Another five years?

Another five years?

October 2021 – Hastings Observer column

As Love Hastings gets closer to a second-term ballot to decide whether the project should extend another five years, more and more people are showing an interest in what we do for the town on a daily basis.

And it’s a fair question, because, after all, we’re funded by local businesses to improve the area on their behalf.

Last year we published a couple of blogs giving a week’s worth of activity. You can scan the QR code to access those if you have the time to read them!

But this feels like a timely point to refresh that snapshot with a look back over just the last two days. So here goes…

An early morning chat on BBC Radio Sussex kicked things off. We were promoting Hastings shops and encouraging tourism next summer – it was also a chance to get one of our newest additions to Claremont, the excellent ‘Cheese on Sea’ onto the air as well.

We also do as much as we can to help support local events, and after a chat in the White Rock Hotel we’re happy to now be producing the artwork for next year’s Beatles Day at the Theatre, as well as getting involved in the organisation of the technical aspects of the event to support raising money for the Sara Lee Trust.

That meeting followed straight on from the police’s weekly intelligence briefing – where we discussed how agencies were planning to deal with a particularly troublesome aggressive beggar who’s been causing big issues around the town for the last few months. A call later in the day from Lewes police HQ led to an afternoon spent identifying all the local shops who’ve been regular victims of a prolific shoplifter who may soon be served with a criminal behaviour order.

Further work with the police involved helping pull together evidence regarding a graffiti tagger who’s been targeting vehicles and buildings over recent months, plus collecting CCTV evidence from several recent shop thefts to assist with prosecutions.

All the work we do around crime and safety seems to be getting attention, as an invitation came in to make a keynote speech to a national conference next year discussing how Hastings deals with crime reduction in the nighttime economy.

A fair bit of time was taken up preparing for and chairing the Trinity Triangle Heritage Action Zone partners’ board. This is the group responsible for delivering a four-year programme of over £2m-worth of improvements to protect the physical heritage of the area and inject new life through a cultural programme of events. And linked to this were initial discussions with the organisation that has been chosen to deliver the council’s £70k welcome Back Fund high streets project.

Talks are now underway with the next few artists who will decorate the windows of the old Debenhams – and, of course, as Christmas approaches, the festive lights are always something that take up our time…and this year we hope we have something special up our sleeves to make bring the town to life throughout December.