Wealden District Council
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Parish Newsletter – March 2022

Wealden MP Nus Ghani, Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak & Wealden Council leader Bob Standley
Zoom meeting with Michael Gove, Bob Standley & Anne Newton

Chancellor meets council leader Bob Standley

Councillors discussed housing concerns with Michael Gove

Council leader Bob Standley and Wealden MP Nus Ghani met with Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“The Chancellor was keen to hear about the successes and challenges faced in Wealden”. He listened to issues with our high housing demand and lack of infrastructure from these.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove MP and our council leaders have met to discuss concerns over the number of houses the authority has to include in its Local Plan.

Cllr Bob Standley said he felt the minister understood the concerns raised and was encouraged by the response to these issues.

Blue background with Boundary Commission for England logo placed centrally
Row of girls smiling at the edge of a swimming pool

Have your say in the Boundary Commission review of parliamentary constituents

Multi-million pound investment for health and leisure facilities across Wealden

The Boundary Commission for England has announced the arrangements for the public hearings that will be held during the second consultation phase of the review: this includes an online booking system.

Those wishing to make an oral representation at a public hearing are strongly encouraged to book a time slot in advance. To book a time slot, you must visit the dedicated public hearings page on the BCE’s website and click on your chosen hearing. You will then be invited to register via the event booking platform Eventbrite, where you can complete this process.

We agreed £9 million of Community Infrastructure Levy that we’ve received, to be spent on local projects.

These would include a new training pool at Crowborough, a new Community Sports Hub on the outskirts of Hailsham and a new indoor leisure centre and integrated healthcare facilities in Hailsham town centre.

In addition, £4million has been allocated to highways improvement projects and tens of thousands of pounds provided for Suitable Alternative Green Space projects – such as Walshes Park in Crowborough.

Wealden logo on a white flag flying
Silhouettes of wind turbines against a sunset sky

Residents consulted on Council Tax increase

Welcoming the first net zero leisure support hub

A six week consultation has taken place over a proposal to increase council tax for the first time in two years, after a freeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our 10% share of the council tax bill helps pay for refuse and recycling collections, planning, street cleaning, environmental protection and free car parking.


Freedom Leisure has launched its Environmental & Sustainability Commitments, targeting net zero across all of its operations by 2030.

Ambitious targets have been set to reduce carbon in all its leisure centres and supply chain, reduce waste, increase recycling; all while adopting renewable energy sources.

Plastic bottle left on the beach by the shoreline

One bag can make a big difference with the Great British Spring Clean 2022

We are supporting residents pledging to pick up a bag of litter for the Great British Spring Clean 2022. We can supply litter pickers and arrange for litter to be removed by Biffa.


Mayfield health centre CAD drawing
Poster for Brew Monday

New community and health centre design revealed to residents

Brew Monday campaign received our support

More than 300 villagers turned out for a glimpse of the proposed design for the Mayfield Community and Health Centre.

The new building is to be sustainably-constructed to a BREEAM excellent standard -the world’s first sustainability rating scheme for the built environment.

On Monday 17 January, we supported the Samaritan’s annual Brew Monday campaign to raise awareness of the positive things people can do to support their emotional health.

Residents were encouraged to make contact, check in and stay connected to those around them.

Street Learning logo on colourful background
Alfriston school pupils with Headteacher and Vice Chairman Angela Snell

Free courses start for Wealden residents

Vice-chairman visits Alfriston school

From managing stress to maths, easy-hand sewing to get ready for work, and afternoon tea baking to practical money management.

Street Learning’s free courses have returned for Wealden and Eastbourne residents. They aim to reduce social, digital and financial exclusion, improving access to training.

Alfriston School welcomed Wealden District Council vice-chairman Angela Snell back to the classroom recently.

The vice-chairman spoke to children and staff about the work of the council within the district and their communities, where they actively engaged in questions about being a councillor and what it entails.

Crematorium manager
One you East Sussex logo on blue background

Children with Cancer Fund receive £15,000

New year resolutions: One You East Sussex

The Children with Cancer Fund at Polegate has been presented with a £15,000 cheque from the Wealden Crematorium team.

The money was raised through a recycling metal scheme, where they nominated CWCF as their charity.

CWCF aim to grant wishes to children under 18 and their families. Wishes can be practical, medical or fun and support the whole family.

