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Parish Council News July-August 2015; read about Elections - New Council - Volunteer drivers needed - Communications!
Maresfield Parish Council now has a new set of councillors though an election was not required on 7th May as there were insufficient nominations to fill all 14 vacancies. We have ten councillors and expect to co-opt one more before you read this. So we still have three vacancies (two for the Maresfield ward and one for Fairwarp ward). Please contact the Parish Clerk should you wish to volunteer for co-option as he can tell you all about the very worthwhile role of a Maresfield Parish Councillor.
At the new Council's first meeting on 19th May, I was elected Chairman and I will do my best to further the interests of our three village communities. Members of the public are welcome to attend our Council and Committee meetings and to participate in the public sessions. Full details of the dates and timings of our meetings are available on the Parish Council web site www.maresfieldparish.org.uk or by contacting the Clerk, Tony Allen on 01825 714555.
It has been mentioned in these pages before that the Parish Council is looking into the setting up of a Car Transport Scheme mainly to assist local people to get to hospital or doctor appointments. We need to know whether such a scheme is wanted by our local communities and also whether we can attract sufficient volunteers (drivers etc) to run such a scheme. Please contact the Clerk or Cllr David Watson (01825 713034) to express your interest either as a potential passenger or as a volunteer driver.
Volunteer drivers are also urgently needed by Wealdlink, a not for profit organisation which provides Community Transport in the North Wealden area (including our Parish). Please contact Wealdlink on 01825 771332 if you would like to explore whether you can help them.
In February's newsletter our then Chairman explained how the Parish Council was hoping to progress road safety initiatives in the Parish through the new joint-funding arrangements which East Sussex County Council is rolling out. Subject to Council's formal approval we expect to be making a bid for funding the B2026 traffic calming scheme which was postponed indefinitely two years ago when ESCC withdrew its financial provision for the project. When implemented this scheme should significantly benefit road safety in the Fairwarp area.
Finally "Communications" !
The Parish Council has been criticised for poor communications - more than once! We do try hard but it takes two to tango. By that I mean if a parishioner is not receptive to our communication then that communication has failed. The three parish magazines reach virtually every household in the parish but if this newsletter is not read then our communication has failed.....! We need to increase the channels of communication so we have revamped our web site. Please take a look www.maresfieldparish.org.uk and let us know what you think. Please look at the homepage and complete the short form so that we can send our newsletter directly to you by email together with occasional alerts and announcements.
Martin Craddock. Chairman - Maresfield Parish Council
Imagine you are going for a walk in 11 years' time. You turn into your favourite path and it's blocked- closed forever.
That's the prospect because in 2026 any path or bridleway which existed before 1949 which is not shown on the definitive map of rights of way held by East Sussex Council will cease to be a right of way- probably for ever. When the list of rights of way was drawn up then everybody knew that it was not complete, so time was allowed to add further paths to the list. But in many areas no one bothered to check these out because no deadline had been set.
But now the Countryside and Rights of Way Act has decreed that that time runs out at the end of 2025 and we need to make sure that every right of way that existed before 1949 IS registered on the council's definitive map by that time. Experts reckon that a typical parish has 3-5 unregistered routes.
You can see the paths that ARE on the register of rights of way at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/leisureandtourism/countryside/rightsofway/rightsofwaymap/map.aspx
Many of the unregistered routes are very well used at the moment, but could easily be lost. You will know how keen developers are to seize every available bit of land . Others have fallen out of use but are still rights of way
I am setting up a group of people in East Sussex, which so far includes members of the Ramblers, the Open Spaces Society and The Mid Sussex Bridleways Group, to research these routes.
We need to identify unregistered routes, and then we must show that the route was used as a highway for pedestrians, horses or other traffic, for a significant period in the past prior to 1949 and that it has not been stopped up. This involves going through Turnpike records, inclosure records, early road order, stopping up orders, Farm survey records etc.
Parish council members can be of great help in identifying rights of way that are not on the map and it may also be that you have people who are keen on researching the history of the area.
Can you help us with our project? Offers of help from councils or individuals are welcome.
If so, or if you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me, without obligation.
NATIONAL PATH SURVEY
You may also be interested to know that the Ramblers are carrying out a survey of the condition of all existing rights of way in England. We are asking people to walk each kilometre square on the ordnance survey map and report on its condition. You do not need to be a member of the Ramblers to take part. Full details at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/bigpathwatch
Ramblers Sussex parish footpath secretary for Arlington, Lewes and St Anne Without
12 Cleve Terrace, Lewes, BN7 1JJ
Requests for a Parish Council grant for the next financial year (2016/17) need to be submitted to the Parish Clerk (using the attached form) by the 25th September 2015 please. email@example.com 01825 714555.
In 2010, the Parish Council, the Community Society, AFRA and the Conservators were involved with an ESCC working party looking at ways of calming traffic on the B2026 especially at its junction with Fairwarp.
At that time East Sussex Highways and the Parish Council both agreed that this was an important issue and something the people of Fairwarp wanted. A Scheme was finalised and costed (see attached file) when sadly the project was shelved due to ESCC's budgetary constraints.
With the Parish Council having raised a 'Community Self Serve' budget through this year's precept, the B2026 Scheme will be considered for this funding. Comments made at various consultation events and through surveys show that traffic calming is one issue that stands out above all else.
We are seeking the views and support of Parishioners for this B2026 Scheme to remain 'on the table' so please let us have your views firstname.lastname@example.org.