Press Releases week beginning 12 September 2016
Council to start charging for planning queries
Following a review of its planning service, Hastings Borough Council has decided to introduce charges for Development Control Queries.
The amount that will be charged has not yet been decided, but is likely to take the form of a scale of fees, depending on the complexity of the query and the amount of officer time needed to resolve it. Councils are only legally allowed to charge for the costs involved in answering the queries, and many also subsidise these costs. Rother District Council already charges residents £54 for general enquiries on planning, while Wealden District Council charges £220 for listed building queries.
"Charging for queries is clearly something we are going to have to do, in line with most other councils who are already doing so," said Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for housing, who moved the motion at a cabinet committee meeting on 5th September. "However, we won't introduce the charges until the level of information available online is sufficient for people to find answers for themselves. I am pleased with the outcome of the internal review; the improvements that have been identified, some of which have already been implemented, will mean our planning service continues to deliver a good level of service.
Seconding the motion, Cllr Andrew Cartwright added: "There are clear issues with workload faced by our planning team, and this report goes a long way to remedy that."
The move is part of a raft of new measures designed to improve the planning service, which also includes appointing two additional members of staff, improving information on the council's website, creating a self-certification form, giving staff further training in areas of conservation and listed buildings and introducing a report template to ensure reports are robust and thorough in content.
Business Mentoring Project supports Local Creative and Tourism Sector
Earlier this year (February) Hastings Borough Council launched The Creative and Tourism Mentoring Network, offering business mentoring to the creative and tourism sector. The scheme is funded by the Coastal Communities Fund and has supported a number of local businesses by matching them with experienced business mentors.
"The project has recruited local professionals with expertise in the creative and tourism industry to become mentors and provide support in areas such as business development, marketing, sales and fundraising and to date, the mentoring network has supported a number of new and expanding businesses from restaurants, retailers and B&B's to galleries, craft-makers and jewellers" said Cllr Dawn Poole, the council's lead member for regeneration.
The Beacon, a local established arts hub has been supported by the project.
"The mentoring programme provided our business with the reassurance and guidance that we were in need of, we are now working towards a much more organised and planned programme of events thanks to our mentor!" said Dora Dewsbery from The Beacon.
The mentoring network is also helping to support and develop a number of new businesses; bookbinder Neal Neofitou recently established Hare and Hawthorn Press, a bindery and bookshop in Hastings old town. He commented: "As a new business owner, it's been really beneficial to be part of this programme, my mentor has helped to develop my business and has suggested ideas which I would never have thought of."
Cllr Poole added: "The mentoring scheme will be available to businesses until the end of October 2016 so there is still time to get involved and take advantage of the business expertise available."
The scheme is open to new and expanding creative and tourism businesses in Hastings and Bexhill. For further details on the eligibility of the programme and to apply visit www.hastings.gov.uk/mentoring
ROOT 1066: what's new this week
With the ROOT 1066 International Festival now in full swing, here's your guide to what's happening over the coming week.
Edith - a pilgrimage and film
Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 September
This weekend, see King Harold reunited with his common-law wife Edith, whose weathered statue mourns him still in Grosvenor Gardens, St Leonards. Film maker Andrew Kötting and author Iain Sinclair walked a 100-mile pilgrimage from Waltham Abbey to St Leonards, via Battle Abbey where Harold fell, symbolically reconnecting the lovers after 950 years of separation.
You can see the film, with a special live performance, on Saturday 17 September, 8pm at Kino Teatr, £10. Or, visit Grosvenor gardens on Sunday 18 September to see your own personal 5-minute version, as the Flat Pack Castle becomes a two-seater cinema for the day. 11am to 4pm, free.
Artist talks - John Cole and Hew Lock
Saturday 17 September
Also this weekend, there are two artist talks. John Cole, the photographer behind the portraits currently hanging among the net huts, will be in conversation with the Fishermen's Protection Society on Saturday 17 September at 2pm at the Stade Hall. Entrance is free but space is limited.
Meanwhile, Hew Lock will be discussing his 2011 work, For Those in Peril on the Sea - which inspired the exhibition that will be on display at Electro Studios Project Space on 1 and 2 October. The talk will take place on Saturday 17 September at 2pm at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery. Tickets cost £5.
Feast of the Dead - a medieval banquet
Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 September
If that's tickled your appetite, how about a medieval feast to see you through the week? Every evening from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25, the Stade Hall will be playing host to Feast of the Dead. Part banquet, part theatre, participants will be served an authentic 11th century three-course meal, while interacting with the ghosts of the battlefield. Tickets cost £25/£18, or £15 for the Wednesday preview, and vegetarian and vegan options are available. Book at: http://bit.ly/2cWPSHf.
Clash! - a choral spectacle
Saturday 24 September
Next weekend, don't miss Clash!, a unique musical event involving seven local choirs, who will converge in the cathedral-like atrium of Sussex Coast College. Poets and spoken word artists have collaborated with composers from across the South East to create a musical 'tapestry' in response to the Bayeux Tapestry's narration of the great Battle of 1066. Performances take place at 4.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 24 September. Tickets cost £7/£5 - go to barefootopera.com/tickets/clash-24th-sept.
Buoys Boys - new exhibition opens at the De La Warr
Opens Saturday 24 September
Leading British artist Fiona Banner presents an immersive installation exploring her ongoing interest in language and its limitations. The exhibition, which takes place both inside and outside of the De La Warr Pavilion, incorporates a series of inflatable full stops from different fonts blown up to human scale. The exhibition is open from Saturday 24 September to Sunday 8 January and entry is free. There will be an artist's talk at 11am on Saturday 24 September - tickets are £7/£5/£3.50 from dlwp.com.
DRIFT - how do you navigate a place?
Guided walk Saturday 24 September
This inclusive artwork that reveals how young people with complex needs experience the world in different ways. From now until Sunday 16 October, you can find sound and video installations at three different locations around the town - Warrior Square station ticket office, Bottle Alley, and in the East Hill Lift top station. Join participants for a free guided walk on Saturday 24 September - meet at Warrior Square Station at 11am.
For more information on these events and many more, visit 1066contemporary.com.
ROOT 1066 International Festival has been funded by Hastings Borough Council, Arts Council England and the Coastal Communities Fund. For the latest news, follow @ROOT1066 on Twitter, or like facebook.com/ROOT1066.
A Taste of Honeysett
The cartoons of much loved Hastings cartoonist Martin Honeysett are the subject of a new exhibition A Taste of Honeysett at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.
Martin Honeysett was a leading satirical cartoonist and illustrator with an acerbic sense of humour and a gift for the gag.
During a career spanning four decades Honeysett worked for magazines and newspapers including, among others, Punch, The New Statesman, Private Eye, The Oldie, The Sunday Telegraph and The Observer, providing instantly recognisable cartoons which seemed to encapsulate all the casual cruelty, greed and stupidity of the modern age.
Honeysett won awards at cartoon festivals in Europe and Japan, and his cartoons and paintings appeared in exhibitions at public galleries such as Chris Beetles in St James's. Examples of his work are held in public collections including the Cartoon Art Trust and the V&A.
The new exhibition is being opened on Thursday night (15 September) by Cllr Dawn Poole the council's lead member for culture, she commented:
"Martin lived in Hastings for over 25 years and contributed greatly to the social and cultural life of the town so we are very excited to showcase Martin's work in collaboration with Penny Precious, at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery as part of Hastings and 1066 Cartoon Festival."
A Taste of Honeysett exhibition runs from Saturday 17 September to Sunday 08 January at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery with free entrance.