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The Child Maintenance Group (CMG) at Ashdown House, Hastings has been awarded the Workplace Wellbeing Charter Award.

The Workplace Wellbeing Charter provides an opportunity for employers to demonstrate their commitment to the health and well-being of their workforce, whilst providing employers with an easy and clear guide on how to make workplaces a supportive and productive environment in which employees can flourish.

Hastings Borough Council’s Environmental Health Team carried out the assessment on behalf of Health@Work for the National Award for England; the ‘Workplace Wellbeing Charter’.

An application for the Charter Award was made by the Child Maintenance Group (CMG), part of the Department for Work and Pensions located at Ashdown House, Hastings and the council have been involved in assessing this application for the award by CMG over the last twelve months.

Cllr Judy Rogers, Mayor of Hastings explained:

“The Wellbeing Charter covers eight discrete standards: Leadership; Absence Management; Health and Safety; Alcohol and Substance Misuse; Smoking; Mental Health; Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.

“The CMG have worked very hard to achieve  the required standards in all eight categories and so have now been accredited with this prestigious award. I was very happy to present the award to them as it demonstrates their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their staff. Their investment in this way leads to a happy and healthy workforce and we actively encourage this.” 

Nik Wilson, CMG South East Region’s People Lead, added:

“We are elated to have achieved this prestigious and nationally recognised award, and to such a high level. The accreditation process was rigorous but the council’s assessors were really supportive and professional, and helped make it a really positive experience.

“Gathering the evidence revealed how much we already do and how far we have come in terms of supporting our people’s wellbeing and engagement. This is not the end of the journey though; the Charter structure also helps to point us in the right direction to focus future efforts. We are looking forward to the challenge!”

Tesco’s UK stores has reported a slower rate of decline in sales thanks to its plan to stem the number of customers choosing discounter stores such as Lidl and Aldi. The business has made progress as UK sales only fell 1.3% for the three months to the end of May, which is lower than the 4% drop a year ago.

Analysts were also proven wrong as they forecast Tesco to make a fall of 1.6%-3%. The UK result is an improvement on the 1.7% fall that was reported in the fourth quarter of the financial year.

In April, the supermarket giant reported a huge loss, making that result the worst in its history. Mr Lewis took over the helm in September and is still trying to revive the company but it will take time. It has not been a good year for Tesco and the loss it made was one of the largest in UK corporate history as it reported a full-year pre-tax loss of £6.4 billion. It also said that 43 of its stores would close because around £4.7 billion of the losses were the result of the fall in property value of its UK stores.

However, these issues are slowly being resolved and Tesco could be on the rise again.   Including its international businesses, group sales did drop 1.3% in the quarter, which is better than a 3.4% dip a year ago.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was criticised by small investors over mistreatment of firms with distressed finances.

At the firms annual general meeting, the RBS chairman Sir Phillip Hampton defended himself against the personal criticism held against him. He was also grilled about the price the bank has paid for market rigging by shareholders. Not only that, but questions were asked about mis-selling financial products to customers and his response was that the total cost of the misconduct, which is nearly £10 billion, has held back the bank’s recovery from the financial crisis.

The chairman also stated that this behaviour does not belong at RBS and the change in culture will take time. Hampton will not have to deal with the company for much longer as he is standing down at the end of August and will take up the chair at the pharmaceutical giant GSK. Sir Howard Davies is set to replace him at the bank.

Surplus capital that is released by shrinking of the bank may be returned to the shareholders, Hampton said in his seventh statement at the RBS annual meeting. However, this is after reaching a 13% tier one capital reserve and after re-payment to the government. The remaining fee for its support stands at £1.2 billion. Capital reserve is the amount required by regulators to protect against future stocks.

The bank took an injection of over £45 billion in capital, all thanks to the Treasury who took over 80% of the bank because it had to be rescued in 2008. In addition to this, the Chancellor George Osborne plans to start selling the stake this year and will do so in tranches.

The full return of the bank into private hands will take several years but a return to paying shareholder dividends is said to help the process of the stake being sold.




Summer is finally here and although the beaches in the area are a top hit with both tourists and locals, there is plenty more things to do in Hastings to keep you busy on those sunny days. Here you will find our list of 10 places to go in the area that will make your day a whole lot more exciting. There is something for everyone including festivals, golf, museums and more.

St Leonards Festival: 10th – 12th July

On Friday the 10th July, there will be fringe events held in local venues and the full programme will soon be announced. On Saturday the 11th July, there will be a free family day with a street market, parade, live music, street arts, crafts, nature zone, family zone and much more. Sunday the 12th July will be for ticket holders only, however free for 16’s and under. This day will hold a garden party with picnics, live music, bar, craft and a garden zone. The event will be organised on behalf of the St Leonards Town Team.

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week: 1st – 9th August

Held on the 1st – 9th August, the carnival week offers many special events. Some people in the community are opening their gardens and providing refreshments. During this week, the funds that are raised go towards supporting a variety of charities, many of which are local and are for the good of our own town and community. The events will celebrate all that the Old Town has and will be a great week during the summer. One of the best parts about this week is the carnival itself, with lots of exciting floats for everyone to enjoy – you can even get involved yourself.

