Ask the Leader

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The leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Rachel Millward.

Cllr Millward will be pleased to answer any question you may have about Wealden District Council's policies, or other matters involving the council, which you think are of interest to people living, working or visiting Wealden.

Councillor Millward is the Wealden Green Group leader as well as leader of the Cabinet of Wealden District Council and represents Hartfield ward.

The response to your question will posted here so others can read it too should they wish. If we think the question is inappropriate for publication we will contact you to say why.

Specific inquiries about particular services can be reported online.


Please note that we will not be answering Ask the Leader questions until Monday 8th July at the earliest. This is due to restrictions currently placed on the council and its elected members by the pre-election period for the General Election on 4th July 2024. Find out more about pre-election period.


*Please note that in order to submit a question, participants must have an account on Let's Talk Wealden. If you do not already have an account, but would like to register one, please click here.

The leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Rachel Millward.

Cllr Millward will be pleased to answer any question you may have about Wealden District Council's policies, or other matters involving the council, which you think are of interest to people living, working or visiting Wealden.

Councillor Millward is the Wealden Green Group leader as well as leader of the Cabinet of Wealden District Council and represents Hartfield ward.

The response to your question will posted here so others can read it too should they wish. If we think the question is inappropriate for publication we will contact you to say why.

Specific inquiries about particular services can be reported online.


Please note that we will not be answering Ask the Leader questions until Monday 8th July at the earliest. This is due to restrictions currently placed on the council and its elected members by the pre-election period for the General Election on 4th July 2024. Find out more about pre-election period.


*Please note that in order to submit a question, participants must have an account on Let's Talk Wealden. If you do not already have an account, but would like to register one, please click here.

Ask the Leader

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  • Share Why does the council support the brown bin system? Why are we actively encouraging people to remove any organic matter from their gardens to be sold by the council at a profit? Any organic material produced in a garden should be composted and saved otherwise individuals will removing their own topsoils to the detriment of their gardens. The brown bin was not a thing 30/40 years ago. What did people do then and why has this trend been encouraged by the council? With a number of Green Party members you would think that Wealden would have a better grasp that prevention of damage to an environment is better than curing the problem later. I am concerned by the lack of insects due to lack of organic rotting matter, faecal matter, leaf cold etc. In addition to this poisons and pesticides should be banned. Some are shockingly uneducated in how we are all interlinked in our ecosystem. on Facebook Share Why does the council support the brown bin system? Why are we actively encouraging people to remove any organic matter from their gardens to be sold by the council at a profit? Any organic material produced in a garden should be composted and saved otherwise individuals will removing their own topsoils to the detriment of their gardens. The brown bin was not a thing 30/40 years ago. What did people do then and why has this trend been encouraged by the council? With a number of Green Party members you would think that Wealden would have a better grasp that prevention of damage to an environment is better than curing the problem later. I am concerned by the lack of insects due to lack of organic rotting matter, faecal matter, leaf cold etc. In addition to this poisons and pesticides should be banned. Some are shockingly uneducated in how we are all interlinked in our ecosystem. on Twitter Share Why does the council support the brown bin system? Why are we actively encouraging people to remove any organic matter from their gardens to be sold by the council at a profit? Any organic material produced in a garden should be composted and saved otherwise individuals will removing their own topsoils to the detriment of their gardens. The brown bin was not a thing 30/40 years ago. What did people do then and why has this trend been encouraged by the council? With a number of Green Party members you would think that Wealden would have a better grasp that prevention of damage to an environment is better than curing the problem later. I am concerned by the lack of insects due to lack of organic rotting matter, faecal matter, leaf cold etc. In addition to this poisons and pesticides should be banned. Some are shockingly uneducated in how we are all interlinked in our ecosystem. on Linkedin Email Why does the council support the brown bin system? Why are we actively encouraging people to remove any organic matter from their gardens to be sold by the council at a profit? Any organic material produced in a garden should be composted and saved otherwise individuals will removing their own topsoils to the detriment of their gardens. The brown bin was not a thing 30/40 years ago. What did people do then and why has this trend been encouraged by the council? With a number of Green Party members you would think that Wealden would have a better grasp that prevention of damage to an environment is better than curing the problem later. I am concerned by the lack of insects due to lack of organic rotting matter, faecal matter, leaf cold etc. In addition to this poisons and pesticides should be banned. Some are shockingly uneducated in how we are all interlinked in our ecosystem. link

    Why does the council support the brown bin system? Why are we actively encouraging people to remove any organic matter from their gardens to be sold by the council at a profit? Any organic material produced in a garden should be composted and saved otherwise individuals will removing their own topsoils to the detriment of their gardens. The brown bin was not a thing 30/40 years ago. What did people do then and why has this trend been encouraged by the council? With a number of Green Party members you would think that Wealden would have a better grasp that prevention of damage to an environment is better than curing the problem later. I am concerned by the lack of insects due to lack of organic rotting matter, faecal matter, leaf cold etc. In addition to this poisons and pesticides should be banned. Some are shockingly uneducated in how we are all interlinked in our ecosystem.

