Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Together with their partners Groundwork South and the School of Natural Building Hastings Borough Council have been awarded £890,000 towards building a new centre at Hastings Country Park.

The new visitor centre will be part of a major European funded project to construct public buildings from straw.  Other countries involved in the project are Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France.    The aim of the project is to showcase sustainable building projects with reduced carbon footprints.  The new visitor centre will be the first straw build building in the borough and will be a focus for new interpretation and events at the Country Park.hastings-country-park-nature-reserve

The partners submitted an initial expression of interest to Interreg North West Europe for the programme in February 2016 and were one of only 4 projects out of 79 applicants under the Low Carbon funding stream invited to submit a further, full application.

Providing a new visitor centre at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve is a top priority for the council.  Planning permission was granted in 2015 so the council is keen to progress with the project as soon as possible.

The Interreg (NWE) Programme is a transnational European Territorial Cooperation Programme funded by the European Commission.  This grant is worth £540,000 to the council and its partner Groundwork South and £350,000 for the School of Natural Building, the UK’s lead organisation for straw buildings.

Councillor Colin Fitzgerald, the council’s new lead member for environment and place explained:

“This is absolutely fantastic news for the council.  We have had an ambition to build a new centre at Hastings Country Park for a number of years and with our partners Groundwork South have been working on grant applications to realise this ambition.  We hope to have the new centre open to the public early in 2018.  The new centre will be a completely sustainable straw building; a fitting building for the country park and its visitors and one which our residents can rightly be proud of”.

Executive director of Groundwork, Gary Jacobs added:

“I’m thrilled that our partnership has been successful in securing this grant award despite the tough competition. We believe a first class nature reserve deserves a first class visitor centre.  Working with the Friends of Hastings Country Park and the council we can now take forward this exciting opportunity to build one of the first public straw bale buildings in the UK which will help educate and inform local people and visitors of the truly amazing local heritage and wildlife on their doorstep.”

Eileen Sutherland from the School of Natural Building (SNaB) commented:

“This project is a significant milestone on the road to sustainable building across NW Europe.

By working with other European specialists, SNaB will deliver workforce skills and curriculum innovation in the field of Natural Building”

 

Hastings residents are being urged to report fly tippers, to help Hastings Borough Council crack down on a growing problem.

Last year, there were 1,712 incidents of fly tipping, costing the council £59,920 to clear up. In 2016 the picture is looking even worse, with 1,535 incidents up to 31 October and forecasted costs of over £80,000 by the end of the year.

“This is a real problem for our communities, causing danger and inconvenience to residents as well as large costs,” said Cllr Warren Davies, the council’s lead member for environment. “Fly tipping is on the rise and with fewer street wardens and police community support officers on the streets, councillors are now the main people reporting it so we are urging residents to help us.

“The online form is really quick and simple to fill out, just tell us where the fly tipping is, and if you actually saw it being dumped then include any useful information such as the time and date or a vehicle registration. If it’s safe to take a photo, you can upload that too.”fly-tipping

You can report fly tipping quickly and easily at my.hastings.gov.uk, the council’s on line self-service system. The council investigates all reports, visiting nearby homes and looking at CCTV and other evidence. Fly tipping carries a fine of up to £20,000, and offenders can even be sent to prison.

If you need to dispose of bulky items and you can’t take them to the tip yourself, Hastings Borough Council offers a collection service for £21 for up to three items. To book a collection call 01424 451077, this will be suspended over the Christmas period but will be available again from 02 January 2017. And from February 2017, residents will be also be able to book a bulky waste collection via my.hastings.gov.uk

If your items are still in good condition and meet safety regulations, you could pass them to someone else via Freecycle or Freagle, or local charities may be willing to pick them up to sell in their stores – try Hastings Furniture Service, British Heart Foundation, Oxfam. St Michael’s Hospice and Emmaus.

 

Residents in Hastings will receive a sticker to remind them of the main items they can recycle at home.

A sticker is being sent out to residents across the borough along with their annual calendar which includes a comprehensive list of items that can be recycled as well as showing waste and recycling collection dates for the Christmas period and the year ahead.recycliing-sticker

Residents are asked to attach the sticker to their main recycling container as a handy reminder of what can be recycled.

