Annual Report

Published: 17 May 2023

This year sees the end of the term of office of all of us as Councillors for Turners Hill. I am pleased to report however that we have all re-stood and been elected for the next term. We have one vacancy for a Councillor and hope to fill it soon. Please get in touch if you are interested!

It has been a unique year for all of us in Local Government, with the sad death of the Queen last year and the Coronation of the King this year. These are both events that we have worked hard to ensure the village captures the feeling of the Nation. We have just held a successful street party to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. Unfortunately due to the weather this had to be held inside The Crown. Still, more than 200 people turned up and it was a great atmosphere. Thank you to The Crown who donated time and money and offered a complimentary burger and drink to everyone.

Last year sadly saw the retirement of our Clerk Chris Marsh. Chris has been our Clerk since 2013 and we thank her for her commitment and dedication to the role.

S106 grants were used to improve The Ark, including installing bollard lighting in the car park, adding CCTV and a door entry system and extending the car parking facilities. Hirers have benefited from these improvements and we have seen a real increase in bookings.

We have put in place an updated Walk and Drive in Safety Policy, and as part of that we have set up a Roads and Transport Working Group to take ideas forward to the Council, and have begun a programme of replacing and installing Village Gates. The Gates on East Street were rotten and in danger of falling, but have now been replaced. The Gates on Paddockhurst Road are due to be replaced soon.

We continue to manage the use of the Recreation Ground on behalf of MSDC, which has been challenging with being the home ground to two teams and the weather being so wet throughout the season.

During the past year we began a maintenance contract for our street lights and are extremely pleased with the service we are getting. Lights are being fixed quicker than before, with less involvement needed from the office staff. The light columns have all been painted, and during the next year we are starting a program of works to upgrade the lights to LEDs, helping us become more sustainable and providing a much needed reduction to our electricity bill!

We were delighted to present the Civic Award to Beryl Crowhurst who has lived in the Village her whole life and has given lots of her time to volunteering, including being responsible for the flower arrangements in the Church for many years.

The Council remains pro-active in its dealings with both Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council attending numerous meetings and conferences and
commenting on consultation documents from them and from Government. When doing so, our main priority is always to put forward the needs of Turners Hill.
We continue to deal with all the normal issues such as:

• Planning applications

• Donations to St. Leonard’s Church for the upkeep of the Church Yard; the Two Villages magazine, which allows us to share information with residents, as well as grants for village organisations and charities.

• Subsidising local groups and charities so that they can have cheaper hire of The Ark.

• Management, maintenance and letting of The Ark, we are pleased to report that bookings were high last year, with many regular bookings returning after the Covid lockdowns and a few new bookings beginning.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank:

• Our Clerk and Deputy Clerk who provide an excellent service to the Council and residents, maintaining our good reputation and ensuring we have clean financial audits every year.

• Our current Stewards Mr Michael Keeler and Mr Bob Harper for keeping The Ark clean and tidy, and for looking after all of our hirers so well.

• Worth Horticultural Society for judging the Best Kept Allotment competition.

• Mr Jonathan Pratt for co-ordinating Speed Watch and for dealing with the Speed Safety signs and Speed Indicator Device around the Village.

• Mrs Jennie Forbes for organising and collating the Museum documents and displays.

• The Paddockhurst Estate for supplying the Village Christmas tree annually.

• The Fire Service and local companies who sponsored, erected and decorated the Christmas Tree.

• The Two Villages magazine for allowing us to use the magazine to keep you informed throughout the year.

• Mr Jarvis for his assistance in clearing the roads of snow during the snowfall last year.

• Tulleys Farm for refilling our grit bins and installing a new bin.

Bruce Forbes, Chairman