Inside this week’s Hastings Observer (January 20)

Hastings Observer front page. 20-01-17 SUS-170120-094138001
Hastings Observer front page. 20-01-17 SUS-170120-094138001

This week’s edition of the Hastings Observer is on sale today (Friday, January 20) and here’s what you can find inside:

The paper leads on some positive news for the town after it was announced Hastings had been selected as one of 12 ‘opportunity areas’ to take part in a £72 million scheme aimed at raising educational standards in disadvantaged communities. The story features reaction from the town’s MP Amber Rudd and local headteachers.

The Observer also launched its community coat project this week, which aims to help the homeless and vulnerable people in our town stay warm this winter. The scheme allows people to donate unwanted coats, hats, gloves and scarves to His Place Community Church, in Robertson Street, where people in need can then pick one up for free. Full details are in today’s paper.

There’s good and bad news for local health and social care services featured in this week’s edition, with news a GP practice has been lifted out of special measures following improvements in the quality of its services, but also news that two care homes are going to close at the end of March. The closure will see more than 50 vulnerable people forced to find alternative accommodation.

In other health news, a cash-strapped ambulance trust has been forced to take out a loan as it heads towards the end of the financial year several millions of pounds in debt, and a mum speaks of her anger after her toddler was made to wait for more than three hours in A&E with suspected meningitis.

In the second feature in our ‘Love Your Hospital’ series, health reporter Laura Cooke takes a look behind the scenes at the Conquest’s pharmacy department.

The paper also includes a feature on a remarkable nurse who was part of the medical team to operate on King George VI in 1951, who celebrated her 100th birthday at a Westfield care home this week.

Other news includes the latest on the rail dispute, a focus on Dom’s FOOD Mission and its bid to eradicate food waste, and news that Hastings and St Leonards are among the 20 hippest towns in the UK.

Our politics page this week leads on East Sussex County Council’s proposal to increase council tax by 4.99 per cent.

The paper features two pages of pictures from the set of a film being made as part of the ongoing project to restore the famous old Hastings lifeboat The Cyril and Lillian Bishop.

An unusual story to also come from the filming was that of Dee Day White, who was stopped by four Special Branch officers while wheeling World War Two props, including a deactivated rifle, through the town centre. He says the officers were guarding MP Amber Rudd while she had breakfast in a nearby café. Full details of that story can also be found inside this week’s paper.

There is also a page of photographs from the Winkle Club Supper, raising money for good causes, and two pages of nostalgia looking at the history of the Church and Parish of Christ Church Blacklands 1878 – 1928.

Nine pages of sport leads on an interview with Hastings United boss Darren Hare, who says the next three matches will define the side’s season, while a ten-page What’s On guide includes a look ahead to this year’s Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Also inside this week, we run the top 20 entries in our Cute Kids competition, as voted for by our readers. Voting will now open again for the finalists to see who will be crowned the overall winner.

On top of all that, there is the usual two pages of letters, puzzles and essential information.

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