Press Releases week beginning 28 November 2016
Hastings shows support for White Ribbon
White Ribbon Day is held across the world each year in November to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Recently re-accredited White Ribbon Status; confirming that the council is committed to supporting the aims of the White Ribbon Campaign, Hastings Borough Council invited the people of Hastings to pledge their support too.
At the event in the town centre on Friday (25 November) council leader, Cllr Peter Chowney and the Mayor Cllr Judy Rogers signed their pledge to 'never commit, condone or remain silent about domestic violence' and together with Julie Gilbert King, Commander East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services, Chief Inspector Rosie Ross and Huda Caglayan chair Hastings Youth Council they made speeches about the importance of this campaign and how everyone can pledge support.
Cllr Peter Chowney said:
"We are very pleased to take part in this event. Reports of domestic violence and abuse are significantly higher in Hastings than in other areas across East Sussex. Nationally one in four women and one in six men will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lifetime and one incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police every two minutes. On average, two women are killed every week as a result of domestic violence. These are shocking statistics and we hope that our campaign will continue to raise awareness of this and encourage more people to speak up about domestic violence. We all need to do what we can to intervene and report it so that victims can be supported".
"It was very encouraging to see so many people across Hastings signing the White Ribbon pledge; over 1000 pledges have been made so far with many more being made daily online. Our thanks must go to all the agencies involved in supporting the White Ribbon Campaign event this year including AmicusHorizon, Hastings Women's Voice, Create Grow Live and volunteers from the local domestic abuse refuge."
Seafront border gets a makeover
A large flower bed on the seafront at Pelham Place has been the most recent in the council's plans to be refurbished and brought up to date.
In a drive to create more sustainable planting schemes Hastings Borough Council's landscape contractors idverde UK (formerly The Landscape Group) have now designed and completed the large bed next to Pelham fountain roundabout which had its face-lift earlier this year too.
"At a time when we are looking to save money, the re-design of this flower bed using hardy perennials for a more sustainable scheme is really great news" said Cllr Warren Davies, the council's lead member for environment.
He added: "By using this planting scheme, similar to the fountain roundabout which includes Kniphofia, Hardy Geraniums, Alliums, Penstemons and a selection of bulbs it will save time and money on watering and weeding. The fountain roundabout has looked fantastic this summer and we look forward to seeing this bed looking just as splendid next season.
"Our thanks must go once again to the contractors for their sterling work in keeping the planted areas of the town looking great, whatever season we're in."
Council's community sports scheme wins award
The inclusive sport programme Sports For All has been awarded the Community Impact Award at the Sussex Sports Awards last Friday evening (25 November).
The Sport For All programme is delivered by the Active Hastings Team with support from Active Rother; a partnership set up by Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council to provide people with learning disabilities increased opportunities to take part in physical activity.
This inclusive sports programme is part of a wider county initiative hosted by the charity Grace Eyre which encourages people to take part in physical activity.
"We are delighted that scheme has won the Community Impact Award. Congratulations must go to all, a very well deserved result." said Cllr Dawn Poole, Hastings Borough Council's lead member for leisure.
"The Sports For All programme works hard to provide a wide and varied range of activities including badminton, boccia, kickboxing, gymnastics and Zumba to enable people with learning disabilities to get active" added Cllr Poole.
The Sussex Sports Awards are held every year and organised by Active Sussex, one of 45 County Sports Partnerships across England.
The Community Impact Award recognises exemplary projects in the county that have made a significant positive impact through sport to targeting social, cultural or health inequalities.
Surplus plants donated to St Michael's Hospice
Hastings Borough Council's grounds maintenance contractor idverde UK (formerly The Landscape Group) has donated surplus plants to St Michael's Hospice Hastings and Rother.
Cllr Warren Davies the council's lead member for environment explained:
"Once again our contractors have done a magnificent job preparing our parks and gardens for next year with springtime planting schemes and rather than letting the surplus bulbs and bedding go to waste they offered to donate them to a worthy cause.
"St Michael's Hospice in Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards provides excellent holistic care and support for all those throughout Hastings and Rother affected by a progressive life-limiting illness or bereavement. We are very pleased to support this very worthy cause and look forward to seeing a really beautiful, welcoming display of Tulips and Primula in the hospice gardens early next year".
Perdita Chamberlain, Head of Income Generation at St Michael's Hospice added:
"We are delighted with the donation of beautiful plants and tulip bulbs for the Hospice garden. The garden at the Hospice is very special to staff, volunteers, patients and their families. It can be somewhere to simply enjoy the sunshine and relax, take a reflective and quiet walk at what may be a difficult time, or to place a plaque or flowers in remembrance of a loved one. The donated plants will make a welcome addition to our colourful garden and the tulips will create a vibrant welcome along the driveway next year. We are incredibly grateful to Hastings Borough Council for their generosity and support."
