Click this link to watch the full interview with the Liberal Democrats Nick Perry.
An administration that believe in ‘command and control’ and an opposition branded as ‘hopeless’ is how Nick Perry of Hastings Liberal Democrats sums up the outgoing Hastings Borough Council.
Talking to Hastings In Focus this weekend Mr Perry laid out his party’s hopes of winning back seats on an authority the Liberal Democrats controlled just 20 years ago.
Mr Perry champions ‘more genuine conversations’ with the people of the town and he highlighted the recent public meeting staged by Friends of Hastings Pier as an example of how local people can become engaged in local issues.
He fears that Hastings Borough Council has become ‘beguiled’ by what he describes as ‘big blingy developments’ rather than investing money in the most deprived areas of the town. He believes that the money that has been ploughed in to the town over the years by successive governments has been squandered and has not been used where it was most needed.
The local Labour party has moved to the left in recent years he says, which has not been a good thing for the town and under its control the council has made what he describes as a number of ‘gaffes’ over planning issues at Ecclesbourne Glen and Station Plaza while failing to meet its own targets on the provision of affordable housing.
Mr Perry believes there should be a focus on supporting small business start-up businesses and artisan businesses because those are the kind of businesses that Hastings has a reputation for supporting and developing.
But Mr Perry says while he is an optimist he is also a realist and does not expect that his party will control HBC after this week’s elections. His ambitions for this election is to re-establish a Liberal democrat group on the authority and to build from there by demonstrating a more consultative policy and demonstrating an ability to work with local people.