Uckfield Town Council has faced a busy and challenging year, electors have been told.
In the council’s annual report, the town mayor, Cllr John Carvey, said: “Owing to the economic situation we have had to make some decisions on whether and what to cut back on. We have looked at our finances very carefully and came to the decision that we could at least keep some important projects by a 2.95% increase in the council tax.”
Cllr Carvey said the council had completed some of the “greening” of its buildings with the PV panels on the Civic Centre roof which are helping to reduce fuel costs.
Chairman of the general purposes committee, Cllr Ian Smith, said member had striven throughout the year to ensure the council’s money was spent in the most efficient and cost effective way.
He said: “To this end, the recent independent audit of the financial operation has given a ringing endorsement to the council’s accounts.”
Chairman of the environment and leisure committee, Cllr Helen Firth, said the past year had seen the maturing of some important projects, all for the benefit of the residents of Uckfield.
“It is a great pleasure to say that the new Garden of Remembrance is now complete and ready for use. This is for the scattering of ashes with a memorial wall for plaques, there will also be a section for plaques for loved ones whose remains are somewhere else. This will give all residents a place to remember their loved ones wherever they may be.
“The council has received planning permission to erect a wind turbine at Victoria (just approximately 15 metres high) to supply power for Victoria Pavilion.
“We also have planning permission to build a garage for the ground staff to store their vehicles, which will include a rain harvesting system, so reducing the reliance on the water resources of the area. We hope we will be able to start the work in this area by the summer.”
Plans committee chairman, Cllr Thelma Rumbelow, commented on the proposed expansion of Uckfield to the south of the town.
She said: “However, with the obvious disadvantages to putting the whole district into ‘overload’ when it comes to housing and roads, there is widespread concern that Uckfield will change beyond recognition.
“It is the partnership between planners at local, district and county level that will be instrumental in ensuring that existing residents and any possible influx of additional households are satisfactorily integrated.
“For this reason, local residents more than ever should have a voice in proposed developments and also make a concerted effort to attend all future exhibitions in the town, express their opinions regarding an expansion of housing and facilities, and also voice their concerns.”