Press Releases week beginning 19 January 2015
Grotbuster scheme succeeds again
Another two premises in St Leonards have been brought back to their former glory by Hastings Borough Council's Grotbuster team.
23 London Road and 4-6 Eversfield Mews were both targeted by the council's scheme as eyesore properties.
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration explained:
"Both premises were targeted and prosecutions prepared however, both were withdrawn when the necessary refurbishment works were eventually completed.
"The Grotbuster team are working closely with local communities including members of the public, residents and in this case St Leonards Town Team to identify properties in need of attention. The owners of 48 run down properties have been approached so far and as a result refurbishments of four are underway, thirteen have been completed with four enforcement notices being served. Another 16 premises have recently been identified and the owners will be contacted shortly."
The scheme has achieved significant success in turning around run down and derelict buildings and other unattractive sites and as a result has had an impact on regeneration in the area.
Since the campaign started in 2000, 680 properties have been improved across the town; an average of 4 a month.
£18K fine - Council prosecutes property management group
Hastings Borough Council has successfully prosecuted property management group Maxiwood Limited for several offences relating to a property they manage in Hastings.
Managing Director Mr Brotherton attended Hastings Magistrates Court on behalf of Maxiwood Limited on 16 January and pleaded guilty to six summonses that were put before them.
The Shoreham on Sea based company were charged with not licensing their House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) 11 Cornwallis Gardens, failing to comply with an Improvement Notice and for breaching HMO management regulations.
Maxiwood limited were ordered to pay £10,000 for not licensing the HMO, £3,000 for non-compliance of the Improvement Notice, £1,000 for cracked glazing and broken sashes, £1,000 for no guarding on a low level window and £1,000 for waste pipe issues.
An application for costs of £2,413.01 was requested and granted in full and a victim surcharge of £120 was also imposed. Maxiwood Limited was ordered to pay the fine of £18,533.01 within seven days.
Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for Housing and Communities commented:
"This is an excellent result and we hope that this £18,000 fine will highlight how seriously we and the courts take these breaches.
"Everyone has the right to live in a well-managed, safe environment and we will not tolerate organisations that fall short. Congratulations must go to the council's enforcement teams that have brought Maxiwood Ltd to court to face penalties for their failure to operate properly."
Plans for national Battle anniversary get off to flying start
An information day for artists, organisations and individuals to learn about Hastings Borough Council's ambitious plans for a national contemporary arts festival to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings was a huge success.
The event took place on Wednesday, 21 January at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, and was chaired by Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council. Cllr Birch explained:
"1066 is the most famous date in English history, and the 950th anniversary of that great battle - which has made Hastings the most famous town in the world - is something we want to really make something of.
"We are looking to stage a national cultural festival next year, and Wednesday's information day was a chance for artists and others interested in helping us to learn about what we are planning and to come up with ideas for activities and events.
"We had hoped for around 50 people to come to the De La Warr, but over 100 turned up, and we had a really positive, constructive afternoon. Polly Gifford, who is leading our work on this festival, gave an outline of our ideas to date, followed by local historian Geoff Hutchinson who gave an animated summary of the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings, the battle itself, and its impact on our history.
"This was followed by a short session in which those attending discussed possible events that might be organised, ranging from television shows on the history of the battle and its impact to taking over empty buildings and turning them into temporary studios. One of my favourites was a 'pop up castle' that could tour the area as a performing arts venue, because the first Hastings castle was, literally, brought over as a 'flat pack' from Normandy.
"We will be developing and pursuing these ideas over the coming months, but couldn't have got the project off to a better start. It was a lively, exhilarating session, and I'm now really looking forward to some of these plans coming to fruition."