Observer column: 15 October
This week has been Baby Loss Awareness Week which marks the lives of babies lost in pregnancy or at or soon after birth. It culminates in a national Wave of Light from 7pm tonight and the lights at Bottle Alley will be lit pink and blue in remembrance and in support of those who have lost babies.
Hastings Week, a week dedicated to commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 culminates with Hastings Bonfire tomorrow (Saturday October 16) which is a very popular event in the town's calendar and many people will be pleased to see it return. If you are thinking of going remember COVID-19 is still with us so take a lateral flow test beforehand and if you have any symptoms or are unwell please don't go.
There will be the usual firework display after the procession and you can find more information on the Hastings Borough Bonfire Society website. If you need advice on helping and supporting pets, the PDSA website has a free downloadable guide.
There is a lot happening in our town over the coming weeks, including Hastings Early Music Festival, which has concerts tonight (Friday October 15) and on Sunday. You can find out more at hemf.co.uk.
Local people are taking part in a people's opera, Bloom Britannia, on Friday October 22 and Saturday October 23 at St Mary in the Castle. You can book tickets for the performances through the Barefoot Opera website.
Next week is also Hastings Storytelling Festival which has lots of free events throughout the week. Sunday October 24 is dedicated to children's storytelling and the event on the Stade open space will include readings, workshops, and a parade of Roald Dahl inspired puppets from the Old Town to the Stade. Find out more on the Hastings Storytelling website.
Women's Voice in Hastings are holding a peaceful march on Saturday October 23 against violence towards women. The march will gather from 12.45pm at Wellington Square and you can find out more on their Facebook page. Male violence against women remains a persistent, serious threat. Please remember if you join to follow the guidelines to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus.
Last week we met with senior representatives from Southern Water to discuss the sewage leak at Bulverhythe in the summer and the impact it had on the surrounding area and our town. We need to ensure that the beach is restored to its former state and that beach hut owners and the town are compensated appropriately. We will meet regularly so that the concerns of residents and the needs of our town are fully considered and taken seriously.
We continue to work to ensure everyone in our town can get their vaccinations and we now have a town centre permanent vaccine site - The Town Hall. It will be open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 4pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 3.30pm for first and second vaccinations and boosters. You don't need an appointment and anyone over 16 can drop in and get their jab. The mobile vaccine clinics continue, and details are updated on the council website regularly.
Please remember to be kind and considerate to others while you are out and about. COVID-19 has not gone away, and we should all be following the 2+2+1 rule to help keep ourselves and others safe - two vaccinations, two tests a week and wearing a mask in crowded places.
Council Leader's column