Press Releases week beginning 12 November 2018
Rogue landlord fined £13,000
Hastings Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a local landlord for failing to comply with an improvement notice under section 30 of the Housing Act 2004.
On 2 November 2018 Mr Tom Wallace of Breadsell Lane, Hastings, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the improvement notice. He also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a range of regulations under his licensing and management responsibilities as a landlord.
Mr Wallace was fined a total of £13,000 for thirteen offences, ordered to pay costs in the sum of £432 and a victim surcharge of £100. The financial penalty was ordered to be paid within 14 days.
Andy Batsford, lead councillor for housing said,
"We welcome the outcome of this case and hope it sends a clear message to those responsible for managing or renting property that failing to comply with responsibilities placed on them will not go unchallenged when discovered."
"It is unacceptable that residents live in properties which do not have a working fire detection system installed, suitable for the type of building they live in. Early warning of a fire and the ability to exit the property safely can mean the difference between escaping unharmed and far more serious consequences."
The case concerned 49 Carisbrooke Road, St Leonards. Mr Wallace is the freeholder of the property. The Hastings Borough Council housing enforcement team inspected the property in July 2017. They found that the building had no fire alarm system or emergency lighting. In some areas of the escape route, it did not provide 30 minute fire protection. As a result an improvement notice was served. This required a fire detection system and emergency lighting to be fitted. This would provide early warning of a fire to residents and reduce the risk of harm in the event of a fire.
The building is a house in multiple occupation, and there are rules regarding its management. This is to ensure the building is maintained to a level which safeguards the health and safety of the people who live there.
Evidence from inspection of the property revealed the building was not being managed in accordance with these regulations. Defects included damp and disrepair. There were broken steps and stairs. There was also a large shrub growing out of the back wall of the building.
Evenings to start earlier on the buses
The clocks went back an hour at the end of October and now cheap evening bus travel will start an hour earlier too.
Bus operator Stagecoach has announced that its popular 'Eveningrider' ticket will be valid from 6pm instead of the current 7pm, for the rest of the year. The change will come into effect from Friday 16 November, just in time for Christmas shopping, enabling shoppers or Christmas revellers to take advantage of an extra hour's unlimited bus travel.
The Eveningrider ticket, which costs just £3 on the bus firm's Smartphone app, is valid for unlimited travel on all Stagecoach buses in the south east. The bus company says the new start time of 6pm will encourage more people to use the bus this Christmas, avoiding the hassle of arranging lifts or paying out expensive taxi fares. The Eveningrider is valid through to the last bus home (or 4am the next day).
Matthew Arnold, Stagecoach commercial director for the south east, said "Everyone wants to get out in the evenings in the run up to Christmas, whether it's to meet friends, go Christmas shopping or enjoy the work Christmas party with colleagues. By starting our evening ticket an hour earlier, we hope more people will choose to come out on the bus and benefit from such great value travel."
Christmas tree delivery
Hastings Borough Council takes delivery of Christmas trees for the town at 7am Thursday morning, 15th November. The trees will then be delivered to other sites around town, Old Town - Butlers Gap and Courthouse Street, Kings Rd and Hastings Cemetery over the following week or two. They are all Norway spruce of 15 to 20 ft. heights.
Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for environmental services said,
"It's always a pleasure to see the seasonal decorations go up, and don't forget to recycle your tree in Harmers Lane when the festivities finish! The recycled trees provide environment friendly valuable mulch for the winter gardens in our parks. You can recycle your tree from 31 Dec until 14 January 2019.
Hastings remembered the 100th anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War, with a series of events being held over the weekend of 10/11 November.
The official opening of 'Hastings Remembers' at Hastings Museum took place at 2.30pm on Saturday 10 November. This exhibition, which runs until 27 January 2019, looks at the impact war has had on Hastings and its communities. It was opened by the mayor of Hastings Cllr Nigel Sinden, and Hastings Borough Council's heritage champion Cllr Margi O'Callaghan, with WWI teatime refreshments, music by Sally Layne and a children's poppy activity.
