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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Aquila House

Contact: Jenny Ling tel: 01424 451844  email:  jling@hastings.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

With reference to item 4 (University of Brighton update) – Simon Hubbard is on the Board of Governors at Sussex Coast College Hastings.

2.

Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 99 KB

a)     Minutes from the last LSP meeting on 25th April 2016 to approve

b)     Matters arising

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record with no matters arising.

3.

White Rock Area Development

Discussion (10 mins)

Minutes:

Kevin Boorman, Head of Marketing at Hastings Borough Council gave an update on the plans for the 35 acres of land in the White Rock area of the town offering great opportunity for development including potential retail, housing and leisure facilities.  Consultants have been appointed to lead the planning and informal discussions with key businesses have begun.

 

The Board thanked Kevin for the presentation and raised the following points:

·        What kind of housing tenure will be provided?

·        Public transport provision will need to be considered

·        How do we identify short, medium and long term investment?

·        How will this development be funded?

 

Kevin gave reassurance that we are at the start of the process can ask for number of things to be explored within the consultants brief. Infrastructure will be a key component and discussions have been held with the bus company as well as with County to ensure transport is fully integrated into the offer.  Completion of the development will be a long term aim but will be rolled out in stages to achieve incrementally. Funding arrangements are still being investigated.

 

4.

University of Brighton Update pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Discussion (10 mins)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Simon Hubbard gave an update on the University of Brighton’s review of HE provision in Hastings. The Council have appointed BIGGAR Economics to produce an independent report by mid-September. They have much experience in this area and will be contacting people to arrange interviews shortly. The University have launched an engagement process which will continue until the autumn, giving an opportunity to join up our efforts but the long term position is still unclear.

 

Paul Frost reported that the University of Brighton’s consultation is focussed on the future nature and form of the University centre. Operational issues will need to be balanced with the course offer and this may mean deciding between a wider curricular portfolio or a more focussed institute type provision. He added that this is now a very competitive industry and many similar reviews are taking place in HE colleges across the country to ensure they are viable in the future.

 

The Board expressed their concerns that decisions have been made prior to the conclusion of the consultation and the BDO report lacks data analysis or robust evidence. In these difficult economic times, Hastings gives a good opportunity to deliver HE learning at a lower cost and provide an alternative offer in contrast with the Brighton area.

They welcomed the independent report commissioned from BIGGAR but questioned how the results will be aligned with the BDO report or influence the changes being implemented by the University. They recommended that we maintain pressure on the University’s Governors to overturn the decision and raise this issue with the MP. 

 

Paul assured the Board that opportunities to feed into the process are still in place and Simon gave a reminder that the College is very much a key player in this and we should work closely with them to represent the town’s educational needs.

 

 

5.

Presentation from Seaview

Minutes:

Annie Whelan from the Seaview project updated the Board on the work of the organisation to tackle homelessness in the town. They supported the need for a permanent night shelter in town in addition to the Snowflake scheme operating in the winter.

 

Cllr Lee reported that the Council are prioritising this issue as evidenced by the recent ‘housing first’ model amendments to the housing plan.

 

The Board thanked her for the information and recognised that this is a critical service for the town’s most vulnerable. They queried:

·        The apparent increase in visible homelessness in the town

·        What treatment options are available for referrals especially for mental health issues

·        What gaps are evident

 

Annie confirmed that Seaview continue to work with partners but do struggle to find funding, particularly for outreach work. Suitable housing stock is in short supply and support to maintain tenancies is needed. She welcomed the ‘Housing First’ model of operation as a good platform to build upon.

 

This issue to go on October Board agenda for further discussion on shelters/mental health support.

 

6.

Partnerships Initiative - Street Life 'Street Drinking and Rough Sleeping' pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Topline results of survey on anti-social behaviour in the town

Minutes:

CI Rosie Ross, from Sussex Police and John Whittington from HBC presented a report on street drinking and rough sleeping in the Town. The statistics show an increase in numbers since 2011 and identify the associated underlying issues of mental health issues and drug and alcohol additions. This is having a detrimental effect on the local community and businesses. They outlined the work being undertaken by the Police and other partners to tackle this situation.

 

The Board recognised that this is a complex issue exacerbated by the reduction in public spending, benefit caps and the housing crisis. They recommended that:

·        Effective partnership work will be needed to tackle this issue using a whole range of services

·        A townwide event may be required for partners to identify gaps and formulate a long term sustainable strategy to address

·        Some funding streams are still available and we need identify potential bids and coordinate this effectively across the town as a whole

·        Key actions should be identified and owned by the LSP

 

Rosie reported that other towns are experiencing similar issues and data shows that two thirds of the street drinkers and homeless are local people. Finding a balance between enforcement and prevention is a key aim.

 

7.

Community Cohesion Activities Following Referendum Result

Minutes:

Reports have been received of a number of cancellations to tourist and language school bookings due to negative news reports both here and abroad as a result of the Brexit decision. If these incidents are not isolated, the potential damage to the local economy could be considerable.

 

The Board agreed that:

·        We need to challenge negative news reporting as it arises

·        The upcoming 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hasting provides an opportunity to market the areas in a more positive light

·        Monitoring the situation as well as wider community cohesion issues will help provide data to inform interventions and any training which may be needed within local businesses or the community

·        The leader’s message in the local newspaper, direct marketing to language schools and other media statements may also provide opportunities to convey a message of reassurance that the town is a safe and welcoming one for visitors from abroad

·        Zero tolerance of hate crimes and high profile enforcement of the law is also key to address

 

8.

Information Items: pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Minutes:

The Seawater Bathing Quality and Anti-Poverty Strategy updates were noted for information.

9.

Executive Delivery Group Notes: 22 June 2016

Minutes:

The notes of the last LSP EDG meeting were noted.

10.

East Sussex Strategic Partnership Notes: 9 May 2016 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the last ESSP meeting were noted.

11.

Next Meeting Date: 17 October 2016

 


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