Wiltshire Council COVID 19 Update 1 July

 

We've dismissed lockdown suggestions

We have dismissed suggestions the county could be one of the next locations in the country to go into lockdown.

Media reports yesterday (30 June) had stated there had been a recent weekly increase of new cases in the county of 300%. However this actually equates to just an increase from one to four new cases.

There has been a total of 550 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wiltshire Council area, still comparatively low nationally, and the South West remains the lowest ranked region for cases. We also have the sixth lowest rate of cases per 100,000 resident population with 110.4 cases per 100,000.

This data is taken from the Public Health Coronavirus Case website.

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Your views sought on plans to reopen library services safely

We are seeking your views to help with planning for reopening library services safely in the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library service in Wiltshire was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 March.

The existing eBooks, eMagazines and eAudio service continues providing access to reading material, and on 27 March a new service launched via Facebook offering rhyme times, tea and chat, bedtime stories and online book groups. At the start of June, a Home Library service was launched, serving library members shielding and without digital access to download books; this service is currently used by approximately 100 people. The online library content produced since lockdown has so far generated more than 83,000 views and we appreciate everyone’s support.
To make sure the library services the council provides meet your needs safely and are as innovative in their delivery as possible, we would like to hear your ideas and feedback on how to reopen the services, so we can shape a service that suits you during this time.

During this challenging time the council has to manage its resources carefully and has put forward three possible options for how the service might operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are also being encouraged to provide their own ideas to help the us deliver the most appropriate service in the circumstances and within the council's current financial resources.
The possible options take into account COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing measures, resources available, meaning not all libraries will be able to initially reopen and there will be a partial and phased reopening of library services.

A four-week public consultation is now underway. Hard copies will be made available at County Hall, Trowbridge; Monkton Park, Chippenham; and Bourne Hill, Salisbury. The consultation closes on 26 July 2020.

HAVE YOUR SAY NOW

Pubs and other businesses to reopen from Saturday 4 July

Thousands of pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other specified venues, have been given practical, clear steps they can take to reopen safely over the coming weeks.

New COVID-19 secure guidance for the hospitality sector and hairdressers means businesses will be able to reopen in England from 4 July, provided they meet government criteria for keeping staff and customers as safe as possible.

MORE ON PUBS AND OTHER BUSINESSES REOPENING

Guidance for marriages and civil partnerships

From Saturday 4 July, marriages and civil partnerships of more than 30 people will be permitted but only in certain public places as set out in law. This will include all licensed venues where legal marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can take place. However, it is strongly advised that numbers are restricted to 30 for public health reasons.

Those operating venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings from taking place.

MORE GUIDANCE ON MARRIAGES AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub hours have changed

Since it was set up at the end of March, the hub has been open seven days a week to provide assistance to vulnerable people during the COVID-19 situation. This was then reduced to six days a week at the beginning of June.

However, to reflect a reduction in emails and calls to its hotline, the hub will now operate from 9-5pm Monday to Friday and will be closed at weekends. Outside of these hours, the emergency duty service will be in place as usual.

Time to renew or sign up for garden waste collections


Households that pay to receive garden waste collections will need to renew their subscription by 14 August. New customers can also sign up to receive this service.
The cost of having garden waste collected will be £50 per bin for the year. Current garden waste subscriptions expire on 30 June 2020, but due to COVID-19 renewals were delayed this year and garden waste bins displaying a red 2019/20 bin sticker will continue to be emptied until 31 August.

 You can renew or sign up to receive garden waste collections online. You don't need to contact us if you do not wish to renew.

Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 24 June

COVID-19 UPDATE  – Wednesday 24 June 2020

 Please find below the latest update on COVID-19 and other council matters:

 

 Opening certain businesses and venues from 4 July

The Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that all businesses and venues can re-open from 4 July 2020, except for the following:

Nightclubs
Casinos
Bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
Indoor play areas including soft-play
Spas
Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
Swimming pools including water parks
Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business who run the venue

Cafes, restaurants and shops that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside, will still be permitted to open.

To support the NHS Test and Trace, businesses are being asked to keep a temporary record of their customers and visitors for 21 days. Many businesses will have a booking system but for those who do not have such facilities, the government will soon be issuing details of a system they can use that complies with data protection legislation.

 

Local authority administered grant schemes

As of Friday 19 June 2020, we issued £86.37 million to 7,221 local businesses. This has supported 5,301 businesses with Small Business Grants totalling £53 million and a further 1,920 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with grants totalling £33.36 million. Of the 1,920 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, 944 local businesses received a £25,000 grant and 976 businesses received a £10,000 grant.

We have also received more than 700 applications for the local Discretionary Grant. The application window closed on Monday at 5pm (22 June) and applications are now being reviewed, assessed and paid.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked.

