Message from Chair of the Parish Council

With our current position in trying to prevent or at least slow the spread of Coronavirus it was pleasing to drive through the village this morning and see ‘social distancing’ in action. I saw people stood on the pavement talking to people stood in their house doorways – all enjoying the sun, checking on one another’s wellbeing, yet following advice. Even dog walkers were stopping for a chat but keeping their distance. I did see some walking along holding hands but then that was probably OK as they had shared the same space the night before!
I had to go out as I needed food for the cat and pond fish and could not get a delivery and my fish are too expensive to feed to the cat! There is no evidence as yet that pets can pass on the disease to humans – good news.

I thought I would share this latest information from MDDC about the Governments new What’s app service which aims to provide trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

The GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow the British public to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government.

The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting.
The service will also allow the government to send messages to all opted-in users if required.
A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.
You can access further information about this www.gov.uk/coronavirus

In Willand a willing group of volunteers have collated information and arranged the delivery of cards to all houses with useful information and contact number on it. This is developing all the time and help is needed from more individuals please. If you do not have Chris or Andrea’s contact details the Parish Clerk will take a message and pass information on. It is hoped that by doing this no one will be left for need of help with shopping or anything else provided all can keep safe.

Life must go on and we need to keep the future in mind. Can you please make sure that you have completed and submitted the questionnaire as to the Neighbourhood Plan. Can you also please make sure you have done your response to the Boundary Commission regarding our Ward boundaries for the District Council. There will soon be a Parish Council response on the website if you want to ‘crib’. Numbers of responses matter in getting the Commission to take notice.

Please stay safe and look after yourselves but do not forget those who are alone and may feel isolated. Give them a shout over the garden fence or give them a ring. If anyone is feeling lonely let us know and I am sure we will find someone who cares enough to help.

Please follow the advice given in spite of my flippant start. It applies to us all and if it cuts down the numbers needing the NHS that has to be a bonus. Please stay safe and as more information, particularly local, comes to hand it will be shared with you. Remember a smile and kind word or deed goes a long way.

Barry G J Warren
Chair
Willand Parish Council.