Wealden District Council
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Parish Newsletter – December 2022

newspaper cuttings saying cost of living with little model shopping trolley on top of them.
Electric vehicle being charged

We pledged £250K to help tackle cost of living pressures

EV charging points are coming to Wealden car parks

Councillors have agreed to earmark a £250,000 fund to help ease the current cost of living pressures.

The money will be put aside to support local initiatives, fund any increased service demands within the council and additional support for residents and businesses when needed.


Electric vehicle charging points are due to be installed in WDC car parks soon. We are currently reviewing 10 council car parks for charging feasibility, including Forest Row, Crowborough and Heathfield, with potential expansion to 22 more sites.


East Sussex identified for Youth investment fund

Cartoon of a pot of gold coins

Local authorities, including town and parish councils can apply for the funding.

Key areas of investment include communities and place, people and skills and supporting local businesses.

Apply here



Wealden Crematorium open day success

More than 150 people attended the recent open day. Residents were invited to take a look ‘behind the curtain’ and have all of their questions answered by our friendly staff.



Wealden crematorium with flowers in full bloom
Logo with houses on the silhouette and stamp that reads approved
Sewage pipe gushing water onto a beach

Our disappointment as appeals are allowed

Motion passed to protect rivers and seas

Two appeals for 900 new homes in Wealden have been allowed by a government Planning Inspector. Members refused planning permission for Mornings Mill Farm in Willingdon and 200 homes on land west of Station Road in Hailsham.

The developers appealed against the decisions of the Planning Committee, but inspectors allowed them because the council was unable to defend some of its original objections and would be unlikely to succeed.


Councillors joined forces to pass a cross-party motion to protect rivers and seas from pollution.

The motion was put forward by Councillor Rachel Millward, seconded by leader Councillor Ann Newton and unanimously approved by all members. It follows the revelation that in 2021, according to The Rivers Trust, Southern Water was responsible for raw sewage being spilled into our waterways for over 17,000 hours, spanning across four river catchments.

Dirty river water with plastic bottles floating in it and other rubbish

Southern Water pushed to take action

A fresh call has been made for Southern Water to update and upgrade the sewerage and water infrastructure systems so they can deal with existing sewage issues and accommodate new development in the future.

A plea was issued as part of its response to a consultation on the water company’s Draft Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan, which proposes how it will meet its infrastructure challenges until 2050.


It also comes on the back of a Full Council Motion when councillors unanimously agreed to hold Southern Water to account and take a lead on addressing sewage issues backing up in the properties of local residents.

Southern Water is consulting with many stakeholders across the south-east, including us as there have been major concerns regarding existing water infrastructure, considering the number of homes the council is expected to provide.

We stand firm on protecting the environment

We have reiterated our commitment to protect and enhance the environment and support for groups protecting nature.

The pledge comes as conservation groups have expressed concerns over the government’s planned changes to EU protection for nature, a relaxation of planning laws in new Investment Zones and a review of environmental far subsidies.



swan swimming on Pevensey levels river
Flowers laid around the Hailsham war memorial with mourners
Lady smiling at her ipad whilst relaxing on the sofa

Flowers composted to feed Jubilee trees

Online booking system for housing tenants

The flowers that mourners left at Hailsham War Memorial were taken to Wealden Crematorium at Horam where the flowers have been composted.

The compost will be used to feed the Jubilee trees that were planted in the district earlier this year to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in June.


A new online booking system to support housing tenants has been developed to help deliver five-star customer service.

The new booking system features an online map of housing officers and allows residents to book a 10-minute video call with a housing officer at a convenient time for the resident.

Asbestos and other litter left along edge of field

Resident fined for asbestos waste

In April 2021, around 16 black sacks filled with broken asbestos roofing sheets, tarpaulin and debris were dumped along the verge of New Bridge Road, Rickney, near Pevensey.

In light of this investigation, a Hailsham woman has been fined for her part in the fly-tipping.


Wealden crematorium and we raise you up staff exchanging large cheque in front of shop front.
Board walk at Walshes Par heading away from camera

Wealden Crematorium donates £12K to charity

Biodiversity at Walshes Park is praised

You Raise Me Up, a charity based in East Sussex, has been presented with a £12,000 cheque from our crematorium. The scheme recycles metals following the cremation of a deceased person. The metals are recycled by the ICCM with proceeds donated to a chosen charity.


Walshes Park, a Sustainable Alternative Natural Green Space on the edge of Crowborough, has been praised by an assistant director at a London council who is highly regarded within the conservation and biodiversity sector and set up Crowborough Wildlife Group.

Elderly gentleman and lady speaking to officers in Wealden District Council foyer and reception
Beam logo on white background

Benefits Day was a huge success

Beam initiative for support launched

A Benefits Day helped pensioners to claim funding and benefits. The day was a great success with all appointments fully booked – a total of 21 applications were submitted.

