Councillor’s Corner: Chairman Jason Eichner

Please note that any views or opinions represented in this piece belong solely to the author and do not necessarily represent the position of Forest Row Parish Council, its councillors, or its staff. 

Hello, Forest Row, it’s nice to meet you.

It feels odd to write that, when I’ve spent my whole life here, but in the few months since the election, my perspective on Forest Row has undergone a profound transformation. While I’ve always seen the unique charm this village possesses, it’s the diverse tapestry of individuals that truly defines us. From varying beliefs, lifestyles, approaches to community, and more, it’s this kaleidoscope of personalities that gives Forest Row its distinct identity. Remove one piece, and the puzzle is incomplete.

I’ve always been somewhat reserved, content within the comfort of my own social circles. Yet, recent times have demanded a change. I’ve embarked on a journey of getting to know the people of this village in entirely new ways, and I’m meeting the people of this village in so many new contexts. As a council, we’ve held two meet-and-greet events accompanied by Q&A sessions. We’ve set up stalls at the Forest Row Festival, community market, and the Franglais Fête, connecting with our community on a new and exciting level. Moreover, we’ve adapted our council meetings to encourage public participation throughout, rather than just at the outset. Beyond formal council events, I find myself frequently stopped on the street for impromptu discussions about the council and our village, and I receive a good number of emails from residents to my council address.

I’ve always recognised that Forest Row was special, but the wealth of ideas, knowledge, and opinions within this community is nothing short of extraordinary. Conversations, whether in agreement or disagreement, have been invaluable. Every interaction, every email, every viewpoint, be it supportive or critical, has revealed more about this village and its expectations from the council.

As mentioned earlier, we’ve updated our standing orders to allow the public to participate during our meetings, not just at the start. So please, come along to one of our meetings and have your say. Or send us an email, our general email address is
info@forestrow.gov.uk and my direct council email address is jasonfrpc@atomswarm.com –
no matter what your opinion of your village and your council is, I want to hear from you about how we can make it better for you, the many strange and wonderful folk I share this place with.

Each one of you is an integral part of Forest Row, and our community thrives because of your presence. Thank you, truly – for being here, for your invaluable input, and for contributing to this vibrant, sometimes tumultuous, yet incredibly beautiful community.

Hello, Forest Row, it’s nice to meet you.