    Huxley asked about 2 months ago

    Dear Huxley, 

    Thank you for your question. 

    The amount of waste we produce and how we manage it has changed considerably over the last 30 or 40 years.  We have a larger population and we produce more waste per person now, than we did in the 1980’s.

    Despite this, we now have more focus than ever on what happens to our waste.  Recycling was in its infancy back then, and most of the waste we produced (including garden waste) went to landfill.  Now we recycle approximately 50% of our waste and what we cannot recycle is used to create energy that helps power the national grid.

    It is accurate to say that back then most councils did not collect garden waste separately. Households with gardens either composted it at home or they placed it into their rubbish bin and sent it to landfill. When sent to landfill garden waste produces the greenhouse gas methane as it decomposes.  With the detrimental effect of landfill sites on the environment, alternative methods of dealing with household were introduced. Around 20 years ago, East Sussex moved away from landfill to using a state of the art energy recovery facilities for disposing of for non-recyclable waste. However, when garden waste is included in the household waste mix, it becomes a challenge as its water content can cause problems for the combustion process.

    The council fully supports home composting as the best disposal solution environmentally for garden waste.  Unfortunately, many households do not have the space or inclination to compost at home and, with garden waste not permitted to be placed in the rubbish bins, we provide a chargeable opt-in service for the collection of compostable garden waste if required.  Currently around 50% of properties subscribe to the garden waste service, so clearly some properties will manage their garden waste at home. Also, with the council providing a regular brown bin service this reduces vehicle miles for those residents who would otherwise have to drive to the Household Waste Site to dispose of garden waste they do not want to compost at home. 

    The material collected in Wealden remains in the district where it is sent to an in-vessel composting facility operated by East Sussex County Council.  The compost produced is then sold to residents through the local Household Waste Recycling Sites or to local farmers for use on their fields.

    Once again we would wish to reiterate our support for home composting and also for gardening in more environmentally sensitive ways without the use of herbicides and pesticides. To support this we have monthly Gardeners' Corner information available on our weekly newsletter or via this link here. Gardeners' Corner - monthly hints and tips for your garden - Wealden District Council - Wealden District Council 

  • Share Could you please explain the process of site allocation in the latest Draft Plan? I’m struggling to understand the process of how some of the sites allocated in the draft plan have been deemed suitable for housing when the Planning Inspectorate has dismissed appeals on them? Why have the sites been included if the Inspectorate has said No? Examples are Clearview Farm and Great Easterfields in Horam and several sites in Cross in Hand where other recent applications have been refused, and appeals dismissed due to the adverse effects on the AONB? And why aren’t WDC claiming exceptional circumstances as detailed in the December 2023 NPPF to protect our AONB? I’m sure Canterbury City Council have just removed a huge new town and many miles of roads from their plan. With over 50% of the District a National Landscape why are you not doing more to protect it? Has the High Weald AONB Unit been consulted on these new site locations? Many thanks on Facebook Share Could you please explain the process of site allocation in the latest Draft Plan? I’m struggling to understand the process of how some of the sites allocated in the draft plan have been deemed suitable for housing when the Planning Inspectorate has dismissed appeals on them? Why have the sites been included if the Inspectorate has said No? Examples are Clearview Farm and Great Easterfields in Horam and several sites in Cross in Hand where other recent applications have been refused, and appeals dismissed due to the adverse effects on the AONB? And why aren’t WDC claiming exceptional circumstances as detailed in the December 2023 NPPF to protect our AONB? I’m sure Canterbury City Council have just removed a huge new town and many miles of roads from their plan. With over 50% of the District a National Landscape why are you not doing more to protect it? Has the High Weald AONB Unit been consulted on these new site locations? Many thanks on Twitter Share Could you please explain the process of site allocation in the latest Draft Plan? I’m struggling to understand the process of how some of the sites allocated in the draft plan have been deemed suitable for housing when the Planning Inspectorate has dismissed appeals on them? Why have the sites been included if the Inspectorate has said No? Examples are Clearview Farm and Great Easterfields in Horam and several sites in Cross in Hand where other recent applications have been refused, and appeals dismissed due to the adverse effects on the AONB? And why aren’t WDC claiming exceptional circumstances as detailed in the December 2023 NPPF to protect our AONB? I’m sure Canterbury City Council have just removed a huge new town and many miles of roads from their plan. With over 50% of the District a National Landscape why are you not doing more to protect it? Has the High Weald AONB Unit been consulted on these new site locations? Many thanks on Linkedin Email Could you please explain the process of site allocation in the latest Draft Plan? I’m struggling to understand the process of how some of the sites allocated in the draft plan have been deemed suitable for housing when the Planning Inspectorate has dismissed appeals on them? Why have the sites been included if the Inspectorate has said No? Examples are Clearview Farm and Great Easterfields in Horam and several sites in Cross in Hand where other recent applications have been refused, and appeals dismissed due to the adverse effects on the AONB? And why aren’t WDC claiming exceptional circumstances as detailed in the December 2023 NPPF to protect our AONB? I’m sure Canterbury City Council have just removed a huge new town and many miles of roads from their plan. With over 50% of the District a National Landscape why are you not doing more to protect it? Has the High Weald AONB Unit been consulted on these new site locations? Many thanks link

