Just wanted to share with you some information about a campaign we are supporting in St Marys Road. We are trying to get a joined-up response from the agencies concerned. If there is an issue that you think we should be dealing with in a Castle Ward road near you (!) please get in touch…
Dear Mr Berrisford,
May I draw your attention to this site (for which there is currently a planning application HS/FA/13/00949).
The site has been causing a problems to residents in St Mary’s Road for almost nine years since the previous building was knocked down.
You may know that there have been problems for developers due to a sewer which runs through the site.
As you can see from the attached photographs the site is extremely unpleasant and is a hazard on a number of levels.
There is also a major problem of access to it (via the path behind number ?53-60 St Mary’s Road) because of the many cars being abandoned there.
This must surely also be a problem for emergency services should any access need arise.
Please will you arrange a site visit and investigate possible enforcement action under s215 for this area?
We are very concerned that residents’ hopes of a development solution to this eyesore site are realised, and that access problems do not hamper development.
To this end we are copying in Mr Batchelor who is overseeing the planning application.
We are very aware that there needs to be a joined up approach between different departments and agencies in order to resolve what has up to now been an intractable problem for residents, who are becoming increasingly affected. There is, for example, a damp problem for number 60 St Mary’s Road, due to the condition of the site; number 63 St Mary’s Road is worried about landslip; and the site is affecting the general regeneration condition of this part of Castle ward as a whole.
I am copying in the Highways department at East Sussex County Council because, further to the photograph showing the pavement at street level, there is a real danger that the damaged paving will see a child fall into the derelict site with real risk of serious harm.
This is to say nothing of the possibility in the current weather conditions of the iron fence collapsing and for the site to become a real community danger – for all ages.
We hope that you will all respond quickly stating your commitment to play your part in delivering a joined up solution.
Hastings and Rye Liberal Democrat Campaigners are demanding urgent action from the County Council to get rainwater gullies across Hastings and St Leonards unblocked.
The Lib Dems are concerned at the hazards to pedestrians and vehicles from drains overflowing into local roads – especially in current stormy conditions. Local residents, for example in Wellington Road, experienced severe problems last year when cold weather iced up overflowing surface water on the local steep roads. The Lib Dems have drawn especial attention to gullies in Castle Ward but there are many others blocked across the Borough.
The Lib Dems are disturbed by what appears to be the mis-management of gully clearance by Tory-led East Sussex County Council. Blocked gullies have been reported over many months and promises made of early action – which hasn’t materialised. Assurances have been received that works have been carried out – when they haven’t!
The newly elected Chair of Hastings and Rye Liberal Democrats Chris Lewcock has sent a letter to the ESCC Cabinet Member for Highways, Carl Maynard, seeking urgent action to deal with identified problem gullies and assurances that management processes will be improved, for example by including gullies alongside existing routine pothole inspections.
Chris Lewcock stated:
“I’ve been shocked by the extent of neglected gullies and by the promises of action that have been made and not kept. I hope that County Councillor Maynard will be able to take a grip on his portfolio responsibilities and get these very basic but essential works carried out as a matter of urgency!”
Nick Perry, the parliamentary spokesperson for the Lib Dems in Hastings & Rye, has written to the Leader of Hastings Borough Council, slamming the Council’s failure to improve the access route to the Castle from the Town Centre.
In recent years the Council has repeatedly failed in different bids to secure significant funding to improve the site for future generations.
In his letter Mr Perry said, “It is no wonder that the Council has failed to win funding for the Castle site. The approach via the Town Centre is an absolute disgrace. This is a Grade I listed building – associated with one of the most famous events in European history – and it is poorly signposted, poorly cared for and there has been no meaningful enforcement on the grotty, fly-tipped private land by the main access route.”
Former Castle Ward councillor Pam Brown has said to the Observer, “I am afraid to say that this is a problem that has resurfaced since I left the Council in 2006. Officers have not been taken to task by ward councillors for letting this eyesore continue to fester.”
News release from East Sussex Lib Dems
A Liberal Democrat proposal to create jobs and invest £2m windfall money in a programme of properly patching potholes has been deferred by East Sussex County Council.
At the recent Full Council meeting, Councillor Mike Blanch (LD Hampden Park) called for a radical approach to focus on the tens of thousands of potholes in roads across the County. “There is huge public concern, The County Council overspent its roads repair budget last winter by £750,000, doing emergency repairs which can’t and don’t last. Doing the job properly with patching will save money and create jobs. Not doing the work means a huge risk, in wasted money though the winter, claims for damages to vehicles and loss of reputation. Government has allocated another £1.5m for work this year, but the money seems to have run out.”
Overall the County Council under-spent its budget last year by £12 million, at least £3m was an unexpected windfall, and Lib Dems propose that £2m of this be put to properly patching potholes, matching the Government contribution.
The proposal was not approved at Full Council: Conservatives placed a wrecking amendment to defer action until next year. Leading members of UKIP said that there was no problem with potholes. The Hastings Labour councillors accused Lib Dems of trying to “shanghai” the council.
Eventually a compromise amendment saw this proposal deferred to a Cabinet meeting in September.
“At election time last May all political parties promised to try and sort out the potholes” said Lib Dem leader David Tutt, “yet now some want to put off action for a year and others even deny there is a problem! So if you really want something to happen, write to the Leader of the County Council with your views, contact your local councillor, ensure your voice is heard!”
Nick Perry, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Hastings & Rye said, “It is disappointing to learn from David Tutt that Hastings Labour councillors were not prepared to work with Liberal Democrats to make these monies accessible now, and achieve repairs for our roads sooner. This solution will create jobs. It should have been backed by Labour.”