The next event will be held on 13th and 14th December 2022.


Beam is an initiative focused on supporting homeless people to rebuild their lives.

Our Housing Options team have agreed to work with Beam to deliver better outcomes for those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Cartoon coins with pound symbols on and light yellow background

50% reduction for parishes on fees

We are supporting charities, not for profit organisations and parish councils by awarding them a 50% discount on our normal fees and charges.

Ukraine Independence Day

Chairman Cllr Ron Reed and Cllr Ray Cade, attended the Ukrainian Independence Day event at the Union Church in Heathfield to meet Ukrainian refugees.


Councillors and volunteers who helped with the Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations in Heathfield

New affordable homes development named

Artist impression of Cart Barn Place

Construction of 15 affordable homes for rent in Heathfield is moving forward and has been named Cart Barn Place.

To complement the surroundings, high quality landscaping is being provided and as many existing hedgerows and tree lines are being retained as possible, plus additional planting.


Tree-mendous response to photo competition

A competition inviting residents to send in photographs of trees had an overwhelming response. Stephen Francis, whose photograph of trees along the Cuckoo Trail impressed judge Councillor Pam Doodes, the council’s portfolio holder for Climate Change, was declared the winner and can be viewed hanging up in our Vicarage Lane Office foyer.


Sports hub plans - 3D vision
Group of young boys playing football on grass

Sports hub takes a step forward

Second bid submitted for Levelling Up Fund

Plans for the proposed multi-million pound Wealden Community Sports Hub have taken a major step forward at Knights Farm East.


We are applying for a grant of £19.8m to help towards the cost of a new £43m Health and Wellbeing Hub to regenerate Hailsham town centre


Portrait of King Charles
Councillor Ron Reed signing the book of condolences

Proclamation of the King

Book of Condolences

The proclamation of the new sovereign King Charles III took place at Hailsham War Memorial. The event was attended by civic dignitaries and members of the public who came to pay their respects.


The book of Condolences was placed at our offices after the Queen passed away for members of the public to write messages. This has now been sent to The keep, in Brighton to be archived.

Vineyard in Wealden with sun shining over the vines

Explore Wealden releases 2022 vineyard guide

A new Wealden Vineyard guide for 2022/23 has been produced. In Sussex alone there are approximately 50 vineyards, 16 within Wealden – they are all showcased in the guide.


Marker along the 1066 country walk
Cartoon of a piggy bank on a pale pink background

1066 Country Walk

Inequalities funding

Counters fitted on the 1066 Country walk have shown a significant increase in footfall since 2019. More than 3,500 people have passed through the counter this year alone.


A new funding programme has been launched to reduce inequalities within physical activities. Applications for funding are invited from voluntary and community organisations.

Metal sculpture with the words Cuckoo Trail

Cuckoo Trail strategy

Plans to enhance the Cuckoo Trail have been approved by our Cabinet members.

A new three year strategy has been adopted and outlines a number of exciting proposals for the 11-mile long stretch between Polegate and Heathfield. Improvements will look to make more of the trail’s railway heritage, develop hubs along the trail, use it as a cycling ‘spine’ route and repair and renew the trail’s infrastructure.


Food Inspections

Food inspector with blue surgical gloves in a lab coat testing with test tube

Cabinet members also welcomed data showing almost 700 inspections were carried out at food premises across Wealden in a 12-month period during 2021-22.



Customer service delivery

Statistics presented to Cabinet members also showed a 547% increase in compliments from residents of Wealden for customer service delivery.



Piece of paper with writing that says customer service and lists options as excellent, average and poor. The excellent option is ticked.

Christmas and 2023 waste collections

Cartoon of a bin with a christmas hat on

Our new recycling & waste calendar for 2023 is now available!

You can also view the Christmas and New Year rescheduled collections. To download your schedule, search your postcode in the ‘bin day search’ via our website link below: Wealden District Council



Green banner image that reads hello and goodbye and features the headshots of Kritina Shaw-Hamilton, David Plank and Averil Price

Hello and goodbye

David Plank and Kristina Shaw-Hamilton join the Corporate Management Team alongside Trevor Scott and Chris Bending. In addition, Liane Tew has been appointed Head of Customer, Digital, Revenue & Benefits; Clare McGough is the new Head of Legal & Governance and Chris Bone moves up to Head of Waste, Assets & Crematorium. We also welcome Nichola Watters who has started as Head of Planning Policy, Economy and Climate Change.

Cabinet members expressed their gratitude and best wishes to Averil Price, Wealden’s Director of Customer & Community Services, who has relocated to Wales. Averil has worked in local government for 31 years, and at director level for the last 20 years. She left in November and will be greatly missed.

Staff structure chart with all the heads of service and managers on