    Could you please explain the process of site allocation in the latest Draft Plan? I’m struggling to understand the process of how some of the sites allocated in the draft plan have been deemed suitable for housing when the Planning Inspectorate has dismissed appeals on them? Why have the sites been included if the Inspectorate has said No? Examples are Clearview Farm and Great Easterfields in Horam and several sites in Cross in Hand where other recent applications have been refused, and appeals dismissed due to the adverse effects on the AONB? And why aren’t WDC claiming exceptional circumstances as detailed in the December 2023 NPPF to protect our AONB? I’m sure Canterbury City Council have just removed a huge new town and many miles of roads from their plan. With over 50% of the District a National Landscape why are you not doing more to protect it? Has the High Weald AONB Unit been consulted on these new site locations? Many thanks

    JO2024 asked 3 months ago

    Dear JO2024, 

    Thank you for taking the time to ask a question, however i am going to point you towards our new Ask the Development Manager page on our Planning Hub. Planning Hub - Wealden District Council - Wealden District Council 

    Kind regards

    James

  • Share If an area is designated as being of outstanding natural beauty ONB is housing development permitted ? on Facebook Share If an area is designated as being of outstanding natural beauty ONB is housing development permitted ? on Twitter Share If an area is designated as being of outstanding natural beauty ONB is housing development permitted ? on Linkedin Email If an area is designated as being of outstanding natural beauty ONB is housing development permitted ? link

    If an area is designated as being of outstanding natural beauty ONB is housing development permitted ?

    John L P asked 4 months ago

    Dear John, 

    Thank you for your question. I am going to point you towards our Ask the Development Manager page on the Planning Hub for a response to your question. Planning Hub - Wealden District Council - Wealden District Council 

  • Share Good afternoon Mr Partridge, I mistakenly asked the following question of the Chair on 5th December. It was passed on, but unfortunately not answered. I have since been told that Cllr Standley was the leader of the council, not the Chair. I am concerned with the apparent complete lack of facilities in or for the southern parishes. I understand that significant funds have been received over recent years across the south of the District in community infrastructure levy, and would be grateful to know what community infrastructure has been provided. I am aware that a new sports centre is to be built at Lower Dicker. By public transport this is within a reasonable distance of Hailsham, Heathfield and Uckfield, but unfortunately would mean a round trip of over 2 hours from East Dean, Pevensey or Stone Cross, and a similar journey from Willingdon and Jevington. A previous Chair informed me that the Council consider it unnecessary to provide facilities to this area, as we could use those within Eastbourne. Is this still the policy of Wealden District Council? Thank you for your advice. on Facebook Share Good afternoon Mr Partridge, I mistakenly asked the following question of the Chair on 5th December. It was passed on, but unfortunately not answered. I have since been told that Cllr Standley was the leader of the council, not the Chair. I am concerned with the apparent complete lack of facilities in or for the southern parishes. I understand that significant funds have been received over recent years across the south of the District in community infrastructure levy, and would be grateful to know what community infrastructure has been provided. I am aware that a new sports centre is to be built at Lower Dicker. By public transport this is within a reasonable distance of Hailsham, Heathfield and Uckfield, but unfortunately would mean a round trip of over 2 hours from East Dean, Pevensey or Stone Cross, and a similar journey from Willingdon and Jevington. A previous Chair informed me that the Council consider it unnecessary to provide facilities to this area, as we could use those within Eastbourne. Is this still the policy of Wealden District Council? Thank you for your advice. on Twitter Share Good afternoon Mr Partridge, I mistakenly asked the following question of the Chair on 5th December. It was passed on, but unfortunately not answered. I have since been told that Cllr Standley was the leader of the council, not the Chair. I am concerned with the apparent complete lack of facilities in or for the southern parishes. I understand that significant funds have been received over recent years across the south of the District in community infrastructure levy, and would be grateful to know what community infrastructure has been provided. I am aware that a new sports centre is to be built at Lower Dicker. By public transport this is within a reasonable distance of Hailsham, Heathfield and Uckfield, but unfortunately would mean a round trip of over 2 hours from East Dean, Pevensey or Stone Cross, and a similar journey from Willingdon and Jevington. A previous Chair informed me that the Council consider it unnecessary to provide facilities to this area, as we could use those within Eastbourne. Is this still the policy of Wealden District Council? Thank you for your advice. on Linkedin Email Good afternoon Mr Partridge, I mistakenly asked the following question of the Chair on 5th December. It was passed on, but unfortunately not answered. I have since been told that Cllr Standley was the leader of the council, not the Chair. I am concerned with the apparent complete lack of facilities in or for the southern parishes. I understand that significant funds have been received over recent years across the south of the District in community infrastructure levy, and would be grateful to know what community infrastructure has been provided. I am aware that a new sports centre is to be built at Lower Dicker. By public transport this is within a reasonable distance of Hailsham, Heathfield and Uckfield, but unfortunately would mean a round trip of over 2 hours from East Dean, Pevensey or Stone Cross, and a similar journey from Willingdon and Jevington. A previous Chair informed me that the Council consider it unnecessary to provide facilities to this area, as we could use those within Eastbourne. Is this still the policy of Wealden District Council? Thank you for your advice. link

