I‘m Cllr Ali Roark – Labour Councillor for Tressell Ward.

On this website I write a blog about issues in Tressell Ward as well as share information about Hastings Borough Council and the local Labour Party. 

If you are a resident of Tressell Ward and need to contact me, you can email me on: cllr.ali.roark@hastings.gov.uk or phone/text me on: 07925 345519 or you can phone 01424 451066 and leave a voicemail. 

You can write to me at: Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3UY

All views expressed in the blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Hastings Borough Council or the policies of the Labour Party.

I was elected as a borough councillor for Tressell Ward in May 2021. Here are some of the things I have done in my first year as your local councillor

click on the headings in green for more details...

1. Greville Road Kerbstones

On one of our walkabouts, I noticed that many of the kerbstones on Greville Road were broken, missing, or uneven so I reported them to East Sussex Highways who carried out an emergency repair on the section in the top left of the photo. This was an ugly splodge of tarmac and a traffic cone – I am pleased to say that now this has been properly repaired as you can see bottom left. I have walked up and down the road recently along the kerb and am happy to report that the kerbstones now all seem to be fixed in place and no longer wobbly, which is good because they were a trip hazard.

2. Cookson Gardens Landscaping and Play Area

I went to a street meeting with residents to discuss issues relating to anti-social behaviour in the playground here. As a result of this meeting several actions were taken by council officers to discourage antisocial behaviour in the playground, including securing the fence and using anti-climb paint. Some of the landscaping was also trimmed back to enable greater visibility to the paths in the middle of Cookson Gardens.

This is an issue that has been going on for a while now – no one seemed to want to take responsibility for clearing this blocked culvert, which is just by the entrance to Speckled Wood from Frederick Road. Ore Community Land Trust asked me for help because the stream was flooding the footpath here (and affecting nearby back gardens). By contacting officers at Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council, and sending them photos of the problem, I was able to find out that it was ESCC that installed the metal barriers here and I encouraged them to clear the debris in that case. After a site visit, officers from ESCC agreed to clear this – I will be following up on this to check that it is done because I know it is a problem area which has led to flooding on the road in years past. 

This is a photo collage I sent to officers at ESCC to demonstrate the problem with the blocked culvert in Speckled wood

The tactile paving was very worn down at the zebra crossing on Old London Road, at the junction with School Road. I reported this to East Sussex County Council Highways, who agreed that it was unsafe, and the tactile paving was replaced. This sort of paving at zebra crossing is important for blind or partially-sighted people to be able to cross the road more safely so I am pleased there was a quick response from ESCC here. 

5. New Street Sign for Farley Bank

When I was first elected, I noticed that the street sign at the top of Farley Bank was very faded, so much so that you could not see the ‘T’ – I asked if this could be replaced and a new sign was installed by Hastings Borough Council.

6. New Street Sign for North Terrace

On one of our walkabouts shortly after I was elected, I noticed two poles on North Terrace and reported this as a missing street sign. Officers at the Council agreed to replace the missing sign, but as the budget was already spent for that year, it had to wait until this year. The new sign has just been installed (June 2022). 

7. Graffiti Cleaned in Egremont Place

Somebody thought it was a good idea to graffiti over the street sign for Egremont Place – I reported this on My Hastings and it was quickly cleaned up by the Council. If graffiti is on something that Hastings Borough Council owns, like a street sign, there is usually quite a quick response. If you report issues using My Hastings you should get an email to tell you when the problem has been sorted out.

8. Pothole Fixed on Whitefriars Road

I have reported other potholes in the ward as well, many of which have been filled. ESCC has a criteria for fixing potholes that they explain on their website when you go to report them. If you give your details they will let you know if they plan to fix it and when it should be completed. I also went on a walkabout with the ESCC Highways steward and pointed out other Highways issues, like blocked drains and overgrown footpaths. 

