Selling Action for Insects
Insects are a critical part of our ecosystems but today 41% of insect species face extinction in England. UK butterfly populations are down more than 50% since 1976 and we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1930s.
More and better-quality wild spaces for insects will significantly contribute to our biodiversity - the full range of life found in a geographical area that includes visible life such as vegetation and animals, through to the invertebrates in the soil, mosses, fungi, and even life we can't see. Despite the serious decline insects can recover and action at local level can be key to reversing this. Many parish and borough councils are already acting and managing open spaces in a way that helps to bring back insects - but not all are sure what they can do. Action for Insects offers a way forward.
Where do we fit in?
Communities that work together with a strong focus, use collective resources, and have a plan can help reverse insect declines in local areas. Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) is actively promoting and supporting the national Wildlife Trust campaign Action for Insects and has invited Selling Parish Council to contribute. Swale Borough Council's Biodiversity Action Plan is intended to provide a sound basis for local action to conserve, protect and enhance the biodiversity of the Borough. We are now working in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust and Swale Borough Council to develop defined areas as havens for insects and wildlife close to roads and footpaths across the village. The Parish Council is able to apply for KCC Cultivation Licences, which will enable us to take back control and protect those roadside verges and banks aross the village we all want to turn into havens for wildlife.
The online Parish Council meeting on Thursday 15 October at 6.00 pm by Zoom will have discussion with Kent Wildlife Trust and Swale Borough Councillors on how we can all turn our public green spaces and our own gardens into a haven of wild flowers and places in which insects can flourish and love. All are welcome. We publish the joining instructions for our online meetings via Zoom on the Agenda, which you can find on our Meetings page
How will your Free Action for Insects guide help you to make a difference?
Packed full of easy to follow advice and tips. The Action for Insects guide will help you to:
- Create a wildlife and insect-friendly garden
- Plan your garden and choose the right plants
- Stop using harmful chemicals inside your home and in your garden
- Make lifestyle changes that will benefit insects
Top Tips from Kent Wildlife Trust
- Wherever possible, plant native species that are locally sourced or grown and try to create and connect a variety of habitats – the right ones for where we live.
- If creating a meadow or tree planting, try to use UK-sourced seeds and plants wherever possible. Imported seeds, plants and animals can accidentally bring diseases into the country.
- Try to blend habitats in the community together rather than creating sharp boundaries between them. These blended edges are vital for many species.
- Think about ‘structural diversity’ when creating, enhancing or connecting habitat. In most habitats, a mix of foliage heights is best for wildlife
Be a COVID-19 Community Champion!
A network of COVID-19 Community Champions across Kent is a way to help people get clear information on how to stay safe and reduce the risk of getting and spreading the infection, and what additional support there might be to help do this
What will I be asked to do?
You will receive the latest updates and guidance from the Public Health England team about how to stay safe during this coronavirus pandemic and asked to share advice with your families, friends, communities and workplaces. Every two weeks you will sent by email, a newsletter that details the current facts and figures about COVID-19 in Kent. You will be invited to attend an online meeting with all other champions every two weeks.
By encouraging protective behaviours and better lifestyle choices like physical activity and healthy eating, you can contribute to creating a more resilient community, who are at a reduced risk of disease in the future.
If you would like to register to become a COVID-19 Community Champion in Kent please see the FAQs on our News Page
New government Coronavirus outbreak guidance updated 14 September 2020
Meeting with others safely (social distancing)
When seeing friends and family you do not live with you should:
- meet in groups of 6 or less
- follow social distancing rules
- limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time
- meet people outdoors where practical: meeting people outdoors is safer than meeting people indoors because fresh air provides better ventilation
Limits on the number of people you can see socially have changed. From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors. This is against the law and the police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits
From 24 July, it has been be mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets, as well as on public transport.
Your face covering must cover your nose and mouth at all times.
Anti-social behaviour in Perry Wood
We continue to work closely with Kent Police, Swale Borough Council, Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Perry Wood Steering Group, and Kent County Council to combat anti-social behaviour, illegal off road riding of bikes including quad bikes, damage to the environment, and littering. The Parish Council and Police are grateful for all the information given by residents and visitors. This is all adding to a base of evidence that allows us to use a wider range of solutions. There is an update on Perry Wood at every monthly Parish Council online meeting.
Please continue to tell Kent Police via 101 of every incident of anti-social behaviour in Perry Wood and anywhere in Selling.
In an emergency or where there is danger always call 999.
Parish Council meetings continue to be held online
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) have updated their dedicated Coronavirus webpage
with a statement on local (parish and town) council meetings.
