Coronavirus COVID-19 (Updated 08 April 2020)
A message to our residents of Selling
We all continue to face challenges the like of which most of us have never known. We believe our greatest asset in fighting Coronavirus is how residents of Selling look out for each other. This includes staying at home. If we have to go out for an exceptional reason then we must all maintain social distancing.
Stay away from beaches, woods and parks
Update on Perry Wood:
Our firm and positive representations to Swale Borough Council, through Cllr. Tim Valentine, meant that the strong views of local residents about the totally inappropriate behaviour of a minority witnessed at Perry Wood were clearly heard by KCC and Kent Police. Perry Wood is one of Kent's popular green spaces targeted by Police and has been significantly reported in local media. A Selling Parish Councillor has taken their daily walk at Perry Wood and has spoken (with due deference to social distancing) with Kent Police Community Support Officers on high visibility reassurance patrol.
They are currently deployed on a daily basis to Perry Wood to engage with people, explain why the restrictions are necessary and encourage them to comply. Kent Police policy is that enforcement of the new law will only be used as a last resort.
The car park has been reported as quiet, with no visible off road biking in the quarry. This is no time for complacency, so the Parish Council will continue to lobby Swale, KCC and Kent Police to pay close attention to Perry Wood. Police are asking all residents to report activity through 101 or to the Parish Council, who will continue to co-ordinate information with Swale.
We can only beat the Coronavirus if we all work together. That means despite the temptation of the beautiful countryside, we must stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Swale Borough Council are urging people to use common sense as the sun comes out. Kent residents are being reminded to avoid unnecessary travel to coastal areas and other popular open spaces as efforts continue to curb the spread of Covid-19. “...As we battle this virus, common sense remains our biggest weapon and most people are using theirs."
“Please don't travel to Sheppey, Minster and Leysdown beaches, or Perry Wood, Oare gunpowder works or Milton Creek country parks to do your exercise, and certainly don’t go to public places for picnics or social gatherings - stay close to home, only go out with members of your own household once a day for exercise and please avoid creating a crowd.”
"Exercise is an important way to help your physical and mental health. Stay close to your home and you should not drive unnecessarily or take public transport unless it is absolutely essential. We have to continue with a sensible approach to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and avoid the strain on the NHS."
Stay away from beaches, parks and woods
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.
Get Coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person
If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), government asks you to register and tell them whether or not you need support. You will need your NHS number. Register with government here It is possible for another person to register on your behalf, for example if you do not have access to the internet. If you are unsure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway.
You may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, or been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician. If this has not happened by Monday 30 March, contact your GP or clinician after you register with this service. It may take time for any support offered through this service to arrive. Wherever possible you should continue to rely on friends, family and wider support to help you meet your needs.
Use proper sources of information
The Parish Council are committed to making sure all Selling residents have timely and authoritative 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 on social media. 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.
Stay at home
The Prime Minister's address to the nation on 23 March 2020 described the situation as a national emergency and placed very strict restrictions on us all. We are all - adults and children - required to stay at home with few exceptions.
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
● Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
● One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
● Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
● Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
- These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spentoutside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
The NHS will fall over unless we are all responsible and compliant. Even if you feel perfectly fine, you are most unlikely to know whether you have contracted Coronavirus or not. Please do not unwittingly spread this deadly virus to our NHS or critical workers (which includes teachers, supermarket staff and people who deliver your Amazon or takeaways). Be responsible and do not put yourself or your loved ones or others at risk. It is clearer than ever before that this is absolutely not the time for adults or children to be out in the village or anywhere. Do not invite your friends or family or anyone into your home.
WhatsApp groups in Selling
Guidance on using green spaces, including Perry Wood
Exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day. We are aware some residents have expressed concern about the amount of people continuing to drive to Perry Wood, with many offloading mountain bikes for use in the woods. Anecdotally there have also been reports of groups of 4 or more people with backpacks on outings or cycling.
The Parish Council has liaised with Swale Borough Council, who have responsibility for the management of Perry Wood and who are following Government guidance on access to green spaces. This guidance states that in order to stay safe: "stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily; you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household; keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times; gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned".
The Cabinet Office has published Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do. This includes answers to questions such as “can I drive to green spaces?” and “can I go to the park?”
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. 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 through the Contact Us tab.
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 usually hold a formal statutory Parish Council meeting every month of the year, usually on the third Thursday, and always in public at The Village Hall starting at 7.00 p.m.
The impact of the Coronvirus COVID-19 crisis on the ability of all parish councils to hold their statutory meetings has caused the government to consider removing the need for meetings to be in person. Whilst we await the change in law, the Parish Council formally resolved at its meeting of 19 March 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 and Vice-Chair 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.
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.