Hastings Speaks is a new project to create a modern Domesday record of ordinary people’s lives in Hastings in 2016 as part of the Root 1066 International Festival. Using diaries, blogs, pictures, photos and spoken word events. They will be working with the Mass Observation Archive to create a call out for residents to complete a Diary Day on 12th May. They want to create a comprehensive snapshot of life in Hastings in 2016: what gets us out of bed, what makes us laugh and drives us crazy? Throughout Spring 2016 they will host a series of face to face events, neighbourhood meetings, and workshops to invite people to get involved. There will also be a series of FREE workshops on diaries and creative writing and Mass Observations in Hastings and St Leonards. You can find out more here
Demolished lamppost replaced
In November a white low loader vehicle reversed into a lamppost in Fairstone Close and demolished it. This was reported to East Sussex County Council and within a few hours contractors visited the location, made it safe and removed the fallen lamp post. The pavement was resurfaced. Following intervention from Michael, the lamppost has now been replaced and is due to be switched on in April. Given that there has been a lamppost in this location since the houses were built in the 1960s, it seems strange that an inspection and assessment of the need for the lamp should be required and residents should need to wait more than 4 months for it to be switched back on. We are told that this is due to budget cuts. Fortunately common sense prevailed and the County Council is attempting to pursue the owner of the low loader for the costs.
The Full Council meeting on 24th February set the Council’s budget and Corporate Plan for 2016-17. You can read the details herealthough one change was agreed: the proposal to stop sending out letters notifying residents of planning applications for neighbouring sites was deleted. Once again our funding from central government has been cut significantly (23.9%) since last year requiring a rise of 2.08% in Hastings Council’s share of Council Tax. Officers are working hard to obtain grants especially from the EU to offset this loss of income.
The other authorities involved in setting Council Tax have each increased their precept: East Sussex County Council by 4.99%, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service by 1.94% and 3.48% for the Police & Crime Commissioner.
A second unexpected arrival
Last month we reported on the birth of a calf to one of the British White Cattle grazing the Country Park. In February a second calf was born. Magical though it is to have new calves in our Country Park, the 5 cattle were supplied on the understanding that they were all steers (i.e. castrated males). We now learn that 4 are, in fact, females so further calves could be on their way. At present they have all been moved to a fenced field so a close eye can be kept on their welfare. Both mothers and calves as well as the rest of the cattle are in good health. Some visitors have raised concerns that the cattle appear undernourished. This is not so as their natural appearance is rather gaunt as they are not being fattened up for the abattoir but playing a valuable role in maintaining our Country Park.
Country Park Visitor Centre
You will recall from earlier reports that the new Country Park Visitor Centre was due to have been built towards the end of 2015 and fitted out ready to open in the spring of this year. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened for a number of reasons. Although a lot of interest was shown when the tender was advertised, few tenders were received and these were well outside the budget available. The reasons for this have been analysed and a new specification and invitation to tender has been published in the Official Journal of the EU as straw bale construction is commonplace in EU countries outside the UK so this will open up the market to a greater number of contractors. We all felt it was far more important to get the right building at the right price rather than rush ahead to meet the timetable originally set.
The last remaining butcher in Ore (51-53 Winchelsea Road) closed nearly a year ago. A planning application has recently been submitted to convert it to 2 houses including the replacement of the single storey rear extension and partial demolition. You can see the details and comment here.
Shellgate the former day care centre at 20 Manhattan Gardens, was sold at auction for £102,000. We don’t know who bought it or what plans they have.
We listen to the concerns of local residents and traders at 18:15 on the first Thursday of each month. Why not come and join us to listen or raise your concerns?
In 2016 all meetings will be at the
Ore Community Centre, 455 Old London Road. Details can be found here.
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