Alexandra Park

Filled with grassy areas and flowerbeds, Alexandra Park has lots to offer and is especially nice on a sunny day. Many people walk their dogs here on a daily basis as it has woody areas, a reservoir, tennis courts and even a café. There is plenty of space to play games with the kids or benches to sit down and relax in the sun with the wildlife. You can also do some fishing in the park, take the kids to the big play park and also go to the odd event that is held there. In 2010, the park achieved the Green Flag Award for the sixth year running – it is well maintained and is a place that the wider community values.

Smugglers Adventure
Here you can discover the secrets of the smugglers and learn about the history of the caves. The caves are dark and mysterious and offer over 70 life-sized characters that bring everything to life. There are even sound effects and dramatic recreations, interactive and hands-on displays to play games so the children will never be bored. This is a great activity for all the family and there is a lot to learn about the history of smuggling.

Hastings Fisherman’s Museum

The museum is open everyday (apart from Christmas Day) and over 140,000 people visit every year. It is located inside a church, which was built on the Stade in 1852, which fell out of use after WW2. In 1956, people became concerned about the area and wanted to preserve the maritime history of Hastings. As a result, they took over the old Fishermen’s church and knocked down part of the wall and there onwards, the museum came to life. Here you will find models, photos, paintings, nets, ropes and a variety of fishing artifacts. A joint committee of the Fishermen’s Protection Society and the Old Hastings Preservation Society runs it and admission is free.

Fairlight Glen

The beach here lies on the coast between Hastings and the town of Rye. In 1978, the beach was recognised as a naturist beach and was used for many years before that. Although the official path was destroyed years ago by a landslip, locals have repaired the path and installed new steps. A landslip may not sound like a particularly good thing, but since it has greened over and is now a great place to visit if you’re into swimming (watch out for the submerged rocks) or fancy a long walk along the bay.

Hastings Adventure and Crazy Golf

Although being outside on a rainy day isn’t very appealing, smelling the seaside air and feeling the light breeze on a summery day whilst playing golf is more relaxing than you’d think. People of all ages can enjoy both the adventure and crazy golf. This activity in Hastings is the national centre for Miniature Golf in the UK and is the home of the annual World Crazy Golf Championship held every October. It can be very busy during peak periods but is worth the wait and is well built with some interactive courses and water features.

Battle Abbey

Explore the heritage of the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey. Home to the battlefield, this attraction offers a whole lot more with the Abbey ruins, a museum and the walled garden.
Events that are coming up include:
Battle Abbey Guided Tours – Monday 6th July to Monday 31st August

Knights’ Tournament – Saturday 25th July to Sunday 26th July
Battle Abbey Bat Walk – Friday 31st July
Conquest Alive! – Saturday 1st August to Monday 31st August

There are more events happening after this date, but these are great opportunities to take advantage of during the school holidays.

Find out more here.

White Rock Theatre

This is a large venue for classical and rock music, stand-up comedians, circus, and pantomime and community events.

Here are the upcoming events for the next couple of months:
Roy Orbison and Friends – Friday 19th June 7:30pm
Fawlty Towers – Saturday 20th June 7:30pm
Ultimate Elton & Rocket Band Meets Pop-Up Bowie – Friday 26th June 7:30pm
Kast Off Kinks – Saturday 27th June 7:30pm
Aladdin-Ballet Theatre UK – Saturday 28th June 2:30pm
Avenue Q – Monday 29th June to 1st July
Rhythm of The Dance – Thursday 2nd July 7:30pm
Princes of Pop – Friday 3rd July 7:30pm

Bobby Socks and Blue Jeans – Saturday 4th July 7:30pm
St Pauls Presents – Back to the Future – Friday 10th July 7:00pm
Tree Fu Tom – Friday 12th July 2:00pm

Let’s Hang On 0 Thursday 30th July 7:30pm
The Wizard of Oz – Saturday 15th August 7:30pm
Magic of the Movies on Stage – Sunday 23rd August 2:30pm and 7:30pm

De La Warr Pavilion

If you love art and exhibitions, this is the place to be. Located in Bexhill, it hosts many events including music events, talks and tours, theatre listings, family activities and workshops. It is also a great place to stop for a drink or food, with a view of the sea and greenery nearby.

Hastings Beer and Music Festival has partnered with its sponsor Priory Meadow to put on a show for the Fathers’ Day weekend.

This Saturday, dad’s and the whole family can take a break from shopping to enjoy dad-sized table football in the cricket square.  Along with the competition organised by Priory Meadow to find the best dad’s team and share in the £250 voucher prize pot, there is also entertainment from local bands, a magician and real ale tasting, supplied by local breweries Hastings Brewery and Long Man Brewery.

Teams must sign in at the Priory Meadow Info Desk, and it is expected the fun will start at around 10:30am, Saturday morning.

