30 Nov Norman’s Notes
Many of us will be thinking what has happened to 2020. Here we are about to be celebrating Christmas.
With the development of several different Covid vaccines, 2021 will surely be better than the past months?
Bring Christmas Home
Our MSDC ‘Bringing Christmas Home’ campaign, celebrates our communities, our connections and our local businesses. As part of this, we want to help support local traders this Christmas.
Until the shops, pubs and restaurants reopen again we are helping residents find inspiration among the unique and amazing companies we have here on our own doorstep. Please do support our interesting food and drink, craft and service businesses – and help support our local shops and their workers.
If you run a local business, please register on our comprehensive listing here:
Wellbeing Service for your remote workers
Working in isolation at home, especially for those who live alone, can be very lonely. We know that mental health is a worrying and growing issue. If you are concerned about your staff, you may like to contact the Wellbeing Team at MSDC as there are some great courses available. Weight management, back to exercise, smoking cessation and alcohol awareness are just some of the courses available, as well as direct one to one support.
A great source of wellbeing info: https://midsussex.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/
Sharing Covid grants information
Mid Sussex District Council has been able to channel around £30 million of government grants into our local economy over the past months.
Self-employed people, in a range of different categories, have been able to benefit from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which has been made up of four taxable Government grants for self-employed people. The grants are similar, but the main differences are when they are or were available (the first two grants are now closed) and stricter eligibility criteria for the third grant compared to the first two. This support has been paid directly to individuals via HMRC.
MSDC is very grateful to the East Grinstead Business Association for their support in disseminating information, either via two informative webinars and via the EGBA website, or special ebulletins to members.
If you are not a member of EGBA Business Association – you might want to join; it could be your best decision going into 2021!
Joining info here: https://www.egba.co.uk/membership/
Some very significant improvements have been made to policing in recent years. Despite the budget reductions following the last recession, investments include the amalgamation of 17 different CCTV systems across Sussex into one, with high quality imaging capable of zooming sufficiently to easily see details within a vehicle from one end of the High Street to the other.
Officers are now equipped with handheld devices for onsite recording of information for immediate onward transmission to relevant agencies, including across force boundaries. Just a few years ago all reporting was paper based. The property estate has been improved significantly and following the recent policing precept increase, Sussex Police is well on track to have an additional 400 specialist staff and officers in place by 2023. This is taking account of retirements, transfers to other forces and resignations.
There has also been a strong focus on ensuring crime victims have an easier route into Sussex Police either by email, website, or telephone to report crime. Investments have been made in technology in many other areas of policing and in training officers to the highest standards.
As Gatwick Airport has experienced a very significant drop in passenger numbers, so too has the policing requirement. Personnel have been redeployed into focusing on road traffic offences such as speeding, uninsured or unlicensed vehicles, drink and drug driving etc., with some very significant successes.
I have visited the Command and Control Centre in Lewes several times and would be happy to request a visit for EGBA members after Easter, if there is sufficient interest.
The Police and Crime Scrutiny Panel website has information about our regular meetings and the issues we consider and report on.
Have a look here: https://sussexpcp.gov.uk/
Small electrical items for kerb side collection
If you have small electrical items to be disposed of, they can now be put out with your weekly rubbish collection. You no longer need to make a trip to the tip or put them into your landfill, all of which is a good environmental move.
Further info here: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/waste-recycling/small-electrical-collections/
Mid Sussex Applauds Awards
Last month I wrote about volunteering opportunities available at https://www.msva.org.uk/ and this month I’m delighted to write about some awards made to outstanding people who give back to communities across Mid Sussex.
Mid Sussex Applauds, each year, seeks to recognise those who go above and beyond in their efforts for our community. Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council, Councillor Colin Trumble commented, “It is truly heart-warming to read the stories of everyone nominated. Living through extraordinary times has highlighted how fantastic our community is and how people really step up in times of adversity. Huge congratulations to everyone awarded and those commended, they really are stars in our community.”
Awards were made in the following eight categories –
- Stronger Together Award winner, Sarah Collyer who was nominated for her “Brilliant job as part of the East Grinstead Action Group team,” in addition to the many other community groups she is involved in.
Highly Commended – Jane Cheshire (Sayers Common) and Anne Stone (East Grinstead). Anne is secretary and a driving force behind East Grinstead’s Town Action Group, who have established a community orchard and are redesigning the Windmill Lane Community Garden on the corner of London Road. The group also arranges regular litter picks.
Commended – Andi Frost, Jane Green, Kathryn Hibbert-Little, Vicky Jones, Barbara King, Graham Meeres and Jahan Tarana. Kathryn runs The Mug Tree and has devoted many hours to the East Grinstead the Emergency Action Group and many other causes during lockdown. The Mug Tree was also commended in the Business in the Community Award
- Take Pride in Mid Sussex Award (sponsored by ID Verde)
- Young Achiever Award
- Stronger Communities Award
- Business in the Community Award
The Mug Tree tearoom run by Kathryn Hibbert-Little, who has created a pleasant community space in her tearoom in Ship Street, just off West Street
- Young Volunteer of the Year Award
- Good Sport Award (sponsored by Places Leisure)
- Lifetime Achievement Award
Despite being unable to host an awards event, Councillor Trumble and the High Sheriff will fully recognise and celebrate the stories of all involved in a film to be released later in the year.