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Labour’s Local Government Minister has given a big thumbs up to the progress of the People’s Pier and says supporters should feel proud of what they’ve achieved so far.

Andy Sawford MP joined Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen for a tour of the pier and to meet the team overseeing the work.

The charity's chief exec, Simon Opie, and senior engineers explained the history of the pier, structural challenges they are facing in restoring it and how forming the People's Pier Co-operative has enabled anyone to become shareholders in the unique project.  

Andy and Sarah were also invited to the White Rock Hotel, by manager Laurence Bell, to pull and sample a pint of Pier - the local ale where a percentage of the profits go towards restoring the structure.

Andy Sawford MP said: "I am very impressed with Hastings. It's a beautiful town with a great community spirit. The work on the pier is exciting and I would love to come back to see it once it's open.

“It's also refreshing to hear of the on-going efforts of the local council in cleaning up the seafront. Hastings people should be proud of what they've achieved."

We are continuing to make Hastings a place to be proud of,' Sarah Owen

The People’s Pier is an important part of Hastings’ future and Sarah has been supporting the scheme from the start, even laying the first plank and climbing the three highest mountains in the UK to raise funds.

Sarah Owen said: "It was important to show Andy, our shadow minister responsible for regeneration, what is happening in Hastings. 

“After 2010, nearly all central funding for big projects in the town stopped, but he saw with the hard work that's been carried out by our pro-active community and our pro-active council we are continuing to make Hastings a place to be proud of.  

“It was fantastic to end the visit by pulling a pint of tasty Pier to raise money for the Hastings Pier Charity - a great cause and a great pint."

After the visit to the pier, Andy met Cllr Peter Chowney, Hastings Borough Council lead member for Regeneration, on the prom to see the results of action taken by Hastings Borough Council on scruffy seafront properties under its 'Grotbusters' scheme.

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People’s Pier Is A Project To Be Proud Of, Andy Sawford MP

Labour’s Local Government Minister has given a big thumbs up to the progress of the People’s Pier and says supporters should feel proud of what they’ve achieved so far.

homesweethome.JPGA consultation is underway to find out what needs to be done to improve the standard of privately rented accommodation in the city.

High housing costs and a shortage of council and other social housing has seen 45% more people stuck in privately rented accommodation than in 2001. Almost a third of local housing stock is now privately rented.

Tenants are being asked for their views and experiences by Purna Sen, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Brighton Pavilion, who’s campaigning to address the issues facing Generation Rent.

The consultation responses will be shared with Emma Reynolds - Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister - and with Warren Morgan - Leader of the Labour group.

Some rogue landlords and agencies are not fulfilling their basic responsibilities," Purna Sen.

Purna Sen said: “Many landlords and letting agents are very good but some rogue landlords and agencies are not fulfilling their basic responsibilities to maintain properties and carry out repairs.

“Worryingly the recent Home Sweet Home campaign highlighted that some of the worst offenders seem to be letting agents accredited by the council, raising questions about the standards for accreditation and how seriously they are enforced.

“I want to hear from students, who have worked on the campaign already, but it is crucial that I hear also from families and workers who rent in the city.” 

Comments can be submitted via email to purnasenbrightonlabour@gmail.com, on twitter at @Purna_Sen - using the hashtag #TenantsNeeds

The Labour party has pledged to reform the private rented sector to give tenants greater security, covering:

  • Banning upfront fees charged to tenants by most letting agents which can be as high as £500; this can put additional pressure on tenants who already have to find a deposit and rent in advance.
  • Making 3 year tenancies the standard for private sector lets, giving greater security – especially for families who often have to face the upheaval of change of school, for instance, when they move.
  • Preventing landlords terminating contracts simply to put rents up. Tenants deserve predictable rents with an upper ceiling on rent increases to prevent excessive rent rises.

Find out more about the ongoing housing campaign on Purna's website http://www.purna4pavilion.org.uk/home_sweet_home

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Rental Consultation Launches in Brighton

A consultation is underway to find out what needs to be done to improve the standard of privately rented accommodation in the city.

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A consultation on closing five Children’s Centres in East Sussex has been slammed by Labour’s parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen who says parents are unaware of what is at stake.

The County Council has announced proposals to ‘de-designate’ a total of five centres in the county, including Churchwood, Red Lake and Silverdale, all in Hastings, but budget papers show that 'de-designation' actually means they will close.

The threatened Children’s Centres will be handed back to schools, and some of the popular services they currently provide for local families will no longer be guaranteed.

East Sussex County Council has offered no alternatives to closing and reconfiguring the children’s centres to accommodate new early years education places for two year olds.

The term ‘de-designation’ means they will cease to be Children’s Centres and close," Sarah Owen. 

Campaigners and parents have argued this is a short-sighted move, which offers no choice and gives with one hand and takes with another.

The one public meeting held by East Sussex County Council was very poorly attended with just eight parents present out of the hundreds who use the Children’s Centres.

Sarah Owen, Labour’s candidate for MP in Hastings and Rye, said: “Hastings has lost more than its fair share of services from this Government and East Sussex County Council. They should be honest about their plans to close three Children’s Centres in the town. The term ‘de-designation’ means they will cease to be Children’s Centres and close.  

“I call on the senior Conservative politicians in charge of this shambles to scrap this consultation and start again.  Parents, children and staff deserve a simpler and more honest consultation on whether their Children’s Centres are lost.

“It is essential that the County Council seeks out and listens to families who actually use the services currently provided at these Children’s Centres. I am being contacted by families who are extremely concerned to hear that our centres are under threat and who feel the County Council’s consultation documents are difficult to understand.”

Sarah is campaigning to save the centres which provide essential support to parents and also tackle problems of isolation, find out more about the campaign by visiting: sarahowen.org.uk/saveourchildrenscentres.

Take part in the County Council’s consultation too by visiting eastsussex.gov.uk/childrens-centre-changes
 
ENDS

De-designation – A New Word For Shutting Children’s Centres.

A consultation on closing five Children’s Centres in East Sussex has been slammed by Labour’s parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen who says parents are unaware of what is at stake.

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