Category: MSDC

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March 1st, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

WORK to upgrade the Sunnyside recreation ground will start as soon as the area is dry enough. A public consultation last year asked users which items they would most like to see installed and the most popular choice amongst adults was more seating, in and out of the fenced play area, and more challenging items of equipment.

Young people voted for a zip wire, trampoline and new football goal posts.

All these items have now been included in the makeover plans, with work on a climbing wall due to start as soon as the rain stops.

Other equipment will be installed after that.

Above: artist’s impression of the Sunnyside rec’s new climbing wall

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: ,

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October 25th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

HIGH Street traders have objected to a new fruit and vegetable stall which set up unannounced in front of their shops on Thursday.

Their objection is not to the business itself, but to its somewhat scruffy and ‘Heath Robinson’ appearance, said Jason Pollard of Future Audio.

The new arrival coincided with the Thursday Farmers Market, but stayed on after the 2pm deadline and was back again on Friday.

The stall owners have permission from Mid Sussex District to trade – but it remains unclear whether that permission allows them to set up daily on the area outside Broadleys which is owned by West Sussex County Council but controlled by the Town Council.

Jason said the stall – set up on picnic tables under adjacent garden gazebos – is blocking the shop fronts of long-established businesses who pay high rates for their prime High Street locations, and filling nearby waste bins.

Stephen Rogers of Penny Farthing agreed.

“It looks very shabby and home-made and is not in keeping with the general quality of the High Street,” he said.

“It is doing us no favours and completely obliterates Broadley’s front window from the view of passersby.

“None of us would object to a quality business setting up in the town centre, and no-one wants to see someone in business fail without a valid reason.

“But this is a shambles which denigrates the High Street and I have written to Mid Sussex District Council to object.”

Photo top, Roy Henderson; below, Jason Pollard

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Posted in Council, MSDC, News Tagged with: , ,

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October 17th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Sadlers Yard development, which was originally scheduled to be finished by mid summer, is now nearing completion.

Mid Sussex District Council, which owned the site behind the town library, gave permission for a three storey building on the yard divided into one three-storey dwelling, two two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom flats, which are described as “luxury” apartments.

Below: Sadlers Yard in 2006 when the Access Group were given an award

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Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with:

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September 14th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

MID Sussex District Council held its Community Awards ceremony at the Ravenswood Inn yesterday to honour the District’s unsung heroes who make valuable contributions to local life.

The trio of East Grinstead residents who were recognised were:

Nic Beale, Chairman of the East Grinstead Society, who was nominated by Cllr Bob Mainstone

Nigel Maynard, a Volunteer advisor at Lewes prison helping local families whose fathers/ husbands are in HMP custody, who was nominated by Cllr Norman Mockford

Marjorie Herbert, nominated for her long service to the Sunnyside community and her role in the running of the church hall by Cllr Dick Sweatman.

Other nominees were Mark Eichner and Don Sinclair put up by Ashurst Wood Parish Council, and newly-retired Town Promotions Officer Simon Kerr and Tim Baker from the Bluebell Railway, who were nominated by East Grinstead Town Council.

Above: Cllr Bob Mainstone with Nic Beale. Below award winners Marjorie Herbert and Nigel Maynard

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: , , ,

August 4th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

DSCF5892EAST Grinstead’s Valerie Maynard and Lloyd Richards, and Claire Judge from Ashurst Wood, were among the “exceptional residents” invited to a special coffee morning at Mid Sussex District Council to recognise their “outstanding contribution” to their communities.

MSDC chairman Cllr Peter Reed hosted the event for District residents who had been honoured in the recent Birthday Honours list so he could show his personal appreciation for everything they have done.

Those who attended were:

Valerie Maynard, who works as a Prison Volunteer at HMP Lewes and was awarded an MBE for services to prisoners and their families.

Lloyd Richards, who was awarded an MBE for services to the community in East Grinstead.

