Open Letter to Didcot Town regarding Covid-19
Dear Residents of Didcot,
Firstly, I must thank everyone for adhering to the Government's advice to stay in and only going out when essential. When I go on my daily walk with my family, I have noticed the roads and pavements are very quiet. If I do see anyone, I see people observing social distancing by crossing the road or moving to one side.
I want to thank all the residents who have volunteered in this moment of crisis by aiding the vulnerable in our community such as helping with shopping, delivering food parcels and by keeping in contact with neighbours. I would also like to thank businesses for giving discounts or free food to NHS and care workers.
I wanted to take this opportunity to write about what Didcot Town Council has been doing in these unprecedented times as the Covid-19 lockdown continues.
Decisions that we have had to make:
- Our priority is protecting the health, safety and welfare of Council staff and residents, hence why the Council Offices and Civic Hall are closed but operating remotely.
- I asked for the Council website to become a knowledge hub for advice, help and support and we have collated useful information on: www.didcot.gov.uk Plus, we will be delivering information leaflets throughout the Town shortly.
- Parks are open but playgrounds, gym equipment and skate parks are closed.
- Allotments are open but the burn dates have been cancelled for April.
- The Didcot Summer Fayre has been postponed until 7th August 2021.
- Even though the Council is losing revenue due to the Civic Hall being closed, we have protected our Grant Aid Funding and are calling on charities and organisations to apply for funds to help them to continue delivering the great work they do within the community.
We are working closely with South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council to ensure businesses, organisations and residents are getting the help and support they need.
The current situation is unpredictable and constantly changing, sometimes on an hourly basis. There is no handbook to deal with this crisis so I, as Leader of the Council along with Council staff and Chairs of Committees are using emergency powers to make decisions based on the information available and Government advice. There have been some who have stated we have acted too soon and others claiming we have acted too late on some decisions. As Leader, I take full responsibility on every decision made and I hope we have made more right decisions than wrong. Only time will tell.
Finally, as a community we will come out of this much stronger and more connected with our neighbours and more appreciative of all key workers from cleaners, care workers, delivery drivers, those stacking our shelves to those that work for our NHS and our emergency services. It is amazing and emotional seeing young and old coming out at 8pm on Thursday evenings to clap for our heroes. I hope going forwards that they get more tangible help from the Government.
Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.
Cllr Mocky Khan
Leader of Didcot Town Council
Posted: Mon, 20 Apr 2020 14:20 by Admin Assistant