9. New Street Sign on Priory Road

On another of our walkabouts, I noticed a very rusty post on Priory Road, almost hidden by the bushes. I asked why it was there and if it could be removed as it seemed a bit dangerous. It turns out that there should have been a street sign here and so the rusty post was removed and a new street sign was put in.

I organised a litter pick on the Halton Estate with fellow Labour councillors because I spent a month reporting litter and fly-tipping and trying to get Optivo to come and pick up rubbish (including soiled nappies right outside the door of some of the flats in Halton). I took photos of the same rubbish in the same place for this long and reported it – when the rubbish had still not been cleared after a month, we held our own litter pick on the estate. I insisted on meetings to talk about the problem and this led to the CEO of Optivo coming down to look at the estates. Optivo now hold quarterly estate inspections again and there has been an improvement in how often fly-tipping is cleared. I think the wait time for clearing of litter and dog fouling is still too long though and I am going to see what I can do about this – I don’t think it is fair that residents on our estates do not have the same level of service as residents who can report these issues on My Hastings (which only works if the problem is on HBC land).

11. Swings Back in Optivo Playgrounds

Optivo took the swings out of the playgrounds on the Halton Estate and Farley Bank during lockdown and didn’t put them back in when the other playgrounds in town were opened up again. I asked Optivo about this a lot of times and talked about it on the new estate walkabouts and with HBC’s lead councillor for Housing and finally the swings went back in the playgrounds because of my lobbying for it. 

12. Litter and Fly-Tipping Cleared by the Halton Graveyard

I have reported litter and fly-tipping opposite the Pop-In shop several times, including this rather colourful mattress!

13. Japanese Knotweed Treated on Railway Land

There is quite a lot of Japanese knotweed in Tressell Ward it seems. A very big bit was growing on railway land off of Mount Pleasant Road at the junction with Broomgrove Road. I reported this to ESCC Highways. The Japanese knotweed was treated but as it is tricky to get rid of completely, I will follow this up to see if it needs a second treatment.

14. St Georges Road

I delivered leaflets promoting a pop-up vaccine clinic to houses on St Georges and Calvert Roads, back when the council was helping the NHS to promote the Covid vaccination program. I have also reported a lot of dog fouling on this road and one time I asked for the street to be jet-washed by the street cleaning team (which it was).

15. Bembrook Road Tree Bid

I wrote in support of a bid to put fruit trees in on the Bembrook Road open space.

16. Old London Road Bin Store

I arranged for the bin store on Old London Road to be cleaned up – several times, a this is a problem that seems to crop up every so often. Thank you to Hastings Borough Council officers for sorting out this problem each time I have had to raise it (the bin store here is actually owned by Optivo).

I have also reported lots of other issues, including fly-tipping, dog-fouling, dead animals, pavement trip-hazards, potholes and graffiti, across the ward. You can report issues too using My Hastings or the East Sussex County Council Highways website using the buttons below.  For more information on the sorts of local issues that can be reported and who to report to see the Useful Links page.

Speckled Wood

Cllr Peter Chowney was Labour councillor for Tressell Ward for 16 years before his retirement – one of his proudest achievements was getting Speckled Wood taken out of the local plan for housing and helping to see it protected as green space. You can read Peter’s writing about the history of Speckled Wood here. To find out more about Ore Community Land Trust and for volunteer opportunities in Speckled Wood click here.

Tressell Ward Blog Posts

Walkabouts

Farley Bank Update – June 2022

The buddleia tree has been removed and the wall repaired on Farley Bank It took me a minute to figure out what was different as I walked along Farley Bank today. I stopped by to see how things were looking up here and as I came up on the lower...
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Walkabouts

June 2022 Update

Councillor Ali Roark - Tressell Ward  I have been your Labour Borough councillor in Tressell ward for a little over a year now - if you look back through the blog archives you can read about some of the walkabouts I did in the ward with former Labour Cllr Peter...
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Walkabouts

Hardwicke Road, North Terrace, Halton Terrace, and Robertsons Hill

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. We’ve not done a walkabout for a while – most of the walking around the ward for the last month or so has involved delivering election leaflets. So this time, it was myself and Cllr. Ali Roark, as well as Liam Crowter, our candidate in next...
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Walkabouts

