Sunday, 17 December 2017

It may be lonely this Christmas...

Time to remember that, although many will be celebrating over this coming week, some will not, and in 8 days time, many will be lonely, be stressed, and/or be isolated, whilst people with long-term or acute mental health problems may lack essential support.

Here is a link to 12 tips to help end loneliness this Christmas, and bear in mind that more than 11,000 Samaritans volunteers will be working 123,000 hours over this 'festive season' to listen to people with problems, and to provide support (website). The national Samaritans Helpline can be called free on 0800 116123, and Hastings Samaritans are available on 01424 436666 (local charges).

Here's wishing the people of Hastings have an excellent time over the next couple of weeks, and that those who do need help and support receive that help and support.

Best wishes and peace to all, and thanks to those who work to keep us safe in the NHS and Emergency Services, those working in essential services, and to the volunteers!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Christmas Remembrance Procession

The Hastings Winkle Club Christmas Remembrance Procession 2017 will be meeting up this evening (Saturday, 16th December) at 6.30pm at the Cyril & Lilian Bishop Lifeboat, in front of All Saints Church at the top of All Saints Street, then leaving for Winkle Island at 7pm. In addition to the Act of Remembrance there will be hot soup and carols sung; see the Hastings Winkle Club facebook page.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Hastings parks win national awards!

This is a slightly edited version of Hastings Borough Council's recent press release as the Council has won two awards for innovation in parks management. "The projects that secured the awards were for bathing water quality improvement in Alexandra Park and the introduction of Belted Galloway cattle, conservation grazing and heathland restoration at Hastings Country Park.
Councillor Colin Fitzgerald, lead member for the environment said, "The country park and Alexandra Park are two of just eight inspirational parks and green spaces in the UK to achieve the award, which is presented to Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award winning sites that have made changes which have brought outstanding benefits to both their site and the local community."
"My thanks go to the dedicated council staff who found innovative ways of achieving their aims and then saw the projects through... In 2015 we established an innovative free roaming conservation grazing project (Hastings Country Park)We introduced a small herd of Exmoor ponies and Belted Galloway cattle to manage the wooded glens and slopes which are inaccessible for the mechanical equipment we would normally use. We opened up fencing so the cattle and ponies roam freely in the woods and steep slopes, allowing them the same freedom as walkers... Our innovative use of free roaming grazing animals to manage threatened habitats on public land successfully combines biodiversity and wildlife management with public enjoyment and getting closer to nature, especially for residents from disadvantaged communities in the town."

Regarding the award won by Alexandra Park Fitzgerald said “Waterways are a key feature in Alexandra Park. The Waterways Improvement Project started in the winter of 2014 and was completed in November 2016. The project aim was to reduce the contamination from surrounding sources and misconnections within the plumbing systems of some local houses entering into the stream flowing through the park. This involved the natural treatment of water in Alexandra Park through the creation of weirs, wetland, silt traps, planted stream channels, floating island eco-systems, pond edge treatment and an aeration system that sucks water through natural gravel and plant filtration beds. As a result of our work, stream water now travels slower through the park giving greater exposure to UV light, providing beneficial microbes and root filtration. The longer the water can be kept in the treatment areas the greater effect the power of nature will have to revitalise the quality of water discharged into the sea, resulting in improved bathing water quality at the outfall to the sea.”

Paul Todd of the Green Flag Award Scheme said "Congratulations to everyone involved in the Hastings Country Park and Alexandra Park projects, both worthy winners of the Special Innovation Awards. Research has proved that quality parks and green spaces play a vital role within their local communities. Hastings Country Park and Alexandra Park are perfect examples of this." 
We add our congratulations too, quality work Hastings Borough Council!
Photographs are mine, except the Galloway Cattle, with thanks to HBC.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Saturday 9th December...

As we all know, there's always something going on in Hastings, so I shall just pick out a few events this Saturday starting with St Michael's Hospice's Christmas on the Coast at the Stade Hall in Hastings Old Town, from 11am to 4pm. The event itself is free, though with parts that cost, eg raffle, tombola and stalls, and is mostly child-oriented, though with something for everyone so adults shouldn't be bored; further information can be found at St Michael's website.

For children aged between 4 and 8 years old, during the afternoon from 2.30 to 4.30pm, Hastings Winkle Club are hosting the Children's Christmas at East Hastings Sea Angling Association's Function Room, at the Stade opposite the Lifeboat Station. For further information go to the Winkle Club's facebook page.

Then, in the evening, from 7.30pm, is the Christmas Soul Party, featuring live bands in aid of St Michael's Hospice and 'Surviving Christmas' at St Mary in the Castle; tickets £10 on the door, but can be purchased for £8.50 at Hastings Tourist Information Centre, Muriel Matters House, beforehand (I believe it closes at 5pm). For further information go to St Michael's website.

Truly, something for everyone, have fun!

Friday, 8 December 2017

Library Service Proposals - 6 days left!

Old photograph, still not re-opened yet!

People in East Sussex now have just 6 days left in which to contribute to East Sussex County Council's consultation exercise of their proposals concerning how they can make a further £2 million savings to library services, including closing Ore Library, amongst others in East Sussex, because of Central Government cuts to their contributions to local councils; expect similar cuts from other County departments and from Hastings Borough Council thanks to Government austerity cuts.

I have just come off the online consultation (website), which was very easy to complete, and with room for your own opinions/ideas, you can also go into libraries and complete paper copies, again, you have until next Thursday, the 14th of December 2017.

East Sussex County Council also has other consultation exercises ongoing, if you ever want to see what else they are holding exercises on go to their website.