The Leader of Medway Council has issued a message to residents regarding the second national lockdown of the year.
As we find ourselves faced with the second national lockdown of the year, I wanted to share with you our plans for the month ahead on how we will be continuing to provide essential council services and supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.
Further changes in restrictions is a daunting time for us all, but it remains extremely important that everyone plays their part to help stop the spread of this deadly virus – follow the new national restrictions and reduce your day-to-day contact with other people by staying at home unless there is a good reason for going out. It is also really important to continue to wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering and social distance.
No one is alone in Medway; support is available for anyone concerned during these challenging times, whether that be a friendly voice to speak to, help getting food items for those with no one else to turn to, or financial support through government grants.
The new restrictions came into force on 5 November and has meant we’ve had to change the way we do a few things, including moving services online.
- We have a click and collect service in place at all 15 libraries and residents can also collect daily parking vouchers from Gillingham, Rochester, Chatham, Strood, Twydall, Rainham and Luton libraries.
- Many residents are signed up to classes with Medway Adult Education and I am pleased that lessons can continue, with some moving online to assist with social distancing.
- Medway’s children and families continue to be supported, with the Children and Family Hubs running virtual activity sessions and our Youth Service offering online group activities. Find out more information on all of our services.
- I’m also pleased we’ve been able to keep our household waste and recycling centres open for those who have booked a slot, and our waste crews continue with their weekly household collections.
- Our sports centres might be shut to the public, but we are able to continue offering school swimming lessons within the new restrictions, as well as pre-arranged educational activities for university and college students. Medway Sport premier members can also access online classes to keep up their fitness at home.
We will do everything we can to support our residents, but also to provide Medway businesses with the help they may need during these challenging times. The tighter restrictions will be disappointing for many businesses which have had to close their doors to customers once again. I am, however, pleased that many Medway businesses are able to offer a click and collect service in line with government guidelines and I’d encourage residents to continue shopping local to support them. I was also pleased to see that the government has extended the furlough scheme to support employees and that more financial support will be made available during this lockdown to support businesses and help protect our economy.
Our Trading Standards team is on hand to offer advice to businesses during these difficult times and has been visiting businesses across Medway to offer advice about how the new restrictions may affect them. The government has put these measures in place to protect us all and help stop the spread of the virus. We are working closely with the police and we will issue enforcement notices to those found breaking COVID-19 rules.
I am incredibly proud of how well Medway as a community has come together throughout this pandemic and once again, Medway’s community spirit is shining through. Thanks to our public sector colleagues, local healthcare workers, volunteers and of course neighbours, friends and family for looking out for one another and helping to keep Medway residents safe.
Further challenging times are ahead of us, but we must all continue to work together and follow the government guidelines to save lives and protect our NHS.
Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council