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.”
I was delighted to read the reports over the weekend of just how well our footballers played in Middlesborough.
They passed and battled, and by all accounts were fantastic ambassadors for Hastings. So a big thank you to them – they are a credit to the club and the town.
May I also lend my support to Dave Walters and his plea for a plan which all the major decision-makers in the town can own on the future of the football club.
The Leader of the Council, in my humble opinion, ought to have a bit more imagination than to say sorry, there is no housing allocation for the Pilot Field in the Local Development Plan (as he did in your paper a couple of weeks ago).
Notwithstanding the fact that this should have already been thought about before United’s stellar FA Cup run, there are still negotiations going on about the Local Development Plan with the Inspector.
Many people quite rightly want Robsack Wood excluded from development. So surely there is time to add things to the plan?
Why not have a brainstorm quickly about selling the Pilot Field and The Firs and creating a project that the community can support – not just housing there, but perhaps those missing playing fields for the College and the University? What about the Greenway Project – could that not be part of this?
What about all the economic competence that Labour claims it has? Here is a good opportunity to show it.
This landslide Council has failed, so far, to show that it really understands the important role that sport can play in regenerating communities and engaging hard-to-reach groups.
May I humbly suggest that it pulls its finger out and meets with Mr Walters as soon as possible.
I am shocked that you have not, to my knowledge, made any public comment following NHS Sussex’s decision to accept the ESHT recommendations about the Shaping our Future consultation.
My worry is that, as boringly predictable as it was, your bag-carrying responsibilities for George Osborne have led you to take your eye off the ball locally…
You know that I have been critical of your failure to support the Hands Off the Conquest Campaign, and that your logic for doing so was fundamentally flawed. This was made even more evident by your later backing of the Ridge Fire Station campaign on the basis of attendance times – the cornerstone of our argument with the Trust about their proposals.
You were adamant that you were right though, and that your commitment to a centre of excellence for Stroke services was your priority.
However, as a result of the decision of the NHS Sussex Board on 23 November 2012 – a meeting attended by Stephen Lloyd MP and myself but not you – stroke services will now be based at Eastbourne District General Hospital. Given that a FAST response is required for stroke, I personally believe your intervention has cost those in the rural and easterly edges of Hastings & Rye very dearly indeed.
Furthermore, your unwillingness to work across party lines with other colleagues in a campaign to protect core emergency services at both sites has led to the possibility of the Trust dividing opposition to the proposals in a way that was not possible throughout the Maternity campaign of which we were both a part from 2007.
If the result of all of this is that major towns in East Sussex do not have access to core emergency services, I believe you are personally culpable, and I will take every opportunity to put this opinion.
Having said all of this, there is a way in which you can still help.
Despite our disagreements, surely you can see that it would be in the best interests of East Sussex people that the Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (which is due to meet on 13 December to make its decision) comes to the conclusion that it must refer this controversial set of proposals to the Secretary of State, and for an independent reconfiguration decision – just as was asked for on Maternity in 2008.
I trust that, despite our significantly different positions on this subject, you can see the benefit for everyone – yourself included – of an independent view.
I hope you will do, and be seen to do, whatever you can to lobby HOSC to refer to the Secretary of State.