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The Annual General Meeting: of the Parish Hall Management Committee was short and sweet last week! It was a shame that more people didn’t attend as when there was a threat of the Hall closing, a lot of people were up in arms but it appears such support was sadly short lived. However, having said that, it seems that we will have the use for one or two years more. The Committee is still hopeful that a lease may be forthcoming and any such lease will be given to the Slaugham Parish Community Land Trust who in turn are expected to appoint a Management Committee to be responsible for the day to day management of the Hall in much the same way as the Hall has been run and looked after in the past 100 years or so. Should there be any developments or news in respect of a lease or anything else that might have a bearing on the future use of the Hall, I will let you know.

After the Folk Club concert: last month, the Club meets tomorrow evening, Friday, in the Upper Room at Dudley House (upstairs from the Hardware Shop); unfortunately, I am not sure about the time it starts but if you would like to know more, contact Andy on 401643. Everyone is welcome to go along, either to join in by playing your own instrument or just to listen.

On Saturday there is a Barn Dance: in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice in St Mary’s Church in Slaugham. There will be a live band and caller as well as a buffet but you are asked to take your own drinks. Tickets are £5 per adult or £10 for a family ticket, all tickets can be purchased from the Hardware Shop (tel: 400212) and the Dance starts at 6 pm and lasts until 9 pm.

Tuesday: sees the May meeting of the Handcross Ladies Association in the Parish Hall. The meeting will start at 7.30 pm (please don’t arrive too early or the Hall won’t be set up!). This month’s meeting is a Craft Night, the theme being ‘Making Owls’; going by how much everyone appeared to enjoy the last Craft Night, I’m sure it will be a success as well. If you aren’t a member but would like to go along to see what happens at such meetings, the cost to non-members is £3 which includes refreshments (homemade cakes and the like I’m sure!). If you are worried that it will be like the old WI meetings, I think it is more relaxed but just as friendly so why not go along and enjoy a night away from the TV or computer screen!

On Wednesday 17 May: the Rosemary Club will be in the Parish Hall from 2.30 pm for their May meeting. This month’s meeting is a free Bingo afternoon, something that proved very popular last time with prizes galore! Again, this meeting is open to everyone with a small cost for non-members to cover tea and cakes. Last month’s meeting was a Bring and Buy sale and raffle as a fund raiser and a very successful one it was with £230 being raised; all unsold items were donated to St Catherine’s Hospice. If you would like more information about the Rosemary Club, please contact Helen Arnold on 400643. The Rosemary Club would also be able to help you should you need a temporary loan of wheelchair - you never know when you might need one (sprained ankle or knee which might stop you from walking). There is no charge but a donation towards the Club’s funds would be appreciated. If you would like more information on this, Joan is the person to call on 01293 525890.

I understand that the Community Bus Committee: has taken delivery of the new bus and by the time you read this, I believe it will have been in use for at least a week! I’m not sure if the new route is because of the new bus or just happening at the same time but there is a new route being tried on a Friday afternoon for a short period. It runs on a Friday afternoon, leaving the village at 1.50 pm and calling at Balcombe Half Moon (2 pm); Balcombe Newlands (2.05 pm); Balcombe Surgery (2.10 pm) and then on to Haywards Heath; the return journey will leave Haywards Heath at 4.15 pm and the fare is £1. This trial is for a period of 4 weeks (probably down to 3 weeks by the time you are reading this) but if a demand is shown for the route, the Committee will then consider whether or not to apply to the necessary authorities to make it a regular route, thereby making it free for concessionary fares. Please let Christina have your comments/opinions, either speaking to her in person in the Hardware Shop or giving her a ring on 400212. If you think there might be a regular demand for another route, she would be happy to pass this on to the Committee for consideration. I am also aware that they are still on the lookout for more drivers - male or female as the bus is easy to drive despite its size! If you would like further information on this again, Christina is the person to speak to in the first instance.

Finally, next Thursday: the Parish Council will be holding their Annual Meeting in the Pavilion from 7.30 pm. This is the meeting when a report is given on what has happened in the past 12 months from the point of view of the Council as a whole as well as the various sub-committees and we are informed of the Council’s plans for the coming 12 months. Information is also given on the state of the Council’s accounts. There is usually a guest speaker at these meetings but at the time of writing, there is no information as to who this will be and what their chosen subject is. There will be refreshments available from 7pm and once the business of the meeting has been concluded, members of the public will have an opportunity to raise questions on anything that has been discussed. These meetings are an ideal opportunity to find out who your councillors are and if you are considering becoming one, this is best meeting to go to and ask questions. Whilst there aren’t any elections due in the near future for the parish council, I am aware that there are seats available that need to be filled by people in Handcross and/or Pease Pottage and it is possible to join the Council without being elected per se. If you are interested, please go along and speak to Sally Mclean, the Parish Clerk, or any member of the Council for further information.

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