Hastings Borough Council’s programme for the year, approved at the council meeting on 14th July by the Labour majority though opposed by the Conservative opposition, has seven “priority themes’”.

• Tackling climate change
• Adopting an “equality” approach to pandemic recovery
• Targeting policies and funding at the most deprived communities
• Bringing services back in-house
• Maximising the supply of affordable housing
• Creating good jobs and training for local people
• Generating council income.

The Bale House at Hastings Country Park opened (at last) on Monday. Cllr Maya Evans poses outside
CREDIT: Hastings Borough Council

Asked why she voted with Labour to approve the programme, Green party councillor Julia Hilton said: “Why would I not support a programme that is at least attempting to tackle climate change, wants to bring more services back in house, wants to ban glyphosate use, draft an equalities charter etc?” She did, however, criticise the lack of targets or carbon reduction measurements in the climate change proposals, and was also due to table, at a further council meeting being held this week, a demand that the activities of publicly-funded development company Sea Change be put under scrutiny.

“Since SeaChange Sussex was set up over a decade ago, there has been absolutely no scrutiny of the company by Hastings Borough Council. It has utterly failed on its own terms by repeatedly failing to deliver on its projects yet there is total silence from the three councils – Hastings, Rother and East Sussex – that sit on its board. Hastings Green Party is very concerned about the current planning application for a business park at North Queensway, which threatens Marline Valley nature reserve, will cause a net loss of biodiversity, and – in that the units will be heated with gas, and there is no practical way of getting to the site apart from driving – goes contrary to the council’s climate change plan. It is well past time that our local councils took a long hard look at this company, rather than simply approving every project without question.”

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.