Press Releases: week beginning 19 May 2014
Council flies the flag for LGBT
Hastings Borough Council flew the rainbow flag, the symbol of LGBT pride and LGBT social movements since the 1970s, from the Town Hall on the weekend of 17 and 18 May to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
May 17 was chosen as the day of celebration as it's the anniversary of the World Health Organisation's decision in 1990 to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
Retiring lead member for equalities, Cllr Jay Kramer, commented:
"I am really pleased to be able to do this as a parting gesture. We have flown the flag to celebrate IDAHOBIT day for the last two years to demonstrate our commitment to the LGBT community.
"This is especially important to me and I will look back and see this as one of my successes as the former lead member for equalities in Hastings and St Leonards."
Council raises awareness of noise nuisance during Noise Action week
To promote Noise Action Week (19 to 24 May) Hastings Borough Council displayed some of the noise making equipment they have seized over the last few years, at a road show in the town centre on Tuesday, 20 May.
The council are key partners of The Community Safety Hub and its environmental protection team work together with the police and local social landlords like Amicus Horizon and Orbit on a daily basis to resolve noise issues.
Head of Environmental Services, Mike Hepworth, explained:
"Noise can cause disruption and distress to everyone whether it's at home, leisure, at work or study and our capacity to make noise is increasing. Noise affects everyone's quality of life, and the number of noise complaints is increasing.
"We are pleased to work closely with the police who support our officers when noise abatement notices are served and noise making equipment such as stereo systems, have to be seized for non compliance. We also work very closely with colleagues at our main social landlords to help their tenants resolve serious neighbour disputes involving noise.
"In 2013/14 the council received 1093 noise complaints and over the last three years we have seized equipment on 32 occasions. Most complaints are from domestic sources the majority of which are dealt with informally but we also deal with noise from construction sites, pubs and clubs, and other commercial premises.
"We urge everybody to consider how the noise they make can affect others and to be considerate to their neighbours."
CI Paul Phelps, Hastings District Commander added:
"There is a rarely a day that goes by without our units being called to deal with a noise dispute. Often these can escalate into unpleasant disputes between neighbours. We work closely with the Environmental Health team to stop this from happening and reduce the impact of these types of incidents. Often times it is case of one party not realising the effect their behaviour is having on the people living around them.
"This event showcases some of the equipment that has been seized and also we are there supporting our partners providing advice to the local community as to what our powers are and how these issues can be resolved."
Visit www.noiseactionweek.org.uk for further information.
Visitors from Hastings, Sierra Leone enjoy their Twin Town visit
A group of visitors from Hastings, Sierra Leone, are enjoying a visit to their twin town of Hastings, East Sussex.
The visit follows hot on the heels of the recent successful visit by Hastings UK teachers, volunteers and council officers to our Twin Town in Sierra Leone in February. This week nine teachers and the former Head Man, Kainde Pearce, from our African Twin Town have been meeting staff and students and teaching in their partner schools here and learning more about waste and recycling throughout the week.
Roger Mitchell, co-ordinator of the school exchange visits said:
"They have been able to enrich the education of our children by telling of life in their home country and studying aspects of food production, fishing industries, family life, water use and other issues. This is the fourth year that these exchanges of staff have taken place, largely funded by grants from the British Council, building lasting friendships and global understanding between our communities."
Richard Homewood, new chair of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link, and Director of Environmental Services, added:
"It has been great to welcome our friends back from Hastings Sierra Leone and show them Hastings and 1066 Country.
"Kainde has been able to learn more about how we recycle and deal with rubbish and keep our town clean so that he can take back good practice to our twin town.
"There has also been an opportunity to see something of our countryside and to understand some of our history. On Sunday afternoon the party enjoyed a visit to Bodiam Castle being introduced to aspects of medieval English life. This was followed by a ride on the Kent and East Sussex Railway where, on a special theme day, they experienced a taste of life in England during the Second World War and were treated to an aerial display by a Spitfire. On Monday they were treated to a display of traditional Morris dancing on the Stade Open Space courtesy of local dance side Mad Jack's Morris, and particularly seemed to enjoy taking part in the final dance.
"On Tuesday the group were received at the Town Hall by Mayor Cllr Alan Roberts."
Hofesh comes to Helenswood
Leading dance choreographer Hofesh Shechter gave a masterclass to Hastings and Rother education movers and shakers at the Helenswood Academy dance studio last Monday.
A small audience was mesmerised as Hofesh explained and demonstrated some of the ideas and beliefs that are core to his company's approach to dance, music and life itself. Hofesh was supported by four of his company's dancers who were able to illustrate his points with stunning improvisation as well as performing excerpts from recent successes such as 'Political Mother', 'Uprising' and 'The Art of Not Looking Back'.
The session was an introductory event prior to a proposed week-long residency by the company in Helenswood and ARK William Parker academies to take place in the autumn of this year and funded by the Magdalen and Lasher Foundation and Hastings Borough Council.
This is a continuation of the relationship between Hofesh Shechter and Hastings that began in 2012 when the company performed outdoors for the first time as part of Stade Saturdays after two weeks of day residencies in local schools and community youth clubs.
Lucy Monk, Principal of Helenswood said:
"The fact that Hofesh is working in Hastings schools will add immeasurably to the quality of life experience of our students besides helping them to understand what it takes to be part of a world successful creative business."
Helen Shute, Executive Director of Hofesh Shechter Company added:
"We are delighted to return to Hastings this autumn to continue this meaningful partnership with Hastings Borough Council and Hastings schools."
Hastings, Famously Creative
Local artists have been working with young students in Hastings this week as part of the Famously Hastings initiative.
Kevin Boorman, Head of Communications and Marketing, explained:
"We've been working on our 'Famously Hastings' initiative for some time now. One of the areas we are keen to promote is Hastings as a great place to study. We've already had successes with the University of Brighton and Sussex Coast College Hastings, and are now working with every year 6 student (10 and 11 years old) as part of their transition from primary school, through the Education Futures Trust here in Hastings.
"Local artists, led by Ed Boxall, are going into every primary school in town to work with students to produce a single piece of work which incorporates art, maths and writing, all related to 'Famously Hastings'. All students are even being given a Famously Hastings stencil to use, and then keep.
"This work will go with them to their senior school, and show teachers there what level they have reached. A copy of every piece of work will also be displayed on Hastings seafront later this summer.
"I am really grateful to the Education Futures Trust, and all of the schools in Hastings, to let us develop this project. I'm really proud to have grown up in Hastings, and I hope these young people will show that they love the place too."
Carole Dixon, Chief Executive of the Education Futures Trust, added:
"The Education Futures Trust is delighted to be working with Hastings Borough Council this year on the primary to secondary transition project, which aims to support a smooth transfer to secondary school for all year 6 children. The input of the artists, funded by the council, has significantly enriched the opportunities for all of the children. We look forward to seeing the work displayed around the town over the summer."
Tsai Tenn, Principal at The Baird, said:
"The Baird Primary Academy encourages positive transition work to prepare students for secondary education. Students have incorporated local themes in their project work including the Pier, the fishing huts, beach huts and the castle. One commented "we all had a fantastic time with Ed and enjoyed the informative workshop"."