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The Parish Council now publishes copies of its Village Newsletter on this website.

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The Minutes from the 19th March Parish Meeting of Electors are now available together with the Agenda for 9th April.


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Parish Meeting 2014

Written by The Editor on .

Assistance DogCocking's Annual Parish Meeting for 2014 was held at its usual venue, Cocking Village Hall, on Wednesday 21st May.

Parish Council Chair, Richard Marks, welcomed approximately 20 parishioners and after a few introductory words the audience was treated to a presentation by Canine Partners, the charity founded in 1990 and based at nearby village Heyshott.

Canine Partners Presentation

Andy Sims and his wife Sue explained that they were volunteers who trained puppies destined to become the assistance dogs who help make the lives of their disabled owners easier and more comfortable.  Andy did most of the talking and their lovely and lively young labrador Toffee, handled by Sue, did most of the tail wagging.

The audience was surprised to hear that there are up to 130 dogs like Toffee going through training at any one time.  Initially, they live with volunteers such as Andy and Sue whilst undertaking a basic training that starts when they are about 8 weeks old.  In addition to general socialisation and obedience, the regime is designed to give the puppies three fundamental skills that can be built on and combined; eventually enabling them to undertake useful and complex tasks such as fetching the post, undressing their owners, shopping and clothes washing.

Sue and Toffee demonstrated the three core skills of touching, tugging and retrieving and it was fascinating to see how these could be developed into an end product, when, for example, Toffee showed that he could raise Sue from a bed by tugging on a rope she was holding and then fetch her shoes and crutches to help her get up.  Toffee was obviously enjoying what was only his second public appearance and although trained to be quiet, he became excited and gave his only bark of the evening when asked to 'get help' for his owner.

Andy explained that following basic training, at 15-16 months old the dogs receive a further 4 - 5 months advanced training with experts at Heyshott before being united with their new disabled owners during a two week intensive residential course.  Even after going home with their owners, the dogs receive seven visits from Canine Partners in their first year as assistance dogs and at least two per annum thereafter.  Canine Partners also provide 24 x 7 support for life.

The audience also learned that it costs about £20,000 to train and support each assistance dog and that the Charity is wholly funded by public donation and sponsorship.  Schemes such as 'Adopt a Puppy' were mentioned as were the Charity's Summer Show (July 5th) and the regular information sessions held at Heyshott.

For further details of the work of Canine Partners, see their website at or follow them on social media via Twitter: @canine_partners or Facebook:

Parish Meeting

After a lot of questions, Toffee and the Sims were allowed to leave and the annual Parish Meeting resumed.

The minutes of last year's Parish Meeting held on 16th May 2013 (click here to see them), had been circulated and drew no comments or questions.

Sign of Spring

Written by The Editor on .

Cocking's Bluebell now has a brand new Inn Sign to advertise its presence.  How appropriate that it should appear in spring, but unlike the real thing whose season is all but over, this one should last for years.

New Bluebell Inn Sign

New Waste Plan Adopted

Written by The Editor on .

Wheelie Bins The following Press release comes from West Sussex County Council:

In partnership, West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority have prepared a Waste Local Plan which includes strategic waste site allocations.
The Authorities received the Planning Inspector’s report on 17 February 2014, and the Waste Local Plan has been found sound.  Subsequently, the Report and modifications recommended by the Planning Inspector were considered by the full authority meetings of both West Sussex County Council and South Downs National Park Authority. Both Authorities approved adoption of the Waste Local Plan with effect from 11 April 2014.  
The adopted Plan is now formally part of the statutory Development Plan for West Sussex and will be the basis for all planning decisions relating to waste development in the Plan Area.

Call 101 To Help Stop Illegal Off-Roading

Written by The Editor on .

People witnessing illegal or anti-social off-road driving on paths in the countryside are being called on to report it to the police using the new 101 phone number.

Sussex Pathwatch is a special service set up to help protect the safety of everyone using rights-of-way, fields and woodland to prevent the damage that illegal offroading can cause. A similar service called Countrywatch has been set up in Hampshire. Anyone can report an offence by calling 101 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in Sussex and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in Hampshire.

Angela Ward, ranger for the South Downs National Park, said:
“Most people driving off-road do so legally and with consideration for other people. Unfortunately there are a small minority driving illegally. They put everyone’s safety at risk, give legal drivers a bad name and cause damage to the countryside.

“That’s why we’re working with the Police and local authorities on this scheme. If illegal off-roading isn’t reported then the police can’t take any action.”

Council to hold Affordable Housing Event

Written by The Editor on .

Chichester District Council has issued this media release.

East Pallant House, 1 East Pallant, Chichester  PO19 1TY

Tel: 01243 534679     Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Date: Wednesday 19 March Ref: 3405

Register your local connection to Cocking

Households are being invited to register a local connection to Cocking for a new affordable housing development in the parish.

Chichester District Council and Hyde Martlet will be holding a Local Connection Registration Event on Monday 24 March at Cocking Village Hall, Bell Lane, Cocking, GU29 0HU. District and parish council staff, and Hyde Martlet representatives, will be available between 3-7pm to discuss the development.  

Thirteen new affordable rented homes are being built at the former garage compound and land north of The Croft in Cocking. They will include:

  • six two-bedroom flats;
  • five two-bedroom houses;
  • two three-bedroom houses.

The homes will be prioritised for households that are able to prove a Local Connection to the parish of Cocking.

Signs of Spring?

Written by The Editor on .

These crocuses were spotted on one of the best days of the year so far; sunny and dry.  Maybe they were also enjoying the extra light caused by the removal of the chestnut trees.  In any case they were putting on a glorious show by the roadside and it was good to see the Childrens' Playground in use too.


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