Press Releases week beginning 30 September 2019
HBC Homeless strategy consultation
Hastings Borough Council has been reviewing their Homelessness and rough sleeping strategy. All councils must have a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy. They are important to help people understand the priorities to reduce homelessness in the town.
Andy Batsford, lead councillor for housing said,
"Homelessness is one of the most emotive and important issues Hastings Council has to deal with. Every resident who finds themselves in this tragic situation needs to be treated with dignity and in a professional way.
"Hastings Council prides itself on delivering high-quality support. But, we are always looking to improve this service and we are looking for comments regarding our new proposed homelessness strategy. We want to make sure it's fit and proper for the coming challenging years as we protect and support those in our town who have fallen on hard times."
Hastings Borough Council can't meet all the needs of homeless people and rough sleepers alone. The council's draft rough sleeping and homelessness strategy outlines joint working between the council and their partners in the public and community sectors.
They want to hear from organisations already working with homeless people, and people using the services, to make sure the priorities in the draft strategy are right and to find new ways of working together to make sure they are achieved.
The strategy has three priority areas:
- To reduce rough sleeping
- To minimise the use of emergency accommodation, by improving access to housing solutions and,
- To adapt their services to meet local needs
The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy is the first of 3 documents which will make up the council's overall Housing Strategy. They will be producing similar strategies to increase the supply of housing and to improve the quality of homes and neighbourhoods.
Bohemia improvement progress
Work is progressing well on plans to improve the Bohemia area of Hastings, which includes White Rock Gardens, The Oval, and Summerfields. Proposals are being developed to provide a new leisure centre, replacing the current Summerfields, with the option of a new cultural centre.
Cllr Kim Forward, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, explained, "Although nothing may yet be visible 'on the ground', a lot of work has been going on to research the options available for the new leisure centre, and possibly a new cultural centre too. This has included detailed workshop discussions with the various users of Summerfields leisure centre and White Rock Gardens, and also the various arts and cultural groups in town.
"This work includes the costs and benefits of the different options, as there is no point developing grand plans that aren't affordable.
"Our specialists are now analysing the feedback from the different groups who have been consulted and looking at the costs associated with each option. Their report is expected at the end of November, and we aim to discuss the options, and recommend a way forward at our cabinet meeting in December."