Friday, 15 December

Beware Burglars' signs

A few folk in the village have spotted markings near properties. The markings are known to be placed by criminals to indicate the 'suitability' of a propery for burglary. There was an article in the Daily Express back in August with this selection of markings -
The police advice is to let them know if you see any near your property and then remove the signs. I doubt that the police have enough resources with the on-going cuts to actually do anything, but it could be useful intelligence for them.

The Broadband desert

Latest rumblings from the jungle drums suggest that there will be an announcement of 'no progress' (with suitable 'spin', of course, to confuse us) on discussions over the provision of the so-called 'Universal Service Committment' of a guaranteed 10Mbps by 2020. So, let's see, not enough Doctors. Hospital beds and Police and now....

Dining at the Rec Car Park!

We are now lucky enough to have 2 excellent mobile food services that call at the Recreation Grouncd car park. The 'Pizza Oven' stops by on Wednesdays between 17-2000 and now 'Nomad's Fish and Chips' calls on Fridays 17-2000. Both recommended from personal experience! PLEASE NOTE: BOTH THESE ARE WITH US ON A TRIAL BASIS. If you want to keep these great facilities, USE THEM!

RUBBISH! - Bin Collections

We now know the plans. At some time between January and April our bin collection schedules will change. We will be informed before they do. The 'Normal' collection of house-hold waste ('green bin') will be fortnightly. The actual date (currently Tuesday for most of us) MAY change. The following week the re-cycling ('blue bin') will be collected, on the same day of the week, what ever that is to be. Then, the next week, the 'green' bin' - household waste, and so on.

Those of us in the 'Garden Waste' collection scheme will be notified at some point of those collections, which will remain fortnightly.

NB: The current 'side-loading' vehicles are to be replaced by the 'old-fashioned' rear-loaders which will require our bins to be 'person-handled' to the back of the vehicle. This means we will no longer need to place our bins on one particular side of the road.

More as I get it!

Speeds past the school

At last it appears that there could be the long-awaited 20mph limit past the school. Speed monitoring is currently in place. There may also be some Parish Council movement on Speedwatch at last.

Don't chuck it away! - New 'REPAIR SHOP'

Thanks to 'Sussex Green Living' and 'Horsham Quakers' a new facility is opening in Horsham. If you take along a broken 'what-ever' - for example a toaster, hair-dryer or computer, a team of volunteers will be there to help you learn how to fix it! Starting on the 7th October, and then on the first Saturday of every month between 10 and 12:30 at the Quaker Meeting House, Worthing Road, Horsham, RH12 1SL, this is the first of its kind in West Sussex. There is a website here.

Will you pay more to support policing in Sussex?

This message is being sent by Sussex Neighbourhood Watch to all residents in Sussex. Please forward it to Neighbourhood Watch members, your friends and relatives.

Neighbourhood Watch colleagues, residents, their families and friends can now take part in the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner's consultation for the 2018/19 Police Precept. This proposes to increase the police element of council tax to sustain policing in Sussex.

The Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has launched a county-wide consultation to ask the public if they would be prepared to pay more for policing in Sussex. Can you please spare a few moments to complete a very short survey?

The PCC has opened an online survey via her website to seek residents' views on supporting policing in the county. She explains: "I know that residents support Sussex Police in preparing for threats like terrorism and cybercrime, but I'm also aware that issues closer to home, such as anti-social behaviour, are affecting local people."

"In previous years, the Chief Constable has asked for my help to raise more funds to invest in specific areas of policing, including public protection, community investigation and armed response. Thanks to the money you've already contributed through your council tax, Sussex Police has been able to build its capacity and capabilities in these areas, and others, to deliver a more effective and efficient service to the public. Now we need your help to sustain this service."

Last year Mrs Bourne carried out her biggest consultation to date: almost 4,500 people responded with nearly 80% supporting an increase in the police precept part of their council tax bill.

Sussex Police has already saved £76m since 2010, and the Chief Constable's Local Policing Plan is working towards delivering further savings over the next four years.

"The Chief Constable and I are continuing to work together to drive further reform, and substantial progress has already been made through collaboration with local and regional partners and through investment in mobile technology," added Mrs Bourne.

"I want to help Sussex Police explore and identify all opportunities for investment. That is why I have carried out a review of the amount of money Sussex Police holds in its reserves and released £15m to reduce the impact of reductions in police officer numbers. I've done this because I recognise the scale of the impact that these changes are having on the police and the public, and I remain committed to investing in local policing."

"I am also seeking further sources of external funding, including contributions from new building developments that lead to increased demand on local services. I - and other Police & Crime Commissioners - continue to negotiate with the Government for more funding for policing, as well as asking for the removal of the current cap on the police precept."

Use this link to the online survey. We know that some people are, understandably, hesitant to click on links sent by E-mail. If you feel uncomfortable about following this link you can also search online for the PCC's website, where you will find the link to the survey clearly displayed on the home page, and also there is a short video explaining why the increase is being proposed.

Do you support this proposal? Please give your views by taking part in this short survey by 5th January 2018.

West Chiltington Oilfields.

WSCC has decided.

The June meeting.

The Broadford Bridge Action Group (a coalition of individuals and groups campaigning against oil drilling in this part of the Weald) arranged a well-attended Public Meeting for West Chiltington residents on Sunday 25th June in West Chiltington Village Hall (details available on the 'Full' village site 'News' page). It is worth reading the right-hand panel to see what effect has been claimed at a similar site near Gatwick.

I have put together a page here which will give, hopefully, a 'balanced' view of the situation, and if anyone is unhappy with what is happening they MUST raise their concerns at all levels,from local Parish Council up to Nick Herbert. Silence will inevitably be assumed to be support FOR the development of the site.

Fryern Road Development

I have been informed that one of the 'selling points' planned for the 'new' housing development applied for off Fryern Road is 'access to Pulborough Station'. There are no prizes on offer for suggestions of which route the 160 houses will take to get to and from the station every day....

'Alabama Rot'

This disease (commonly called 'Alabama Rot' - but more correctly Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy - 'CRGV') first surfaced in the UK in the New Forest area late 2012, I believe, and appears to have spread across the country, possibly as far north as the Borders. 'Alabama Rot' is in fact a different disease and affected only greyhounds, and in the USA - in Alabama.

The latest case, the first in our area, has been confirmed by the vets but it is important to stress that this does not mean the infection is in the village, or in any particular location, since most dogs are exercised in several locations and for all we know the dog could have contracted the disease anywhere.

However, it is also important that owners should be alert to the symptoms. It appears that the first signs which are typical of a CRGV infection are lesions in various locations. If the disease then develops it can often lead to renal failure.

If you have any doubt about a lesion you should take your dog to the vet, who can start the process of monitoring for kidney problems. As with all kidney problems, the sooner treatment is begun the better the prognosis.

It should be stressed that not much is known about the disease and thus treatment is difficult. Hence the advice to act quickly. If kidney failure does set in the prognosis has been poor up to now. Washing your dogs feet after a walk has been suggested and can do no harm, but is by no means 'guaranteed' as a preventative.

Research on CRGV is being led by Anderson Moore Vets. This is a link to a map of confirmed CRGV cases, and to help you, this site has images of typical lesions. I have been told that lesions around the mouth area are particularly of concern.

The message is 'Don't Panic' but be alert - contact your vet if you are concerned about a lesion on your dog.

Local Gypsy Site developments

Horsham District Council have identified some of the sites they are required to provide for Gypsy settlement and locally they include the existing site on Fryern Road, a new one at Fryern Farm, the HDC Site in Hurston Road and Lane Top in Nutbourne.

HDC opened a public consultation which closed on 2nd June. The consultation document is available here. As far as I can see the plan is for a new site at Fryern Farm with a nominal 3-5 pitches, the HDC site on Hurston Lane with a nominal 6-8 pitches, plus the existing 3 pitches at both Oldfield Stables and Lane Top. However, ripples in the water tell me we may soon see a LARGER travellers' site on our way into Storrington. Of note, HDC have for some time been attempting to remove 30 caravans from a site in Itchingfield (approval there for only 11 pitches). Apart from the excess number of caravans, the conditions of planning approval for this site have not so far been met.

It may be of interest to note that the successful application to extend the existing Oldfield Stables site was assisted by a department of Henry Adams.

