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Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 12 June 2020

 

 

COVID-19
Visit the Wiltshire Council website for the latest information about our services and COVID-19 support. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also visit:
Central government COVID-19 updates
NHS updates

 

Single adult households can form ‘support bubbles’

From Saturday (13 June), single adult and single parent households can choose one other household to form a 'support bubble'.

All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each others homes, including overnight, without needing to stay 2 metres apart. They must be exclusive, so you can't change which household you join with. If anyone in the support bubble develops symptoms, everyone in the bubble needs to self-isolate.

This is designed to help those who are most isolated by current restrictions, whilst keeping the risk of spreading the virus low. It doesn't apply to those who are shielding due to the increased risk to this group, but the government is keeping advice for those who are shielding under constant review.

 

Non-essential shops to reopen on 15 June

As many non-essential shops, high streets, town and city centres begin to reopen from 15 June, we’ve provided responses to some frequently asked questions.

Read our FAQs

 

Face coverings must be worn on public transport 

From 15 June, it will be compulsory to wear face coverings while using public transport in England.

Bus, coach, train, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Wherever possible people should continue to avoid public transport and walk, cycle or drive.

How to wear and make a face covering

 

Quarantine rules when you travel to the UK

Current Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice remains that British nationals should avoid international travel unless it is essential.

From 8 June people entering or returning to the UK are required to quarantine for 14 days to prevent new COVID-19 infections entering the country from abroad.

Under the new measures people will be required to self-isolate at a private residence for 14 days. Exemptions apply for road hauliers and medical officials. 
See the list of people who are exempt from the English border rules.

When you return to the UK will be asked to fill in a form with your contact information and must not leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolating’). See the guidance for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Health officials will perform spot checks to ensure compliance with fines of £1,000 if people fail to comply with the measures.

How to self isolate when you return to the UK

 

Registering births and notices of marriage


Our registration service is working hard to allow people to attend appointments to register births, and notices of marriage and civil partnerships soon.

The government announced that birth registrations, and notices of marriage and civil partnerships could resume in England from 1 June, so long as public health guidance is implemented to ensure it is safe for residents to visit the relevant buildings.

We are in the process of putting the appropriate arrangements in place to allow people to make face-to-face appointments as soon as possible in a socially distanced, safe way.

The date of the return of the face-to-face service, and the final arrangements, will be confirmed shortly.

Read more about registration

 

Shared Lives carers hold virtual tea parties


Inspirational Shared Lives Wiltshire carers who open up their homes to support young people and adults, will be hosting virtual tea parties and sharing their heartwarming stories online this month.

The carers will be talking about their experiences as part of Shared Lives Week between 15 and 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.

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. Carers are paid and receive support, training and guidance from the Shared Lives team at Wiltshire Council.

For more information about Shared Lives Wiltshire please visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @SharedLivesWilts.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Shared Lives carer and sharing your home with someone who needs support, please call 01380 826451 or email the Shared Lives team.

 

Book online before visiting a household recycling centre

Don't forget you now need to book a slot before visiting a household recycling centre (HRC) in Wiltshire. You can book up to three days in advance and visit any HRC.

Please arrive on time and bring ID with you to confirm your booking and in the vehicle with the registration number the slot has been booked for.  

Read the booking FAQs and book a slot

Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 10 June 2020

COVID-19 – Regional testing sites

 Drive-through coronavirus testing facilities are now open at the Beehive Park & Ride, Salisbury and the Wroughton Park & Ride, Swindon as part of the Government’s UK-wide work to increase testing.

 Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, can book an appointment on the NHS website to be tested for whether they currently have coronavirus. Essential workers can book a test on the GOV.UK essential worker self-referral portal.

 The testing facilities in Salisbury and Swindon, which are being piloted for the first few days of operation, are operated in partnership with Sodexo and will offer assisted and self-administered tests. Those tested will receive their results within a few days.

 In addition to the regional test sites, 116 mobile testing units operated by the Armed Forces travel around the UK to further increase access to coronavirus testing. They respond to need, travelling to test at sites including care homes, police stations and prisons. New units are being brought into operation each day.

 The Government has also set up a home-testing service, supported by Amazon's logistics network and other commercial partners. Home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house.

