Press Releases week beginning 06 February 2017
Hastings Dog owner Prosecuted
Ivan Green of Wellington Square, St Leonards has been found guilty of taking his dog into a designated dog exclusion area at Hastings magistrates court (27 January 2017)
The Dog Exclusion Order requires people in charge of dogs not to take them into specific designated areas. As part of the Order in Hastings there are sections of the beach where you cannot take a dog at certain time of the year. These are between the Harbour Arm and the Pier and between Warrior Square and The Royal Victoria Hotel, between groynes 32 and 42.
Green was found to have his dog in the exclusion area on the beach opposite Denmark Place in August 2016.
"Dog exclusion orders are in place on our beaches from May to September, the busiest time of year. They are in place so that residents and visitors can fully enjoy our wonderful beaches" said Cllr Warren Davies, the council's lead member for environment.
"We are grateful to the majority of people who take notice of these exclusion zones but will come down hard on those that don't. The safety and comfort of residents and visitors to the town is very important to us and this prosecution will hopefully act as a deterrent to other dog owners who ignore the exclusion order. I'd like to remind people that whilst these restrictions are in place for the summer period, dogs should be kept on a lead on the promenade and all roads at all times" he added.
Green did not attend court but was proven guilty in absence and fined £75 with costs of £225 and a victim surcharge of £30.
For more information about local dog exclusion orders visit www.hastings.gov.uk
Hastings Celebrates the Year of the Rooster
People came together in Hastings on Sunday (5 February) at Priory Meadow shopping centre to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rooster.
The event was opened with the dance of the lion followed by the dance of the dragon performed by students from Buckswood School and the Hastings Chinese Association provided entertainment throughout the day including singing, dancing and a martial arts demonstration.
"Hastings now has a well-documented reputation for the many varied and exciting events it puts on every year, many of which reflect the increasing cultural diversity of the town. The Chinese celebration of New Year is now firmly on this calendar" said Cllr Peter Chowney, who opened the programme of festivities.
"The Hastings Chinese Association work very hard to organise this event with fantastic traditional performances and displays which all demonstrate the rich culture our town has to offer. It was a pleasure to join the Chinese community and share their special celebrations in this way. We have such a vibrant multicultural population - one Hastings, many voices and we are very pleased to support it" he added.
Education Futures Trust to take on lease of the Firs
Hastings Borough Council's cabinet committee has agreed to grant a lease of the Firs former football ground to Education Futures Trust. Approval was given at the meeting of Cabinet on Monday, 6 February 2017.
Situated in Elphinstone Road the Firs football ground has not been used since 2004 and the majority of the structures have been demolished with access only to the parking areas and multi-use games area (MUGA)
Since 2004 the former club house has been leased to Education Futures Trust for educational purposes. Education Futures Trust provide high quality and innovative support and learning tailored to the needs of children, families and vulnerable adults in Hastings and the surrounding area.
"I've long been an admirer of the work of the Education Futures Trust, and all they've achieved through their innovative education support schemes in Hastings and Rye" said council leader and lead member for finance, Cllr Peter Chowney.
He added: "They approached the council with a proposal to take on the old Firs football ground, and use it to expand their activities there. Their proposal is to create a space for outdoor learning and educational support, combined with an area for community access for local residents. I'm very pleased that we were able to help them, and that the proposal was approved unanimously at the Council's cabinet meeting. I'm looking forward to seeing their plans develop and to bringing this neglected area back in to use".
Music Month set to showcase areas' music at its best
Music Month, an initiative set up by organisations across 1066 country that have come together to support and develop the vibrant music sector in Hastings and Rother, starts this week with over 150 events taking place.
Running from Valentine's Day (14 February) to St Patrick's Day (17 March) it will encompass some of the area's best music events from larger venues, to the many pubs and bars that are the heart of the local grassroots music scene.
Hastings and Rother have been declared a Music City and the formal launch of this idea will take place on Monday 27 February at The Palace, Hastings as part of the UnConvention; a one day music conference featuring panellist conversations with BBC Introducing the South and workshops about the future of the music industry.
