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Sheerness Town Council Emergency Meeting

Written by on 22 April 2020

At an Emergency Council Meeting held on Monday 20th April 2020, the
Councillors of Sheerness Town Council voted unanimously to dedicate £22K of their available budget to help support local residents during the Covid-19
pandemic. It was agreed that £10K would be assigned to the purchase of PPE (facemasks, aprons, gloves, visors etc) for all front-line staff that live and/or work in Sheerness, and a further £12K would be divided up and donated to various charities in the town who work with the vulnerable and needy in our community – organisations whose resources are already stretched, and who are now becoming increasingly overwhelmed by
demand at this difficult time.

The money has been taken from a number of existing budget allocations, which due to current social distancing measures, and the cancellation of many of the year’s planned events and usual council activities, would otherwise remain unused.

Chairman of the Council, Matthew Brown stated, “It seemed crazy that we have this money available to us which could do so much good in our community, but it’s just sitting in the bank, helping no-one. We needed to agree as a collective that we would vote to lift some of the restrictions governing its original intended use, and make it available right here, right now. And I’m pleased to tell you it was an overwhelming “Yes!” from all the Councillors.”

Work will start straight away on the purchasing and distribution of the necessary equipment to protect those that are at direct risk as they serve the community, and various local charities including the food banks in the area will be contacted to discuss how best to help them continue with the essential work that they do.

Vice-Chairman, Brian Spoor noted, “It’s hard for people to even get out and just get the basic food they need right now. And then there’s all the kids in Sheerness that used to rely on school dinners as their one main meal a day. Well, if they needed them then, they definitely still need them now.”

Listen to BRFM’s Peter Finch talk with Matthew Brown on the emergency meeting and how organisations can access the funding.