 To book a test:

  • NHS test booking route: Details here
  • Those unable to access the internet can call 119 in England and Wales or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland to book a test.
  • GOV.UK essential worker test portal:  Details here

 

NHS online services

 The NHS has created a Health at Home campaign which signposts the public to the information they need to contact their GP, order repeat prescriptions, manage their wellbeing and existing conditions, by accessing online services.

 Further information can be found here 

 

Accessing green space and exercise

On Monday, the Government updated its guidance on accessing green spaces and undertaking exercise safely.

In England, people can now leave their home to exercise and spend time outdoors for recreation with their household or in groups of up to six people from outside their household.

To stay safe, the public must:

•           take hygiene precautions when they are outside

•           wash their hands as soon as they are back indoors

•           keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside their household at all times

•           take hand sanitiser with them when they set off in case there are no handwashing facilities

The guidance (available here) includes an updated list of what the public can now do, advice for land managers and landowners, as well as a reminder to respect other people and protect the natural environment.

Further guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England was also published (available here).

People who play team sports can meet to train together, although anything involving physical contact is not allowed. It will also allow parents to accompany their children to coaching sessions carried out on a one to one basis or in small groups.

The guidance reiterates that people should wash their hands frequently and keep equipment sharing to a minimum. Outdoor and indoor gyms and swimming pools, playgrounds, fitness studios and other indoor leisure centres remain closed, except for facilities for training elite athletes. Indoor facilities such as clubhouses should be kept closed, apart from toilets and throughways.

The Cabinet Office’s FAQ document on what the public can and cannot do, and the guidance on staying alert and safe has been updated accordingly.

With the onset of cooler, wetter weather the Government is keen to remind people not to move any planned outdoor gatherings inside.

 

Shielding of extremely vulnerable people

At the Government’s press conference on 31 May, the Communities Secretary announced that those advised to shield due to being clinically extremely vulnerable can take initial steps to spend time outdoors.

The updated advisory guidance (available here) now states that a shielded person can go outside once a day with members of their household or, for those shielding alone, with one other person from a different household, if they wish to do so. This is in accordance with evidence that the rate of transmission is much lower outside.

Some important aspects of the guidance remain the same. Apart from going outside once per day, a shielded person should continue to avoid all non-essential face to face contact. This means they should not go to places like supermarkets or to pharmacies.

 

Business update

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) continues to deliver free working safely webinars for businesses ( details here ) for companies preparing to restart their operations.

To support businesses, BEIS is sharing case study videos of how different companies are effectively applying social distancing measures in their workplaces. These include; medical, retail, food, manufacturing, construction, fitness, energy and hospitality sectors.

 All of the case studies are available to download here.

 

Household recycling centres – you can now book online

 Online bookings have opened for trips to household recycling centres (HRCs), so people can now to book a visit to any of Wiltshire’s 10 HRCs, up to three days in advance.

 Because of the need to limit people on site to ensure social distancing, in recent weeks there have been long queues at Wiltshire’s HRCs. These have been well managed, but this is not sustainable in the long term, so we have implemented an online booking only system.

 From Monday 10 June, people can only visit a HRC with a pre-booked slot; anyone who turns up without a booking will not be allowed to access the site. Staff on the gate will check registration numbers against a list of bookings.

 Other changes from Monday include:

Stanton St Quintin site will reopen, so all 10 sites are open.
All sites will revert to their usual summer opening times.
Sites will be able to accept soil, rubble, plasterboard, textiles and, at some sites, asbestos once again.
 Changes to ensure social distancing on site remain in place, so only one person can get out of each car, staff cannot help to unload waste, and trailers or vehicles 3.5 tonnes and over will not be permitted.

There are around 10,000 available booking slots across the 10 sites each week, and new slots are added every 15 minutes over the working day, so people should have plenty of opportunities to visit their local site.

 Until Monday, sites are still operating the postcode entry system and operating at reduced hours. To find out more about the new booking system, please read our FAQs, or make a booking online.

 

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub

 The Wellbeing Hub continues its work to support vulnerable individuals as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Following further information from the Government’s Shielding Helpline and analysis of recent contact rates which indicate a reduction in demand, the hub’s opening hours will change with effect this weekend (6 June).

 The Hub will now operate Mondays to Fridays, from 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. 

