Hastings and St Leonards Seniors’ Forum

HASTINGS and St Leonards Seniors’ Forum has pledged to fight the proposal to close the town’s main Post Office in Cambridge Road and move it to shop premises.

It has launched a protest petition and signatures have been collected at the February coffee morning and also outside the Post Office, Leon Tuppen, newsletter editor, reported at last week’s committee meeting.

Chairman Pat Dunn declared: “We are not going to sit here and let them do it.”

Already other members have voiced concern over problems which could result if those with walking difficulties or mobility scooters had to access post office premises in a cramped shop.

The forum’s committee, which includes the chairs of its special interest groups, also debated the difficult problem of loneliness at the February 27 meeting.

Although it already organises many social events it’s considering setting up a special committee to help.

President Pam Brown has emphasised the need for action.

Treasurer Ken Hales said East Sussex County Council could be willing to fund local efforts to tackle the problem. He said Samantha Williams, ESCC health and social care deputy director, was willing to talk to them about the possible addition to the forum’s work and a meeting had been arranged with her at 2.30pm, April 9, at Jackson Hall.

Mike Rose suggested organising a special sub committee to deal with loneliness as the quality of life group was already very busy.

Members were concerned to hear secretary Joy Nunes Martin’s comment that a lot of lonely people rang a helpline at 4am every day.

Quality of life chairman Ann Lowndes reported on future events they had planned, including an Easter coffee morning with free hot cross buns and an Easter bonnet competition on March 26, a strawberry and cream tea on June 11 and a craft, hobbies and health fair at the Sussex Hall, White Rock Theatre, on September 25.

Paul Broadhurst, new transport group chairman, reported the group was growing and a transport open day was being held at the Town Hall on July 12, from 10-3pm.

Aubrey Ingleton, chairman of health and social care, reported on worrying health statistics, including the health trust spending £2 million more a month than they could afford and that the Conquest Hospital was 19th in a list of worst hospitals in the country.

Also chairman of the planning and regeneration group, Mr Ingleton said a lot of planning decisions were being delegated to officers so they did not go before the planning committee. It meant people should keep a watch on planning applications if they wished to comment, he said.