Covid 19 poses a major threat to our nation, both in terms of public health and of future economic development and prosperity. It poses a huge challenge to businesses, especially to small firms. It also poses a major threat to individual lives and to families’ happiness, welfare and prosperity. All levels of government have a role to play in helping to meet these challenges, even the Parish Council, although inevitably, our role will necessarily be limited.
Your Parish Council have collaborated with organisations and public - spirited individuals in the village to establish and support Chailey Support Group – Covid 19. We have sought to maintain our functions and, on 21st April, became one of the first councils in East Sussex to hold a totally virtual Council meeting, thanks to the wonders of Zoom technology. It is a tribute to the spirit of Chailey that so many villagers, unprompted, are helping to support neighbours in lock down and/ or under shielding, to obtain supplies of food, prescriptions and other necessities. Chailey has risen to the challenge. Chailey had shown that, even though it is a large and geographically dispersed village, it is very close indeed in terms of positive and practical help and support. Thank you all so much.
Covid 19 has disrupted – and will continue to disrupt – many planned events and activities. Not the least of these is the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on 8th May. There will not now be on that day a special church service at St. Peter’s nor a fete organised by the Bonfire Society. We hope that it might be possible to rearrange something similar on Saturday 15th August, the 75th Anniversary of VJ DAY, but that will depend on progress in defeating or taming the virus and the consequential easing of the lock down and the easing of social distancing.
Your Parish Council has decided to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE DAY by donating a bench with a suitably engraved plaque to be erected somewhere appropriate in the village – the precise location will be determined at the virtual parish council meeting on 19th May. (Please e-mail or telephone the Parish Clerk, Mrs Newell, with your suggestions about a possible location.) The bench itself is a generous gift from Councillor John Millam in memory of both his grandfather, who served in the Great War and returned to Chailey where he established a forge on Chailey Green, and his father who served in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War.
The bench and the plaque will be the Parish Council’s tribute to all the men and women of the village who served in both World Wars and whose indomitable spirit, shared today by all NHS staff and social care workers, postmen and dustmen and all other key workers will help us, together, to overcome Covid 19.
Ken Jordan, Chair of Chailey Parish Council.