We will continue to monitor demand for the hub and will ensure that our services are commensurate with need, both now and in the future.  If anyone requires urgent support outside the hub opening hours, an emergency contact number is provided on the hub’s out of hours message for people to use.

 

Business update

 Discretionary Grant Scheme

The council is launching its local Discretionary Grant Scheme on Monday (8 June), after receiving over £5.1 million of additional Government funding to support small businesses.

 Eligible businesses prioritised for funding include:

  •  small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include mills, units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates, and
  • charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

To help businesses prepare for the launch of the scheme, we’ve provided guidance for applications and further details of how the scheme will be administered on our website: here

 Businesses will be asked to provide evidence relating to fixed property costs, annual turnover and Covid-19 financial impact, to support their application.   Bed & Breakfasts will be required to submit additional supplementary information.

 

 Small Business Grant or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

The council is still progressing applications for the Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and it has transferred over £83 million to over 7,000 local businesses.

 The council continues to encourage eligible businesses to apply for these schemes via the online application form. Details here

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended

This scheme has been extended until October and includes improved flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part-time in July and a new taper requiring employers to contribute to furloughed employees’ salaries from August.

  • June/July: the Government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees’ wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.
  • From 1 July: businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part-time. Firms can decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return. Employers will be responsible for paying employees’ wages while in work.
  • From 1 August: the Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICS and pension contributions.
  • September: The Government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICS, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
  • October: The Government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICS, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
     

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be available on Friday 12 June.

 The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June from which point, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June. Therefore, the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

 

Self-employment Income Support Scheme also extended

Those eligible for this scheme will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70% of the average monthly trading profits, covering three months’ worth of profits. It will be paid out in a single instalment capped at £6,570 in total.

 The eligibility criteria is the same for both grants and further guidance on the second grant will be published on Friday 12 June.

 Self-employed individuals can continue to apply for the first initial grant up until 13 July. This grant is worth 80% of the average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, capped at £7,500 in total.

 The Government’s fact sheet on both of these schemes can be viewed here.

 

PPE suppliers

To help businesses prepare for re-opening, the council is providing a list of suppliers who are offering PPE supplies. 

 This list of PPE suppliers is for information only and should not be seen as a recommendation or endorsement of any of the suppliers mentioned. It only contains those suppliers who have recently contacted Wiltshire Council to indicate they can offer a range of PPE supplies. This list is not exhaustive, and these are not the only routes to market; there are many other suppliers that may be local, more competitive, have a wider range of PPE available or easier to access.

 If businesses require PPE, they will need to contact suppliers, carry out their own due diligence to satisfy themselves about the quality of the products they are buying and the company they are buying from.

 The list is available on our website: view here.

 

 

Regards

 

Cllr Philip Whitehead

Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 2 June 2020

Online booking system for household recycling centres     

             

A new online booking system will be available from Thursday 4 June to allow you to book a visit to any household recycling centre (HRC) in the county, up to three days in advance. 15 minute slots will be available for visits to HRCs from Monday 8 June onwards. From Monday 8 June, you must pre-book a slot to visit a HRC.

Other changes from Monday 8 June:

  • The Stanton St Quinton HRC will be open for pre-booked slots
  • HRCs can now accept soil, rubble, plasterboard, textiles and, with notice, asbestos (some sites only)

Other restrictions, including no trailers or vehicles 3.5 tonnes or over, remain in place. We will still be operating the postcode entry system to visit HRCs up until the sites close on Sunday 7 June.

                                                                

Find out more here...

Booklet to help families prepare for return to school


We have created a short guide with some tips to help families prepare as early years settings and schools welcome more children back through their doors.

The government has said early years settings, primary school reception, Year 1, 2 and 6 can return from 1 June. Secondary school years 10 and 12 will have some face-to-face contact from 15 June.

