Update on Etchingham Vaccination Site

Update from Fairfield Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG) 14/1/21

Rural Rother vaccination site – Etchingham

Update on COVID-19 vaccination service – GP led service set to go live in Etchingham next week

Thanks to an extraordinary effort by the NHS across Sussex, a new GP led vaccination service is due to go live next week to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to people in Rural Rother.

The GP led vaccination service at Etchingham Village Hall will be a partnership between Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and the following GP practices:

Fairfield Surgery, Ferry Road Health Centre, Martins Oak Surgery, Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery, Oldwood Surgery, Rye Medical Centre, and Sedlescombe and Westfield Surgeries

The service will offer vaccine appointments to registered patients at the GP practices in line with the national priority groups, starting with those who are over the age of 80.

Preparations at Etchingham Village Hall are being finalised this week with the aim that the first vaccines will begin to be administered at the start of next week, subject to a confirmed vaccine delivery date.

The GP practice teams have been identifying their patients who are eligible at this stage and appointments will be booked in over the coming days.

In terms of the way the vaccination programme is being rolled out, the model for GP vaccination services has been agreed nationally and each area is typically allocated one GP-led vaccination site where all patients from a group of GP practices receive their vaccinations.

Each of the GP practices in Rural Rother have small sites and small staff numbers compared to large urban GP practices, and so did not feel they could continue to provide high levels of care for their patients and support the programme initially in the way it had to be implemented according to the national model.

However, this new GP led service will mean the GP practices and SCFT work together to bring all of their local knowledge to support the roll out of the vaccination programme to patients.

We recognise that at the current time, with one site at Etchingham, some people will have to travel further than others to get their vaccination depending on where they live in the local area.

We would like reassure everyone that there are discussions about further locations in the area and how the vaccination can be transported and offered from GP practices. This is a fast moving programme and over the coming weeks, there may be the option to provide the vaccine from more sites across our communities very soon.


The location of the GP-led vaccination service does not affect the speed by which people living in the Rural Rother area will receive their vaccination. The timing for when people will be able to get their vaccination depends largely on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group they are in.


If anyone is concerned about how they will travel to get a vaccine during lockdown, it should be noted that, under the national guidance, it is permissible to receive a lift from someone, pay for transport if you are able or there are some community transport providers offering this support in terms of transport for medical appointments.


You can find information about community and non-emergency transport on the East Sussex County Council website, or call the community hub on 01273 099956.

People are asked not to contact your GP practice but to wait until you are contacted. You will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available for you.

We are also asking people not to turn up early for their appointments. Arriving on time will help us manage the number of people at the venue and help keep our patients and staff safe.

The Covid-19 vaccination programme is the biggest immunisation programme ever undertaken by the NHS.  As we roll out vaccines, we’d like to remind people of 3 things:

  1. The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please do not contact us beforehand.
  2. Please act on your invite when it comes.
  3. Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS


Why is the vaccine not available at other locations?

As soon as the NHS started to make plans for the COVID-19 vaccination programme we began exploring where we could offer the COVID-19 vaccine to our patients in Rural Rother.

The sites need to be able to accommodate large numbers of people on a daily basis (at least 300 a day.) We also need space for people to wait for their appointment and be monitored for a short while after their vaccination.

The site also needs to have internet access, IT and facilities to be able to carry out the vaccination safely and in line with government guidance.

We have received incredible support from our communities and our partners with helpful suggestions of locations. However, the tight criteria meant that other sites, some of which were more centrally located, were not suitable.


More information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme is available here: https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/covid-19-vaccination-sites/


Update on Covid-19 Vaccine Roll Out for Burwash and Rural Rother

Etchingham Village Hall has been confirmed for use for delivering the vaccine for the rural Rother area.

Preparations are in place and  when it is your turn you will be contacted by the NHS. Please do not contact the surgery to ask about the vaccine.

Further information can be found here.

Following Huw Merriman’s meeting on the 11th January with the NHS commissioners and the Sussex Community Foundation NHS Trust who are leading the vaccination programme for Sussex, Huw had produced a newsletter update which can be viewed at this link https://mailchi.mp/7a9df1d1ca35/constituencynewsletter-11-january-2020-7179421

His office have created links from his newsletter to related section on his website which provides more information on many of the frequently asked questions we are receiving on the vaccination programme as well as on enforcement of social distancing and the national lockdown. The related pages on his website can be found at this link https://www.huwmerriman.org.uk/covid-19-mass-vaccination

Tier 5 National Lockdown

From midnight on the 4th January new lockdown rules apply nationally. We have received the following update from East Sussex County Council:

4 January 2021

Schools in East Sussex will close and move teaching online until at least February half-term under a new national Covid lockdown announced by the Prime Minister this evening .

From tonight, the new national restrictions mean there are extra rules in place, in addition to the Tier 4 regulations which already apply across East Sussex.

  • Schools and colleges will teach online (although some will open for children who are vulnerable or whose parents/carers are key workers. Nurseries can also remain open).
  • You must only leave your house for a few specific reasons (to exercise, shop for food, get essential medical help, if you absolutely cannot work at home or if your safety is threatened).

National lockdown laws: stay at home 

Please remember that infection rates are very high in our county but we can reduce them by strictly following the restrictions and by hand-washing and wearing face coverings. We can help our hard-pressed hospitals and health services to cope.

If you get even mild symptoms, arrange a test and self-isolate for 10 days.

Vaccination against the virus is continuing and the NHS is asking everyone to be patient as you will be contacted when it’s your turn to get the jab. NHS vaccination information.

