Minutes and Updates from the Community Meeting on 30th November

Community Meeting

Thanks to everyone who managed to make it along to the Community meeting at Beechwood Hall on Thursday 30th November 2017 at 7.30 pm at Beechwood Hall, Cooksbridge. Below is a roundup of the meeting, including updates. 

1.     Cllr. Ginn opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and clarifying that this was not a parish council meeting, but a general meeting for residents. Future meetings are planned to take place every 6 months if this is the wish of residents.

Cllr. Ginn introduced members of Hamsey Parish Council and PCSO Rose Stainer, PCSO Alan Ash of Sussex Police, Harry Hillery from LDC Housing and Rod Hearn Chairman of Beechwood Trustees.

2.     Cllr. D’Arienzo introduced the members on the panel and thanked them for joining the meeting.

The meeting was called so that residents could come and discuss any problems they were experiencing with antisocial behaviour, meet their neighbours and hopefully between us come up with some solutions.

In the summer we experienced a spate of vandalism at Beechwood Hall, at the railway station and graffiti on private property. The frequency of many of these incidents appear to have reduced, perhaps as winter has set in and people socialise less together.  Over the past 12 months mostly via social media it has become apparent that many residents were experiencing the same problems with criminal and antisocial behaviour over a number of years. A pattern of incidents include car vandalism in the vicinity of the station, throwing people’s bins and recycling bins from driveways into the residents’ gardens in Chandlers Mead, entering gardens uninvited and harassment in the form of targeted dog fouling on some residents’ properties.

Whilst recognising these incidents are classed as low level antisocial and non-violent, it is worth recognising the unacceptable cumulative impact this kind of behaviour is having on victims in this otherwise safe and welcoming community.

3.      Update by Sussex Police on initiatives to address anti-social behaviour – PSCOs Stainer & Ash. An update was given by the two PCSO’s in attendance.

There is an initiative in place currently (OpBlitz) which focusses on ensuring patrols are aimed at areas where anti-social behaviour is known. Call 101 and police will attend. Cooksbridge has joined Peacehaven and Newhaven Town as places being monitored and supported as part of OpBlitz . Cooksbridge will now form part of the route to be regularly patrolled during the day and at weekends.

When called, a marked police car will attend. This had at the time of the meeting been in place for a few weeks in Peacehaven and Newhaven and appeared to be helping. There are also daily patrols by PCSO’s.

Advice was given that recurring issues must be reported every time so that the police can spot trends and action.

In response to local concerns, it was noted that the police had attended the address of a local resident who was seen to be carrying out anti-social behaviour including the throwing of many residents’ bins and targeting one address with repeated incidents of dog fouling. The PCSO’s were liaising with Housing and the residents involved; they felt hopeful that this individual will refrain from continuing this behaviour.

It had been identified that much of the antisocial activity was taking place between 5-6 am. This is expected to stop further to the police talking to the individual identified.

Update: No reported incidents had been reported for a while but there appears to have been a repeat on around New Year’s Day which will need to be investigated.

A resident raised the issue that regular unofficial notes are put on cars parking at the station, the PCSO’s were aware and were planning to speak to the residents leaving the notes.

Update: Resident agreed to stop leaving notes. The issue of whether residents with driveways should be parking in the station is yet unresolved and further discussions should be held to determine whether this parking is affecting the users of the station and whether this is compounding parking pressures locally in the village.

The PCSO’s will review whether CCTV Nomad cameras can be installed to monitor the village – potentially the area around the station and Chandlers Mead.

Update: No suitable lamppost with electricity supply was found. Some residents are installing private CCTV.

Another area of concern was the speed in which cars pass through the village. Residents have a fear of fatalities and another car accident occurred with a speeding motorist colliding with a resident’s’ car near the A275/Town Littleworth Road junction. It is very dangerous to cross the road in the area beside the rainbow pub.

