Observer Comment: Cleanliness is next to godliness

THE age-old saying goes that cleanliness is next to godliness. If that is true than it is fair to say a few local eateries have fallen from grace recently.

A survey of how clean the town’s kitchens are revealed some alarming results. Almost 100 local firms were told their hygiene levels needed major improvement. And 12 of those, dubbed the Dirty Dozen, were given the lowest score possible.

People may be surprised to find the worst offenders were not necessarily greasy spoons or take-aways. In fact, one of the area’s most-popular restaurants – The Wild Mushroom – ended up nursing one of the poorest scores.

Today, with money tight, people need to know they are getting value for their money when they eat out. More than that, though, there is a basic level of hygiene that should be adhered to. None of these premises were bad enough to be closed down. It is important we make that clear. But if some places can score five out of five – why shouldn’t we expect the same from others?

One thing is for certain, if things do not improve, businesses will suffer where it hurts them the most – at the tills,


The impending closure of a whole ward at the Conquest makes worrying reading.

The ward closure is partly to save money - and with a £6million debt, cost efficiencies must be certainly made - but a ward closing its doors appears to be a drastic measure.

Almost 30 beds in Murray ward, which looks after the elderly, will be lost. Elderly patients are some of the most vulnerable in society, many with serious illnesses, and there is a very real concern they may become victims of conveyor belt care where already overstretched staff will send them home from hospital too soon, only for them be rushed back in.


GOOD old Roger Crouch. The man who brought us Pirate Day is planning a town-wide party to celebrate the fast-approaching royal wedding.

If you are picturing cups of tea, cucumber sandwiches, jelly and bunting, though, think again. This is Hastings after all. Roger and his team are hell-bent on transforming the town into a medieval pageant for the day – complete with knights in shining armour, jesters and street entertainers.

If last year’s swashbuckling knees-up was anything to go by, it will certainly beat an afternoon in front of the TV.