Press Releases: week beginning 24 March 2014
Hastings backs Shelter's 'Evict Rogue Landlords' campaign
Hastings Borough Council has added its support to Shelter's national campaign to tackle rogue landlords and with new grant funding, aims to tackle this problem head on with their Rogue Landlord Project.
By signing up to the campaign, Hastings Borough Council has committed to crack down on landlords who are ignoring their responsibilities and causing misery to local families.
Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for housing and community services explained:
"While we have many good landlords in our area, we also know that a small minority of landlords continue to let homes that a poorly maintained and managed. Such landlords exploit tenants, cause distress, and in some cases put lives at risk. Everyone has a right to a decent home and we aim to stamp out rogue landlords in Hastings and St Leonards and by joining Shelter's Evict Rogue Landlords campaign we are committing to take tough action against the worst offenders.
"We want to work with responsible landlords to drive up the overall quality of our private rented sector and are recruiting a 'Landlord and Tenant Liaison officer' who, as an integral part of the Rogue Landlord Project will be there to provide support for landlords and tenants. They will also be charged with taking action where appropriate to deal with issues such as harassment or illegal eviction. This post has been made possible through our recent successful bid for resources to the Department of Communities and Local Government.
"The project will run for two years and will target and help vulnerable people who may be living in poorly maintained and often overcrowded privately rented accommodation."
Olympic Park contractors care for Hastings' parks and gardens
Officers from the council's parks department were invited to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by the town's grounds maintenance contractor, The Landscape Group, for a sneak preview of the landscaped areas before it's officially opened by the Queen.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of the largest urban parks to be built in Europe for 150 years and The Landscape Group won the contract to maintain the areas around the park in 2012.
One year later, they won the contract to maintain the parks and gardens of Hastings, Bexhill and Rye in a unique partnership between Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council and AmicusHorizon to have one, shared grounds maintenance contractor.
Councillor Emily Westley, lead member for leisure and amenities commented:
"The Landscape Group maintain the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the highest quality and standards and year on year the local communities of Hastings and St Leonards rank our parks and open spaces top of the council's services.
"The day at the Olympic Park not only showcased the quality landscape maintenance but gave managers a chance to meet other local authorities who utilise the Landscape Group. We really feel that we are in good hands with The Landscape Group looking after the town's award winning, and loved, parks and open spaces."
World 5s Football Festival launched
The council's StreetGames World 5s Football Festival was launched in Alexandra Park on the evening of Tuesday, 25 March.
Organisers are looking for 32 teams of 15 to 19 year olds to participate in the festival. The four semi finalist teams will have the opportunity to represent Hastings at the Littlewoods Pools 5s competition in London in June.
Cllr Emily Westley lead member for leisure commented:
"The aim of this local tournament is to increase participation and raise aspiration in football for young people aged between 15 and 19 and to enter into the spirit of the world cup. It's hoped that we will achieve more than 200 people playing football over the weekend of 26 and 27 April.
"Our thanks must go to local business Superstitch who have shown their support for this festival by donating sports wear."
Mathew Major, chairman of Sussex County Football Association said:
"We are very pleased to support the new Hastings Youth Council in this project to encourage, develop and empower local young people in grass roots football."
Steve Cook, Bournemouth FC and World 5s ambassador added:
"As a professional footballer who first got scouted at a local tournament in Hastings, I feel that the need for grassroots football is huge and with the world 5s it gives a chance for the community to come together and maybe unearth another talent."
The council have also launched the new Football Associations Youth Council which will be managed and overseen by Hastings StreetGames working in partnership with Sussex County FA.
If you would like to participate in the tournament, or know someone that would, contact StreetGames coordinator Ken Dullaway at firstname.lastname@example.org
Poover on the streets tackling dog mess
A new piece of bespoke machinery, nicknamed 'Poover' is now out in Hastings and St Leonards in a bid to clean up our streets.
The mobile machinery, specifically designed to pick up dog mess, leaves and other small items of pavement rubbish, has been commissioned by Hastings Borough Council and is being used by the town's waste and recycling contractors Kier.
Cllr Jay Kramer, lead member for environment and safety commented:
"We have a commitment to provide clean and safe streets for the people of Hastings and St Leonards and that is what we intend to do. Whether it's the introduction of new machinery such as Poover or our robust enforcement policy and zero tolerance to dog fouling and our rapid response to complaints, we will continue to find ways to tackle this problem."
Poover will be deployed to focus on areas identified as 'hotspots' for dog fouling activity and will initially target the Seven Streets area in St Leonards.
Lower Ecclesbourne Glen, Hastings Country Park, closed due to landslips
Part of Hastings Country Park has had to be closed because of landslips.
Council spokesman Kevin Boorman explained:
"Unfortunately, the winter's weather has taken its toll in Hastings Country Park, and we have had to close access to lower Ecclesbourne Glen from the East Hill. This part of the Country Park can now only be reached from Rocklands Lane and Barley Lane.
"We have erected signs and maps across the East Hill warning people that the paths are closed because of the landslips.
"I know this will be a great disappointment to local residents and visitors alike, who enjoy walks to 'the glen' from the Old Town, but there have been a number of landslips and the ground remains unstable. it is simply too dangerous at the moment to enter this part of the glen, and we would urge people not to try and climb around the fencing we have erected.
"Because these are public rights of way, we will work with East Sussex County Council once the land has stabilised and decide how best to re-open access to this part of the Country Park."
Free play activities at Shornden Play Park
A free play session is being held at Shornden Play Park in Hastings to celebrate a newly crafted wooden play centipede.
During the recent storms, a large oak tree was felled in the park and the council saw an opportunity to commission Joc Hare, local timber sculptor to transform the tree into an activity play sculpture.
Gristwood and Toms, our tree contractor, transported the dismantled oak from Harmers Lane to Shornden Play Park at no additional cost to the council.
Cllr Emily Westley, lead member for leisure and amenity said:
"This was such a great idea and has made use of a huge tree that was damaged in the storms. Our thanks must go to Gristwood and Toms for moving the tree, and of course Joc who has made a magnificent job of carving it. I am sure that this sculpture will now provide for many hours of imaginative play!"
The Play Hastings team will be at the play park at Shornden, Alexandra Park on Saturday, 05 April between 1pm and 2pm.
There will be a free Easter themed treasure hunt with small prizes and some outdoor craft activities to celebrate the opening of the new centipede sculpture. Children and their families are invited to come along and join in the celebration.
For more details contact email@example.com