Claire Judge, who became a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for her role as a volunteer and on the Development Committee at Ashurst Wood Community Pre-School.

Lorraine Mercer, who was awarded an MBE for services to the community and to charity in Haywards Heath.

Rowenna Woodward, who became a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to young people in Surrey and West Sussex through the Guide and Scout movements.

William and Janice Kent who received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for his work with the Hassocks based charity ReMember, The Chronic Fatigue Society.

“It was a pleasure to meet these unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make Mid Sussex a better place for us all,” said Peter Reed.

“So much of their work goes on behind the scenes, largely unnoticed by the majority of the community, but it makes such a huge difference to the lives of the people they help.

“They deserve all the credit in the world and I’m delighted that they have been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in the Birthday Honours List.

“I’m grateful too that I had the chance to welcome them to the Council and thank them personally for everything they are doing to make Mid Sussex such a special place.”

 

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

July 22nd, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline
unnamedRef:  Fairview’s agreement to pay £765,000 towards local  infrastructure and services in exchange for Planning Permission – of which £347,000 will be spent on junction improvements – is “disingenuous”.
Madam,
I attach the Section 106 calculations that were put before Mid-Sussex District Council before the Planning Committee in December 2013 at which Fairview offered £648k against Section 106 Funds, against a requirement of £1616k – a shortfall of the monies that they should have paid by £968k.
On this occasion the Planning Committee turned down the application.Normally, the Developer would Appeal a decision.

 This would have taken time and there would have been a high risk of the Appeal being turned down.
However, with Local Authority Officers seemingly having an overwhelming desire to have this site developed, MSDC agreed to allow submission of an alternative Planning Application.
The rules for allowing this are that the Planning Application should be significantly different. It was not.

The only difference was that they raised the amount offered against Section 106 was increased from £648k to £760k, and after re-adjustment for Affordable Housing and NHS Shortfalls to contributions, the overall Shortfall in contributions reduced from £ 1,272,000 to £1,160,000. These figures were not challenged by MSDC, and were provided to the Planning Committee prior to their taking their decision.

This second Planning Application was put before the Planning Committee in March 2014, and passed.

Local Authorities are apparently allowed discretion on achieving full payment of Section 106 funds. Discretion is unspecified, but a shortfall of some 60% surely exceeds “discretion”.

I just do not believe that the developer, Fairview, should be allowed to have such disingenuous and only partial information put before the public.

John Benstead
The Old Convent
140306 Infrastrucuture Shortfall March 2014
 

Posted in Business, MSDC, News Tagged with: , ,

June 21st, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

CBh10oXU8AAzCWwMID Sussex District Council has approved outline plans for up to ten dwellings on a parcel of open green at Blackwell Farm Road, despite objections to the development from neighbours, East Grinstead Town Council and the East Grinstead Society.

The Town Council has recorded their “vehement” opposition to the plans for social housing on the site, saying it would destroy a long-standing informal open space, and create a dangerous precedent for other green areas around the town.

In listing their other objections, Town councillors added: “MSDC has a clear conflict of interest in submitting this application since it is both the owner of the site and the Local Planning Authority.”

* Above right, local resident Linda Hordyk who has objected to the scheme for the area of open land

Posted in Council, Environment, MSDC, News Tagged with: , , , ,

June 13th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

imagePILES of orange safety barriers have been lined up along the Sackville College end of the High Street, around the Lewes Road roundabout and out on to the A22 as work is carried out to replace the street lamps.

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: , ,

April 29th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

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Bolnore Village Primary School – Overall Winner in the 2012 Mid Sussex Design Awards

MID Sussex District Council wants to recognise the importance of good design by rewarding building projects that enhance the District.

The Mid Sussex Design Awards celebrate and promote the best local architectural design, and acknowledge the important role it plays in enhancing the distinctive character of Mid Sussex so that it remains a desirable place to live.

Entries can be submitted for schemes completed since May 2012 in the Mid Sussex area.