The Parish Council have agreed to support other Parishes who are objecting to the Oldfield Stables site

The Queen's Head - history

Kevin and Jane, the managers of the re-vamped pub, have asked me if I can cast any light on the history of the pub, primarily before 1925 and back into its early days. Reg Slater, who is involved with the village museum has not been able to offer much, and we would like very much to hear from anyone who has any knowledge - please use the Contact form initially.

Before and after - a happy tale!

Sold by a resident in 1956, this car, a 'Trojan', built in 1924 has been lovingly restored and now looks a little better!

Internet Warning

If you are one of those terribly modern folk with an internet-connected appliance, be it a Kettle, Webcam, Baby-alarm, Electric Back-Scratchers or whatever, BE AWARE that the latest attack which brought down major sites last week was ably assisted by all of you who have NOT changed the default password and username of your kit. Kettles and washing machines across the world, accessible to the hackers through these errors, were enlisted to take part in the 'Denial of Service' attack. This also applies to ANYTHING connected to the internet where usernames and passwords are still set at 'default', including your router and any wifi equipment.

Initial reports indicate that the attack was part of a genre of DDoS that infects Internet of Things devices (think webcams, DVRs, routers, toasters, baby alarms, kettles etc.) all over the world with malware. Once infected, those Internet-connected devices become part of a botnet army, driving malicious traffic toward a given target. The source code for one of these types of botnets, called Mirai, was recently released to the public, leading to speculation that more Mirai-based DDoS attacks might crop up. Dyn said on Friday evening that the security firms Flashpoint and cloud services provider Akamai detected Mirai bots driving much, but not necessarily all, of the traffic in the attacks.

Did you take part?

Keep up to date with the latest improvements in broadband at the Broadband page.

NB For those Twitter lovers, Openreach have now launched their own page at Openreach where you should be able to find answers to some of your questions.

New Waste Site opening hours

Well, a resounding success this has been! It was reported to me by the site staff that traffic was queuing on the A272 main road outside the Billingshurst site on Saturday 8th October due to insufficient capacity inside the site. There must be a huge risk now of an accident here, not to mention possible 'anger' amongst motorists stuck in the queue. The site also reported that they are insufficiently staffed to cope with the traffic generated on their new 'Open days' AND that there has been a magnificent increase in staff dedicated to stopping fly-tipping - 2 to be precise - which will really help to stop the inevitable increase in fly-tipping!

I am now hearing that the Horsham site at Hop Oast was so congested due to the changes that the entrance to the car park was jammed with cars, stopping movement in and out, including the busses! A stunning policy decision, don't you think?

Pulborough Filling Station (as was)

Some of you will have noticed that the former 'Pulborough Filling Station' on the A29 has re-opened under the name 'Power Fuels'. Some of you, myself included, were the victims of contaminated diesel from that former company. Some of those affected will be aware that there is still an active case against the former company

It is only fair to point out that according to my contact in Trading Standards, the new owners have absolutely no connection with the former, and I have watched extensive work take place on the forecourt over the last few months. Many of you may be aware that Trading Standards are responsible for the quality of fuel supplied, so I think it is reasonable to assume that the former problems are now history. This station has a superb position, with little competition, and I wish them well. I would be interested to hear from any of you that use the new station.

Report Potholes

There are still lots of potholes in the road! You can report them on-line here

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) Mobile

TPS has now partnered with Ofcom in the UK to launch a "text-to-register" service that adds your mobile phone number to an official "do not call" database. It's illegal in the UK for organisations to make unsolicited sales and marketing calls to any number registered in the TPS database (unless of course they have consent).

Ofcom said only 40 per cent of Brits are familiar with the TPS and that they can add their mobile numbers to the TPS database for free. However, 88 per cent of Brits have realised they can register landline phone numbers. Only 3 per cent of mobile phone numbers (about 2.9 million) are therefore registered in the TPS database, compared to 18.5 million landline numbers. Ofcom wants to raise awareness, so it's introduced an easy text-to-register process with the TPS. And this is how you can ensure you block nuisance calls.

How does 'text-to-register' work? To register your mobile phone number in the TPS database, text TPS and your email address to the shortcode 78070. You should receive a text reply from the TPS that confirms your mobile number has been added to its database.