Following the government announcement of further easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 July, both NALC and the Society of Local Council Clerks are strongly advising local councils to continue to meet remotely, without the need for face-to-face contact.
New scam phone calls from 020 3966 9792
Please be aware that phone calls from 0202 3966 9792 are targeting this area of Kent and are a criminal attempt at scamming. The caller pretends to be from the National Crime Agency and says you are the subject of a criminal investigation. It theatens immediate action, including arrest, unless you respond. DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION. The caller will appear polite and plausible. They are actually part of organised crime. Just ignore the call and block the phone no. if you wish.
Meeting people from outside your household
The government recognises how difficult it has been for people to be cut off from their family and friends in recent months. This guidance explains how you can now see people you do not live with, while protecting yourself and others from coronavirus: Guidance on meeting people outside your household
Reports of crime during the COVID-19 emergency
Kent Police publish crime statistics for the previous month by ward level and indicate these on a map of Boughton & Courtney Ward. You can see the map here: Top offences in Boughton & Courtenay Ward for May 2020. During May 2020 there were 10 allegations of theft related offences, 10 allegations of violence related offences and 6 of harrassment related offences. None of these 26 allegations of crime occurred in Selling.
Police attended three reports of nuisance vehicles at Perry Wood, which has been a consistent hot spot for anti-social behaviour during the COVID-19 crisis. The information from these calls by members of the public is invaluable in adding to the intelligence picture and in developing a comprehensive case of the anti-social behaviour in and around Perry Wood. It is vital that we continue to report each and every incident to Police and where possible provide photos and video of the activity of nuisance vehicles and bikes (motor and pedal).
Latest news on schools, children and young people
Comprehensive information relating to Kent schools and nurseries, and provision for children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic is available from Kent County Council Education
KCC has set up an Online Youth Services offer page, which brings together everything that is being offered in one place. The outreach has already proved hugely popular with more than 1,000 young people accessing and taking part in sessions in only a few days.
In addition, KCC has been promoting and encouraging parents and young people to access resources to help keep them emotionally healthy. The HeadStart Kent Resilience Hub is aimed at parents and carers but can be accessed by young people as well. MoodSpark has been developed for young people in Kent.
Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people in Kent
A mental health and wellbeing online platform for young people has been extended during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of the Headstart Kent Programme, the Kooth digital mental health support service has already given one in five young people, aged 10 to 16, easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors. Now it has been extended for all young people across Kent.
Read the full article here: https://kccmediahub.net/free-safe-and-anonymous-online-support-for-young-people-in-kent745
Now more than ever, Every Mind Matters.
All over the country we’re staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives. We’ll all be experiencing highs and lows and it’s perfectly normal to miss loved ones, get frustrated, feel anxious or stressed. There are things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing at this time. Every Mind Matters can help get you started with your NHS online plan, showing you simple steps to help deal with stress, boost your mood and feel on top of things. The NHS Every Mind Matters website provides simple tips and advice for you to look after your mental wellbeing during this time – visit Every Mind Matters to get your free online personal Mind Plan.
NHS advice includes:
- Maintaining contact with friends and family via telephone and video calls, or social media
- Keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern
- Looking after your body with indoor exercise
- Talking about your worries – with friends or via a helpline / voluntee service
- Staying on top of difficult feelings and try and manage unhelpful thoughts
- Finding time to relax and trying out relaxation techniques;
- Focusing on a hobby or learning something new
It's important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and to get further support if you need it. We’re all in this together.
Every Mind Matters provides simple NHS-approved tips and advice to start taking better care of your mental health. If you are still struggling after several weeks and it is affecting your daily life, please contact NHS 111 Online
Visit the NHS Mental Health & Wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and practical tools, if you are experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood.
Still Zooming - Selling Parish Council continues its monthly online meetings on Zoom
The 'Coronavirus Act 2020' allows local councils to hold their regular meetings online. We have now held two scheduled monthy meetings online (using Zoom). We are pleased to say that at the Annual Meeting on 21 May 2020 all parish councillors joined by video, with one joining by phone. Andrew Bowles was re-elected Chair and Kevin Hobson was re-elected Vice-Chair for 2020-21. Mr. David Wood, Senior Teacher at Selling Church of England Primary School, presented a highly informative update on the School and answered some questions from the meeting. The Council and residents present were very grateful for David's excellent update and extended a warm invitation to him and the School to join and inform future meetings. At each meeting, we offer a comprehensive report of how the Parish Council is responding to COVID-19.
