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District Dispatch - 7 September 2022

I hope that you all had a wonderful summer and that you enjoyed the fantastic weather.

District dispatch 1

A great deal has happened since I wrote my last district dispatch.

We have submitted a £13.7 million bid to help revitalise Chichester. As home to some of the most renowned cultural institutions in the country, the bid aims to connect and enhance Chichester city's cultural highlights, key landmarks, and sporting organisations, in and around the city. The bid has been submitted to the government's Levelling Up Fund, which seeks to invest in infrastructure that improved everyday life across the UK.

We recently became eligible to apply for this fund and so wanted to do everything we could to try and secure funding through this route. There was a very small window of time in which we could submit a bid, which could consist of three linked projects. Working with consultants we assessed eight projects from across the district against the Levelling Up Fund criteria. From this, only the projects located in Chichester met the criteria. The Government is expected to make a decision in the Autumn. You can read more on our latest news page.

The council has also been allocated £1 million over three years from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to encourage economic growth and improve the quality of life in the district. We have been working with our partners to make sure that the objectives we put forward for investment will meet local needs and deliver the very best outcome for our residents, communities and organisations. Over the past few years, a number of valuable community projects across the district have been identified through our local vision groups and this funding offers a fantastic opportunity to make some of these projects a reality. You can read more on our latest news page.

We have also launched a new grant scheme to help communities support Ukrainian refugees. Community groups and parish councils can bid for one-off grants of up to £1,000 per organisation, The grants will be used to help refugees who have come to live in the Chichester District as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. If you are part of a community group, you can find out more and apply on our Supporting Ukrainian Refugees page.

I'm also pleased to tell you that we led a multi-agency operation in August to crackdown on shellfish being illegally harvested from Chichester Harbour. Potentially hazardous shellfish were seized as part of Operation Pearl. Months of covert investigations had taken place to understand how the illegally harvested shellfish is reaching food businesses and consumers. This led to Chichester District Council, Sussex Police, the Food Standards Agency, National Food Crime Unit, Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, and the Gangmaster Labour Abuse Authority, working together to tackle suspected harvesters and any businesses taking this product. Shellfish that are not harvested from monitored areas maybe unsafe for human consumption. They can carry E coli, norovirus or be contaminated with high levels of toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, this is a growing problem in coastal areas across the country and is a very complex issue which we have been working on for some time. The fact that we are working with such a wide variety of partners and have collected so much evidence, sends a strong message to the harvesters and the food businesses that buy from them that we will not tolerate this behaviour.

Finally, we will shortly be launching our 'Supporting You' campaign in response to cost-of-living pressures. This will be delivered in partnership with the Observer Series and aims to highlight the range of support available from our council, the Government and our partners. I will tell you more about this next week.

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill