Jazzing up the 1066 Forum

From bins to boy racers, have your say on whatever makes your blood boil
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moonjiver
Posts: 423
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:44 pm
Location: St Leonards-on-Sea

Jazzing up the 1066 Forum

Postby moonjiver » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:23 pm

Well, what I mean is that, having finally acquired a shiny, up-to-date Acer desktop with Windows 10, massive storage for all my photos etc. .. I am raring to get back into gear online with my usual obsessions. (Tons to sort out still on the PC, software to install etc. - a busy winter ahead for me I think!).

However, I notice that there hasn't been much activity on the Forum lately, which is a pity because I think the Forum is excellent, very well organised, clearly laid-out and easy to use - a very good "voice" for the locality and a place to argue about local issues.

What I also notice is that there has been a lot of discussion about the history of Hastings and the lives of previous residents and traders .. nothing wrong with that and it's been quite interesting to someone like myself who , certainly when I came here, was an outsider. But I do think there should be more focus on the here and now, that is what will draw in younger people's interest and most of us have concerns about things going on (or changing) in 2016. There has been a LOT of change in Hastings in the last two or three years - not all of it for the good, I don't think the trust running the pier has a clear idea of where it is going or what it is trying to achieve. At the moment the pier has been cleared of all the temporary "superstructures" and it all looks very bare and unfinished again. Is there some new visionary project being planned?!

The Observer building is closed up, nobody seems to know what is going to happen and I feel that a unique opportunity for a good central community space is slipping away, probably going to be over-ridden by commercial needs and the desire to make the building earn some money. I hope I am being unduly pessimistic!

The council have made some cosmetic changes here and there but seem to lack the drive to tackle the underlying problems of a deprived town and there is a general shabby look . Even before the cold weather, the nightclubs in Robertson Street were closing early at the weekends or not opening at all and the street was absolutely dead by 11pm - really not a good sign of a thriving town with money to spare.

Well, it sounds a bit negative but of course there are many really nice things about Hastings and I love living here. The music scene has improved greatly! A "big band" has started doing regular gigs in the Old Town (I don't have details to hand) and Jazz Organisation now appear every week at both the Brass Monkey on a Monday and the JD Bar on a Thursday - two really enjoyable and rousing music nights (the band has a website and a Facebook page).

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Richard
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Jazzing up the 1066 Forum

Postby Richard » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:58 pm

MJ,

A lot of what you say rings true,
We are not easily able to get in touch, or see, the latest business developments, or what the community (and youth) really want.
On the other hand, many heavily-industrialized towns across the country, with plenty of jobs and transport routes, compared to Hastings, have far less to offer, in terms of culture or recreational facilities.
We have a skateboard park, underground near to the Pier, but not much else for youngsters.
The Pier is a project awaiting funds, but still a good start, with lots of future potential, considering the past number of years spent idle in decay and ruin.
We have no central 'Youth Club' or similar in Hastings, or do we?
There are plenty of Tourist attractions, although of course they don't attract local youngsters who can't either afford them, or are too young to frequent the Bars and music venues.

I am waiting for decent Craft Fairs or Farmer's markets on the Pier, but don't forget, these are 'early days' and it all takes time to get them off the ground.
If the business community got together, with a clearly visible voice, and an online presence, they could make a big difference and attract funding for improvements, to their benefit, as well as in the community.
Good business ventures will always find opportunities in Hastings, and if they prosper it will surely be in their interests to contribute a percentage of their profits to create a a better future.
Find out what businesses want, and what the community wants, and take it from there, instead of letting the Council try to grab whatever funding they can from government grants and squander it on failed projects.
I can't say I blame them for this approach but it seems doomed to failure and builds up a false backdrop to add to the sense of failure, when officials just tick the boxes to get at funding for the sake of it.

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moonjiver
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Location: St Leonards-on-Sea

Re: Jazzing up the 1066 Forum

Postby moonjiver » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:16 pm

There are indeed a lot of arts and recreational activities around Hastings (and a lot of talented people) but it is all fragmented and unco-ordinated. There is no real arts centre (every town I can think of has a proper arts centre!), the Council does not take any kind of lead or listen to what the community wants, and it does merely what it wants to do. Public consultations are just PR exercises to give a pretence of local democracy and are usually ignored afterwards.

The Council mounts an increasing number of "festivals", farmers' markets and such (too many of them?) which do draw in the crowds, but these are not the same as providing long-term employment and opportunities for arts activities for local groups. Many of the best things that happen in Hastings are driven by private enterprise and local enthusiasm - get little funding or support fron the Council.

A differennt kind of Council and a different mentality needed!

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Richard
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Re: Jazzing up the 1066 Forum

Postby Richard » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:15 pm

It is very likely that a lot of 'Artists' do not much like being 'organised' anyway.

"Many of the best things that happen in Hastings are driven by private enterprise and local enthusiasm - get little funding or support from the Council."
This is exactly what the council wants - something that costs them nothing on their limited resources and with zero involvement or commitment !
They would rather that the unemployed were dealt with by 'social security' that draws money from central gov't funding instead, and additionally let them deal with potential business-course funding.


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