Inside this week’s Hastings Observer (December 23)

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This week’s edition of the Hastings Observer is on sale today (Friday, December 23) and here’s what you can find inside:

The paper leads on the news the Hastings university campus closure has been confirmed, despite strong opposition. We feature the full story, including a look ahead to future plans for higher education provision in the town, and reaction from the unions.

We also feature a report regarding new plans to build flats in St Leonards which could see historic Victorian workshops demolished, and owners of a family-run business express their anger after they said they were priced out of this year’s Christmas market in Priory Meadow.

In some positive news, the rare red-footed booby bird that was found washed up on a beach in St Leonards has been flown 5,000 miles home in time for Christmas. The bird, who has been named Norman as is believed to be the first bird of his kind spotted in the UK, jetted back to sunnier climes last week after months of treatment and rehabilitation.

Other news includes plans to sell off a popular pub, a report from a meeting of the working group tasked with bringing high-speed rail to 1066 country, and a look at two new services to offer further support to those experiencing domestic abuse in Hastings.

Inside this week’s paper, we run the first in a series of features called ‘Love Your Hospital’, celebrating all that’s good about our local NHS service. Our health reporter Laura Cooke goes behind the scenes at the Conquest to get an insight into the catering department.

Earlier this month, we asked our readers to send in some photographs of their pets in festive outfits - and you did not disappoint. We feature some of the best pictures in this week’s paper.

There is also a page of pictures from the Hastings Winkle Club’s annual remembrance march in honour of those from the Old Town who served in the RNLI (Lifeboat Service), as fishermen, as members of Her Majesty’s Coastguard or the Winkle Club itself.

The long-awaited Cute Kids 2016 competition also launches in this week’s paper, with the first lot of entries across three pages. More will be printed in next week’s edition (December 30).

Seven pages of sport leads on an excellent pair of wins for Hastings United ahead of the festive break, while our What’s On guide features a review of the White Rock Theatre’s Christmas pantomime.

Also inside is the usual two pages of letters, puzzles, essential information and property.

Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?

It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.

There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.

Go to www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/christmas/