    Good afternoon Mr Partridge, I mistakenly asked the following question of the Chair on 5th December. It was passed on, but unfortunately not answered. I have since been told that Cllr Standley was the leader of the council, not the Chair. I am concerned with the apparent complete lack of facilities in or for the southern parishes. I understand that significant funds have been received over recent years across the south of the District in community infrastructure levy, and would be grateful to know what community infrastructure has been provided. I am aware that a new sports centre is to be built at Lower Dicker. By public transport this is within a reasonable distance of Hailsham, Heathfield and Uckfield, but unfortunately would mean a round trip of over 2 hours from East Dean, Pevensey or Stone Cross, and a similar journey from Willingdon and Jevington. A previous Chair informed me that the Council consider it unnecessary to provide facilities to this area, as we could use those within Eastbourne. Is this still the policy of Wealden District Council? Thank you for your advice.

    Martin Cooper asked 6 months ago

    Good morning Martin, 

    First of all thank you for taking the time to write a question. After reading through it, I think this is better suited to an Freedom of Information request. I have forwarded onto our Information Governance Team who will be dealing with this and will come back to you soon regarding the CIL money. 

  • Share Dear Cllr Partridge, Can you please provide me with any details as to what amount of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies are earmarked for environmental projects and especially ones that might help combat climate change and our declining biodiversity? With the amount of habitat loss now taking place within Wealden owing to overdevelopment ( and Government housing targets!) I would hope , especially now that the Council has a new political complexion that direct projects such as Parish and landowners tree planting schemes or supporting local nature conservation bodies such as SWT could be high on the District agenda. With nature and access to the natural world now eventually being acknowledged as so important for both mental and physical wellbeing such projects will surely chime with what the Council maintains are amongst its priorities. Is there a Sub Committee or Members group with any specific remit in consideration of such matters please- and can the public attend or better still address such group? Sincerely, David Phillips on Facebook Share Dear Cllr Partridge, Can you please provide me with any details as to what amount of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies are earmarked for environmental projects and especially ones that might help combat climate change and our declining biodiversity? With the amount of habitat loss now taking place within Wealden owing to overdevelopment ( and Government housing targets!) I would hope , especially now that the Council has a new political complexion that direct projects such as Parish and landowners tree planting schemes or supporting local nature conservation bodies such as SWT could be high on the District agenda. With nature and access to the natural world now eventually being acknowledged as so important for both mental and physical wellbeing such projects will surely chime with what the Council maintains are amongst its priorities. Is there a Sub Committee or Members group with any specific remit in consideration of such matters please- and can the public attend or better still address such group? Sincerely, David Phillips on Twitter Share Dear Cllr Partridge, Can you please provide me with any details as to what amount of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies are earmarked for environmental projects and especially ones that might help combat climate change and our declining biodiversity? With the amount of habitat loss now taking place within Wealden owing to overdevelopment ( and Government housing targets!) I would hope , especially now that the Council has a new political complexion that direct projects such as Parish and landowners tree planting schemes or supporting local nature conservation bodies such as SWT could be high on the District agenda. With nature and access to the natural world now eventually being acknowledged as so important for both mental and physical wellbeing such projects will surely chime with what the Council maintains are amongst its priorities. Is there a Sub Committee or Members group with any specific remit in consideration of such matters please- and can the public attend or better still address such group? Sincerely, David Phillips on Linkedin Email Dear Cllr Partridge, Can you please provide me with any details as to what amount of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies are earmarked for environmental projects and especially ones that might help combat climate change and our declining biodiversity? With the amount of habitat loss now taking place within Wealden owing to overdevelopment ( and Government housing targets!) I would hope , especially now that the Council has a new political complexion that direct projects such as Parish and landowners tree planting schemes or supporting local nature conservation bodies such as SWT could be high on the District agenda. With nature and access to the natural world now eventually being acknowledged as so important for both mental and physical wellbeing such projects will surely chime with what the Council maintains are amongst its priorities. Is there a Sub Committee or Members group with any specific remit in consideration of such matters please- and can the public attend or better still address such group? Sincerely, David Phillips link

