Let town shine for Olympic torch

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I FIND myself writing in agreement with John Hough and his views on the chessboard effect of the pavements in the town centre - an effect now creeping into other areas of our town.

He is indeed right in saying this is not good enough for the people of Hastings and St Leonards as well as all the visitors the town attracts from the UK and overseas.

East Sussex County Council does indeed pay for replacing paving slabs with tarmac at a cost of £38 per square metre and according to information obtained from Hastings Borough Council, spent approx £60,000 in the last year replacing slabs with black top.

To replace like for like, it would cost £72 per square metre for paving slabs and £79 square metre for blocks although other areas such as replacing Yorkstone in the Old Town would cost more.

This is why in this year’s budget, the Conservatives put forward a proposal allocating £60,000 towards replacing future and current tarmac repairs with paving slabs and blocks funded out of an increased repairs and renewals reserve - an increase funded by the current Coalition Government.

It would have allowed a programme to be developed allowing future repairs to be replaced with like for like and if any money was left over, to go back and replace tarmac repairs with paving slabs or blocks.

This money would certainly have not been enough to replace all the repairs and other finance would have had to be found for future years but it would have been a move in the right direction.

The proposal was however voted down by all 17 members of the ruling Labour group.

With the Olympic torch coming to the town next year, all eyes will be upon us and this proposal would have shown our determination to be responsible and present Hastings and its many attractions in the best possible way we could.

CLLR MATTHEW BEAVER

Conservative deputy leader

Hastings Borough Council