A major element of Music Month features the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (HIPCC). Now in its 13th year, HIPCC brings world class musicians to Hastings to compete for the coveted winning title but this year there is more. Local pianists have the chance to get involved and play on a grand piano in probably the most obscure of venues; the world's largest underground skate park, The Source. Pianists can book a slot to play at The Source on 14 February while local skaters and BMXers enjoy the thrill of their ride.
Hastings Fat Tuesday runs from Friday 24 February to the main event on Tuesday 28 February, Fat Tuesday; a night of fancy dress, fabulous feathers, beads, masks and music. Twelve venues host The Fat Tuesday Tour where 24 bands play 20 minute sets in 3 venues and headlining this year is UK Britpop trio, Dodgy best known for their chart hits 'Staying Out for the Summer' and 'Good Enough'.
The area has a proven record for attracting top names and Bexhill welcomes Simon Green aka Bonobo to the De La Warr Pavilion on 4 March to launch his new album, Migration. This electronic masterpiece is Bonobo's sixth album.
De La Warr Pavilion director of external relations, Sally Ann Lycett commented:
"The De La Warr Pavilion, heralded by its audiences as one of the best music venues on the south coast, is proud to be part of Music Month - an exciting initiative linking music professionals and music lovers across 1066 Country. With a capacity of 1500 (standing) and up to 1000 (seated) we are part of the rich and varied mix of music venues in Hastings and Rother - including festivals in Battle and Rye- and are perfectly placed to be the go-to venue outside London for top music artists such as Bonobo who actively seek venues of character and intimacy to reach their audiences. Coming up later in the year - Tom Chaplin, Maximo Park and Alexis Taylor."
Full Music Month event listing can be found at: visit1066country.com/musicmonth
Council prosecutes for HMO licence breaches
Hastings Borough Council made two successful prosecutions at Hastings magistrates court at the end of January (27 January) for House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence breaches.
A company secretary of 23 Magdalen Road St Leonards Limited of Plynlimmon Road was prosecuted for failing to licence an HMO. The secretary did not attend court but was proven guilty in absence and fined £1884.79 (£1000 fine £884.79 costs) with a victim surcharge of £100.
Kapoor Estates Limited of Jardine House Bessborough Road, Harrow on the Hill was also found guilty on nine charges (three not proven) after an all day trial (27 January) regarding a property in Carisbrooke Road.
The nine charges included failure to provide a means of escape, fire alarms and emergency lighting and failure to ensure that the common areas and installations were maintained and in good repair.
All nine charges related to conditions on the HMO licence and are offences under the Housing Act 2004. Kapoor Estates Ltd was fined £1000 for each offence (£9000) with costs of £2272.
"These prosecutions are an excellent result and we hope that they act as a warning to those landlords and property managers who compromise the wellbeing and safety of their tenants" said Cllr Kim Forward, Hastings Borough Council's lead member for housing.
She added "Everyone has a right to a decent home and we have a duty to protect tenants from rogue landlords so we will continue to seek out unlicensed properties and prosecute owners who breach legislation requirements."
Council agree Pay Policy Statement
The Localism Act 2011 requires Hastings Borough Council to prepare and publish a pay policy statement for each financial year. The purpose of the statement is to provide transparency with regard to the council's approach to setting the pay of employees and to ensure consistency throughout the council
At its meeting of cabinet on Monday 6 February 2017 councillors agreed unanimously to recommend the pay policy statement for April 2017 to March 2018 to full council for approval.
"The pay policy statement sets out current pay policy, practice and procedures adopted by the council but does not set rates of pay which are determined by national negotiations" said council leader, Cllr Peter Chowney.
He added: "It was noted that the council's ratio of pay at the mid-point between the highest and lowest salaries is currently down from 1:4 to 1:3.8, a very low figure. This pay policy statement will now go to full council on 15 February for final approval".