Balcombe

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BUS & TRAIN SERVICES – BUS SURVEY: There are two consultations going on at the moment. West Sussex County Council is running a Bus User Survey seeking to understand the likely impacts of proposed changes to a number of local bus routes. They are proposing to withdraw Service 37 from Haywards Heath to Crawley (and servicing Balcombe) but extend the Service 40 Brighton, Haywards Heath and Cuckfield at school times and during the daytime on Mondays to Fridays to Balcombe and Crawley. This service would use the old route up Bramble Hill turning left onto the Haywards Heath Road and vice versa. Buses will leave Balcombe on Mondays to Fridays at 1005 and 1230 for Crawley returning at 1210 and 1410. Buses from Balcombe to Haywards Heath will depart at 0810 on schooldays and 1227 on Mondays to Fridays returning at 0939, 1204 and 1504. Have your say and complete the survey https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/highways-and-transport/bussurvey or any comments or questions can be emailed to buses@westsussex.gov.uk. The closing date is 18 December.

RAIL CONSULTATION: A consultation is also currently underway by the railway operators, Govia Thameslink (GTR), which sets out proposed changes to the 2018 timetable on our Brighton mainline. The first phase of the consultation ends TODAY 8 December and Balcombe Parish Council (BPC) would be grateful if you could respond to the consultation to ensure the train service (frequency and pattern of service, plus destinations served) from Balcombe improves; we are the smallest station on the Brighton mainline so your views are critical. You can read the full consultation document at http://www.southernrailway.com/download/42915.6/timetable-consultation/ The section which affects Balcombe is on p18 (Thameslink stopping pattern) where the proposal is to INCREASE services marginally during peak and off-peak times. However the proposals also REMOVE our direct service to London Victoria and no Southern services will stop in Balcombe from 2018 (p 46 onwards). All services will now go through London Bridge and terminate at Brighton ONLY. You can respond to this consultation directly to GTR using the online questionnaire (NB you only need to answer questions 1-13, 21 and https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2018timetableconsultation

Respondents who provide contact details as part of the first phase consultation process will automatically be updated with developments in the second phase. The second phase of the consultation, which will take into account views and comments raised during the first phase, will focus on providing detailed weekday and weekend timetables for review and comments. This consultation phase is expected to commence in late spring / early summer 2017.

HALF MOON: Villagers hoping to secure the long term future of the Half Moon have formed a Community Benefit Society – the Balcombe Community Pub Limited which gives the legal entity for communal ownership of the pub.

The Business Plan and Community Share Offer: Documents are now available and can be viewed on the website, www.savethehalfmoon.co.uk, and hard copies will be available shortly from the Half Moon Inn, Threads, and Balcombe Stores. Members of the steering group say “The Half Moon is important to Balcombe. The pub is not just a place for food and drinks. It helps create cohesion in the community, provides local character, contributes to the local economy and is an important focal point for the village. Once the pub is gone, it would be very difficult to get it back. We really must not let this opportunity pass us by.” They strongly urge you to consider the Business Plan and Community Share Offer Document, and to pass it on to anyone you think might be interested in subscribing. The minimum subscription is £250 and this can be a group of people clubbing together although only one vote would be given in this situation. In the meantime, if you have any immediate questions, they can be contacted at: savethehalfmoon@hotmail.com

CINEMA: Bridget Jones’s Baby will be the film on Friday 9 December at 7.30 pm in the Victory Hall. It stars Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Gemma Jones, and Jim Broadbent and is a 15 rating. Tickets available from Threads at £6. It is hoped that “The Girl on the Train” will be shown in January.

ENGLISH ARTS CHORALE CANDLELIT CONCERT: Tickets are on sale now in Threads for this concert in St. Mary’s Church on Sunday 11 December at 4.30 pm. The price of £12 includes interval refreshments.

CAROLS AROUND THE TREE: Put the evening of 17 December in your diary for music, merriment and mulled wine around the beautifully decorated Balcombe Christmas tree.

BALCOMBE FINE GAME: has now reopened under new management on Thursdays and Fridays 12.30 – 4.30 pm and on Saturdays 10.00 am until 4.00 pm. Call Martine on 07827 724004 for more details.

ST. MARY’S CHURCH: Sunday 11 December THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT 8am Holy Communion, 10.00 am Parish Eucharist, 4.30 pm Candlelit Carol Concert by the English Arts Chorale (tickets £12).

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