Press Releases: week beginning 13 October 2014
Mayoral fish dish treat
Hastings Mayor Cllr Bruce Dowling enjoyed a very special meal at local restaurant St Clements as part of the town's Hastings Week celebrations.
Tush and Pat Hamilton's 'Fisherman's Rolls', served in Rock-a-Nore Road, have become a local legend, enjoyed by both residents and visitors.
For Hastings Week, held in the town to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings on 14 October, some of Hastings' finest restaurants - St Clement's, Pier Nine and Pomegranate - produced their own version of the Fisherman's Roll and Cllr Bruce Dowling, and Tush and Pat Hamilton, enjoyed sampling the St Clement's variant on Tuesday (Hastings Day).
Cllr Bruce Dowling said:
"I'm a huge fan of what Tush and Pat do, and it was a real tribute to them that local restaurateurs have been inspired to create their own meal based on the Fisherman's Roll.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at St Clement's, with scallops and prawns in the bun, which was excellent - as are Tush and Pat's original Fisherman's Rolls! It was Hastings food at its best, famously fresh and famously fun."
Tush Hamilton added:
"It is a real honour that three different restaurants are producing their own version of our Fisherman's Rolls, we feel very humbled by it. I just hope that our regular customers don't now expect scallops and prawns in their rolls in Rock-a-Nore Road!"
Flying the FLAG For Hastings
A major conference on the importance of the fishing industry was held on Friday, 10 October at Sussex Coast College and attracted over 50 delegates, some from as far away as Newcastle.
Deputy Council Leader, Cllr Peter Chowney, is chair of the Hastings FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group), which organised the conference, in partnership with the council, Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society, Hastings Voluntary Action, Sussex Coast College and the University of Brighton. He explained:
"The Hastings fishing industry is vital to our heritage, and plays an invaluable role in helping us promote the town. But it faces major challenges, and the local FLAG, working with the Marine Management Organisation, is responsible for helping to manage the distribution of nearly £1m of European Union money to help the industry develop, and deal with these challenges.
"Projects have been wide ranging, from more bulldozers and on-board equipment for the fishermen through to the fitting out of the Classroom on the Coast in Stade Hall, and the new information screen on the Stade.
"This conference was intended to raise awareness of the Hastings fishing industry, and help provide stronger links between the industry and the schools, colleges and university, the environment, culture and tourism. We were very pleased to have Peter Jones CBE, the chair of the South East Local Enterprise partnership as a speaker, who helped explain the importance of coastal regeneration, and the part Hastings can play in that.
"Paul Joy, the chair of the Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society emphasised how the town's fishing heritage had a vital role to play in its future regeneration, and he was able to explain first-hand about the challenges the fishing industry faces.
"And there were some expert panellists too, including Joe Hallgarten, the director of education at the RSA, Matt Sowery, head of Defra's marine finance reform team, and Jeremy Percy, executive director of LIFE, the Low Impact Fishers of Europe.
"We all learnt a lot, and will now develop an action plan to help take us forward into the future.
"It was an excellent conference, and I am especially grateful to Dr Jo Orchard-Webb of the University of Brighton for chairing it, and to Sussex Coast College Hastings for hosting us."
Another classic Hastings event
The annual Hastings Week classic car show attracted well over a hundred vintage vehicles, and thousands of visitors, over the weekend of 11 and 12 October.
Organised by the Hastings Week committee and Hastings Borough Council, it has become one of the most popular events of the week.
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for marketing - and a classic car enthusiast himself - explained:
"The classic car show on the Stade open space has become a firm favourite at the start of Hastings Week, with vehicles ranging from the locally owned 1915 Hudson through the whole history of British car manufacture. One stalwart makes the journey every year from Plymouth to display his Cortina, and we also had cars from as far away as Birmingham, Luton and Bedford this year.
"There were some fantastic vehicles from overseas as well, including some classic American 'Chevys', a Lamborghini - and a superb Citroen, complete with kepi.
"I was very pleased indeed to bring the Mayor to the event in my own 1958 MG!
"The Stade open space makes a fantastic setting for the show, and I know it brings a lot of visitors, and residents, into the old town.
"It is a classic event, in every sense of the word, and we are very grateful to the volunteers on the Hastings Week committee, and colleagues at Hastings Borough Council, who work so hard to help organise this, and the many other events in Hastings Week. Hastings really is famously eventful."
UNISON joins the battle for Hastings (Sierra Leone)
The Hastings and Eastbourne Healthcare Branch of Unison has joined the battle to help our twinned community in Hastings Sierra Leone by making a very generous donation of £500 to the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link's Ebola Campaign. The Link has launched a campaign to raise funds to help sustain the local Community Health Centre in Hastings as mainstream government and aid resources are quite naturally diverted to the Ebola crisis.
Richard Homewood, Chair of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link (HSLFL) said:
"We very much appreciate this generous donation which will help bolster our fundraising to support the Community Health Centre. We have already sent a shipment of essential protective equipment and medical supplies and have paid for the water tower etc. to be replaced so that there is a supply of running water in the Health Centre, essential for good hygiene which is critical with Ebola. The Hastings community relies totally on the Community Health Centre for all of its basic healthcare needs and not just Ebola care. They also have to battle with Malaria, HIV and a whole range of other infectious diseases and also provide maternity and post natal care. There are cases of Ebola in Hastings now and we need to do all we can to help them so every penny raised counts and this donation will be wisely used and make a huge difference."
