The Mayor of Hailsham has called on everyone to continue the battle against Coronavirus infection spread and, in his weekly message to residents, Cllr Paul Holbrook assures people that the Town Council is continuing to support the community during the public health crisis:
“The purpose of my message to residents this week is fourfold.
Firstly, I wish to assure everyone that the Town Council is continuing to support the community during the Coronavirus pandemic. Much of our effort continues to be put into communicating with you all the closure and any relevant updates relating to the wide range of assets that we provide, such as community halls, play areas, youth services and market events. We are also continuing to keep residents updated on our services and facilities which have remained open but with changes and/or restrictions in place, including the cemetery, post office, allotments, parks and open spaces.
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 during the ongoing public health emergency, and keep an eye on our main website for any updates on Council services and facilities.
We are also working with other local authorities and the community sharing knowledge and experiences of how to get through this and keep our community together. Our social media pages continue to be filled up with much of the detail that residents and businesses might need in order to get through this difficult period. Nevertheless, if there is something that you think should be covered or promoted then please do get in touch.
Secondly, I am delighted to say that the Town Council held its first-ever virtual town council meeting last Wednesday [29 April], the Council’s first official meeting since the start of the nationwide shutdown due to COVID-19. Members of the Town Council and staff took part in the remote session as coronavirus social distancing measures meant a traditional gathering of the elected members could not take place.
Congratulations to members and the staff team for arranging what turned out to be a very successful virtual meeting of the Town Council, at which, items such as local contingency planning for the COVID-19 outbreak and emergency grant funding for local charities and voluntary groups were discussed, the latter of which I’ll come to later in my message.
It is crucial that we continue to carry out our democratic role and hold remote meetings where possible during these exceptional and challenging times. The meeting took a lot of organising and preparation, however, we are confident that any future Council and committee meetings scheduled during the pandemic will also be conducted successfully.
Thirdly, I continue to be amazed week by week by the response to the pandemic from community groups, voluntary organisations and local businesses. Many of them have stepped up to the challenge of keeping our elderly and vulnerable residents safe, in addition to providing much-needed supplies to our NHS staff and careworkers.
There has been a fantastic response from the local community to appeals for help during the coronavirus pandemic thus far and I would like to personally thank all of the members of our Hailsham community – and fellow town councillors – who have worked extremely hard in recent weeks to offer their support to those who need it. I cannot name any individual or group, simply because the list is too long!
Finally, I’m proud to announce that the Town Council has set up an emergency funding grant scheme, of which Hailsham-based charities and voluntary organisations which are supporting the community through the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to apply.
Since the Government has introduced lockdown measures to combat the crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, local groups and organisations have been established or developed to provide proactive help to sections of the community in need of help or support.
The Town Council has identified an ‘underspend’ from the Council’s Communities Committee budget from the previous financial year and it was agreed that this money should be used to support these organisations with emergency grants where needed. I’ve also agreed to include what remains of the Chairman’s allowance for the current civic year to add to the emergency grant fund.
In these difficult times, it is excellent news that the Town Council is in a position to be able to assist organisations financially in their endeavours to help our most vulnerable residents. It’s crucial that the local community works together and supports each other financially or by other means.
Many community organisations and voluntary groups in Hailsham have set up dedicated groups and channels during the COVID-19 outbreak which provide assistance to the vulnerable, elderly or disabled in the Hailsham area, whether it be mental health support, drop-off and pick-up services, food delivery or shopping.
I am extremely grateful to the local community and volunteers who are offering assistance to those who need it, and I am truly amazed by the response of you all to the public health emergency.
In closing, the one thing that I know that Hailsham has, and on a considerable scale, are good neighbours. Picking up and dropping off food or medicine for vulnerable people, helping out by walking their dog, or simply phoning or video calling them for a chat can be delivered without Councils or volunteer groups getting involved. These simple acts of kindness can go a long way!
It only remains for me to repeat my thanks and good wishes to the people of Hailsham and on behalf of the community to all the front line key workers – for all those individuals, community groups and volunteers who provide for our needs and help to protect us during this difficult time. Thank you for everything you are doing. Hailsham has a truly amazing community spirit of which I am extremely proud.”
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: email@example.com