Issue 16 September 2019

Matters

Secret garden brings joy to Parkinson's sufferers

Parkinson\'s GardenThis summer saw the grand unveiling of our new Parkinson’s Community Garden at Beech Hurst in Haywards Heath.

The Mid Sussex Branch of Parkinson's UK approached the Council in November last year about the possibility of creating a garden area that could be easily enjoyed by people who suffer with Parkinson's Disease.

Our Landscapes team worked with the charity to transform the old Petanque area at Beech Hurst into an accessible and peaceful spot that everyone can enjoy.

Parkinson’s is a disease of the brain which progresses over time. It is anticipated that around one adult in every 350 will develop the condition. Symptoms include shaking, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness, which makes day to day tasks difficult.

The new garden has been carefully designed to meet the needs of lots of different visitors. As a result, the finished garden is a practical and attractive space consisting of wide paths and three flower raised beds at a variety of levels to accommodate wheelchair users and less able people.

The area is maintained by local Parkinson’s Group and includes a range of sensory and culinary plants to provide a stimulating environment. Staying active is very important for those with Parkinson’s, both physically and mentally; gardening is an activity that combines both and allows sufferers to enjoy beautiful surroundings at the same time.

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Last year, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) asked residents what would help them make the switch to electric vehicles.

The survey showed that lack of public charging points and range anxiety were significant factors discouraging people from switching. WSCC has taken into account those results and has produced a draft Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy, which is now open for public consultation until Tuesday 1 October.

Residents, businesses and commuters into the county are being asked 16 questions to see if the strategy will help address the initial barriers and give individuals the confidence to switch to EV’s.

Early investment in infrastructure to support the transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to alternative fuels is critical. Long-term it will also help improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions across the county.

With electric vehicles looking to be similar price wise to conventional vehicles in the UK as early as 2021, WSCC wants the public’s view on its draft strategy so they can make sure it’s fit for purpose. Whether you currently own or drive an electric vehicle, are considering buying one in the future, or even if you have no plans to switch, they would like to hear from you.

All consultation responses will help shape the final Electric Vehicle Strategy. You can take part by visiting the Have Your Say Consultation Hub on the WSCC website.