Arsonist strikes at the Y Centre


A community centre has been left with a repair bill after arsonists torched a dumped car in its car park.

The car was abandoned outside the Hastings and Rother YMCA’s Y Centre in St Paul’s Road shortly before Christmas.

Judith Monk, chairman of the charity, had been trying to get the vehicle removed from the property.

She said: “It was dumped here a while ago and someone had slashed the tyres on it.

“We had been trying to get the owner to remove it.”

On Tuesday (March 22) Judith was told by police to put a notice in the screen, advising that the owner had seven days to remove the vehicle before it is towed.

Judith said: “We put a seven day notice for them to move it and on Tuesday night it was set alight.”

Now the charity is facing a bill to make repairs to its car park, which was damaged in the blaze.

Judith said: “All charities locally are struggling to maintain their premises.

“It’s like one step forward, two steps back.”

The Hastings and Rother YMCA had just been awarded a £12,000 grant through the Tesco Bags of Help awards scheme to spend on work on the centre grounds.

Judith said: “We are just about to start work on our grounds and this happens.

“It’s so dispiriting.”

She added: “If there are any car park repairers out there who can help us, we will be grateful to hear from them.”

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Police were called to St Paul’s Road, St Leonards at around 4.35am on Wednesday (March 23) following a car fire.

“There were no reported injuries.

“The fire is being treated as suspicious.

“Police enquiries are continuing.”

The Y Centre has provided a base for the Hastings and Rother YMCA for more than 40 years.