Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings. East Sussex, TN34 3UY
Contact: Jenny Ling tel: 01424 451844 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Items No. Item
Declarations of Interest
Cllr Chowney declared that he is a Director of HBRL with reference to agenda item 7 (Ore Valley update)
The minutes of the meeting held on April 24th were agreed. Carole Dixon, Sean Dennis and Marc Turczanski to be added to list of attendees.
James Leathers gave an update on Universal Credit: HCN have met with representatives from the DWP to identify gaps and maximise what's available for Hastings residents. Support for those claiming online and refresher information for all claimants were discussed and further events will be organised. Details will come to the Board as and when appropriate.
Health and Adult Social Care - the voluntary sector's response to Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society
Steve Manwaring gave a presentation outlining the position of HVA/HCN in relation to the 2016/17 Select Committee’s report, ‘Stronger Charities for a stronger society’.
Discussions with local charities and public sector partners will be undertaken and a workshop facilitated by HCN to examine how the impact on charities in light of cuts to local authority funding and current commissioning practices can be mitigated. Small and medium sized charities are identified as those most affected.
· Richard Watson confirmed the CCG’s support and desire to continue conversations and work collaboratively with the voluntary sector. He gave assurance that the learning from CCG work is being shared cross county.
· Procurement has to be transparent and offer value for money but we should also recognise that the voluntary sector is a good deliverer of services with additional social value.
· Marie Casey praised the work that the ES Better Tog programme is doing and raised the need to work differently due to less resources.
· Sally Polanski, newly appointed to the Better Together Team reported that they are working to maximise social value and are prioritising strategic planning to connect areas cross county with the input of a stakeholder investment group. Engaging with the voluntary sector will be a key aim.
· Sean Dennis reported that the local chamber of commerce is supportive of the voluntary sector but more work to promote understanding between the private and voluntary sectors is needed. Local businesses have limited capacity and resources but are willing to help with their expertise, time and advice where needed.
High Speed Rail
Kevin Boorman gave an update on the potential to create a high speed rail link to London via Ashford. Separate consultations have taken place with both Network Rail and the South Eastern service operators.
Network Rail have undertaken a Kent area route survey which could lead to investment in the Marsh Link line with the potential to run high speed services to London in less than 70 mins but infrastructure work will be required. Electrification options will also have to be investigated.
Kevin also reported that four train operating companies have been shortlisted to take over the new South Eastern contract in 2018. The Ashford to Brighton route may not continue due to overcrowding issues and may have to terminate in Eastbourne or Hastings.
The consultations have taken place across the whole region and included a wide variety of partners and opinions. We have strongly advocated the case for Hastings and have the MP’s support. An economic study previously commissioned by County, Rother and HBC may need to be revised and updated to strengthen our position even further.
The regeneration update was noted. In addition, an update on the Ore Valley site was given, this will be discussed at tonight’s Cabinet meeting:
Although some improvements and new homes have been provided in the area, a number of factors have resulted in difficulties and high expenses for developers. However, recently more land has been sold in the area showing a renewed appetite for further housing development.
HBRL have agreed a license for the power station site to pass to HBC along with some associated funding for development. This area still accommodates some of the most deprived sections of the community and it is proposed that the land then be further leased to Heart of Hastings for community led development. It is intended that proceeds from other land sales in the Ore Valley can be reinvested for regeneration activities in the town.
Cabinet are being asked to agree the transfer of land and consultants will be retained to look at land development options including but not limited to the Heart of Hastings proposal. Other models will be considered including management by a Housing Association as well as impact on employment, skills and benefits for local population.
Clarification around a number of issues is required including:
· The provision and management of green space and/or greenway route
· Possible land contamination and/or topography issues
Further discussions will take place and opportunities for those interested to present their ideas will be explored. Mike Thompson confirmed Optivo’s interest in exploring all options.
Feedback from Rough Sleeper and Street Activity Workshop
Joe Powell gave an update on the event held at the White Rock Theatre in March. This was a joint venture with a number of partners to address the problem of rough sleeping within the town.
The main outcome was agreement for better information sharing, strategic links and a more coordinated response between partners. A smaller working group has been established with representatives from 12 statutory and voluntary agencies. This group are called the Hastings Street Community Partnership and their initial meeting formulated 5 key values. These are that everyone has:
· The right to a voice in their community;
· The right to feel safe and secure;
· The right to a home;
· The right to a good quality of life;
· The right to access the heath care they need.
An action plan is also being developed.
All partners voiced their support for this initiative and pledged to work together to offer reassurance to the wider community.
Dan Channon from the Fire and Rescue Service gave an update on work being undertaken since the Grenfell Tower fire. A multi-agency review of all the high rise housing stock in Hastings and Rother has been carried out, including the identification of those with cladding. There are no major concerns regarding properties in Hastings including the Conquest Hospital. However, some remedial works may be necessary to improve safety in certain buildings and a priority list and action plan are being drawn up. Home safety visits to all high priority buildings are being undertaken. A review of all School buildings may also be required.
The Board thanked the Fire Service for the update and their work in leading this review. They raised the issue that HMOs may also require scrutiny over safety issues. The local authority’s HMO licensing guidelines may offer a way to oversee this although the number of properties will be very high and therefore resources to achieve this may be limited.
Mike Thompson confirmed Optivo’s commitment to safety, a rapid action team is in place and a review of all properties is taking place. Individual flat visits in the Four Courts buildings to reassure residents is also being undertaken.
Richard Watson also noted that CCG operatives may already be visiting with tenants in relevant buildings and can help reassure them if necessary. Happy to have further discussions with the Fire Service to roll out if required.
Any Other Business
Marie Casey noted that armed Police were in attendance at the recent pirate day event. Anita reported that this was not in response to any specific intelligence reports but just a contingency measure to reassure the public.
Next Meeting Date - Monday 16th October 2017, 10am - Muriel Matters House