Press Releases week beginning 23 March 2020
Midsummer Fish Fest
Hastings popular Midsummer Fish Fest, planned for the 20-21 June, has been cancelled because of Covid-19.
A council spokesperson explained, "We had hoped that the Covid-19 crisis might have passed by the time of our Midsummer Fish Fest, but, realistically, that is now very unlikely.
"We know this is a really difficult time for the small businesses who support our events. We are sure our traders have other things to worry about at the moment, so rather than keep them waiting, we thought it best to make an early decision.
"We hope that our Seafood & Wine Festival, planned for the 19-20 September, will go ahead and that it will be bigger and better than ever!"
Hastings Borough Council appoints new Managing Director
At a special council meeting on Wednesday 18th March, Hastings Borough Councillors confirmed the appointment of Jane Hartnell as the council's new Managing Director with immediate effect.
Jane joined Hastings Borough Council in 1997 as a committee administrator and worked in several roles before becoming Director for Corporate Resources five years ago. She has an impressive track record in developing leading major projects, managing organisational change, improving performance, championing customer service and partnership working.
Cllr Kim Forward, the newly appointed Leader of Hastings Borough Council, said:
"I would like to congratulate Jane on her appointment. This role is critical to providing strategic management and leadership for the council.
"Jane knows the council well and has a track record of delivering. She has great local knowledge and understanding of how the council needs to move forward. Given recent events, strong leadership is going to be as important as ever to help us manage the impact of COVID-19."
Jane Hartnell said,
"I am incredibly honoured and proud to be appointed to the position of Managing Director for Hastings Council.
"It has been a privilege to work for the council with great colleagues, councillors and partners over the years. I am excited by the challenge of this new role and I look forward to continuing to serve the council and the people who live, work, do business and visit the town.
"My first challenge will be to steer the council and the town through the evolving impact of COVID-19. I want to assure everyone that we are doing all we can to plan for and manage the impact of this terrible virus.
"Council staff have already risen magnificently to this challenge, putting the needs of local people first, all the while worrying about their own families and friends. We are in close communication with other councils, our partners and the government.
"We have set up a response team to lead on this work and coordinate with local agencies. We will do everything we can to protect our most vital services and our most vulnerable people.
"Now is the time for calm heads and a cooperative spirit. We are all in this together and we will get through it."
Emergency health regulations come into effect
Emergency health regulations came into force on Saturday 21 March 2020. In Hastings, this means authorised officers from the borough and the county council have enforcement powers to enforce restrictions for social distancing and close premises.
The following businesses must remain closed:
- Public houses
- Bingo halls
- Concert halls
- Museums and galleries
- Betting shops
- Amusement arcades
- Massage parlours
- Indoor skating rinks
- Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres
Additionally, the following must not sell food or drink for consumption on their premises:
- Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members clubs
- Bars, including bars in hotels or members' clubs
- Cafes, including workplace canteens
The only exceptions being
- Cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school
- Prison and military canteens
- Services providing food or drink to the homeless
Takeaway and delivery facilities can remain open and operational. Delivery is better as it prevents groups of people gathering unnecessarily.
Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for environmental services said,
"These restrictions are essential. Social distancing will help reduce the spread of the virus. This helps reduce pressure on local NHS staff and services, meaning people who become really ill with Covid-19 can get the care they need.
If only 1% of our residents became seriously ill, we'd need to find 900 intensive care beds locally. Currently the conquest hospital has 11.
"We must all comply with the advice from government in relation to COVID-19, to protect both ourselves and others.
We ask that businesses and venues covered by these regulations comply with them; otherwise they will be committing an offence. Please help us by doing your part to keep people safe, protect our NHS and save people's lives."
COVID-19 :- Council develops vital community hub with partners
Hastings Borough Council together with a range of voluntary organisations and partners from the local community has developed a community hub to help residents in need of support during the COVID-19 crisis.
Those who do not have family or local support at hand and those who are self-isolating because they have the virus or have symptoms of it can contact Hastings Borough Council to be registered, and the council will then triage them in terms of need and support required. In some cases either the council or community partners will be able to directly help them through volunteers, in other cases the support will be provided by other agencies.
Residents, or their friends, family or carers, can contact the council through its website, www.hastings.gov.uk, or call the council on a special helpline 01424 451019 which is open 9am - 5pm Monday - Thursday, 9am - 4.30 pm Friday. It is also open specially this weekend (Saturday/Sunday 28th/29th March) 10 am - 4 pm.
Council leader Cllr Kim Forward said :- "A lot of people have worked incredibly hard over the last three days to set up this community hub, really going 'above and beyond' to ensure that those who need our help most will get it. I am very grateful to them, our partners HVA, HEART (Hastings Emergency Action Response Team), Hastings & St Leonards Neighbourhood Watch, Hastings Foodbank, Heart of Hastings, East Sussex County Council, the NHS, the RSA and the many other organisations who are helping with this vitally important scheme."
Steve Manwaring, director of HVA, added :- "These are unprecedented times, and we have to look after the most vulnerable in our community. We are delighted to be working with Hastings Borough Council on this project, which we have set up just this week. We will also be working with many other local organisations to help provide this service, which shows Hastings at its very best :- it's great to see the local community coming together to help those most at risk."