Old Hastings ward report (March 2017)

If you would like to discuss any of the items below, please contact Cllr Dawn Poole

High speed broadband

BT have finally installed a cabinet enabling high speed fibre optic broadband across the rest the old town. HOTRA, local traders and councillors and the Council had to relentlessly pursue BT to get this done. Various excuses were given including commercial viability and planning issues but at an onsite meeting the County Council and Borough Council made it clear to them these were not obstacles. BT state that the cabinet should provide enough capacity to provide a connection to all who want it but if you do encounter problems, please get in touch.


Planning

The application for a doctor’s surgery is currently on hold whilst the applicant provides more information and considers a report from the District Valuer that states the building would make a viable hotel. The District Valuer, who is independent of the Council and part of the Valuation Agency, can be challenged and the applicant needs to decide whether to do this or not. Planners are also awaiting more information from the applicant about parking. Once the applicant has resolved these, a report will be written and the application will go to the Planning Committee.


Fisheries Local Action Group 2

The second round of FLAG funding has now been launched. There will be one person dedicated to working on the FLAG project called an animator. There are a number of ideas around possible projects including a junior chef project but members of the FLAG board, which is made up of representatives of groups and organisations working around the fishing beach will be holding a brainstorming session next week which should produce some interesting ideas.


Highways

As we knock on doors across the ward it’s clear that highways issues are still a big concern and the County Council is not improving the standards of the roads. Our county councillor, Tania Charman, now carries out a monthly inspection with the highway steward and is keeping the pressure on to deal with potholes, resurfacing, etc as a priority. If you do have a highways issue, you should report it by phone on 0345 60 80 193 or online where you can track the progress of your report. If you find that things are still not being dealt with then do get in touch.


Enhanced warden service

Additional wardens will soon be out in Hastings focused entirely on litter and dog mess enforcement. Dog mess has been a problem across the ward, particularly as people tend to head towards the Country Park with their dogs. The service will be self-funding. This model has shown to be effective in other areas. They will be wearing body worn cameras and the Council has been clear that they should be reasonable in issuing notices, for example when dealing with children. The ideal outcome would be that people’s behaviour will change as they realise they are likely to get an on the spot fine but, having seen how negligent a very small group of people can be, we will be evaluating the scheme at the end of the year.