This year’s event is sponsored by Cordek Limited, a West Sussex company specialising in technical solutions for a range of construction requirements.

unnamed-1Cordek has recently been involved in a wide variety of projects which includes the diving platforms at the London Aquatics centre in the 2012 Olympics (see right) and Baltimore Tower – the prestigious Canary Wharf development.

“At Cordek we thrive on innovation and new approaches to construction, so this makes us an ideal supporter of the Awards,” said Stephen Hearn, Managing Director of Cordek.

Awards will be made in four categories:

  • Sustainability – schemes which are outstanding in their approach to sustainability
  • Small scale residential – single dwelling or small housing development of up to nine dwellings and including restoration and extensions
  • Large scale residential – a development of 10 or more dwellings (including care homes)
  • Non-residential scheme (including commercial, community, medical, educational, transport and mixed-use schemes).

The winners will be announced at a ceremony which will take place at Meridian Hall, East Grinstead in the autumn when they will be presented with a commemorative plaque which can be fixed to the winning building.

* The Design Awards are free to enter and can be found online at:  www.midsussex.gov.uk/designawards

Posted in Council, Environment, MSDC, News Tagged with: ,

March 1st, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

unnamed-3MEMBERS of the East Grinstead War Memorial Company Limited, which owns most of the East Court estate, voted 19 – 16 against a vote of confidence in their Directors who recently signed a 125 year lease with Mid Sussex District Council.

The vote came at an extraordinary meeting held on Friday night to discuss the signing, amid accusations that the move had been carried out without consulting the membership of the War Memorial Company.

The land at East Court was left to the people of East Grinstead by benefactor Alfred Wagg, but he did not leave a legacy to maintain the estate, which costs about £50,000 a year.

Chairman Phillip Baker said this cost rendered the estate “more of a liability than an asset”, and although MSDC signed a 40 year lease in 1995, it did not require them to maintain the land “in good order”.

As a result, said Mr Baker, the demands of a growing population and the minimal maintenance work being done by Mid Sussex in the light of their own financial constraints, meant the War Memorial Company had looked for a long-term solution to preserving both the estate and the ancient Ashplats woodlands.

In 2013, the Company were approached by MSDC with a proposal to terminate their lease and replace it with a 125 year lease which would see the land designated as a SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) which they would maintain and improve as an area of recreational use to offset the potential environmental damage to the Ashdown Forest brought about by greater population numbers.

The lease has now been signed and MSDC has already agreed to pay £100,000 for a 3Km all-weather circular walk which will make the area accessible throughout the year to walkers and pet owners (see surveyors above).

An independent review of the arrangements, required by the Charity Commission, concluded that they represented the “best terms” which could reasonably be achieved by the War Memorial Company which had neither the funds nor the expertise to manage the space for public recreation themselves.

But recently joined members of the War Memorial Company protested the move, and called for Friday night’s special meeting to discuss it.

Dick Sweatman, who attended the meeting, called the no confidence vote “disappointing and ridiculous”.

“Negotiations were carried out in confidence because of other sensitive issues but that is what the directors were elected to do, that is their remit,” he said.

And with the directors having taken all investment and financial decisons for the past 25 years without discussing them with the membership, Dick said it appeared that many new members of the War Memorial Company had joined specifically to disrupt the lease issue.

“Mid Sussex District Council is prepared to spend millions of pounds protecting our ancient woodland over the next 125 years. Had they not done so, alternatives would have had to be found, which could have included selling the football club, or part of the estate for housing.

“The vote against them was absolutely ridiculous.”

Posted in Environment, MSDC, News Tagged with: , ,

December 16th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

220px-Ashdown_Forest_-_Friends_ClumpMID Sussex District Council is introducing new planning measures which will provide Ashdown Forest with even greater protection from new housing development.

If new homes are built near Ashdown Forest, it places greater pressure on the forest from increased visitor numbers.

