Press Releases: week beginning 18 August 2014
Cycle hire at Pelham Beach
Hastings Borough Council has opened a new bicycle hire centre on the promenade at Pelham Beach - Seaside Cycle Hire offers an extensive range of bicycles for hire to explore the town and the seafront cycle route.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities commented:
"This is a great new facility for residents and visitors to the town. Seaside Cycle Hire offers adult's bikes, children's bikes, electric bikes, helmets, locks and even cycle maps!
"Bikes can be hired from as little as a couple of hours to a full day or even a week if required and discounts are available for families and group hire of four or more.
"The 7km beachside, traffic free cycle route is the perfect way to discover Hastings seafront and further afield where there are many places to shop and eat along the way."
For more details, including hire rates, visit www.hastings.gov.uk, telephone 07580 426200 or Hastings Tourist Information Centre on 01424 451111.
Jive at the Stade this Sunday
Sunday 24 August, sees an exciting Stade Sunday jive dance special.
18 Hours and Esther Fox present a progressive and vibrant dance event for everyone to join in as International Ballroom Wheelchair Dance Sport Champions and local dance groups, bring live jive to the Stade Open Space in Hastings.
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration explained:
"On Sunday, 24 August, there will be jive dance sessions from 1pm at the Stade featuring the Jive Aces, as seen on Britain's Got Talent, the Cinque Port Lindy Hoppers, The Wheelchair Dance Association plus, wheelchair dance workshops and jive lessons.
"Come along whether you are a seasoned dancer or a complete beginner!"
This free event is the second in a three day Journeys Dance Festival, which brings free live dance performances and participatory events to Bexhill, Rye and Hastings, throughout the weekend. Hastings 1066 Market will also be at this event.
Visit www.hastings.gov.uk for the full Stade Saturdays programme of events.
Save money by switching energy
Residents are invited to join the next round of 'Switched on Hastings' to see how much money they could save on their energy bills in time for this winter!
Hastings Borough Council is partnering with energy switching expert Ichoosr again, to make it easy for residents to consider switching their energy tariffs.
Hundreds of Hastings' residents saved money by signing up to the free 'Switched on Hastings' service last year. Now even more residents can benefit from big savings on their gas and electricity bills by joining together and switching energy tariffs.
Cllr Andrew Cartwright, lead member for corporate services commented:
"Energy prices are always big news and everyone's talking about 'The Big Six' energy suppliers and the series of energy price hikes by these major suppliers. 'Switched on Hastings' is about us locally helping our residents get the best possible deal on their energy bills. Over 1,000 local people registered their interest last year and we are hoping to do the same this year.
"Taking part is easy. Simply register your interest. You will need a copy of your current energy bills to hand and an email address."
Registration is now open until midnight on 13 October 2014. Residents can expect to receive their new energy tariff from the 24 October and will have up to four weeks to accept the offer.
Switching is available to all residents whether you own or rent or have a prepayment meter. Even people with a debt on a pre-payment meter are able to switch supplier.
To find out more or to register, visit www.hastings.gov.uk.
New seafront BMX and Skate Park gets funding
Local business partners and brothers, Richard and Marc Moore of The Source Hastings Ltd now have the go-ahead to develop White Rock Baths into a world class BMX and skateboarding facility on Hastings seafront.
The total package will be funded by Hastings Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, the Foreshore Trust, and The Source Hastings Ltd themselves, using a mixture of grants and loans to a total of £1.17m. Most of this expense is to restore the huge but near-derelict old baths under the promenade, and Hastings Borough Council will soon be carrying out works to make the building useable, following which The Source will fit it out.
Cllr Peter Chowney, Deputy Leader and lead member for regeneration commented:
"We are very pleased that funding has now been finalised for this very exciting proposal made by The Source. It has taken considerable time to find a productive and appropriate use for the baths, having the funding in place means that this site can be developed into a world-class facility that will greatly improve this area of our seafront, attract visitors to the town and raise the international profile of Hastings as a world-renowned BMX and skateboarding centre."
Richard Moore, Managing Director of The Source Hastings Ltd said:
"We're really excited to pass this big milestone. Following the approval from the council in June, everyone has worked hard to get the last bit of funding in place; it's been a testing process but we're pleased that experts agree with the viability of our business plan and look forward to working alongside the Hastings Council to appoint designers and contractors in the coming months."
Marc Moore, Marketing Director The Source Hastings Ltd added:
"This is great news and we're really looking forward to pulling together all the pieces to open a world-class facility on schedule in autumn 2015."
