Press Releases week beginning 19 October 2015
Habitat restoration in Country Park
Hasting s Country Park is an internationally designated site for coastal grassland and eroding cliffs.
As part of the Higher Level Countryside Stewardship Agreement with Natural England, Hastings Borough Council is required to reduce the amount of single age mature gorse on the Firehills area.
Cllr Warren Davies, lead member for environment explained:
"Our aim, on recommendation from Natural England, is to develop a more diverse coastal habitat. This is a long term plan and will take many years to develop. Reducing overgrown gorse scrub and managing those areas into the future is the first step in this long process of habitat restoration.
"The first stage of these works is now nearing completion and walkers will notice that although we are not removing all the gorse, large sections have been cleared. We have been mindful of residents in the area and despite recommendations to burn the residue scrub our contractors have been advised to chip the scrub which will then be removed from site for composting.
"As the habitat will take a while to recover there will be areas that look open and bare for a while; this is completely normal with this type of restoration process.
"Our contractors, who have carried out similar work across the County, will sow heather seeds collected from Ashdown Forest on some of the cleared areas to guarantee future bio-diversity."
Letstart Letting - Council's new Letting agency
Hastings Borough Council has launched a new social letting agency called Letstart Letting.
Deputy leader of the Council, and lead member for housing and communities, Cllr Kim Forward explained:
"Our aim is to help make accommodation accessible and affordable for local households struggling to secure housing.
"Letstart Letting is a new service that offers a range of housing management solutions to private landlords. There is no contractual arrangement between the property owner and the tenant as the council has full landlord responsibility including tenant finding, tenant sign up, rent collection, some repairs and terminating tenancies.
"Once the council take on the management of a property ,the Letstart Letting agency team will find suitable tenants and carry out all necessary checks while offering a guaranteed lease period of up to three years and, rent will be paid to the landlord even if the property is empty!
"Throughout the tenancy, the team will deal with the day-to-day care of the landlord's property and will take every reasonable measure to ensure that it's protected and treated well.
"The team will act upon all emergency situations and liaise with tenant and landlord on repairs. The property will be returned to the landlord at the end of the lease in exactly the same condition it was taken on (minus fair wear and tear), and repairs will be done to address any tenant damage.
"This really is hassle free letting. So, if you have a property to let or know of someone that does, why not contact The Letstart Letting team to find out more. Also, if you are a tenant you can recommend this service to your landlord."
Hastings Borough Council is keen to hear from landlords who are interested in leasing their accommodation to them. If you are a landlord or a tenant you can find out more about this scheme at www.letstartletting.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01424 451100.
Issued on behalf of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link, which is supported by Hastings Borough Council:
Local businesses and the community pull together to help our African twin town's recovery
A forty foot container crammed with equipment and materials for schools, the health centre and the African community will soon be on its way to Hastings' twin town, Hastings, Sierra Leone. The equipment and materials donated by local health services and schools and purchased with funds raised by the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link had been assembled and stored at local container storage company, Hastings Self Storage in Bulverhythe Road. It was transported to London last week by local haulier ABC Transport ready for shipping to Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Richard Homewood, Chair of the Friendship Link said:
"We are delighted with the response of the local community who have helped us raise much needed funds and with the schools and local health providers who have donated vital equipment and materials to aid the recovery of our Twin Town.
"Hastings, Sierra Leone was hit hard by the Ebola outbreak and had two of the Ebola Treatment Centres on its doorstep. Our friends there are facing real challenges as they try to re-establish normal life, get the children back to school and support the numerous orphaned children within the community.
"We have been hard at work raising funds and collecting equipment and materials for the schools and the Health Centre. We have sent food aid, protective equipment and other goods during the crisis and this container of goods is the culmination of several months of hard fundraising work.
"We are also grateful for the assistance of the container storage company, Hastings Self Storage and ABC Transport who have provided their services at reduced cost to help us get the goods on their way. This means that even more of the money raised will reach the Hastings Community where it will do most good.
"Our fund raising efforts will continue as there is still an awful lot to do to help our twin town recover from the devastating impact of the Ebola outbreak. Our next event is the charity ball at Bannatynes on 31 October 31 when Liane Carroll and local band the Kytes will be performing free of charge so that we can raise even more money to help the community."
Donations can be made online through our website www.hastingshastings.org.uk or by cheque to Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link or HSLFL at HSLFL Treasurer, 33 Senlac Way, St Leonards, TN37 7JG.
Council to consider developing old bathing pool site
Hastings Borough Council is expected to agree at its meeting on Monday, 02 November that the former bathing pool site in West St Leonards should be developed, and to appoint agents to market the site. The site has lain empty for over 30 years.
Council leader Cllr Peter Chowney explained:
"This is the last large vacant seafront site in Hastings, and we've been keen to regenerate this area for some time.
"We want to develop the site for mixed housing and leisure uses, with the housing paying for development of the rest of the site. Because of the large surface water holding tank in the centre of the site, and flood risk, there are constraints on how the site can be developed. Housing would have to go at the eastern end, and the centre part left as open space. But we are determined to improve this area, making it a place that people will want to visit, to help improve the local economy.
"We do understand that the site is important, and sensitive, and will ensure that any development is appropriate, and built to the quality and standard of design that such a prominent and sensitive site deserves. So we won't just be selling the site to a developer. Rather, we will be working with a developer to make sure we have control over what gets built there, and what it looks like.
"That will mean involving the local community in developing detailed proposals, but meaningful consultation can really only take place as plans are developed and brought forward. So, if cabinet agrees, we will be marketing the site to look for a developer who can work with us in the way we want, and come up with proposals for how the site could be developed to achieve our plans.
"Clearly we are only at the very start of the process at the moment. It may take two or three years before development begins but by starting now, we can take advantage of a grant provided by East Sussex County Council which will help to reduce our cost and risk, and ensure that this long-empty site is developed to the benefit of the local community, and to visitors."
This girl can - can you?
The This Girl Can Hastings campaign has got off to a really good start here in Hastings.
This Girl Can, a national campaign developed by Sport England and a wide range of partnership organisations is a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it or even how they look.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure explained:
"Lots of local females have taken part in the scheme by posting photos of themselves being active on Facebook and Twitter. But we want to see more!
"The council's Active Hastings team posted a photo of Daphne Lawson and it's been inspiring others to get active and take part. Daphne, who attends the Active Hastings Over 50's Aerobic class, has 16 years until she gets a birthday card from the Queen and can hold a plank for over a minute - very impressive!
"There are still a number of prizes waiting to be given away so we are looking for more local females to take part in this campaign. To be in with a chance of winning a prize simply post a picture of yourself getting active on your Facebook or Twitter page, nominate 3 friends to do the same and use #thisgirlcanhastings. Make sure you change the status to 'public'. If the team shares your picture you'll win a prize!
Fitness providers are offering a variety of sessions between 09 and 14 November including Legs, Bums and Tums, Adult Ballet, Core Attack, Bike it and much, much more. Full details of all the sessions can be found at www.activehastings.org.uk