In his weekly message to the residents of Hailsham, Town Mayor and Chairman Cllr Paul Holbrook ensures people that the Council continues to work towards reopening its services and facilities, and will endeavour to keep the public updated on future service changes:
“I wish to assure residents that the Town Council is continuing to support the community during the pandemic and is working hard to ensure that government guidelines relating to social distancing and protection from COVID-19 are met. In doing so, it is hoped that Council services/facilities which are still closed, will be reopened as soon as possible.
Although the Town Council offices in Market Street are currently closed to the public, staff are working remotely where possible to keep some services running and the main phone line open during office hours, which are 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday.
Many of our Council services and facilities remain closed and will be reopened once any relevant risk assessments and other formalities have been carried out. This is to ensure the safety of the public and staff, and that the latest government guidelines are followed.
Such facilities include our community halls for hire – namely the James West Community Centre, Fleur de Lys Meeting Room and Southview Community Rooms – and more imminently, our play areas and outdoor gym equipment.
I’m delighted that the weekly street market reopened recently, more than three months after closing in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Town Council officers worked hard to bring back the market, having taken steps to ensure that it is safe for shoppers and traders, and operate within the guidelines suggested by government agencies. The street market has a new layout, with social distancing barriers in place where required and queuing systems in place at each stall. Traders are also sanitising their stalls and tables.
We welcome back all returning traders and would like to hear from anyone interested in becoming a market stall trader at Hailsham Street Market!
Further good news is the reopening of our public toilets in the town centre… Following national government guidance, the Town Council had to close the public conveniences located in the former Cortlandt Stable Block in North Street, at the outbreak of the coronavirus in March.
The Town Council is grateful to residents for their continued observance of social distancing during the latest easing of the lockdown restrictions and, we really do appreciate that the closure of the public toilet facility had been inconvenient – which is why we would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience during this challenging time.
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.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask all users to follow the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance provided at the facilities, and to treat the facilities with respect.
Whilst the Town Council will be following Government guidance on the cleaning of public places and will do all we they can to reduce the risk of exposing both the public and the cleaners to COVID-19, the public need to be aware that the use of these facilities is at the individuals’ own risk.
Of course, we have worked hard to keep some of our other services in operation during these unprecedented times, although with some restrictions in place. These include Hailsham Cemetery, the town centre post office and Town Council-maintained parks and open spaces – all of which remain open/accessible to the public, so long as people adhere to the latest social distancing and other government guidelines which are in place.
This is an ongoing situation so please be aware that service information could change at short notice. We are continually monitoring developments concerning COVID-19 very closely in line with guidance from government agencies, and we are trying to balance the public’s access to required services and properties with the need to promote public safety.
Recovering from the coronavirus crisis is the toughest challenge of our lifetimes and there is a range of approaches that can and will be taken to support local residents and businesses in Hailsham into the post-lockdown future.
Although we cannot hope to return to the ways things were for some time, the Town Council is steadfast and determined that our strong partnerships with the local community can reinvigorate Hailsham for the better.
On behalf of the Town Council, I’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 good health and safety – and that of our members and staff.
Please rest assured that we will endeavour to reinstate other services affected and reopen facilities as early as possible, and will keep the public updated via the local press, on our website and via social media.
Thank you and please stay safe everyone.”
Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org