Do the nuisance calls stop immediately? You should notice a "gradual reduction in unsolicited sales and marketing voice calls after a few days", according to Ofcom. But it can take up to 28 days for the service to become fully effective. A study commissioned by Ofcom and the Information Commissioner's Office found mobile phone customers registered with the TPS saw a 31 per cent reduction in nuisance calls.

Will registering stop spam text messages? No. Registering with the TPS does not prevent spam text messages. You can report spam texts to your mobile network operator however by simply forwarding the text to the shortcode 7726.

Are there other ways to stop nuisance calls? Ofcom has offered some tips that could also help prevent you from receiving nuisance calls in the future. Be careful who you give your contact details to, for instance, and be sure to look carefully at any marketing "opt-in" and "opt-out" boxes in small print. Also, ask your phone provider to see what privacy services are available such as a call-blocker service. You can also make a complaint about nuisance calls to the Information Commissioner's Office.


Charging your electric vehicle

This map for the South-East has just been published for those who have 'gone electric'

Mary How Film Night

NB From 2017 there will only be one film showing, at 7.30pm.

NEW! We are now offering a 'loyalty card': watch 6 films and get your 7th free! Collect your loyalty card at your next visit.

We are now offering you the chance to preview a trailer of each film via YouTube. There is a link to the trailer after each item.

The next presentation from the Mary How Trust Film Society will be 'Churchill' on 28 November. To watch this trailer click here, followed by 'Dunkirk' on January 23rd. To watch this trailer click here. The next film is to be 'Hampstead' on February 27th. To watch this trailer click here, followed by 'Victoria and Abdul' on March 27th. To watch this trailer click here.

JOIN US at the longest-running cinema club for charity in West Sussex and, we believe, the only one with all proceeds going to charity.

Watch your favourite movies in comfort!

  • Fully carpeted auditorium with Dolby sound.

  • Chocs & soft drinks - and a licensed bar in the evenings.

Tickets £6 incl membership - available on the door and in advance from:

The Mary How Trust ticket line - 01798 877646

The Mary How Trust Charity Shop, 59 Lower Street, Pulborough


Guy Leonard & Co, Storrington and Pulborough offices

The Card Centre, Storrington

Nisa, West Chiltington

The Post Office, West Chiltington

SPONSOR A MOVIE! Receive VIP tickets and help the Mary How Trust transform people's lives. Please contact us for details.

GET INVOLVED! We're always looking for help setting up/clearing away chairs and carpets for our Film Society. Please contact us if you'd like to lend a hand - we're very grateful - and we welcome donations of raffle prizes, which help to raise precious funds for our health screening service. Thank you!

***NEW*** Receive your free monthly Film Society e-news. Your chance to watch trailers and catch up on the latest news. Contact us for details.

Mary How Events

The Trust hold a bingo evening in aid of Cancer Prevention on the SECOND Thursday of every month in Storrington Village Hall, 59 West Street, Storrington, West Sussex, RH20 4DZ. Only 50p entry with a raffle and refreshments - and fun for everyone! Doors open 7PM: Play starts at 7:30PM.

****NEW! Jackpot Game £50 prize!****

Don't forget to visit the Mary How Trust’'s charity shop in Lower Street, Pulborough and our website

For details of our forthcoming films, check out The Mary How Trust Events page.

The Mary How Trust for Cancer Prevention aims to spot the early signs of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses through free health screenings for men and women. Donations, fundraising, grants, and gifts in wills sustain our service - our supporters make a lasting difference, helping us to give people a healthier future.

Find out more at THE MARY HOW TRUST.

Are you happy with the NHS? What it is costing YOU

From an FOI request

An NHS hospital has been criticised for paying an agency nurse £2,200 to work a single 12 hour shift. The record sum - a rate of £183.33 an hour - was paid by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, a Freedom of Information request has disclosed. Last month an investigation found trusts paying nurses rates of more than £1,700 per shift, amid spiralling staff shortages, and an increased reliance on workers from overseas.

Why not ask the candidates for May 7th? If only you could believe the responses, of course....the NHS appears to be heading one way at present

TRAFFIC SPEEDS - no speed limits in the village?