The booklet has some helpful tips for families including:

Talk about the positives of going back to school
Talk about all the things you have done during the lockdown period
Think about ways for them to connect with their friends before going back
For younger children explain when this is going to happen i.e. there are so many sleeps before going back
Encourage open discussion
Start to encourage the number of times your children wash their hands and practise maintaining social distancing
Share school information with them to help them prepare for the changes 
Put a routine in place in the run up to going back get your child to talk to you about what the routine will look like

Read more and download the booklet 

 

Groups of up to six people can now meet outdoors



You can now spend time outdoors, including in gardens and other private outdoors spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households provided you follow strict social distancing guidelines.When seeing friends and family outdoors:

Access private gardens without entering someone’s home, wherever possible
Do not go indoors unless you need the toilet urgently, or are passing through to access the garden
Avoid touching surfaces and if you use the toilet wash your hands thoroughly, wipe down surfaces, use separate or paper towels and wash or dispose of them safely after use
You cannot use garages, sheds or cabins with non-household members – these are all indoor areas where the risk of transmission is higher
You should not share garden or sports equipment with people outside of your household
You can have a barbeque or a picnic, but should, where possible, try to avoid sharing food and drink. You should not pass each other food or drink unless you live together. You should not use plates or utensils that someone from another house has touched - either bring your own or ensure you have thoroughly cleaned them before using. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and use disposable towels if possible.

Read the government's FAQs on social distancing 

What has changed if you are shielding

Government guidance for people who are shielding has been updated.

People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.

Shielded people should continue to avoid all non-essential face to face contact. This means they should not go to places like supermarkets or to pharmacies. The support for shielded people remains in place and unchanged.

Read the full guidance on shielding here 

 

Cononavirus regional testing site opening in Salisbury

 

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open at the Beehive Park and Ride in Salisbury, as part of the government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing.
 
Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, can book an appointment on the NHS website or by calling 119 to be tested for whether they currently have coronavirus.  

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie and staff from Boots in Salisbury who have volunteered to run this COVID-19 testing station, which will start testing essential workers and people with symptoms of coronavirus on Saturday, 30 May. 

 

Find out more here

Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update- 31 May 2020

Government Updates

On Thursday evening the Prime Minister gave an update on the UK's progress against COVID-19, having met the five tests that allow the adjustment of lockdown. Full details of this statement can be found here.

 

 From Monday 1 June

1) Nurseries and other early years settings and reception, year one and year six in primary schools can reopen in a safe way;

 2) Outdoor retail and car showrooms, where social distancing is generally easier, can reopen; and 

 3) Up to six people will be able to meet outside (in parks, gardens and other private outdoor spaces) - provided those from different households continue strictly to observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart.

 Today, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that from Monday 1 June the shielding guidance is being updated so that people will be advised that they can take initial steps to safely spend time outdoors. Those shielding will be able to spend time outdoors with members of their own household or, if they live alone, with one person from another household. Mr Jenrick’s full statement can be found online

 Further social distancing guidance will follow in the coming days - please visit the GOV.UK COVID-19 FAQs page here for updates.

 

 From Monday 15 June

1) Secondary schools will begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for years 10 and 12;

2) The Government intends to reopen other non-essential retail - but only provided the five tests are still being met and shops have been made COVID secure.

 

NHS Test and Trace service

A new NHS Test and Trace service has been launched in England to help identify, contain, control and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 The service will:

  • Provide testing for anyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to rule out if they have the virus
  • Get in touch with anyone who has had a positive test result to help them share information about any close recent contact they have had
  • Alert those contacts, where necessary, and notifies them that they need to self-isolate to help the spread of the virus

 Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. 
People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.  Those contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service will be given clear information explaining what they must do and how they can access local support if needed.

 The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that those having to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are unable to work from home.

 The Government has also expanded testing availability for children aged under 5, to help support the phased opening of schools and childcare settings in England from 1 June. From today, all symptomatic individuals in England will therefore be able to access a test if they need one. 

 A package of £300 million of new funding has been made available to local authorities to work with NHS Test and Trace to develop local ‘Outbreak Control Plans’ (as mentioned in yesterday’s Member’s Briefing). The plans will focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in places such as workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools, ensuring testing capacity is deployed effectively and helping the most vulnerable in self-isolation access essential services in their area. A new Local Government Advisory Board has also been established to support this work.

 The NHS COVID-19 app, which will form a part of the NHS Test and Trace service, will be launched in the coming weeks once contact tracing is up and running. It will significantly extend the speed and reach of contact tracing, by helping to identify others who may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus.

 Further information on the NHS Test and Trace Service, is available by clicking the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works?

