Village News & Events:
Odiham Parish Councillors appointed Cllr Dr Angela McFarlane to serve as Council Chair for a second year at the Annual Council meeting on 19th May.
A year on from the 2019 elections saw a very different meeting to the 2019 Annual Council meeting with Councillors joining the meeting from home using Zoom. Councils are required by law to make decisions at meetings and attend in person but new legislation in the Coronavirus Act 2020 now allows remote meetings which will help local councils to continue working to serve their communities. Odiham Parish Council has taken full advantage of these new powers and continued to hold meetings without interruption to its meeting schedule.
Members of the public can also join meetings using the link published with the agenda on the Council’s website. Three members of the public joined the meeting as well as Hampshire County Cllr Jonathan Glen and Hart District Councillors Ken Crookes and Chris Dorn. Cllr Mike Killick representing the RAF Odiham Ward was unable to attend due to work commitments.
Behind the scenes, Councillors have been instrumental in running a local support network during the Covid-19 crisis which pairs local volunteers with vulnerable residents. Councillors are also running a separate prescription delivery service aimed at helping vulnerable residents who are unable to leave their homes, a service which has been well received delivering approximately 20 prescriptions per week and has helped 80 residents.
Cllr McFarlane said “A huge thank you to all the people who have responded to our call for volunteers to help in the community. We have so far been able to match volunteers with 17 members of the community who are now having their essential shopping sorted for them. The prescription delivery service run by Councillors is working well. The fact that there are not more people needing help via Odiham Parish Council is evidence of the great job so many people are also doing to help our community. Thank you to everyone and please keep up the great job you are doing as we go into the second phase of lockdown. Stay safe. Odiham Parish Council helpline is 07900 960511.“
Odiham Parish Council quickly recognised that some residents within its rural community would need support, sometimes just a friendly telephone call, and the number of volunteers stepping forward has demonstrated a strong community spirit.
A year has gone by since Odiham Parish Councillors were elected to serve and represent Odiham and North Warnborough residents.
We are pleased to invite you to the (virtual) 2020 Annual Council Meeting on 19th May at 7.30pm where the Council Chair, Vice Chair and Committee Chairs will be appointed.
OPC made the decision to hold this meeting even though new legislation resulting from the Coronavirus Act 2020 removed the requirement for Annual Council Meetings to be held this year to relieve pressure on smaller councils. OPC has taken full advantage of new powers within the same Act which allows virtual council meetings enabling OPC to continue holding meetings without interruption to its meeting schedule.
The meeting will be held via Zoom. An agenda and full details on how to join the meeting can be found at http://www.odiham.org.uk/meetings/agendas-minutes/
All Saints Church has recognised there are likely to be an increasing number of people in Odiham and N Warnborough and around and about, who may currently or in the future struggle with putting food on the table especially as a result of the crisis surrounding COVID-19.
Last Monday 4th May, the new Odiham Foodbank started full operation. Initiated by All Saints Church Odiham, in partnership with Hart Foodbank, it provides emergency food and support for anybody and everybody who might be in crisis, across our community. The Foodbank is open on Mondays and Thursdays, 1.30-3pm, and is based just behind Lloyds Pharmacy in Odiham High Street (at the Church Office, Ostlers Place, Deer Park View, Odiham RG29 1JY).
The need is clear, and all the more so as the impact of COVID-19 unfolds. On 1 May, the Trussell Trust reported a soaring 81% increase for emergency food parcels from food banks in its network during the last two weeks of March 2020, and we can only imagine that things will get significantly more acute over the coming weeks and months.
Odiham Foodbank particularly value your assistance in referring anyone to the Foodbank who you think could do with a bit of help. If you know of anyone who you think could benefit, please do ask them to contact us, in strict confidence, at OdihamFoodbank@gmail.com. The Foodbank is currently also setting up a telephone hotline further details on this will be available shortly.
Further details can be found at:
As the lockdown continues there is a growing need for volunteers to shop for the elderly and vulnerable. Thank you to all those who have already signed up or taken the initiative themselves. The national level systems are taking a while to kick in and the County and District level are being passed back to Parish Councils. The HartisPrepared website will still not accept volunteers. So if you are willing and able to help please email firstname.lastname@example.org We are trying to match one volunteer to one person needing help. That minimises the risk to both – you just do extra shopping when you shop for yourself. Also we are trying to match neighbours. If you are already helping someone PLEASE DO NOT STOP. It would be handy to let us know so we don’t duplicate. Please stay safe and look at the guidelines for doing so published here www.hartvolaction.org.uk/coronavirus/local-updates/
From today, a new helpline is up and running for frail or vulnerable residents who do not have the support of families, friends or their local communities and who urgently need assistance with essential food or household supplies, collection of medication, or who are at risk of loneliness.
