For the past three months, whilst a large proportion of the population has been in lockdown, one of the services which has continued not only to operate, but to do so to a very high standard, is refuse collection. I am sure that the whole town would like to record their thanks, to those who have kept our bins emptied during this period. This service, which returned to Council ownership just a year ago has recorded very high standards of performance. The very low number of bins missed compares favourably with anywhere else in the country. Congratulations on a job well done!
Following the devastating fire at the Claremont hotel at the end of last year, the roads around the area were closed and all traffic was diverted. This was for safety reasons whilst demolition work was conducted, insurance assessments completed and adjoining property secured. Thankfully, this work is now nearly at the end and it is hoped that Grand Parade will be able to reopen on Monday 22nd June.
Several people have contacted me to ask when the public toilets will be reopened. The Council is keen that this should take place as soon as possible, but only when we can ensure that we have proper infection control in place. At present, this means an attendant in order to conduct frequent cleaning, as we have in place at the toilets for those with a disability on the seafront. To do less would risk spreading the CV-19 virus and put lives at risk.
I am pleased that the Government reconsidered the speed at which schools are welcoming the return of more pupils. I believe that they need time to test the plans that they have put in place to provide for social distancing. My understanding is that overall, in East Sussex, around 40% of those children who were eligible to return to school on Monday did so. Clearly many parents are reserving judgement over whether the lower numbers of Covid cases being reported can be sustained.