In my last column I went through Labour’s stale offerings in the form of the local plan they would like to implement. Since then I have been continuing work on amendments that we, the local Conservative party, would like to make to the Council’s budget. What is clear over the last few years is that the Labour administration have become entirely detached from the priorities of the residents of Hastings and St Leonards and are keen on pursuing a narrow, ideological agenda and the town has suffered as a result. This is exampled by the threat of closure of Ore toilets, a lacklustre strategy in dealing with street sleepers in the town, the virtual absence of a strategy on dealing with drugs on our streets, no real desire to physically and literally keep our streets clean and the now derelict Harold Place toilets, which serve as an obvious reminder of the failure of the Council under its current Labour administration.
What is needed on Hastings Council is a new administration, a Conservative administration. I, as the leader of the Conservatives, promise to refurbish and reopen the Harold Place toilets, save the Ore toilets for good, get our streets cleaner, sort out our broken planning department, help the rough sleepers in our town and to speak openly and honestly about the drugs problem that blights our town in order to find a solution and get help for those that need it.
The priorities of the Council need to be realigned with reality, some of us enjoy the rich cultural programme that the Council funds but is this really our priority? Surely revitalising our shopping areas in Silverhill, Ore and St Leonards should be higher on the list and helping the most vulnerable in our society should come before cultural treats.
I would also like to touch upon the planning department. If the Conservatives take control of Hastings Borough Council this year we will sort out our broken planning system. There have been far too many bad and controversial decisions over recent years and by no longer sending planning notices to residents, the Council have attempted to simply hope that people do not notice when plans go in for consideration. Among the many things that need changing in the department this practice must be reversed and the letters reinstated at once.
Finally, may I urge all of you to register an objection to the outrageous plans that have been submitted again to demolish the Park Beck Nursing Home on Upper Maze Hill, the plans call for the demolition of this historic old building and its replacement with a five-storey block of flats. If you go online to the council’s website you can find the proposals under this planning reference number HS/FA/18/00006. Alternatively, please write into the Council stating your objection.