Observer Column 1 October 2021
The weather has changed this week and summer is definitely over! Our businesses have been pleased to see visitors and residents enjoying all our town has to offer through the summer months and let's keep buying local and supporting them through the coming months.
You may have noticed some posts going up around the town which will soon have new signs attached to them. This is part of the Wayfinding signage project which will make it easier for people to find their way around our town. The new signs will have details of how long it takes to walk and cycle between destinations which we hope will help encourage more people to do so. We are delivering this as part of the East Sussex County Council local growth funded active travel programme.
We have been able to use some Welcome Back funding to continue and upgrade the free Wi-Fi along the seafront and in the town centre for three more years. This will help keep the town online and make the internet accessible to more people. For information about where you can access the Wi-Fi and how to get online please visit our website.
In more good news, the recently opened new visitor centre at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve known as The Bale House, has been given a 'Mention' in the Green Solution Awards in the Low Carbon category which recognises how sustainable and environmentally friendly our unique building is. The Bale House was designed and built with sustainability at its core. Insultation for the building was made from straw bales and recycled and reused materials were used throughout the process. Our country park is such a beautiful place and you can now find out more about it and enjoy something to eat and drink at the new visitor centre.
At our Cabinet meeting on Monday we will be discussing our annual climate change report which details the progress made on the action plan. You can find the full report on our website. We must all act together to tackle the climate emergency.
We continue to work with partners in the NHS and voluntary sector to encourage everyone to have their COVID vaccines. The 12-15-year-old vaccine programme is being rolled out in schools and those over the age of 16 can book a jab or turn up at a pop-up session for their first or second vaccine. You can find details on our website and social media posts.
There is a mobile testing unit at Pelham Place car park so if you have symptoms please book a test on the NHS website. If you don't have symptoms, you can use lateral flow tests to keep your family and friends safe and these can be ordered online.
We have been having regular meetings with colleagues in the NHS to ensure our town is getting the support we need to keep everyone safe. The booster vaccine programme has started, and we should have information soon about a new vaccination centre in our town and as soon as we have more information, we will pass it on.
Cases of the virus in our town are much higher than they were this time last year: between September 11-19 2020 the rate was 2 per 100,000 and on September 23 this year the rate was 132.9 per 100,000.
The winter is always a busier time for the NHS and our local hospitals and those in them who are working so hard to look after us are already feeling the pressure of the additional workload.
We all need to be considerate and continue to work to stop the spread of the virus. Remember 2+2+1: two jabs, two tests a week, and wear a mask when in busy and enclosed spaces. Please stay safe and please continue to be kind to others.
Council Leader's column