Press Releases week beginning 11 May 2015
Cllr Jeremy Birch, former leader of Hastings Borough Council
The funeral of Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council until his sudden death last Wednesday (06 May), has taken place. It was a private event, at the request of his family.
A memorial event for Jeremy is being planned for June, further details will be published when the arrangements are finalised.
Jeremy's family appreciate that their privacy has been respected. They ask that it continues to be respected, and that they are not contacted by the media.
Hastings hopes to meet new bathing water standard
Hastings Borough Council is working hard with partners to ensure that the town's beaches meet new, stricter, bathing water standards.
The current warning from the Environment Agency that Hastings beaches might fail the standards is based on data collected for the four years 2011-2014. Water quality has improved consistently since then and particularly since 2011, which was especially bad. The standards are based on a four year average, so if 2015 is reasonable, the average will be much better as 2011's figures are removed.
Since the predictions were made last November, there has been an extensive programme of sewer investigations and other improvement work by Southern Water and the council, with guidance and funding from the Environment Agency, has introduced natural filtration measures into a stream which flows onto Hastings Beach, and which was one of the sources of pollution.
Our partners are now optimistic that we will meet the new standard for 2016. The first, test, samples for the current year are excellent although we must always allow for the risks of pollution following severe weather.
Council spokesman Kevin Boorman explained:
"Tourism is vital to our economy. Working with our partners the Environment Agency and Southern Water, we have put in place a whole range of measures to improve the quality of our bathing water.
"A major source of polluted water was a stream which runs through one of our main parks and onto the beach. We found that some houses were wrongly discharging waste water into this stream because of bad plumbing, and this has now been corrected. Southern Water has carefully investigated areas of their sewer network for faults that might cause contamination and we are taking action to enhance the quality of the water by improving its natural filtration, through the use of reed beds.
"With our partners we are continuing to put a lot of time and effort into solving this problem, and are hopeful that, as a result of the work we have done, and are still doing, we will meet the new standards."