Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Otford VE Day 75 celebrations may have been cancelled but village is encouraged to join in nationwide sing song with Dame Vera Lynn on Friday 8 May

VEDAY 75: Although village events to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE day on Friday 8 May have been cancelled residents are being encouraged to decorate their houses in red, white and blue. Although most national VE Day 75th celebrations have been postponed, everyone is being invited to a singsong on the big day.  The Daily Mail, supported by Dame Vera Lynn, is inviting the whole country to throw open their windows and doors at 9pm on Friday 8 May and sing We’ll Meet Again at the top of their voices.

ROAD WORKS: Resurfacing work is scheduled to take place in Otford High Street on 11 May for approximately five nights between 10pm and 6am. The road will be closed between A225 Sevenoaks Road and Rye Lane. The alternative route is via A225 Sevenoaks Road, A225 Otford Road, A25 Bradbourne Vale Road, A25 Maidstone Road, A224 London Road, London Road, Pilgrims Way West and Vice Versa.

BUS SERVICES: In response to the evolving Covid-19 situation, Go-Coach has launched a new on-demand service. Go-Coach will ensure passengers can still exercise social distancing, in line with Government Covid-19 guidance. All buses are being thoroughly cleaned each night. No more than 10 passengers will be allowed in a bus at any time. There will be additional bus links to Pembury/Tunbridge Wells, Orpington, Queen Mary’s Sidcup and Princes Royal Farnborough Hospitals at a fixed cost of £5 per journey.

For more details of the on-demand service CLICK HERE

PARISH COUNCIL: Chairman Mr Nick Rushby reports that The Parish Council May newsletter will not be printed and hand-delivered throughout the Village because of the coronavirus outbreak. Instead it takes the form of an e-newsletter on the Parish website (below).

For those interested in all the activities of Otford Paris Council, the minutes of meetings are available under normal circumstances in the library, and minutes, agendas and newsletters can be obtained via the web (also available in the library). Please check out the new website at www.otfordpc.kentparishes.gov.uk.

New Government legislation came into force on 4 April which gave clarity to parish councils on how they should conduct business. Otford Parish Council has chosen to use Zoom for its meetings. The council will be publishing the Zoom link as part of the agenda on the Parish website – www.otfordpc.kentparishes.gov.uk.. Clicking on the link will enable residents to join the meeting and participate in the public forum. The council asks residents to be patient while members get used to this new way of working.

WALK THE WALK: People are being encouraged to take an hour’s exercise each day during the coronavirus lockdown and one way of achieving this is to walk in the surrounding countryside. If you are looking for inspiration, look at the section on walks on the VisitOtford website:

visitotford.org/category/walks-around-otford/

When walking ensure that you keep a safe distance from other people (except those in your own household).

ROAD FRIENDS: Over the lockdown period the whole Otford community have responded magnificently to the threat of the virus. Every road – all 42 of them – has a team of volunteer ‘ROAD FRIENDS’ in place to help anyone who is required to self-isolate or who falls ill. They are there to offer help with collecting shopping or prescriptions. There are approximately 280 registered road friends who have signed up to offer help and support to neighbours.

REFUSE COLLECTIONS: Sevenoaks District Council is operating with a reduced staff but has put plans into action so it can continue to deliver services.

This means that some Council services are starting a little earlier than usual, including the Garden Waste collection service. Residents are being asked to put their garden waste bins and sacks out half an hour earlier, by 6.30am, on their collection day.

The Council’s weekly refuse and recycling collection service is continuing as usual, however it may be necessary to change routes so collection times may be earlier or later than residents are used to, therefore it is important that residents put their sacks out by 7am on their collection day.

Residents can find information, apply for services, make payments and do business on its website www.sevenoaks.gov.uk or by calling 01732 227000.

VILLAGE LIBRARY: All 99 libraries in Kent are currently closed until further notice. All loan periods are extended for customers until the end of June. If you need further extensions after June, please get in touch via: libraries@kent.gov.uk or call us on 03000 41 31 31.

If you have reservations, or reservations on order, they will be kept safe until the libraries re-open. They will remain available for 10 days before going back into circulation. If you cannot collect the reservation during that time, we will refund you the reservation fees will be refunded or re-order at no additional charge.

WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS: Although there have been many examples of of kindness and generosity during the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, scammers and criminals have also used the crisis as an opportunity to defraud people.

There have been reports received by Kent Police of people door-knocking and claiming to be from the Health Authority.

What happens:

The criminal knocks on your door.

They claim to be from the Health Authority.

They offer to do COVID-19 testing on residents.

There are also reports of the criminal offering to take the residents temperature.

THIS IS A SCAM!

What to do:

Do not let them in.

Do not allow them to take any money or details from you.

Report to Kent Police on 101.

If you ask them to leave and they don’t, contact the police on 999.

Please warn vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133
Consumer Advice scams action line  on 0808 250 5050
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk for information and extra help as to how keep safe online

Also www.victimsupport.org.uk – Support line – 03003030157

The Otford village news is compiled by Kay Drake. If you have any news or events you would like her to consider for the My Sevenoaks Community village column you can email her at: drake_kay@hotmail.com

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