News In Brief

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Tribunal win for council

Hastings Borough Council won an appeal against a financial penalty it imposed on landlord Keith Worsley of Vicarage Road for failing to improve his rented property as directed.

Andy Batsford, lead councillor for housing said today: “This shows the council will use all the enforcement options available to it. It is very pleasing to see the tribunal supported our approach.”

Youth Council celebrates 20 years

Hastings Youth Council celebrated its 20th anniversary on Saturday at a special meeting in the town’s White Rock Theatre.

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The event was attended by the Mayor, Councillor Nigel Sinden, Deputy Mayor, Councillor James Bacon and ward councillor Leah Levane. Founder members and current members discussed the youth council manifesto as well as mental health and homelessness issues and the impact on young people. The afternoon was completed with food and fun activities.

Mr Sinden said afterwards: “What a pleasure it is to see Hastings Youth Council reach its 20th anniversary. Over the past few years I have followed our youth council closely, and  been privileged to join in on occasions. These engaged young people will form the backbone of our town’s future. I look forward to seeing them make their mark on Hastings!”

Police visibility is a ‘priority’

Following complaints of antisocial behaviour outlined to MP Amber Rudd in a recent survey she toured Linton Gardens last Friday with Chief Superintendent Jason Taylor.

Following the survey she became aware that a number of local residents were concerned about drug dealing in the area. She wrote to the former Acting Chief Inspector to raise her constituents’ concerns.

Ms Rudd has been told by police that being visible in the town centre is a priority and they are working hard to have officers on foot patrol in the town centre. She also heard that police are working with the local council, the Business Crime Reduction Partnership and the Substance Misuse Service to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Great old town event

47305493_2079838412328574_7049147883815174144_nHastings Deputy Mayor Councillor Jams Bacon has praised organisers of the Two Towers Trust Annual Christmas Tree Festival at St Clements Church in Hastings Old Town.

James says; “This Festival is still on next weekend if you haven’t yet had a chance to visit. I love these community events in Old Hastings Ward which we can all get involved with.”

The photo show Mr Bacon with the ‘Will You Waste This Christmas’ themed tree, he designed along with Sarah Esther Piper.

Weather no deterrent to protest

More than 50 local local people took part in the latest protest to save the Station Plaza NHS walk-in centre on Saturday.

The number 20 bus from St Leonards became the impromptu campaign battle bus with a  man dressed as Santa on the back seat showing his support for the campaign and gathering signatures for the on-going petition from other passengers.

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A final decision on the future of the popular medical centre has not yet been made by the Hastings and Rother NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) activist are sustaining pressure the CCG to keep a walk-in health service in the town centre. The alternative proposal is to move it to the Conquest Hospital on The Ridge. Debate on the future of the Station Plaza walk-in centre has been going on since the spring.

Walk-in Centre staff allowed protesters to gather in the foyer of the centre on Saturday rather than stand outside in the rain. Protesters sung carols and songs and shared their reasons why the Station Plaza centre is such an essential service.

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The protest continues

Campaigners determined to save the Station Plaza NHS Walk-In centre are staging another protest outside the centre at 1pm tomorrow (Saturday Dec 1st). Organiser Erica Smith, who also set up a petition that now has almost 3,500 signatures online, says there will be songs from Martin Breeson and Lily Kim.

Walk-in Centre signage

“You will have a chance to say why you support this valuable service and you can hear the latest news from Councillor Mike Turner who represents Hastings on the East Sussex County Council Health Overview Scrutiny Committee,” says Erica.

Closed until ‘further notice’

Expectations that Hastings Pier would reopen this morning after last weekend’s fire have been dashed.

The main Hastings Pier Facebook group saw a post go up this morning saying that the pier would remain closed until ‘further notice;.

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The gate to Hastings Pier remain locked this morning.

Hastings In Focus understands that a meeting was due to take place on the pier this morning to decide the next steps. At the same meeting Hastings MP Amber Rudd was updated on what is happening at the pier.

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The notice that appeared on the Hastings Pier Facebook group this morning. 

The group, Friends of Hastings Pier (FOHP), is due to hold what it describes as an ‘informal’ meeting at 2.30pm tomorrow in the Seafront Room of the White Rock Hotel to assess where its supporters see FoHP is going from here. The meeting had been planned some weeks ago.

Keeping it local

Hastings Borough Council is supporting Small Business Saturday on December 1st.

