Press Releases week beginning 14 October 2019
Ore Valley Green Space
Hastings Borough Council will be accepting the transfer of protected open space land in the Ore Valley, from SeaSpace. This land had originally been purchased as part of land acquisitions for development but had always been intended for use as protected open space. The council will now do some initial repairs and maintenance, following which the council will look for a community trust or similar organisation who could take on the long-term management of the land, as was intended when the land was first earmarked as protected open space.
Cllr Peter Chowney, leader of Hastings Borough Council said,
"This land includes two important open spaces. One has a large badger sett and deep ponds that were once used to refill steam engines. Together, they're the largest open space in the Ore Valley. The other includes paths through woodland already maintained by volunteers, with views across the Ore Valley. "
I am very pleased that after fifteen years, the long term future of this land can finally be secured, using the money we set aside right back when the land was first put forward as protected open space. I'm also keen that future ownership and management arrangements protect as far as possible from the land ever being sold on."
Cllr Maya Evans, lead councillor for climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development said,
"This is a wonderful space that will be preserved and enjoyed by the town, protecting the green space and the wildlife there. "
"Urban wildernesses are a good way of supporting biodiversity; earlier this month the National Biodiversity Network estimated that 1/7 species of plant, fungi and insects are at risk of disappearing in the UK, destruction of habitat being one of the main causes. Hastings Borough Council has preserved this area for nature to flourish, which is also an intrinsic part of tackling climate change."
HBC successful prosecution
Hastings Borough Council has successfully prosecuted Andrew Garner and Graham Rushbrook as joint freeholders, and Andrew Garner as a selective licence holder for poor housing standards at a Hastings property. They both pleaded guilty to failing to comply with improvement notices served on them.
The case concerned a property in Hastings, a house with 5 self-contained flats.
Hastings Borough Council's housing enforcement team inspected the property in November 2017. It was found that the common areas of the building had a fire alarm system that was not operating properly. Also, the condition of these areas did not give the 30 minutes of fire protection required for a means of escape. That means that uncontrolled smoke and fire could more easily spread through the building and occupants would not have an early warning in the event of a fire.
One of the flats inspected had a number of hazards. There was a falling ceiling and damaged and insecure window frames. There was a risk of structural collapse and the disrepair to the windows made it difficult to keep the rooms warm.
HBC served an improvement notice on Garner and Rushbrook relating to disrepair in the common parts. And an improvement notice on Garner in relation to the disrepair in the flat. Both were required to address these matters to reduce the risks the hazards posed to their tenants. They did not deal fully with the content of the notices.
Andy Batsford, lead councillor for housing said,
"This is an excellent result for the Housing Enforcement Team. When you take into consideration that during the time we were pursuing Mr Garner and Mr Rushbrook to comply with fire regulations, 5 families and over 12 children were living in these homes, at risk and in potential danger. This council will not shy away from protecting our local families from landlords that play fast a loose with their tenant's safety.
"We hope the outcome of this case highlights how seriously the Court takes such matters and sends a clear message to landlords that failing to comply with notices served by HBC housing enforcement team will not go unchallenged. "
Mr Garner was fined £9000 on 10th October 2019 for both offences with council costs of £1752 and a victim surcharge of £170
Mr Rushbrook was fined £7200 0n 10th October 2019 for one offence with council costs of £1712 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Where's Wally? And a lot more family fun at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery this half term
This half-term is jam-packed with fun activities at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery. Not only will families be able to join the search for WALLY, the world's favourite children's book character, but they will also be able to enjoy free craft activities and paid-for workshops throughout the week.
Kim Forward, lead councillor for culture said,
"Come and find Wally in our museum! This is part of The Big Museum Hunt, organised by Kids in Museums and Walker Books, to celebrate the release of Double Trouble at the Museum, the new Where's Wally book. If you finish the 'search and find' trail then you will get an 'I Found Wally!' sticker and be able to enter the Where's Wally? And Kids in Museums grand prize draw competition.
"There are also bonfire themed activities for young people to enjoy every day which include pop-up firework and Guy Fawkes inspired lantern making and a family drumming workshop in the amazing surroundings of the Durbar Hall.
"Also back by popular demand LEGO© Lab will give families and young people the chance to get creative with our LEGO® WeDo kits. "
Entrance to the museum and art gallery is free.
October half term highlights include:
- Where's Wally? The Big Museum Hunt: 19 October - 3 November
- Ask the Experts, Thursday 24 October: 10.30am-4pm
- Relaxed Early Opening: Friday 25 October, 9am-11.30am
- Saturday Morning Yoga: Saturday 26 October, 9-10am, £6.50 per person
- LEGO© Lab Tuesday 29 October: 10.30-12noon & 1.30-3pm, £2.50 per person
- Here comes the drums workshop: Friday 1 November, from 10.15am, £2 per person
For more information on what is on at the museum go to the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery website, and Facebook: Hastings Museum & Art Gallery or contact the museum on 01424 451052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manufacturers Day Out
A group of local manufacturers and engineers went back to basics last week. Locate East Sussex held a manufacturers breakfast meeting at Hastings Museum. After a morning of presentations, they were introduced to the museum's newest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education resource.
LEGO - but with a difference. These WeDo 2.0 robotics kits use LEGO bricks and smart technology to make programmable mini machines. Engineering skills were tested, but in the end, they all succeeded in coding their LEGO creations to start and stop using motion sensors.
These kits are available as a teaching resource this autumn for all local schools with free workshops being run at Hastings Museum. These workshops include Introduction to Programming, Code Making and Code Breaking and Forces and Friction. Students can get a taste of engineering and coding- they might even like it enough to consider it as a future career.
Kim Forward, lead councillor for regeneration said, "The LEGO kits are great fun and present engineering and coding in a fun way. Our local engineering and manufacturing firms need skilled engineers and LEGO offers a fantastic introduction to what could become a lifelong passion."
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery hosts playwright in residence
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is hosting a playwright in residence! Billie Cheney lives in Hastings now but is originally from York. She is based at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and will undertake the residency as part of her course.
Kim Forward, lead councillor for culture said,
"We are pleased to welcome Billie to our museum as a playwright in residence. She will be with us from 17 October until the end of November. During that time she will work with museum staff supporting the day to day activities, undertaking archival research and putting together resources for museum projects.
"We look forward to the drama and storytelling workshops that she will be running. Billie will draw on her experiences and write a short play, which will be presented at a rehearsed reading at her university in December.
"We are proud to join organisations such as the Museum of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic at Boscastle in Cornwall who have hosted residencies in the past."