    Dear Cllr Partridge, Can you please provide me with any details as to what amount of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies are earmarked for environmental projects and especially ones that might help combat climate change and our declining biodiversity? With the amount of habitat loss now taking place within Wealden owing to overdevelopment ( and Government housing targets!) I would hope , especially now that the Council has a new political complexion that direct projects such as Parish and landowners tree planting schemes or supporting local nature conservation bodies such as SWT could be high on the District agenda. With nature and access to the natural world now eventually being acknowledged as so important for both mental and physical wellbeing such projects will surely chime with what the Council maintains are amongst its priorities. Is there a Sub Committee or Members group with any specific remit in consideration of such matters please- and can the public attend or better still address such group? Sincerely, David Phillips

    David Phillips asked 6 months ago

    Dear David, 

    Thank you for taking the time to send through an Ask the Leader question and apologies it has taken me so long to respond. This is more of a Freedom of Information request and would need to be answered by our Information Governance team. I have forwarded onto the team and they will respond with the information that you require. 

  • Share How much Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL) money has Wealen collected for Hailsham and also Hellingly Parish in the last year, last 3 years and last 5 years please? Where can I see Wealden’s “123” list of priorities for spending this money please? on Facebook Share How much Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL) money has Wealen collected for Hailsham and also Hellingly Parish in the last year, last 3 years and last 5 years please? Where can I see Wealden’s “123” list of priorities for spending this money please? on Twitter Share How much Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL) money has Wealen collected for Hailsham and also Hellingly Parish in the last year, last 3 years and last 5 years please? Where can I see Wealden’s “123” list of priorities for spending this money please? on Linkedin Email How much Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL) money has Wealen collected for Hailsham and also Hellingly Parish in the last year, last 3 years and last 5 years please? Where can I see Wealden’s “123” list of priorities for spending this money please? link

    How much Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL) money has Wealen collected for Hailsham and also Hellingly Parish in the last year, last 3 years and last 5 years please? Where can I see Wealden’s “123” list of priorities for spending this money please?

    D. Phillips asked 6 months ago

    Good morning D.Phillips and thank you for your question. 

    After reading through your question, I believe that this is more of a Freedom of Information request, so I have forwarded onto our information governance team to look into this. They will respond to you with the information that you require. 

