Following new guidance and the easing of lockdown measures a week ago, the Mayor of Hailsham in his weekly message to residents has called on everyone to respect any regulations in place at the local parks and open spaces they visit:
“My wife the Mayoress Barbara and I hope that you, your families and friends are all keeping safe and well during this difficult time.
As those responsible for Hailsham’s key open spaces, it goes without saying that during these difficult times our parks and beauty spots have become a vital part of our national response to the coronavirus.
Whilst we have reached a new phase recently in terms of what you can do outside, when, where and with whom, our message remains the same – please adhere to national social distancing guidelines to help ensure that our parks and open spaces remain open during the pandemic.
Currently, people may exercise outdoors as many times each day as they desire and can now drive to open spaces regardless of distance, so long as they adhere to the social distancing guidance while they are there.
But residents and visitors must accept that some public spaces in Hailsham are still unavailable to access, because these cannot be used safely. These include the children’s play areas maintained by the Town Council, including those in South Road, Carpenters Way, Battle Road, Stroma Gardens, Quinnell Drive and on the Maurice Thornton Playing Field.
The decision to close play areas has been taken after considering the risks to public health, the availability of hand-wash facilities and the difficulty in keeping children at a safe social distance.
Additionally, our outdoor gyms located in Western Road and at the Maurice Thornton Playing Field will remain closed for the time being.
Whilst our open spaces, including the Common Pond, Western Road Recreation Ground and Country Park continue to remain open to the public, we ask people that are using them to respect the health and safety of others at all times, following the relevant government guidance on social distancing.
The good news is that people can now spend time with one member of another household, one-on-one, as long as they adhere to strict social distancing guidelines at all times, staying 2 metres apart. And guidance that stated people could only go out to exercise once a day has also been removed.
When visiting Hailsham’s parks and open spaces, please remember to minimise contact with people from other households, do not shake hands, be sure to follow all government guidance on personal hygiene prior to use of the outdoor areas and, while on footpaths, please warn other users of your presence and step aside to let them pass.
Of equal importance is to refrain from using parks and open spaces if you are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms or if or if you or any of your household are self-isolating. In this instance, I would urge you to stay at home – this is vital to staying safe and saving lives.
While it is important to get some much-needed outdoor time, advising the public on social distancing and other measures is vital if we are to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus. It’s imperative that we take the health of the local community into consideration during this difficult time.
If you choose to visit our parks, recreation grounds and other open spaces, you should do so responsibly and follow social distancing guidelines.
The same applies to our allotment tenants who continue to visit ther plots in Battle Road, Station Road and Harold Avenue. I appreciate that allotments provide both physical and psychological well-being, as well as offering a modest source of food production at a time of high demand.
The situation has changed considerably – and for the better – regarding how much time we are to spend outside, how many we are to spend it with and where we are allowed to visit. All Town Council-owned allotment sites will remain open, although again, any plot holder who is experiencing symptoms or who is self-isolating should not be visiting any allotment site.
In closing, we find ourselves in extraordinary times, but the Town Council is continuing to serve its residents during the pandemic.
I wish to assure everyone that 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 services 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 and allotments.
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 pandemic, and keep an eye on our main website for any updates on Council services and facilities.
Thank you and stay safe everyone.”
Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: email@example.com