Seaside towns, deprivation and Peter Chowney

I think we can all agree that one quality we expect from the man who leads our council  is that he would talk up our town and shout to the rooftops about the great opportunities on offer.

I assume this is not a controversial point to make?

However, it would appear our current Council Leader, Councillor Peter Chowney, the smiling, affable and unassuming face of a party led by Marxists, anti-capitalists and left-wing extremists, would disagree. His recent comments on the state of our town would make you think he thought very little of it and certainly doesn’t believe it has a bright future.

Peter pic I like
Council Leader and aspiring MP Peter Chowney needs to be more positive about the town he represents says James Dee.

In response to a recent report from the House of Lords on The Future of Seaside Towns he is quoted as saying: “Hastings suffers from poor transport links, poor health outcomes, high unemployment, and a lack of the kinds of skills that employers need. In some parts of town, economic and social deprivation remain a damaging problem, with intergenerational worklessness and poor health blighting communities.”

Not only are these the words of our Council Leader, they are the words of the man who wants to be our next Member of Parliament. I for one would never want to be represented by someone who thinks so little of our town and cannot find it within himself to say something good about our seaside resort and its residents.

Hastings has been my home for all of my 28 years. It is a wonderful place to live, work and play, and since I was at school the number of children now in good or outstanding schools has more than doubled; the number of unemployed people has fallen dramatically; we’ve seen major transport improvements with the A21 getting ‘dualled’, the Link Road and Queensway Gateway being built and announcements soon on the HS1 extension; our hospital is now improving; apprenticeships up by thousands; and events and activities in our town are flourishing.

This is a fantastic part of the South East coast, of the entire UK in fact, and I will never cease from shouting about its opportunities, potential and success.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are clearly problems and issues that need to be tackled, from eradicating homelessness, providing better mental health support, protecting our environment, lowering poverty levels and continuing to encourage business investment and job growth. However, the bleak picture our Council Leader paints is not accurate – it’s misleading, demoralising and shameful.

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Homelessness – according to James Dee the Labour Council has been equipped with millions of pounds over recent years to tackle the issue!

It is also worth noting that just to take one example, Mr Chowney and the local Labour Party, are the problem not the solution. When it comes to tackling homelessness, the Labour Council has been equipped with millions of pounds over recent years to tackle the issue – from the Conservative central Government – and yet homelessness continues to rise.

What has all this money been spent on?

Where has it gone?

One would hope it has gone directly to organisations like Seaview, Emmaus and the Salvation Army, to help support the work they do in tackling the causes of homelessness – well is that where the money went Mr Chowney?

It is all very well for our Council Leader to go around accepting no responsibility for any of the problems in our town and to blame it all on the ‘evil’ Conservatives in central Government, but his argument fails – it is not supported with any facts or evidence.

I do hope, but I doubt very much, that Mr Chowney will reflect on his recent comments, and consider that a Council Leader should be fighting on the frontline to speak up for our town, its residents and its future.

Mr Chowney and the Labour Party he represents are ill-equipped and ill-suited to stand up for Hastings, it really is time Mr Chowney and his cabal were kicked out of the council.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – shame on you Councillor Chowney!

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4 thoughts on “Seaside towns, deprivation and Peter Chowney

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  1. Brilliant article Mr. Dee! Pity a few more here do not make their voices heard. I am sick and tired of Councilor Chowney decrying this town. He does this holding out his begging bowl in the hope of getting some more grant money. And when he does get some more money, what does he and his little gang do with it? Waste it on feasibility studies and fanciful schemes which never benefit the ordinary resident. As the writer of this article points out, Hastings council has received millions of pounds over recent years and what is there to show for it?
    And it really is time Chowney and his little gang are booted out – they are neither use nor ornament for this town…time for a change.

