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Coronavirus: Council Activities & Public Information Updates

+ Postponement of Council meetings/services

Coronavirus textDue to the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing measures currently in place, Full Council and individual Committee meetings have been postponed on a face-to-face basis. However, remote/online meetings are being organised, details of which are announced on our website as and when meeting agendas are available.

As the Town Council continues to review its service delivery for residents in response to COVID-19, measures in relation to burial arrangements at Hailsham Cemetery have been introduced to protect the local community.

Hailsham Cemetery in Ersham Road will remain open for graveside and ashes burials and, in line with the latest Government guidance, the maximum number of mourners/attendees allowed at graveside burial services is 30. Linked ceremonial events such as ash scatterings can continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

The Town Council has moved to assure residents that the town centre post office will remain open during the pandemic, as an essential service to the local community. The post office is currently open from 8.30am-4pm (Monday to Friday) and 9am-2pm (Saturday).

A concern among some residents is the forthcoming closure of the Hailsham branch of Barclays Bank. However, residents can rest assured that normal Barclays Bank transactions can be carried out in branch at the High Street post office in Hailsham, including business deposits. For more information, visit https://www.postoffice.co.uk/barclays.

Please note that the James West Community Centre in Brunel Drive is currently only available to hire for under 18s exercise and disabled exercise. Hire of the Fleur de Lys Meeting Room in Market Street and Southview Community Rooms in Western Road is not available until further notice.

Hailsham Town Council’s play areas remain to the public – those maintained by the Town council and located play at Western Road, Battle Road, Stroma Gardens, Quinnell Drive and on the Maurice Thornton playing field. Signs have been installed reminding users of social distancing requirements and providing guidance relating to hygiene. Anyone visiting a play area or outdoor gym should follow all guidelines listed on the signs.

The outdoor gym equipment located in Western Road and on the Maurice Thornton playing field site are also open to the public with social distancing measures in place.

The Town Council’s youth service venues/activities – Square Youth Cafe, Hellingly Youth Hub, Monday Youth Hub and Friday Night Project – are closed until further notice. Youth workers are, however, engaging in detached work during the lockdown to provide support for young people who need it.

Public open spaces such as Hailsham Country Park, the Common Pond, Western Road Recreation Ground and Maurice Thornton Playing Field remain open to the public, although residents must observe the latest government advice relating to social distancing. The same applies to the allotment sites located in Battle Road, Station Road and Harold Avenue.

Following national government guidance, the public conveniences located in North Street remain open for use. An outside contractor is currently responsible for the opening, closing and cleaning of the toilet block on a daily basis and, to allow more frequent cleaning of toilets, the facility operates six days a week (Monday to Saturday), from 9.30am-3.30pm each day. The facilities have reduced capacity to ensure social distancing can be managed and there are signs on display outside and inside the premises offering guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene.

Additionally, Hailsham Street Market remains open (Saturdays in Vicarage Field, from 8.30am-1.30pm), although stringent social distancing and hygiene measures are in place on-site to encourage public safety.

Fishing is permitted at the Country Park lake and nearby Wentworth Pond, although current social distancing guidelines must be observed at all times. If you wish to purchase a season ticket, please telephone Karen Giddings on 01323 841702 or send an email, leaving your contact details for a callback and to make a payment. Please note that, currently, only BACS/electronic transfer payments are being accepted for purchase of the fishing permits.

Weekly fishing permits can be obtained from MFC Supplies in Station Road (Monday to Saturday, 9am-5.30pm).

+ Why have we postponed face-to-face meetings and some of our services remain temporarily closed?

It is our duty as a parish council to look after the health, safety and wellbeing of members, staff and visitors to our office building and community halls, as well as to our public events.

Common PondWe are monitoring developments concerning the Coronavirus very closely, in line with guidance from the Government, and the Council made a decision to postpone all meetings where staff, members and the public physically attend.

We continue to hold remote/online meetings, however. These include meetings of Full Council and individual committees, details of which are posted on our meeting schedule pages.

This is a very challenging time for us all, and we are trying to balance the public’s access to required services and properties with the need to promote public safety and maintain physical distancing guidelines set by the Government.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their understanding of these necessary precautions as we take every step possible to ensure their wellbeing and safety – and that of our members and staff.

+ Message from the Mayor, Cllr Paul Holbrook

Photo of Town Mayor Councillor Paul Holbrook

“Hailsham has done so well in recent months and I’m extremely proud of those of you who have respected social distancing rules and those who are looking after each other. I urge everyone to stay vigilant and continue to follow the advice of health experts, as we are not out of the woods yet!

I don’t need to express to you how important it is to maintain social distancing, even with the easing of lockdown measures in recent weeks, but it seems not everyone in our community is getting the message and a small minority of people are not observing the regulations, perhaps not realising the impact that their decision to flout social distancing measures can have on family, friends and the wider community – in particular, those who are classified as vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Public open spaces in Hailsham such as the Common Pond, Country Park, Western Road Recreation Ground and Maurice Thornton Playing Field continue to be well used by residents. I encourage residents to continue to observe social distancing and other measures when visiting these sites.

The same applies to when out and about in the town centre shopping, using public indoor spaces and, of course, public transport. Please continue to wear face coverings where required and where you cannot maintain social distancing.

We are holding our own against the coronavirus, but I can’t emphasise too much the importance of  frequent hand washing and the proper use of face masks. These precautions are more important than ever now that most businesses and amenities have reopened.

Many new cases of COVID-19 stem from gatherings where people are letting their guard down or when not following the recommended guidance regarding hand hygiene and use of face masks. We must remain vigilant at all times.

In closing, I wish to assure you all that the Town Council is continuing to serve its residents during the pandemic.

Much of our effort continues to be put into communicating with you all any relevant updates relating to the reopening of the wide range of services we provide and facilities we maintain. Communicating changes and temporary restrictions to our services is a very important task and I encourage everyone to follow the Town Council social media pages, and keep an eye on our main website for any updates on Council services and facilities.

Thank you and stay safe everyone.”

+ Future updates from the Town Council

The Local Government Assocation (LGA) will continue to liaise with Government agencies regarding the COVID-19 situation and Hailsham Town Council will continue to announce any updates with further changes as early as possible.