Press Releases week beginning 21 November 2016
Landlord fined for licence breaches at house in multiple occupation
A landlord in Hastings has been found guilty of failing to comply with license conditions at a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) that she ran at 5 Cornwallis Terrace, Hastings.
Ms Joanna Hodgson pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates Court on the 7 November 2016 to seven offences of failing to comply with licence conditions as required under the terms of her HMO licence. The offences included failing to ensure that the emergency lighting system was maintained and tested, failing to provide a protected means of escape from the building, failing to provide an interlinked fire alarm system between the dwellings and failure to ensure that the common arts of the property were maintained in good repair.
"The council has a duty to protect tenants from rogue landlords and the licensing controls set agreed standards that should always be met by landlords" said Cllr Kim Forward Hastings Borough Council's lead member for housing.
She added: "We take these issues very seriously indeed and the council will continue to seek out unlicensed properties and prosecute owners who ignore requests to licence their properties".
Hodgson was fined £5250 with £682 costs. The property is currently undergoing renovation and a full fire alarm system and emergency lighting has now been fitted.
Creative and Tourism Mentoring Network project celebrated
Creative and tourism businesses came together at the Beacon on Friday (18 November) to celebrate the success of the Mentoring Network project.
The Mentoring Network launched earlier this year by Hastings Borough Council matched experienced business mentors from within the creative and cultural sector with new and existing businesses to offer support and inspiration.
"Funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, the Mentoring Network has supported 109 local businesses with mentoring and training and delivered a range of business training workshops focusing on business development, marketing and digital media" said Cllr Dawn Poole, the council's lead member for regeneration.
She added: "The project closes at the end of this month but we are really encouraged by the work that has been done during the project period and pleased to see so many local businesses benefiting from the experience of others."
Council Gets Empty Homes Back Into Use
Empty Homes Week 28 November to 2 December 2016
Hastings Borough Council is pleased to support Empty Homes Week which highlights the issue and promotes the work being undertaken to bring privately owned empty homes back into use.
Cllr Kim Forward, the council's lead member for housing explained:
"We have a very proactive approach to the problem of empty homes in Hastings and have a dedicated team to tackle the issue. Over the last two years we have helped to bring 150 properties that have been empty for over two years, back into use as family homes.
"Currently in Hastings we have 748 homes that have been empty for over 6 months .We believe that it's unacceptable to leave property empty when housing demand is so high in Hastings. Many of our residents are searching for a decent home and this is why we adopted our policy of pursuing Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) where necessary; a CPO is only ever used as a last resort. This year we have taken possession of two empty homes and in April this year, the council's Cabinet resolved to serve a further 20 CPOs of homes that have been empty for more than two years. "
The council offers assistance to owners to get properties back into use including interest payment relief on loan repayments and its own leasing scheme of privately owned homes. They are also liaising with various social housing providers to provide repair grants and a scheme to purchase empty homes.
If you need to bring an empty home back into use contact the empty homes hotline on free phone 0800 085 8967 or you can report an empty home by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local youth celebrated at awards event in Hastings
Hastings Youth Awards 2016 took place last Sunday (20 November) at Sussex Coast College, Hastings.
Over 450 people came together to celebrate the achievements of young people and youth organisations from across the town at this special event organised by Hastings Youth Council.
"It was lovely to see so many young people gathered together on this night of celebration. I was very proud to be involved and present awards to all the very deserving organisations and individuals and they should be very proud of their achievements too" said the mayor, Cllr Judy Rogers.
"The Hastings Youth Awards is the only youth award ceremony in our county and showcases everything positive about young people in Hastings" said Huda Caglayan, chair of Hastings Youth Council. She added: "Sadly young people are not always shown in a positive light and this event goes a long way to address this. This year we had 450 people attend and we celebrated 20 winners with organisations and individuals who contribute to our community being recognised for all their hard work".
Youth award winners included Acromax Gymnastics Club, Fusion Street Dance, Kids and Muslim Mums, the Playdays Young Volunteers Project and many more. Three organisations, Hastings Coastal Twirlers, Sparks and Gizmo were lucky winners in the raffle each receiving £100.
"Once again this event was a huge success and our thanks must go to the Youth Council for all their hard work and effort in organising and presenting the event on the night. It's really important that young people and organisations in our town are recognised in this way. Congratulations to them all!" said Cllr Kim Forward the council's lead member for communities.