Buxted Parish Council

Buxted Parish Council came into being in 1894 when the present system of Parish Councils was instituted to give rural communities a voice. Buxted Parish covers some 7,000 acres with an electorate of about 2,500 out of a population of 3,200. It encompasses the villages of Buxted, High Hurstwood and Five Ash Down.

The parish is divided into two wards – Buxted/Five Ash Down (10 councillors) and High Hurstwood (5 councillors). Councils are elected for a term of 4 years. Council meetings are held on the second Tuesday in every month (except August), alternating between Buxted Reading Room, High Hurstwood Village Hall and Five Ash Down Village Hall, at 19.30. Meetings agendas are displayed one week in advance on the Parish notice boards in Buxted (on the Ionides Trust site), High Hurstwood (near The Hurstwood pub) and in Five Ash Down (outside the Village Hall) and on the website. The agenda includes a list of any planning applications received from Wealden District Council for consultation. All meetings of the Council and its committees are open to the public, who are welcome to ask questions or raise issues with the Council before the meetings formally begin.

An early requirement was to provide allotments, which we do. Councils can also support arts and crafts; contribute to maintenance of churchyards; protect commons, provide buildings for public meetings, functions and entertainment, maintain public footpaths and bridleways (jointly with ESCC), provide footway lighting (we don’t), provide and maintain public open spaces, and comment on planning applications.

We also take an active interest in highways matters, policy and our environment (e.g. trees and hedgerows). More and more we have to comment on government policies for local government and voice our electors’ concerns.

Parish assets include Buxted Reading Room, two recreation grounds (Buxted and High Hurstwood), two allotment areas in Buxted (recently re-generated) and High Hurstwood, children’s play areas in Buxted and High Hurstwood, and two bus shelters. The budget is set annually over the period October to December. Planned expenditure less income forms the ‘Parish Precept’ which is levied as part of annual Council Tax. Apart from meeting general running expenses of the council – specifically employing our Parish Clerk – the council makes grants to local organisations and contributes to local projects e.g. Buxted Traffic calming.

The Parish Council recognises the burden of Council Tax but is also conscious of local needs for improvements in the Parish that increasingly are not being covered by either County or District as they seek to keep within national government budgets. Before increasing Precept to cover costs of local improvements such as the recent traffic calming, the Parish Council ensures that such improvements are what our electorate want and are prepared to pay for.

Councillors sit on various committees (e.g. Finance, Planning, Communications) and outside bodies (e.g. Ionides Trust, Buxted Community Hall Trust). Each keeps an eye on different parts of the Parish, e.g. for planning purposes and trees.

Our Parish Clerks, Beccy Macklen & Claudine Feltham (01435 515219) clerk@buxted-pc.gov.uk, who act as the Council’s ‘proper officers’ on the Council’s behalf and under its direction. 

Latest Parish News

Drainage Works Five Ash Down


July 2024
Drainage Works Five Ash Down


Five Ash Down, Uckfield

Dear Resident,

Balfour Beatty is working in partnership with East Sussex County Council to manage the highways service across East Sussex. As part of this, we will be carrying out drainage works in Five Ash Down, Uckfield.

When do they start?

Work will be carried out on Monday 5 August 2024and Tuesday 6 August 2024 between 9am and 4pm.

We will inform you of any changes to the dates or times via advanced warning signs on site.

What are we doing?

These works involve replacing broken pipes on drainage assets to alleviate flooding in the area.

How will this impact highway users?

The team will be working at two locations:

Location 1: Outside properties ‘Mayfield Cottage’ & ‘Little Haseley’

Location 2: From the junction with Cobdown Lane and continuing approximately 120m North East.

The road will remain open with minimal disrupstion to road users.

Information for residents and businesses

Parking: If required, we will put out ‘no parking’ signs and cones on the site to advise where parking is restricted. Please avoid parking in these locations as it will delay our works.

Weather: All of these works are subject to favourable weather conditions, for example heavy rain may affect the progress of the works.

Properties close to the carriageway may experience a temporary disturbance as this can be a noisy process and those properties may experience flashing lights and reversing sirens.

We would like to take this opportunity to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption this work may cause, however this forms part of our continuing improvement for the East Sussex highway network. Should you have any concerns regarding these works, you can contact us at eshcomms@balfourbeatty.com.

