Observer Comment: Some of the fastest broadband connections in the country ... a good step forward

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REGENERATION can be a long and complex process. Despite millions of pounds coming into the town under the last Labour Government, the most recent poverty figures suggested Hastings was slipping backwards.

It is difficult to know which projects will make a real difference, which areas could be improved for the benefit of the whole town.

But the announcement that Hastings and St Leonards will soon enjoy some of the fastest broadband internet connections in the country must be welcomed. Everyone who uses computers will enjoy the benefits of beefed-up broadband.

Businesses will be delighted with the chance to soup up their existing online services and thrilled with the promise of new opportunities.

Schools will revel in the high-tech possibilities and pupils will benefit from increased speeds in their homes.

Being able to shop online, download music and movies or surf the web so rapidly will make this a more attractive place to live.

Thanks must go to BT, which has followed up sponsoring the new academies with a concrete commitment to this town’s future.

Thanks too go to the political and business leaders who have lobbied so hard on our behalf.

Of course this is not the only answer to Hastings’s problems, not the catch-all solution that will make everything better. But it’s a good step forward. Now some high speed trains wouldn’t go amiss...

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IT seems that the council is now resorting to desperate measures in order to fill its dwindling coffers by selling off valuable green space.

There are three strips it wants to gid rid of, because of spiralling costs in maintaining them.

Is this the start of a worrying trend where the town will eventually have few green spaces left? Are we slowly going to strip Hastings of its assets?

Let’s hope that never happens.

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THIS town has an endless capacity to surprise and inspire you. John Fieldus MBE discussed his honour this week with obvious pride, but even more obvious humility.

In 1982 his ‘second life’ as he calls it began when he broke his neck swimming with his kids.

Now, 29 years and more than £10 million raised for charity later, he has been given this special recognition, and yet he was at pains to point out all the people who had helped him along the way, from his family to the wealthy business figures he was so adept at signing up to his cause.

Well done John, your visit to the palace is richly deserved.