Press Releases: week beginning 16 June 2014
Council donates cheque to St Michael's Hospice
St Michael's Hospice was chosen by the Charity Committee to be the most recent recipient of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) Recycling of Metals Scheme.
The Cemetery and Crematorium are members of the scheme which is of a slightly unusual nature in that it deals with metals which remain after a cremation.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities explained:
"After careful and considered agreement from bereaved families, metals are removed for sorting and recycling. A high proportion of the higher-grade cobalt steel is used in the manufacture of new implants and the remainder, being low grade ferrous, are returned to traditional recycling. The Metals Recycling Scheme is then able to give back a financial award to the donating Cemetery and Crematorium for charitable purposes.
"A decision is made at the Charity Committee which organisation should be awarded the cheque and we are very pleased on this occasion to give St Michael's Hospice a cheque for £4,412."
Amanda Hildreth, Community Fundraiser at St Michael's Hospice commented:
"We are absolutely delighted that council's Charity Committee has chosen to support the hospice in this way.?£4,412 is a huge amount of money to receive and we are so thankful for their support."
Hundreds flock to Victorian celebration in park
Alexandra Park in Hastings celebrated its 150th anniversary on Saturday, 14 June, with a Victorian themed event opened by the Mayor, Cllr Bruce Dowling and Council Leader, Cllr Jeremy Birch.
Hundreds of people attended the event and many were dressed in traditional Victorian costume. There were Victorian games, traditional Punch and Judy and the Sussex Brass band played at the Band Stand.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities commented:
"It was great to see so many people on Saturday to mark the 150th anniversary of this exceptional park.
"Old Hastings Preservation Society presented a very special tree to the park which was planted by the Mayor. The Japanese Maple has a particular significance as it was first introduced to Great Britain in 1864, the year the park was opened.
"Our thanks must go to organisers, friends of the park and all who attended on the day to make this anniversary event so successful."
Water quality improvements start this week
Work starts this week (20, June) to improve the quality of the water in Alexandra Park, Hastings.
A major project to improve the quality of the water that flows out to the sea gets underway in Alexandra Park this week. Work at the top catchment pond at Buckshole will involve clearing vegetation and spreading silt to make a series of silt traps. The idea is to allow the water to spread evenly across the area and thereby reducing its silt content and bacteria that may be carried by the silt. The adjacent pond had the fish removed a couple of weeks ago and was treated to allow the silt in this pond to settle and prevent it being carried further down stream during the summer.
Hastings Borough Council and The Environment Agency are funding the works, aimed at improving the bathing water quality at Pelham beach. Over the summer aquatic plants will be established in parts of the stream to help trap silt and increase the biodiversity of the waterway. Stream side vegetation will be cleared to increase the sunlight in the stream and reeds and wetland vegetation will be increased in the ponds in the lower park.
The council and the Environment Agency are also starting a new phase of work to make sure that household drains are connected properly. This will result in an improvement in water quality and help to safeguard clean, safe bathing water for our residents and visitors to the town.
Councillor Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities commented:
"Water that runs off gardens, roads and houses around Alexandra Park all ends up in the park stream which then flows directly into the sea. By improving the quality of water in Alexandra Park we can help improve the quality of the water that ends up at the beach.
"We have to meet tougher targets for measuring bathing water quality next year so by working hard with our partners, the Environment Agency and our grounds maintenance contractors and The Landscape Group to make improvements is great news for everyone that uses the beach.
"Over the summer, visitors to the Park will see various works being undertaken, which will not only contribute to water quality but improve habitats and increase biodiversity in the Park."
For more information please contact the Parks team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefit cheat sentenced
A woman who falsely claimed benefits was sentenced at Hastings Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 17 June after she failed to tell the Department for Work and Pensions and Hastings Borough Council that she had been working as a Carer since November 2012.
Naima Mapesa, 47, of Taylor Close, St Leonards was found guilty following a trial at Hastings Magistrates Court on 20 May 2014 of falsely claiming £3,323.13 of Income Support and Housing and Council Tax benefit.
Mapesa was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment suspended for 1 year, given a 6 month supervision order and was ordered to repay all of the overpaid benefits.
A council spokesperson said:
"Any change in circumstances and income must be reported to us as soon as possible. Do it before you get caught and before you end up in court facing a fine or worse. Don't get a criminal record for dishonesty, get in touch today.
"This case was a joint prosecution between the council and the Department for Work and Pensions. If you suspect somebody is committing benefit fraud, you can report this anonymously by calling our investigation hotline on 01424 451082."