Across East Sussex, 42 per cent of waste is recycled, but around a quarter of what’s thrown in people’s rubbish bins could still be recycled.

People can help by remembering to recycle all their plastic bottles; plastic pots, tubs and trays; paper and card; foil and cans and food and drink cartons – and by keeping recycling clean, empty, squashed and unbagged.

Cllr Warren Davies Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for environment said: “People in Hastings do a fantastic job of recycling their waste but we can always do more.

“By recycling more rubbish, residents can help us to reduce the amount of waste that is burnt to create energy or goes to landfill, further reducing our carbon footprint. Recycling also saves money for essential community services.

“By attaching the sticker to recycling containers, hopefully it will act as a reminder as to what can be put in them and will encourage people to recycle even more. Deliveries of the sticker and calendar start next week (W/C December 5th), look out for yours!”

More information about what can be recycled in your area can be found at http://www.liveloverecycling.co.uk/

Hastings Borough Council’s Grotbuster team joined forces with the town centre manager, Rob Woods to identify properties in need of improvement in one of the town’s main shopping areas, Queens Road.

With its stringent approach to tackling properties deemed ‘eyesores’, the council’s secret weapon is Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Using this, the Grotbuster initiative has gone from strength to strength, using tough enforcement policies to improve over 700 run down and derelict buildings and other unattractive sites across Hastings since the scheme started in 2000.grotbuster

“Queens Road is one of our busiest shopping areas and as such it’s really important that buildings are kept in tip top condition. Recent action taken by the Grotbuster team has resulted in improvements being carried out to a number of properties in the St Andrews Square area and now we are focussing our attention here. Much work has already been completed in Queens Road but we are aware that there is still more to do” said Cllr Kim Forward the council’s lead member for housing.

“One of our priorities is to build better neighbourhoods and the Grotbuster scheme is helping us to do this. The cumulative effect around St Andrews Square demonstrates what can be done and we hope to see this spread into Queens Road” added Cllr Forward.

Rob Woods the Town Centre Manager said: “There is simply no excuse for allowing premises to become untidy and dilapidated so it is always a great pleasure to work with the council’s Grotbuster team. By taking action against the small minority of landlords in Queens Road who have allowed their premises to fall into neglect, we can collectively support the vast majority of right-minded traders who have invested their energy and money in the area”

Every year millions of people head to the coast to enjoy England’s bathing waters and this year was no exception in Hastings.

The Environment Agency monitors water quality from May to September. There are four water quality classifications; excellent, good, sufficient or poor. These classifications are based on the level of bacteria in the water as sampled by the Environment Agency. Up to four years of results from 2013 to 2016 are combined to let you know how clean the water is when you go swimming or paddle.

“ We are very pleased to announce that the bathing water quality at Pelham beach, Hastings has been classified as good and St Leonards has been classified as excellent at the end of the 2016 season, which means that the bathing water quality is generally very good at our beaches” said Cllr Peter Chowney leader Hastings Borough Council.

He added “We have worked hard to ensure that the bathing water quality is consistently good. The Hastings Bathing Water Quality Executive group continues to work together to understand the risks to bathing water quality and put measures in place to make improvements.

“Using the results from Southern Water’s sewer network investigations the partnership has identified and is rectifying misconnections in the Hastings area and dual manholes are also being investigated and corrected. Planting in the Alexandra Park stream and the floating islands all slow the flow of water and has helped to capture sediment and increase exposure to ultraviolet light, all of which helps kill and filter bacteria before it enters the bathing water. Opening the previously culverted streams and making them tumble over rocks not only looks attractive, but also gets oxygen into the water.  That encourages the growth of micropredators that eat harmful bacteria.

“The Clean Seas Please campaign has worked to change behaviours that can negatively impact the bathing water quality by highlighting the link between surface water and the sea and what should and should not go into the drains.

“Everyone has a part to play in protecting and improving our great bathing waters. If we continue to work together to reduce pollution, we can improve water quality and ensure our bathing waters and coastal communities continue to thrive.”