The event will also see the Hastings Beer and Music Festival award the prizes to the winners of the annual ‘Pitch for a Pitch’ competition, where the local charity and good causes organisations compete for the chance to manage prime donation sites at this year’s festival. This year the local Sea Cadets won the HBMF Burger Bar and will gain the income from the three-day sales as a donation.

“Colin Gooch, Chairman of HBMF stated, “Creating events that promote the festival and encourage engagement with the local community help build an important relationship between residents, businesses and charities. We are again pleased to be working with Priory Meadow to make Saturday shopping a lot more fun.”

Hastings Beer and Music Festival

Hastings based cable management manufacturer Marshall-Tufflex is strengthening its market-leading position by extending its unique Same Day Collection service with longer opening hours and refurbished collection points.

The service allows account-holding electrical distributors to collect cable management orders between 7am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday, just two hours after order placement from Marshall-Tufflex’s strategically located depots in London and Manchester, a service unrivalled in the industry. Orders placed between 3.30pm and 5pm can be collected from 7am the next working day.

Stock levels of key product ranges are also being extended and constantly reviewed to ensure popular stock lines are available.

The Same Day Collection service is in addition to normal Marshall-Tufflex product deliveries via the company’s own logistics fleet, ensuring wholesalers have the option to obtain stock within 2 hours outside of their normal delivery runs. Contractors benefit from improved access to a quick solution should last minute problems arise on site, resulting in shorter waiting times for urgently needed product.

Both the Manchester and London depots are accessible from major road links and are convenient to get to, with a wide catchment area within one hour’s drive of each. Marshall-Tufflex will provide a reception area at the depots, with a dedicated collection point, seating and refreshments available.

Product collections can also be arranged from Marshall-Tufflex’s manufacturing base in Hastings, on a next-day basis for orders placed before 12.30pm.

“Extended opening hours is good news for our wholesalers and contracting clients and signals just how serious we are about delivering the best products at the right time,” said Debbie Ensell, Marshall-Tufflex Customer Services Manager. “Competitors, at best, only offer next day delivery so offering a Collection Service with a maximum two hour turnaround from receipt of order (subject to stock availability) coupled with longer opening hours is an exciting development that we hope will really benefit our customers, allowing them to better service their electrical contractor customers.”

Details of the depots where this can be done are:

  • Hastings: Marshall-Tufflex, 55-65 Castleham Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 9NU
  • London: Marshall-Tufflex, 101c Blackhorse Lane, London, E17 6DJ
  • Manchester: Marshall-Tufflex, Europa Trading Estate, Stoneclough Road, Radcliffe, Manchester, M26 1GG

UK government borrowing has fallen in May due to a rise in income tax and VAT receipts, official figures have shown. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the borrowing fell to £10.13 billion last month, which is down from £12.35 billion the year before. This was also the lowest borrowing figure in that month for eight years.

Excluding public sector banks, public sector net debt stands at £1.5 trillion, which is 80.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the ONS.

Income tax receipts had not been this high during May for four years but it rose £0.5 billion, which is 5.3%, from a year before to £10.8 billion. VAT receipts however rose by £0.6 billion, which is 5.6%, to £10.7 billion. An estimation by the ONS stated that the total public sector borrowing in the financial year to March 2015 was £89.2 billion, or 4.9% of GDP. This figure was £9.3 billion lower than the previous year’s total despite it being higher than the previous estimate.

According to analysts, the drop in government borrowing during May is good news for the chancellor George Osborne at the start of the new fiscal year.

Local e-learning company Cherrystone have had their full range of products endorsed by the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL).

ITOL is the UK’s elite professional body for learning and development professionals, and promotes commitment to the highest standards in the learning and development profession. It pursues this mission internationally as well as in the UK, with a presence in over 30 countries.

ITOL director Harry Bundred said: “I have been very impressed by the quality of material produced by Cherrystone. I am confident that it will be of great value to trainers, managers and individual learners.”

Through the Cherrystone website, you can quickly access a wide range of ebooks, videos and audio recordings, on topics including personal development, leadership and management, and health and safety. The products are reasonably priced and the easy to use credits system means that you can target your spending on the areas which are most relevant to you and your business. Signing up is free and you will immediately receive a free e-book which is full of top tips for managing your business. All of Cherrystone’s video content is free to access until the end of June –a great reason to sign up today!

On Wednesday the 1st July the Chairman’s Business & Community Breakfast Club will take place. The even starts at 7:15am and is located at the multi award winning Azur at The Marina Pavilion in St Leonards-on-Sea.

The event will have joint guest speakers including the former actor and model, Lee Harrington, who is the owner of a business called Balloons For Events, and Wendy Goreman who is the manager for Young Enterprise East Sussex.

Over breakfast, the event aims to connect businesses and community groups. The price per person is £8, to book your place contact Lord Brett McLean on 07838241222. Alternatively, contact Azur at The Marina Pavilion on 01424 447461.

Here’s the flyer for the Business Breakfast.


business breakfast june