Horam Parish Council
Chairman’s report for 2017/18.
Another year in the workings of the Parish Council. If we think the previous year was tough then the next will be even worse. Our Parish has undergone many changes over the last year or so. Much was made of our village in Wealden District Council’s (WDC) documents about Horam being a Service Centre. Referring to our entertainment centres. This was true when we had a public house now a co-op and the other main eatery under threat. As for the comment that Horam would retain a village feel does now seem unlikely, with the threat of 400 new homes hanging over our heads and the crematorium opening later this year. Crematoriums are usually located in large towns, i.e Eastbourne Tunbridge Wells and many others, not on the outskirts of smaller villages?
With another development on the land adjacent to the tennis courts receiving the go ahead. A large piece of land adjacent to the A267 will be gifted to the village. Ideal for play equipment.
There is another application for 65 homes in Chiddingly Road. This is a live application so unable to say more at this time. Although the Parish Planning Committee recommended to WDC that this should be refused, we are only one of 14 consultees with the final decision being made with WDC.
Some development should be seen as positive? New housing will always be a boost to the local economy and should bring in more investment, time will tell. Horam has had very little growth so some should be welcomed, but a better plan needs to be on the table so that we are able to deal with the influx of new residents. Infrastructure? We all know about these issues without me going into them again here.
We need to be in dialogue with developers so we get the best possible outcomes even if we are unhappy with the impact AND location. One thing that needs to be a the front of our minds is the quantity of the builds so Horam does not end up with homes people don’t wish to live in. Also, there is the ever decreasing and moving definition of AFFORDABLES. We all understand we need homes for the up and coming families. The rules here need to be strictly controlled. All developments over 10 need to have an element of affordable with so many builders challenging this and getting away with it is disgraceful. They should do their homework and deliver what was agreed with the approval.
Government policy will allow WDC to claim monies from developers for local projects. This is a new scheme for Parish/Town Councils known as (CIL) or Community Infrastructure Levy. Parish Councils are entitled to a portion of this money. We will be in a better position to finance infrastructure projects in the Parish.
The Parish Council has recently taken over the grass cutting for the village. It would be helpful if residents monitored their piece of England and reported to the Clerk any areas that needs cutting.
Litter and dog mess, I mention this every year. Please take care of your rubbish we have plenty of bins in the parish which costs YOU the ratepayer over a £1,100 per year to have emptied. We have had dog mess problems in our Memorial Garden which we have had to fence. Would you allow your dog to mess in a church yard?
Pot holes and other issues should be reported to ESCC via their user friendly website. Don’t leave it to “they will do it”.
Pleased to see some positive changes with planters and the Memorial Garden taking shape. Changes to the road layout as a response to the Merrydown development has had a mixed review. Some liking the crossing, the roundabout not so well received, this presented problems with some drivers being confused.
New play area equipment will be on site later this year. This include all new equipment including 3rd age exercise apparatus. All this is funded by Beech Homes Merrydown. One of the positive outcomes from development
Later this year the villagers will get together on the recreation ground for the marking of the end of the WWI which will be 100 years. There are plans for beacons across the country to mark the occasion. Please attend, this will be solemn moment, but for many at the time was a joyous day.
The PARISH COUNCIL are always pleased to support local groups with donations. This year is no exception. Donations this year 2018/19 are over £5,000. Recipients include.
The Fun Day
Maynard’s Green School
All of these are used by local people at some time so are always good causes
Looking ahead there will be elections in May 2019, this will be an opportunity for the residents of Horam Parish to vote for their Parish Councillors to represent them for the next four years.
We still have a vacancy for a new councillor, if anyone is interested please attend our next full meeting on the 9th May commencing at 7.30 p.m.. At the time of writing there is a vacancy for an Admin/Book-Keeping Assistant. This is a paid post currently three hours per week which will increase in time. Contact me in the first instance at correct on the 14/4/2018.
Michael John Cousins, Chairman of Horam Parish Council