Press Releases week beginning 05 September 2016
Hastings Joins the Big Scoop
As part of this year's Big Scoop Hastings Borough Council has joined forces with canine the charity Dogs Trust to tackle issues around dog fouling in the town.
A nationwide campaign was launched by Dogs Trust last week to encourage all dog owners to always pick up after their dogs. The charity has launched an installation in Hastings featuring catchy 'love lines' slogans, intended to encourage dog owners to pick up after their dogs and to remind them that 'any bin will do' when getting rid of doggy doo.
The council's lead member for the environment, Cllr Warren Davies explained:
"In Hastings we are committed to tackling issues around dog fouling and control and so being part of this scheme will add to the stringent measures we are already taking.
"Cinque Ports Way, St Leonards has been highlighted as an area in need of extra attention so Dogs Trust has installed bright yellow dog bag dispensers, street stencilling and eye catching posters to remind and enable owners to pick up after their dogs. We know that most dog owners in the town are responsible but this is a strong reminder to those that aren't."
Britain is a nation of dog lovers, with over eight million dogs in the UK. However, with that many pooches it's no surprise that dog poo has topped the list of the nation's biggest bugbears, more than smoking, littering and pollution. In the last three months the council has issued 22 dog related Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN's) in the Borough.
Alex Jackson, Head of Campaigns at Dogs Trust says:
"Dog poo is one of the biggest complaints received by local authorities every year. Last year alone local authorities in the UK received more than 81,000 complaints from the public, which is why we are pleased to be working with them to make everyone aware of how simple disposing of dog mess can be.
"Failing to pick up after your dog gives other dogs and their owners a bad name, and, whilst it is a small minority who don't scoop their dogs poop, we are hoping The Big Scoop, Dogs Trust nationwide poop campaign, will remind everyone to help keep their local area dog poo free, prompt other owners to pick up dog mess and dispose of it in any public bin. We are really grateful to Hastings Borough Council for helping Dogs Trust in our mission to make Hastings poop-free."
A Weekend of Seafood and Wine - with a 1066 Twist
Plans are well underway in Hastings for the annual Seafood and Wine Festival and, this year in line with the local celebrations of the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings the festival takes on a 1066 theme.
Organised by Hastings Borough Council, the event will be held at the Stade Open Space in the heart of Hastings Old Town, over the weekend of 17 and 18 September.
Up to 50 stalls will be offering festival visitors a mouth -watering weekend of delicious local seafood, wine and other foodie delicacies to suit all palettes, there will even be Saxons showcasing how they cooked and traded in 1066!
The entertainment marquee on the beach will once again be home to a superb musical line up featuring many local bands including Thee Jezebels, Sister Suzie and Sam Calver and a selection of new acts to Hastings including Kat & Co; an eclectic blues and soul quintet from London and the Ilja Neve band from Belgium.
Local jazz legend Liane Carroll will be returning with her band for the Liane Carroll Jazz Breakfast on Sunday morning. Tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre at Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings and the ticket includes coffee and a Danish pastry and an entry wristband to the festival for the whole weekend.
There will be an opportunity to make your own fish supper with the Billingsgate Seafood Training School at Classroom on the Coast during the festival. Billingsgate, famous for its London fish market and seafood training school will be inviting families or anyone who wants to learn to fillet and prepare local MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified plaice to take home and cook at a number of teaching sessions each day - an experience not to be missed! Tickets available on the day from the classroom.
Cllr Kim Forward the council's deputy leader and lead member marketing and tourism commented:
"The Seafood and Wine Festival has been an annual event in the town's packed calendar for well over ten years now. It's grown to become a well-respected, popular event attracting thousands of residents and visitors each year and this year with its 1066 theme it's sure to attract even more over the two days.
"There will of course be lots of stalls taking advantage of local produce and the famous musical entertainment but this year there will be the opportunity to have your photo taken with a Norman guard visit a Saxon encampment and try on some armour. There'll even be a unicycling jester.
"So, why not come along and join in - come in 1066 costume and get a festival glass free!"
Entry to the festival is by admission wristband. These can be bought in advance from the Tourist Information Centre for only £1 or £2 on the day - a real bargain for a whole weekend's entertainment and children go free!
Full festival details and ticket information can be found at http://www.hastingsfestivals.com/seafood or telephone the Tourist Information Centre on 01424 451111
I love Hastings
Hastings Tourist Information Centre launches a new selection of 'I love Hastings' merchandise, all with a 1066 historical theme.
With the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings only weeks away Hastings Tourist Information Centre now has a fantastic selection of merchandise available to purchase.
Cllr Kim Forward the council's lead member for tourism commented:
"We are really proud of our local historical links so what better time to launch this selection of merchandise than in the weeks running up to the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings".
