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Coronavirus: Council Activities & Public Information Updates

+ Postponement of Council meetings/activities

Hailsham Town Council has decided to postpone its meetings and events, a decision which has come as a result of the Coronavirus situation and the measures/advice provided by the relevant government agencies.

Due to the development of Covid-19, Full Council and individual Committee meetings will be postponed until further notice. New dates will be announced on our website, social media pages and via the local press 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 for as long as it can during the coronavirus outbreak, as an essential service to the local community. The post office will be open at a revised time of 10am-4pm from Monday to Friday (temporarily closed Saturdays).

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.

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.

The Town Council’s play areas (Western Road, Battle Road, Stroma Gardens, Quinnell Drive, Carpenters Way, Maurice Thornton Playing Field) and outdoor gym facilities (Western Road Recreation Ground and Maurice Thornton Playing Field) remain closed until further notice.

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.

The fishing season re-opened on 15th June. 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 meetings and temporarily cancelled some of our services?

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 a decision is not needed or can be delayed, including the Annual Town Electors’ Meeting.

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 by reducing social interaction, which can spread the Coronavirus.

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

In his latest message to the residents of Hailsham, Town Mayor and Chairman of Hailsham Town Council, Cllr Paul Holbrook, encourages people to ‘shop local’ and continue to help recently reopened local businesses get back on their feet as the town recovers from lockdown:

Photo of Town Mayor Councillor Paul Holbrook

“While we still have a very long way to go in our ongoing battle with and recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that we are seeing some return to normality. Perhaps the most visible indicators of this are the recent easing of social distancing and lockdown restrictions, the reopening of many local businesses and the upcoming reopening of restaurants, bars and hair salons.

As we continue to gradually open up the town centre again, I encourage people to shop local and ask residents to continue to buy local products and services to help our local economy get back on its feet.

It goes without saying that we should all try and resist the temptation to go further afield for shopping now that regulations are becoming more relaxed. In Hailsham, we are fortunate to have such a diverse range of shops and businesses – not just in the town centre but townwide. They all play a big part in the historic market town character of this town for those of us who live here – and equally, for the people who visit.

Our small businesses, as the backbone of the local economy, need the community’s support more than ever at this time to help them get back on their feet, preserve jobs in the long run and benefit everyone by boosting economic recovery.

We all have a part to play in Hailsham’s economic recovery and we can all start by continuing to buy goods and services locally.

As we slowly get back to normal as safely as possible, I am excited to hear that Hailsham Farmers’ Market, which has been operating for over 20 years, will be reopening on Saturday 11th July, more than three months after closing in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The Covid-19 outbreak meant that visits to the farmers’ market had to be cancelled due to the introduction of strict social distancing measures.

But as the country takes further steps on the route-map out of lockdown, markets up and down the country have already opened or are making plans to reopen so they can once again showcase local food, craftwork, gifts and other items.

Hailsham is, in essence, a market town so I am very pleased to see this important part of our heritage return to life!

The Town Council is currently liaising with local authorities and managing agents regarding the reopening of Hailsham Street Market which, until the closure in late March due to the pandemic, operated in Vicarage Field every Saturday from 8.30am-1.30pm. Proper provisions and meticulous social distancing measures need to be put in place to manage the public, plans that work with other shops on the site who also need space for social distancing.

We will update the public on the reopening of the street market on our website, social media pages and via the local media in due course.

In closing, I would like to thank the many groups, businesses and volunteers who are still working hard to offer help to those in need during the pandemic, which is by no means over. It is good to see the town slowly recovering from the lockdown and businesses putting social distancing measures in place and welcoming shoppers back.

I would like to thank each and everyone who is remaining vigilant and following all public health recommendations. Our town has to abide by all social distancing and hygiene rules so we can safely reopen while keeping everyone safe. If we see a big spike in Covid-19 cases in the future, it would have serious adverse effects on not only the health of our community, but be detrimental to the local economy too.

Thank you and stay safe everyone.”

+ Future updates from the Town Council

The Local Government Assocation (LGA) will continue to liaise with Public Health England (PHE), the Department for Health & Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government regarding the evolving situation with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and Hailsham Town Council will continue to announce any updates with further changes as early as possible.