Hastings Pier awarded lottery grant

It was good news for the supporters of Hastings Pier today. They are one step closer to restoring the Victorian pier after being awarded £357, 400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.The money will be used for restoration plans to help the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust(HPWRT) secure the £8.75 million pound bid to rebuild the ‘pierless pier’.Last October, Grade II listed building was thrust into the spotlight after being engulfed in flames. Over 95% of the upper structure was damaged. Although two men were arrested shortly after the fire, they were released without charge in April 2011.

The project aims to restore the substructure, deck and railings as well as setting up an educational programme and offer pier engineer apprenticeships with Sussex Coast College. It is hoped together with the commercial arm of the People’s Pier, it will provide educational and volunteering opportunities in the 19th most deprived town in the country.

Angela Davis, HPWRT trustee who led the application said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting our project. This news strengthens our resolve to continue working with Hastings Borough Council to secure the pier‟s ownership so we can deliver the vision of an iconic pier for Hastings.”

There is still a lot of work to do. Now that the pier has passed the first round, the trust has two years to submit the full proposal. And the trust will still need to match 10% (£800, 000) of the HLF criteria.

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund was extremely impressed by the Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust‟s ability to mobilise enthusiastic support from the town‟s local community for this innovative project. It was evident to us that this was a historic structure that people really cared about. The Trust is right at the start of their journey to fully restore the Pier and we look forward to working closely with them in the coming months as their plans begin to take further shape.”

Back in its glory days, Hastings Pier played host to several influential bands in the 60’s and 70s – notably Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. Opened in 1872, it was one of the seven surviving piers by Victorian pier designer Eugenius Birch.

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My name is apathetic and I have a problem

The Alternative Vote campaign in the UK has been a bit of a damp squib. I know that I should care, but I don’t. Or rather, I’m dispassionate about it.

Even on the BBC 10 o’clock news, it wasn’t the top story. It’s 10.20pm, and only now that it’s being covered. Both the yes and no camps have been trying to catch the public’s attention. It hasn’t happened. There hasn’t been the long queues seen at the last election. No-one has run out of ballot papers. No-one is getting angry. Oh, Jeramy Vine has just popped up telling us what’s at stake with the aid of his computer generated graphics.

I voted. It was my local election at the same time over in Sussex. It makes me angry that people all over the world are denied their voice. I make sure that mine are heard by voting or signing petitions in causes that I believe in. But for AV – I don’t trust any politician. There has been lies coming from both the yes and no camps and I stopped listening a long time ago.

My little brain can only take so much, and AV sounds too much like hard work. I’ve just been reading about tactical voting for AV and I don’t get it. Not that I’m clever enough to do tactical voting for the first past the post anyway.  And besides, there are other voting systems out there, other than our current first past the post system, and the proposed AV such as the supplementary vote, or the single transferable vote.  If we want to talk about making England more democratic, then why hasn’t the other systems been discussed?