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Conservatives launch their election campaign on the beach.

Time for change, say Tories

HOT has asked the four local parties for a brief rundown of their policies and reasons why you should vote for them. First out of the blocks are the Conservatives, who launched their election campaign last Saturday.

Hastings Conservatives have launched their manifesto for the upcoming local elections telling the electorate it’s ‘Time For Change’, setting out not only the Conservatives’ ambitious approach to boosting the local economy but to bringing in a new dynamic council to challenge stagnated ideas.

The local elections on 5 May will decide who is in charge of our local services. Labour have been in control of Hastings Borough Council for the past 12 years and have run out of ideas and energy.

Labour have substantially increased the town’s debt to the tune of £65 million and have been using reserves (the town’s savings) to balance the books. A Conservative council will review all council spending from day one, and make any necessary decisions to keep the town solvent.

Two major funding streams are being allocated to Hastings, The Town Deal and the Levelling Up Fund. It is vital that this money is spent to ensure long-term jobs and increase our future prosperity.

Housing

Although Hastings Borough Council face sanctions from the government for not building enough housing, a Conservative council will not allow all our green spaces and playing fields to disappear. There are still many brown-field sites like Ore Valley which could provide much needed housing, these sites will be our emphasis.

A Conservative council will undertake a review of all council land that could provide sustainable, affordable housing. The Labour Council have wasted countless millions of pounds trying to develop areas like the Rec in Bulverythe only to provide nothing. The Labour council’s failure to work with developers successfully has been scandalous.

A Conservative council will pledge not to waste public money on vanity projects such as the failed restaurant plan in the town centre. Public/private partnerships must be formed to regenerate our town centre and bring it back to life again.

The town centre’s decline has been sad to watch and Labour’s decision to stop monitoring CCTV has had a direct impact on crime and anti-social behaviour. Castle Ward has the fourth highest public place violence rate in East Sussex. We pledge to reinstate CCTV monitoring so that all citizens feel safe in our town centre once again.

County council

There is also a disconnect between the Labour Council and the Conservative run County Council. A Conservative council will reinvigorate this relationship and make sure we get our fair share of roads repaired, and County money spent in Hastings and St Leonards.

We must support our local economy better than we do now. Approximately 22% of jobs in Hastings and St Leonards are linked to tourism. A Conservative council will promote our heritage and encourage more tourists to visit by implementing an improved marketing strategy.

The night-time economy has suffered from increased parking charges – we commit to restoring free parking after 6pm in council car parks to help the night-time economy. A Conservative council will also look at implementing a business rate discount for employers who commit to paying their staff the national living wage, boosting wages by helping business.

The Foreshore Trust, for many, is a shadowy organisation which has huge power over how our seafront is run. A Conservative council will increase Foreshore Trust accountability so we can enhance our seafront, improve our seafront car parks and provide better disabled access to the beach.

Climate change

Climate change is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The Borough Council have very few levers they can pull to combat climate change, but even so, since the council recognised a climate emergency, little has been done to fulfil the council’s ambitious targets of carbon neutrality.

A Conservative council will ensure we have open and transparent results so the public can see how the council is doing. We will make sure all council buildings are as carbon neutral as possible. We must help staff work from home if they wish, as staff journeys, to and from work, are one of the main contributors to the council’s overall carbon footprint. We will seek to improve the council’s poor recycling record and make sure the streets are clear of polluting litter.

Labour Councillors seem very pleased they have installed 21 new electric vehicle charging points in town. They have done this by using short-term grant money, without a long-term strategy. A Conservative council pledges to work with a major provider so we can install a 100+ EV charging points in town. Let’s make Hastings a seaside town where we positively welcome and attract residents and tourists with electric vehicles.

Overall, the Conservative group wish to make the council far more accountable and transparent. The Borough is full of amazing and talented people from all walks of life and we must ensure everyone can contribute so that Hastings and St Leonards are places we all want to live, work, enjoy and prosper.

 

Hastings local elections 2022 – Conservative candidates

Ward Candidate Ward Candidate
Ashdown Mike Edwards* Maze Hill Andy Patmore*
Baird Hannah Fisher Old Hastings Kim Hollis
Braybrooke Steven Andrew Ore James Hollis
Castle Sue Clarke Silverhill Sophie De-Roe
Central St Leonards Mus Samadi St Helens Laurie Loe
Conquest John Rankin* Tressell Judith Sillem
Gensing Chris Meaden West St Leonards Matthew Beaver*
Hollington Stuart Murphy Wishing Tree Roger Streeten

*Incumbent councillor

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Posted 17:26 Tuesday, Apr 5, 2022 In: Elections 2022

4 Comments

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. DAR

    I’ve voted for Labour locally in the past, but I’ve been fed up with the arrogance and clique-ridden machinations of HBC’s Labour cabinet over the last few years so they’ve lost my support. Time for a change? Yes, I’d say, particularly when it comes to the local cabinet system.

    Comment by DAR — Thursday, Apr 7, 2022 @ 11:54

  2. Ann Kramer

    How disingenuous: under a Conservative government, cuts to the Hastings Borough Council budget have been among the most severe in the country. Still, why let truth get in the way of electioneering?

    Comment by Ann Kramer — Tuesday, Apr 5, 2022 @ 22:36

  3. Russell Hall

    The 2022 Hastings party manifestos published so far can be found here:

    Conservatives: https://www.hastingsandryeconservatives.org.uk/conservative-manifesto-2022

    Greens: https://hastings.greenparty.org.uk/2022-campaign/

    Labour: https://hastingsandryelabour.org.uk/local-manifesto/

    Comment by Russell Hall — Tuesday, Apr 5, 2022 @ 20:42

  4. Zoe Oliver

    “Labour have substantially increased the town’s debt to the tune of £65 million and have been using reserves (the town’s savings) to balance the books. A Conservative council will review all council spending from day one, and make any necessary decisions to keep the town solvent.”

    What you meant to say was “The current Tory administration is in the habit of starving Labour-led councils of funding and our town has suffered greatly from this, meaning that local councillors have had to take extreme measures just to maintain basic services.”

    Comment by Zoe Oliver — Tuesday, Apr 5, 2022 @ 19:34

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