Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Sunday, June 07, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise itís Sunday 7th June and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast. At the Parish Council Meeting tomorrow evening there will be a debate on a proposal to wind down the Parish Council Covid-19 Emergency Response. This is an important discussion and I want all residents to have the opportunity to give an opinion. Iíll make my opinions clear as I work through the details:

Number 1: The Parish Council requisitioned the Village Hall for use as a command and reception centre. This was necessary in case the Village became overwhelmed with infected households. Fortunately, it wasnít, and the Hall wasnít needed . I can see no reason why the Village Hall canít be stood down and returned to the Trustees so that they can prepare for re-opening.

Number 2: We have an Emergency Coordinator (me) and a small group of volunteers currently supporting households who are shielding. This involves some shopping and the collection of medication. Some of the volunteers are doing their work informally supporting neighbours. Others are working to my direction when requests come in. 6 households are receiving support. In my view we cannot abandon these households, but should discuss options with each individually to ensure that they can still get what they need. Once satisfactory arrangements are in place, we can stand down the coordinator and volunteers, ideally by the end of June.

Number 3: I currently produce and daily podcast and newsletter. This work takes at least 3 hours everyday. The podcasts and newsletters are still read by over half of the households in the Village, and more widely. However, as time goes on, more households are returning to normality. Daily communications are no longer needed. Even the Government has wound down part of its provision, no longer briefing at the weekend. My view is that the podcasts and newsletters should end on Sunday 14th June.

Number 4: The Chelveston PC WhatsApp group has been a useful vehicle for communicating in real time with over 130 people during the emergency. We have reached households that would never have previously engaged with any other Parish forum. Its original aim was to coordinate requests for help and offers from volunteers. It delivered so much more. It has now evolved into a more general community forum. However, there is no formal Parish Council control and not even a Parish Council administrator. So the question is what should happened to the Group? It cannot continue in its present form as it was an emergency provision, setup without the usual controls that a Parish Council would need to have in place as a public body. To administer the Group I hold the contact details of over 130 people on my phone. These details all need to be deleted as they were provided to me solely for the purpose of managing the emergency. My view is that a community forum is useful, but it needs more than one person administering it and it cannot be Council led. On the 14th June, people need to be given the option to leave the group, the name and logo need to be changed. And volunteers need to step forward to run it. Otherwise it should close.

Number 5: The Covid-19 website that is hosted by the Council should be reconfigured to become an archive of our emergency. The Northamptonshire Records Office will be notified of its existence as they have been recording life under lockdown in the County.

So there you have it. From 15th June, the emergency provision will be wound down with the aim of me standing down completely by the 1st July as all loose ends are tied up.

Letís hear your views, particularly on the future of the WhatsApp group. Let me know by email, phone or WhatsApp, either privately or on the group.

Thank you