 

Government food parcels – opt out

Those people on the extremely vulnerable shielded list that receive a Central Government food parcel are able to opt out of receiving further parcels should they wish.

 Residents to whom this applies, are required to re-register at the Government website www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable. Once re-registered they need to click that they do not need support with food to prevent further parcels.  Alternatively, they can call 0800 028 8327and follow the instructions.

 Residents will need to have their NHS number to hand to complete the process.

 

UK Heatwave plan

 With the very dry and sunny weather conditions this weekend and forecast to continue, Public Health England has updated its Heatwave Plan for England taking into account COVID-19, to help people stay as safe as possible.The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. Many of those who are at risk of harm from heat are also at greater risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 and may need to spend more time at home than they would usually. Others may need to stay at home because they are self-isolating or recovering from the infection.

We still have much to learn about how COVID-19 affects the body but both heat and COVID-19 infections put a strain on the heart, lungs and kidneys and are linked with inflammation in the body. As a result, people shielding or displaying COVID-19 symptoms are advised to take extra precautions.

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/heatwave.

 

Council updates

Parking enforcement

The council will be reintroducing parking enforcement at all car parks, and on residential and on-street parking areas in the county from Monday 1 June. All parking permits and season tickets will also restart from this date, and parking wardens will enforce any parking contraventions.

On 25 March, the Government gave NHS and care workers free use of all council parking and this will continue until further notice.  However, Wiltshire Council went one step further and suspended all parking charges, including in residential areas, from the 27 March which was to be reconsidered when the Government issued new guidance.

As the Government looks to return to a new normal, it is important we reintroduce parking charges and enforcement to ensure the highways and parking networks are working effectively.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the council’s budget, particularly in terms of lost income, and reinstating car parking charges will help us to continue to support our residents and businesses through these challenging times.

 People using car parks should note the following guidance to help keep staff and residents safe and ensure social distancing:

  • Cash will be accepted (change not given) at all car parks, but please pay using a digital permit or contactless if you can. Not all car parks accept contactless payments, but all accept digital permits.
  • Signage will be in place to let people know of the charges and also to remind people to ensure social distancing when using machines or walking in car parks.
  • Where possible, people should park leaving one space or more between cars to aid social distancing. This may not always be possible, but it may be achievable in quieter car parks.
  • NHS workers and care workers must place supporting evidence in their windscreen when parking to be eligible for free stays, such as photocopies of work passes with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence on headed paper from their employer.

All valid parking permits and season tickets will be restarted from Monday 1 June with the other charges – with the nine weeks of the suspension period automatically added on to the end of parking permits and season tickets. For example, if a person has a parking permit or season ticket that expires on 31 August, that permit or season ticket will now automatically be extended to end on 2 October, nine weeks later. People do not need to contact the council for this extension; it will happen automatically.

Refunds can be given to people who no longer need extended season tickets – contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 

Highways and high streets

The council is set to receive £227,000 of Government funding to support the use of temporary and pop-up measures to create a safe environment for walking and cycling.

Following significant changes in travel behaviours during COVID-19 which saw more people choosing to walk and cycle during their daily exercise, these new measures will help encourage walking and cycling activity to continue whilst maintaining social distance. They play a key role in helping to avoid overcrowding on public transport as shops and businesses start to reopen.

This indicative allocation is part of the first tranche of funding from the government's £250 million Emergency Active Travel Fund. The initial focus promotes cycling as a replacement for journeys previously made by public transport and could include closing some roads to through traffic, installing segregated cycle lanes and widening pavements.

Many suggestions for schemes across the county have been received and those that meet the funding criteria, including timescales, will be prioritised. Work on these priority schemes will need to start within four weeks of receiving the funding and completed within eight weeks from starting.

A further tranche of funding is likely to be released later in the summer and will help support permanent cycling and walking measures throughout the county.

In addition, Wiltshire Council has been awarded approximately £450,000 to support the safe reopening of high streets across Wiltshire.

This funding comes from the Government's Reopening High Streets Safely Fund and supports measures that ensure businesses and their customers can trade safely. This could include temporary changes to public spaces owned by the council and which are next to businesses so they can be reopened safely and supporting retailers on how to make temporary adjustments to their premises to comply with social distancing.