Following the disclosure by Sussex Police that they do not have the resources to conduct speed checks in the village, the lack of interest from the Parish Council and the community, I can report that traffic speeds have increased significantly of late and the average on Monkmead Lane and Harborough Hill must now be between 40 and 50, with some estimated at 50+. We have to assume this is what the community wants, and since something like 70% of previous police 'speed' tickets issued here were to residents, I think this is likely. Mill Hill, has seen a satisfactory increase in traffic speeds too. Looking on the positive side, this all means that any increase in traffic through the village due to future Storrington restrictions will actually bother us less since it will pass through more quickly....

It is well to remind those on foot or cycle or trying to pull out from driveways to be extra careful - we don't want an accident, since then the police may then raise our priority for attendance and residents will be booked again.

I have some news on the policing situation for all. I have spent some time talking to various parts of Sussex Police. The situation the Traffic Department are faced with is that the cuts to Police funding by the current government have been so severe (with more to come!) that they, as well as other parts of the force, are really struggling.

It now appears that in order to gain 'the attention' of the speed monitoring units, a road or roads need to have a collision or injury record or it is very unlikely that resources will allow attendance. Ironically, then, we need to have an accident with possible death or injury in order to get some sort of police attention - in order to prevent an accident with possible death or injury - make sense?

So there it is - we will hopefully be very unlikely to see any police speed activity here. It is 'open market' for speeders on our roads - keep your wits about you and hope for your safety and the safety of our kids, pets and the elderly - so.......... What does this mean for West Chiltington? It means that all and sundry are now able to drive on our roads at whatever speed they wish with very little fear of being caught or even reported, making us a very attractive 'cut through'.

Before I again mention 'Community Speedwatch' (in case there are ANY concerned residents) it is now apparent that the huge focus on Community Speedwatch schemes is probably a necessary part of a government policy to take the load away from the under-funded police and pass it to DC's 'Big Society' (remember that?). Whilst no prosecutions can derive from these schemes, the reported 'offenders' will give police a little 'inside knowledge' of how things stand locally. Many areas across the UK and around us now have active and successful groups.

Anyone interested in trying to reduce the excessive speeds on our village roads? It looks as if we will not be getting another police-led speed survey on our roads soon, and the last (2008) survey produced many vehicles travelling at over 50mph and a top recorded speed of over 60mph for a few vehicles. Remember that as Storrington strives to divert more and more of its traffic, our lanes will pick up a lot of it. The Parish Council have done very little about traffic speeds over the years and now appear to be relying on the 'Neighbourhood Plan' to produce some magic solution. 'Speedwatch' is a police organised community initiative active in many villages and towns, somewhat updated from the previous community 'SID' scheme. This scheme now uses police provided radar guns, and when details of excessive speeds are given to the police, action is taken by them to write to or visit the driver concerned. You can read more about the scheme here Speedwatch. If you look at the scrolling side panel you will see that, as an example, between 13th and 17th January 2014 the police issued 79 letters on behalf of Storrington Speedwatch - it does work. The scheme also traps those who should not be driving - for whatever reason. From the results of other groups, the primary speed offenders appear to be mums on school runs, 'white-van-man' and pick-ups towing trailers - other 'offenders' are available, of course..........

If you would like to join a group here, please use the website Contact form and I can put you in touch with a very few like-minded others.

Contacting the right person at Horsham District/West Sussex Council

For a long time I have been frustrated trying to find the right department or to get the switchboard to connect me to the appropriate person for my query in the spider's web of HDC. I have just discovered an email address which seems to work for this sort of problem. Have your say. If you raise the issue there it is addressed by a 'Complaints & Information Officer' who will find the appropriate department for you. For county, whose switchboard never seem to know who does what at County Hall......... WSCC have this page where you can contact them. Using these contact methods saves many minutes of annoying 'holding'/being passed around different departments/ 'xxx is not at their desk right now' etc.

Nyetimber Copse on the web!

Nyetimber Copse which lies between Nyetimber Lane and Common Hill, has launched its own residents' websites - Nyetimber Copse.

Latest release by A88A

This is worth watching, especially those who walk their dogs on 'Dog Poo Common', aka The Warren - brilliant but with a clear message.

Improve your village

Is there a footpath you walk on a regular basis? Would you be interested in adopting a section and just reporting any problems associated with that section.

For more information you can contact the clerk at Clerk.

Storrington News

If you have a few minutes to spare, do look at the new transfers on the Mill Square Waitrose windows - a fascinating abridged history of Storrington