Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updated statement from council leader Cllr Doug Oliver

With tougher restrictions now in place in the UK we are putting in place significant measures across the district to keep residents and staff safe and help stem the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We appreciate these measures could restrict access to services and prevent you from going about your normal daily routine, but it is more important than ever that we all take responsibility and carefully follow Government advice to help stem the spread of the virus, keep essential services running and ease the growing burden on our NHS.

Following large numbers heading to Camber Sands beach over the Mothering Sunday weekend, we have decided to close all three car parks serving the area.  We have also closed playgrounds across the district to limit close contact, although parks remain open to allow residents to get exercise at a safe distance from others. Please follow the Government guidance on social distancing.

We have closed our public toilets until further notice as we feel that keeping them open is bringing people into close contact unnecessarily. We have also experienced a high level of vandalism with people damaging toilet roll holders to steal toilet rolls, which means we cannot continue to manage the facilities effectively or hygienically.

With help points in Rye and Battle closed, we have taken the difficult decision to also close the reception at Bexhill Town Hall.  We have installed an intercom system at the front door to enable us to continue to deal with high priority cases, but I would encourage you to contact us via our website or by phone unless your visit is absolutely necessary. Our customer service team can be contacted on 01424 787000.

Our household waste and recycling collections are currently unaffected, but we have decided to suspend our garden waste collection to minimise disruption and, where possible, will be contacting subscribers to that service to let them know about this decision.

These are extremely unsettling times for everyone but we can take heart from the amazing kindness that people are showing.  I want to give special thanks to all our officers and contractors who, while not exempt from this pandemic, are continuing to turn up to work day in, day out to make sure you continue to receive council services.

We all have a part to play in limiting the spread of this infection and I urge you to follow Government advice and stay at home, stay safe and stay well.

The situation is fast-moving and we are doing our best to keep you up to date with the latest information, but please be aware that there may be times where services are disrupted at short notice. For up-to-date information about measures you should be taking visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Published: 19th March 2020