Author

Cllr Peter Chowney

Hastings Borough Council is run from Muriel Matters House

We could be a unitary council again

There has been news this week of a bit of a tiff between councils in East Sussex, around the financial difficulties of East Sussex County Council. Eastbourne and Lewes are claiming that a combined unitary Eastbourne/Lewes council would be more efficient than East Sussex County Council. Where would that leave Hastings?

Opinion

Big Sleep raises issue of homelessness

Next Friday, I’ll be spending the night at the Stade Open Space, sleeping in a cardboard box. This will be the fourth annual Big Sleep event, raising money for the Seaview Project, a local charity that works with rough sleepers.

Opinion
Cllr Peter Chowney in the Summer of Love 2018 SUS-180823-072813001

Come out this Sunday for a stellar Pride

Last August, Hastings experienced its first Pride Festival. The theme was the ‘Summer of Love’, celebrating 60 years since the decriminalisation of male homosexuality. I was very pleased to do the opening speech – suitably dressed for the ‘Summer of Love’ theme. That first Hastings Pride festival was a big success – described in the national press as one of the best pride festivals in the country.

Opinion

Making a town centre action plan

Last year, Hastings Council consulted local people on its ‘masterplan’ proposals for White Rock Gardens, and land from the seafront through to Summerfields Woods. Following on from that, we now have to embark on a more formal process to develop an Area Action Plan (AAP) for this area, covering not just White Rock Gardens, but the whole of Hastings Town Centre as well.

Opinion

A new broom under our control

Hastings Council this week considered a report on the future of the street cleaning service, after the current contract ends next June. But rather than get another contractor to run it, we agreed to re-establish a street cleaning ‘direct services organisation’ (DSO) and run the service directly. This will include removing flytips, and bulky waste collections.

Opinion
Coastal Communties Fund SUS-180614-070705001

More investment? Granted

As more and more money is cut from their budgets, we’ve had to look increasingly to external funding sources. There are many of these. The EU has been a major source of funding for Hastings, which we still can apply to, until after the Brexit transition period. But there are other sources too, within the UK. These include Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), and various one-off government schemes. But it’s never straightforward, and never easy.

Opinion
The Borough Leader with Cllr Peter Chowney

Grant paves way for trackless tram plan

Some time ago, we proposed the idea of a sustainable seafront transport link, in the shape of a mini-tram along the promenade, from the Old Town to Grosvenor Gardens. The idea was first put forward before the pier opened, but was put on hold at the time, pending further research on potential usage, and whether there would be enough year-round demand to pay for it. To fund that developmental work, we applied for an EU ‘DESTISMART’ grant for developing sustainable transport solutions.

Opinion
The Conservative View with Cllr Rob Lee SUS-170623-111550001

Empower yourself on voting day

The local elections are now just around the corner and I am sure all of you will soon have literature from several parties come through the door. The importance of the elections should not be underestimated. You get the oppertuinity to change your town for the better and possibly forever and what is more empowering than that?

Opinion
The Borough Leader with Cllr Peter Chowney

Council plans for exciting times

Over the next few years, we’ll be embarking on a major redesign and redevelopment of White Rock Gardens, and the ‘Bohemia Quarter’. This will probably be the biggest public space redevelopment in Hastings since the last war, and would mean new, modern facilities for sport, leisure, and culture, developing this space to complement Hastings Pier, and become a new destination for our town.

Opinion
The Borough Leader with Cllr Peter Chowney

Money, money, money…

In my last column, I explained the difficulties all councils are having making the books balance. I mentioned that one way to cope with this was for the council to generate its own income. So here’s how we’ll be doing this.

Opinion
The Borough Leader with Cllr Peter Chowney

Board established for good housing

Last month, Hastings Council set up a housing company to acquire and build housing. The company will be wholly-owned by the council, and its directors will be council officers, and one councillor. Its policies and constitution will be determined by Hastings Council, but the board of directors will make decisions on what properties it should buy or develop.

Opinion
Load more