Hastings & St. Leonards Society holds Open Meetings at which we have guest speakers and discussions on topics of current interest or concern. The meetings are attended by our committee members, representatives of other groups and societies in the borough and members of the public who have booked to attend.
The following items were discussed at the Open Meeting on Thursday 15 February, held at the Priory Square Building, University Campus.
Heritage Action Zone: The Council’s application to Historic England (HE) to register Hastings Town Centre as a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) was rejected last year. This was disappointing, as becoming a HAZ would have considerably enhanced prospects of funding for various heritage-related projects in the Town Centre. H & St. L Society is currently working with Business Improvement District (BID) to bring the heritage value of the Town Centre to the attention of residents and visitors. We are currently putting together a heritage trail booklet, and there will be occasional guided walks in the town centre, led by a local historian.
Heritage Open Days (HODs): H & St L Society received several comments during guided walks last year that there were insufficient open venues during HODs. The original intention of HODs was to provide the opportunity for the public to visit buildings and places not normally open to the public or that usually make a charge for admission (HODs events are all free of charge – donations welcome). We are hoping to increase the number of venues opening for HODs this year, and welcome suggestions (please provide a contact name and e-mail address for each venue).
Suggestions so far: Hastings Town Hall; St. Mary in the Castle; Masonic Hall (St. Leonards); Markwick Gardens and St. Matthew’s Gardens (both private/subscription gardens).
Guest speaker, Ian Jarman: Ian informed the meeting of his campaign for protecting the historic statue of Harold and Edith at West Marina Gardens (CARE = Campaign for A Roof for Edith). There is an electronic petition and a hardcopy was handed around the meeting for signing – there was considerable support for this. Ian’s target is 1,066 signatures to highlight the support for protecting the statue, which is in poor condition but of significant local heritage value.
Former bathing pool site at West Marina:
In the open discussion there was concern that HBC was not engaging with the public regarding the proposal for development of the site. There is at present no active residents’ group focused on the bathing pool site, so it was proposed that a group should be formed to work towards a Neighbourhood Plan (this requires 21 persons, and must outline a definite boundary). The Local Authority has a legal obligation to co-operate with this. It was agreed that residents would take this route. For contact details e-mail: email@example.com
Friends of Hastings Pier: The Friends has become operational again due to the difficulties the new Pier currently has. New ‘Friends’ who want to play an active role are welcome, and F of HP is aiming to register all shareholders so that they can be invited to a large meeting on 23 April. (For more information e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or search for Friends of Hastings Pier on Facebook.)
Note that Hastings & St. Leonards Society has a policy not to lobby as a body on civic matters. However, it is our policy to bring matters of concern to the attention of our members and associate groups and societies, and to make enquiries when deemed appropriate.
The date and agenda for our next Open Meeting will be posted on this website in due course.
H & St. L Society committee