  • Share Why on earth, in a time of high cost of living for all, does Wealden District Council consider it a good idea to contribute to the energy bills of members of staff who insist on working from home? It is their choice to work in this this way when they have a more than adequate office where they can carry out their employment. Indeed the ethos of ‘going to the office’ has kept this country, including Wealden, going for many many years. I know you will say that this subsidy is being funded from your staffing budget but, in local government, whichever budget is utilised is funded by the taxpayer. Those hard pressed people who have no say in how their money is spent. Surely, those staff claiming heating expenses could use the money they are saving by not spending on travel expenses? They seem to be in a win win situation. Why don’t WDC councillors have the gumption to insist that staff get back to the office, improving service to the public that pays their salaries and helping newer members of staff with their job roles. I imagine that getting back to the office would also improve mental health of many with the social contact and removing a sense of isolation at home. As a Wealden tax payer I would appreciate your comments. on Facebook Share Why on earth, in a time of high cost of living for all, does Wealden District Council consider it a good idea to contribute to the energy bills of members of staff who insist on working from home? It is their choice to work in this this way when they have a more than adequate office where they can carry out their employment. Indeed the ethos of ‘going to the office’ has kept this country, including Wealden, going for many many years. I know you will say that this subsidy is being funded from your staffing budget but, in local government, whichever budget is utilised is funded by the taxpayer. Those hard pressed people who have no say in how their money is spent. Surely, those staff claiming heating expenses could use the money they are saving by not spending on travel expenses? They seem to be in a win win situation. Why don’t WDC councillors have the gumption to insist that staff get back to the office, improving service to the public that pays their salaries and helping newer members of staff with their job roles. I imagine that getting back to the office would also improve mental health of many with the social contact and removing a sense of isolation at home. As a Wealden tax payer I would appreciate your comments. on Twitter Share Why on earth, in a time of high cost of living for all, does Wealden District Council consider it a good idea to contribute to the energy bills of members of staff who insist on working from home? It is their choice to work in this this way when they have a more than adequate office where they can carry out their employment. Indeed the ethos of ‘going to the office’ has kept this country, including Wealden, going for many many years. I know you will say that this subsidy is being funded from your staffing budget but, in local government, whichever budget is utilised is funded by the taxpayer. Those hard pressed people who have no say in how their money is spent. Surely, those staff claiming heating expenses could use the money they are saving by not spending on travel expenses? They seem to be in a win win situation. Why don’t WDC councillors have the gumption to insist that staff get back to the office, improving service to the public that pays their salaries and helping newer members of staff with their job roles. I imagine that getting back to the office would also improve mental health of many with the social contact and removing a sense of isolation at home. As a Wealden tax payer I would appreciate your comments. on Linkedin Email Why on earth, in a time of high cost of living for all, does Wealden District Council consider it a good idea to contribute to the energy bills of members of staff who insist on working from home? It is their choice to work in this this way when they have a more than adequate office where they can carry out their employment. Indeed the ethos of ‘going to the office’ has kept this country, including Wealden, going for many many years. I know you will say that this subsidy is being funded from your staffing budget but, in local government, whichever budget is utilised is funded by the taxpayer. Those hard pressed people who have no say in how their money is spent. Surely, those staff claiming heating expenses could use the money they are saving by not spending on travel expenses? They seem to be in a win win situation. Why don’t WDC councillors have the gumption to insist that staff get back to the office, improving service to the public that pays their salaries and helping newer members of staff with their job roles. I imagine that getting back to the office would also improve mental health of many with the social contact and removing a sense of isolation at home. As a Wealden tax payer I would appreciate your comments. link

    Why on earth, in a time of high cost of living for all, does Wealden District Council consider it a good idea to contribute to the energy bills of members of staff who insist on working from home? It is their choice to work in this this way when they have a more than adequate office where they can carry out their employment. Indeed the ethos of ‘going to the office’ has kept this country, including Wealden, going for many many years. I know you will say that this subsidy is being funded from your staffing budget but, in local government, whichever budget is utilised is funded by the taxpayer. Those hard pressed people who have no say in how their money is spent. Surely, those staff claiming heating expenses could use the money they are saving by not spending on travel expenses? They seem to be in a win win situation. Why don’t WDC councillors have the gumption to insist that staff get back to the office, improving service to the public that pays their salaries and helping newer members of staff with their job roles. I imagine that getting back to the office would also improve mental health of many with the social contact and removing a sense of isolation at home. As a Wealden tax payer I would appreciate your comments.

    Lynn Brand asked 7 months ago

    Good afternoon Lynn, 

    Thank you for your question and I apologise that I haven't come back to you sooner. 

    The council is a “people business”.  The employment market in the South East is very competitive.  This is great for everyone who wants to work here, but means that, like all employers based here, the council has to offer attractive pay packages to recruit and retain staff and which are in line with the market. All employers offer their staff a variety of benefits as part of their remuneration package and, to an extent, allow their staff to “pick and mix” these benefits.  Very many employers allow their staff to work from home.

     At Wealden, we have chosen to devote a small portion of our total staff cost budget to pay a benefit which is a contribution towards the costs incurred by employees when they spend some of their time working from home. Although we support staff with the costs of working at home, our pay and benefit arrangements remain completely within national, regional and local parameters for public sector organisations.

    We owe it to our residents to ensure that our combined package enables us to recruit and retain employees who have the highly sought after skills that we need to provide our services. Our resident satisfaction data, which is above sector average, suggests that we are making the right decisions on matters affecting service delivery in the post-Covid world, and that includes decisions which affect staff recruitment and retention.