The next online meeting is Thursday 15 October 2020 at an earlier time of 6.00 pm. All are welome to join. In the interests of security and GDPR, you can get the log-in details from our Clerk, Wendy Gregory via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coronavirus Newsletter No. 2
Now available to see on our News page. We deliver a newsletter to all households. If you know someone who does not have access to the internet, you may want to consider printing it for them. You can download the newsletter here /_UserFiles/Files/News and Events/Coronavirus2.pdf
Kent Together 24 Hour Helpline
If you are vulnerable and have an urgent need that cannot be met through existing support networks, you can contact the Kent Together Helpline at www.kent.gov.uk/KentTogether or by calling on 03000 41 92 92. It is a 24 hour service.
The 24 hour helpline has been set up to support vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication. The Kent Together Helpline provides a single, convenient point of contact for anyone in the county who is in urgent need of help during the Coronavirus outbreak. It is a collaboration between KCC, central Government, District, Borough and local councils, the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and other partners to ensure help is at hand for vulnerable people.
It is also the place to report your concerns about the welfare of someone else.
Kent Together is being coordinated by Kent County Council which will feed the information through the network of volunteers, district and borough council teams and local support groups, to ensure people get the support they need, when they need it. People’s needs will be assessed and staff will liaise with Community Hubs in the districts to prioritise those who need urgent help.
Kent County Council also has a page on its website answering frequently-asked questions and the very latest Coronavirus information on its service updates page. Visit www.kent.gov.uk to find out more.
Swale Borough Council Community Support Line
The Support Line is for those who need to self-isolate and who don‘t have friends or family to support them. If you are over 70, under 70 with underlying health conditions, are self-isolating because you have symptoms, or live with someone with symptoms and have no friends or family nearby who can help, call 01795 417525.
The line is open:
• Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm
• Friday 9am to 4:30pm
• Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays 10am to 2pm
Outside these times contact the Kent Together Helpline at Kent Together or by calling 03000 41 92 92. For more information, visit Swale Community Response.
Get Coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person
The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks: Guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable people
People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review.
This guidance is for people including children who are clinically extremely vulnerable. It’s also for their family, friends and carers.
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19). They should have received a letter advising them to shield or have been told by their GP or hospital clinician.
This includes clinically extremely vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities for the elderly or people with special needs. If you have been told that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you should:
- follow the advice in this guidance
- register online for support even if you do not need additional support right now
This guidance is still advisory. You will not be fined or sanctioned if you prefer to follow the guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing). You may also choose to remain in your own home at all times if you do not feel comfortable with any form of contact with others. However, careful time outside in the fresh air is likely to make you feel better in yourself.
Use trusted sources of information
The Parish Council are committed to making sure all Selling residents have timely and authoritative, trusted sources of information at this challenging time. The Coronavirus COVID-19 situation is fast-moving and there is still an increasing amount of misinformation online, including much on social media. In times of stress, such as the Coronavirus emergency, looking constantly at your Facebook, Instagram and other social media can cause anxiety, panic attacks and even symptoms of depression. It is easy to be overcome by the sheer amount of information and not check who is posting it and whether it is reliable.
We should all be using government advice to inform our decision making and be checking that advice regularly. The links below offer reliable, expert information from government sources and are updated regularly. The person on Facebook you have never met who is suddenly an expert in epidemiology is probably not someone you want to trust with your life.
Don't Feed The Beast is a short video clip from the Cabinet Office that sums up how to avoid being taken in by false or misleading social media.
To help the public spot false information about Coronavirus the government is running the SHARE checklist and Don’t Feed The Beast campaign. This gives the public five easy steps to follow to identify whether information may be misleading.
WhatsApp groups in Selling
Exercise is still vitally important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise as many times as they like and with no restriction on duration or travelling distance. See New information on what you can and can't do. We are aware residents continue to express concern about the amount of people continuing to drive to Perry Wood from all over the county and who ignore social distancing. Just recently there has been an increase in potentially dangerous behaviour by suspects trying to block roads with branches and small trees and in environmental damage.
The Parish Council consistently liaises with Swale Borough Council, who have responsibility for the management of Perry Wood, about this behaviour. We are represented at the Perry Wood Management Steering Group. We always report every incident of anti-social behaviour, crime and any other relevant incident of public concern to Kent Police and our Local Policing Team. A Police Report is provided to the each Parish Council meeting and included in the minutes. We strongly encourage our residents to report any suspected unlawful or anti-social behaviour to Police either through the non-emergency 101 facility or Report an incident to Kent Police online.