Therefore, from 1 January 2015, any developer seeking to build new homes within 7km of Ashdown Forest will be required to contribute towards a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).

Research has found that increased recreational use at Ashdown Forest has the potential to disturb the protected birds, such as the Dartford warbler and European nightjar, which nest on the ground.

Natural England has advised Mid Sussex District Council that one of the best ways to protect Ashdown Forest from increasing visitor numbers is to provide alternative areas for people to visit.

Mid Sussex District Council has identified Ashplats Wood as an area of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace to the Ashdown Forest. Developers who would like to build new homes within 7km of Ashdown Forest will now be required to make a financial contribution towards improvement and management works at Ashplats Wood, or to provide alternative public open space themselves.

The requirement to fund a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace is in addition to the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) contributions that developers are already required to make if they wish to build within 7km of the forest.

The SAMM payments are for measures on Ashdown Forest that help to monitor the protected birds that nest in the forest during the breeding season and to manage visitor behaviour by funding education programmes.

“Ashdown Forest is a beautiful natural habitat that’s home to a vast array of wonderful wildlife,” said Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Planning.

“We’re so lucky to have it right here on our doorstep and these measures will help to protect it for future generations.

“Natural England has advised us that a joint strategy of SANG and SAMM contributions is the most effective way to protect Ashdown Forest from recreational pressure, so it’s great news that we’ll have both in place from the start of 2015.”

Posted in Council, Environment, MSDC, News, Sussex Tagged with: , , ,

December 5th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

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Sadler’s Yard in 2006, when the Access Group was presented with an award by the then Mayor, Jim Joyce-Nelson

WORK has now started on the redevelopment of Sadler’s Yard, an area of ground behind the row of shops at the top of Ship Street, and the West Street library.

But neighbours backing on to the area say they object to a project which will block light from their properties and intrude on their privacy.

The brownfield site is owned by Mid Sussex District Council which plans to erect a three-storey building on the yard divided into one three-storey dwelling, two two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom flats.

Danny Bridle of Bullfrog Music said that none of his neighbours in the adjoining properties had been given notice of the plans, adding that both he and they had all been unaware that work was to start on the eight-month-long scheme until a mini digger arrived on site earlier this week.

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Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: ,

November 25th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

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Mid Sussex District Council has given two East Grinstead sports clubs £3,000 from the cash raised by last May’s ‘three towns’ Marathon to encourage running.

More than 1000 runners (and a Teddy bear – see below) completed the three-part Mid Sussex Marathon last Spring bank holiday, helping to raise money for local charities and attracting hundreds of visitors into the towns to spectate on race days.

The Marathon money raised has now been given to sports clubs across the District to improve sporting opportunities for residents.

The East Grinstead Athletics Club and Activate East Grinstead have been granted £3000 for local running projects. The clubs will use £1500 for the 321 initiative, a project pioneered by Run England that encourages people who have stopped taking exercise to become active again. Signage will be displayed around the town to mark out jogging routes from 1 to 5km, varied distances that will appeal to runners of all abilities.

The remainder of the money has been set aside to establish a weekly Park Run in the town.

Photo above: Representatives from local sports clubs meet  Cllr Pru Moore to receive their funding. 

(Left to Right) Stuart Condie from Burgess Hill Runners, Councillor Mims Davies, Mike Essex from Haywards Heath Harriers, Councillor Pru Moore, Lucie Venables from Haywards Heath Harriers and Julie Holden, East Grinstead Town Clerk who accepted the funding on behalf of East Grinstead Athletics Club and Activate East Grinstead.

And Teddy came too...

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: , ,

November 20th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

DSCN4882MID Sussex District Council is offering an early boost to shoppers and traders by providing all-day town centre parking in East Grinstead for just £1.

