Hastings Borough Council

Election 2018 Results

LAB HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 24 Total councillors 24 ChangeNo results

PartyConservative

Elected in 2018 8 Total councillors 8 ChangeNo results
Councillors change compared with 2016

Most recent

Council gives support to football stadium plans

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Footballers generic
Getty Images

Hastings council leaders have agreed to move ahead with plans which could see a new football stadium built in the town.

Hastings Borough Council's cabinet yesterday agreed to support a Hastings United FC scheme to build a home at the Tilekiln Recreation Ground in Hollington by agreeing in principle to the sale of council-owned land.

While still at an early stage, the council says the proposals are expected to include the construction of a 1,950-capacity stadium as well as new gym facilities and two additional football pitches for community use.

The overall scheme is expected to be funded through the sale of the club's current ground at Pilot Field to housing developers.

Further details of the proposals are expected to be published in January with the next steps expected to be considered in March at the earliest.

Dispute over St Leonards camp eviction

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

A dispute has broken out between two East Sussex councils over who should be responsible for evicting a group of people from St Leonards seafront.

Hastings Borough Council leader, Peter Chowney, said East Sussex County Council has the responsibility to move on a large group of people living in motorhomes and caravans along Sea Road in St Leonards.

However the county council says it does not believe it would "be appropriate" to use its powers, and says the borough council is responsible as the landowner.

Mr Chowney said the county council had agreed to take responsibility for the area after he had written to its leader, Keith Glazier, about the issue.

However, the county council says this is not the case, and argues that it would not be appropriate to use its powers as they are designed to deal with abandoned vehicles only.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: "While we understand residents' concerns, we also have to bear in mind that these caravans are effectively being used as dwellings by people who have become homeless.

"Having taken legal advice, our view is that it would not be appropriate to use powers under the Highways Act which are intended to deal with abandoned vehicles to remove caravans that are being lived in."

Hastings Harbour plans

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Green Party campaigners have come under fire from Hastings councillors who say they "spread misinformation" about controversial proposals to build a marina in the Old Town.

The plans had been put forward by developer Hastings Harbour Quarter Ltd in November last year, but were formally withdrawn in September as the group had been unable to secure funding for a feasibility study.

While the plans had already been withdrawn, Hastings Borough Council's cabinet responded to a 1,100-strong petition against the proposals earlier this month.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday Labour councillor, Dany Louise, criticised the Green Party for its campaigning on the plans.

She said: "In common with many residents of Old Hastings I am very pleased that the company responsible for putting forward a rather overblown and unnecessary proposal to site a marina off the Old Town has withdrawn that proposal.... the Green Party seemed to take a great and peculiar delight in spreading misinformation about it and encouraging residents to believe that it was not just going to happen, but going to happen immediately.

"It was always very, very, very unlikely to happen."

In response Green Party campaigner, Andrea Needham said: "We stand by our campaign against the marina plans, which reflected the views of the vast majority of local residents."

Hastings Harbour
BBC

Tributes paid to former councillor

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Hastings Borough Council held a minute's silence to pay tribute to a former councillor and "true man of Hastings" at a meeting this week.

Councillors made the gesture at a full council meeting on 17 October in memory of former Labour councillor Ion Castro, who passed away at St Michael's Hospice on 30 August.

Mr Castro was a popular local figure and a passionate community organiser, known for his key roles in the care of the Happy Harold bus, the Old Town carnival committee and a great many other projects throughout the town.

Properties bought 'to ease homeless pressures'

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Council leaders have approved plans to buy up a residential property in Hastings in an effort to tackle homelessness pressures.

At a meeting on Monday, Hastings Borough Council's cabinet approved plans to purchase 22 Wellington Square, with the intention of using it as temporary accommodation for those needing emergency housing.

The council says it already uses the privately-owned building as temporary accommodation, but that buying the building outright would help it better manage costs.

During the same meeting councillors heard how demand for temporary accommodation in Hastings has increased by 84% over the last three years.

Portfolio holder for housing and leisure councillor Andy Batsford said: "The social impact of universal credit, the fact that accommodation across the town has risen in cost by 40% - especially one and two-bedroom flats - [which means] we have got a perfect storm out there.