If any situation feels like it could get heated or violent or someone is in immediate danger, call 999 If you feel that you need support right away, please call 999. In any emergency, always call 999.
Don't get scammed
Naturally the health and well-being of all is our primary concern. This includes keeping safe from potential fraud. Please think carefully before displaying a "self-isolation card" that announces you are of a certain age, in isolation, or on your own. Sadly we know from Kent Police that shameless criminals are looking to exploit opportunities in the current crisis by knocking on doors or phoning and pretending to be from the health authority or Police. They may say they can take your temperature or test for CO-VID19. Do not open the door to strangers and please never ever let them in. Never give anyone cash or details of your bank card or PIN number.
Information and guidance from Kent Police on latest scams
No genuine member of a health authority or Police will ever ask for your personal bank details. If you ask a stranger to go away and they don't, call 999 and ask for Police. If you are unsure about anyone who phones you, do not say why and just end the call. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, then speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
Access to the internet
We are aware that some residents are not able to get online. If you know anybody in Selling that does not have access to the internet please let us know. At this time of national emergency we want to help make sure everybody gets information in a way they wish.
Please volunteer to help
If you feel that you are able to contribute in any way to the community effort, have ideas or skills or experience or simply just want to help - please Contact us
Key sources of information and advice:
- National advice continues to refer everyone in the first instance to the NHS Website
- If you think you may have symptoms of Coronavirus stay at home and go to the questionnaire page at NHS 111 Online
- New Every Mind Matters: Every Mind Matters has created new COVID 19 specific material to help support mental health whilst staying at home. These include long and short videos featuring Dr Hilary Jones and some animations. Now available to download on the Campaign Resource Centre.
- GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service: A new GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service has now been launched. The purpose of this product is to combat the spread of misinformation on social media and in local WhatsApp groups. Trusted information from official sources can be sent to you directly using WhatsApp but it is NOT a WhatsApp group! This is an automated free service. You can not call the number and do not send messages as no person will read them. To use the service, simply add +44 7860 064422 to your contacts and send a WhatsApp message saying “Hi”.
- Coronavirus fact sheet for children: Information for children to help them understand what Coronavirus is, the importance of hand washing and how to help stop the virus spreading is available on the Campaign Resource Centre. This was developed by the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust. They have also made an animation to go with it. If you want to download the video, you can do that here.
The Parish Council
We are delighted to welcome Councillor Andrew Day as the latest member of the Parish Council. Andrew has a great knowledge of the village, local area and wide professional experience to bring for the benefit of all residents.
The Parish Council is an important tier of local government and works on behalf of Selling residents to make the whole village an even better place. We hold a formal statutory Parish Council meeting every month of the year, usually on the third Thursday, and during the pandemic online by Zoom starting at 6.00 p.m.
The impact of the Coronvirus COVID-19 crisis on the ability of all parish and other councils to hold their statutory meetings has led to the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020. This removes the need for meetings to be held in person and allows meetings to be held online or by phone. Our first ever online meeting was the scheduled meeting of Thursday 16 April 2020 held on Zoom at which all parish councillors and five residents were present. Two councillors and one resident joined the meeting by phone.
The Parish Council also formally resolved at its meeting of 19 March 2020 in the interests of public health to approve temporary delegated authority under Section 101, Local Government Act 1972 to transact normal business of the Council to the Proper Officer of the Council (Clerk) Wendy Gregory, acting in consultation with the Chair Andrew Bowles and Vice-Chair Kevin Hobson, until 10 July 2020. This means the Council will need to meet less often to consider strategic issues, with routine and administrative business handled by the Clerk and nominated councillors. It is in effect a sensible contigency measure to enable the Council to properly function and fulfil its statutory duties throughout any emergency.
As well as carrying out its statutory functions, the Council has the ability to take the lead and promote initiatives, projects and improvements for the benefit of all our communities. To do this, Parish Councillors depend on knowing what is important to villagers and offer a variety of ways to engage at any one time.
As they all live in the village, your Councillors are available through face to face contact; via email; through letters or notes; by messaging us on our Facebook page; and through this website. We also hold an open, public forum during each monthly Parish Council meeting for residents to raise or share issues, news or ideas.
Councillors are all unpaid volunteers and from a variety of backgrounds. The current Council administration is allowed seven councillors. Six of these positions are filled and we are actively seeking to co-opt another resident to become a Councillor. If you would like to know more, please contact our Clerk or any other member of the Parish Council.
We welcome your contributions of news, events, photos of village life, stories, ideas and of course feedback on our new website. Please use the Contact Us tab above.