Jonathan Lee, Secretary of the Hastings and Eastbourne Healthcare Branch of Unison said:
"Our branch understands the dangers healthcare workers face at this time of great uncertainty. We were very saddened to hear of the death of Dr Olivet Buck, a dedicated doctor who risked her own safety to help others. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the body fluids of sick patients, making doctors and nurses particularly vulnerable to contacting the virus which has no vaccine or approved treatment. We could not let the moment pass by without helping the healthcare team in Hastings, Sierra Leone to cope with the situation."
The Friendship Link welcomes all donations and can guarantee that every penny will get to the community in Sierra Leone and make a difference. You can donate on line at https://www.charitycheckout.co.uk/1127137/ebola or by post, cheques made out to HSLFL and sent to HSLFL Treasurer, 33 Senlac Way, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 7JG.
The HSLFL has also organised a Gala Hastings Week Concert at St Mary in the Castle on Friday, 17 October at 7.30pm which is also raising funds for the campaign. Tickets available at the door.
For more details please contact Richard Homewood, chair of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link, on 01424 783200.
Licensed to manage?
Hastings Borough Council is asking for people's views on a proposal to start licensing privately rented homes in many areas of the town.
Although a lot of landlords in these areas operate responsibly, some rent out properties that fail to meet acceptable standards of management and are linked to anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for housing and community services, said:
"We have too many poorly managed properties in our town which result in unacceptable levels of anti-social behaviour. We value the good quality, well managed privately rented housing as it is a key driver for making a community stronger and safer. That's why we are considering this licensing scheme.
"So whether you're a tenant, landlord, manager, freeholder, leaseholder, neighbour or local business please fill in our short survey by 31 December 2014 and to help us make the right decision.
"As an extra incentive, everyone who responds to the survey will be entered into a free prize draw to win £200 of Marks and Spencer vouchers.
"If it goes ahead, the scheme would run for five years and would operate in up to ten Council wards: Braybrooke, Castle, Central St Leonards, Gensing, Maze Hill, Old Hastings, Ore, Silverhill, Tressell and West St Leonards.
Hastings Borough Council is a step nearer an updated street trading policy following support for the proposal by its Cabinet on Monday, 06 October.
Cllr Andrew Cartwright, lead member for licensing, explained:
"Street markets can be a great attraction of urban life. Good markets add to the character of a town, attracting shoppers and visitors into the area.
"They can also provide valuable, low cost opportunities for local people to start a business at low risk. Indeed, local street traders here have already gone on to open up shops, creating thriving local businesses.
"We already have three markets in the town, in the old town, the town centre, and St Leonards, and we are keen to encourage these to grow further.
"If adopted, our new policy will help do just that, encouraging markets and other commercial activity on the streets, enhancing and brightening the environment and adding some character and sparkle. They will attract more people into the area, benefitting other businesses in the area too, and providing yet another reason for visitors to come to Hastings."
The policy will be considered by Full Council on 22 October.
Stade Saturdays' success
The Stade Saturdays season has been hailed as a great success by organisers, Hastings Borough Council.
Deputy Leader of the Council and lead member for regeneration, Cllr Peter Chowney explained:
"Stade Saturdays is a summer-long season of free concerts and performances staged outdoors on the Hastings seafront, starting in June and continuing into the beginning of October, and this year it was enjoyed by nearly 20 000 people.
"The programme included high quality performances in folk, jazz, classical and world music, dance, circus, street arts and all things 'unplugged', as well as providing opportunities for local programmers and performers. There was even a day in August - Eight Foot Square - when members of local communities have a chance to show what they can do.
"In 2012 and 2013, the programme was funded by Hastings Borough Council in partnership with Arts Council England, but it is now run by Hastings Borough Council and arts company Parrabbola. The programme is designed to attract visitors to the town and entertain local residents.
"In the last three years the programme has included performances by Hofesh Shechter Company, Fisherman's Friends, the Tiger Lillies, Perpignan-based gypsy band Tekameli and multi award winning local jazz star Lianne Carroll as well as large scale performances by Dutch company Close Act and the spectacular 'As the World Tipped' by Wired Aerial Theatre.
"The programme also includes the existing rich Hastings festival programme from the May Day Jack in the Green celebrations through the Hastings Summer Fish Fest and Seafood and Wine Festivals to the town's annual visual arts festival Coastal Currents, Afro-Caribbean cultural festival Afrikàba, and the Hastings bonfire night parade.
"Research has shown that visitors have travelled from as far as Brighton, London, Bristol, and Coventry and even in one instance from Germany, for a particular show or performance. Of these 92% said they had spent money in local shops, cafés, pubs or restaurants on their visits, so helping the local economy.
"This was confirmed by local businesses. A survey conducted amongst Hastings old town traders earlier this year showed overwhelming support for Stade Saturdays. Of 23 restaurants, pubs, fish and chip shops, shops and amusement arcade outlets interviewed, only one said they hadn't benefited from the Stade Saturdays programme.
"The Stade Saturdays programme has also been the catalyst for community and education projects led by the performers. For example, the education programme undertaken by the internationally famous Hofesh Shechter Company in local secondary schools has led to a week-long residency by the company in the Helenswood Academy this coming December.
"The regular Saturday evening concerts have created a weekly atmospheric 'meeting point' for residents and visitors to the town, drawing people from near and far to the unique Hastings seafront, with its mixture of fishing boats, attractive Old Town architecture, the Jerwood Gallery and the traditional fare of seafront shops and arcades.
"Stade Saturdays help make Hastings famously special and I'm therefore very pleased that, despite the difficult financial climate, Coastal Currents will continue for at least the next two years, to take us up to the celebrations of the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 2016."