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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.

Neighbourhood Plan: I attended the Parish Council meeting last week and heard the latest on the progress if the Plan. Mid Sussex District Council have been reviewing it since the last meeting in July and have now come back with a few comments/amendments they would like actioned. These were discussed and resulting action agreed upon in the meeting and as soon as these have been incorporated into the Plan, it will be passed back to the MSDC with the request that they proceed to ‘Regulation 16’. Whilst this was explained to me, it was a little technical for my frazzled brain at that time of night! Basically what it means (I think!) is that the Parish Council are happy for the Plan now to be passed to the various statutory bodies to review and once they have given their approval, it will be passed to an Examiner to review. If the Examiner agrees with the content and any supporting papers, MDSC can then progress to arranging for a referendum on the Plan to take place. This all sounds well and good but taking into account how slowly ‘reviews’ of such documentation can take, plus the fact that we are very much on the downward slope to Christmas (in three months it will all be over!), it could well be close to March before we get to vote on it! If you want to follow what is going on and read the documents written to date, go to the Parish Council’s website (www.slaughampc.co.uk) and follow the links for the Neighbourhood Plan. As I have said before, it has been a long and painful process to get this far and we need to get behind the Parish Council and the Committee to ensure this gets passed. We can then start looking forward to not only the village but the parish as a whole developing and moving forward along the lines that we want, rather than those that any potential developers may have and whose interest is in their bottom line!

Going back to the Parish Hall: I heard some disturbing news recently that someone, probably more than one person, had been vandalising not only the Hall but the bowling green which is behind the Hall. They scratched some initials into the green which thankfully the green keepers have been able to repair. They had also tried to take some lead off the roof by the entrance; again, thankfully the damage was minimal. If you know anything about this, please do get in touch with the police so that the appropriate action can be taken. It is a sad fact that at some stage we may lose the Hall and the Bowls Club but we would like to hang on to them for as long as we can without any further mindless vandalism which could take them away before any replacement is found, whenever that may be.