‘Extremely vulnerable’ are those who are socially shielded and should have a letter from the NHS and those who are vulnerable for other reasons (e.g. over 70, frail or have other health issues) – where people do not have their own support networks.
In accordance with government guidance, the Parish Office is now closed to the public and staff are working from home wherever possible. We will do our best to help with your enquiry but it may not always be possible to prioritise your enquiry during this challenging period.
Government guidance also prevents face-to-face meetings which will affect the way in which OPC makes its decisions.
The Coronavirus Act passed this week includes powers to the Secretary of State to allow virtual Council meetings. Whilst these powers are not yet in place, OPC will be following sector advice by holding virtual meetings (where a meeting is considered essential) and the Clerk has been given temporary delegated authority to make essential decisions on behalf of OPC in consultation with the Chair or relevant Committee Chair – such decisions are those which are necessary to run the Council or where OPC risks breaking a contract or agreement. All decisions will be reported to the next available convened meeting.
Responses to Planning Applications will be agreed in consultation with Planning & Development Committee members via email or virtual meeting. All decisions will be recorded in the minutes in the normal way. Residents within the parish are welcome to submit their comments on a specific application by emailing email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will consider livestreaming virtual meetings as soon as we receive notification that the virtual meeting power is in place.
Please refer to each meeting agenda for further details.
The playgrounds at the Recreation Ground, Bufton Field, Chamberlain Gardens and Chapel Pond Drive are now CLOSED.
By order of HM Government as part of the UK Coronavirus (Covid-19) Response.
This closure is effective from midnight 23rd March for a minimum period of 21 days.
No equipment safety checks will be carried out whilst the play area is closed.
Following an extraordinary Council meeting held on 23rd March and following government advice:
– Open space areas will stay open.
– The public toilets in King Street will stay open unless the government advises otherwise and as long as regular cleaning can be maintained.
– Allotments will stay open but users are encouraged to follow social distancing guidance.
The government has issued stay at home guidance for households with possible Coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.
To protect the safety of Council staff and Councillors, the PARISH OFFICE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.
Staff and Councillors are working together to maintain an administrative service where possible.
Please phone or email the Parish Office with your enquiry or following Odiham Parish Council news online.
To find the latest information we are all encouraged to go online first wherever possible and this is the main website:
We have just produced our SPRING NEWSLETTER which will be distributed to all households in the next few weeks.
We wanted to share this with you now as it includes some details on local support throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
Please share this with your neighbours who may not be online and in need of a little extra help.
The OPC are following national guidance which is evolving as the situation develops. We are particularly concerned for those who may need help but are not on social media or cannot get online. If you know someone in that situation please share as much information with them as you can. There is also information below for those who want to help.
If you feel unwell or are vulnerable it is important you follow the current advice – the 111 telephone help line is there for those who cannot get on line – this is likely to include many in the most vulnerable groups.
One piece of advice is to arrange for family or friends to bring deliveries of essentials if you cannot get out because you are self-isolating or unwell. It’s a good idea to set this up before you need help. Remember DO NOT meet face to face – deliveries should be left at the door.
Many community minded residents are keen to help their neighbours. Covid-19 Mutual Aid (a volunteer run organisation) recommends setting up a local group. It says ‘the smaller the better – a group that brings together those people who live on your street alone could be more effective and manageable than a district-wide support group.’ The Covid-19 Mutual Aid website provides advice on how to set up a local group, including important guidance on safety and security. You can also register your group so others can find it. https://covidmutualaid.org
Some residents, and local groups such as All Saints Church, Love Your Neighbour – Odiham on Facebook and local-community groups, are already using the attached form to contact their neighbours: Corona help postcard
We suggest the best thing for volunteers to do is to print out the form above and deliver it around their neighbourhood, especially to those houses where they know elderly people may live. Then those who are self isolating, who need help, will have somebody close to them to contact.
The find the latest information we are all encouraged to go online first wherever possible and this is the main website: