Wealden District Council
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Parish Newsletter – July 2022

Two hands holding each other in front of a yellow and blue background.
Portrait picture of Ann Newton (new council leader)

Welcoming Ukrainian refugees to Wealden

New leader of the council appointed

Hundreds of refugees from Ukraine have already begun arriving in Wealden under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The Wealden district is expecting more than 500 arrivals in total; with the whole of East Sussex due to welcome almost 1200 individuals.


Councillor Ann Newton, previously the deputy leader, takes over from Councillor Bob Standley.

The new deputy leader of the authority was announced as Philip Lunn. Ron Reed was appointed chairman for a further year, with Angela Snell as his deputy for a second term.


Inside of a new changing places toilet.

Wealden residents' satisfaction survey results

New Changing Places toilets arrive in Wealden

Residents’ satisfaction on services provided by us has increased with all aspects higher than the national average.

The results indicate that Wealden residents have a high level of satisfaction with the area they live in. Some 90% are satisfied with their local area as a place to live – 12% higher than the national figure.


Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standards accessible facilities. They contain equipment such as hoists, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.

The new toilets are expected to be located at Sea Road car park (Pevensey Bay) and within the Seven Sisters Country Park.


Houses with scaffolding up with bricks and blue sky in the background.
Wooden blocks that spell the word rebate with a succulent plant in the background

Wealden leaders lobby new minister over high housing targets

All direct debit payees have received their £150 Council Tax energy rebate

The campaign to persuade the government to lower the number of houses we are obliged to build in future years is continuing. Council leaders met with the new minister of housing to express their concerns at the current targets.


Around 30,348 direct debit paying households should have received their £150 Council Tax rebate. Now we can begin communicating with the non-direct debit payees who will receive a letter over the coming weeks.


Military band playing instruments in front of Pevensey castle wall
Looking out over the lake at Sheffield Park

Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Pevensey Castle

Free bus service for Sheffield Park visitors

Pevensey Castle was the setting we chose to host our Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Guests included charities and organisations that supported their community during and after Covid-19.


The National Trust’s Sheffield Park and Garden are famed for their spectacular rhododendron displays in the spring. And now, visitors can view these free of charge via their new bus service.


Road sign that shows a charging vehicle point

Electric vehicle charging contractor appointed

Getting the ball rolling on community lottery

We have appointed an electric vehicle provider to boost public availability in the district.

Connected Kerb, the electric vehicle contractor, will review 11 council owned and operated car parks for charging feasibility with potential to expand to an additional 22 sites throughout Wealden.

There are currently 23 EV charging points distributed throughout the district and we have recognised the need for additional charge points.

Recent research has identified that the potential demand for EV charging across East Sussex will increase over the next 10 years with numbers of EVs locally rising from 3,573 to 33,945 by 2025.


We have appointed an external lottery operator named Gatherwell to manage a community lottery as part of the council’s strategy to help support charities and other good causes.

The community lottery is expected to be introduced in Autumn 2022. Players will be able to purchase tickets for £1 with 60% of that going towards good causes. The remainder will go towards management fees and prize money – prizes will range from £25 to £25,000.

Councillor Philip Lunn, said “This lottery will raise money within the community for the community and therefore offers a valuable, additional income generation solution.”


Our chairman and Bob Bowdler with the headmaster and some fo the children at Forest School

The chairman explores Forest School during his visit

Wealden residents urged to get composting

Building a campfire and creating birdfeeders were on the timetable for our chairman during his recent visit to All Saints’ and St Richard’s Church of England Primary School.

Forest School gives pupils the chance to participate in hands-on learning in a woodland.


Residents were encouraged to get composting as part of this year’s International Compost Awareness Week running from 1st May – 7th May.

We teamed up with East Sussex County Council to offer residents the opportunity to buy special value compost bins.


Path that leads off into an ancient woodland with sun beaming through the leaves.

Company fined for cutting down trees in Wealden

We are urging people to check if trees are protected before cutting them down, after a land owner was charged £17,000 for felling trees in an ancient woodland.