Update: . Cllr. D’Arienzo forwarded concerns to Highways. Highways: ‘The implementation of speed limits is a very emotive subject and many members of the public believe that the introduction of a lower speed limit will automatically reduce vehicle speeds. However, the majority of drivers travel at the speed they consider to be safe for the conditions of the road based on their assessment of the local environment. National guidance on setting local speed limits therefore recommends that local highway authorities align the speed limit so that the average speed of traffic is at or just below the posted limit.  This approach helps to ensure that we set the limit at the speed that a responsible driver considers to be appropriate which will ensure the greatest degree of compliance and have the biggest impact on road safety.   Experience has shown that setting speed limits so that they are significantly below the speed that the majority of drivers consider appropriate only leads to them being widely ignored. A road is generally safer when all of the drivers are travelling at, or close to the posted speed limit.  A speed survey carried out on the A275 just to the south of the Town Littleworth Road junction in July 2017 as part of our review recorded the average speed of the drivers to be 44mph northbound and 45mph southbound.  After very careful consideration with the Police it was agreed that a lower 40mph speed limit would not be well respected or observed by the majority of drivers.  It could also increase the difference in speed between the faster and slower drivers which is a contributory factor in many types of crashes. A 50mph speed limit would be set above the average speed of the drivers already using the road.  In our experience, and in the experience of many other local highway authorities nationally, posting the speed limit so it is above the average speed of the drivers can increase the speed of the drivers already using the road.  This is because some of the drivers see the 50mph repeater signs that have to be placed at regular intervals along the road as a target and increase their speed in accordance with the signs.         


Although I can understand your concerns in respect to crashes on this part of the A275, a recent review of the crashes that had been reported to the Police identified that localised improvements on the A275 in the vicinity of the junction with the Town Littleworth Road would be most appropriate. We have agreed with Sussex Police to renew the existing traffic signs and road markings on this part of the A275 and install some new hazard marker posts to help make the drivers more aware of the alignment of the road and the junction.  This work is being progressed and it should help to make this part of the road safer.’


A resident queried if Hamsey was included in the Quiet Lanes initiative – Td’A said she would look into that matter.

Update: After researching online and subsequently speaking with Sustrans it seems that this CPRE initiative lost momentum some years ago. The Council is looking into other ways to calm traffic in the lanes.

RH raised a concern that car crime had been going on for a long time and stated that if not stopped it will escalate and crime may become worse. He asked how long response would take. The PCSO’s stated that cars are despatched from Lewes and should not take a long time to arrive.Hamsey Parish is served by a satellite hub in Lewes staffed by 4 officers and a sergeant.

The PCSO’s concluded by asking that all crime is reports no matter how small as a clear picture of what is going on will support us to have the support we need.

  1.    Antisocial Behaviour- Harry Hillery from LDC Housing

Antisocial Behaviour

Harry introduced the Public Space Protection Orders and stated that these were put in place to protect councils from anti-social behaviour. They are used where crime is taking place and there are known perpetrators. Dog fouling would be an example and can carry a fine of £1k, as would the consumption of alcohol on the streets in Lewes.

However Harry had discussed the Hamsey issues with his colleagues and it was not felt that this would be the appropriate measure for the level of anti-social behaviour we are facing.

Harry will be speaking to the resident who has been identified as tampering with the bins on Chandlers Mead and reminding him of his obligations as a tenant.

Dog Fouling

A resident asked about how to properly report dog fouling. Harry responded by giving the name of Harry Williams at LDC who will deal with those matters, it should be reported to him and if you have the details of the person responsible give as many details as possible. You can also report dog fouling online. Td’A said that people should take pictures whenever they see issues such as dog fouling or littering and send to the appropriate council office or to the PC.

A resident raised the matter of dog fouling on private property, he stated that he knows who is responsible (same individual as throwing the bins in CM) this person is prowling and allowing their dog to foul on his property causing him extreme distress. Is this a criminal offence?

Harry responded saying that the tenant was being spoken to by the police and that Harry would also be talking to him. The consensus is that the behaviour will stop.


