Published: Wednesday, 25th March 2020

A message from council Leader, Cllr Alan Jarrett, regarding coronavirus.

Dear residents,

I have never written to you all on a more important subject and would ask you all to take a few moments to read this message. 

We are facing the most serious threat to human life in recent times - coronavirus COVID-19. This disease is a killer and its impact is having an effect on each and every one of us. It is more important now than ever before that we all pull together and do our bit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to protect and save your loved ones across Medway and beyond.

The government’s new measures announced on Monday are starting to take effect and I’d like to thank you for doing your bit to protect othersfrom families staying indoors; to our wonderful NHS and other public sector colleagues working hard to protect us; to schools staying open to support local children whose parents need them, and our communities rallying together for those in self-isolation.

Sadly there are still people out there who are not following the government advice and it’s vital that you persuade all your friends and family to now take action.

If we all do our bit, we can reduce the number of people who require hospital treatment. We only have to look at the impact of this pandemic on Italy which has a world class health system. Our NHS is equally world class, but unless we are able to stop transmission of this virus, it may not have the capacity to cope with demand. We must not let this happen.  

Our priority: providing essential services

Protecting and supporting the people of Medway during this pandemic is Medway Council’s top priority. We are working hard to continue to provide essential services, such as social care for our most vulnerable, supporting our schools to stay open, regular waste collections and providing advice for customers. 

However, in line with government advice, we have closed other facilities such as our leisure centres, our libraries and our theatres. We have also cancelled our festival events programme up until the end of June. Future events beyond the end of June will be kept under review as this pandemic unfolds. We’re very sorry not to be able to bring them to you at the moment but I am sure you will agree that it’s essential we take all necessary measures to protect the health and well-being of Medway residents, as well as our staff. We have created a special section on our website to provide you with all the latest information on our services and local guidance.   

Many of our staff not working on the front line are being redirected into other areas of work to support our community and, in conjunction with other local organisations, we will be shortly launching an important community initiative to ensure that those most in need in Medway receive essential food and welfare support over the coming weeks. Rest assured that all the local agencies are working closely together to coordinate our response to the pandemic. I would like to pay special thanks to our NHS colleagues on the front line working so hard to save lives, to our Medway school staff who have been able to keep their doors open for vulnerable children and children of key workers and, to our Medway Council staff. Huge thanks also to the organisations in the voluntary sector, and to the many individual volunteers who are all doing their bit to keep Medway working and safe.

Together we are rising to the challenge, as we have always done in Medway. This is the greatest challenge of our times, so please play your part in keeping Medway safe. Follow the advice – Stay Home, Save Lives.

Councillor Alan Jarrett

Leader of Medway Council

News archive