job, earned a lot of plaudits from local people, and made a lot of friends. It should also be said that every cloud has a silver lining. While the road was closed, Felicity learnt to ride a bike and we could have made a good rabbit pie from all the wildlife safely grazing along it one evening we went that way. It used to be a quiet country lane.

VILLAGE HALL: A final reminder about the Mountfield Village Hall Committee AGM on Monday (June 4th) at 7.30 pm. The meeting is open to everyone in the village and all are very welcome to go along and chip in with any ideas. Cash prizes and all-you-can-drink will feature as much as in previous years. The most important building in the parish.

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: Glenda writes: We held our Coffee Morning and Plant Sale over the Bank holiday weekend. We were lucky with the beautiful weather and dodged the storms! A successful event overall with a £159.00 profit. Thank you to those who helped out and donated plants, cakes and raffles prizes and to those villagers who attended the event. A few more faces would have been brilliant! A quick reminder that the Annual Flower Show is on Saturday, 28 July. Schedules are available from Celia and Rachael.

MARTHA’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE : This is getting ever closer so don’t put off supporting Martha (and even her Mum). The challenge is to cycle 70 miles around the (un-flat) Sussex countryside on June 10th in aid of Action Medical Research. For full details, go to If you don’t have internet access, ask a grandchild to print off the page for you or put a bet on for you (you know what we mean).

CASUAL VACANCY: Due to Peter’s resignation, Mountfield Parish Council has a vacancy for a Councillor. If you are interested in becoming a Mountfield Parish Councillor, please contact the Clerk, Irene Marchant, on or talk to any of our Councillors. (If you are wondering about the heading, a “casual vacancy” is one created mid-term — i.e. between formal election times.)

FINALLY: As with every year, there are so may things doing so well — buttercups at the moment — but a sad year for orchids so far. Swings and roundabouts. If you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via We always welcome contributions and feedback.