Press Releases week beginning 27 January 2020
Are you a tenant or a landlord? Take part in HBC consultation about landlord licensing scheme
Hastings Borough Council is consulting on a new selective licensing scheme for Hastings and St Leonards.
The current scheme ends in October of this year because it is only allowed to run for five years. HBC is consulting on a new scheme, and want to know what you think about licensing landlords in our town. They also want to know if licensing landlords has had a positive or negative effect on your tenancy- were you able to get repairs done?
Andy Batsford, lead councillor for housing said,
"The selective licensing scheme has been an important part of this council's determination to ensure every resident lives in a safe and secure home. It has transformed the day to day living conditions for so many local people.
"We want to hear from tenants and landlords about our vision for the next selective licensing scheme. We want to hear from tenants and landlord about our vision for the next scheme.
"We are looking to the future and learning from the past. Your insight will help us bring forward a scheme for the challenges faced by tenants and good landlords of our town. We will continue to drive up living standards across our town."
You can read the results of the existing scheme and our plans for a new scheme. If you have any questions you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bye-laws introduction to protect local nature reserves
Hastings Borough Council is introducing new bye-laws for all its local nature reserves to help protect wildlife and biodiversity in the town.
Colin Fitzgerald, lead member for the Environment said,
'Hastings borough council has protected the very best wildlife areas in the town by declaring them Local Nature Reserves. These are the most important areas for wildlife and are high-quality open spaces for our local community to enjoy. The council recognises we face a biodiversity crisis in the UK with biodiversity continuing to decline. These bye-laws aim to protect these areas from anti-social behaviour and allow our native wildlife to thrive.'
Local nature reserves are the very best examples of wildlife sites in local community areas. For such a small town, Hastings has an extraordinary number of designated nature areas.
The nature reserves where the new bye-laws will apply are:
- Hastings Country Park
- Old Roar Gill and Coronation Wood
- Churchwood and Robsack
- Marline Valley
- Filsham Reedbeds
- Summerfields Woods and
- St Helens Woods
The other local nature reserve in Hastings, Ponswood was declared after the public consultation and will be included at a later date. The new bye-laws have to be confirmed by the central government Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) following approval at a meeting of the full council.
It is expected the new bye-laws will come into force in April.
Hastings Borough Council pay policy 2020-2021
Hastings Borough Council pay policy statement is now on their website and will be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting. The report sets out the councils approach to setting the pay of its staff. The process ensures a consistent and fair approach throughout the organisation. All councils were required to publish their pay policy as of 2011.
The lowest pay band in the council is paid at £9.24 an hour. This is higher than the Government's living wage figure because the council pays its staff (and its apprentices) at the higher level set by the Living Wage Foundation - the 'accredited Living Wage'.
The pay multiple at the council is 1:3.4. That means that the highest-paid employee at the council is paid three and a half times as much as a medium level employee. East Sussex County Council compares at 1:7.4.
Judy Rogers, lead councillor for corporate services commented,
"We compare well with local government employers across the country. I am very proud of the fact that we pay £9.24 an hour as a minimum, plus the employer's contribution to the local government pension scheme. Hastings Borough Council takes its responsibilities as an employer very seriously. The career opportunities available for our staff make a real positive difference to the lives of our residents- in finance, regeneration, project management, town planning, legal and democratic services, and housing."
HBC budget reductions to affect bowls clubs
Budget cuts to be agreed at full council next month will include a significant cut to the grounds maintenance budget for bowls clubs.
HBC has been in consultation with the bowls clubs over the last few years to see if club members are willing to get involved with ongoing maintenance costs. The range of options that have been offered by the council include;
- part or full self-management by clubs
- asset transfer of facilities
- reductions in planned expenditure on building repairs
- increased fees and charges
- potential changes to season ticket requirements
Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for parks and open spaces said,
"We are meeting with the clubs again this week. We are hoping that they will have some ideas for working together to keep these facilities available.
"We think it's only reasonable to personally inform the clubs about the budget proposals. This will also be an opportunity for another open discussion."
Andy Batsford, lead councillor for leisure said,
"Bowling is a great way to prevent elderly isolation and keep active. We want to make sure we preserve this traditional sporting pastime, but we have to be honest about the fact that we can't afford the current subsidy for the clubs in Hastings."
"It's really important to stress that we want to work with the bowling clubs and the larger community to look at ways of addressing the funding pressures we face as a town. The subsidy level for bowling is significant, especially when it is compared to the levels of subsidy that other sports receive.
"I really hope that we can achieve a way forward this week."