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Sandgate and COVID-19: Things I Know

Ear

Listening out for updates...

After the Government update last night on the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic, there have been a number of anouncements and changes locally. I can't comment on if the Government advice is right / adequate (I'll leave that to experts!) but I am hearing a lot of updates from across our local community, and thought it might be helpful to bring them together here.

The below updates are from emails I have received / updates I've had as a Councillor. I'll continue to update it below as I hear more from various sources, and if you have verified information on local events, support being offered and what Sandgate businesses are doing I'll happily add them to the page below - email tim@prater.uk - thank you!

Last updated 09.30 18/3/2020

Community

There are numerous offers of help (and more are welcome from those who can), including to "shop, fetch and carry" for those who are not going out for a period of time, on some of the local forums online. Please note that you should of course keep safe and alert: if someone offers assistance, please take reasonable measures to ensure they are genuinely helping. There have been some sickening stories of people (NOT in Sandgate) knocking of doors and offering shopping assistance, only to then leave with the shopping money and not be seen again. There is no central verification of people offering to help (how could there be!) so act securely.

Those offers include:

District Councillors Tim Prater and Gary Fuller have been advised to suspend our two surgeries each month (at the Sandgate Farmers Market and the Sandgate Library) for a period of time, but are really happy to help people as ever by phone, email, face-to-face appointment. If you want to contact them, their details are at https://folkestone-hythelibdems.org.uk/en/contact

Chichester Hall

Sandgate Farmers Market has been cancelled until further notice.

Many events in the Chichester Hall have also been suspended for now. Refunds are being offered for any event provider who wishes to cancel bookings.

For more information about the Farmers Market or the current statis of events, email David Cowell at david@chichesterhall.co.uk

Sandgate Parish Council & Library

Sandgate Library will close as of 1pm on Friday for the foreseeable future, alongside every other library in Kent. The Parish Clerks are working as usual and remains contactable at 01303 248563 or email clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk

All activities and events have been cancelled with immediate effect in the library.

This evenings (17/3/2020) Planning and Full Council meetings are cancelled. Clearer advice is being sought on how meetings should continue in future / a potential move to online meetings.

Folkestone Town Council

FTC have closed the Town Hall with immediate effect and are moving staff to remote/flexible working wherever possible.

All council and committee meetings will be cancelled until further notice including this weeks Full Council, however, following discussions with the chairman of personnel it is planned that this Thursdays personnel meeting will still go ahead.

All events and activities are being cancelled until further notice.

The Town Hall phone line (01303 257946) will be answered and officers will be contactable via email (http://www.folkestonetc.kentparishes.gov.uk/meet-the-officer-team/)

Hythe Town Council

Are meeting various community groups this afternoon to help co-ordinate cross town support.

Folkestone and Hythe District Council

Folkestone and Hythe District Council advice on the Coronavirus response are at https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/article/1103/Emergency-measures-for-business

The scheduled Overview and Scrutiny meeting 17/3/2020 been cancelled: information will be made available by email. The Cabinet meeting scheduled for 18/3/2020 was also been cancelled. Full Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday 25th March has been cancelled.

All events to be held on FHDC land until the end of July have been cancelled.

Update 18/3/2020 says:

"We expect to receive legislative changes which will advise us how to proceed with formal meetings. Depending on this advice it may be possible for future meetings to be held remotely using technology. Once a new method of working has been established, set up and tested, we will seek to resume formal meetings. The Head of Paid Service will update us once further information becomes available.

"Officers have been working on a number of Coronavirus related issues and will be updating all members as soon as possible."

Other

The Leas Cliff Hall has cancelled all performances and closed their cafe and the Channel Suite until further notice.

All events at Folkestone Quarterhouse have been suspended until Tuesday 14 April. During that time they will review the situation and decide the next steps.

FHODS have postponed all forethcoming shows at the Folkestone Tower Theatre https://www.towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk/