Press Releases: week beginning 03 February 2014
Food premises closed due to bad food hygiene
Following an unannounced food safety inspection on 19 February 2013 a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice was immediately served by Hastings Borough Council on the Food Business Operator (FBO) Mr Siddiqur Rahman prohibiting the use of the premises, Hastings Indian Cuisine, Queens Road for the purpose of any food business.
The inspection identified very poor conditions including an active and heavy infestation of rats and other pests resulting in the actual contamination of food and a significant risk of contamination.
Mr Rahman pleaded guilty to five charges at Hastings Magistrates Court on 29 January 2014. The magistrates imposed a fine of £2500 and the council were awarded their costs of £1450 with £50 victim surcharge added.
Cllr Jay Kramer, lead member for environment and safety commented:
"The magistrates said they had looked at the evidence carefully and took Mr Rahman's early guilty plea into consideration. They also explained that they have a duty of care to protect the public. The offences were of a very serious nature and Mr Rahman had not undertaken due diligence when considering the maintenance and cleaning of his premises.
"We take food hygiene in businesses very seriously. Our food safety officers actively enforce standards of food hygiene and safety and the food hygiene rating system is a direct reflection of these standards. The purpose of this scheme is to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or shop for food and, through these choices, encourage businesses to improve their hygiene standards."
Food businesses are inspected and a numerical rating is issued to outline the standard of food hygiene found in those premises. Businesses with very good standards of food hygiene are awarded a numerical score of five ranging down to zero for those where urgent improvements are necessary.
Cllr Kramer added:
"It's not easy to judge hygiene standards on appearance of the food alone, so the rating gives you an idea of what's going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors."
For more information about the food hygiene rating system visit www.hastings.gov.uk
Cabinet adopts Hastings Planning Strategy
At the Cabinet meeting on Monday, 03 February, it was agreed unanimously to recommend that the Hastings Planning Strategy be adopted following its examination by a planning inspector.
Cllr Peter Chowney lead member for regeneration explained:
"The inspector considered the seven strategic objectives which include sustaining a thriving economy and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live in an affordable decent home in a community in which they want to live, to be realistic and deliverable.
"He commended the plan on being clearly written, with well explained policies and proposals and also recognised the significant achievements so far in terms of regeneration, which were particularly evident through the transformation of Station Plaza and the surrounding area. He went on to say that there has been a dramatic transformation in much of the Borough since his examination of the Hastings Local Plan about 10 years ago.
"Thanks must be given to the Planning Policy team and the significant number of other staff within the council for their hard work and commitment in achieving a sound Planning Strategy."
The planning inspector accepted the council's housing numbers of around 200 new homes per year, recognising there could be an argument for a higher number but the ability of the town to accommodate higher numbers was limited.
He also liked the Planning Strategy's vision that:
"By 2028 Hastings, founded upon our unique heritage, natural environment and seaside location, and supported by social, economic, cultural and environmental regeneration will be a safe and thriving place to live, work and visit, that offers a high quality of life, and has a strong economy and sustainable future."
The Housing Planning Strategy can be viewed at www.hastings.gov.uk
Fitness Centre committed to work experience placements
Falaise Fitness Centre won a number of accolades at the Own Grown Award Ceremony held in Hastings recently.
The Freedom Leisure operated centre was named the Best Medium-sized Business for its overall work helping young people into employment and Naomi Peachey, who is employed at the centre, also won the award for the best achievement by an individual aged 22+.
Falaise Fitness Centre has demonstrated exceptional support for local young people over the last four years by offering a variety of work placements. In July 2013 eight youngsters from secondary schools including St Leonard's Academy and St Richards Catholic College spent a week at the centre and gained experience in paperwork, sales and cleaning. They also had the opportunity to try out classes and received an induction to the fitness equipment on offer.
More recently, seven young people from Hastings College gained experience in the fitness side of the centre, helping to plan classes and supporting the centre's personal training programme, as well as assisting with the operational side of the business.
Nicole White, Freedom Leisure Operations Manager at Falaise Fitness Centre said:
"We are thrilled to be part of the Own Grown programme. It has proved hugely successful for the centre and has enabled us to provide young people in Hastings with invaluable work experience and a unique insight into the leisure industry. The Freedom Leisure team have really enjoyed sharing their knowledge and expertise with the youngsters and consequently we’ve made an on-going arrangement with both Hastings and Rother job centres to offer rolling one-month placements. We will continue to work with local schools and colleges as well to help develop youngster’s skill sets and help them fulfil their potential."
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration added:
"The work opportunities offered to young people by Falaise Fitness Centre are excellent. Many individuals have been given the chance to extend their work placement period by showing their dedication and commitment and it shows that Falaise is serious about investing in young people.
"I urge other businesses to work with the Own Grown scheme in this way, both to benefit their own business, and to assist young people in Hastings and St Leonards on their way to successful employment."
Funding secured for Eco project at Stade
Hastings Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) have gained approval to fund a new project at the Stade Open Space.
The Eco-Stade project will combine low impact tourism, camping, walking and cycling with fish buying and cooking. It will also pay for a host of new amenities for the area. Working together with Hastings Borough Council, Hastings FLAG have been very aware of the need to increase the use of the Stade Open Space. It's already used for a range of events including Stade Saturdays and Fish Fairs, so any enhancements need to be portable and sensitive to the surroundings.
Cllr Peter Chowney, chair of Hastings FLAG, commented:
"I'm very pleased that the FLAG has been able to fund this project. Plans include a portable camera obscura to allow an exciting view of the fishing fleet and increase the awareness of the connection between boat and plate, as well as giant games and Astroturf matting.
"There will be portable staging to allow for more events and performances together with traditional deck chairs. Real-time digital display boards will be installed telling people what's on in the Stade area with particular reference to the Classroom on the Coast and cooking demonstrations."
Other aspects of the Eco-Stade project include working with Shearbarn Holiday Park and Hastings Touring Park offering high quality walking route leaflets to illustrate the various scenic walks from outlying areas to the Stade, combined with fish cookery lessons at Shearbarn for guests who buy local fish. The project will also provide clear signage across the Country Park directing people to the Stade.
Paul Joy chair Hastings Fishermans Protection Society (HFPS) added:
"HFPS fully supports this worthwhile enterprise and looks forward to working with the various partners and seeing the improvements take shape over the coming months."