Another question was raised about fines for persistent littering (outside local authority properties i.e. rubbish in gardens). Harry said it can be difficult to prove if mess is being left by local authority tenants but he will look into the matter.

A local resident suggested getting the school involved – children on litter picks as a way of educating them about environmental issues.


The issue of parking was raised – or lack thereof. A resident gave an example that parking around the roundabout at the bottom of CM had caused issue when an ambulance was attending her father. There was further debate around the ability of fire tenders to access that area. A request was made to turn the gardens at the front of the flats into parking. There is also a turning bay at the bottom of CM that could be used for extra parking.

Harry agreed that parking could benefit from council review and will take this back to the council. He will update as to progress.

Td’A recognised the effort Harry is putting into Cooksbridge, especially as only in post for 2 months. She also thanked the local resident for his help in establishing timescales for the dog fouling incidents on private property. Td’A recognised that Parish councillors have been going out early in the morning in an effort to establish what is going on and have observed anti-social activity leading to police action.

Update: The head of Hamsey School has agreed to a meeting with the parish council and the county council with a view to re-examining the possibility of parking within the school grounds, as well as other school improvements. It is hoped that funds from local housing developments could help finance these improvements.

Rod Hearn will be actioning the erection of CCTV equipment at Beechwood Hall to help deter further vandalism.

Update: This work is scheduled and will be installed imminently.

Td’A will ascertain whether speedbumps can be put into CM to deter cars speeding late at night. She asked that all residents of the parish are vigilant and most importantly report anti-social behaviour.

Update: Highways: 'As you may be aware, we have a limited amount of funding to develop local transport improvements and we need to ensure that we target our resources to those schemes which will be of greatest benefit to our local communities. We have developed an evidence-based process that enables us to prioritise the numerous requests we receive for traffic calming and other road improvements to determine which schemes should be funded through our capital programme for local transport improvements. The first stage of assessment appraises each request to establish how it contributes towards the policy objectives set out in our Local Transport Plan covering the period 2011 to 2026.

I have assessed your request for speed humps to be installed on Chandlers Mead and I can confirm that the scheme will not be taken forward for further consideration at this time. I am pleased to confirm that no crashes have been recorded in Chandlers Mead in the last 10 years. It is acknowledged that there may be unreported near miss incidents; however our limited resources must be directed to those sites with an ongoing history of casualties to persons that involve the most serious injuries when considering safety improvements such as traffic calming.'

One resident noted that on coming home late in the evening (10.30pm) she had observed a group of youths acting loud and out of control, heading to Beechwood hall but was not comfortable following them or speaking to them. Td’A advised reporting this to the PCSO’s next time.

The issue of dogs off lead at BWH was raised and Td’A said she was disappointed as so much effort had gone into making it easy to have dogs there with free poo bags and dog bins etc. There is a lot of effort being put into the new children’s park and this is for the enjoyment of all, if the fouling does not improve dogs may be banned from BWH altogether which would be sad.

Rod Hearn said that it was a pity and that the problem had been on going for a long time. People put a lot of effort into the facility at BWH and now it is costing a lot of money to install CCTV (5k). It is viewed as inevitable that vandalism will occur therefore we are lucky to be able to generate revenue from weddings and private hall hires to pay for this equipment. CCTV will not stop it but will hopefully deter.

Finally residents asked what they could do to get CCTV equipment for wider use, is there a grant? Could they fundraise?

Harry Hillier had to leave and the meeting adjourned with Td’A thanking him for his input which was valued.

Suspicious behaviour or incidents should be reported by calling 101

or reported online at www.sussex.police.uk/contact-us/report-online/

Thanks to everyone who came and shared info with their neighbours who couldn’t make it. It was a pleasure to meet so many of you and put names to faces.

Wishing you all the best in 2018. The next meeting date is scheduled for Thursday 24th May at 7.30pm, Beechwood Hall.

Cllr. Tamsyn d’Arienzo, Cllr. Ian Ginn, Cllr. Ailsa Suttie and Hamsey Parish Council.










Hamsey Parish Council © 2016