As normal, parking will continue to be completely free on Sundays and Bank Holidays, including Boxing Day. The £1 festive parking discount will be available on Saturday 6, 13 and 20 of December at:

The Vicarage car park – East Grinstead 

Norton House car park – East Grinstead

In addition the Council is supporting its Town Councils by providing free parking after 1pm on selected days.

East Grinstead Town Council will have free parking on 6 December, encouraging residents to visit the town centre for the lighting of the Rotary Christmas tree and do some shopping.

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: , , ,

November 14th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

MID Sussex District Council is encouraging residents to help shape the District’s future by giving their views on the draft District Plan.

Mid Sussex Councillors agreed the draft District Plan on Wednesday, and it will be available for public consultation and comment at http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/7502.htm from 21 November until Friday 16 January 2015.

The purpose of the draft District Plan is to set out in broad terms what, where, when and how development will take place in Mid Sussex over the next 17 years.

It has been prepared with the help of Town and Parish Councils in Mid Sussex to make sure it reflects the views of local communities.

The draft District Plan aims to support the local economy and help promote the health and vitality of Mid Sussex towns and village centres.

It also ensures the Council has planning policies in place that will protect the distinctive characters of its towns and villages as well as the beautiful countryside across the District.

Whilst the overall strategy of the District Plan has not changed from the 2013 version, the Council wants to give residents and other interested parties an opportunity to comment on the updated wording of the text and policies.

DSCN3958-Version-2The Plan does not yet include a proposed number of homes because this is still work in progress. However, there will be another opportunity to make comments on the Plan, including the number of homes, when it is published in May 2015.

“This is an important step forward for Mid Sussex District Council and marks the next step towards the adoption of the District Plan,” said Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Planning.

“The Council has worked hard over a number of years, and in particular this year, listening carefully to the concerns of local residents, and has produced a plan that achieves the right balance between economic growth and protecting the special characteristics of Mid Sussex. The District Plan has strong support from local communities and will provide them with greater protection against unwelcome planning applications.

“We would also encourage communities to make progress on their Neighbourhood Plans. The recent ‘making’ of the Cuckfield Plan and the successful examinations of Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common and Ardingly Neighbourhood Plans demonstrates that these can be progressed ahead of the District Plan and help to protect local areas.”

Posted in Council, MSDC, News

November 11th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

DSCN4647EAST Grinstead MP Sir Nicholas Soames has congratulated Mid Sussex District Council on a financial audit report which says it is providing residents with “excellent value for money”.

MSDC accounts are inspected annually by an independent auditor, who assesses how effective the Council is at managing public money.

The auditor, who published his findings in an Annual Audit Letter at the end of October, revealed that MSDC  had passed its latest financial assessment with flying colours.

The Audit Letter confirmed that the Council has put in place the proper arrangements to ensure it uses its resources efficiently and effectively, and has taken measures to secure a sound financial future for the authority to ensure residents receive excellent value for money.

“At Mid Sussex District Council we are proud of our strong record of keeping costs low and delivering our high quality services for less money than neighbouring authorities,” said Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Cabinet Member for Finance.

“Over the years we have developed a money-saving culture within the organisation. Every member of staff knows the importance of getting the best deal possible for our residents and this has helped us to make significant financial savings.

“We plan ahead, keep costs to a minimum and look at new ways of working so that we are able to provide our services in the most efficient way. By doing this, we are able to make taxpayers’ money go further and avoid the cuts in service that many other Councils have made.”

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: ,

November 11th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline
image001MID Sussex District Council has released details of its arrangements for the next Town Council Election, which will coincide with the General Election on 7 May next year.
There will be 19 town councillor seats in contention, across six wards.
Anyone who wishes to put their name forward to stand must follow the correct process and submit their forms to MSDC, the electoral authority, not to East Grinstead Town Council. 
 
Nominations will open on 30 March 2015 – so you have the winter to consider whether you wish to stand – and will continue to 9 April 2015.
The election will take place on Thursday 7 May should sufficient nominations for a contested election be received.
 
