HeathfieldGreen.Space is the new name for StopVinesCorner
1. Do you think the concerns regarding the Overdevelopment of the Countryside are justified and are there any solution to easing the concerns?
2. With all new developments attracting a Community Infrastructure Levy, have you concerns about the levy and is it being used to the benefit of the communities where the developments are taking place.
3. It is clear from all surveys that young people find it hard to stay local, have you a view on this and are there any solutions.
4. I understand the road maintenance falls under ESCC, but Wealden as a Local Planning Authority influence the pressure being put on the road network, what are your thoughts on the delivery of maintenance and road infrastructure delivery.
5. Concern for the environment is at an all-time high ... what are your thoughts on the Wealden Environment and what could we all do to improve it.
6. Policing ... the lack of visible policing presence is of great concern especially when considered in return for the substantial contribution which is made towards policing in Heathfield ... have you any thoughts on the subject and what could be done in a market town such as Heathfield to improve it.
Rupert Simmons - current elected councillor
1. Independent of ESCC, pressure is being brought to bare on WDC to increase housing development. The landscape of East Sussex is very precious to all Residents and protection of the Green Space between established development is vital. The maximization of Brown Field sites would seem essential in the circumstances. This would also apply to commercial development where employment opportunities are also essential for sustainable development. This would help in reducing commuter traffic.
2. Suitable infrastructure provision needs to be made to support any new development and this is one way to ensure this can be provided for.
3. One of the most important aspects of my work as Lead member for the Economy is the provision for careers here in East Sussex for our Young. As Chair of the Grants and Loans Panel I have specifically encouraged job provision to all Businesses in the County trying to grow. We are fortunate now to have real exciting opportunities for careers in East Sussex where before our young would have sought futures further afield. My local contribution has been as Chair of the Wealden Works Organisation is to assist 16-24 year old NEETs (education, employment or training) into career opportunities. Before this was conceived there was no support for NEETs in the rural parts of the County let alone the Country. I am very proud of this work.
4. A high part of the ESCC annual budget is spent on maintenance of our Roads. There is also an importance to improve road provision in the County and here I am seeking Government investment to improve our connectivity and safety record.
5. Protecting our environment is a high priority for the County Council where plans to reduce carbon emissions is already making substantial progress.
6. I have endeavoured to work with the Police to ensure Policing in the Heathfield area is maximised. I chair the Local Action Team who work with the Inspector for Wealden regarding local community concerns in the Parish of Heathfield and Waldron. That local accountability has improved services provided. I also am now invited to chair the Regional Crime and Safety Action Group to ensure policing is addressed in the wider hinterland of Heathfield. This is also in conjunction with Inspector Kendall Wells.
Kind regards, Rupert Simmons.
Jennifer Howells - Candidate
Kevin Benton - Candidate for Vacant Seat
Question 1 Answer.
Yes I do believe that concerns in respect of over development in our countryside are justified and also sound.
Damage to the eco environment caused by the loss of habitat imparts an unacceptable detrimental impact on our lives and that of our wildlife.
Of acute concern to me is loss of agricultural land to make way for development. The madness of tomatoes, and other produce, being flown 3000 miles to arrive on supermarket shelves is a folly of the highest order.
On a holiday to France, when we could, I was very impressed that in the largest countrywide supermarket chain there is a dedicated section for fresh produce sourced within 25Km of the store. UK supermarkets should hang their heads in shame for continued global sourcing of product available locally.
I have very serious concern over the destruction of Special Areas of Conservation, this is caused primarily by emissions from motor vehicles passing through these areas. Continually Wealden DC ignore the monitoring results that they have themselves recorded these demonstrate that NOX levels are already well in excess of legal requirements and even still climbing.
We are blessed in our area with land designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This designation afforded during the 1980's with good reason. Protective policy is in place and recently re affirmed by central government but ignored by WDC, I will have this topic very much in my sight for correction.
Question 2 Answer.
Another issue top on my agenda, should I be elected, is to ensure that Community Infrastructure Levy is well spent on the community, not used to support sub committee expenses purporting to be evaluating worthy recipients.
Question 3 Answer.
My concerns over retention of young folk in our area. Clearly employment opportunity choices are limited but the real issue is the cost of housing. Government classification of “ affordable housing” really is disingenuous, housing that qualifies under the description is rarely truly affordable for young Wealden families.
My issue is that local government is not able to raise capital to build social/ affordable housing and is reliant on developers providing an allocation as part of a wider scheme usually featuring large 4-5 bedroom detached houses. The reason for this is that central government do not provide a mechanism for funds to be raised.
For many years there has been a ready source of funds for the building of social housing at the right price quality, successive governments steadfastly refuse to acknowledge this especially the Conservative government. This source is Pension funds under the classification of SSAS. These funds, usually under the control of small groups of investors, have for years been investing very successfully in Industrial and Commercial property and are eager to extend into residential. These bodies are not get rich quick developers with no concern for the future but are seeking stable long term investments. It is blocked by HMRC every time there is a move to allow this excellent source of capital to come forward. This in my view is a scandal.
Question 4 Answer.
Highways maintenance is one of the first topics that many people I have been speaking with during my campaign, seize on. I know that it is a County Council responsibility but my concern is the lack of supply of new and or improved roads to accommodate the current uncontrolled building frenzy. This should, in my view, be a responsibility that lays firmly at District Council level when determining development planning applications. If elected it will be high on my agenda to promote a more in depth responsibility at District Council level during the planning process.
