Observer Comment: Fly-tipping costs us all dearly

Lots of people regularly moan about the standard of waste collection services but the council is clearly not helped by people just dumping rubbish in the street.

The sight of discarded sofas and half-torn furniture, unwanted televisions and dirty mattresses on the pavement does not reflect well on the town, especially for visitors who may think Hastings’s streets are one big rubbish tip and a fly-tipper’s paradise.

It’s completely unacceptable and unnecessary.

Every time the council’s waste collectors are sent out to pick up and discard items left by fly-tippers it costs the authority money, cash that has come from ratepayers. The money could be better used for more urgent needs.

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We should heed the warning from Katie’s death

The story of the death of Kate McLaughlin from experimenting with drugs should serve as a stark warning to anyone thinking of taking them.

The popular teenager had lots to look forward to, was planning to go to university and came from a loving family. She had taken drugs before, albeit only occasionally and had researched the pitfalls of illegal substances on the internet.

Kate died last August and at Wednesday’s inquest into her death Coroner Alan Craze was spot on, describing taking drugs as playing Russian roulette.

Hopefully Kate’s story may make other youngsters think twice before experimenting.

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The real people behind headlines

SADLY three of our main stories this week are about death. Lance Bassett, Kate McLaughlin and Jack Semmens are all in the news because of the manner in which they died.

It is never nice to have to report on these type of stories - particularly when they are about young people with the world at their feet or people who feel forced to take their own lives.

Deaths may sometimes be newsworthy, but they are always a tragic and painful time for the family and friend of the deceased.

Our thoughts go out to the loved ones of all three.