Ouse Valley Villages

Countryside & Villages in the Ouse Valley:

The Lewes District Council ‘Kingston’ Ward includes the villages of:

Falmer, St Ann Without, Kingston, Swanborough, Iford, Northease, Rodmell, Southease & Piddinghoe

By Vic Ient:

I believe in supporting the rural community as well as preserving our rural heritage. I support good farm and animal husbandry as well as sustainable, sensitive and suitable development of a high standard of design in the countryside. I passionately believe in the protection of our beautiful landscape and coastal areas. Like many others I was a supporter and campaigned for the creation of the South Downs National Park. I currently campaign for the Park to live up to its statutory duties as enshrined in law. I think we should encourage people to visit the South Downs in a sustainable way, wherever possible, using public transport, walking or cycling. In these days where computer screens dominate the world of our children, I would like to see organisations and parents being encouraged to use the outdoors for children’s activities and holidays. I also support countryside centres that provide facilities for the disabled.  The countryside in England, as elsewhere around the world will continue to be under threat; hopefully we can balance reasonable development with protecting our downland and countryside.

Village communities are important and we should help sustain their vibrancy and sense of belonging. Services, whether they be public or private should be focused on supporting village life. Most villages in England now do not have village shops so we need to find ways of either bringing these back or making it possible for those without cars to gain access to both shops and public facilities. The district council need to expand its kerbside collection to reduce the amount people have to take the dump themselves. This will itself save fuel energy as well as encouraging more people to recycle.

To help villages survive and develop as successful communities regular bus services are needed. This not only prevents villagers from being isolated from the main towns and other villages but it will also help tourism allowing people to get to different parts of the National Park and use village services. As government support for buses is reduced we need to find innovative ways of keeping a viable bus service throughout the day and where possible into the evening. The Cuckmere bus service is a good example of people working together to fill the gaps where commercial services are not working.

In parts of the Ouse Valley, especially Rodmell, there is a particular problem with the provision of broadband telecoms services. We must put as much pressure on East Sussex County Council and BT to get on and install the services without delay. I have already been campaigning for this and will continue to do so until these organisations step up to the mark.

The C7 is a dangerous road and I would like to get agreement on a plan with all of the parish councils along the route including both ends of the road through Kingston to make the road safer for pedestrians and drivers.

Changes in farming in the last few years and the use of intensive breeding activities have brought with them problems. Intensive breeding of birds causes difficulties for residents in villages as well as other crop growers such as the vineyard in the South Downs. The intensification of shooting in the countryside also causes concerns for villagers and for those using the rights of way along the Downs. We need to be vigilant with regard to planning infringements but also at the same time I will work for harmony and moderation with respect to these developments. Likewise, changing in the use of land for recreational purposes should not be so intensive as to impact the quiet enjoyment of our beautiful landscape.

I’m hopeful that the Egrets Way route can be successfully agreed-upon without further upset in the village of Piddinghoe. For Falmer I will work hard to ensure that the effects of the proximity of the stadium and the University will not further impact on this ancient village.

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