Press Releases: week beginning 23 June 2014
Couple sentenced for not clearing up after their dog
Hastings Borough Council successfully prosecuted two residents for failing to comply with an Abatement Notice.
35 year old Mark Jones, of 59 Deepdene Gardens appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court on 18 June 2014.
Jones did not comply with a previous Abatement Notice served by the council on 04 December 2013 requiring that he prohibit the recurrence of an accumulation of dog excrement in the rear yard at 59 Deepdene Gardens and that the yard is maintained in a clean and tidy condition by ensuring that dog excrement is cleaned up and properly disposed of at least once a day.
Jones pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the Abatement Notice on three separate occasions 18, 20 and 24 March 2014. He was fined £50 per offence, ordered to pay costs of £170 and a victim surcharge of £20.
His partner, Lisa Powell of the same address was also charged with the same three offences and received the same sentence.
Cllr Emily Westley, lead member for environment and safety said:
"People need to be responsible dog owners whether out on the streets or in their own gardens. We take issues like this that are pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 very seriously and we will prosecute those that do not comply with Abatement Notices served by the council for statutory nuisance."
Grotbusters' sporting chance successful
Hastings Borough Council's 'Grotbusters' - the planning enforcement team dedicated to improving the look of the town - have achieved another noteworthy success.
The former Woolworth's building in the town centre, now occupied by Sports Direct, has needed care and attention for some time. Warnings were originally issued in 2012 and a subsequent enforcement notice was served on the then property owners, Grangeside Ltd, in June 2013. This notice required Grangeside Ltd to improve the external appearance of the building in line with the Council's 'Grotbuster' initiative.
In November 2013 Grangeside Ltd sold the site to Sports Direct, so the council granted an extension to the deadline of the enforcement notice and the work has now, finally, been completed.
Deputy Council Leader and lead member for planning, Cllr Peter Chowney visited the newly improved building with Marcus Berrisford, the council's senior planning enforcement officer. Cllr Chowney said:
"I am delighted that this work has been carried out. The whole building was looking shabby, especially the store's former rear entrance. No longer used, it looked, frankly, awful, and was a real blot on the seafront, from which it was clearly visible.
"I am very pleased indeed that Sports Direct took advantage of the extension we gave them - a sporting chance - and have now improved their building, meaning we won't now need to take them to court. This improvement has been a very long time coming, and shows our commitment to improving the image of Hastings. We won't give up!"
Fantastic Fish Fest
The first Hastings Midsummer Fish Fest has been declared a great success as thousands of residents and visitors flocked to the event on the Stade open space, in Hastings old town on the weekend of 21 and 22 June.
The Fish Fest was organised by Hastings Borough Council on behalf of the Hastings Fisheries Local Action Group ('FLAG'), which uses European Union money to help promote the Hastings fishing industry.Deputy Council Leader and chair of Hastings FLAG, Cllr Peter Chowney, was delighted at the event. He said:
"It was really good to see so many people enjoying themselves at the Fish Fest. There was a wide variety of stalls, and some great entertainment. I was especially pleased to see the Classroom on the Coast being used for the cooking demonstrations, exactly what it was designed for and nearly all of these had standing room only, so were obviously very popular.
"We've already had some very positive feedback about the weekend, especially about the festival's fantastic atmosphere. This buzz extended throughout the old town, which was especially busy and it wasn't just the Stade open space which had a fishy feel, the town's four wet fish shops doing great business too. So it really was a case of Hastings, famously fresh.
"Work has already started on our flagship event, the Seafood and Wine Festival, which takes place on the Stade open space over the weekend of 20 and 21 September, and our Herring Fair, planned for the 01 and 02 November."
Refugee Week success
Members of Hastings diverse communities came together at Concordia Hall in St Leonards to celebrate Refugee Week on Wednesday, 18 June.
Around 400 people attended, including the Mayor, Cllr Bruce Dowling, Council leader Cllr Jeremy Birch and lead member for equalities, Cllr Kim Forward.
"I was very pleased to be able to attend this event, the ninth celebration of Refugee Week in Hastings.
"It was part of a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. Hundreds of events and activities are organised by hundreds of agencies, groups, schools, museums, cinemas and galleries across the UK.
"This year, Refugee Week focused on children and young people from asylum and refugees backgrounds, to celebrate the important part they play in our shared futures, the wonderful contributions they are making to our society, and to recognise the resilience and determination they show when rebuilding their lives in a strange, new country.
"I am very proud of the contribution made by local people who come from communities from different backgrounds. An especially touching moment was when Oli Rahman, the chair of Hastings Intercultural Organisation ('HIO'), presented an award to former councillor Jay Kramer in recognition of her role as HIO ambassador and her dedicated service to our communities from different backgrounds."
Oli Rahman added:
"It was great to see many people of different linguistic and cultural background taking part. There was a huge turnout and the foods were delicious. The performances were fantastic.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank every individual, members, organisations and information stall holders for taking part, and the volunteers for their hard work to make the event so successful."
Dog owner fined in his absence for failing to keep dog on lead
A dog owner has been fined in his absence for failing to keep his dog on a lead in St Leonards Gardens.
Heath Watson, of Windmill Road, St Leonards let his Staffordshire bull terrier run around the gardens in December, and was fined £100, with £225 costs and £20 victim surcharge, at Hastings magistrates court on 18 June. He did not attend court.
Cllr Emily Westley, lead member for the environment welcomed the prosecution. She said:
"We have had a number of unpleasant incidents with dogs in our parks and gardens, and some people, especially those with young children, are nervous about these types of dogs in particular.
"We have some lovely parks and gardens in Hastings, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy them. We are not anti-dog, but we do expect dog owners to act responsibly and, as this shows, will take action against those who don't."