Old Hastings ward report (October 2016)
Regular reports coming up
It has been a very busy few months since the local elections and this, along with our new ward councillor James finding his feet has meant we haven’t issued any ward reports until now. We will be circulating ward reports most months from now on and delivering news letters to residents every few months.
New cycle racks in Butler’s Gap
Following complaints from George Street traders about irresponsible cyclists chaining their bikes to shop front shutters I have arranged for new bike racks to be installed in Butlers Gap. A review is due to take place shortly of all cycle racks in the town and with the increase in cyclists I will be asking officers to look at other possible locations for bikes to stop them being left in inappropriate places. The signage for the shared cycle lane is also being updated as some has been removed following work on the seafront and another sign has ‘disappeared’ meaning cyclists are cycling along the Winch Road rather than go along the side of the Stade open space onto the next stage of the cycle route.
All Saints church sold
All Souls Church in Athelstan Road is currently being sold to a sculptor so it is hoped the building will soon be brought back in use. This follows on from a consultation day in April when residents were invited to comment on the scheme. Work on the church will require listed building consent, which is currently being discussed with the planning department. Nearby residents have raised serious concerns about parking as there is already a shortage of on street parking in the area and we will be keeping a close eye on this as things progress.
Vandalism and fly-tipping in Croft Road
We are receiving reports that vandalism and fly tipping have become a problem again at the top of Croft Road. The local police team had held a street meeting there a while ago but I was the only person who went along. Residents are now involved in arranging a further meeting that they can attend to talk to the police about how they tackle the vandalism. The councils refuse contractor Kier has not been as quick as it should have been in responding to reports of fly tipping on MyHastings and I have taken a number of examples of this up with officers to both get an explanation of why Kier is closing reports without taking action and for the council to penalise Kier for the poor service. To report issues such as fly tipping use the reporting buttons on MyHastings. You can also phone the council on 451066 but it should be a faster service if reported online as the report goes directly to contractors.
New tree in Butler’s Gap
A new tree is due to be planted in Butler’s Gap before Christmas. The oriental plane will replace the diseased tree that had be removed a while ago. It is possible that the other two trees will need to be replaced in time as they are ash and susceptible to die back.
New surgery permission refused
Unfortunately, the planning application for the Ice House building to be used as a GP surgery with a dentist, gym and restaurant has been turned down. Whilst it had a huge amount of support from residents some businesses did submit objections. I have talked to planners about the reasons for the rejection, which are primarily highways issues and the existing planning permission for a hotel but it will be down to the applicant to decide whether to resubmit an amended application or appeal to the planning inspector. In the meantime, we will meet with the applicant so we can keep informed about their plans.
Broadband in the Old Town – at last!
BT have finally given a commitment to install broadband in the Old Town. It’s unbelievable that there is no high speed connection in the area to the west of St Clements church given how many people work from home in the area. Local businesses pushed BT into holding a meeting and it became clear that despite any potential profit BT were in no rush to install the necessary cabinet. At the meeting BT were shown by local residents and traders that it was possible to overcome conservation and highway issues and following a letter from Peter Chowney (leader of the council) BT have agreed that the cabinet will be delivered by 31st March 2017. This should have happened years ago but the end is in sight.