T-Shirts £8, Shoppers £8, Mugs £4, Tea towels £5 and postcards two designs 50p each all available from the Tourist information Centre at Aquila House Breeds Pace Hastings. Tel 01424 451111
Council focuses Community Partnership Funding on most vulnerable
Hastings Borough Council's cabinet committee has agreed a new set of priorities for commissioning services from the community and voluntary sector, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable people in the community.
The Community Partnership Funding (CPF) funds a wide range of services that support improved equality of service and community cohesion. However, with continued financial pressure on budgets, the council has decided to focus investment on specific key outcomes in 2017-2019, when the current round of funding comes to an end in March 2017.
"Our priorities are built around supporting the most vulnerable in our community, recognising the need to maintain a basic level of support at a time of public sector cuts," said Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for equality and communities. "Although the council has always encouraged new and innovative funding bids, it also recognises the importance of maintaining key existing services."
The priorities identified are: housing, legal, welfare and debt advice; domestic violence support; advice and support to organisations; outreach support for rough sleepers; and advice and support to migrants and newly settled communities.
This does not mean the council will stop seeking alternative funding to support other priorities such as digital inclusion, employment and business support and other community support activities, but this will be done outside of the CPF programme in future.
The budget for the 2017-2019 CPF will be announced in December.
45,000 tonnes of granite to shore up the seashore
Hastings Borough Council, in its role as Coastal Protection Authority, is planning to further improve the town's coastal defences.
Phase 1, which is expected to take place this autumn and winter, will create two new rock groynes at Carlisle Parade and replenish shingle, recycling it from other areas. Phase 2 will focus on improving the structural integrity of the Harbour Arm, and is scheduled for autumn 2017. The improvements build on previous work in 2009, which saw a new rock groyne built and concrete repairs at Rock-a-Nore.
"Anyone who regularly walks along the promenade between Hastings and St Leonards can't fail to notice the different levels of shingle, you can't even walk under the pier in some areas," said Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for regeneration and culture. "It will be fascinating to see the gap filled in the harbour arm too - having spent so long explaining to visitors why there's a gap in it, it will make a nice change to start explaining why there isn't any more."
The rock is being shipped from Norway and will be delivered by sea, probably on side-tipping vessels.
The project will cost £4,061,000, which is being funded almost entirely by a Flood Defence Grant in Aid, from DEFRA. The council will be asked to contribute £30,000 towards the scheme, funded from its rolling capital defence works programme.
Water Quality Improvements Completed at Alexandra Park
Essential measures to improve the quality of the water travelling through Alexandra Park, Hastings have now been competed after a two year programme of innovative ecological and engineering integration.
The water in the park was found to contain a level of contaminates that meant that the water flowing through the park and out to sea was at risk of failing EU regulations for bathing water quality.
Together with partners the Environment Agency, The Landscape Group and specialist contractor Biomatrix, Hastings Borough Council has now completed the final phase of water quality improvements in the park.
"We are really proud of the innovative measures that have been put in place in Alexandra Park to ensure that we have safe, top quality bathing water on our beaches" said Cllr Warren Davies the council's lead member for the environment.
"With the specialist expert guidance from Biomatrix, who have implemented projects as far afield as Shanghai and Seattle, we have been able to introduce sustainable natural ways of filtering out contaminants in the waterways whilst retaining and enhancing the natural beauty of the park.
"The combination of slowing the flow of water, a series of natural filtration and aeration methods and planted floating islands has all enabled us to meet the bathing water quality targets but have also meant that we have created a very unique system for managing water quality - a first for an urban park. Our thanks must go to our partners for their expertise and commitment to this project."
This year Alexandra Park has once again been awarded the prestigious Green Flag award for excellence and Marina beach, St Leonards has been awarded both the prestigious Blue Flag award and the Seaside Award and Pelham Beach, Hastings has been awarded the Seaside Award.
Tree Coppicing at Brakey Bank
Hastings Borough Council will be coppicing mature seed-bearing sycamore trees in Brakey Bank during September.
The coppicing will start on Monday 12 September and the sycamore trees will be cut close to the base, removed from site and sold.
"Our Higher Level Stewardship grant requires us to reduce the number of mature sycamore trees in Brakey Bank. By removing trees that produce seed, we can promote a greater diversity of habitats and safeguard more sensitive habitats from sycamore seeds germinating" explained Cllr Warren Davies the councils lead member for environment.
"Coppicing is a traditional system of woodland management that allows cut trees to regrow with multiple stems. After a few years these thinner stems can be cut again and used for posts and other products. The money we get for the timber will be used to fund further management tasks."
Cutting trees in this way opens up the woodland, allows more light in and encourages a greater diversity of woodland flora. The open areas provide valuable habitats for woodland birds and butterflies and Brakey Bank has one of the most spectacular displays of bluebells in the Nature Reserve. Reducing these mature trees will allow more bluebells to flourish and flower in spring.
Works will start on Monday 12 September and are expected to take a week to complete.