The wards and councillors for East Grinstead are as follows:
Ashplats  –  4 Councillors
Baldwins  – 3 Councillors
Imberhorne  –  4 Councillors
Herontye – 3 Councillors
Town (North and South amalgamated with 1 additional seat) – 4 Councillors
Worsted –  1 Councillor
 
The Electoral Commission has produced comprehensive guidance for candidates and agents which is available here:
http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-and-community-council-elections-in-england-and-wales
 
* As further information becomes available it will be posted on the Town Council website, and also will be available from the electoral authority Mid Sussex District Council.

Posted in Council, MSDC, News Tagged with: , , , ,

October 16th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline
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AN online petition has been launched to protest again plans to develop land at Hill Place Farm for a new housing estate of up to 210 affordable new homes.
 
 Mark Palmos, who has lived in Garden Wood Road with his family for the past 11 years, says that despite his home overlooking the “lovely green hill next to the viaduct” he was not leafleted about the proposal by Linden Homes and has only just heard about it.
 
“I am opposed to the plan because Garden Wood Road is already a busy secondary route for commuters skipping the one-way system, and an extra 200+ houses will create a nightmare,” he said.
 
“The speed bumps do nothing to slow traffic and cars can reach over 60mph along that road – and do. More importantly, it will spoil the very beautiful setting of our viaduct. The green hill, often with cows out to pasture, and the giant brick bridge are major attractions to the area, and this cramped over-development will permanently destroy this environment.
 
“From a personal perspective, our view of the green hill will be replaced by cramped low cost housing, bearing no resemblance at all to the spacious luxury homes depicted on Linden’s flyer.
 
“If youngsters getting a foothold on the housing ladder entails ruining very beautiful land, I am utterly opposed to it. There are many sites which are not ‘views’ but this hill is a view, from every angle – one of which is alongside our Bluebell Railway track.
 
“Will visitors from London prefer to see a beautiful green hill in the foreground with our town in the background, or some low cost housing cramping the vista and probably blotting out the view of the town?
 
“The motivation for creating a new development has nothing to do with youngsters and their need for housing, but it is clearly a developer who is knowledgeable about, and is taking advantage of, the housing directive and pushing the Council into approving their plans.”
 
At an exhibition of the proposed development at Chequer Mead in August, Linden Homes claimed their scheme would create jobs and benefit the community, as well as providing revenue for Mid Sussex District Council. If the development goes ahead, an alternative green space will be designated for public use.
But Mr Palmos fears that the view, once gone, will be irreplaceable, which is why he has started a Facebook page to protest the move.
 
To find out more about the petition go to http://www.hillplacefarm.co.uk
 
To find out more about the proposed scheme for Hill Place Farm go to http://www.lindenhomes.co.uk/community/west-sussex/hill-place-farm-east-grinstead

Posted in Environment, MSDC, News Tagged with: , , ,

October 10th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

MID Sussex District Council is hoping to hear from more residents in response to its online budget survey What Matters to You?

They’ve had more than 2,400 replies already, but they would like to hear from more people living in the District about how they would like their money spent.

The survey closes on Sunday so if you want to take part go to: www.surveymonkey.com/s/whatmatterswestsussex.

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: , , ,

October 8th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

A one-day strike is planned by Serco on 14 October (next Tuesday) which is likely to affect residents throughout Mid Sussex District.

A spokesman for MSD said: “Whilst we will endeavour to offer some service, we expect that during the industrial action there will be disruption to our refuse and recycling collections. We apologise for any delay.

“If you are affected please leave your bin out and it will be collected as soon as possible.

“We will update our website and facebook/twitter pages as we receive further information.”

Posted in MSDC, News Tagged with: ,

October 8th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

unnamed-1THE Town’s unsung heroes were honoured at the Mid Sussex District Council Community Awards on Sunday when their selfless contribution to local life was marked with a celebration tea and presentation of certificates.

