Opinion

Opinion

Mind the gap- here comes the budget

Council budgets have been in the news lately. After Northamptonshire ran out of money earlier this year, others have been named as not far behind, including Torbay, Rutland, Surrey, Somerset, and East Sussex. While Hastings Council is not there yet, we need to make major savings to avoid it. This year’s budget-setting process is going to be difficult and painful.

Opinion
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
Just a Thought wiith the Bishop of Chichester SUS-171110-140358001

To be glad and generous for harvest

Part of the natural world’s rhythm at this time of year is gathering in the harvest. Living in this part of the world and driving around the countryside we see the harvest in action. Fields with machines going up and down, spraying, fertilising, ploughing, sowing and harvesting. It demonstrates how much work goes in to producing our food.

Opinion
Hastings Borough Council is borrowing millions to redevelop a site for a supermarket chain on Bexhill Road, Hastings SUS-180210-081307001

Council’s supermarket plan is too bizarre

Over the last year I have written about the Council’s risky property purchases around the borough in order to create revenue to fund the spending decisions it has chosen to pursue. The schemes they have embarked on range from the unwise to the reckless but one of the latest I think is their most bizarre yet. Hastings Borough Council are going to borrow millions of pounds over a 50 year period to build a supermarket for an international chain, yes you read that right, they are going to build a supermarket for a well-known high-street retailer. The plan is to rent out the space to the retailer but this will not cover the cost of borrowing to develop the site.

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
Amber Rudd

The importance of being educated

September – the month of back to school, college or university. Young men and women will be dealing with the results of their exams and taking their next steps accordingly.

Opinion
Huw Merriman is backing Briitsh farmers SUS-180913-095848001

Crunch time for British farmers

Wednesday was ‘Back British Farming’ day. To mark the event, I joined the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in Parliament to discuss some of the challenges faced by farmers and producers in East Sussex. The NFU provided MPs with a large wheat-pin badge to publicly display support for the sector during PMQs in Parliament. I had to disappoint on that front; I hate all of the gimmicks which MPs pin and wear. If you added a year’s worth, we would look like Pearly Kings and Queens. The only item I display on my person is a poppy.

Opinion
The council needs to be better at financial management SUS-180609-113410001

Shrinking services in the hands of Labour

This week’s Hastings Borough Council Cabinet was interesting. The Labour led Council from next year is going to be running at a substantial deficit and steep reductions of service and job losses are inevitable. This was no surprise; however, the leadership of the Council has publicly at least been in denial about the dire financial situation.

Opinion
30/1/15- Railways Minister Claire Perry visiting Amber Rudd's Rail Summit.  Amber Rudd SUS-180830-091631001

The attractions of high speed rail

Since becoming your MP in 2010, improving our transport links has always been a top priority of mine. As I often have to commute for my work in Parliament, I am aware that it takes far too long to travel along the coast and to make journeys to London. Delivering high speed rail will ease commuters’ travels as well as attracting jobs and investment to our area. High speed journeys will boost our local economy and draw more people to our fantastic town.

Opinion
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