If you are isolating and need assistance in collecting a prescription or some essential items and don’t have a family member or friend able to assist you then please contact the Parish Council. We have a team of volunteers and we can arrange help when needed.

Clerk: 07375 809 660 or Assistant Clerk: 07943 848 430

Tier 4 Covid restrictions in place for Rother until further notice

Tier 4 Covid restrictions currently in place for Rother

Rother continues to be in Tier 4 (stay at home) because of the very rapid spread of the virus.

Burwash CE Primary School remains closed until at least the 18th January. The school are contacting students and their families. Provision is being made for children of keyworkers and vulnerable families to still attend.

Tier 4 restrictions mean:

  • you must stay at home whenever possible
  • non-essential shops must close
  • gyms, hair and beauty and other close contact services must close
  • you can only meet one other person not from your household and only in an open public space
  • you must not travel to areas in other tiers (unless it’s absolutely essential for work, medical reasons or education)
  • no travel abroad
  • no mixing of households for New Year
  • support bubbles are still allowed
  • communal worship can continue

Find out about the full restrictions in tier 4

You are strongly advised to ‘stay local’ whenever possible and act as if you carried the infection. You should not leave the country except for urgent work reasons.

The government will continue to review health and infection data.


Strand Meadow Planning Application

On  Monday 23rd November at 7pm the Planning Committee and members of Full Council met to discuss the recent Reserved Matters planning application for the Strand Meadow site RR/2020/1822/P. They resolved to object to this application and a report is being prepared for the Full Council Meeting on the 8th December.

If you would like to view the application and submit feedback then please enter your comments via the online ‘Enter Comments’ facility on the application page at Rother. Comments are due by the 10th December.

Click here to view the application and enter your comments.

Traffic and Transport Survey

A letter is going out to all households across the Parish this week. As you are perhaps already aware, and in response to earlier consultations, the Parish Council has set out a strategy to introduce a 20mph speed limit through Burwash Village, place village ‘gates’ at points near where the speed limit reduces to 20mph and to address the issue of the ‘pinch point’ at the western end of the village where the road narrows significantly. These were issues identified in the Burwash Neighbourhood Plan and a petition organised by local residents.

The Council has set aside £25,000 from its budget to help meet the costs of these developments. However, to ensure the plan can go ahead in full, extra funding is necessary. To this end it is applying to the Highways Department of East Sussex County Council for Community Matched Funding. The scheme provides Parish Councils with up to 50% of the cost of a local initiative deemed worthy of support.

The Business Plan for this application must be submitted before the end of the year. The costs included in the plan are those provided by the East Sussex Highways Department and based on their feasibility study. If matched funding is not forthcoming the Parish Council will, in the short term, go ahead with parts of the project which are affordable.

The Council is now seeking your comments on the Plan. Clear backing would boost the chances that our application for additional funds would be successful and help ensure the implementation of the Parish Council’s traffic calming strategy.

Other matters, such as pedestrian crossings and speed reductions in Burwash Weald and Burwash Common are for
future consideration and are not included here.

The Consultation

The Business Plan, including a plan of the High Street with the location of the speed restrictions is available here.

You can complete the questionnaire online or you can fill in the printed form and send it to: Burwash Parish Office, High Street, Burwash, TN19 7EU. Completed forms can also be left at the Parish Office red letter box located on the wall of the Parish Rooms in the Car
Park behind the Bear Inn, or at Jarvis Butchers and Londis Stores in the Village High Street.

The Parish Council and East Sussex County Council will be influenced by the answers received but they are not bound by them. It will be assumed that those who do not respond are neutral on the issues.

Complete the online questionnaire here.

Other useful Links:

Letter sent to residents 11 Nov 2020

Business Plan

Feasability Study 


We have set up an online version of the form using google forms that is a secure way to submit your response. We will only keep your details for the duration of the consultation or a maximum of one calendar year.

Meeting to discuss new Strand Meadow application

An application has come through for Strand Meadow and an additional Planning Committee Meeting has been organised to discuss this application and give it the appropriate time it requires to consider its merits.

Please see the Agenda which also includes information on how to join the online meeting via Zoom.

(You no longer need to contact the Clerk for the Zoom details as codes and links are now included on the Agendas).

You can view the new application on the Rother District Council Planning Portal here.

To read up more about the background to Strand Meadow and previous activity surrounding applications please visit the links below:



Government Planning Reforms and Burwash Parish Council’s response

Updated 10 Nov 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government recently issued three consultations on reform of the planning system. The consultation deadlines have now come to an end.
The Parish Council has looked at each Consultation in detail and formulated a response.

Click on each consultation link below to find out more.

The White Paper: Planning for the Future
Deadline for comments was 29th October 2020

See the Parish Council’s response to The White Paper: Planning for the Future

Transparency and Competition a Call for Evidence on Data on Land Control
Deadline for comments was 30th October 2020

See the Parish Council’s response to Transparency and Competition a Call for Evidence on Data on Land Control

Changes to the current planning system
Deadline was 1st October

See the Parish Council’s response to Changes to the current planning system.

The Parish Council has made a formal response on behalf of the Parish to consultations which have been submitted separately via NALC (National Association of Local Councils) and the answers have also been entered directly into the online Government Survey. If you would like to see the Parish Council’s response please click on the link under each heading above. These have also been copied to MP Huw Merriman.

A combined working party made up of local Parish Councils, including Burwash and the local pressure group Save Our Fields is also looking at ways to respond to these consultations by approaching MPs and other ways to get the public’s opinion heard. If you would like to look at what Save Our Fields is doing then please visit their separate website. They have also created a micro site which makes it easy for you to locate and contact your local MP.