Bobservation No. 113: Badgering the Post Office

Badger Cull
You may be unaware that the badger cull in England is proceeding without any proof that it is effective in reducing TB in cattle, whereas vaccination is successful. I do exhort you in any way to protest this wicked and cruel way of eliminating our largest native wild mammal. I am currently protesting via AVAAZ but you will have your own method.

Post Office Scandal
It should come as a salutary lesson to all of us that, in spite of living in a democracy, if a government or government agency wishes it can inflict grossly unfair treatment on any individual or group of individuals it cares to. Such is what has happened to the 900 or so Sub-postmasters over the last twenty odd years and is still not resolved in a fair and appropriate fashion. Whilst remaining apolitical, I would encourage you, when given the chance to cast your vote in a General Election, to consider yourself in the position of a post office sub-postmaster, and decide who you would want representing you in Parliament.

Not only this scandal has been with us but some immigrants involved with the Windrush situation are still waiting for a just and financially sensible solution to the appalling way in which they have been treated. I like to think that the racial inequalities of the past are long gone but Windrush smells of prejudice. All of the three main political parties have, over the course of time, been in a position of power during both of these miscarriages of justice and all three need to get them sorted quickly before we put our ballot in the box later this year.

Fulking Parish Council Meeting – Thursday 11th January 2024

You are cordially invited to an Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council on Thursday 11th January 2024 at 7.30pm to be held at Fulking Village Hall. The meeting will consider the items set out below. 

Trevor Parsons – Parish Clerk  


Public Participation: There will be a period of 15 minutes set aside at the beginning of the meeting for the public to ask questions or make comments on items on the Agenda. Comments on items not appearing on the agenda can be made at the chairman’s discretion.  

24/001/OM.            Apologies for Absence. 

24/002/OM.            Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

24/003/OM.            Approve the Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting of 12th October 2023 

The minutes, subject to any amendments, to be approved and signed as a true record of the meeting. 

24/004/OM.            Reports from District and County Councillors.   

24/005/OM.            Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting. 

24/006/OM.            Small Acre Update 

24/007/OM.            Parish Plan Update 

24/008/OM.        2024 – 2025 Precept 

24/009/OM.         Proposed TRO – New speed limit.       

24/010/OM.             Information Items.  To receive information and items for the agenda at future meetings. 

24/011/OM.              Correspondence.  To discuss correspondence and respond to correspondence received. 

24/012/OM.              Financial Matters. To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure. 

24/013/OM.               To set a date of Annual General Meeting of the Council and Annual Parish Meeting:  

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 11th April 2024. 

Bobservation No. 112: Involvement and Charity

Parish Council Poster

Listening from as far away as Henfield but with regular visits to and discussions about Fulking     I find that apathy seems to rule the day. I guess that very few Fulking villagers have any idea who all five members of the Parish council are and indeed care much anyway. Now this is a great pity because the whole democratic process begins at Parish Council level and given the opportunity to stand and be voted onto the council is a rare chance to be able to have an influence on all facets of village life. I do encourage you to consider standing for election to the Parish Council whenever the chance comes along.

Charitable giving
Because the majority of readers of this article have it in their power to donate to a charity I find it interesting that choosing a charity is not as easy as it might seem. The need by almost every walk of life is compelling, be it human or animal, children or adults, war torn or peaceful, religious or secular, physical or mental. Do your best, it can be very satisfying being able to help.

New Year
I sincerely wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2024 and please join me in sparing a thought for those of you with problems, be they medical, financial or otherwise.

Bobservation No. 111: Christmas Tombola Communication

Bottles in speech bubble


Social communication advantages
It occurred to me how fortunate we are in the Downland Villages to have so many social communication advantages: BN5 magazine comes to mind immediately, so ably edited by Emma Cole with her wonderful team who provide a monthly guide to what has happened and will happen in Henfield and the surrounding area of BN5. As well as this the advertisements in BN5 provide a very handy way of finding a local tradesman. Next the great contact mobile phone texts, What’s App, such as Community Skills Swap and Quotations. These are such useful sites to offer, ask for, complain, suggest, and indeed all manner of places to facilitate life in the countryside. If you don’t already receive them on your mobile phone I am sure one of your neighbours can help you do this. Last but certainly not least Pigeon Post so well put together by our very own Jen Green.

Fulking Christmas party tombola prizes
Rosemary and Nick, who have very successfully taken on the mantle of Tombola organisers, are looking for bottles for the Christmas party which is on Friday 8 December. These can be left in their porch at 31 Clappers Lane or at Roger and Carolyns at Woodlands. I am sure lots of you have those unwanted bottles of wine or beer or cider or soft drinks (or even bubbly!) and could free up the cupboard/wine rack space by donating to the Tombola prizes. Don’t forget to bring plenty of £s to buy Tombola tickets. The income goes to the Fulking Social Committee principally for Village Hall maintenance.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Bobservation No: 110, Speeding

Village Speed Limits
I understand that the speed limit in Clappers Lane is being reduced to 30mph. In view of the fact that the Street is already 20mph and that Clappers Lane is, in places, highly dangerous at 30mph and walkers, horse riders and cyclists have to take evading action to avoid disaster, it seems to me that 20mph would have been much more sensible. Of course, without any deterrent any speed limit is unenforceable and meaningless. Personally, I have found the psychological effect of electronic ‘thank-you’ signs in and around Henfield to act as a very good method of reminding drivers of the speed limit. I imagine that these signs do not come cheaply, and it is highly unlikely that Fulking could have them installed but I have an awful feeling that one day a serious accident, possibly fatal, is going to happen.