Spring Update

By Ali Roark An update on what we have been up to over the past few weeks as our walkabouts have been combined with leafleting and canvassing for the local election in May. Liam and Peter on Rotherfield Avenue. Delivering our Bembrook Road News leaflet. Liam reporting potholes on Bembrook...
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Walkabouts

Storm Eunice.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Just a brief post, about a walkabout we did the day after Storm Eunice, and what we found. Collapsed gable end wall in Traveller's Lane Wind-blown debris at Waterside Close. We walked around most of the ward, but there wasn't too much damage to be seen....
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Walkabouts

Halton Estate Inspection.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Today, I joined Debbie Gregory and Yvonne Barrett from Optivo housing association for an inspection of Halton Estate. These inspections now take place quarterly, having recently been reinstated. The condition of the Optivo estates in Tressell does seem to have improved since inspections began again, as there...
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Walkabouts

Farley Bank Estate Inspection

By Cllr. Ali Roark Today, Peter and I joined Optivo's Richard Spencer on the quarterly Farley Bank estate inspection. John Whittington, Hastings Borough Council's Community Safety Manager, also joined us. These inspections have recently been reinstated following meetings between local councillors to highlight some of the issues. Cllr Andy Batsford,...
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Walkabouts

Ore Business Park to Speckled Wood.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Today, we started off looking at continuing problems in the former Ore Business Park housing development, then moved on to look at Deepdene Gardens, Waterside Close, Valleyside Road and the entrance to Speckled Wood. Bishop Avenue Obstruction across Bishop Avenue, from Hurrell Road New road with...
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Walkabouts

School Road to Old London Road (and back again)

By Cllr Ali Roark. Last week, we started our walkabout at School Road, then along Sandown Road and Oakfield Road, across High Bank Close, then down Old London Road to the ward boundary at Ashburnham Road, before walking back up Old London Road to where we started. School Road We...
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Walkabouts

Tressell ‘Top End’.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Last Friday, I walked around the ‘top end’ of the ward (the picture shows me in Church Street), starting with Percy Road, then Coghurst Road, Clifton Road, Greville Road and Church Street.  This is a quieter part of the ward with (generally) fewer problems, so we...
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Walkabouts

Halton Estate Inspection.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Yesterday, we did another of our new, quarterly Optivo housing estate inspections.  This one was for Halton Estate, the other Optivo estate in Tressell ward.  This time, Ali and I accompanied Sharon Tompkins and Yvonne Barrett on the inspection. The picture shows Ali in the foreground...
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Walkabouts

Farley Bank Estate Inspection.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Last Friday, we participated in the first of our Optivo estate walkabouts with Optivo housing officers. This is something we’ve been asking for since Optivo scrapped estate managers a few years ago.  It marks a very welcome return to having a named officer at Optivo with...
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Walkabouts

Old London Road to Bembrook Road

By Cllr. Ali Roark For this walkabout, we delivered the last of our leaflet to the bottom end of Old London Road before continuing our ward walkabout which took in Hardwicke Road, Halton Crescent, Halton Terrace, Bembrook Road and the Halton Graveyard. There is also a bit at the bottom...
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Walkabouts

Frederick Road, Cookson Gardens and Speckled Wood.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. This week, I did the walkabout on my own, as Ali wasn’t able to make it. And it was Saturday morning this time, rather than Friday.  I started off in Cookson Gardens, walked up through the estate to Little Acres Way, then up to the top...
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Walkabouts

Priory Road to the Optivo Estates

By Cllr Ali Roark Peter is still on holiday so it was just me again this week - well for part of the walkabout. In the morning I joined a Highways walkabout at the bottom end of the ward. I then continued on to look at the Halton Estate and...
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Walkabouts

