Medway residents can continue to access essential council services during the latest national lockdown.
Medway Council has set out its commitment to keeping services going since the first lockdown in March 2020 and has continued to support residents throughout the pandemic.
This work will continue as the nation moves into the toughest restrictions. Council staff continue to run many services as normal within the government restrictions and other services have moved online.
The council’s priority continues to be ensuring that vulnerable children and adults living in Medway continue to receive the help and support they need. Medway Council is continuing to support residents who have been advised to shield by the government and who have no one else to turn to.
The council is continuing to provide advice and support to schools and academies across Medway which remain open for vulnerable children, children of critical workers and pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Medway residents receive one of the best weekly household waste and recycling collections in the country and, despite the increased amount to collect during their rounds, Medway’s waste crews have continued to deliver an excellent service throughout the pandemic. Bulky waste collections remain available to book, helping residents stay home throughout the lockdown. However, where required, the council’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres in Hoath Way in Gillingham, Cuxton and at Capstone in Chatham, remain open but residents must continue to book a slot online before they visit.
Medway libraries and community hubs continue to offer a click and collect service, which includes parking vouchers, radar keys and electricity cards.
The car parks at Medway’s parks and country parks will remain open, as will children’s play areas in line with government guidance. However, outdoor gyms and tennis courts will be closed. Residents are encouraged to exercise as close to home as possible, in line with government guidance.
All Medway businesses are encouraged to check the latest government guidance to ensure they are able to remain open and are operating legally. Medway Council will continue to offer advice and support to businesses.
A number of businesses will be affected by the new national restrictions and the government has announced that new business grants will be made available for businesses financially affected. Medway Council is awaiting further details and businesses are encouraged to visit our website for more information in the coming weeks.
Essential shops across Medway can remain open, and the latest government guidance enables retail businesses to continue with click and collect services. Hospitality businesses can continue to offer takeaways until 11pm. Gillingham market and Rochester Farmers Market will remain open for traders selling essential items, such as food.
Residents can, however, report concerns about the way businesses are operating during the lockdown directly to Medway Council’s Trading Standards team; the team will not hesitate to issue notices and fines to businesses repeatedly failing to follow government advice and is working closely with Kent Police to enforce the new national restrictions.
Residents who need to use public transport for essential journeys are advised to check their route before travelling. Public toilets across Medway will remain open.
Motorists are reminded to park legally and responsibly to ensure emergency vehicles can gain access. Medway Council will be enforcing all parking restrictions and anyone found parking dangerously faces being fined. The council are continuing to support NHS and care workers with free parking across Medway.
We must all act now to save lives
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “We are committed to continuing to provide council services and in different ways in line with government guidance to ensure all our residents are supported. However, our priority remains supporting our most vulnerable residents.
“We understand how disappointing a third lockdown is for residents and businesses, however the new restrictions are in place to save lives. We must all come together once again and play our part to reduce the spread of coronavirus and protect our loved ones.
“Medway is resilient and has a fantastic community spirit and I have no doubt that, like in previous lockdowns, our communities will emerge stronger than before. We must all act now to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Protect your loved ones
James Williams, Medway Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Unfortunately, coronavirus infection rates in Medway are still very high and we know that the new COVID-19 variant can spread incredibly quickly. As there are more cases locally, residents are more likely to be exposed to the virus if they do not follow social distancing guidelines. It is incredibly important that we all continue to follow the latest government restrictions. By doing so, we will keep ourselves and our families safe. Our local NHS colleagues have already started the COVID vaccination programme, but it will take a short time before enough people are vaccinated to protect our community. Until then, we must all continue to follow the latest restrictions to protect our loved ones.”