What is Seachangewatch?

Seachangewatch has been set up by residents of Hastings and St Leonards, concerned about SeaChange Sussex, the ‘not-for-profit regeneration company’ in our town.  We believe there is a serious lack of accountability and transparency in SeaChange’s activities, as well as a complete lack of consideration of the environmental impact of their projects on our green spaces. Continue reading

Queensway Gateway road: ‘Project overspend is likely’

In July 2016, local group Combe Haven Defenders (CHD) sent out a press release demanding to know why SeaChange Sussex were forecasting that the cost of the Queensway Gateway road (QGR) would be only £6m, a £9m reduction on the original £15m predicted cost. Continue reading

East Sussex Strategic Growth Project: too good to be true?

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) agreed in January 2017 to allocate £8.2m of Local Growth Fund money to the East Sussex Strategic Growth Project (ESSGP). This is SeaChange’s next big project, and worth taking a look at in a bit of detail.
Continue reading

North Bexhill Access Road: has the cost-cutting begun?

Last year, we published an article questioning the anticipated cost of the North Bexhill Access Road (NBAR). According to funder the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), the road was going to cost a total of £16.7m. Continue reading

Luddites and violent voices: SeaChange spindoctor’s view of opponents of ‘regeneration’

For several years, Tariq Khwaja, of TK Associates has been the public face of SeaChange Sussex. He’s been there at every ‘consultation’ and every Bexhill Hastings Link Road ‘construction exhibition'; he  is nearly always listed as the ‘spokesman’ for SeaChange in press releases (which he presumably writes); and he generally ensures that anyone who actually works for SeaChange – most notably director John Shaw – is almost entirely invisible, and hence utterly unaccountable. Continue reading

Havelock Place: £7m in public money, 16% occupied after two years, 12 jobs created

Nearly three years ago, then-Chancellor George Osborne and Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd visited Havelock Place, the then-uncompleted SeaChange project in Hastings town centre. According to SeaChange’s website, George Osborne said: Continue reading

North Queensway Innovation Park: a second occupier but still no new jobs

SeaChange has found another occupier for its North Queensway ‘Innovation’ Park. They’ve submitted a planning application for a ‘car showroom and workshop’. One might wonder why SeaChange did not announce this with its usual chutzpah in the local press, or indeed why there is not a word about it on their website. Surely they want to announce the news of more jobs for Hastings? Continue reading

SeaChange Sussex: absolutely no scrutiny from Hastings Borough Council

In 2013, Hastings Borough Council made a decision that an ‘annual briefing from the Chief Executive of SeaChange’ (that is to say, John Shaw) should be ‘made part of the annual Programme of Member training’.  However, a Freedom of Information request made recently by Combe Haven Defenders has revealed that three and a half years after that decision was made, no such briefing has taken place. Continue reading

The North Bexhill Access Road: the mystery of the money

Here’s a question.  How much will SeaChange’s North Bexhill Access Road (NBAR) cost – if it’s built – and where would the money come from?

It would undoubtedly be public money – it always is – but how much of it is a bit of a mystery. Continue reading

SeaChange projects: opacity built in?

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SeaChange: opacity built in. Photo: Titus Tscharntke, Wikimedia commons

In the standard democratic process in the UK, a piece of legislation is circulated, has amendments written to it, is voted on in the House of Commons, and then voted on in the House of Lords.  The people in the Commons who vote have their vote recorded and are (in theory) democratically accountable to the people who have voted them in.  Continue reading

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