Press Releases week beginning 11 June 2018
£19 MILLION FUNDING FOR COUNCILS TO BOOST INTEGRATION
Councils across England will receive a share of a further £19 million to help ease pressures on local services resulting from recent migration, Communities Minister Lord Bourne announced today (8 June 2018).
This latest allocation from the Controlling Migration Fund includes more than £16 million for 38 projects. Local Authorities have developed plans to ease local pressures on housing, education and health services arising from recent migration providing benefits to the whole community.
The announcement today includes £1.75 million of funding to help new refugees into work and integrate into their new communities after their asylum decision is made. It also includes £1.1 million for six councils to support victims of modern slavery to link up with local services when they leave central government-funded support, thereby reducing their risk of becoming homeless, sleeping rough, or being re-trafficked.
Communities Minister Lord Bourne said:
"We're already seeing how funding from the Controlling Migration Fund can deliver rapid results. These new projects will further support communities in coming together to address local challenges, help recent arrivals settle into their new communities and also provide extra services for the benefit of all.
"We know that refugees face particular challenges in settling into British life, so we are providing additional support to help them find work and improve their English language skills."
This latest allocation brings the total funding to £73.5 million since the Fund's launch. The fund helps to tackle rogue landlords, increase English language support and boost community integration.
North Lincolnshire Council project
In response to local concerns around anti-social behaviour, fly tipping and rogue landlords, the council has set up a new project bringing new arrivals, the local established community and agencies together to tackle these challenges head on.
Councillor Ralph Ogg, cabinet member for Safer, Greener and Cleaner Places at North Lincolnshire Council, said:
"The area has a rich diverse culture and we want to ensure all communities have access to key services, support and advice to help them integrate into society.
"The money will be used to help bridge the gap and enable existing and new communities, landlords, tenants, businesses, and partners to work together to establish a more cohesive, stronger and settled community.
"We are working with key partners to do this including the Police, UK Border Agency, waste services, safer neighbourhoods and environmental health and this is very much a joint approach."
Government's Integration Strategy
In March 2018, the Government's Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper set out a long-term plan of action to tackle the root causes of poor integration and steps that need to be taken to build stronger and more united communities across Britain.
The Government is now working on local integration plans with five Integration Areas across the country that have already shown leadership in tackling the challenges their areas face. These are: Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Peterborough, Walsall and Waltham Forest.
A project in Blackburn with Darwen, funded in 2017, is having real success in supporting refugee families into permanent housing, freeing up temporary accommodation in the area. A newly appointed coordinating officer is also supporting the expansion of English language classes run by volunteers for the benefit of new arrivals.
Sayyed Osman, Director of Adult Services and Prevention at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
"Funding for project work and testing new ideas is vital to make a real difference to the communities we serve.
"The English classes are well attended and appreciated. Groups go to matches at Blackburn Rovers Football Club as part of their practical sessions which is particularly powerful in terms of developing shared experiences.
"Temporary accommodation helps us cope with demand; the service is sympathetic to the practical needs of families."
Refugees are typically keen to improve their English and find work. A joint project between the Home Office and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will pilot a number of Local Authority Asylum Support Liaison Officers to work with those granted refugee status and provide them with information and support to help transition from Government-provided accommodation to mainstream society.
These 35 officers will work in 19 local authorities will also help facilitate those not granted refugee status to voluntarily return to their country of origin.
Innovative land management harnesses traditional methods
Frankie Woodgate and her heavy working horses Yser and Tobias returned to Hastings Country Park last week. The traditional method of landscape management involves working horses pulling heavy rollers to "bruise" the bracken. Bruising bracken with horse drawn rollers is an effective, low impact method of reducing the vigour and growth of bracken in hard-to-reach areas and avoids the use of chemicals.
Lead councillor for the environment, Colin Fitzgerald said, "Last year, Hastings Country Park won an innovations award for establishing a free roaming conservation grazing project, and using heavy horses to reduce the bracken is just another way of managing threatened habitats on public land, which successfully combines biodiversity and wildlife management with public enjoyment and getting closer to nature, especially for residents from disadvantaged communities in the town."
By reducing the amount of bracken in Hastings Country Park nature reserve Hastings Borough Council are restoring native coastal grassland habitats.
Midsummer Fish Festival -eat, drink and dance on the Stade next week end
Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival is back for a fifth year. The event takes place on 23 and 24 June on the Stade open space, with tickets costing £1 in advance or £2 on the gate (under 18s free).
Deputy Leader Kim Forward, lead councillor for tourism and economic development said, "The Midsummer Fish Festival was introduced by Hastings Borough Council after the success of the Seafood and Wine Festival and Herring Fair and is part of a summer of great events on the Stade. It's a celebration of local seasonal fish, food and drink producers, and great live music. There will be a great selection of food and drink from local restaurants, street vendors, bakeries, and wine producers. The FILO brewery will be there, as well as other local brewers and wine makers, and there will also be delicious gifts to take home. Our local fishing fleet will be showcasing their skills and getting messy with fish printing."
The music line up at the festival will open on Saturday with the beautiful sounds of The Hastings Sinfonia, as well as performances throughout the day including Steve Didge and new talent, Lucy; a rare special appearance from The Gail Edmunds Band; four piece dance and party band, Octavia; Spanish and salsa rhythms from Los Twangueros and closing the day is The Martin Blackman Band.
Sunday kicks off with some traditional songs from the Sounds Waves Shanty Crew as well as great selection of modern covers from The Cover Ups. Mad Jacks Morris will provide us with acoustic sounds and traditional dance, followed by some country music from The Hay Stingers, while The Rocking Ambassadors will close the weekend's entertainment with some jumping and jiving!
There will be cooking demonstrations in Classroom on the Coast, the unique seafood training kitchen based within the Stade Hall over the weekend. CJ Jackson, CEO of the Billingsgate Seafood School will be there on Saturday at noon and 2:30pm, and Sunday's demos will be from Wild Feast and new local St Leonard's restaurant, Farmyard. All demos are free and can be booked on the day on a first come, first served basis.
Children can also be entertained in the Stade Hall where there will be craft activities of a fishy nature, as well as free face painting.
The Midsummer Fish Festival was set up to promote Hastings' Fishing Fleet, so after enjoying the festival fun, why not take a wander round the net huts, speak to the Fishermen's Protection Society and get inspired to buy, and cook with, locally caught, seasonal fish.
Wristbands for the whole weekend cost just £1 in advance from the Tourist Information Centre in Breeds Place (on the seafront, by the fountain), or £2 on the gate. Under 18s go free.
For more information see: www.visit1066country.com/fishfestivals
Action for Hastings Town Centre
Hastings Borough Council will soon be consulting on a new draft area action plan, or AAP, for Hastings Town Centre and Bohemia. The AAP will create a new planning framework specifically for Hastings town centre and the area stretching to the west of the town centre including Summerfields, Horntye, White Rock Gardens, the former Convent at Magdalen Road, the Pier, White Rock theatre and a large part of the seafront.
The council's cabinet agreed to consult on the AAP at its meeting last Monday.
Councillor Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council said, "Whilst the town centre represents the commercial heart of the town, the western part of the action plan area, Bohemia, has significant untapped potential.
"This is a long term plan with an emphasis on partnership working. The Council will play a leading role in coordination, but this is only a draft and we'll be seeking views and ideas over the summer from residents, businesses and other stakeholders before it is finalised."
The Council will be announcing the start of the consultation on the area action plan very shortly along with details of how to get involved and make comments. If you would like to hear more and receive notice of the start of the consultation, you can register your details in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org