Civic leaders in Hiroshima and Nagasaki will shortly hear from their counterparts in Hastings.
Last week’s full council meeting saw Labour members of Hastings Borough Council (HBC) give their full support to a motion from Councillor Maya Evans that called on HBC to write to the two cities to show, ‘solidarity and friendship’.
Ms Evans asked councillors to mark the 75 years since the atomic bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the letter to both cities and to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, calling on the government to reverse plans to spend £205bn on the replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system.
“It is our patriotic duty to ask for this money to be spent on guaranteeing the citizens of deprived coastal towns, such as Hastings, have access to world class health, education and housing.
“It is our obligation as the stewards of our local environment to call on the government to spend this money in protecting our local, national and global environment,” Ms Evans said.
“We recognise the horrors of war for everyone unfortunate enough to be caught up in one, witnessing and experiencing violence which undoubtably scar people for life, both mentally and physically. Many of the homeless people on our streets bravely served in British wars, while refugees from those very same wars now flee for their lives and end up on our shores in Hastings. There are many victims of war,” she added.
HBC will write to the Secretary of State for Defence asking for ‘absolute guarantees’ that our serving citizens are in receipt of the very best to guarantee their safe return from active duty to family and into satisfying future employment.
Our council will also write to the Home Office asking for Britain to, “…take its fair responsibility for people displaced in war, which this country has been actively involved with, acknowledging international human rights.
“From Hastings, a small town on a global stage, we can still reach out to unite with other voices to promote peace and reconciliation by supporting a Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty. Therefore, we call on our government to sign and ratify it,” her motion read.
Several members of the Labour group spoke in support of Ms Evans’ motion, listing alternative ways to spend the £205bn currently earmarked for the Trident replacement. Those suggestions included new hospitals, additional nurses and teachers and proper funding of the Education Maintenance Allowance scheme.
However, the leader of the council’s Conservative opposition Councillor Rob Lee had little to say: “I do not believe this motion is worthy of our time,” he told the meeting.
While all members of the Labour group present voted in favour of the motion, seeing in comfortably approved, Conservative members and Independent, Councillor Dany Louise, voted against it.