This scheme closes to new entrants on 30 June and so from 1 July, only employees that businesses have successfully claimed a previous grant for will be eligible for more grants under the scheme. This means they must have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks sometime between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

Read the guidance here.

 
Wiltshire Council joins Countryside Climate Network to help tackle climate change

Wiltshire Council has today (Wednesday 24 June) become a founder member of a newly-launched network to promote the voice of the countryside in climate change discussions.

 The Countryside Climate Network aims to ensure that the voice of rural knowledge and experience on climate action is listened to in Westminster, and asks that rural councils are an active participant in transforming the national economy into one that saves, rather than harms, our environment.

 The network brings a voice on climate change to the two-thirds of the country who live outside major towns and cities, and calls for investment, such as the government’s delayed £100bn infrastructure fund, to be targeted at rural areas.

The council is also working closely with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the County Councils Network to develop a tool that measures the council’s levels of carbon emissions. The tool will create a standard, comparable measurement for all councils in the country, which can then be used to baseline carbon emissions and report on them regularly, as Wiltshire seeks to become carbon neutral by 2030. The trial of this new system is expected to begin later in the summer.

The Countryside Climate Network has been established by UK100, a network of local leaders that campaigns on climate change. The 21 councils represent 14.3 million people in total, a quarter of the population (25%) and two fifths (41%) of England by area. The group is chaired by the Leader of Cambridgeshire Council, Cllr Steve Count. To find out more about the Countryside Climate Network, please see: www.uk100.org.

 

Hot weather warning

Public Health England has today issued a heat warning encouraging vulnerable people to take care during the exceptionally hot weather forecast this week.

 People ‘shielding’ indoors from COVID-19, older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children are all more vulnerable from the higher temperatures.

Advice for keeping healthy:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, but babies, children and older people are particularly vulnerable.
  • Stay cool indoors: open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping.
  • Slow down when it is hot: exertion heats up our bodies so plan any strenuous activities (e.g. exercise, gardening) outside the hottest time of the day, typically 11am - 3pm.
  • Cool your skin with water, you could use a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or a cool, wet sheet.
    Stay connected and listen to the weather forecast, knowing the forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you’re doing.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather, protect yourself against the sun’s radiation and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes.
  • Eat smaller meals, more often. Cold salads and fruit are the perfect summer foods.
  • For more information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke visit NHS Choices.

 

Regards,

 

Cllr Philip Whitehead

 

Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 19 June

Business Recovery Pack and Toolkit available for businesses across Wiltshire
We have launched a COVID-19 Business Recovery Pack for businesses reopening their premises.

 The pack contains a round-up of government guidance, helpful tips on how to implement the guidance and safety advice posters and social distancing floor spots for businesses to use to keep their staff, customers and visitors safe.

 These resources have been created to support businesses across the county as they adapt their premises to provide a safe and welcoming experience for customers. They also complement additional signage being used across Wiltshire high streets to encourage people to follow social distancing guidelines.

 Read more: Click here

 The COVID-19 Business Recovery Pack and toolkit can be downloaded online.


Council tax payments resume for those who deferred


Residents who decided to defer council tax payments as a result of COVID-19 have been reminded that payments are starting again this month.

 In March, we gave all residents the option to defer paying council tax in April and May to help ease any financial pressure they were under at the time. In total, more than 5,800 households took up this offer.

 For those who pay via direct debit, this will automatically be taken from their bank account. Otherwise, people should pay in accordance with the various payment methods shown on their bill. If anyone is still struggling to pay at the present time, they should contact Wiltshire Council on 0300 456 0109 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss the options available to them.

 Read more: here

 

Regards,

 

Cllr Philip Whitehead

 

Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 16 June 2020

COVID-19 Business Re-opening Pack

We’ve launched a pack to help businesses re-open their premises as safely as possible and in line with government guidance. The pack includes a toolkit comprising social distancing floor spots and safety advice posters for them to use. The toolkit is also available for town and parish councils to use in their high streets and a space has been left on the designs to incorporate their logo. The cost of printing and delivering the materials to them will come from the Re-opening the High Streets Safely Fund recently awarded to Wiltshire Council.

Please go to the bottom of the page to download the document.

 

Time to renew your garden waste collections

Households that pay to receive garden waste collections will receive an email or letter this week inviting them to renew their subscription by 14 August. New customers can also sign up to receive this service. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, garden waste collection renewals were delayed this year, but customers now need to renew their garden waste subscription if they wish to continue to receive the service. The cost of having garden waste collected will be £50 per bin for the year.

