Press Releases week beginning 16 November 2015
Council shows its respect to the victims of the Paris terror attacks
Today (16 November) Hastings Borough Council joined forces with all UK Government buildings and Europe by observing the one minute's silence held at 1100 GMT in memory of the victims of the Paris terror attacks.
Leader of the council, Cllr Peter Chowney said:
"It's important that we stand united in the fight against terror attacks in our towns and cities.
"As a symbol of our respect we have lit the seafront lights 'the sticks of rock' blue, white and red for the French tricolour and they will remain like this for one week."
"Our thoughts and condolences are with the many people in France who have been affected by the horrendous attacks on Friday."
Support the White Ribbon Campaign - Take a Stand against Domestic Violence
Nationally 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. 1 incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police every 2 minutes and In the UK, on average, 2 women are killed every week as a result of domestic violence. Across East Sussex 7952 domestic violence and abuse incidents and crimes were reported to the police during 2014/15.
Hastings Borough Council was awarded 'White Ribbon Status' in2014 confirming that the council is committed to supporting the aims of the White Ribbon Campaign: never to commit, condone, or remain silent about domestic violence.
To raise awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign locally, the council will be holding activities on Wednesday 25 November outside the town hall and in Priory Meadow shopping centre between 9am - 5pm. This will give the public the opportunity to sign a pledge against domestic abuse and violence and to obtain leaflets and further information to gain help and support.
The council's deputy leader, Cllr Kim Forward explained:
"It's very important to us as a council to make every effort to raise awareness and support the White Ribbon campaign.
"The shocking statistics reported locally demonstrate the need to get the message across that this is an issue for the whole community not just the victim or perpetrator. We are asking everyone to stay vigilant and report incidents of domestic violence to the police if they believe someone is in trouble.
"Outside the Town Hall in Hastings on Wednesday 25 November together with the Mayor and Sussex Police, I will be publicly showing my support by signing the pledge against domestic abuse and violence. Please join us at 12 noon and show yours.
"Last year 2909 people signed the White Ribbon pledge to 'never commit, condone or remain silent about domestic violence and once again we plan to gather as many signatures as possible this year.
Awards event celebrates Sports for All
An awards evening was held (Tuesday 10 November) to celebrate the achievements of those involved in inclusive sport across 1066 Country.
More than 100 people attended the event, held at Bexhill High School Theatre, which saw presentations made to athletes, clubs and volunteers who've taken part in projects under the Sports For All banner over the past year.
The scheme offers sporting activities aimed at people with learning disabilities, including badminton, boccia, table tennis, Zumba and multi-sport games.
The project is led by the charity Grace Eyre, supported by Active Hastings and Active Rother, a partnership set up by Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council respectively to encourage people to get active.
Cllr Dawn Poole, Hastings Borough Council portfolio holder for regeneration, communities and culture, said:
"Since it was launched in Hastings and Rother a year ago, Sports For All has helped more than 160 people access sporting activities and involved 15 different organisations.
"We must thank the main event sponsor Superstitch86 and The Macron Shop for their fantastic support and, of course, everyone that has taken part and supported the project over the last year."
The evening also recognised the achievements of those taking part in activities run by PODS 1066, a group which aims to bring disabled and non-disabled people together to participate in sport.
During his presentation, Harold Lawrence, chairman of PODS 1066 said:
"Simply put, PODS is an innovative local charity, with influence throughout Rother, Hastings and hopefully beyond with a mission to promote disabled sportspeople.
"Tonight, PODS had the pleasure of awarding certificates of appreciation to those clubs, organisations and volunteers that already subscribe to and show active adherence to the principle of inclusive sport".
Cllr Jonathan Johnson, Rother District Council cabinet member for young people, sport and leisure, said:
"The event gave us an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of everyone involved in inclusive sport - both those who organise it and those who take part.
"The benefits to health, wellbeing and fitness of regularly taking part in sport are well known, and it's vital that we do everything we can to ensure sporting opportunities are available to everyone in the community.
"I hope this event will help to highlight what is on offer and encourage more individuals and groups to get involved in promoting inclusive sport."
Anyone in Hastings and Rother who is interested in taking part in activities or in running a group as part of Sports For All, is asked to contact Martin Eglington by calling 01424 451441 or emailing email@example.com
Council Gets Empty Homes Back Into Use
Empty Homes Week 22 to 29 November 2015
Hastings Borough Council is pleased to support Empty Homes Week which highlights the issue and promotes the work being undertaken to bring privately owned empty homes back into use.
Cllr Kim Forward, the council's lead member for housing said:
"We are proactive in our approach to the problem of empty homes and have a dedicated team tackling the issue. During the last two years, over 100 empty homes have been brought back into use as a result of their actions.
"The council have used its power to issue 70 compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) on empty homes in the town; a CPO is only ever used as a last resort. This year we took possession of two derelict long term empty homes bringing the total to four possessions in recent years, and we are set to take possession of a further two similarly long term empty homes by the end of this year.
"We believe that it's unacceptable to leave property empty for an unreasonable amount of time when housing demand is so high in Hastings. Many of our residents are searching for a decent home and this is why we adopted our policy of pursuing CPOs where necessary."
"Financial assistance is available to property owners in the form of subsidised interest repayments on loans and the council is also working with other organisations to deliver the purchase of empty homes and repair grants in conjunction with a leasing scheme".