Question 5 Answer.
I have very strong views on the lack of genuine compliance by District Council on environmental matters. Almost exclusively all statutory law and policy on this topic are seen as a nuisance to the progress of building yet more unneeded houses in Wealden. This topic features at the top of my agenda to confront if elected.
Question 6 Answer.
Policing is yet another issue high on the list of most people I have spoken with. There is a general view that visible policing is almost non existent in Wealden, especially in the Heathfield area. I think realistically the “ Bobby on a bike” scenario will never return but getting police officers out on the streets again at strategic times is vital for a safe as possible community.
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Conservative Party Candidate, Heathfield South
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Cornelie Usborne - Candidate
1. Yes! We could ease the situation by rejecting the present target of new housing figures central government tries to impose (1, 225 dwelling p.a.). We know that we can do this because.
a) Government’s suggestions are not legally binding.
b) The figure is too high given that East Sussex’s population is shrinking (in 2019 there were c. 1700 more deaths than births p.a.). In mid-2019 ES population was c. 560,000, a 7% increase over 2018. But the main driver for this is internal migration from within the UK.
c) Meeting government targets would be very damaging to our environment, AONB, to our health, to air quality and the increase of footfall.
2. Wealden District Council introduced CIL on 1st April 2016 for new residential and retail development. It is an important tool for WDC to use to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in our area. There is some doubt that WDC always enforces CIL and there is some evidence that some developers have been either too tardy to deliver the agreed infrastructure or that they have tried to avoid some of their duties. There needs to be clear determination to hold developers to account.
3. Developers have been allowed to build too many executive houses, unsuitable and financially unattainable for most local residents, especially for young people. We need to demand truly affordable houses for those local residents who need them: 1–2-bedroom dwellings to buy or to rent. More Council housing should be made available.
4. ESCC is responsible for infrastructure including course roads. County Councillors should ensure that East Sussex Highways reliably informs planners about road infrastructure and they should turn down applications without the existing necessary road network. New dwelling must be built within easy reach of school, shops, doctors’ practices, either by safe foot or bicycle paths, or by public transport (e.g. electric buses).
5. Some of the points above refer to protecting the environment.
a) Hold the Council to its carbon commitments. Push for policies that will actually achieve this. We need to protect our green field and green sites in villages and towns from overdevelopment. Small building projects rather than large developments.
b) New buildings must be built sustainably and to Passivhaus standards. Existing homes need to be retrofitted to the highest standards of energy efficiency.
c) Empty homes should be brought back into use. VAT on refurbishment to be scrapped.
d) Oppose major road development on climate and biodiversity grounds. Reduce speed on most roads to 20ph and replace car travel by active travel and public transport.
6. More money to be invested into community-based policing, but also into the causes of crime (education, employment and youth services).
Cornelie Usborne, Green Party candidate for Wealden East in the forthcoming East Sussex County Council elections.
Bob Bowdler - Candidate
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Mike Baker - Candidate
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See all the Candidates for your area (District, County, Police Commissioner.
I grew up in East Sussex and have lived in the county all of my life. I
live in Cross in Hand with my wife Jenny, who is a Biologist, and we
have a Spaniel called Poppy to keep us young and exercised!
For 35 years I owned and ran a successful engineering manufacturing
company in Sussex. I was responsible for employing and training
young Sussex people and providing jobs for the local community,
selling and negotiating internationally.
I am now able to devote time to the community that I treasure and
want to ensure that the views and concerns of local people are
acted upon by the council, that our beautiful countryside is
protected, and that promises are met with real change.
A sportsman I have played Rugby for local teams, being a member of
Heathfield and Waldron RFC, Stoolball for Five Ashes and I am
former competitive cyclist, using the climb from Uckfield to
Heathfield as part of my training.
I am still a performing musician and regularly play with at local pubs
and venues in the area.
The Land Banking Scandal
“Together let’s protect Heathfield for the next generation.”
Read my Leaflet Below
Heathfield South Ward - boundary change 2019
The electorate within this new ward is currently 2,808 and is forecast to increase to 2,915 (+107)
The newly created ward of Heathfield South encompasses areas that were previously within the following wards; - Heathfield East (no longer exists) - Heathfield North & Central (no longer exists)
See all the Candidates for your area (District, County, Police Commissioner .
All the detail is here
Detail to follow
Heathfield North Ward - boundary change 2019
The electorate within this new ward is currently 2,892 and is forecast to increase to 3,004 (+112)
The newly created ward of Heathfield North encompasses areas that were previously within the following wards; - Cross in Hand/Five Ashes (no longer exists) - Heathfield North & Central (no longer exists)
In the County Elections the following District Wards make up the Heathfield and Mayfield Ward for the purpose of the Local ElectionHeathfield North Ward, Heathfield South Ward and Mayfield & Five Ashes Ward
I was born in Sussex and moved to Horam twenty years ago when I married my husband, who sadly passed away in 2019. I also discovered from doing ancestry that I have ancestors who were born in Waldron, just down the road. I joined a small group of people who were worried about the prospect of fracking in the Wealden district at that time and we called our group the TN21 Environmental Awareness Group. After finding out about the risks to the environment and for people if fracking was to commence in this area and discovering that ESCC invested some of their pension funds to the fossil industry I decided that the local Green Party was the way forward for me about six years ago therefore voters can be assured that I I am happy to make a commitment to the ABCD pledge.
This is a collection of candidates that are not related to Heathfield but as the website has a wider audience they are included.