Hastings & Rye will get a jobs boost as part of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), the Coalition Government has announced.
More than half-a-billion pounds of funding to create jobs and growth across England was announced by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg as part of the fourth round of the RGF. Hastings Borough Council received a share of this funding for SUCCESS – Southeast Urban Coast Creative Enterprise Support Scheme – a boost for local jobs.
In the South East, this round of the RGF is expected to create 22,228 jobs through investing £45m in addition to millions of pounds of private sector investment.
Commenting, Nick Perry said:
“This is excellent news for our area, helping to create jobs for local people.
“The Regional Growth Fund is a key part of the Liberal Democrat commitment to building a stronger economy in a fairer society. For too long, previous Labour and Conservative governments have focused on boosting financial services in the City of London and neglecting our local economy.
“The RGF invests in businesses in Hastings & Rye so they can grow and employ more people. It has been vital in stimulating private investment that would otherwise not have gone ahead.
“This grant for Hastings Borough Council is intended to be a vote of confidence in our area, laying the right foundations for stability and good solid business growth. I will be working with them and others to build on this to create more jobs for our area.”
Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:
“There are more people in work today than ever before – since 2010 we have helped create 1.3m jobs in the private sector. Liberal Democrats want to create a million more.
“That’s what the Regional Growth Fund is all about – and I’m extremely proud to have found extra money to invest in projects across the country that have plans for the future and want to recruit local talent that will make their businesses better.”
I wanted to share with you a message from Lib Dem MP Gordon Birtwistle:
‘Nothing matters more right now than creating jobs, especially for young people. I know from my own experience the difference a good start in life can make; my career in engineering started when I left school to start an apprenticeship at Howard & Bullough in Accrington.
‘Over the past few months I’ve been working to promote apprenticeships to business and young people. The Lib Dems have helped created 1.2 million new apprentices – and every week I’m meeting more and more of them and hearing how they are giving them real chances to get a start in solid, long term careers.
‘Recently, I met Constance, a young woman who had been out of work and struggling to get an opportunity. She got an apprenticeship opportunity at Barclays. Constance can now get on in life in a way she previously couldn’t have imagined. She is one of many apprentices who have achieved so much thanks to the companies offering apprenticeships, but I know we can do even more.
The Lib Dems want to double the number of businesses offering apprenticeships, and I want you to add your name our campaign today: http://www.amillionjobs/join
‘Apprenticeships help people get on in life regardless of their background. I’ve met people who have become apprentices after studying at Oxford as well as those who have, for whatever reason, dropped out of the education system altogether. Apprenticeships provide a real job with real training to real young people. This helps us created a stronger economy and enables them to get on in life.’
Will you add your name today & help us double the number of businesses offering apprenticeships?
We’ve already been able to help over one million young people like Constance get on in life, but with your help we can do even more.
Hastings & Rye needs opportunities like this more than ever.
Thank you for your help.
In just over two weeks’ time there is an opportunity to choose a new County Council. Please find more information about your local Lib Dem candidates here: http://har0ld.org.uk/en/page/your-2013-east-sussex-county-council-candidates.
If elected to run the Council, the Liberal Democrat Group promises:
‘To tackle Tory waste. Despite their constant claims of ‘good housekeeping’ large sums are wasted on unnecessary consultants, external venue hire, and internal publications, too often printed not emailed.
More ‘20 is plenty’ speed limits outside schools, play areas and other high risk areas and work with the Police to enforce them.
To build business investment and jobs, encouraging Councils at all levels to work together with business groups as has proved so successful in Lib Dem-controlled Eastbourne.
To safeguard adult social care to reduce anxiety and hardship among the most vulnerable, and increase respite care.
To invest available capital in new school buildings to reduce the un-acceptable reliance on mobile classrooms – 183 at the last count across the County, many well past their expected lifespan.
To do everything possible to promote a green agenda, not because a focus group tells us it will gain votes, but because concern for the environment has always been a core policy of Liberal Democrats.’
The announcement that the Income Tax Personal Allowance will rise to £10,000, confirmed in the Budget, means the Liberal Democrats’ top priority at the 2010 General Election has been delivered in full by the Coalition Government. It means:
· A £700 tax cut for 24.5m working people across the UK since the Liberal Democrats came to power.
· 2.7m low paid workers will no longer pay Income Tax at all.
· For the average family, we have cut the Income Tax bill by a third.
· It is enough for a working couple to pay their council tax or combined gas and electricity bills for a year.
· The Coalition commitment to raise the threshold to £10,000 by 2015 will be achieved a year early, in April 2014.
Letting you keep more of the money you earn is a key part of our plan to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.
The £700 tax cut comes alongside more help for working families in the Budget, which confirmed a freeze in fuel duty and £1,200 off the cost of childcare for every child.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “When times are as tough as they are now, our focus must be on helping those on low and middle incomes. That’s why we’ve made delivering on this promise our number one priority in Government.”
Amidst a very gloomy economic outlook for the country, this is genuinely good news for low income families in Hastings & Rye.
Following the news that the European Parliament has voted overwhelming to back reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, Nick Perry, parliamentary spokesperson for Hastings & Rye said,
“Hastings & Rye fishermen, as well as our residents, have played their part in this victory today.
“It is crucial to keep bringing the injustices meted out to our under-10s to the attention of the Minister, Richard Benyon MP, just like we did when he came to Hastings and received our 4000-signature petition.
“I am proud of the work that MEPs Sharon Bowles and Catherine Bearder have done to lobby the Commissioner. And credit to our MP too, who has kept the issue alive on the DEFRA select committee and beyond.
“This reform is testimony to the need for us to keep a place at the European table – so we can lobby, cajole and argue for the interests of our own.”