Councillor Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council's lead member for economy, said:
"The county council is very pleased to have awarded £348,000 of funding to the White Rock baths. This unique, one of a kind underground park, will further support the economic growth of Hastings adding to the excitement on offer for local residents especially young people, and provide for an excellent visitor attraction throughout all weathers. We have all worked very hard in partnership to realise the importance and value of this asset that will lead to over 31 jobs within the local economy."
Amy gains place at Tottenham Hotspur Academy
Local girl Amy Sinden, 17, has been given the opportunity to attend and play for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies Academy.
Amy is an avid ambassador for Hastings Borough Council's 'Us Girls' and 'StreetGames' sessions and is a volunteer on the Hastings Project working with young females in football for over two years. During this time Amy has worked towards her level 2 in coaching qualification.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities commented:
"StreetGames is committed to the development of young people in sport at a local level. Amy's success shows that with determination and commitment great things can be achieved.
"Amy will be a great loss to our project but we are all very pleased that she has been given the opportunity to move on and be an ambassador for female sport. We wish her the very best of luck in her future sporting career."
Amy, who will be studying level 3 Sports Science at Barnet College said:
"I am very excited about the new challenges ahead. My role within Hastings' StreetGames and the Us Girls Project has really built up my confidence and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity."
Amy added that said she models herself on Manchester City and England Player Toni Duggan.
Council Tax discount amnesty planned as part of fraud review
Councils across East Sussex are again joining forces to conduct a series of reviews of how many people may be wrongly claiming a discount on their council tax. This will help keep council tax as low as possible for all council tax payers.
The partnership review will examine who is claiming the Single Person Discount (SPD), which entitles claimants to a 25% reduction in their council tax, and alert those who are not entitled to it.
Similar reviews carried out across East Sussex in the last 3 years identified a 7.3% reduction in the number of ineligible SPD claims. This led to an additional £2.1m in council tax payments and helped to protect services in the difficult financial climate.
The partnership is made up of East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council, Wealden District Council, Rother District Council, Hastings Borough Council and Eastbourne Borough Council.
The review starts in September and will examine around 83,000 taxpayers in East Sussex, including over 16,000 from Hastings, who claim the SPD. For an average Band D property, those claiming the SPD pay around £400 less a year.
Before the review starts, a two-week amnesty is planned to give people the chance to come forward without fear of penalty to declare they no longer live alone and have been wrongly claiming the Single Person Discount. The amnesty will run until Friday, 12 September 2014.
The partnership is also encouraging residents who live alone and who may not be claiming the SPD to contact their local authority.
Cllr Peter Chowney, deputy leader of the council, explained:
"This review is aimed at protecting the public purse by tackling an area of council tax payments that is vulnerable to fraudulent claims. These claims cost councils thousands of pounds a year and ultimately affect the services we can provide for our residents.
"The vast majority of SPD claimants are fully entitled to the 25% discount however, there are some who are not. The amnesty will give those people the chance to come forward without sanction and we would encourage anyone who may be wrongly claiming to declare themselves straight away to avoid a potential fine.
"By working together, the council partnership in East Sussex can deliver joint efficiencies and deliver excellent savings."
The council partnership has appointed Northgate Information Solutions Ltd to undertake the comprehensive review for all areas, helping to save money by removing the need for five individual reviews. Northgate will be using state-of-the-art data matching technology to conduct the review, run in association with the National Fraud Initiative. Nationally, fraudulent SPD claims cost the public purse £90m a year.
For all enquiries about the SPD or about the SPD amnesty, please contact the Community Contact Centre on 01424 451081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Council sets up confidential hotline to support tenants and landlords
Hastings Borough Council is committed to eliminating the number of rogue landlords in the town who behave irresponsibly and ignore legislation that protects the health, safety and comfort of their tenant.
A new hotline number for tenants and landlords has been set up to offer support on all tenancy matters with the aim to provide a greater understanding for both through education, engagement and support.
Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for housing and communities explained:
"This new initiative is aimed at supporting the town's tenants. No tenant should live in fear of a landlord or put up with disrepair issues that a landlord is not tackling. We will be working in partnership with other agencies and signposting residents to them if and when further support is required.
"The council also want to establish and strengthen good working partnerships with landlords who want to develop their property management skills, whether they are a private landlord with a large portfolio or an individual with just one or two properties.
"Our new hotline number for all tenants and landlords of privately rented properties is 0800 027 2651.
"We have a dedicated Tenancy Relations Officer who will deal with the enquiries and all communications will be treated in the strictest confidence."
Visit our Housing Options pages for further information.