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: email@example.com 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.
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.
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.