Among those honoured, with their citations, were:

Christine Hardisty:

“Christine has worked tirelessly as Manager of the CVS for a number of years at a time of budget cuts and uncertainty. She has helped to reorganise the Organisation. Her band of helpers is ubiquitous. Wherever there is a meeting requiring public support Christine is always on hand.”

Derek Field

“Derek has been on the Christmas Lights Committee from day one and this year represents his 33rd year. He has worked tirelessly along with the Chairman to ensure that this event takes place every year and he takes pride and pleasure in ensuring that the town is lit up to celebrate Christmas.”

Stuart Hellier

“As one of the Contractors who has served with the Christmas Lights Committee, for over thirty years, Stuart has been the leading man and organises the troops and personally does far more than what is expected of him. Although not an East Grinstead resident, his role in contributing to the town’s celebrations will be acknowledged by this award.”

Ian Staines:

“Christmas Lights, which have brightened the town over the past three decades have been organised and maintained by a dedicated band of volunteers and Ian has been a great asset. The Chairman and Committee have been supported in running the bar at Meridian Hall which is run by the volunteers to fund the lights.”

Melvin Philips

“Melvin is the Chairman of the annual Christmas Lights Committee and has been on this committee for over 33 years. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that this event takes place every year and he takes pride in ensuring that the town is lit up to celebrate the Christmas Season. As well as the physical caring for and putting up the lights, Melvin runs the bar at Meridian Hall to pay for them. He has been the lynchpin in this truly remarkable volunteering group.”

John and Hiliary Taylor

“John and Hilary have been voluntary fundraisers for the Blond McIndoe Research Centre and other charities since 1984. For local residents their second hand book stall has been a popular place to visit every Friday in Queen’s Walk, East Grinstead. John and Hilary estimate over the years they have raised more than £100,000.”

BpsiyirCAAA2SlfJenny Watson

“Jenny has been employed by the Town Council since 2011 as a part time Gardener and works tirelessly well beyond her contracted hours every week. She is a whirlwind of winning ideas, practical from the top of her head to the tip of her green fingers. She is full of inspirational ideas and ways to get local people involved. Jenny designed the East Grinstead war memorial flower beds which won Best War Memorial planting in the South and South East in Bloom completion recently.”

Julie Mockford

“Julie is hard-working, dedicated, conscientious and caring. Longstanding volunteer on the East Grinstead Music and Arts Festival. Voluntarily ran after-school dance club for 13 years in desire to promote self confidence in young children. Julie is also a Staff Governor at Queen Victoria hospital and a Judge for South East in Bloom.”

Danny Favor

“Danny Favor has lived in East Grinstead for 14 years and is an Ophthalmic Nurse Practitioner at Queen Victoria Hospital. He is involved with many charities like the Filipino British Nurses team, who carry out community health checks and raising money for Our Lady & St. Peter church. He also raised money for the restoration of a typhoon damaged school in the Philippines, now named the East Grinstead Building.”

unnamed-2Chris Nunn

“Chris Nunn (left) is the secretary of the Ashplats Conservation Group, a volunteer team, and has done much valuable work in and around Ashplats Wood. Whether it is litter picks, repairing paths and steps, or looking after the trees, Chris is looking after this valuable ancient woodland for all residents to enjoy.”

Stuart Scholes

“Appointed CEO of an investor friendly and reinvigorated East Grinstead Business Association, Stuart has improved member benefits and networking events. As Chairman of the McIndoe Statue Committee he steered the project to a successful conclusion. He established a Station Meet and Greet Visitor Service and produced an East Grinstead promotional song and video.”

Alice Tyrrel

“A retired school teacher, Alice volunteers her time to the Ashurst Wood Youth Club and is the community Shopping Bus driver. Every Wednesday evening she takes her wood turning equipment to the Club to encourage local youngsters  to learn new skills. She also teaches cooking.”

