In my capacity as a Parish Councillor I was recently 'phoned up by a concerned resident of Broomheath Lane wondering what, if anything, the Parish Council (PC) could or should do in response to the corona virus epidemic. I told her that I would ensure the issue was considered at the next PC meeting (due to take place at 7.15 pm on 23 March).
The 'phone call made me think, what could be done? The first thing to say is that, even if you believe the "threat" is a load of over-hyped nonsense, like it or not, it is having and will continue to have an impact on your life and that of everyone around you.
In Tarvin when it comes to community assets, we are lucky. We have a wonderful, award winning Community Woodland, we have Tarvinonline – probably the best community website in Cheshire West – and we have a Community Centre that provides a comprehensive range of activities and entertainment. Each one of these assets is managed by willing volunteers working to the principle "by the people for the people".
Responding to the impact of the corona virus is more personal. So what can we as individuals – but members of a community – do to help effectively manage the effects of the corona virus? My initial thoughts are, first, ensure our neighbours, particularly those who are elderly, live with a disability, are alone or without their own transport, are well. Secondly, we can support our neighbours and friends by offering to do things that they cannot do or don't want to do because they don't want to expose themselves to risk. For example, we can offer to shop, do the odd job, put out the bins, collect a prescription, offer a lift or just have a chat.
These suggestions are simple and practical but no-one should feel that they have to act, put themselves at risk or do something they don't feel comfortable doing. Equally it is a fact that many of our neighbours are very private people who would not want or ask for help. We have to accept their independence.
As individuals I think that we are less connected with each other than we used to be, and we only seem to go into "something must be done" mode when there is a big shock moment like coronavirus. My hope is that this piece will make readers think, perhaps take some direct action or at least tell the PC their views on what should be done.
Finally, being a good, concerned neighbour should not end when the coronavirus is overcome: for a good community it should be a permanent state.
Ted Lush, Chairman of Tarvin Parish Council (but this article is written in a personal capacity and the PC is only mentioned because that was why I was contacted)