County Cllr. Janet Duncton Writes

Apr 30, 2020 | Village News

Many of the County Staff are now working from home but with Skype etc it hasn’t been too bad to keep in touch.  Every Monday morning I have a Skype meeting with many of my colleagues at County for updates.  A lot of information has been published for the public through Press releases.   CDC staff are keeping in touch with Zoom so that is a weekly update as well.

The County Council has been able to find accommodation for 170 of those leaving hospital.  This helps to relieve the hospital bed situation so that they can take in any new cases that come along.  Very strangely A & E has been very quiet and a Councillor friend on Chichester District Council whose daughter is a Doctor at St Richards and in the A & E department only had 2 people attend in her shift time.  I think people are wary about going into hospital if it can be avoided because of the Covid-19 situation but we do encourage those who have a serious problem or condition to not stay away.  It could be very important for you to be in hospital and they will deal with patients.

All 11 of my Parishes are doing a pretty good job of looking after their own residents and, except for me passing on any relevant information that comes my way plus making the odd phone call, the Parishes have just got on with things to make sure their residents are looked after.

The County Council has recently started to do virtual meetings of our Scrutiny Committees and on the 14th April held the first of these for Children and Young people Services.  There are some very important issues about some of our small Schools to be discussed, none of which affect our area.  The public can log into these meetings and with pre arrangement can be called to speak.   Perhaps not ideal but also not behind closed doors and the business can be carried out.

As Chairman of the County and Chairman of Governance, the Officers contact me with items that would normally go through these committees.  Starting 14th April, we have approved some new Standing Orders to cover the situation we find ourselves in so that business can be conducted virtually etc whilst  we are in this ‘lockdown’ situation.

Chichester District Council has two ladies who work tirelessly with those who sleep on the streets.  They are usually joined by one of CDC’s Community Wardens.  Numbers fluctuate between 25 and 30 in Chichester and, except for those who refuse to take offers of accommodation, CDC has been able to house them all and both the Chief Executive Diane Shepherd and the Director for Housing have been taking their turn cooking at Stonepillow the Homeless accommodation on the Selsey/Hunston Road.

We realise that closing the Household Waste and Recycling centres is not popular and of course when safe to do so we will open them again.  All Councils have done this on Government advice as these are centres which have a lot of close proximity working and you would never believe the abuse that some members of the Public direct towards the Staff.  It could turn into a dangerous situation and yes, there will be more fly tipping and we ask the public to report when they see it and even better if they see it happening and take a vehicle number plate.  Very sad that the perpetrators seem to think they have more rights to get rid of their items than the rest of us but there we are.

I have said what a wonderful job all our Parishes are doing and they are.  I fear they will have to continue for some time yet and I am sure the residents appreciate that not everything can be attended to immediately.

One more thing for all residents.  Be very, very wary of Scams on e-mails and web sites.  It can’t be stressed enough that if some company you have never heard of offers a Service and all you need to do is give them your details, DON’T.

Please contact me on 07979 152898 if you have a local issue that I should know about.  My very best of wishes to everyone and please look after yourselves for all our sakes .

Janet Duncton
County Councillor Petworth division
Chichester District Councillor LoxwoodWard.

Please contact me on 07979 152898 if you have a local issue that I should know about.