Press Releases: week beginning 24 November 2014
Hastings Council is continuing work to improve the water quality in Alexandra Park which in turn should improve the town's bathing water.
Working in partnership with Southern Water and the Environmental Agency, the park has seen some big improvements already during 2014. New vegetation matting has been put in the streams, providing a trap for silt and bacteria and providing a great habitat for invertebrates such as dragonflies. The ponds at the top of Buckshole reservoir have been treated and the environment improved.
Councillor Dawn Poole, lead member for Leisure and Amenities, said:
"We are determined to ensure the water in Alexandra Park is as clean as possible. We know that the water leaving Alexandra Park ends up in the sea, and by cleaning the water in the park, we clean the water on the beach.
"We are now focusing our attention on pruning trees growing over the ponds to allow more light into the water as well as treating the major ponds and reservoirs in with a chalk based substance to help reduce harmful bacteria.
"The works are scheduled to start by the end of November with the tree works continuing through the winter period.
"We are using a natural, environmentally friendly product which is harmless to people and wildlife, including fish. Visitors to the Park may see the ponds looking milky for a short while but this will be short lived. It will help reduce silt levels; increase oxygenation and improve water quality; improve water clarity by settling suspended waterborne solids; reduce methane production; counteract acidity in the water and the silt; provide essential calcium for plants and wildlife; and increases biodiversity within the water.
"Please do contact us if you wish to find out more about what we are doing to improve the water in Alexandra Park."
Council apologises for parking payment problems
Hastings Borough Council has apologised to customers for problems with its new credit/debit card 'chip and pin' ticket machines.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for Leisure and Amenities, explained:
"The new 'chip and pin' machines in Pelham place car park have been unable to accept card payments for the last four weeks.
"Our contractor installed new software at the beginning of November but, unfortunately a 'bug' in the software means that the machines no longer work with the card reader. Our contractor is working to sort the problem with their colleagues from Sweden who developed the software.
"This is affecting other card machines too, outside Hastings, but it is obviously frustrating for our customers and for us, as we have only just installed the machines.
"We are very sorry indeed about this, it is entirely outside our control. We obviously hope that our contractor and their software developers can resolve the issues as quickly as possible, and that a normal service can then be resumed."
Food safety course raises standards in Hastings
It is a legal requirement that all food handlers in businesses including restaurants, takeaways cafés hotels and food shops etc. are trained or supervised in food safety.
The Chinese community leader, with help from Hastings Borough Council's Environmental Health team, organised a one day training session this week (25 November) for individuals handling or cooking Chinese food.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for environmental health explained:
"The Chinese style of cooking requires a particular kind of preparation so correct training is essential to ensure that safe and wholesome food is produced. The level of training achieved by the owner and staff has an impact on the food hygiene rating scores given by the council so we are very pleased to help with this food safety training.
"The level two course in Food Safety in Catering training was delivered in Mandarin and Cantonese by Susanna Mann a Trainer from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Candidates were also given information on the new legislation coming next month relating to allergens."
Further information regarding training providers in the Hastings area is available at www.hastings.gov.uk.
Council project donates 20 basketballs
A free basketball session was held at William Parker School Lower Sports Hall on Monday, 24 November to encourage young people to play the game and get involved with a sporting habit for life.
Hastings Borough Council has been working with Hung Li and South East Tigers Basketball team to develop the sport locally for young people.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for Leisure and Amenities attended the session. She explained:
"With the lack of funding available to them the group have struggled to get the right size equipment for the age group. I'm therefore very pleased that the council's StreetGames Project have stepped in and donated 20 basketballs to enable the young people to play the game, develop their skills and build their confidence.
"This joint venture between StreetGames and Hung Li will continue into 2015 when a 3 v 3 basketball tournament that will take place at Easter."
Hastings shows support for White Ribbon
White Ribbon Day is held across the world each year in November to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Recently awarded White Ribbon Status; confirming that the council is committed to supporting the aims of the White Ribbon Campaign, Hastings Borough Council invited the people of Hastings to pledge their support too.
At their event in the town centre on Tuesday, 25 November council leader, Cllr Jeremy Birch, the Mayor Cllr Bruce Dowling and other dignitaries signed their pledge to 'never commit, condone or remain silent about domestic violence' and together with Cllr Dawn Poole and Chief Inspector Pauls Phelps they made speeches about the importance of this campaign and how everyone can pledge support.
Cllr Jeremy Birch said:
"Nationally one in four women and one in six men will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime and one incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police every two minutes and in the UK, on average, two women are killed every week as a result of domestic violence. Shocking statistics and we hope that our campaign will continue to raise awareness of this and encourage more people to speak up about domestic violence.
"It was very encouraging to see so many people in Hastings signing the White Ribbon pledge; awareness of the issue is growing year on year. Over 2,500 pledges have been made in Hastings this year and they are still being counted.
"Our thanks must go to all the agencies involved in supporting the White Ribbon Campaign event this year including the Penny Beale Memorial Fund, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Refuge, Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors, AmicusHorizon, the Police, Homeworks and local schools and colleges."
Visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk to make your pledge against domestic violence.
Hastings Business Enjoys SUCCESS with The Who
Pioneering local technology company Immersive this week launched a collaboration with The Who, Trinifold Management and Universal Music, using innovative technology to create a 3-D world where fans can experience the music, visuals and landmark moments of the last 50 years in a unique virtual environment.
Based in Hastings, Immersive have recently benefited from an award from the Government's Regional Growth Fund via the SUCCESS Creative Fund, administered by Hastings Borough Council, allowing them to quickly grow their business to meet international demand for their services.
The Who Immersive App is currently free to download on iOS and Android, with in app purchases and Premium Virtual Reality experiences using 360 cameras alongside their tour which will be available in subsequent releases.
Ben Dawson, Product Director and Co-founder of Immersive is optimistic for a bright future:
"We are grateful for the ongoing support of the SUCCESS fund, which has allowed us to launch a new multi-sensory music format and work with some of the world's leading artists. It has been a great privilege for us to launch our product with a band of such local significance, The Who, as they reach their 50th year."
Cllr Peter Chowney, Lead Member for Regeneration, had this to say about the project:
"SUCCESS is all about giving companies like Immersive the extra boost to help them grow, so that they are in a position to get involved in exciting projects like The Who Immersive App now and not a few years down the line. This project is a great example of what doing business in Hastings is all about, a town where cutting edge technology and creative ventures go hand in hand. We look forward to seeing what's next for Immersive as they continue to grow and thrive."