‘Improving lives’ investment in St Leonards has borne fruit says HBC

Leading Labour councillor Andy Batsford says the town’s borough council is a “bold interventionist council determined to improve the lives of our residents.”

He was talking after Hastings Borough Council (HBC) carried out a review os a 16 year programme of renewal work in central St Leonards. The £32 million public/private investment has been focussed on the renewal area and according to Mr Batsford it has seen significant improvements, particularly in housing.

“The local environment, town centre and anti-social behaviour have also improved,” he says.

The main achievements listed by HBC are:

  • Nearly 600 homes made fit to live in
  • Over 300 homes were improved that were in serious disrepair
  • 53 homes improved by housing associations
  • Nine compulsory purchase orders made for long term empty properties
  • 104 homes with multiple occupations improved
  • 111 buildings improved through enforcement action
  • Long-term empty homes reduced by 30 per cent from 260 to 183
  • Reduction in crime rate
  • 381 local residents involved in skills and learning projects

Mr Batsford, who is lead councillor for housing at HBC says: “This review shows what can be done by a bold interventionist Council determined to improve the lives of our residents. Central St Leonards has seen a massive positive improvement because of this focused work by council officers, local residents, key stakeholders, local councillors and organisations of all shapes and sizes.

Investment in St Leonards has made it feel safer and the area looks and feels lifted and positive according to Councillor Andy Batsford.

“You only have to walk the area now and you feel safer, the area looks and feels lifted and positive.

“Of course there is still more to do, and this will be achieved when funding is found for projects. It’s areas like central St Leonards that have taken the hardest hits to the funding cuts.

“This council will keep an active watching brief on Central St Leonards ensuring that the work done over the years is built upon. We will continue to explore funding opportunities that will allow this amazing area of Hastings to continue to flourish along with all its residents. Projects continue such as Leolyn House that will give affordable accommodation, like the recently completed Winchester House, which also offers affordable rent.

“Enforcement work also continues in housing renewal. HBC will be making full use of the new powers introduced by the Housing and Planning Act. The Warm Homes Check Service and the SHINE projects continue to improve the homes of those most at risk from fuel poverty.”

2 thoughts on “‘Improving lives’ investment in St Leonards has borne fruit says HBC

  1. So pleased to read about all this improvement! I love St.Leonards in spite of what anyone else says re drug problem etc. We only see the tip of the iceberg here!

  2. The Labour group keeps saying everything is dependent on funding…well….they seem to have found a bottomless pit in the Public Works Loan Board lending facility…whats stopping them from borrowing a few more million from this group? And then using it to better the lives of people who are less fortunate? Better than spending council borrowings on very dodgy commercial projects such as: the site where Dunelm Mill/Pets at Home have their premises….the TK Maxx site…Muriel Matters House where all these deals are signed sealed and delivered…plus so many more purchases which we only get to hear about if someone lets it slip..

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