Current garden waste subscriptions were due to expire on 30 June 2020, but customers should continue to present their bin to be emptied on their usual collection day with their current 2019-2020 red sticker until they receive a new one. Garden waste bins displaying a red 2019/20 bin sticker will continue to be emptied until 31 August.

Once people have renewed, they will be sent a letter within three weeks, containing a new garden waste bin sticker.People can renew or sign up to receive garden waste collections here .

People don’t need to contact us if they do not wish to renew.

Other options for composting are available if you don’t have room for a garden waste bin call 0300 456 0102.Garden waste bins are emptied fortnightly except for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. A full waste collection calendar is available here .

 

Shared Lives Week, 15 - 21 June   

Shared Lives Wiltshire carers, who open up their homes to support young people and adults, will be talking about their experiences as part of Shared Lives Week from 15 - 21 June. Shared Lives is a unique caring arrangement enabling more than 14,000 people nationally with a learning or physical disability, mental ill health, dementia or other ongoing needs, to share their carer’s home and family life.  Shared Lives promotes people’s rights, choices and independence and helps vulnerable people feel included in family life and community activities.

Currently Shared Lives Wiltshire is looking to recruit to the local scheme. People with care and support needs are referred to the scheme and matched with a formerly-recruited carer in Wiltshire. The carer is paid between £371 and £571 per week and receives support, training and guidance from the Shared Lives team at Wiltshire Council.

Celebrations will be taking place across the UK as part of Shared Lives week, organised by the UK charity, Shared Lives Plus, which is celebrating the work carried out by over 10,000 Shared Lives carers. With Covid-19 restrictions in place, Shared Lives in Wiltshire will be sharing stories, videos and photos online and hosting a virtual tea party for all their carers.

For more information about Shared Lives Wiltshire please visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. If people would like to find out more about becoming a Shared Lives carer, please call 01380 826451 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Learning Disability Week 15 - 21 June

Long walks, chats over the phone, visits, newsletters and exchanging craft ideas are just some of the many ways the Wiltshire Council Inhouse Learning Disability Team has been keeping in contact with adults they care for during COVID-19. The team has developed an outreach service both for those adults they usually care for and others in the community.

The outreach services can involve home visits to give parents or carers a break, taking people out for long walks to maintain their physical wellbeing, sharing crafts and activities but always staying in weekly contact. The team also writes to customers and delivers activity packs and are currently exploring setting up virtual sessions.

The outreach service has placed an emphasis on maintaining relationships and links with local community. The work of the service ties in with the national theme for Learning Disability Week which celebrates the importance of friendships during lockdown.

The Inhouse Learning Disability service includes team leaders, support workers, shared lives staff team, caretaking team and administration team. The In house LD service works closely with the Wiltshire Council Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities, Wiltshire Health and Care and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust learning disability services to ensure that people with learning disabilities and their families are supported. There is a focus on what people can achieve and enabling them to live full, independent lives.

 

Registration service resuming face to face appointments

From Wednesday 17 June Wiltshire Council’s Registration Service will recommence face to face appointments for the registration of births at its Chippenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury offices. 

The council is in the process of contacting all parents whose children were born in Wiltshire but have been unable to register their child due to the lockdown restrictions.   

There is an inevitable backlog of Wiltshire births to be registered so the council asks people to bear with them.  The council will contact people to make appointments so there is no need for people to call. Appointments cannot currently be made online.   In accordance with registration guidance at this time, all babies born outside of Wiltshire will need to register their child in the district where the birth occurred.

From Monday 22 June 2020 the council will be able to arrange notices of marriage or civil partnerships for couples whose appointments were cancelled during lockdown. People should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the council will then contact the person to make an appointment.  Appointments cannot currently be made online. New notice of marriage/civil partnership appointments can be made from 1 July 2020.

Please note that no date has been announced by Government as to when any ceremonies can recommence.

In line with General Register Office guidance and to adhere to social distancing rules, the council is having to restrict face-to-face registration appointments to people who are required to be there only. If this is difficult for anyone, they are advised to contact the council in advance to discuss arrangements for their appointment.

More information can be found here.

 

Regards,

 

Cllr Philip Whitehead

 

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    Latest News from Wiltshire Council 

    Minor Injury Units in Chippenham and Trowbridge to temporarily close as part of COVID-19 response 

    The Minor Injury Units (MIUs) at Chippenham Community Hospital and Trowbridge Community Hospital will close temporarily from 5pm on Wednesday 8 April 2020 so that staff can be redeployed across the local health and care system to provide vital additional capacity.

    Both MIUs have seen a significant drop in patient numbers since the start of the COVID-19 crisis as local people increasingly follow self-care advice and seek help from the online 111 service.  The closures of these MIUs have been put in place as a temporary measure and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with a view to reopening the units as soon as it is feasible and sustainable to do so.

