Press Releases week beginning 23 February 2015
Eagle-eyed council officer spots misleading advert
Misleading advertising for a non-existent development in Hastings has been withdrawn after an eagle-eyed local council officer queried the advert, and a councillor then contacted the company 'selling' the property.
Cllr Lee Clark was told about the advertising for 'Ocean View', Hastings by a planning officer and contacted the sellers who sent him more information about the (non-existent) property. The planners confirmed that no such development existed and contacted the local trading standards office, who in turn spoke to the advertisers. As a result they have removed all listings in connection to that development.
Cllr Lee Clark said:
"I thought it was odd, as I simply didn't recognise the building shown on their advertising, which also referred to a development of 100 apartments! I am obviously pleased that the advert has now been withdrawn."
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration, added:
"We know that Hastings is becoming really popular, but it is a bit rich to advertise properties which not only haven't been built yet, but which haven't even got planning permission! People responding to the advert would have been very disappointed, and that could have spoilt their impression of Hastings, so I am very grateful that thanks to our planning team and Cllr Clark's intervention, this misleading advertising has been withdrawn."
Youth Forum receive double nomination
The Sussex County FA Youth Forum has been shortlisted in both the ‘Securing the Future’ and ‘Best Project Innovation’ categories at the 2015 StreetGames National Awards.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure at Hastings Borough Council commented:
"To be nominated for these two awards is very exciting news indeed. The ‘Securing the Future’ category is based on recognising the efforts of a StreetGames project to make itself a permanent part of the sporting landscape for the community it serves. The second award the Youth Forum has been nominated for is the ‘Best Project Innovation’ which recognises a project that has used StreetGames initiatives such as neighbourhood festivals and Pop Up Clubs to develop the activity programme and engagement with people in the local area.
"We wish The Sussex County FA Youth Forum and StreetGames every success and look forward to hearing the results when they are announced at the StreetGames National Awards evening at Warwick University on Tuesday 17 March 2015."
Hastings International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language day has been observed every year since February 2000. It promotes linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The event in Hastings hosted by Hastings Intercultural Organisations (HIO) and partners took place on Saturday, 21 February at the White Rock Theatre
Hastings Borough Council leader Cllr Jeremy Birch who attended the event commented:
Once again this was a tremendous event attended by hundreds of people. We were treated to a colourful variety of performances including song, dance and poetry.
"Our thanks must go to the organisers of this very important event as it and brings together communities of different nationality and faith and it really does show that we are one community with many voices, one Hastings."
HIO chair, Oli Rahman added:
"Once again, HIO, supported by the council and other community organisations were so honoured to host the annual multicultural and educational event that brings together people from different backgrounds across the town.
"As in previous years, this event celebrates diversity of linguistic identities, recognises cultural and linguistic heritage and promotes a sense of belonging to the town.
"Last Saturday’s event aimed to create interest in learning other languages and learning with global perspective. We are very grateful for the support from everyone that helped to make this year’s celebration such a success."
Play Fun during Half Term
Hastings Borough Council’s Play Hastings staff and The Y Centre teamed up for their free half term indoor mini play day.
The Mayor and the lead member for leisure, Cllr Dawn Poole joined in the fun. Cllr Poole explained:
"This was a fantastic partnership event which supported every child’s right to play and gave families another opportunity to meet and play together.
"Over 100 families attended and took part in the play activities on offer. Children had fun making their own juggling balls, playing with clay, dressing up and building indoor dens.
"While the children were busy playing, Amicus Horizon staff and volunteers were hard at work in the kitchen. They kindly cooked and provided free homemade soup and bread for all of the families to re fuel with.
"This really was another great, fun packed day making good use of one of our towns valued community venues."
On the day parents and children were asked what extra play provision they would like to see at The Y Centre. To find out more or give your view about play contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Y Centre on 01424 429677.
Council Tax For Hastings Residents To Rise In Total By 1.95%
At the annual budget meeting on Wednesday, 25 February, councillors voted to raise the council tax by 1.9%. With similar rises from the other organisations that levy council tax on local people – fire service, police and the county council – the average increase for Hastings households from April will be 1.95%
Council leader Cllr Jeremy Birch told the meeting:
"This has been the toughest budget any of us have been involved in. Hastings Borough Council has received a cut of over 50% in its grant from central government to provide services to local people. It is just not possible to continue doing all the things we have done before or would want to do.
"Just for this budget year 2015-16 we have suffered the largest reduction in what the government calculates as revenue spending power of any council in the south east – 6.4%. With the extra needs of Hastings this is just not fair.
"The council has had to find £1 million of savings to balance its budget for 2015/16 and provisionally it has a two-year balanced budget up to 2017. But significant reductions have had to be made. The Old Town Hall museum will close and its collection moved to the main museum off Cambridge Road, support for the Chess Congress and for twinning will be cut, charges for things like parking, chalets and garden waste collection will rise and there will be a £20,000 cut in support to voluntary organisations.
"As part of the two-year budget plan 20 council posts will disappear in 2015/16 and 20 more in the following year.
"These have been very difficult decisions, but I was pleased just how understanding the organisations we went to speak to were about our budget proposals. They recognised the very unfavourable positon Hastings had been put in. Some decided themselves to write to the government pointing this out.
"Even in this difficult environment we have been able to find a bit of extra money for key initiatives, including continuing our work on bathing water quality and preparing plans for the West Marina and White Rock areas. We have also found £50 000 to partly mitigate the impact on the most vulnerable from the government’s cut of £100,000 in the money they give us for discretionary housing payments.
"The council’s four-year capital programme is still worth £16m. It will see £400,000 spent on building a new Country Park visitor centre, £700,000 building a new council-owned factory, £800,000 renovating the White Rock Baths building, £160,000 on Bottle Alley and £5m on a second phase of the Coastal Space project in St Leonards with money from AmicusHorizon housing association and from the Homes and Communities Agency.
"In this budget we have done all we can to protect vital frontline services and those services that local people have told us they value the most, but no-one in local government believes that councils as we know them are sustainable if the current reductions in financial support from central government continue."