July Update

Hallo Coldwaltham Campaigners, here’s your latest July update….
Did you hear us on Radio Sussex?
We were on the radio yesterday morning, and so we started the meeting last night by playing a recording of Trevor Beattie’s response to the Presenter’s questions about the meadow. Trevor is the CEO of the South Downs National Park Authority, and some of you will have emailed him. 
We were very pleased with the interview, although somewhat shocked at Trevor’s response. He stated that developing “only half” the meadow was a “balanced solution”! He also said that “there was nothing to stop the meadow from being ploughed up” which doesn’t sound like a vote of confidence in Sir Sebastian Anstruther, who owns the land, particularly as it would be illegal to do so. We would be very surprised if Sir Sebastian would contemplate this, as it wouldn’t do much for his reputation as a Board Member of the National Park. 
You can find the interview on BBC iPlayer, in Neil Pringle’s Breakfast slot, from 6:00 to 9:00 on Tuesday 25 July. It shows what we are up against, but at least Trevor Beattie now recognises that the hay meadow is a special habitat. He talks about “this valuable wildlife Meadow”, even if he is happy to develop it, and that’s down to your efforts… a big thank you to everyone who emailed the National Park about this.  
Legal, Decent and Honest!
We now have a committee and a constitution! Many thanks to all of you who attended our meeting on July 25, which was our first Annual General Meeting…. Thanks to you, we were all able to formally elect a committee for the Group and adopt a Constitution. Our gallant committee members are, in alphabetical order:
Kerry Geoghegan, 10 Brookview South, Coldwaltham; Jim Glover, 32 Brookview, Coldwaltham; Natalie Hunt, 8 Brookland Way, Coldwaltham; Roger Lucas, Besley Barn, River Lane, Watersfield; Jon Nodding, 40 Brookview, Coldwaltham; Chris Skinner, 32 Brookview, Coldwaltham; Yvonne Sturt, 9 Brookland Way, Coldwaltham; Chris Yeardsley, 39 Arun Vale, Coldwaltham; with Anita DeSmet, co-opted, 9 Arun Vale, Coldwaltham.
We are all going to have a go at everything, but in particular: 
  • Kerry is going to explore crowd funding for us, so is our social media guru 
  • Jon is our webmaster 
  • Chris Yeardsley is Treasurer 
  • Jim Chairs the Committee
  • Roger understands Planning Speak 
  • Chris Skinner is Secretary 
  • Natalie and Yvonne are very useful all-rounders 
  • Anita, with very useful networking skills, has been co-opted to help with fund-raising. 
This happy band will do all they can, (with your support and help too!) to save Coldwaltham Meadow from being ruined by the South Downs National Park Authority, who intend to allocate it for housing and open space, with a car park.
Our Constitution
Our Constitution is here and like other key documents, will be posted on our website: www.coldwalthammeadow.org.uk 
Your Contact Details
The Committee has agreed that it would be very useful to have your contact details, just in case they need to contact you about meadow-related matters. So, unless I hear to the contrary, by Sunday 30 July, I will assume that you have given your consent for me to pass on your contact details to the committee. We hope this is OK with you all and promise that we will not share your contact details with anyone else other than the committee without your permission.
What we have been up to 
Just Giving: this is a way of fund-raising using the internet. Kerry and Jon have set up a Just Giving “page” for crowd-funding, which means that folk can click on it and donate. This is now linked to our web page; just click on “Give” (on this websites’ menu) and it will take you straight to the page. All contributions, however small, very welcome! Please donate messages of support, even if you can’t give any money, because it shows that we are not alone… Please also share it with your friends because it tells our story. If we ever raise more funds than we need, which would be lovely, any unused money will be donated to the Sussex Biological Records Centre, which is based at the Sussex Wildlife Trust at Woods Mill, Henfield, because they have been so helpful in helping us to defend the meadow.
The Public Inquiry
We have been analysing thousands of pages of documents, to try and understand the policies of the National Park. We have also compared the housing allocation for Coldwaltham Meadow with all the other sites in the Local Plan and have found lots of inconsistencies and mistakes.  We are now writing a report about these and will submit it to the Public Consultation, which is supposed to start some time in September. There are some things we can all do to help when the time comes, so we will be in touch about that once we know when the consultation is supposed to start and what form it is going to take. Meanwhile, we are seeking professional Planning advice, so if anyone knows of a Planning Expert who could help, please let us know.
Please do what you can to spread the word; those of you who use Facebook and Twitter can help us with this, and we know folk have been tweeting BBC Radio Sussex.
Last but not least
Our grateful thanks go to Paul Byford and the rest of the Youth Club Committee, who have very generously allowed us the use of the Youth Club for our meetings free of charge. Bless them…
All the best,
Chris Skinner.