Ditchling Parish Council serving the Ditchling Community



The Parish Council has been informed that Broadband in Ditchling will not be fully operational until June 2017. The Parish Council will be pressing BDUK for an earlier completion date than June 2017, it is not acceptable that residents are required to wait a further 14 months for Broadband delivery. If you wish to make a complaint, please contact:

Craig McQuade 
BT Consumer
BT, Riverside Tower,
Lanyon Place,
Belfast, BT1 3BT
Executive Level Complaints Team  
Contact number 03316545457
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Dear Mr McBeth
I am happy to report some progress on the Hassocks cabinets that feed your village.  I have managed to secure build completion dates of Q1 17/18, so we are aiming to have the two cabinets installed and working by June 2017.  This is not as quickly as I had hoped but I have had to work hard to get them into an already packed programme of works, and I am assured that subject to survey we will meet these dates.

As discussed we have a firm location for Hassocks 9 and I believe that a wayleave has been agreed to place this cabinet in the lane which is still within the required distance to stand a DSLAM.  Hassock 4 has proved a lot more challenging and we now believe we have a location we can work with.  A provisional survey was carried out on Tuesday 12th April and we have agreed to explore further the location you suggested by the wall, we plan to do an excavation in this area to check for any services that may be in the way, but so far it looks good.  We may need to seek permission from ESCC highways to move some street furniture as it may be in the way of the DSLAM we will know more once the full survey has been completed.  We will also need to install 60mtrs of duct in the highway back to the PCP, again we will need to seek agreement from the highways team to do this.

Some good news at last and I hope you are pleased with the progress made.  If I am able to get these structures moved up the work stack and installed any earlier I will but can’t promise anything at the moment.
I will keep in touch.
Many thanks.
Paul Boichat
Senior Project Manager
BDUK Delivery – East & West Sussex
BT Group
Mob: 07736 595354
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  Next Parish Meeting & Venue  

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on 24th May 2016 at The Old Meeting House  

Details & Background

Ditchling is a delightful village nestling at the foot of the South Downs in East Sussex. It has an electorate of approximately 1,700 people. It is an example of a Saxon Strip Parish. There is an excellent network of footpaths covering some 33miles in total which enable walkers to enjoy the countryside and in many cases savour breathtaking views.

To the North of the Village is Ditchling Common Country Park which is owned and managed by East Sussex County Council and to the south there is the famous Ditchling Beacon which is the highest point on the South Downs. Ditchling Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest included in which there are three sites of Nature Conservation Importance.

There is a very strong cultural and artistic tradition in the Village. These are depicted in the local Ditchling Museum, Turner Dumbrell Workshops and local businesses. It is a lively community with some 40 local organisations which are represented on the Ditchling Village Association.

Ditchling is keen to preserve its character whilst realising that some change is inevitable. Parts of the Village are designated as Conservation Areas and the central area is further protected by an Article 4 Direction Order. There are 40 Listed Buildings in and around the Village.
The Parish is represented on East Sussex County Council and Lewes District Council; it has eleven members on the Parish Council who serve for four years. The Parish Council holds its statutory meetings monthly on the fourth Tuesday; in addition it holds Special Council Meetings on the second Tuesday monthly if required to deal with plans and urgent matters.

Function & Duties

Parish Council procedures are set out in "Standing Orders".


The Parish Council has four Committees

Grounds Committee

The Council owns and manages the Recreation Ground in Lewes Road It is responsible amongst other matters for deciding when the state of the pitches is suitable for football matches in the Winter. The Chairman of the Committee, the Groundsman and a representative from the Club make a regular inspection at 9am every Saturday during the winter months. The War Memorial, which belongs to the Parish Council, and the Droveway Shaw, which is owned by SEEBoard, also comes under the umbrella of this Committee. The Council employs Colin Truran as its Groundsman.

Burial Ground Committee
The Council owns and manages the Burial Ground and the field to the east, which is designated as a future Burial Ground extension. The Council employs Colin Truran to maintain the main part of the Ground and Peter Stenning to look after the Garden of Remembrance.
Lighting Committee The Parish Council owns and maintains the footway lighting in the Village. The lights on the signs and the buildouts etc. are the responsibility of the County Council. The lights in the Car Park at the Village Hall are owned and maintained by Lewes District Council. The council has sixty lamp standards in the village.

Footpaths Committee

This comes under the umbrella of the main Council financially but needs active members to walk the paths and keep an eye on them. Maintenance is carried out by the Monday Group. The County Council is responsible for all Definitive Rights of Way. The Committee also makes recommendations for money to be set aside in the estimates to give grants to the Monday Group.


The whole Council deals with planning applications. It is not a Planning Authority and can only make recommendations. It can comment in three ways, If it Supports an application it has to give its reasons. If it Objects to an application it has to justify with reasons, if it does not have strong feelings in either direction it comments "No objections" this leaves it in the hands of the Planners.

Financial Controllers

It is a requirement of the Audit Commission that the Council appoints two financial controllers as part of the Financial Control of the Council. These are Councillors who are not signatories on cheques. One looks at the accounts for payment prior to the Council Meeting and checks the cheques. The other has the bank Statements etc to check.

Internal Auditor

It is also a requirement of the Audit Commission that there is an independent internal auditor to monitor the work during the year. There is a public Audit carried out annually by a firm appointed by the Audit Commission.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

At each Council Meeting there is a folder including copies of the papers distributed to Councillors for the public to read as part of the meeting. Copies of Minutes and Agendas for the past year are kept in a file at the Post Office and are available for inspection upon application.