Potholes, doctor surgeries, affordable housing, public toilets - the problems Hastings' residents want to see addressed when going to vote
With Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council having elections on May 6 we asked Hastings Observer readers what their key concerns were that they would like addressed.
It is no surprise that the poor state of the roads was an issue brought up time and time again.
They were described as 'disgusting' and 'awful' by readers, with Les Plumb adding: "The roads must rate the worst in the county. Relaying the road must work out cheaper than refilling the same potholes every year."
Another hot topic raised was the amount of homes being built without the infrastructure in place to support them.
David Darvill wrote: "Stop building on green and brown category land. Hastings has a chronic shortage of doctors, police, schools, car parking spaces, bus services, open recreation spaces. The last thing needed is more new housing. Renovate all the derelict buildings to housing stock. With the current land grab Hastings, Crowhurst, Bexhill and the neighbouring villages will all be called Hastings. Sort things out for goodness sake."
Jackie Richards likewise wrote: "Sort out the infrastructure regarding facilities (GPs, schools etc) for all of the extra houses being shoehorned into inappropriate places. Also, forcing developers to add a larger per cent of new builds for people on low incomes."
The price of homes was raised many times, with Claire Blower writing: "Suitable housing for all. Whether it be affordable houses for first time buyers to buy or good social housing. Not a small house packed in at the back of a new estate where four bedroomed houses for the wealthy are for sale. Long term contracts for social housing are needed."
And Mychaela Miles wrote: "More affordable housing, more disabled adapted properties needed as well. Make more places accessible for disabled elderly and less mobile."
While Rachel Berridge added: "Actual affordable housing to rent. Priority given to local people."
Other topics raised by readers included a question by Dave Smith who wrote: "Would be nice to know why the council appear to have sacrificed this years new duck population in Alexandra Park? By cutting back pond vegetation early nests and newborns are being taken by predators. Stupid decision."
While Laura Butlin raised concerns about safety in Hastings stating she would like more security cameras in the area, improved street lighting and support for small businesses which have been broken into and vandalised. She also said East Sussex County Council should have a closer at the schools and how they are run and consider and listen to parents' views.
Reader Emily Westley drew up a wish list of things she would like dealt with by the councils, but said she was conscious local government funding had been reduced meaning they had less money to deal with all the different sectors. She wrote: "I want more youth workers to deal with our young people and stop them being groomed for county lines drug runners; I also want better roads because I pay a lot of tax for it; I also want better care for the elderly with more and better paid jobs for carers, I also want an end to academies and for our elected representatives to be accountable for our children’s education; I want more adequate mental health services for those who are lost and vulnerable and need our help."
Helping the vulnerable and elderly was a topic raised by many readers.
Carol Tree said: "Give more financial help to the elderly in care, they've worked hard for there money and you take every penny."
While Leigh Clayton wrote: "The council shut down the Thursday drop in centre my mum used to attend in Ore village. She loved going and meeting her friends. It was once a week. But it meant the world to her. No explanation just right you lot, we are shutting and that was that."
Other concerns included the need for more public toilets, community centres to cater for all ages, shop rates and the number of council beach huts available.