Maidstone specific COVID-19 Update from Patrik Garten MBC Cllr for North Downs Ward

Dear Residents

Advice from the Government and Public health England changed significantly on Monday in content and tone. Below is a link to the guidance issued with respect to social distancing and for vulnerable people.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

In terms of service delivery  Maidstone is fortunate to have an excellent ICT service which enables extensive homeworking. Tried and tested as part of our Brexit preparations last year. Some of our services cannot be delivered in this way and so we are working closely with service managers across the authority to ensure that our high priority services continue to be provided uninterrupted. MBC will be reviewing the position for our public venues including Lockmeadow, Maidstone Leisure Centre, Kent Life and the Museum during the course of tomorrow.

Supporting our community, especially people who need to isolate to protect their health and well-being concerning COVID-19  is another key role for the council. Many communities already have well developed mutual-help networks and arrangements in place. In addition officers will be working alongside key voluntary and community sector organisations including Age UK, the CAB and Involve Kent – to provide a structured and co-ordinated approach.

The economic impacts arising from measures to manage and cope with COVID-19 are extensive already. We will also put in place information and guidance for businesses – including changes to business rates reliefs announced in the budget. And – of necessity we will keep under review the income and spending of the Council so that we can manage our resources prudently through what is likely to be a turbulent time ahead.

The timetable for Council meetings and committees will be constantly reviewed and decided on, depending on the availability of members and urgency of the agenda items.  As such, the Full Council meeting scheduled for 8th April 2020 has been cancelled.

Finally, you are probably aware that we were to have elections in North Downs Ward which are obviously cancelled now. This means that I will remain your Borough Councillor for another 12 months uncontested. I hope that not too many people were hoping to get rid of me this May and as such I will continue to serve the community to the best of my abilities. Please feel free to call on my assistance whenever needed.

Patrik Garten
MBC Cllr for North Downs Ward (Cons.)