News from our Chairman

News from our Chairman

The Parish Council is holding the AGM at 7.15pm on Tuesday May 4th, followed at 8pm by the Annual Parish Assembly. The meetings are traditionally held separately but Government has ruled that that from 7th May all Council meetings must revert to in person meetings. For the ongoing protection of Councillors and members of the public attending, the Parish Council has decided to hold both meetings by Zoom before the change of rules. The AGM is a business meeting and the Agenda will be found on the website a week in advance; members of the public may attend and speak at the start of the meeting.

The Parish Assembly is a public meeting and will be addressed by four external speakers, each followed by a Q&A session. The Council is pleased to announce that this year it has secured:- Chief Inspector Habib Rahman. Habib is the Head of Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, now a fully funded initiative to cover everything from the worst criminal driving practices to road safety initiatives, including weight limits, obstructing the highway, driving on the pavement and so forth. Also Paul Umney, our local Police Community Support Officer is attending. Richard Speller. Richard is the County Council (Highways Authority) Officer for our area, responsible for the maintenance of roads, also changes and improvements to roads. James Adler. James is the new CEO of the Ashdown Forest and has responsibility for the direction, protection and conservation of the Forest. Since East Sussex County Council stopped its grant funding the Parish Council has made a modest donation each year to the Forest. During lockdown periods the Forest has seen massive increases in visitor numbers, most paying nothing and some causing problems including sheep and deer attacks by dogs, litter, fly tipping and footpath & car park wear and tear. Members of the public wishing to attend one or both meetings are invited to contact the Clerk in the week before the meetings in order to be included on the Zoom invitation list.

All County, District and Parish Councils now await a ruling by a Judge in a case brought by Hertfordshire County Council joined by The Local Government Association and the National Association of Local Councils as to whether or not meetings can continue to be held remotely after 7th May. A judgement is not expected till the week of 26th April. Following resolution of the issues within West Sussex Association of Local Councils a new Board of Directors has been elected and I have been elected Chairman.

Bluebell Woods. As the rules are relaxed during May, the Working Group is looking for volunteers to assist with clearing and tidying the woods on a similar basis to planting the Community Orchard. Because of the state of the woods there will be additional safety rules and precautions. Certainly very stout soled boots are required. Please contact the Clerk.

Finche Field belongs to the Parish Council so clearing the recent fly tip, successfully achieved in less than 48 hours, is a cost to all of us. Please report suspicious activity immediately by calling 101 and as always try and get a numberplate and photo, even dashboard video.

Finally as Spring becomes Summer I have been asked to include some housekeeping points:-

• Camping on Finche Field is not permitted - camping of any type including caravans and motorhomes.

• Public Rights of Way - did you know about the West Sussex iMap? Useful for planning walking routes in/around the Parish. Google it!

• Footpath/Bridleway/Byway condition - please report any concerns or issues discovered to - who may however re-direct you to the WSCC Public Rights of Way Team depending on the location of the issue.

• Bushes encroaching the highway – please remember that it is the property owner's responsibility to cut back any bush or plant encroaching public highways.

• Public waste bins - please do not use these for dog waste from home - please use your own landfill bins for this. These are getting full too quickly due to residents placing large bags of dog waste brought from home. Thank you.

• Parish Playgrounds - the Parish Council has an obligation to keep these safe, so the removal of COVID-19 signage/guidelines from noticeboards could potentially result in the closure of playground areas. Please do not interfere with/remove these notices.

Douglas Denham St Pinnock

Chairman of West Hoathly Parish Council

Parish Clerk: Leanne Andrews - The Parish Office, North Lane, West Hoathly, RH19 4QG

T: 01342 811301 E: Website:

The office is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and noon.
Messages can be left at all other times on the answer phone or by email.

Posted: Sun, 25 Apr 2021 16:16 by Claire Hilton

Tags: News, Parish Council