If you need to bring an empty home back into use contact the empty homes hotline on free phone 0800 085 8967 or report an empty home by using the easy on line reporting form at www.hastings.gov.uk/emptyhomes
For further information about Empty Homes Week visit www.emptyhomes.com
Hastings Old Town Awarded Best Neighbourhood In UK and Ireland
The Old Town of Hastings has been crowned best neighbourhood in the UK and Ireland at the 2016 Urbanism Awards Ceremony, held on Friday 5th November, beating off strong competition from Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield, and Hulme, Manchester.
The award is one of five given out annually by built-environment network The Academy of Urbanism to recognise the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. Voted on by its members, who include leading architects, planners and developers, each award covers a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success.
Following their assessment visit to Hastings Old Town during the summer, judges were particularly impressed with the way in which it has kept much of its historic fabric and layout intact, yet managed to embrace contemporary additions that creatively respond to the townscape. A noted example was the Jerwood Gallery, amongst other new buildings on the town's seafront. Underlying the successful transformation is a consultation process and partnership with the community, especially a number of neighbourhood associations, as a result of which an increasing number of people are choosing to live and work in this stimulating and distinctive place.
Steven Bee, chair of the Academy, said:
"The tight network of small-scale historic streets provides an attractive and popular built character. The benefits are not just aesthetic however. The area is walkable, with a lively mixes of people and uses, generally comfortable with living in close proximity. Its successful fishing fleet and associated businesses are attracting new business leisure uses, strengthening its popularity.
"Our finalists, this year as every previous year, are places that offer evidence of how great places evolve from the efforts of their citizens, institutions and enterprises. The Academy of Urbanism celebrates the achievements of our 15 finalists and the lessons they offer to other places seeking to emulate their success."
Cllr Peter Chowney, leader of Hastings Borough Council, said:
"Although we didn't attend the awards evening, I am delighted that we have won this award. We have always been proud of our community spirit, and this award recognises the uniqueness of our historic Old Town :- the incredible mix of building styles, and of the people who live and work there."
The other winners were: San Sebastian, which scooped The European City of the Year Award; Frome, which won The Great Town Award; Oliver Plunkett Street, which picked up The Great Street Award; and Peace Bridge / Ebrington Square, which won The Great Place Award.
Project to Regenerate Run Down Homes in St Leonards Enters Phase Two!
An award winning housing project which is helping to regenerate the St Leonards area is due to enter its second phase.
The CoastalSpace project, a partnership between housing association AmicusHorizon and Hastings Borough Council, is improving and converting run down homes in St Leonards.
CoastalSpace has already delivered 38 fully refurbished homes for local people since the programme launched in 2013. This includes a former nursing home in Carisbrooke Road that had stood unused for nearly seven years.
The project is now set to enter phase two, refurbishing a further 30 properties over the next three years in the central St Leonards area.
Neill Tickle, AmicusHorizon's Development Director, said:
"Our CoastalSpace project has dramatically improved property standards in the Central St Leonards area - delivering quality homes for local people. So we're delighted to be launching Phase two in partnership with Hastings Borough Council and continuing this vital regeneration work. The CoastalSpace project is more than just bricks and mortar. We've a keen focus on training and employment support, working with communities and residents in the area."
Cllr Kim Forward, the council's lead member for housing, added:
"We are fully committed to providing affordable, good quality homes for local people so the 38 properties that have undergone development and completion through our joint partnership is very good news indeed. But, we want more.
"Phase two will transform another 30 run down properties over the next three years into more high quality homes for families in St Leonards.
"We are very proud to be working with AmicusHorizon on these projects and look forward to the completion of this next phase."
Since CoastalSpace launched, 724 properties have been inspected by Hastings Borough Council. And 116 of those properties have been improved, raising the standards of housing in the area. The project also joined forces with Hastings Works to set up an employment support service, St Leonards Works in London Road. From April to December 2014 the service received nearly 1,400 visits by over 300 local people with many residents being supported into employment, apprenticeships and work experience.
CoastalSpace also won the accolade of 'Best Regeneration' at this year's national Placemaking Awards. Judges whittled the project down from over 200 entries, praising the scheme for making a real difference at a local level and tackling issues of worklessness and housing need faced by the coastal community.
Game Cookery at Classroom on the Coast
Just a stone's throw from the boats on the beach, Classroom on the Coast at The Stade is a stunning, purpose built, fully equipped cookery school in the heart of Hastings' famous fishing community.
As we approach the festive season, the Classroom will be taking a short break from fish to hold a series of game cookery classes just in time for Christmas.
Cllr Dawn Poole, Hastings Borough Council's lead member for regeneration explained:
"The Classroom on the Coast, supported by the council, is well known locally for its fish cookery classes and events but over the next three weeks game is going to be on the menu.
"Under the guidance of our chef Toby, learn how easy it is to cook delicious pheasant, rabbit and venison in a series of themed classes where you will cook restaurant standard recipes, and eat what you have made.
"The classes run for approximately two hours with two dates for each; pheasant cookery 24th or 25 November, rabbit cookery 1st or 2nd December and venison cookery on 8th or 9th December."
"Fish cookery classes will return in the New Year, so be sure to look out for the new dates coming soon."
Each game cookery class costs £30 and must be booked in advance.
To book your place or for more information please contact the chef, Toby Welfare on 07955244874 or email firstname.lastname@example.org