Town Crier

News & Gossip Pages

By The Editor

Regeneration Regeneration – What a lovely word, its on every politicians lips but what does it mean? According to the Oxford Dictionary reconstruction on a higher level is the answer.

Prewar Policemen
Prewar Policemen

The Government, in its wisdom decided that the elected bodies were not to be the ones who had control of the millions they invested in regeneration. No, it was to be non-elected quangos, known as partnerships, who were made responsible for regeneration.

Some partnerships were good, some were bad but right or wrong they are not perceived by the public to be more effective than their Borough Councillors. The public believe that less than 100% of the grants obtained by the partnerships have gone on ‘regeneration’. Each partnership, and their are many in every area, had to set up their headquarters and employ staff, all taking cash which has to come off the original funds provided.

To the Borough Council’s credit they have come to understand the partnerships better and are now taking a leading role in regeneration projects, combining directional targets for the partnerships and leaning on the government for extra cash towards Hastings & St. Leonards regeneration plans.

Unfortunately the cupboard is bare and despite the efforts of MP Michael Foster, it seems there will be a massive shortfall of cash from Central Government this year.Prewar Policing in Hastings “Rye’s Own”, the sister magazine to “Hastings Town” is running an article by A. J. Leadbetter, a prewar bus conductor with East Kent, telling his stories of the local police at that time. There are two from his experiances in Hastings and Bexhill that made me chuckle so I will share them with readers here.

Prewar Policing in Hastings

“Two constables in Bexhill were walking close to the Pole Grove when they came across a man lying in the gutter. They soon discovered he was drunk on methalated spirits. He was far too heavy to carry so they dragged him off the road and into the Park. There was a shallow stream nearby so they removed his shoes, made him comfortable on the soft grass, dangled his bare feet in the cold water and continued their patrol!”

On another occassion Mr. Leadbetter was on a short layover at Warrior Square. We often saw a policeman there. He would have a chat with our drivers, one of whom could not resist popping into the ‘Norman’ for a quick drink. “Fancy one?” he asked the policeman and off they went as our bus pulled out. The next time I saw that policeman he told me he had only taken one sip when he saw his Inspector come round the corner. He put the glass under his cape to hide it. He walked with great care as far as the White Rock with the Inspector. As they parted the inspector said “You had better drink that and don’t forget to take the glass back”

Plastic Menace

I was shocked to see the number of plastic bags on the roadside around the Harrow Bridge, what a greeting for visitors. Something needs to be done, and quickly, the season has already begun.

The trend is for supermarkets to either stop providing plastic bags completely or to discourage customers from using them by making a charge. Thats a step in the right direction but the hundreds spread by the roadside at the Harrow need moving before the spring growth covers them. The tell us these bags will take 200 years to break down so they will pop up again next winter. Come on Council contractors do your job properly.

Protect the Public and Property

If it is the job of the police to protect the public and property then why is it that the Hastings Police are allowing the wholesale breaking of shop windows? I walked from George Street, along the seafront, through Robertson Street as far as the White Rock and was amazed at the number of freshly damaged windows.

There were also sad signs on boarded windows explaining to the general public that this shop is still in business, the boarding is to stop any more windows being broken.

Come on Hastings Police, get to grips with this ongoing problem or we will be seeing shops unable to pay vastly increased insurance premiums and going out of business.

It might be expedient at this time for the Police Chief to call a meeting with representatives from the many shops involved and get their ideas on how this problem might be solved. It is obvious that the police themselves have no idea how to deal with it.

“Rye’s Own” May 2008

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