It's a while since I've written to you on behalf of our Parish Council. Lots has been happening. Early in March the formal activities of parish councils were suspended. It's been up to us to come up with solutions for the needs of our village and its residents. Fortunately our council’s average age is much younger than most! While 70+ self-isolaters like me have taken a back seat, others have been doing some really good work. Vice Chair Christine Scott and Caroline Noble moved quickly to put in place a volunteer scheme to help with shopping, picking up prescriptions, and giving as much help to self-isolators as possible. This conforms with a policy of helping us to stay safe by limiting travel in and out of the village. They have assembled over 20 volunteers and they're doing a wonderful job. The Community Car scheme cannot pick up passengers but it will run essential errands and is still available — the council has provided a subsidy. The business of making the village as self-sufficient as possible has been helped by both Farthings and the Hatch Inn. Farthings has set up a farm shop and is delivering both farm produce and cooked meals. The Hatch Inn is providing great takeaway meals for re-heating on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and even Sunday roasts too, but check their weekly schedule first. Some of our councillors, with help from Kevin Comer and Donna Davies, are looking at the possibility of buying a stock of mainly non-perishable items to further reduce travel needs out of the village. Some councils have started hardship funds. We are looking at that too, for people who have problems that fall into the cracks in the virus related public services.
At this time our village has shown how we can pull together to help each other out. As a Parish Council along with a team of volunteers we are doing what we can. But please keep an eye on your neighbours if you feel they need help or maybe just a chat. The key numbers of the volunteer team are below along with my own number for any other matters relating to our village.
But let's remember there will be life after the corona virus. Our last meeting on March 8 looked ahead. In Katie Piper we have found a person to take forward the initiative to bring back allotments to the village. Under the general heading of Community Gardening she's had a very positive response. There is the potential for a team to get moving when this is all over. Councillors remain keen to maintain the push for a shop in the village: perhaps the necessity of lock down will be mother of invention. For those who care about walking we hope to bring back the tree warden and boost the management of our footpaths, which is something that has now been handed back to villages with diminished support from outside. The Walking Group, led by Eddie Reid, will of course get going again. You will also notice that just before everything shut down, we got the new pavement that we've been pushing for for awhile.
I hope all this will together make Hatch Beauchamp an even better place to live, and help to protect us in the meantime.
These are the numbers to call:
Christine Scott 07708 702967 or 480246. Caroline Noble 07881 810834 or 480766. David Graham 07939221329 or 480088.