Dick Tyrrel

“Dick Tyrrel was Ashurst Wood’s Parish Council’s handyman for six years. He was instrumental in the Winter Management Programme and in the years of heavy snow worked endlessly clearing pavements. He carried out numerous repairs to the bus shelters and other street furniture, and was always on hand to help at village events.”

David Phillips 

“David (from Ashurst Wood) organises musical events in the area giving a platform for local talent. He has always supported charity events, even making his own 60th birthday celebrations into a charity fundraiser. Over the years he has involved local café and pub businesses as venues so helping local business in the process.”

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Posted in Council, MSDC, News Tagged with: ,

September 27th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

a96325bdde7e7ff5c13489753d013fbaWITH 88 days to go until Christmas – you heard it here first – Mid Sussex District Council has announced it will make parking free at Chequer Mead, Kings Street, Christopher Road and Queens Walk from 1pm on the afternoon of 6 December.

This will coincide with the annual lighting-up ceremony for the Rotary Christmas tree in the High Street which will be performed by Town Mayor Nick Hodges to the accompaniment of carols and a blessing from the Rev Clive Everett Allen of St Swithun’s.

MSDC will also offer £1 for all-day parking on Saturday 6, 13 and 20 December in their long-stay car parks of Norton House and Vicarage to encourage people to use the town’s shops and cafes.

* The new three tier flower baskets in Railway Approach will be topped with miniature Christmas trees as part of the town centre decorations for December.

Posted in MSDC, News

September 17th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

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Above: Council Chairman Gordon Marples presented Lieutenant Colonel Simon McMenemy with a Deed granting Freedom of Entry to the District of Mid Sussex.

MID Sussex District Council honoured the Royal Yeomanry and demonstrated its support for members of the Armed Forces at a special ceremony held in Haywards Heath on Saturday.

The Royal Yeomanry incorporates the Sussex Yeomanry, an Army Reserve regiment that has a long association with the Mid Sussex District.

This is only the second time that Freedom of Entry has been granted by a District in the UK and it recognises the friendship and service that the Yeomanry has contributed to the local community over the years.

The Freedom dates back to times when fortress walls afforded protection to cities and towns, and citizens refused entry to groups of armed men. Freedom of Entry was awarded only when townsfolk were completely sure it was safe and it became a mark of trust and confidence between the Armed Forces and local citizens.

The signing of the Community Covenant was welcomed by Major Charlie Field, Officer Commanding C Squadron, The Royal Yeomanry, who said:

“The support for the Armed Forces from the British public has been hugely appreciated by members of the Armed Forces and we simply could not do this often dangerous job without it. We thank you all for all your support and the many different ways in which you show it. Today in particular we thank the people of Mid Sussex who through their Council have expressed their wish to help and encourage us by signing this Community Covenant. We salute you.”

Posted in MSDC, News, Sussex

September 15th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline
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TOWN trader Michael Dongray took the fight to save his Imberhorne Lane nursery to Mid Sussex District Council this morning, when he handed in petitions containing more than 5,500 signatures opposing the scheme to turn the land into a permanent site for Travellers.

“We already have more than five and a half thousand signatures, and we anticipate this number will top 6,000 by 19 September when the Consultation ends,” said Michael.

The numbers of signatures, which were collected in an online petition set up on Michael’s behalf by East Grinstead Online, and paper petitions at the nursery and shops around the town, leapt up by hundreds after Travellers took over the King Street car park a week ago.

Complaints of rowdy behaviour saw town centre shops shut, and after the vans left Mid Sussex District Council had to send in a clean-up squad to remove litter and human waste from the site. 

“This has been a tremendous effort and I would like to thank the people of East Grinstead and the surrounding areas for their support and good wishes,” said Michael.

The Town Council’s response to the proposal will be tabled at tonight’s meeting, which is open to the public and starts at 7pm at East Court Mansion.

* There is still time to comment on it with a letter to MSDC before the deadline of 19 September.

Posted in Business, Council, MSDC, News