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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Downs Farm Community Centre, 43 Brightling Avenue, Ore, Hastings, TN35 5EG. Tel: 01424 714871

No. Item


Welcome and apologies for absence


Marie Casey welcomed everyone to this meeting of the LSP Board and introductions were made.


Suzy Lawrence-Strachan from the Down’s Farm Community Centre gave a short briefing on the facilities and functions of the centre and its role in the local community.


Marie thanked Suzy and other volunteers for the use of the building and the provision of refreshments.


Notification of urgent items


Marc Turczanski requested an update on the community trigger provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act which come into force today. A key element of the Act is the introduction of a "community trigger", which gives victims the right to request a review of their case to ensure relevant agencies are working together to practically resolve the matter and address service recovery issues when needed.


Cllr Birch reported that proposals have been considered at HBC Cabinet and referred to full Council for adoption. It recommends that the community trigger threshold for Sussex would be initiated when an individual has made three complaints of anti-social behaviour or hate crime in a six month period. The full report is available on the HBC website.


Mike Thompson also reported that Amicus Horizon have been making provision to support residents who may be affected.


It was suggested that the Safer Hastings Partnership would be further discussing the way forward and after their next meeting a briefing note may be available for circulation to the Board and its Executive Delivery Group.


Declarations of interest


With reference to the discussions on Education:


Steve Manwaring declared his position on the Board of the Hastings Academies Trust, the Education Futures Trust and a governor of the Baird Primary Academy.


Simon Hubbard declared his position on the board of the Education Futures Trust and as a governor of South Coast College Hastings.


Julie Eason is a governor of the Hastings Academy.


Minutes and matters arising


Minutes from the last LSP meeting on 21st July 2014 to approve pdf icon PDF 46 KB


The minutes of the last Board meeting held on 21st July 2014 were approved as an accurate record with the following amendment:


(4) Ron Bennett requested that the minutes be changed to reflect that the Big Local project is operating in North East Hastings not East Hastings as stated.


Matters arising


(3b) Heron House - At the last EDG meeting Bruce Campbell reported that the Job Centre will not be required to vacate its premises at Heron House as there is a contractual agreement for them to remain for at least another 3 years.

(5) DESSS - Steve Manwaring reported that an initial meeting has been held to identify and contact small grants providers in the area to promote the Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme.

Cllr Birch reported that any underspend from last year will be reinvested in the current years allocation.

Julie Eason queried how this underspend was allowed to accrue. There were many applications submitted but high proportions were unsuccessful. Cllr Birch agreed to look into this further.


(6) Strategic Transport - Cllr Birch reported that County Council’s bus service consultation has now concluded and the outcomes are expected to be announced in December. Stagecoach have already committed to run a couple of routes previously identified as at risk on a commercial basis, although others may still require additional subsidies in order to continue operating.


(9) GP First – Mark Turczanski reported that he has contacted GP England for more information about the GP first scheme. The programme is being rolled out nationally but lead locally by individual practices. So far, there have not been any further reports of patients being negatively affected by this new way of working but continued monitoring will be necessary.

Emma Cuppini from the Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group committed to look into any potential effect on vulnerable groups and report back.


Key findings from Education and Accountability conference


Steve Manwaring gave a report on the outcomes of the last Hastings Community Network event around Education and Accountability. Centred on the local community, the event focussed on what further steps can be taken from early years to adulthood to ensure the best educational offer and achievement.


Areas of particular emphasis were pupil movement between schools, exclusions, how to promote services to pupils and their families, links between the voluntary sector and agencies and how to promote the local Credit Union.


The University of Brighton who co-hosted the event identified two strands for further research

·        Identifying good practice models of accountability in other areas

·        Pupil premium resources and how they are utilised


The conference was a great success overall and a follow up event is now planned to take place in 2015.


The next quarterly HCN event will explore demographic changes and community cohesion.


Supporting Education Locally


Ark William Parker Academy - One year on


Mark Phillips, Principal of the William Parker Academy was in attendance to update the Board on the Academy’s progress. He reported that the two main areas of focus have been academic attainment and safeguarding children.


Good progress has been made in both these areas:

GCSE attainment A-C increased from 42% to 59% although more work is needed to improve English and Maths performance and humanities subjects. The sixth form, run jointly with Helenswood, has been relaunched with a continuing focus on A level attainment.

A lot of work has been undertaken around the culture of the school including a strong anti-bullying programme, a mentoring scheme, interaction between year groups and the reintroduction of Personal and Social Education to the curriculum.


Work to improve attainment and culture will continue but equally important challenges to address are pupil literacy and recruitment and retention of quality staff. Converting the previous ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating to ‘satisfactory’ will be the first step toward what will hopefully be continued improvements.


