Press Releases week beginning 26 March 2018
X marks the spot for young people
Council officers attended a Hastings Youth Council meeting last week to talk about the electoral register and how to apply to join.
Hastings Youth Council has launched a campaign to encourage young people to vote by signing up to the electoral register. They will be visiting local colleges and the university with council officers to sign up young people. Deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council councillor Kim Forward said, "I am very pleased to see our Youth Council leading a campaign to encourage young people to join the register so that they can use their vote to have a say about the future for our town. We live in a democracy and it is important that people vote in local elections."
The Youth Council have invited the leaders of the three main parties locally to comment on their manifestos and their particular relevance to young people This will be available on Hastings Youth Council Facebook page.
Hastings Youth Council is keen to encourage young people to be on the register so they can vote. Huda, Chair of Hastings Youth Council said, "Young people should be on the register to exercise their right to vote. Having a say gives young people a voice for change".
To check if your registration is current or to join the electoral register you can go to gov.uk/register-to-vote or call Hastings Borough council on 01424 451087.
Beasts from the east close West Hill lift
The West Hill lift in Hastings has had to close because of emergency engineering works. A building behind a trackside wall had started to collapse, and could have fallen onto one of the lift cars.
Council spokesman Kevin Boorman explained :- "We are very disappointed that we have had to close the West Hill lift.
"An old building to the east of a retaining wall at the bottom station had started to collapse, we think as a result of snow and frost damage caused by the two 'beasts from the east' earlier this month. Cracks had appeared in the building, and when our contractors started work to provide support, the roof started to move. The building forms part of the wall beside the track, and our engineers advised us that there was a very real danger it could collapse. If it did, it could take out a large part of the trackside wall and fall onto the tracks, potentially bringing tons of rubble and debris onto our 127 year old lift.
"Safety is obviously paramount, so we had no option other than to close the West Hill lift immediately. Our contractors have now installed scaffolding to enable demolition experts to remove the building, and part of the wall, to make it safe.
"It is very disappointing that the lift will have to be closed over Easter, but our contractors are working extended hours and weekends to keep the period of closure as short as possible."
Hastings Borough Council wins case against Information Commissioner at Information Rights Tribunal
Hastings Borough Council has won an appeal against the Information Commissioner at an Information Rights Tribunal in Brighton.
The council had been ordered by the Information Commissioner's Office ('ICO') to release a report about a landslide which had occurred in Ecclesbourne Glen, part of Hastings Country Park. The council had initially declined to publish the report when asked to do so, believing that it contained information which was commercially sensitive.
The ICO had directed the council in a 'decision notice' to publish the report, but the council remained concerned that the commercially sensitive nature of the information was such that it should not be released. It had therefore appealed to the Information Rights Tribunal.
In its judgement on Monday (26th March), the tribunal concluded that the public interest in releasing the report was small, the harm likely to be substantial. The tribunal said that it was satisfied that the ICO's decision notice was wrong in law, and the appeal was allowed.
Council spokesperson Kevin Boorman welcomed the decision. He said :- "This has been a long and difficult case, and we are obviously delighted to have won it. We are all very disappointed that the landslide in Ecclesbourne Glen took place, and know that the subsequent closure of part of the glen has saddened local residents and visitors alike.
"The Country Park is one of the jewels in our crown, and extremely popular. We would much rather the whole of Ecclesbourne Glen was open but, sadly, given the continuing unstable nature of the ground, the footpaths affected by the landslip remain closed. The area where the landslip occurred continues to be unstable and is at risk of further slippage. Another sudden slip could be serious, and potentially fatal to anyone walking in the area.
"Obviously we can't reverse the landslide, and it is regrettable that a small number of people are still continuing to challenge our decisions. This is time-consuming, costly and unproductive for us, and we would much rather that our energies were directed elsewhere."