 

The council’s Grotbuster initiative is continuing to have significant success in turning around run down and derelict buildings and other unattractive sites in Hastings and has once again achieved excellent results, this time in St Andrews Square.

Last year, councillors and council officers went on a Grotbuster walk in the St Andrews Square area to identify properties that were in need of action because of their poor appearance. As a result, warnings and/or enforcement notices were issued to a number of owners and successful legal action was taken against another.

“The action taken by the Grotbuster team has resulted in improvements being carried out to a number of properties in the St Andrews Square area and work being carried out on other properties as well” said Cllr Kim Forward Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for housing.

“One of our priorities is to build better neighbourhoods and the Grotbuster scheme is helping us to do this. The cumulative effect around St Andrews Square has meant a big improvement in the overall appearance of the whole area which is great news for the people who live there and the town as a whole” added Cllr Forward.

The continuing work of the Grotbuster initiative has resulted in over 700 properties, structures and areas of land improved across the borough since the scheme began.

The Hastings Big Beach Clean Up will be taking place this month. The clean up is due to take place on Sunday 23 October at Cinque Ports Way, St Leonards, near the old Stamco.

Litter picking equipment and rubbish sacks will be provided .

For more information, the visit the Facebook page here

The Big Clean For The Queen is trying to get volunteers from all over the country to clean Britain before her Majesty’s 90th Birthday in Britain’s largest ever litter pick.Clean-for-the-Queen

The Campaign will hold a special clean-up weekend on 4th-6th March and more than one million people across the UK are expected to join in.

If you would like to take part in cleaning up Hastings then you need to pre register by emailing recyclingandwaste@hastings.gov.uk or telephone 01424 451077.

On the 25th January Hastings business owners will get a chance to get involved in and have their say on a set of proposals for a new Hastings Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s are run by business for business and are said to be already benefiting the towns ad cities that already have this in place.

With this in mind there will be a chance to find out more and network with other business owners in the area as the first meeting will be at Sussex Coast College discussing the BID in more detail and to start planning the projects that the BID could deliver to support businesses in the area such as maek Hastings easier to get to and get around, make the town cleaner and more attractive and improve the marketing and promotions that are already in place.. There will also be a special guest speaker, Sharon Clarke who is from the successful BID in Worthing.

Detail of the event are as follows:

Business Improvement District meeting

  • Location: Sussex Coast College, Ground Floor Meeting Room (G002)
  • Time: 6pm

You can confirm attendance or find out more by emailing rob.woods@ldbgroup.co.uk or call 01424 205516

Chancellor George Osborne announced the spending plans for the next four years in the Spending Review and the current state of the economy in the Autumn Statement.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, public finances are set to be £27 billion better off by 2020.

It was revealed that the government is expected to borrow £8 billion less than forecast due to it hoping to secure £10.1 billion budget surplus by 2020.

The statement brings disappointing news for transport, energy, business and the environment as resource budgets will fall by 37%, 22%, 17% and 15% respectively.

In terms of policing in England and Wales, there are not any plans to make any cuts but the government aims for a rise in spending by £900 million by 2020.

From April 2017 there will be a two-child limit on child tax credit claims and the family element of tax credits will be scrapped for new claimants.

Healthcare is vital for any country and so the health budget will rise to £120 billion by 2020-21, which now stands at £101 billion. The NHS in England will receive an upfront cash injection of £3.8 billion next year as part of £8 billion added funding between next year and 2020-21.

The education budget will rise by £10 billion by 2020 and there will be a new 30-hour free childcare subsidy for parents of three and four-year-olds but this will be limited to parents working more than 16 hours each week.

From April 2016, there will be a 3% surcharge on stamp duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes however, there are plans to hand £2.3 billion to private developers to build 400,000 new homes in England.

State pension will rise by £3.35 a week to £119.30 next year and each individual and small business will have their own digital tax account by the end of the decade.

Transportation could be on the mend with capital funding of transport projects set to rise by 50% by 2020 and £250 million to make sure motorways and other roads in Kent are supported.