The Annual Parish Meeting: a couple of weeks ago was well attended, mainly by members of the public from Pease Pottage but there were a couple from Handcross. The reason for all the Pease Pottage attendees was to hear how things are going with the building of their new hall facility at Finches Field. It would appear that everything is more or less on track with completion hoped for by the end of October and the ‘official’ opening sometime in December. I will keep you posted should I hear anything further. I would say that whilst this facility is long overdue as far as the residents of Pease Pottage are concerned, it will be a hall that can be used by anyone in the Parish so it will be somewhere else available for those get togethers that are too big for your own home, plus somewhere available during the day should the Parish Hall ever have to close, something that we will have to face at some time or other, hopefully not too soon though.

The Neighbourhood Plan as I have mentioned before, is chugging along nicely and it is planned to inform Mid Sussex District Council that it will be ready for them to ‘takeover’ in a matter of weeks with the aim of having it ready to be voted on early in 2019. Between now and then, MSDC will review the Plan, appoint an Examiner/Inspector to go through it to ensure all the boxes have been ticked, not only with the parish in mind, but also to ensure it is in more or less agreement to what is in the District Plan. All this will be an open process and will be advertised in the local press and updates posted on the Parish Council’s website, www.slaughampc.co.uk.

Otherwise, it would appear that everything else under the remit of the Parish Council is ticking along quite nicely. The first payment in respect of the haulage road on the Recreation Ground has been received and plans are afoot as to how best to use them. It was mentioned at the Annual Parish Meeting and then again at the Council meeting last week, that a quote has been received in respect of the refurbishment of the Pavilion and it is hoped that a couple more will come in as the plan is to have the work done during the summer holidays in order to keep any disruption to the Play Group to a minimum. The work they are planning on doing is replacing the doors and windows, upgrading the heating system, replacing the roof insulation and doing any necessary work on the roof to ensure it is watertight; the Parish Council are also hoping there is enough money in the pot to update the changing rooms. So if you are hoping to book the Pavilion for an event during the summer holidays, I would advise you be prepared to have to look elsewhere.

At last week’s Parish Council meeting John Welch was re-elected as Chairman and whilst he is happy to continue in this role, he did inform the meeting that he would be looking to stand down next year. Lesley Read was also re-elected as his Deputy. All the other sub-committees were looked at and all were happy to continue in the same roles with David Dunn deputising for Simon Goyder as Planning Chairman until he is able to return to the role.

Help at Hand: are looking to recruit one or two volunteer Duty Officers to replace those who have retired after some 20 or more years of service, if you are looking for something to do now that you are retired, or if you have some time on your hands. The work that is required in this role involves working from home between 9 am and12 noon once or twice a month on a pre-determined rota. What you will need to do is to be available to take calls from those requiring a lift to medical appointments mainly and then phoning around to see which of the volunteer drivers is available to take them. Due to the nature of the work, it would be better suited to someone who has retired or is semi-retired and preferably lives not necessarily in the village but certainly within the parish as a whole. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, do get in touch with Ian Ratcliffe on 400763. This is a much loved and needed organization within the parish so please, if you can help it would much appreciated by more people than you know!

Going back to the Annual Parish Council Meeting: the manager of Nymans, Zara Luxford, was there to inform us of what they are planning to offer to all visitors over the coming months. Some of you may not be aware but if you can prove you are a resident of Handcross you get free entry to the Gardens year round. Plus, they have recently announced another informal drinks evening for their tenants, Handcross and all parish residents on Tuesday, 3 July between 6 and 7.30 pm. They held this event for the first time last year and despite it being a chilly evening it was well attended so why not go along this year when you will have the opportunity to meet Alice Strickland, the curator, who will be talking about their exhibition exploring the impact of three inspirational women on Nymans. If you are more interested in the gardens than exhibitions, Joe Whelan, the Head Gardener, will be providing a tour of the garden sharing their July highlights. As refreshments will be provided, they will obviously need to know numbers so if you would like to attend, please RSVP by calling 405250 or emailing Nymans@nationaltrust.org.uk giving them your name and the number of people who will be with you.

Barbara Alderson: is organising another of her Quiz Nights in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice on Sunday evening, 10 June at the Victory Inn, Staplefield. As usual, you are asked to be at your tables (or the bar) by 7 pm for a 7.30 pm start; teams should be of no more than 4 people at £2.50 a head. Food will be available for ordering from 6 pm and there will also be a raffle. If you would like more information about the evening, get in touch with Barbara on 400667.

Finally: if you are interested in old time musicals, you might be interested in a show that is being put on in the Parish Hall on Friday and Saturday, 15 and 16 June. There will be three shows over the two days: 7.30 pm on Friday and 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Saturday. Tickets are £13 for Friday and Saturday afternoon and £15 for Saturday evening. On Friday there will be a bar, Saturday afternoon, tea and cakes and a Ploughman’s Supper on Saturday evening. Tickets can be purchased from the Hardware Shop or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/cosmusicaltheatre. So why not take the family or grandparents along for an afternoon or evening of hilarious comedy and sing-a-longs performed by a talent group of people, right here on our doorstep – if the car park is full, use the Recreation Ground for free parking within easy walking distance.