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Coronavirus: Council Activities & Public Information Updates

+ Postponement of Council meetings/activities

Coronavirus textDue to the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing measures currently in place, Full Council and individual Committee meetings have been postponed. However, remote/online meetings are being organised instead, details of which are announced on our website in due course.

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 burials and the interment of ashes, with services being attended by a minimum number of mourners, in line with the latest Government advice.

Cemetery grounds are open as usual from dawn to dusk, but the chapels will remain closed until further notice.

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-5.30pm (Monday to Friday) and 9am-2pm (Saturday).

Please note that the James West Community Centre has been closed to help restrict the spread of the Coronavirus and we will not accept hall bookings until further notice. The same applies to the Fleur de Lys Meeting Room and Southview Community Rooms.

Hailsham Town Council’s play areas and outdoor gyms have now reopened to the public – the play areas located at Western Road, Battle Road, Stroma Gardens, Quinnell Drive and on the Maurice Thornton playing field – are accessible once again, in addition to the outdoor gym equipment on the Western Road Recreation Ground and Maurice Thornton playing field site.

Signs stating that the facilities are closed have been removed and replaced with new signs 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.

Furthermore, the Council’s youth services have been temporarily closed, with the suspension of Square Youth Cafe and Monday Youth Club sessions, in addition to  Friday Night Project activities. However, young people can keep in touch with youth workers and get involved in discussions and activities on Hailsham Youth Service’s Facebook page and new Instagram account. Youth worker teams are currently operating on a detached basis in and around the town centre to provide support for young people during the pandemic.

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 heed government advice relating to social distancing.

Following national government guidance, the Town Council has reopened the public toilets located in North Street. 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 will operate six days a week (Monday to Saturday), but at reduced opening hours of 11am-2pm 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 has reopened (Vicarage Field, 8.30am-1.30pm), although with stringent social distancing and hygiene measures in place on-site to encourage public safety.

Fishing is currently 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 have been well used recently and residents have enjoyed the very warm weather of late, be it exercising, picnicking, sunbathing or just enjoying the fresh air. Although I encourage residents to continue to observe social distancing and hand hygiene advice 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 when 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 as more businesses and amenities reopen following lockdown.

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.