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  2. In Mr Dee’s article he makes an attempt to slate Peter Chowney, HBC leader for not “talking up the town”, quoting Cllr Chowney for saying that, “Hastings suffers from poor transport links, poor health outcomes, high unemployment, and a lack of the kinds of skills that employers need. In some parts of town, economic and social deprivation remain a damaging problem, with intergenerational worklessness and poor health blighting communities.” and yet I have just read another article by Mr Dee (headed), The rickety stools of Hastings Pubs………..where he relates the story of an elderly gentleman who is apparently depressed, because his rent has been increased and he is now living on an even tighter budget than before. Mr Dee then goes on and I quote, “As a lad from Hastings, growing up in one of the most deprived seaside towns and living here all my life, I am starting to see how those most worst off in our communities could be suffering”. Well Mr Dee, I don’t think you can have it both ways, you accuse Peter Chowney of telling the facts with the suggestion it’s seems, that he should keep all the bad stuff under his hat, suggesting that he is a bad leader for stating such facts, while at the same time you yourself write about how Hastings has been in your eyes one of the most deprived seaside towns as you grew up and you relate a story about an elderly resident who is obviously struggling to survive at this very moment in time. Come on, what is good for the goose is good for the Gander, as the saying goes and as for Peter Chowney laying the blame for Hastings woes, on the Conservative Government, well I’m pretty sure that our Hastings Conservative M.P. Amber Rudd, has spent the last few months buttering up the residents of Hastings with promises of how she will endeavour to sort out the D.W.P.’s benefits mess, I wonder why!
    And for your information some of your other claims are not exactly true, the A21 is still a miserable road to travel up, the link road is only a shadow of original plan for a by-pass of Hastings, the HS1 train link hasn’t happened yet and it is still as difficult as it always was to persuade large employers to set up in Hastings because of the bad travel connections. Your claim, “apprenticeships, up by thousands”, where are the figures for that; your aim of lowering poverty levels, it should be to eradicate poverty, not just lowering it, perhaps conservative policy is just to keep a few unfortunates on the poverty line! And you say,” Now don’t get me wrong, there are clearly problems and issues that need to be tackled, from eradicating homelessness, providing better mental health support, protecting our environment, lowering poverty levels and continuing to encourage business investment and job growth. However, the bleak picture our Council Leader paints is not accurate – it’s misleading, demoralising and shameful.
    How can Peter Chowney’s claims be misleading, when you have admitted in your own words above that there are “clearly problems”, it appears that you wish the readers to perhaps look upon you as the new messiah in dealing with the problems of Hastings & St Leonards, and that you are the only person able to recognise and deal with these problems. Councils through-out the country are struggling because of withdrawal of funding by central government and that central government has to take responsibility for the effects that lack of funding are causing, guess what, that central government is a Conservative government!

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  3. This article is actually hilarious, a pathetic attempt to besmirch the opposition.
    I recently attended a meeting at which Peter Chowney stood up and said what a marvellous town Hastings is, he spoke of why he chose to come and live here, because he fell in love with the town, and talked very passionately about the town and it’s inhabitants. This is in stark contrast to our current MP
    “Rudd has no historic connection to this dilapidated seaside town on England’s south coast. But
    she decided to stand for selection back in 2006 for two reasons: “I wanted to be within two hours
    of London and I could see we were going to win it.”
    https://www.ft.com/content/97b6f7e6-ad46-11e2-b27f-00144feabdc0

    The comment you are criticising Mr Chowney for also happens to be a fact, Hastings IS one of the most deprived towns in the South East and has a lot of issues that need addressing, something that the conservative party chooses to ignore and or ridicule, mentioning this is not decrying our town, it is recognising what needs doing and reminding the powers that be that we need help to do this.
    You ask where money from central government has gone which was intended for tackling homelessness, well lets hope that it did go to some of the organisations that you name because funding from government for all manner of social issues has been cut so drastically that individuals, families, communities, businesses and charities are falling apart and this situation is only going to get worse under tory policies. As the manager of Children’s Services said to me at a meeting several years ago. “You have to wonder if the tory government are really so ignorant, out of touch and short sighted because if not you have to conclude that they are ruthless, cruel and vindictive monsters”

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  4. Thank you, “thepinkminx” for making it clear that Peter Chowney does in fact talk up our town and the often talks about his reasons for coming to live here and what a wonderful place it is to live, even though it has lots of major problems to deal with. These points I should have mentions in my comment.

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