On Armistice Day (also Remembrance Sunday this year), a crowd of around 30, including council leader Peter Chowney and mayor Cllr Sinden, watched and listened as Hastings town crier Jon Bartholomew played the bagpipes at 6am at the war memorial in Alexandra Park, part of a national programme to mark 100 years of remembrance.
The traditional Remembrance Sunday service also took place at the war memorial in Alexandra Park at 11 am, led by the Reverend David Hill, rector of St John the Evangelist, Upper St Leonards, preceded by the civic procession from the town hall. A special commemorative, lit, lamp was blessed at this, and the lamp was then on display at St Clement's Church, in the Old Town, during the afternoon.
The bells of all four church towers in the town (All Saints, Christ Church Blacklands and Christ Church St Leonards and St Clement's) joined other churches across the country in ringing at 12.30 pm to coincide with the nation's tribute as thousands marched past the Cenotaph.
The commemorative lamp was at the centre of events on the East Hill in the evening. The last post was played prior to the lighting of the beacon at 7 pm, followed by a torchlight procession along the seafront to the White Rock Theatre, with the lamp being welcomed during the annual remembrance service there. The procession was 'live streamed' to the theatre. During the service, town crier Jon Bartholomew made a cry for peace around the world, again as part of a national programme.
The bells at the Old Town church of All Saints also rang out from 7.05pm, as the East Hill beacon burnt.
Mayor of Hastings Nigel Sinden said :- "I am so pleased that the town made such an effort to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War. So many people - including many from Hastings, of course - made the ultimate sacrifice in this and other wars, and so many more played a huge part in securing the freedoms we take for granted today.
"I am very grateful to everyone who helped play their part in the many events over the weekend. I am especially grateful to Hastings Borough Bonfire Society who arranged the beacon lighting, the 100 torches forming a 'ring of fire' around the lamp and the beacon on the East Hill; it looked superb on the hill, and so spectacular as the 100 lit torches made their way down off the hill. I thought it was particularly poignant that only a few torches made it still alight to the White Rock theatre, as it brought to mind that so many were lost in that terrible conflict."
Council welcomes reindeer event cancellation
Hastings Borough Council has welcomed the news that the town's Blue Reef Aquarium has cancelled its reindeer event planned for December, following publicity surrounding ill-treatment of a reindeer at a farm in Kent.
Council leader Cllr Peter Chowney said :- "I am very pleased that Blue Reef Aquarium Hastings have cancelled their reindeer event. I was also reassured to learn that our Priory Meadow shopping centre has no plans to use reindeer at their Christmas events this year and, indeed, that they have taken the decision not to use wild animals for events in the centre in future.
"The council has an Animal Welfare Charter that bans events involving performing animals on council land, but does not have the power to stop animal events on private land. However, we do not condone the use of performing animals anywhere, or the use of wild animals in displays.
"We are developing an animal welfare licensing policy that will ensure that the welfare of animals is paramount."
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Hastings Borough Council has taken delivery of the public Christmas trees for the town. They arrived this morning (Thursday 15 November), and were erected in the town centre, Butlers Gap and Courthouse Street in the Old Town, Kings Road, and St Leonards. They are all 15 - 30 feet high Norway spruce.
Cllr Colin Fitzgerald, the lead councillor for environmental services said :- "It's always a pleasure to see the seasonal decorations go up! We are encouraging people to shop in our town, and support the local retail trade, and our Christmas trees really add to the festive atmosphere. We are especially grateful to the local Lions Club who contribute £750 towards the town centre Christmas tree and lights.
"And don't forget to recycle your tree in Harmers Lane when the festivities finish! The recycled trees provide environment friendly valuable mulch for the winter gardens in our parks. You can recycle your tree from 31 Dec until 14 January 2019.