The Coronavirus Pandemic Part 2
Up Hatherley Parish Council
5. We are not alone in Up Hatherley in having a problem with traffic (and parking) around schools at peak times. Lakeside School presents the biggest challenge and the last few weeks have been a respite, so we need to think about how to avoid a return to the problems we faced before. If the schools are initially only opening for a limited number of pupils, could this be the time to experiment with a parking ban (or even a traffic ban) for some distance around the school so that walking or cycling to school is encouraged?
6. For those who are lucky enough to be able to work from home, the question is could this be something you continue to do – for some or nearly all of your working hours? Many employers have put in place arrangements for home working where possible and have acknowledged that in future they may only need employees to commute to work occasionally, so as to benefit from face to face/team contact. This could make a significant impact on the number of cars on the road, particularly at peak times, if start and finish times can be staggered.
7. If work is too far to walk or cycle there, could we do more to organise lift sharing (once social distancing measures are eased)? Having said that, I have been traveling to clinics with nurse colleagues and we travel in the same car wearing masks.
8. How to get shopping done or find certain items such as toilet paper, pasta, tinned beans, flour, yeast and cleaning products been a challenge of the Lockdown. With pubs and restaurants closed and limited take-away services, there has been a boom in home cooking, but also depressingly, CBC has reported a big increase in food waste. On the upside, there has been an increased uptake of box schemes for unpackaged fruit and vegetables, greater interest in growing fruit and vegetables and some very enterprising local businesses offering food and meal delivery. We should celebrate this local enterprise and continue to place our orders with these companies after the national and multi-national big names re-open.
9. With refuse/recycling centres only just re-opening, we have faced a problem with what to do with the things that we don’t want and cannot dispose of via kerbside collections or neighbourhood recycling facilities (Morrisons). For anyone with limited space, this is a significant problem. The challenge is to think about how we might reduce the amount of waste that we produce and how to re-use, re-purpose or re-cycle. During lockdown, there have been numerous instances of people placing items such as books, furniture and toys outside their homes for neighbours to take and, as restrictions ease, there will be increased use of Freecycling sites and Social networks for selling and recycling. Many of us have had a chance to do a Spring Clean, so before we join the queue at the Local recycling centre, we should find out if our neighbours need anything we have finished with.
10. Judging by posts on “Nextdoor” more of us are appreciating wildlife, flowers and trees whilst walking, as well as clearer skies, only occasional vapour trails from planes and starry skies at night too. Our Parish Council wants to embark on a tree planting mission, has taken delivery of some oak saplings and wants to develop some planting schemes for householders, schools, businesses and public bodies with everyone being encouraged to plant whatever is appropriate for the space that they have and with respect to trees – nurture any trees that are planted so that they thrive.
11. UHPC want to encourage the formation of climate change action groups, so we can develop ideas as to how we reduce emissions and influence behaviour so that future generations can enjoy what we have had this Spring. This was to be the focus of our Annual Parish Meeting, but in the meantime, I would welcome any comments on how you think the Parish Council could do to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Find Up Hatherley Parish Council
Up Hatherley Village Hall, Cold Pool Lane, Up Hatherley, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6JA