District Dispatch - 23 February 2022
As we head towards Spring we have a lot to look forward to. In particular, excitement is starting to build as we approach the launch of Culture Spark.
This is a new creative season of events, performances, live entertainment and community projects to celebrate a momentous year of culture.
Celebrations will be taking place to recognise 60 years of Chichester Festival Theatre; 40 years of Pallant House Gallery; 30 years of Chichester Cinema at New Park's International Film Festival; 10 years of The Novium Museum and the Festival of Chichester; and even more impressively, 200 years of the Chichester Ship Canal Trust!
I've been lucky enough to hear about the launch events, which are due to take place at the end of March in Chichester, Selsey and Midhurst. The plans are very exciting and I can't wait to tell you more about them as soon as they are confirmed. We will also shortly be able to share the whole programme with you, which goes all the way up to the end of October! You can also keep up to date with the latest news and events by visiting The Great Sussex Way's Culture Spark webpage.
We're also very pleased that the Observer series are the official media partners of this fantastic initiative. They are also celebrating their own special anniversary this year. Can you believe that they have been reporting on our local news for 135 years - and so there couldn't be a better fit!
I'm also really pleased to inform you that we are in the final stages of building new short stay accommodation for people facing homelessness in the Chichester District. We are delivering 17 new flats within a building that has excellent eco-friendly credentials. Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the new building to generate renewable electricity and two electric charging points are being provided to encourage more people to use electric vehicles. Bird and bat boxes have been installed to provide and support wildlife habitats, and we'll be installing environmentally friendly bathroom appliances to help reduce water wastage. This links to our Climate Change Action plan, which highlights the steps we are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We have already refurbished three flats - all of which are in use. Adding to our existing temporary accommodation is going to make a huge difference to those who find themselves at risk of homelessness. This can happen to any one of us, and it's at these moments it's comforting to know that this type of support is available. Sadly, we continue to see single people, couples and families coming to us who are homeless. Our existing emergency accommodation tends to operate at full capacity and so it makes this project even more important.
As a council we are committed to reducing homelessness in the district, and this is one of many initiatives we have introduced to tackle the issue. We know that this project will make a long-term difference to those who need this type of support. We hope to open the building towards the end of March and I'm looking forward to telling you much more about this exciting initiative then.
Finally, I want to thank our teams who have been clearing up after the storms over the weekend. As well as clearing up the debris, they have visited our sites to check for damage and to make sure that they are safe for your use. I also want to apologise to those who did not have their bins collected on Friday. The conditions were too dangerous for our crews to go out. In total 26 rounds, across 303 square miles were suspended. If a small number of rounds are disrupted, our teams can quickly catch up. However, due to the scale of disruption, we are asking residents who have been affected to keep hold of their waste until their next general waste collection day, and their recycling until their next scheduled recycling day. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused but ensuring the safety of you and our staff is our priority.
Cllr Eileen Lintill
Leader of Chichester District Council