  • Share Dear Cllr. Partridge, I would like to ask what contact has been made by the Housing Team ( homelessness) with the one , or sometimes two, persons now very obviously living rough outside of Waitrose in Hailsham? The Councils website recently flagged the enhanced effort and contact available to help in such situations. In the current season this living rough is neither going to help the mental and physical wellbeing of these individuals nor indeed the image of Hailsham as one of the District’s principal settlements. I also cannot believe that the current visual impact of the growing array of sleeping bags and possessions sits well with adjacent retailers. In essence what real efforts are being made by the District Council to find safer, and more appropriate accommodation for the individuals concerned? Sincerely, D. Phillips on Facebook Share Dear Cllr. Partridge, I would like to ask what contact has been made by the Housing Team ( homelessness) with the one , or sometimes two, persons now very obviously living rough outside of Waitrose in Hailsham? The Councils website recently flagged the enhanced effort and contact available to help in such situations. In the current season this living rough is neither going to help the mental and physical wellbeing of these individuals nor indeed the image of Hailsham as one of the District’s principal settlements. I also cannot believe that the current visual impact of the growing array of sleeping bags and possessions sits well with adjacent retailers. In essence what real efforts are being made by the District Council to find safer, and more appropriate accommodation for the individuals concerned? Sincerely, D. Phillips on Twitter Share Dear Cllr. Partridge, I would like to ask what contact has been made by the Housing Team ( homelessness) with the one , or sometimes two, persons now very obviously living rough outside of Waitrose in Hailsham? The Councils website recently flagged the enhanced effort and contact available to help in such situations. In the current season this living rough is neither going to help the mental and physical wellbeing of these individuals nor indeed the image of Hailsham as one of the District’s principal settlements. I also cannot believe that the current visual impact of the growing array of sleeping bags and possessions sits well with adjacent retailers. In essence what real efforts are being made by the District Council to find safer, and more appropriate accommodation for the individuals concerned? Sincerely, D. Phillips on Linkedin Email Dear Cllr. Partridge, I would like to ask what contact has been made by the Housing Team ( homelessness) with the one , or sometimes two, persons now very obviously living rough outside of Waitrose in Hailsham? The Councils website recently flagged the enhanced effort and contact available to help in such situations. In the current season this living rough is neither going to help the mental and physical wellbeing of these individuals nor indeed the image of Hailsham as one of the District’s principal settlements. I also cannot believe that the current visual impact of the growing array of sleeping bags and possessions sits well with adjacent retailers. In essence what real efforts are being made by the District Council to find safer, and more appropriate accommodation for the individuals concerned? Sincerely, D. Phillips link

    Dear Cllr. Partridge, I would like to ask what contact has been made by the Housing Team ( homelessness) with the one , or sometimes two, persons now very obviously living rough outside of Waitrose in Hailsham? The Councils website recently flagged the enhanced effort and contact available to help in such situations. In the current season this living rough is neither going to help the mental and physical wellbeing of these individuals nor indeed the image of Hailsham as one of the District’s principal settlements. I also cannot believe that the current visual impact of the growing array of sleeping bags and possessions sits well with adjacent retailers. In essence what real efforts are being made by the District Council to find safer, and more appropriate accommodation for the individuals concerned? Sincerely, D. Phillips

    David Phillips asked 6 months ago

    Good afternoon David and thank you for your question.  I cannot say very much, for confidentiality reasons. We know about these two people and are working with others who can help in order to find a solution. We ask that members of the public report all rough sleepers to Street Link so that we can get them help.  StreetLink - Connecting people sleeping rough to local services (thestreetlink.org.uk)

  • Share Why is it the roads in this area especially are so so terrible, there are actually no good roads in hailsham they are all an absolute disgrace the potholes are third world status. on Facebook Share Why is it the roads in this area especially are so so terrible, there are actually no good roads in hailsham they are all an absolute disgrace the potholes are third world status. on Twitter Share Why is it the roads in this area especially are so so terrible, there are actually no good roads in hailsham they are all an absolute disgrace the potholes are third world status. on Linkedin Email Why is it the roads in this area especially are so so terrible, there are actually no good roads in hailsham they are all an absolute disgrace the potholes are third world status. link

    Why is it the roads in this area especially are so so terrible, there are actually no good roads in hailsham they are all an absolute disgrace the potholes are third world status.

    Simon asked 6 months ago

    Dear Simon, 

    Thank you for your question, however potholes are the responsibility of East Sussex County Council, not the district council.  I would suggest that you either contact one of Hailsham's county councillors, Councillor Steve Murphy (Hailsham Market) or Councillor Gerard Fox (Hailsham New Town).  Their contact details can be found via this link Councillors | East Sussex County Council

