Press Releases week beginning 03 June 2019
Come meet the heavy horses
Hastings Borough Council has invited Frankie Woodgate and her heavy horses to return to Hastings Country Park in June.
Everyone is welcome to come along and meet Frankie and her horses at an open day. This will be Friday 14 June from 11 am to 1pm in Warren Glen, when you can find out more about traditional countryside management. Find Frankie and her horses by walking along the access for all routes at the back of the Coastguard's Cottages and walk down into Warren Glen.
Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for environmental services said,
"Using heavy horses and a roller is a traditional way of reducing the amount of bracken in Warren Glen. It is also the most sustainable and practical as the horses can reach areas of the glen inaccessible to machinery."
"Over the years bracken has smothered the native wildflower communities of the glen. Reducing the cover of bracken allows the coastal wildflowers and invertebrates to flourish again, increasing the biodiversity of this important habitat."
This is the fifth year Frankie and her heavy horses have come to Hastings Country Park.
Half term fun with Active Hastings
Over 200 young people enjoyed a wide range of activities last week as part of Active Hastings' half term programme.
Activities included crazy golf, trampolining, crafts, roller skating, Nerf wars and tennis. Activities were all free of charge as part of a funding grant from Hastings Opportunity Area.
Andy Batsford, lead councillor for leisure said,
"Over the half term it can be a real struggle for families to afford to keep the kids entertained, fed and out of trouble, so I am so proud of the programme Our Hastings Council Active Hastings crew deliver all over the town offering quality fun activity delivered by friendly quality staff, top job!"
Thanks to Hastings Opportunity Area funding, Active Hastings can run free weekly after school activities for 11 to 16 year olds.
Active Hastings, which is a partnership project run by Hastings Borough Council, in partnership with East Sussex County Council, offers free and low cost activities for all ages across the borough. Find out what is on offer at www.activehastings.org.uk
HBC Planning services improved
Hastings Borough Council's planning service was reviewed by the Planning Advisory Service.
The Planning Advisory Service report was very positive about the service and considers it to be running well. It notes Hastings is performing to a high level with a low number of appeals and a good success record.
The report noted the difficultly in recruiting staff and resultant high workloads and commented that,
'The team is rightly proud of the efforts they have made to maintain a good level of service through this difficult period. They should take credit for getting things done quickly, their recovery from a poor spell and for their current performance levels.'
Other positive aspects included:
- Keeping in touch with people
- Discussing applications with applicants and agents to secure a positive outcome
- Using the 21 day letter to outline issues early in the process
- Working efficiently - the Council uses IDOX Acolaid software to assist the processing of applications
- Clear work processes
The report also suggested some areas for improvement. These included:
- Ensuring the capacity of the team is maintained.
- presenting Council schemes to councillors before planning applications are made,
- Changing the scheme of delegation and adding more standard text to reports on Acolaid, where possible.
The report concluded by noting the enthusiasm of the staff and willingness to engage and deliver a good service to its customers.