Norman’s Notes – December 2018

Normans Notes

Norman Webster, Town and District Councillor for Mid Sussex and Cabinet Member for Community updates us this month.

Independent retailer training

Mid Sussex District Council is encouraging local independent retailers to sign up for free training that will help them respond to the challenges of online retailers and keep Mid Sussex high streets vibrant and alive.

Retail experts Martec International will run the sessions. Following a successful launch last month they have announced the dates for the rest of the free workshops in 2019.

Workshops are being held on the following dates:

Tuesday 8 January       East Grinstead, Product range and product management
Tuesday 22 January     Hurstpierpoint, Visual Merchandising and Better Presentation
Tuesday 5 February    Burgess Hill, Marketing, Price, Promotions and Advertising
Tuesday 26 February Cuckfield, Sales and Customer Service
Monday 11 March       East Grinstead, Inventory and Stock Management

Attendance at one of the events will make independent retailers eligible for a free coaching and mentoring session with a Martec consultant in their own store. These one-to-one sessions will enable the consultants to tailor advice to the specific needs of each business.

For more info contact:


Sussex Police update

You may have heard that the government has announced the 2019/20 funding settlement for policing in the U.K. As well as additional funding for national priorities such as counter terrorism and serious and organised crime, amongst others, there was some good news for Sussex Police.

They are to receive a cash increase of £22.3m taking their total, including pension funding, to just over £287m. This is the biggest annual funding increase since 2010. In addition, the police precept (Council Tax) cap has been increased to £24 per annum which will be a significant improvement for those forces, such as Sussex, sitting amongst the lowest 5 precepting police forces in the U.K.

Last week Katy Bourne said, “Today’s unprecedented funding news will help us recruit substantial numbers of PCSOs and police officers as well as improving the public contact service, especially the 101 non-emergency number. People tell me that, whilst they are reassured by the ongoing recruitment of police officers in Sussex, they really miss the contact and interaction with familiar PCSOs that help build community confidence. Sussex Police have presented me with initial proposals that will help meet their operational imperatives and further strengthen local policing.”

She went on to say, “Public feedback that I have received over recent weeks from my focus groups and extensive engagements shows a clear appetite for more visible policing and a willingness to pay more, if people can see where their money is going. This is why the Chief Constable and I are committed to ensuring that residents will see and feel the benefit of any extra funding raised locally. Although no final decisions will be made until early February next year, I would like to recruit many more PCSOs in communities across Sussex where I know they will be very warmly welcomed back, as well as improve the service people receive when calling the 101 non-emergency number”.

I can add that the CCTV replacement program is proceeding to plan and will be completed by year end, apart from a few newly sited cameras which will be fully operational by 31 March.


GP practice merger halted

The Town Council been informed that the merger of Moatfield and Judges Close GPs is not to go ahead.

This is due to the viability of the scheme following clarification of accessing funding from NHS England and conditions that would be put upon this.  The Clinical Commissioning Group is not in a position to increase their funding to cover the merged practice’s higher rent; this would fall to the practice. With regret they have determined not to continue with the proposed scheme.

Moatfield will look to more modest expansion, remodelling their care packages and taking on additional staff.  They have an open list and have been taking on new patients every week since the beginning of 2018.  Their current case load is 15,000.

Judges have been asked to advise what their position is and whether they will seek to move premises.

Councils have no say in how doctors run their practices, however EGTC continues to liaise as health provision is important to residents and local businesses.


Railway Station

Disability Access Group recently submitted a bid for funding of a feasibility study for platform 1 to have upgraded access.

Over 90 letters of support were submitted including from Sir Nicholas Soames MP, WSCC, MSDC, EGTC, community groups, EGBA and members of the public.

The hope is that East Grinstead will at least progresses to the next stage.  WSCC have offered a small amount of funding towards the project which is a welcomed show of support, should the application go further.


Christmas lights

Doesn’t East Grinstead look magical this Christmas?

Special thanks must go to Mrs Broadley for the substantial work during the summer to prepare for the Christmas display.

Without the goodwill of Derek Field Accountants, Knights Jewellers, Martells and Poundland, the lights which straddle the road way would not have been lit due to a change in policy by the electric company.

Cllrs Peacock and Mrs Mainstone along with Vernon Peake and the Festive Lighting team put in an immense amount of effort to ensure the town looks its very best this Christmas.


All that remains is for me to wish you

best wishes for Christmas and a prosperous 2019.

Author: Lee Farren
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