Our independent columnist Observer returns from the Christmas break to look at the town council without a clerk, the on/off flood warnings and a novel idea to deal with a housing developer seeking to cut the cost of development.
Heron Land Developments wants to slash the “roof tax” it has to pay on its planned development off Mallard Drive, Ridgewood, from £10,000 per house to £2,500 per property.
You can’t blame them for trying.
Circumstances have changed since the original deal was done but you can’t see Heron selling each house for £7,500 less if they get a rebate.
Having said that, I’m in favour of allowing Heron to make the saving – on one condition.
The saving Heron makes should be translated into more affordable housing on the new estate.
That would be a result for Uckfield, especially as the new 1,000 homes estate will not now have the 35 per cent affordable housing once mooted.
Town council clerk
Uckfield Town Council began 2016 without a clerk. Ashley Serpis announced he was leaving at the beginning of October, so it beggars belief the council got to 2016 without a clerk (temporary or otherwise) in place.
Cllr Chris Macve said the situation had been “very, very badly handled”. I couldn’t put it better myself.
The flood warnings in Uckfield have been on and off like a light switch this week.
Yes, the River Uck does rise and fall quickly.
However, I feel there is an element of backside covering by the Environment Agency: slap on a warning and if it floods, they can say: ‘told you so’.
The danger is that people will become complacent as each warning comes to nothing.
The Environment Agency might like to reflect on Aesop’s Fables of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
Library opening hours
Cuts to library opening hours are proposed to help balance East Sussex County Council’s books.
Cutting hours when there is little demand seems the right way forward; although ideally we should do all we can to make libraries available to all.
The few will suffer to save the many.