"Let's not forget that most people who find themselves homeless now are working people, they are your average person, working hard on minimum wage, finding their house being sold from under them and becoming in need of temporary accommodation.

"These are the people we are finding more and more on our books."

According to council documents, officers are expecting to spend around £960,000 on temporary accommodation by the end of this financial year - an overspend of £156,000.

Hastings harbour development plan scrapped

Artist's impression of harbour development
MICHAEL DRAIN ARCHITECTS LTD

Plans for a multi-million pound harbour development in Hastings Old Town have been withdrawn, Hastings Borough Council has confirmed.

The scrapping of the scheme, which was announced amid much fanfare last year, is due to be discussed by the council's Cabinet on 1 October.

The council previously said the scheme by Hastings Harbour Quarter Ltd could bring an annual economic boost of £26m.

Andrew Doyle from the development company said it was hoping to "put forward an alternative proposal" in the future.

Amusement park planning application deferred

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

An application to extend and refurbish an amusement park on Hastings seafront has been deferred.

The application - for a range of works at The Stade Family Amusement Park - had been due for discussion by Hastings Borough Council's planning committee on Wednesday.

Eleanor Evans, the council's planning service manager, said "The reason we want the application, and are requesting that it is, deferred is that we need to make sure the description makes clear to anybody who sees the site notice exactly what is being proposed."

Councillors agreed to defer the application - which is recommended for approval - until after the new site notice could be published.

Council's cloak 'could be worth millions'

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Ceremonial cloak
Hastings Borough Council

A rare Hawaiian artefact which could be worth millions may be sold, a council leader has hinted.

Hastings Borough Council's leader Peter Chowney (Lab) raised the prospect of selling the item - understood to be a ceremonial feather cloak from Hawaii, and part of the Hastings Museum's collection - at a meeting of the council's overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.

He had been responding to a question from Conservative councillor John Rankin, who asked if the council should consider selling the item after a recent insurance appraisal found the item could be worth several million pounds.

Mr Chowney said: "I think it is worth looking at personally, I know that is kind of heretical for some.

"The council is desperately short of money and if this thing really is worth millions then it is worth looking at, although I think there is a risk."

Mr Chowney compared the decision to one made by Northampton Borough Council in 2014, after it discovered a valuable ancient Egyptian statue on its shelves.

The statue - known as the Northampton Sekhemka statue - was controversially put up for sale after being valued at around £2m during a insurance valuation.

It eventually sold at auction for a record-breaking £15.76m but saw Northampton Museum lose its Arts Council England accreditation.

"It is worth looking at I think, but we should expect to hit the national press if we do," Mr Chowney said.

House-building plan deferred over traffic worries

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors have deferred plans to build 140 homes in Hastings due to concerns about traffic problems.

At a meeting on 15 August, Hastings Borough Council's planning committee considered an application seeking outline planning permission for the former Harrow Lane playing field site.

The proposals had been recommended for approval but councillors expressed concerns over the impact of more traffic on The Ridge, a road councillors said was already "badly congested".

The Ridge, Hastings
Google
There are concerns about increased traffic at the junction of Harrow Lane and the Ridge

While the committee heard East Sussex Highways considered the potential impact of new housing to be "acceptable", councillors asked for further information on how this opinion had been reached.

The committee agreed to defer the application to seek "clarification" from East Sussex Highways about what options were available for access.

The committee heard that the site had been allocated for housing under the Hastings local plan.

Police withdraw calls to close Hastings nightspot

Huw Oxburgh

Local Democracy Reporter

Sussex Police has withdrawn calls to shut down a popular Hastings nightspot after its owners agreed to introduce tough new licensing conditions.

Earlier this year, police applied for the licence of French's Wine Bar in Robertson Street to be revoked due to concerns around drunkenness and drugs use at the premises.

Hastings Borough Council's licensing sub-committee had been expected to make a decision on the application at a hearing on last Wednesday, but the meeting was adjourned a few minutes into proceedings to allow legal discussions to continue.

Following a long adjournment the hearing was called off, with both police and the licence holder agreeing to work out details of new, tougher licensing conditions for the bar.