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.