    The NHS and its partners across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire continue to work together to ensure the services provided have the resources and resilience they need to deal with the problems posed by COVID-19.

    Patients with minor injuries should visit the NHS 111 online service. This will provide advice on where to go for the best care for their symptoms. People should only phone 111 if they cannot access the 111 online service.

    Those patients who feel that they need a GP appointment should call their local GP practice and are likely to be offered a phone or video consultation in the first instance, unless a face-to-face appointment is absolutely necessary.  As per NHS guidance no-one with COVID-19 symptoms should attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do by the NHS 111 service or a 999 call operator.

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appeal

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital to help protect our frontline workers, allowing them to continue delivering critical services in the community, whilst also limiting the spread of COVID-19.

    With high demand for PPE across the nation, Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police have launched a joint appeal for support from local PPE suppliers or any businesses that have stock which could be used.

    We are asking local businesses for any support that they might be able to kindly provide with supplies of PPE as a short-term measure whilst national supply chains work hard to catch up with demand. This will help allow our staff and our colleagues in Wiltshire Police to continue to support our most vulnerable residents and ensure we can deliver critical services across the county at this challenging time.

    The key items required are water repellent disposable surgical face masks, non-latex gloves, disposable plastic aprons and hand sanitizer (minimum 60% alcohol content).

    If you know of any local businesses that can help with the supply of PPE please ask them to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line PPE support.

    Wiltshire wellbeing hub

    Our Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub, which is available via email and phone, has been working hard to provide support for our county’s most vulnerable residents. Our teams continue to make daily calls to people identified by central government to see if these individuals require support and we have also received 781 calls to our designated hotline from other members of the community requiring assistance.

    This virtual hub can be contacted by email; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling our designated hotline, 0300 003 4576.  It’s available from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.

    Hundreds of food parcels are being delivered across Wiltshire to help older people and families who need additional help at this time.

    We’re asking Wiltshire children to make them additionally special by creating a lovely rainbow picture, with a personal message if they wish, which can be attached to the outside of the parcel as they are sent out.

    Please encourage children to send pictures to: Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing Centre, Hulse Road, Salisbury SP1 3NR.

    Business Support

    We are administering the £10,000 grant for businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or rural rates relief. We are also administering the £10,000 grant for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 and for those businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 a grant of £25,000.

    Over 4,400 applications have now been received and are currently being assessed. Of these applications, 50% contain all the necessary information for the grant to be processed fairly quickly. The remainder require further assessment or due diligence resulting in a delay in processing the claim. Further messaging will be issued through the communications channels to remind businesses to provide all the information in order that they receive this vital funding as soon as possible.

    So far we have transferred £5m to local businesses with further grants being issued today.

    Our Public Protection team have received 59 complaints from members of the public, mainly about social distancing measures in place in those businesses that remain open with a few relating to businesses operating when it’s perceived they should be closed.

    The team have also received 23 enquiries from businesses direct seeking further advice.

    Interactive map to help you find local COVID-19 support

    The Council has created an online interactive map that allows people to see what COVID-19 community support is available in their neighbourhood and throughout the county.

    The map, which will be regularly updated, can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus and people simply have to type in their town/village/city name or a postcode in a search box and the system will automatically take them to that location and highlight the support available in that area, which will be marked by red stars. Clicking on the red stars will bring up information about the groups, including their contact details and a summary of the type of support and services they are providing.

    The information on the mapping system can also be found in the Council’s regularly updated Community Groups Directory.

    This system complements our Community Groups Directory and allows people to find out about the local support available with just a few clicks.

    Government WhatsApp service

    The government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. The new, free to use, service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

    This will help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

    The GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow members of the public to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government. The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting.

    The service will also allow the government to send messages to all opted-in users if required.

    To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.  Please share this information with your communities.

    Regards

     

    Cllr Philip Whitehead

    LOCAL NEWS.

    Local stories in and around the Malmesbury area to keep you up-to-date.

    ATTRACTIONS
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    A wonderful place to visit with a wealth of attractions right on the doorstep.

    MALMESBURY

    Malmesbury is a beautiful town to visit in its own right and attractions include the jewel in our crown being Malmesbury Abbey, the fabulous Abbey House Gardens, and Malmesbury’s 15th century Market Cross.

    For more than two and a half millennia successive generations have populated this hilltop, which forms the centre of the community we now call Malmesbury.
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    CONTACT INFO

    Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9BZ

    The Council Office is open for Council business from 9am until 5pm Monday to Thursday & Friday 9am to 4.30pm, except for Bank Holidays.

    Please call us on 01666 822143, or visit our contact page here to contact a specific councillor or member of the council staff directly.