Coastal Partners are a team of engineers, surveyors, project managers, environment and finance experts who deliver a comprehensive coastal management service, which manages the coastal flood and erosion risk across 162km of coastline. The council will be joining Fareham, Gosport, Portsmouth and Havant councils, who are the founding members of the partnership. By joining together with the other councils along our coastline we can combine expertise, local knowledge and access the most cost-effective solutions to protect our coastline and improve our local landscape. We can also continue to offer a robust and resilient service by sharing expertise and collaborating with other local authorities. Find out more on the Coastal Partners website  and sign up for regular Coastal Partners email updates.

While I am talking about the coastline, I also want to tell you about another fascinating project that we are leading on in Selsey, which aims to help protect marine habitat. The CHASM (Crustaceans, Habitat And Sediment Movement) project is investigating the reasons why there has been a reduction in the number of crabs and lobsters caught off the Manhood Peninsula coastline. It has been developed in direct response to concerns from the local fishing community and will investigate the reasons why there has been an increase in sediment. It will look to investigate solutions to ensure the sustainability of both the fishing industry and the marine environment. Other partners involved in the project include the Channel Coastal Observatory, the University of Southampton, and the University of Brighton, in addition to over 20 national, regional, and local environmental organisations with interests in marine conservation. We were especially excited to receive a letter from Sir David Attenborough, who has written to show his support for the project.

I also wanted to make you aware that avian influenza, or bird flu, has been detected in seabird colonies in some areas of the Sussex coastline. The UK Health Security Agency has reiterated that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the public is very low. However, you are advised not to touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find and keep dogs away from them too. If you find a dead coastal bird (such as a gull or a tern) on public land, please contact our team by calling: 01243 534619. If you find a different type of dead wild bird, such as swans, geese, ducks or birds of prey, please report this to DEFRA on 03459 33 55 77. Sick or injured birds should be reported to the RSPCA on 0300 1234999. For further information and guidance on this, please visit  the Government's Avian Influenza guidance page.

You may also be interested to know that the first results of the 2021 Census have been released this week by the Office for National Statistics, providing a glimpse of how the district's population has changed over the past decade. The results are hugely important because they will help to inform decision and shape what future services will be needed in the future. These population results are the first in a series of Census data being released over the next two years. For more information, please visit the Office for National Statistics' visualisation page or our website's Census 2021 page to access a visual breakdown of the latest results.

Finally, don't forget to sign up to our initiatives+ email newsletter for the chance to win some fantastic prizes! Everyone signed up before Thursday 14 July will be entered into a draw to win a pair of tickets to Crazy for You at Chichester Festival Theatre, so if you haven't already, make sure you sign up to our initiatives+ email newsletter.

Best Wishes

Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council