It is a very strange feeling writing this newsletter when the World has changed so much over the last few weeks following the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Hopefully by the time you read this we will be over the worst and life will be returning to ‘normal’ and we will be able to visit our family and friends and enjoy the summer weather we hope will visit us.
COVID-19 Help & Support Littleport
At the start of this pandemic a wonderful group of our residents took the initiative and started up a help and support group to help those residents who may have had to self-isolate and need assistance with shopping, friendly telephone calls etc. The group has grown to incorporate numerous volunteers throughout the village and to try and alleviate any concerns that people have the village has been split into 12 different areas so that, hopefully, anyone in need of help will know the person helping them. This group has also been registered on the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Coronavirus Hub which is centrally administered by East Cambs District Council. Our local motorcycle training school has also been absolutely fantastic providing a free prescription collection service to anyone who needs it. This in turn has aided St George’s Medical Centre by reducing the footfall in the surgery and thereby helping to protect the dedicated staff who are there every day to help everyone.
A letter from the Parish Council Chairman was posted on social media in April detailing the work that we are doing with the Help and Support Group, Youth Group and Foodbank. Since that time, with the support of the Parish Councillors and volunteers, we have used our CCF Covid 19 Grant funding to deliver food once a week during lockdown to some of our elderly and vulnerable residents who live alone (referred by agencies), and have provided emergency food packages via the foodbank to some of our residents who are experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus Outbreak. We continue to work hard to ensure that we do everything within our power to support our residents through these difficult times.
If you’ve been able to visit The Paddocks during your once a day exercise allowance you will have, we are sure, noticed that one of them has now been fenced and “kissing gates” built and installed. We have purchased 500 hedging saplings which have also been planted around the perimeter and in a cluster copse of this paddock which, when established, will provide a wonderful habitat for flora and fauna. There have also been installed 4 dog bag dispensers and 4 large bins … so what is the purpose of doing this to this one particular paddock? It’s to enable dog walkers to walk their four legged friends in relative safety. The paddock is not to be classed as a “secure” area but will enable dogs and their owners to have some freedom for a run around.
What’s On Website
Since the launch of the What’s On Website numerous groups have registered
and have been posting their events which gives residents an overview of all the
wonderful things available. Unfortunately due to the situation we find ourselves in
as we write this, most of the events have had to be cancelled but we’re hopeful that
it will start to grow again when we come out the other side. Please spread the word
about this excellent resource. The website address is : www.littleportwhatson.co.uk.
Local Highway Initiative Bid
We have now been informed that we were successful in our bid for additional signage etc to be installed at Black Horse Drove to remind drivers of pedestrians in the road etc due to there being no pavements. This is not exactly what the Parish Council had applied for – we had requested that a speed limit be introduced but this was rejected due to lack of support from official agencies despite most of the residents of Black Horse Drove having written in support of our application. We will continue to press for a speed limit to be introduced though, we haven’t given up!
Changes to Regulations
In light of the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation we have been informed by the National Association of Local Councils that there are changes to the requirements for the way Parish Councils can continue to conduct business during this time. This effectively means that until such time as social distancing measures have been removed, Parish Council meetings will be held remotely via the Zoom video conference app and these meetings are ‘open’ to the public to participate as if we were physically in The Barn and details of how to participate will be published along with the Agenda via our website and Facebook groups. The legislation allows the Parish Council to operate this way until May 2021 but, obviously, we’re hopeful that by the time you read this we will be back to holding meetings physically again. The requirement for holding an Annual Meeting of the Parish has also been suspended until May 2021. Another effect of the changes in legislation means that the Parish Council also has an additional 2 months to complete the close down of the annual accounts for the year ended 31st March 2020 and the official Notice to invite residents to view the accounts will be posted in line with the new regulations at the beginning of September 2020.