Hastings Academies Trust - Progress to date


Paul Griffiths, Dean of Regional Education and Academies Development and Chief Executive of the Hastings Academies Trust, gave an update on the work of the University as education providers and academy sponsors.

The Trust aims to provide high quality education, address underperformance and maximise attainment; its work has expanded greatly with student numbers steadily growing.


The Trust also recognises challenges to achieving its aims such as reducing in year admissions, capacity for special needs provision, providing social and mental health support to students, reducing the proven attainment gap between free and non-free school meals, recruitment and retention of staff and parental engagement.


Education in Hastings


Stuart Gallimore and Fiona Wright from East Sussex County Council were in attendance and gave a presentation to the Board including information on:

·        Background information and provisional results for 2014 Key Stage 4

·        Follow up actions as a result of the Ofsted inspection carried out in June.

·        The Excellence for All Strategy which details the aims and targets for improvements up to 2015.


Stuart highlighted that the legislation clearly states the County’s accountability to ensure all children in East Sussex receive a good education, whether schools are academies or not. Despite Ofsted’s ‘ineffective’ ruling earlier this year, the Excellence for All Strategy is recognised as the right path for improvement.



Education Discussion


The Board thanked all three speakers for their contributions, a general discussion ensued. The importance of good schools and educational attainment was recognised as integral to achieving regeneration and its impact on the community as a whole and all partners voiced their commitment to supporting these aims.

A number of concerns were raised including:

Destination figures for students are key indicators of success, do we collate these statistics?

What value the Academies add and why recruitment is not improving.

Clive Galbraith criticised The Education for All Strategy as not being easy to understand and overly reliant on targets; there is very little about employment.

What measures are being taken to support pupils at risk of being excluded?


Paul Griffiths said that increasing the numbers of University students will hopefully give them a sense of belonging to the area and make them more likely to put down roots, leading them into employment and retaining their skills. Close working between teacher training and student unions will also help.


Having one spokesperson for all academies is being explored to give a more cohesive impression.


Stuart Gallimore defended the EFA Strategy but did recognise the need for more focus on skills to gain employment and engagement with local businesses.


Fiona Wright recognised the problems with in year admissions and assured the board that work is ongoing with schools across the county to try to resolve this. A working group has been set up in Hastings to explore how to reduce school ‘hopping’. Resources to prevent exclusions is part of the overall budget for individual schools, they are able to tackle this themselves or buy in expertise from County.


Jenny Jones also championed the work being undertaken by the academies and other education providers throughout the town. The figures are important but also is the quality of work being carried out which boosts confidence and success for students. She did however concede that resources to support the complex range of social and educational needs for many children are stretched.


Information on College Central and exclusions was requested, Fiona Wright agreed to bring this to a later meeting. The Board as a whole recognised that as important as education is, it is part of a bigger picture and how all partners can work together contribute to improvements in a broader perspective is key to making progress in regenerating the town.


Seawater Bathing Quality


Virginia Gilbert from Hastings Borough Council, David Tyler from Southern Water and Richard O’Callaghan and Liz Lewis from the Environment Agency were in attendance for this item.


Virginia reported that a number of measures have been undertaken to improve seawater quality tests at Hastings, initial results show that some progress has been made but the outcome of the official tests may still find that we do not meet the required standards.


David Tyler gave a presentation outlining further work which has begun to identify problematic ‘dual manholes’ and misconnected properties particularly in the upper Hastings catchment area. Southern Water has limited enforcement powers but is working closely with partners to address these issues.


Our minimum aim is to achieve a ‘satisfactory’ outcome when Defra undertake their official testing next year although we will have a better idea of our progress when sampling results are received next month.


The Board welcomed the measures that have been implemented, they questioned the main risks in achieving a satisfactory rating. How other alternative solutions and value for money are being considered was also queried.


Richard O’Callaghan said that the ratings will be based on four years’ worth of data and so even if next year’s readings are within the acceptable levels, sustaining these improvements will be the real challenge. The weather will also have an impact on our success as heavy rainfall will result in a higher level of bacterial contamination out at sea.


A cost/benefit analysis has been carried out on other options in the interest of achieving the best and most sustainable outcome for the best price. Alternative solutions include diverting the Alexandra Park stream and extending the seaward outfall pipe. Southern Water is continuing to collate data; it is possible that these options may be furthered in the future but are currently not considered suitable short term solutions.


Regeneration update pdf icon PDF 27 KB


The accompanying report supplied for information was noted.


Family keywork update (formerly families with multiple problems) pdf icon PDF 81 KB


The accompanying report supplied for information was noted.


Executive Delivery Group notes 22nd September 2014


The EDG notes will be made available on the website as soon as they are available.


Next and future meeting dates:


Future meeting dates were noted as:


26th January 2015

27th April 2015

20th July 2015

19th October 2015

25th January 2016

25th April 2016


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