The West St Leonards Forum, with funding support from Common Treasury and Locality, recently launched a campaign to encourage residents and local amenity groups to work together for a better future for West St Leonards. 

The campaign started with the distribution of a leaflet with questionnaire around the West St Leonards neighbourhood, as well as the creation of an online version. This was followed up with a doorstep canvass: over 2,000 doors were knocked on and already over 200 surveys have been returned. 

The campaign then held three Open Forums, on 29th/30th January and 1st February, at The Comet, the Marina Fountain and the Discovery Centre.  

Local residents made it clear how much they care about their neighbourhood and want to work together to support their neighbourhood. They identified many strengths that this area has; residents also drew attention to the opportunities that exist for improvement and problems that need to be solved. 

The West St Leonards Forum will now absorb all these ideas and information gathered. It will also engage with businesses and schools in the area, along with the many sports and amenity groups who come to use our beach or the Countryside Park.   

One of the organising members, Virginia Vilela, said that the initial response was very positive and that the Open Forums brought forward many interesting ideas: “The overall feeling was definitely a strong desire for a group to work together in the neighbourhood. It’s an exciting start!”

In the next few weeks the Forum will provide online and leaflet form feedback, as well as set out a course for future work. It is also planning to meet politicians from all parties, both in relation to the Bathing Pool site and the progress of the Neighbourhood Forum. 

The first of these meetings has already been held, with Forum members meeting Sally Ann Hart, MP for Hastings & Rye, and the Conservative councillors on Hastings Borough Council. The meeting was considered both positive and helpful by the West St Leonards Forum attendees.

For more information visit www.weststleonards.org.uk

Information on Neighbourhood Plans can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/neighbourhood-planning–2


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