  • Share I am a pensioner in my late 70's and a resident of Wealden. I have seasonal work but during the winter months I am mostly at home. During weekdays my heating does not come on until 5pm but my energy bill is still over £160 per month. In addition to this I pay an annual Council Tax charge of £2156, so I was shocked to learn that Wealden District Council has paid over £126,000 to staff working from home over the past year towards 'heat and light' costs (Freedom of Information figures). Why should tax payers contribute towards the energy bills of those council employees, many of whom will be saving on commuting costs? Why are they not in the office? Is this the result of the relocation of staff from Crowborough to Hailsham which was made to 'save money'? Why should residents be paying towards council staff utility bills when this money should be going towards maintaining and improving community services? Please would you give me a logical, informed answer and hopefully assurance that these payments will not continue, especially with the prospect of increased Community Tax rates next year. on Facebook Share I am a pensioner in my late 70's and a resident of Wealden. I have seasonal work but during the winter months I am mostly at home. During weekdays my heating does not come on until 5pm but my energy bill is still over £160 per month. In addition to this I pay an annual Council Tax charge of £2156, so I was shocked to learn that Wealden District Council has paid over £126,000 to staff working from home over the past year towards 'heat and light' costs (Freedom of Information figures). Why should tax payers contribute towards the energy bills of those council employees, many of whom will be saving on commuting costs? Why are they not in the office? Is this the result of the relocation of staff from Crowborough to Hailsham which was made to 'save money'? Why should residents be paying towards council staff utility bills when this money should be going towards maintaining and improving community services? Please would you give me a logical, informed answer and hopefully assurance that these payments will not continue, especially with the prospect of increased Community Tax rates next year. on Twitter Share I am a pensioner in my late 70's and a resident of Wealden. I have seasonal work but during the winter months I am mostly at home. During weekdays my heating does not come on until 5pm but my energy bill is still over £160 per month. In addition to this I pay an annual Council Tax charge of £2156, so I was shocked to learn that Wealden District Council has paid over £126,000 to staff working from home over the past year towards 'heat and light' costs (Freedom of Information figures). Why should tax payers contribute towards the energy bills of those council employees, many of whom will be saving on commuting costs? Why are they not in the office? Is this the result of the relocation of staff from Crowborough to Hailsham which was made to 'save money'? Why should residents be paying towards council staff utility bills when this money should be going towards maintaining and improving community services? Please would you give me a logical, informed answer and hopefully assurance that these payments will not continue, especially with the prospect of increased Community Tax rates next year. on Linkedin Email I am a pensioner in my late 70's and a resident of Wealden. I have seasonal work but during the winter months I am mostly at home. During weekdays my heating does not come on until 5pm but my energy bill is still over £160 per month. In addition to this I pay an annual Council Tax charge of £2156, so I was shocked to learn that Wealden District Council has paid over £126,000 to staff working from home over the past year towards 'heat and light' costs (Freedom of Information figures). Why should tax payers contribute towards the energy bills of those council employees, many of whom will be saving on commuting costs? Why are they not in the office? Is this the result of the relocation of staff from Crowborough to Hailsham which was made to 'save money'? Why should residents be paying towards council staff utility bills when this money should be going towards maintaining and improving community services? Please would you give me a logical, informed answer and hopefully assurance that these payments will not continue, especially with the prospect of increased Community Tax rates next year. link

    I am a pensioner in my late 70's and a resident of Wealden. I have seasonal work but during the winter months I am mostly at home. During weekdays my heating does not come on until 5pm but my energy bill is still over £160 per month. In addition to this I pay an annual Council Tax charge of £2156, so I was shocked to learn that Wealden District Council has paid over £126,000 to staff working from home over the past year towards 'heat and light' costs (Freedom of Information figures). Why should tax payers contribute towards the energy bills of those council employees, many of whom will be saving on commuting costs? Why are they not in the office? Is this the result of the relocation of staff from Crowborough to Hailsham which was made to 'save money'? Why should residents be paying towards council staff utility bills when this money should be going towards maintaining and improving community services? Please would you give me a logical, informed answer and hopefully assurance that these payments will not continue, especially with the prospect of increased Community Tax rates next year.

    Diane Guymer asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for this question.

     The £2156 which you pay in Council Tax is made up of separate levies or taxes set by [5] different authorities. Only 9% (£194) of it comes to us.  

    The council is a “people business”.  The employment market in the South East is very competitive.  This is great for everyone who wants to work here, but means that, like all employers based here, the council has to offer attractive pay packages to recruit and retain staff and which are in line with the market. All employers offer their staff a variety of benefits as part of their remuneration package and, to an extent, allow their staff to “pick and mix” these benefits.  Very many employers allow their staff to work from home.

     At Wealden, we have chosen to devote a small portion of our total staff cost budget to pay a benefit which is a contribution towards the costs incurred  by employees when they spend some of their time working from home.

     Although we support staff with the costs of working at home, our pay and benefit arrangements remain completely within national, regional and local parameters for public sector organisations.

    We owe it to our residents to ensure that our combined package enables us to recruit and retain employees who have the highly sought after skills that we need to provide our services.. Our resident satisfaction data, which is above sector average, suggests that we are making the right decisions on matters affecting service delivery in the post-Covid world, and that includes decisions which affect staff recruitment and retention.

     This policy is not related to the closure of the Council’s Crowborough offices.

Page last updated: 04 Jun 2024, 11:51 AM