Halton Walkabout

by Cllr Ali Roark Cats on the Halton EstateOptivo land on Hardwicke Road Peter is on holiday so it was just me this week. I started with a walk round the middle landscaped areas of the Optivo estate between Priory Road and Halton Cresent, before checking in on some other...
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Walkabouts

St George’s Road to St Thomas’s Road

By Cllr Ali Roark Last Friday, 27th August was our most recent walkabout. We started at the junction of Mount Pleasant Road and St George's Road and then took in Whitefriars Road, Emmanuel Road and St Thomas's Road too. We forgot to take a selfie this time so here's the...
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Walkabouts

School Road to Old London Road.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Last Friday, 30th July, Cllr. Ali Roark and I did another walkabout, this time covering School Road, Sandown Road, Oakfield Road, and Old London Road.  It was a blowy day, with storm Evert battering the coast and some pretty fearsome winds funneling up Old London Road....
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Walkabouts

Farley Bank – 23/07/21

by Councillor Ali Roark We delivered our info leaflet to the houses and flats on Farley Bank this past Friday. We were pleased to see that some fly tipping had been cleared from the top seating area - but we reported this weeks ago and it shouldn't have taken this...
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Walkabouts

Halton Litter Pick

Bit late with this one, but last Saturday we organised a litter pick on Halton Estate. All the Labour councillors with Optivo housing in their wards are utterly fed up with the way Optivo housing association looks after, or fails to look after, their estates. So a group of us...
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Walkabouts

Hardwicke Road, Robertson’s Hill, North Terrace and Halton Terrace.

By Cllr. Peter Chowney. Currently, we’re delivering a leaflet around the ward.  This one isn’t related to any particular campaign, its purpose is to provide our contact details to residents, along with other useful information and contacts.  You can see the leaflet on the ‘Elections, Campaigns and Leaflets’ page. Cllr....
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Walkabouts

Tressell Ward Update

by Cllr Ali Roark This is to give an interim update on some issues that Peter and I have been looking into and some things that we have reported recently. Mount Pleasant Road/Broomgrove Road Japanese Knotweed I have heard back from East Sussex County Council Highways that this has been...
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Walkabouts

Cookson Gardens, Frederick Road, Coghurst Road, Greville Road

This week's Tressell walkabout blog is brought to you by Cllr Ali Roark On Friday 11th July, Cllr Peter Chowney and I enjoyed a walk around Tressell in the sunshine. Cookson Gardens playground COOKSON GARDENS The first stop on our walkabout this week was the Cookson Gardens play area where...
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Walkabouts

Bembrook Road, Hardwicke Road, Priory Road, and Halton Estate.

Our walkabouts have changed now, to Friday lunchtime, normally 12.30pm to 2pm. If you’d like to join us, or if there’s anything in particular you’d like us to look at, let us know via the contact page. Today was a short walkabout though, as we only had an hour. We...
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Walkabouts

A Week of Tressell Outings.

Now the elections are out of the way, for a year anyway, we can get back to our routine ward work. This week, we had three smaller outings rather than one big walkabout.  And we now have a new councillor for Tressell, so your Hastings Borough councillors are Cllr. Peter...
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Walkabouts

Problems in Cookson Gardens Estate.

We've not been doing our regular walkabouts over the last few weeks, as we've been concentrating on the election campaign, getting leaflets delivered and knocking on doors to support Ali Roark, our candidate for Tressell ward in the Hastings Council election, and Ruby Cox, our candidate for Tressell and Old...
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Walkabouts

Mount Pleasant, Priory Road and Broomgrove Road.

A chilly Tressell walkabout today, but at least it was sunny and bright.  This week, it was Cllr. Peter Chowney and Ali Roark, the Labour Hastings Council candidate for Tressell ward in the elections on 6th May. We did a fairly short walkabout today, exploring Mount Pleasant Road, Calvert Road,...
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Walkabouts

Halton Estate and the Southern Streets

A very warm day for our walkabout today, and now lockdown restrictions have been lifted, we could do it with more people. So this time, we have (l to r) Ali Roark (Labour candidate for Tressell ward in the Hastings Borough Council elections), Cllr. Peter Chowney, councillor for Tressell ward...
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Walkabouts

Old London Road and More.