The One You East Sussex team have visited Vicarage Lane Car Park, Hailsham a number of times and will continue over the coming months.

Residents have been able to visit them and find out more about eating well, moving more, losing weight and even help to quit smoking.

For further information on healthy changes and local services, click here

National Apprenticeship Week

How we celebrated National Apprenticeship Week at Wealden

With the recent addition of four new apprentices on board the WDC team, we celebrated apprenticeships across the district with the 15th annual National Apprenticeship Week.

The theme for 2022 was ‘build the future’; reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

Man crouching down in community garden
House made from £20 notes

£300K of support for Wealden's volunteer organisations

Wealden limits council tax increase for residents

Groups across the district will benefit from the Service Level Agreements, including Wealden Citizens Advice Bureau, Home Start East Sussex, Cuckmere Community Bus Ltd, Clued-up Information Shop Crowborough and East Sussex Hearing.

Each year they will receive a share of £263,800 from the SLA budget plus £11,000 from a Covid Recovery Fund.

A rise in council tax of just 9.6p a week has been approved. The increase will mean that residents in Band D properties will pay an extra £5 per year, whilst those in the highest band will pay an extra 20p a week.

This is the first time that our share of the council tax bills have changed in Wealden for two years, following a freeze in 2021 due to the pandemic.


Woman smiling in an office
Elderly lady looking up at a camera whilst sat in a stair lift

Youth hubs available for those aged 16-24 in Wealden

Disabled tenants in Wealden continue to benefit from policy

After a successful funding bid, more than £72,000 has been allocated to provide outreach support for 16-24 year olds.

The funding was supplied by the Departments for Work and Pensions in partnership with Wealden Works in Crowborough, Hailsham, Heathfield and Uckfield.

The Youth Hubs aim to support 175 people who have been badly affected by the economic downturn of Covid-19. This aid is free to the user, offering remote support.

This funding not only benefits the young people seeking experience, but also the local businesses searching for an enthusiastic young employee.


Disabled tenants will benefit from an updated policy, should they require aids and adaptations within their homes.

It ensures that they have access to good quality housing that meets their needs to ensure they can continue to live comfortably, safely and independently in their homes.

The type of adaptation work can range from minor adjustments such as installation of handrails through to major adaptations including the installation of through floor lifts and ramps.

In the last five years we have delivered 219 major adaptations and 701 minor adaptations for the benefit of tenants at a total cost of £1.4 million.


South Downs scenery

Discover hidden gems across Wealden

Residents and visitors are being encouraged to discover the diverse landscape of Wealden. The newly updated Wealden Walks collection now boasts more than 20 walks, with pubs, cafes and restaurant for when you fancy a break.

Take a look at our Wealden Walks collection


Judge's Gavel
Ukrainian flag waving in the wind with sky behind

Council tax fraudster

Support for Ukraine

A police detective has been convicted of benefit fraud following our investigation and prosecution. Karen Colbran claimed more than £3,000 in single person council tax repayments – by falsely telling the council that she lived alone for 10 years.

There is no current call on local authorities to resettle Ukrainian refugees in the same way as the Syrian or Afghan crisis. However, we are keeping a close eye on the situation. We are encouraging those who wish to donate to do so via the Red Cross.

Green background with multiple Wealden logos

Cabinet Round-up: Wednesday 9th February

Cabinet members have agreed financial spending for the forthcoming year. Among the decisions is the allocation of £5million to decarbonise our housing stock which will help us meet our commitment to achieving a net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Improvements include LED lighting, air source heat pumps, loft and cavity wall insulations, double and triple glazing, high efficiency gas boiler replacement and smart meter campaigns. All the measures are about boosting the energy performance of our existing homes.

Members’ allowances will be increased by 2.5% for 2022/23 and our staff will also see a pay increase of 2.5% effective from April 1 this year.

Money is also being invested in the council’s major projects: Hailsham Aspires, a new teaching pool at Crowborough Leisure Centre; Community sports hub near Hailsham and Knights Farm Employment Park on the A22 employment corridor.

We have once again agreed to adopt the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2022/23 and this will be monitored and reviewed.

In recognition of the huge pressures on voluntary and community organisations across the district, Cabinet members have approved thousands of pounds in funding support for the third sector. Supporting those organisations and groups through three year Service Level Agreements and Small Grants.