Parish News – October 2016

There are two parts to our notes this month; there is a separate note elsewhere in the website about the Winter Village Help Scheme, so please refer to this whether you are a volunteer or might need some help this winter.

It is difficult to imagine “winter” at the time of writing this, given the late summer weather we have enjoyed, although I suspect a few gardens will be glad of some rain – please not too much!

The building works at the top of Silverdale will have started again by the time you read this, after the SDNP/Horsham agreed a full set of conditions for the builders to follow. We have been in touch with SDNP, Stonewater and Trinity Homes through the summer to try to tease out the schedule of deliveries and works – we have secured a measure of contact with the team ‘on the ground’ who will try to notify us of significant arrivals and departures, in terms of trucks and equipment, but a conversation with the team on the day of writing suggests some difficulty in getting the builders to predict too far in advance. We appreciate hearing of any difficulties that arise from this. We are anxious about the road surfaces will cope.

Now some good news – we have secured an arrangement about the footpath along the river in Watersfield for Parish residents. This path will be available throughout the year except one day (1 February), and Barlavington Estates have confirmed in our agreement that they have no intention to withhold access in future. The previously locked gate near Thorndale Bridge has now been replaced by a kissing gate.  This is a very attractive part of the river, with clear views across to the Downs, and parishioners are encouraged to make full use of the path. If it can be cleared, it now provides a footpath all along the river back to Greatham Bridge – so do please try it before winter closes in.

It is with great anxiety that we can inform you that we have suffered the first example of “vandalism” at the Alban Head fields in the last month. It seems that a group young people – unknown – took into their heads to drive some kind of vehicle across the cricket squares and around the playing areas of the fields. It is impossible to police this all the time, but it is heavily used by a great many people – especially in the summer, and so we hope that with plenty of “eyes and ears” we might keep a look out for such signs and report them in. We have reported this to the police.

Elsewhere there is a village-wide process of consultation going on at the moment about how Alban Head should be managed – it does attract a significant portion of the Parish budget, and we know that there are views on both sides of the discussion about how much this should be – if you would like to see a copy of the current consultation document do please contact our Clerk who will send one out to you – from this, we are sure questions will arise. We want to have a revised process of managing this excellent facility by the beginning of April.

There is a small group of residents who are keen to establish a ‘Community Speed Watch” operation similar to that which we often see operating at the Coolham entrance to Storrington. So we will be approaching Sussex police to investigate the possibility of doing this on the A29 through the village. It was not only the speeds what we discussed at the last PC meeting but the nature of the traffic – very heavy truck vehicles; we are wondering if  something needs to be re-thought about signposting the A29 as a “major route”? You might wish to post your thoughts on this via the web site to the Clerk for our consideration. We might also say that “speeding” through Brook Lane and across Greatham Bridge is a major problem; anyone who spots what they think are inappropriate speeds or truck sizes using the bridge should notify Sussex Highways at https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem-with-a-road-or-pavement/ and/or Sussex police.

The Waterfield Football Club is in good health at the moment and we look forward to a successful season; do check their website for matches and also some important social events over the winter. We hope the cricket season will have closed successfully by the end of this month.

St James School has been pleased with the take-up to its new Pre-School operation; we hope that this will boost numbers in the future. Do watch the School website at http://www.st-james-coldwaltham.w-sussex.sch.uk  for future events, as the School Open Day will have taken place by the time of the magazine appearance. Now is the time to be making applications for places for next September if you have children approaching “school age”.

The website at https://coldwalthampc.org.uk has now been running for a couple months, so hope it is proving useful. It will be normal practice that these notes will go up on the site after the appearance of The Link at the beginning of each month – you read it there first! This will then give us opportunities for using the web site for more immediate news.

John Evans

Oct 16

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