Colourful striped background with text that reads Street Learning

"All aboard" for Jubilee tree planting

The return of Street Learning courses

Councillor Ron Reed has attended tree planting ceremonies across the district as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative. These have included Groombridge Station and Wealden Crematorium in the lead up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.


Street Learning offers young adults aged 19 and above free courses to develop new skills, enhance existing ones and expand on their education.

There are many types of courses available from cooking, to help managing your money to mindfulness courses.


Pale blue background with Explore Wealden logo and text reads Naturally inviting. Explore Wealden.
Wooden frame house with a blue sky behind and a muddy foundation.

Explore Wealden release 2022 attraction guide

Reassurance over SHELAA process submission sites

Our visitor attraction guide is back by popular demand. The guide showcases over 80 attractions and “hidden gems” to explore throughout the district. This guide is also sent to tourist information centres nationally.


Communities are being reminded that sites submitted to us for housing and employment land as part of the new Local Plan preparation will not necessarily be granted planning permission.


Diplocks roundabout roadworks overview

We attended People Matter Jobs fair

Improving the road infrastructure in Hailsham

We attended a Jobs Fair that was hosted by People Matter Trust Ltd – a charity established to provide quality information, advice and guidance to adults in search for suitable employment.

Roughly 200 people attended, including veterans, refugees and those with learning difficulties.


Plans to deliver a roundabout joining Diplocks Way, South Road and Ersham Road in Hailsham have taken a step closer to be released.

The works will reduce the environmental problems caused by slow/static vehicles waiting on the approaches.


Road that leads away from the camera with fields and hedgerows on either side.

Disappointment at decision over removal of mature hedgerow in Uckfield

The 50m long hedgerow in Uckfield was removed in contravention of planning regulations and in November 2019, we served a Hedgerow Replacement Notice calling for it to be reinstated. This notice has now been quashed by a government planning inspector who has allowed the landowner’s appeal.


It's time to sign up / renew the 2022/23 garden waste service

You can now renew or sign up for the garden waste service for the 2022/23 subscription period.

To continue getting garden waste collections, you must renew their subscriptions by 13th July 2022.

You will be able to subscribe to up to four bins (at £55 per bin per year). You will receive a sticker for each bin within 10 working days.

If you do not wish to renew your subscription, you can unsubscribe online at www.wealden.gov.uk/gardenwaste or by calling the contact centre on 01323 443 322.

The final collection will be their last scheduled garden waste collection in July and your bin will be removed after this date.

In recognition of the disruption to the collection service during the bin strike, we are freezing the price for our garden waste collections until 2024. This means that they will remain at £55 per bin per year rather than £60-65 until at least July 2024.

Green background banner with Wealden District Council logo multiple times across it.

Cabinet Round-up: June

Councillors on the Cabinet committee have welcomed the success of the Home Office funded Safer Streets Fund, which has delivered significant improvements to reducing crime and disorder in Hailsham town centre and Hailsham North. Included in these were three additional CCTV cameras monitoring the recycling points to detect fly tipping, seven additional CCTV cameras on the wider police network as well as two new Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras. The project also delivered an increased police presence in the town alongside additional community outreach drugs workers.

Progress has also been made on our redevelopment of the Streatfeild Retirement Living Scheme in Uckfield to create 20 new-build affordable homes with low-carbon technologies.

Cabinet has also approved £9 million of Community Infrastructure Levy spending in 2022/23 on a number of projects including a new Community Sports Hub on the outskirts of Hailsham, a new learner pool at Crowborough and an integrated wellbeing hub in Hailsham town centre comprising new leisure facilities combined with medical and healthcare provision.

Cabinet members expressed their gratitude and best wishes to Isabel Garden, who has retired as deputy chief executive and director of Planning, Policy & Environmental Services after almost 20 years at the council. Chris Bending, who joined the council in 2006 as a trainee and has risen to head of service, first for Planning and Environmental Services and then the Policy and Economic Development Service, replaces Isabel as director.