Author

Gail Boustead

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We are at that time of the month: when the various clubs and groups seem to hold their meetings, in the middle of the month. The first of those is the Knit & Natter group which meets today Thursday at Dudley House, next door to the Hardware Shop from 2.30pm. This is a small friendly group who meet once a month to catch up on the gossip whilst enjoying their knitting or just going along for the company. There is a small cost involved to cover the cost of the homemade refreshments offered (in the region of £2/£2.50 I think) but if you would like to know more, ask Christina and she will point you in the right direction to get all the information you need to join this group.

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Parish Hall: I owe you an apology! It would appear that I jumped the gun somewhat by saying last week that the Hall would be open for business on Monday; those of you who were expecting to be in for a meeting this week will know this has not been the case and I’m sorry for any confusion my comments may have caused. It would appear that whilst it was hoped the Hall would be open this week, there were still one or two things that needed to be done and rather than take a chance, it was decided that it would be better to leave it for another week. Thanks to Julie at the Social Club for helping out at short notice this week and for the last month as well.

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Last week’s Parish Council meeting: was interesting on two counts: firstly there was a gentleman attending who was talking about plans for a new free school in Mid Sussex to cope with the growing population and concern about possible catchment area changes affecting Warden Park School in Cuckfield. The plan is to open a new school in partnership with the Hugh Latimer School in London; they don’t have a site at present but are looking in the local area, Pease Pottage being mentioned as a possibility. I understand they are due to have a meeting in the not too distant future with the authorities and by the time of the next Parish Council meeting in February, they hope to have more news. If you would like to learn more in the meantime, have a look at their website, www.hughlatimerschool.org.uk, otherwise make a note of the date of the next Council meeting on Thursday, 28th when it is hoped there will be another presentation.

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Handcross news

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Handcross Ladies Association: started the New Year with a well-attended AGM last week. Once the ‘business’ element of the meeting had been completed, members were entertained with an interesting talk and slide show on Frost Fairs which was enjoyed by all. Whilst their meeting this month was held in the Social Club, next month they will be back in the newly refurbished Parish Hall for their meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, more details nearer the time.

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Neighbourhood Plan: as mentioned last week, you have until midnight on Monday, 14 January to make any comment on the Plan if you disagree with it in any way. I am aware that some feel that we do not need to include any provision for further housing in the parish. Whilst I appreciate that as things stand today and what MSDC have said, our needs are currently met. However, what we seem to have lost sight of is the fact that this Plan is covering our needs for the next 10, 15 or more years not just the next 5 years! So whilst it would appear we are more than covered today, if we don’t show we have thought of what might change in the future, we could get well and truly stung with so much more development with nothing to fight it with. Please, speak to those who have put the plan together if you have any questions as I can assure you that they have tried to consider every possibility that might happen, not just in the next 5 years but much further into the future.

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As promised, opening times over the Christmas period for some of the shops that you might need to use: The paper shop will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day as well the afternoon on New Year’s Day. The Hardware Shop will be closing at 4pm on Christmas Eve, opening again on New Year’s Eve and then normal service will be resumed on 2 January 2019. Handcross Butchers will be open on Saturday and Sunday between 7 am and 3 pm and then on Christmas Eve between 6 am and 2 pm for you to pick up your Christmas orders. They will be closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day, normal hours Thursday to Saturday, closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and again normal hours from 2 January 2019. The Spar Shop will be closing at 6 pm on Christmas Eve, closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, normal hours until New Year’s Eve when they will close at 6 pm, reopening on 2 January 2019. If you were thinking that you’d get out of making sandwiches for your lunch between Christmas and New Year by purchasing from Picnic, I’m afraid you’re out of luck as they will be closed from tomorrow, Friday, reopening in the New Year.

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I have heard: that the contractors have started work in the Parish Hall ahead of the closure on 20 December. If you have booked the Hall for an event before then, please do not worry as any work that starting now is being done around all existing bookings. I am also aware that rumours are going round that the prices will be going up to pay for this work. On behalf of the Management Committee, I can confirm that there are no plans to do this. Through past fund raising efforts when it was thought we were in line to get a new hall, there are sufficient funds to cover the cost of this work in full, so please rest assured if you are thinking about booking an event once the work has been done, it will be at the same price as this year. If you have any questions or concerns about the future of the Hall, please feel free to get in touch with me either by email (see above) or give me a ring on 07887 535638.

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The pick-up times: for the Outing Club’s trip to Brighton on Sunday for the Carol Concert in Brighton are as follows: Haywards Heath 1.45pm, Cuckfield 1.50pm, Staplefield 1.55pm, Truggers 2pm, Windmill Platt, 2.05pm and finally Pease Pottage at 2.10pm. As always, if you could try to be at your pick-up point a little early it would be appreciated. For those of you who are wondering about the lunch that was initially scheduled for January in the Parish Hall now that the Hall is due to be closed that month, it has been rescheduled for Saturday, 16 February 2019 12.30pm for 1pm. If this is going to cause you a problem, please get in touch with Brenda as soon as possible on 400081.

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Neighbourhood Plan: I was going to say that I will be going along to the Parish Council meeting this evening (7.30 pm in the Pavilion) to get an update on where we are with the Plan but I already know! I was walking past the Spar at the weekend and glanced at the Parish Notice Board and saw the notice from Mid Sussex District Council announcing that they had published the submitted Plan “for consultation in accordance with Part 5 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012” and that the consultation will run from 19 November 2018 until 14 January 2019! We are getting closer to the finish line! It went on to say that “representations made on the Slaugham NDP will be considered by an independent examiner who will assess whether the NDP meets certain legal requirements, known as the ‘basic conditions’. It then goes on to list the various documents that have been submitted as part of the Plan. If you would like to know more and have access to a computer, if you go to the MSDC website on the link https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning-building/neighbourhood-plans/ and click on Slaugham, you will find full details of what has been submitted. You will be directed to the parish website for details of the background to the Plan and finally, information on how you can register your comments online, by email or post. If you don’t have access to a computer and would like to have a read of the Plan, guess where to find a copy locally – yes, the Hardware Shop! Where would we be without Les, Christina and the rest of the team that work in the Shop! You should note that if you want to register your comments, you have until midnight on 14 January 2019. As I said earlier, the finish line is almost in sight, let’s hope we can get over it this time!