Small Business SaturdayCouncil leader Councillor Peter Chowney explained: “Although we’ve got some fantastic large stores in Hastings, we’ve got some amazing small independent ones too, and Small Business Saturday is an ideal opportunity to explore some of these hidden gems.

“You can often find bargains in these smaller shops, and certainly the quirky and unusual!

“Lots of local people work in local shops, so there really are lots of good reasons to shop local, you may well be very pleasantly surprised what is on our doorstep.”

Tablers get their running shoes ready

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Next March Hastings Round Table will be pulling and pushing ‘Ronda’ – its very heavy Oak barrel around the 13.1 miles of the The 35th Hastings Half Marathon course and they will be looking for donations in aid of Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Donation. Table members point out that in terms of donations paper is lighter than coins!

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Russians take a shine to 1066 Country

1066 Country is proving to be very popular with Russian Facebook users, with over 42,000 views so far of a promotional video featuring the area made for VisitBritain Moscow.

The film crew visited Rye, Hastings Old Town, America Ground and Webbes at Rock-a-Nore as well as Battle, Bodiam and Merriments Gardens, the finished result is at https://www.facebook.com/lovegreatbritain.ru/videos/333950327340931/

Kevin Boorman, the manager of 1066 Country Marketing, said: “My Russian is non-existent, but the Facebook posting is great, 1066 Country looks superb, despite the filming having taken place during the summer but on the first day of rain after weeks of unbroken sunshine!

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Vladimir filming on the East Hill.

“Vladimir is a very well-known TV presenter in Russia who hunts down great coffee on his travels around the world. This time he found it at Hi-Store in Trinity Street, Hastings, where they paid a special visit for the Stooges coffee served there.

“Tourism is big business for 1066 Country. It is worth over £520m to the local economy, and supports over 14,000 jobs in the area. We welcomed over 215,000 overseas visitors last year and overseas visitors spent over £97m in the area.

“Initiatives like this are really important, and to get 42,000 views in just a few weeks is great. I really hope that many of these virtual visitors will be so tempted by what they see online that they will pay us a real visit, so helping our economy even more.”

Performers unite for St Michael’s Hospice

Local performers are coming together at supermarkets across Hastings for a 12 hour collection, singing and performing to raise funds for the St Michael’s Hospice during the festive season.

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Last year’s 12 hour festive collections raised more than £2,500!

You can join the performers between 9am and 9pm on Thursday December 13th at Tesco Extra, St Leonards on Sea and at Tesco, Glyne Gap, Bexhill on Sea on Saturday December 22nd.

There will be two other store collections at Sainsbury’s Bexhill on Sea on Saturday December 15th and Friday December 21st, which also have some entertainment and run from 9am-5pm.

Performers taking part include Sax with a Twist, Sharon Sellens, Keren Keeler-Moore, Glashin, Mandy Charlton, The Cherry Bakewells, Tornado Twirlstars, Frost & Fire Singers, Stagecoach, Melodian Choir, Friends Unlimited and many more.

To see a full running order visit www.stmichaelshospice.com

Donations sought for Hastings Foodbank

There will be a Hastings Foodbank donation point at All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Street (Hastings Old Town) on Friday 30th November, 4-8pm.

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Hastings Deputy Mayor James Bacon says: “This will be part of the Pop-Up Emporium Christmas Market and I urge everyone to attend. If you have any in-date tinned food, pasta, rice, sugar, tea bags, coffee, etc. which you would like to donate, please bring these along to donate during the evening.

More information on the great work of the Hastings Foodbank can be found on the following link: https://hastings.foodbank.org.uk

Funky Friday Assembly

Amber Rudd paid a visit to Ore Village Primary Academy (OVPA) to attend the academy’s ‘Funky Friday’ assembly. During the event, Amber joined both teachers and pupils in a community get together featuring prize giving, songs and fun. As an academic institution, OVPA’s recent Ofsted report, rated the school as ‘Good’ – the first rating of that level in the academy’s history. OVPA has over 300 pupils and was granted academy status in 2013.

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Amber is pictured with ‘gold ticket’ winning pupils at Ore Village Primary Academy.

After her visit Amber said: “I am grateful to the staff here at OVPA for inviting me to participate in OVPA’s Funky Friday assembly. May I congratulate all of OVPA’s golden ticket prize winners, as well as the staff at OVPA on their latest Ofsted rating.”

Amber added: “After witnessing first-hand the enthusiasm and drive of both the staff and pupils at the academy, I am confident that OVPA will eventually achieve the Ofsted rating that they rightly deserve”.

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