Christmas Party
The organisers, Carolyn and Jen, tell me the annual Christmas party will be held in the village hall on Friday 8 December from 6.30 pm till 8.30pm. Please bring a plate of suitable nibbles and lots of dosh for the Tombola. We have been holding this party for many years now and it is always a great get together. If you are new to Fulking then it is a wonderful way to meet the locals and the booze is free!
All villagers and their families are welcome.

Parish Council Meeting – Thursday 12th October 2023

You are cordially invited to the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council, on Thursday 12th October 2023 at 7.30pm to be held at Fulking Village Hall. The meeting will consider the items set out below. 

Trevor Parsons – Parish Clerk  

Following the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, and regarding regulations on Access to Local Government Meetings, members of the public are advised that they have a right to film/record the meetings of Fulking Parish Council. Members of the public are also advised that by attending a meeting of Fulking Parish Council, they give their consent to being filmed/recorded by other members of the public, if such activity is taking place. 


Public Participation: There will be a period of 15 minutes set aside at the beginning of the meeting for the public to ask questions or make comments on items on the Agenda. Comments on items not appearing on the agenda can be made at the chairman’s discretion.  

23/65/OM. – Apologies for Absence. 

23/066/OM. – Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

23/067/OM. – Approve the Minutes* of the Ordinary Meeting of 6th July 2023 and Planning meeting 26th July 2023 The minutes, subject to any amendments, to be approved and signed as a true record of the meeting. 

23/068/OM. – Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions – To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting. 

Village sign 

Clappers Lane TRO 

23/069/OM – Small Acres Appeal. 

23/070/OM. – Reports from District and County Councillors. 

23/071/OM – Village hall and its running costs 

23/072/OM – RoSPA Playground Report and Maintenance 

23/073/OM. – Fulking Parish Council Budget 2024/2025.  

23/074/OM. – Speed Limits in Edburton Road 

23/075/OM. – Planning application – Conifer House SDNP/23/03790/TCA 

Proposal: Reduce to just below previous pruning points and thin canopy on 1 no. Maple tree in rear (eastern side) garden (T1) 

23/076/OM. – Reports from Outside Bodies, Information Items & Correspondence 

23/077/OM. – Financial Matters: To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure. 

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 11th January 2024 

Bobservation No. 109: Volunteering & Good Wishes

Purple and Green banner clip from Volunteering matters website at an angle

In the time I have been involved with and in love with Fulking, which is now 31 years, I have noticed a big change in the overall attitude of the village (strictly speaking I believe hamlet is possibly the correct description), however I digress. Nearly everyone, irrespective of wealth, used to get involved with village activities such as the Parish Council, the Xmas party, the fair, the social committee, the village tidy up and holding events in and maintaining the village hall and the North Town Field; now it is down to a few enthusiasts to work up a head of steam to achieve anything.

From time to time, we have had great motivators like Nick & Jill and Dave & Em at the Shepherd & Dog and a few others. Now days there is a handful of enthusiasts desperately trying to instil some life into what, I fear, may be a dying beast. Perhaps Fulking, by virtue of its seclusion, has become a very attractive property investment area which has brought in a completely different attitude to village life. I do appreciate that there is a small core who continue to promote village togetherness but they find it harder and harder to get volunteers!

If anyone reads this and thinks I have a good point please start by finding out the date of the next Parish Council meeting and making an effort to attend and understand what Fulking is all about. Thanks..

Good Wishes
Two of my and Fulking’s very good friends, Chris Gildersleeve and Clive Miller have had serious medical treatment recently and things have been very hard for them. This is to wish them a return to their usual good-hearted ways as soon as possible.

Bobservation No. 108: Village Hall

Whilst the possible purchase of the village hall from the Church is being discussed by the Parish Council, it is relevant to point out that, whatever happens, the annual costs of running the hall including maintenance and repairs will continue to increase because of the age of the building and, I guess, will be upwards of £3000 pa. in the immediate future. On current performance it will be difficult to raise this sort of money (this year’s fair raised between £800 and £900, some of which may be needed for the North Town Field). So far as I can see there is no easy answer to this and without a generous donor it will be difficult to continue.  Perhaps a way forward is to ask the Parish Council to look into whether it is possible for them to take on the expense of running the hall with an increase in the precept, in this way all villagers would share the cost. It might be a sensible path to take.

Bobservation No. 107: Gill Milner RIP

Gill Milner
Another passing away of a much loved villager. Gill had lived at the Old Post Office for many years and had operated the shop there in the days when Fulking had a shop! More recently her health had made it necessary for her to join family in Sheffield but before going she had become a stalwart of the Toddlers Group and a highly respected member of the Quotations Group. The last couple of years have been sad ones with villagers passing away. We will miss you Gill.

Fulking Fair 2023
Having moved the fair to a new location at Long Clays field on the Edburton Road it was always going to be very much a trial and error year.  Driven by Sally’s tremendous enthusiasm and with dedicated support from the rest of the committee, a very acceptable fair evolved. The weather stayed dry, but the wind gave rise to quite a few problems and, it is fair to say, did have a detrimental effect on the event as many as one in three stallholders crying off. Despite all this the fair was a success. The food, drinks, music, demonstrations, tombola, tug of war, children’s games, stalls, donations, parking, access, direction signs all worked very well. And to top it all, Ann Bolton of RSPCA reports that they had a most successful day. Wherever the fair is held it will always be dependant on good summer weather and so I was left with the impression that Long Clays is worth another go in 2024, but with strict control over the placement of stalls and demonstrations. The annual fair brings villagers together better than any other event and justifies the effort purely on social grounds. Early unconfirmed reports indicate a surplus of around £1000 on the day. One special thank you to the Steel Tribe Band for putting on such a foot stomping performance, please come back next year.