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The Coffee Morning and Table Top Sale: last Saturday morning in aid of Handcross Ladies Association and Handcross Preschool was very well attended which was nice to see. At the time of writing the adding up hadn’t been done so I will let you know how much was raised next week. All money raised will be split between the two local organisations. It is always good to see the Hall full of people enjoying themselves, especially younger families who will hopefully get more involved in hosting such events in the future.

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Ian and Jane: had another successful Big Breakfast the other week when they hosted their usual social event on the morning of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Together with their guests just shy of £600 was raised through the purchase of raffle tickets and donations; over the numerous years they have been hosting this very social event they and their guests have raised around £10,000 all of which has been used to help local projects and charities. The most recent ‘purchase’ has been the two defibrillators that we now have in the village. I say ‘purchase’ because the first one was donated by the Sussex Heart Charity, the cost of fitting it to the Hardware Shop had to be funded and the second outside the Royal Oak was purchased with Handcross Residents Association funding the installation costs of this one. Thanks once again to everyone involved in getting this very important equipment installed in the village, we are very lucky to have them but hopefully there will be little if any need to use them!

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Members and guests: of the Social Club enjoyed a Race Night back in September in aid of Dreams Come True Children’s Charity raising an amazing £632 on the night! Congratulations to everyone who attended and I’m sorry I haven’t mentioned your good work earlier.

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Car Park: I don’t know how many people read the notice in the paper a couple of weeks ago now advertising the sale of the car park on Brighton Road. As we all know parking is at a premium in the village and Brighton Road is often parked up mainly by those living along the road but on busy days for Nymans, many do park along there as well. I went to the Parish Council meeting last week to see if they were aware of the sale and if there was anything that could be done to get Mid Sussex District Council to reconsider; unfortunately, it would appear there is little to be done to stop it. From what was said by our MSDC representative, as far as the MSDC are concerned the car park is not used very much and it costs them to keep it open with regards to cost of maintaining it. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking there has been little if any maintenance over the years but who I am to say. It does seem a pity that the village wasn’t consulted about the sale but if you do feel strongly about it and believe it is well used, I would suggest you write the MSDC stating your concerns and get your friends, neighbours and other users to write as well. I don’t know if it will have any effect but it might make you feel a little better.

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Don’t forget: the Parish Council meets this evening, Thursday, in the Pavilion from 7.30pm. A copy of the agenda should be posted on the Parish Notice Board outside the Spar Shop or can be downloaded from the Council’s website, www.slaughampc.co.uk. There will be an opportunity to raise questions or queries about items on the agenda early in the meeting.

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Don’t forget: the craft and card making supplies sale at the Hardware Shop on Saturday. I’m sure there will be a wide selection of items on sale at bargain prices to help you with your hobbies.

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If you are heading: in to Haywards Heath today, Thursday, Mid Sussex Older People’s Council are hosting a Silver Sunday Coffee Morning in the Orchards Shopping Centre. They will be serving tea, coffee and homemade cakes between 10 am and 12 noon. The aim of these events is to encourage older residents to get out of their homes and socialise; there is no need to book, all you need to do is turn up and enjoy the company!

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Parish Hall: I had hoped that I would be able to inform you that we had a lease in the Parish Hall; unfortunately that is not the case. Despite the Hyde Estate’s solicitors providing us with dates for a possible meeting to discuss and ultimately agree on the terms of a new lease, as soon as we have agreed on one of the dates, they are no longer able to make it! It is incredibly frustrating but until such time as this is agreed, the Management Committee will continue to manage the day to day running of the Hall. With regard to the works that I mentioned we were going to do, whilst we had hoped to get it done over the summer when the Hall was quieter, we are just waiting on a few quotations to come in but fingers crossed the heating will be sorted before it gets too cold! I’ll keep you posted as and when I hear more.

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This evening: Thursday, sees the Parish Council meeting after their summer break. The meeting will start at 7.30 pm in the Pavilion and as always there will be an opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have regarding items on the agenda early in the meeting. A copy of the agenda should be posted on the notice board outside the Spar Shop and can be found on the Council’s website, www.slaughampc.co.uk.

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If you are joining the Outing Club: on Sunday, 23 September for their trip to Hampton Court, here’s a little reminder of the pick-up times: The first pick up will be in Horsham at 8.30am, followed by Haywards Heath at 8.45am, Cuckfield 8.50am, Staplefield 9am, Windmill Platt 9.05am and finally Pease Pottage at 9.10am. As always (and you don’t really need me to remind you!), please be at your pick-up point a little early to ensure there are no delays further down the line! I’m sure everyone will have a super day and if you find yourself at a loose end on Sunday and would be interested in going on this trip, give Brenda a ring on 400081 and she will be able to let you know if there are any spaces.

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Today is the day for knitting and nattering!: The local Knit and Natter group will be meeting at Dudley House (next door to the Hardware Shop) this afternoon from 2.30 pm. Along with your knitting and nattering, you can enjoy a slice of homemade cake and a cup of tea or coffee all for the exorbitant price of £2! They are a friendly group who would welcome new members so why not go along and make some new friends.

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