Councillor dashes any hope of big cash pot

A COUNCILLOR has poured cold water on the claim that Hastings is set to benefit from “its own private lottery fund”.

With the Foreshore Trust handing over management of the beach to the newly-formed Hastings Borough Council (HBC) Charity Committee, the outgoing chairman of the trustees had said between £200,000 and £300,000 would be available for local charities and volunteer groups.

But at the committee’s first meeting, its chairman Cllr Paul Barlow said the pot would be much smaller than predicted, as maintenance would eat up much of the trust’s car park revenue for the next few years.

He said: “Unfortunately, the sums available may not be the hundreds of thousands of pounds suggested by some, it will nevertheless be very useful for those who will benefit from it. We have a backlog of maintenance projects such as repairing the steps going down to the Foreshore and we are working out a timetable for those to happen.”

Meanwhile the committee is looking to appoint an independent grant advisory panel to help allocate the extra money. It is looking for people with experience in the voluntary sector - anyone interested should write to the Borough Solicitor Jane Butters at the Hastings Town Hall, Queens Road, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1QR, before next Friday.