The council also donated 300 plants to the residential care home, Old Hastings House.
Town centre manager joins Grotbuster team for walkabout
Hastings Borough Council's Grotbuster team joined forces with the town centre manager, Rob Woods to identify properties in need of improvement in one of the town's main shopping areas, Queens Road.
With its stringent approach to tackling properties deemed 'eyesores', the council's secret weapon is Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Using this, the Grotbuster initiative has gone from strength to strength, using tough enforcement policies to improve over 700 run down and derelict buildings and other unattractive sites across Hastings since the scheme started in 2000.
"Queens Road is one of our busiest shopping areas and as such it's really important that buildings are kept in tip top condition. Recent action taken by the Grotbuster team has resulted in improvements being carried out to a number of properties in the St Andrews Square area and now we are focussing our attention here. Much work has already been completed in Queens Road but we are aware that there is still more to do" said Cllr Kim Forward the council's lead member for housing.
"One of our priorities is to build better neighbourhoods and the Grotbuster scheme is helping us to do this. The cumulative effect around St Andrews Square demonstrates what can be done and we hope to see this spread into Queens Road" added Cllr Forward.
Rob Woods the Town Centre Manager said: "There is simply no excuse for allowing premises to become untidy and dilapidated so it is always a great pleasure to work with the council's Grotbuster team. By taking action against the small minority of landlords in Queens Road who have allowed their premises to fall into neglect, we can collectively support the vast majority of right-minded traders who have invested their energy and money in the area"
Hastings Seafood and Wine festival wins tourism award
At the Beautiful South Awards held earlier this month in Southampton to celebrate the cream of the region's tourism industry, the Hastings Seafood and Wine festival won the coveted Highly Commended award for Tourism Event of the Year.
"The Awards are run by Tourism South East to recognise excellence in the tourism industry with the aim to raise standards in quality, innovation and customer service. We are delighted that the Seafood and Wine Festival has been highly commended for Tourism Event of the Year; it's gone from strength to strength since it started in 2006" said Cllr Kim Forward, Hastings Borough Council's lead member for marketing and tourism.
She added: "The event has grown over the years and offers delicious foodie treats made with locally sourced produce to celebrate the local fishing industry, wine and beer and great entertainment from bands and musicians from the area. Our thanks and congratulations must go to Rosie Leech, festival organiser and her team for their continued efforts that have made this event the success it is today".
Winners have the opportunity to represent the South East in VisitEngland's national Tourism Excellence Awards which take place in April 2017.
Residents reminded to keep recycling
Residents in Hastings will receive a sticker to remind them of the main items they can recycle at home.
A sticker is being sent out to residents across the borough along with their annual calendar which includes a comprehensive list of items that can be recycled as well as showing waste and recycling collection dates for the Christmas period and the year ahead.
Residents are asked to attach the sticker to their main recycling container as a handy reminder of what can be recycled.
Across East Sussex, 42 per cent of waste is recycled, but around a quarter of what's thrown in people's rubbish bins could still be recycled.
People can help by remembering to recycle all their plastic bottles; plastic pots, tubs and trays; paper and card; foil and cans and food and drink cartons - and by keeping recycling clean, empty, squashed and unbagged.
Cllr Warren Davies Hastings Borough Council's lead member for environment said: "People in Hastings do a fantastic job of recycling their waste but we can always do more.
"By recycling more rubbish, residents can help us to reduce the amount of waste that is burnt to create energy or goes to landfill, further reducing our carbon footprint. Recycling also saves money for essential community services.
"By attaching the sticker to recycling containers, hopefully it will act as a reminder as to what can be put in them and will encourage people to recycle even more. Deliveries of the sticker and calendar start next week (W/C December 5th), look out for yours!"
More information about what can be recycled in your area can be found at http://www.liveloverecycling.co.uk/
Mayor delivers Christmas cheer and thanks to postal workers in Hastings
The Mayor of Hastings Cllr Judy Rogers together with the Deputy Mayor Cllr Nigel Sinden and Hastings Borough Council leader, Cllr Peter Chowney visited Royal Mail's Hastings delivery office to pass on Christmas wishes, thanks and encouragement to postmen and women at their busiest time of year.
They were shown around the sorting office in Hastings and were introduced to the postmen and women who are working hard to sort and deliver mail in the run-up to Christmas.
The Mayor, Cllr Judy Rogers said:
"It was great to meet the postmen and women at Royal Mail's Hastings delivery office and see first-hand just how much effort they put into delivering our mail.
"Our postal workers do such an important job, especially at this time of year helping to deliver Christmas to many people and families in our area. I would like to thank them for their efforts and wish them all the best over the busy festive period."