Today, Ali Roark and Cllr. Peter Chowney were out on a warm sunny morning in Tressell ward for the weekly walkabout.  We started at the top of School Road, investigated School, Sandown and Oakfield Roads, up to High Bank, then down Old London Road to the ward boundary at Ashburnham...
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Walkabouts

The ‘Top End’ of Tressell.

Today, it was Cllr. Peter Chowney and Ruby Cox, the Labour candidate for the Tressell and Old Hastings division on East Sussex County Council, who were out on our walkabout.  We looked at the ‘top end’ of Tressell ward: Clifton Road, Coghurst Road, Percy Road, and Greville Road. We also...
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Walkabouts

Frederick Road Area.

Another Tressell walkabout in beautiful, sunny spring weather. Today, Cllr. Peter Chowney and Ali Roark (Labour candidate for Tressell Ward in the Hastings Council elections on 6th May) explored Frederick Road, Deepdene Gardens, Cookson Gardens, Ticehurst Close, Valleyside Road, Little Acres Farm, and Speckled Wood housing. Here are some of...
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Walkabouts

Farley Bank

Peter and I went for our first socially-distanced walk around Tressell ward since before Christmas this week. At the top and bottom of Farley bank there are areas where wildflower seeds could easily be planted. A circular bare space at the top, in the middle of a mini-parklet with benches...
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Walkabouts

Farley Bank and Hurrell Road.

Today, we began our Tressell walkabouts again.  Just Cllr. Peter Chowney and Ali Roark (Labour’s candidate for Tressell Ward in the May Hastings Council elections), as only two people are allowed to meet outdoors at the moment.  But the weather was warm and sunny, perfect for a walkabout.  This time,...
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Walkabouts

Broomgrove Road and Mount Pleasant.

This week, we explored the south eastern part of the ward, in the Mount Pleasant area. There were four of us this time: from left to right, Cllr. Peter Chowney, Cllr. Ruby Cox, Anna Sabin, and Cllr. Tania Charman.  The weather was good, so we had a pleasant stroll around. ...
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Walkabouts

Halton Estate, Priory Road and Bembrook Road.

Back to our Tressell walkabouts today, now lockdown is over.  This time, we took a look at Halton Estate, Priory Road and Bembrook Road.  It was a lovely day for it, chilly winter sunshine and some fabulous views out to sea from Bembrook Road.  Today, we had on our walkabout...
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Walkabouts

Old London Road, Hardwicke Road and North Terrace.

Today, we held our first walkabout for three weeks, because we’ve been rained off repeatedly. And now, this will have to be the last one for at least a month, because of the new lockdown. There were four of us on the walkabout today, from left to right in the...
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Walkabouts

Speckled Wood, School Road and Sandown Road.

Today, Ali Roark and Cllr. Peter Chowney met Ian Sier from Ore Community Land Trust (right in the picture) in Speckled Wood to discuss their plans and take a look around. Then we went on to School and Sandown Roads, and investigated a problem in Halton Terrace that had been...
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Walkabouts

The ‘Top End’ of the Ward: Cllr. Peter Chowney

Today, I walked around the ‘top end’ of the ward: Cookson Gardens, Ticehurst Close, Tuppenney Close, Little Acres Way, Frederick Road, Percy Road, Coghurst Road, Greville Road, Clifton Road (in the picture), Travellers Lane and Speckled Wood (the housing development). This end of the ward is mostly owner occupied, with...
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Walkabouts

Farley Bank to Valleyside: Cllr. Peter Chowney and Ali Roark

Farley Bank has suffered from very poor cleaning in the past, but this is now much improved.  The cleaning problems have emerged in part because Hastings Council is responsible for cleaning the roads and footpaths, but Optivo Housing Association is responsible for cleaning the grassed and planted areas.  This is...
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