Observer Comment: Council will speculate to accumulate for the future of Hastings

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WHAT a rollercoaster ride we’ve been on with the Hastings to Bexhill Link Road.

We’ve already hurdled funding bids, a public inquiry and were looking towards a start date only to have hopes dashed with the change of Government in May last year.

Just a few months ago, the long-awaited project looked destined for the scrap heap when a report listed it bottom of the pile in terms of value for money of 22 schemes competing for a share of Government funds.

No doubt this has affected the latest bid.

Some £29 million is an awful lot of money for East Sussex County Council to put forward, especially in the tough financial climate for local authorities.

But this funding proposal wouldn’t have been drawn up on a whim and if it means the link road will eventually be built, then it’s money well spent for the Hastings economy.

Poor transport link - both road and rail - are holding this town back from regenerating. The fact the county council is prepared to fork out so much is a marker of how vital this road is for the future success of our town.

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What an athletic bunch of kind-hearted fundraisers this town has.

As regular readers know, every week the Observer features a potpourri of charity events by local people who have been stirred into action to collect money for a good cause - sometimes because they have seen at close-hand the suffering of a loved one, other times because of personal hardships or simply because they are helpful souls who sincerely want to make the world a better place.

This week, the initiatives have taken a sporty turn. Cycling to Italy, running a half-marathon (page nine), a 20-hour relay (page 29) and a pier-to-pier Mexican fancy-dress walk (page five).

Hats of to you all for such sterling efforts (or should we say sombreros).

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The Seafood and Wine Festival has come round again, and there is no better opportunity to sample local produce of the highest quality.

It is more than just food and drink however. With music, talks, and entertainment for all ages, this is an event not to be missed.