For information on roadworks and journey planning, visit www.One.Network.com. Please follow us on X (formerly Twitter)@esccroads or Facebook@EastSussexHighways for updates. If you would like to know more about East Sussex Highways and what we do, please visit our website www.eastsussexhighways.com.

Thank you,

East Sussex Highways

WDC Cllr Graham Shaw monthly news July 2024


July 2024
WDC Cllr Graham Shaw monthly news July 2024

UPDATE - Graham Shaw, Wealden District Councillor for Buxted

General Election

Following the boundary re-organisation Wealden District Council now has two MP’s with which to work. Mims Davis for East Grinstead and Uckfield (including Buxted) and Nus Ghani for Sussex Weald.

With the calling of the general election Wealden had to quickly swing into action to fulfil its democratic responsibilities – issue poll cards, send out postal votes, establish the council offices both as a polling station and for the count for Sussex Weald constituency etc. The call on staff time and the restrictions of “purdah” had an impact on council meetings, on which we are now catching up. Responsibility for this work for the E&G constituency rested on Mid Sussex District Council. It’s important to recognise that councils do not receive any additional funding to deliver this important role.

Concern was reported in the press regarding people not receiving poll cards and postal votes – if you know of anyone that was unable to vote due to these problems locally, please let me know. Equally if you know of any difficulties caused by voter ID requirements.

Local Plan

As I reported last time the recent consultation on the draft Local Plan produced 1500 responders, 12,500 answers plus 130 longer “essays” covering multiple issues. Whilst we can always do better this level of engagement is well above the average for similar processes in other councils.

The consultations are now being reviewed as part of further drafting for the next phase of the local plan process. All comments are now available for anyone to look at by visiting https://consult.wealden.gov.uk/kpse/event/2726CE98-03BA-4520-8558-361BAA45F784/peoplesubmissions

Government announcements on planning and housing

I’m sure you will have noted the speech by Rachel Reeves, the new Chancellor, regarding the reform of planning regulations and the re-establishment of housing targets for each local authority (though they were never formally removed under the previous government). It probably raised more questions than it resolved, not least around building affordable homes, homes for rent and expectations to be put on developers to deliver quality and sustainable homes. Housing Associations have reported, the biggest developer of social housing, has reported that only 32,705 were started last year, 30% down on the previous year. We await further information to understand what impact any reforms will have locally.

Local Government Association Peer Review

Local councils can engage with the LGA to have external council leaders come into the organisation and review our performance and approach. As part of our continuous improvement, we recently undertook a peer review.

The report found that Wealden is well-run and good council that is performing well with a clear ambition to continue to develop across the organisation to meet new challenges and ambitions. It made recommendations for us to improve communications across the organisation and with residents, work more closely with local organisations and residents to plan services, and restructure the way we internally scrutinise plans and decisions. Members and staff are now working hard to act on the recommendations.

Lobbying government

One of the last acts of the previous government was to require councils to produce a ‘productivity report’. The report looks at how we have reduced waste, delivered services and used technology. Along with many other councils we have also used this an opportunity to flag-up what we need from government to perform better, including increased funding to reflect local needs, knowing what we have to spend three years in advance instead of only one year, as at present – which makes planning ahead difficult – increase investment in transport and force water companies to make the investments to stop sewage spills and water leakages, and ban no-fault evictions for people renting their housing.

Buxted Wastewater Treatment Works

Upgrading of the treatment works is starting imminently. Southern Water report that this is in response to increased demand and will involve building a tank to hold wastewater in a storm event, hopefully, to reduce sewage spills. Let’s hope this will have a positive impact.

Funding for green spaces and community facilities

The council is inviting not-for-profit organisations and parish councils to apply for grants between £1,000 and £20,000 for projects that will improve accessibility and energy efficiency for community facilities, improve green spaces and promote active travel. This is a capital fund so can only be spent on assets such as equipment etc. If you wish to discuss this please let me know

Please don‘t hesitate to contact me to discuss these or any other issues important to you.

Contact me oncllr.graham.shaw@wealden.gov.uk

Wealden’s website is www.wealden.gov.uk

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