Some measures will be easier to implement such as pavement stickers outside shops showing 2 metres apart and others will take a bit longer as pavements are reconfigured to support social distancing for shoppers. However, the council will work with town and parish councils and key partners to ensure there is local support for any scheme that is progressed and we will aim to implement as many schemes as possible.

 

Street markets


Following recent changes to Government guidance, Wiltshire Council run street markets will be open from Tuesday 2 June with stallholders now able to sell their full range of goods.

 Social distancing will be in place at each of the markets, and the public are strongly urged to take notice of the signage at each site and ensure they do everything they can to adhere to the measures and keep at least two meters apart from each other and the stallholders at all times.

 To keep stallholders and the public as safe as possible a socially distancing queuing system will be in place at each market for each stall. Stallholders will be regularly using hand sanitiser, and cleaning where appropriate, and people are also encouraged to pay via contactless where they can and when it’s available, and should not unnecessarily pick up items and put them back.

 A number of stall holders have laid their stalls out differently to have a dedicated entrance and exit and operate a one way system and all have been advised to follow government guidelines around hygiene, regular hand washing and sanitising.

 Council officers will be on site to manage set-up and ensure stalls are socially distanced, and arrangements are in place at each stall for a socially distanced queue system.

More information on opening times at each location including FAQs can be found at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community-environment-street-markets.

Chippenham, Devizes, Royal Wootton Bassett and Salisbury markets are not Wiltshire Council-run so please check with the relevant councils to find out about their current arrangements:

 

Financial support for vulnerable households

Some Wiltshire residents of working age will pay less council tax due to a Government-funded scheme to support people from the impact of COVID-19.

This latest support package from the Government, which is being managed locally by Wiltshire Council, is aimed at working age families who already qualify for council tax reduction but still have to pay some council tax.

There are currently more than 16,000 working age households in receipt of a council tax reduction in Wiltshire, and around 11,000 of those will qualify for additional financial support under this scheme.

The scheme ensures that anyone who qualifies for council tax reduction will receive a further reduction of £150 in addition to their current council tax benefit. The scheme will not put accounts in credit, so those already in receipt of a 100% reduction will not be affected. 

It also applies to those who are successful in claiming council tax reduction for the first time who may need some short-term support, before they return to work.

COVID-19 has left some people struggling financially and this extra money will provide support and hopefully ease the pressure for those who are already in a particularly vulnerable situation.

Qualifying households will shortly be sent a new council tax bill for 2020/21 by Wiltshire Council confirming they have been awarded a further reduction.

If anyone has any questions they should call 0300 456 0109 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 Support for older residents

 A new 'Active at Home' booklet has been launched by Public Health England today to provide practical guidance for older adults on home-based activities to maintain their strength and balance during the Coronavirus outbreak.

 The booklet is available to download here. Please encourage people in your community to download the booklet for themselves or share with family or friends that might find it useful.

 

IT update

 Criminals are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to target the public sector, businesses and individuals. The biggest threat is ransomware attacks where hackers attempt to gain access through fake (phishing) emails and prevent you from accessing your computer or data and demand payment to restore access.
 Recently the council has seen an increase in these fake emails and the design of some has been very sophisticated.

 If you receive an email that in any way doesn’t feel right or has links and attachments which are unfamiliar to you, always be cautious. Don’t click on any links or attachments and forward the email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. only.
 
If you notice something out of the ordinary or if you have any security concerns, please contact the council’s ICT service desk immediately on 01225 718718.

 

Other matters:

 Road and street work permits

 From Monday 1 June, the way road works and street works are managed in Wiltshire will be changing.

 The Government is requiring all highway authorities to implement Permit Schemes, where anyone wishing to work on Wiltshire's roads has to submit a permit to work. The current system relies on work promoters submitting Notices where they have a legal right to carry out work.

 The new Permit Scheme will allow better control and direction on the works that take place on our roads as they are not permitted to start unless they have prior approval (excluding emergency works).

 The change has required an increase in the staffing in the Network Management Team in order to be able to process approximately 33,000 applications per year.

Further information on the council’s works permit scheme system is available by clicking the following link http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-road-works-permit-scheme.

 

 Special schools

 Plans to invest in special school education moved a step forward this week after Government officials gave the green light to a key part of the process to provide additional school places in north Wiltshire.

 Wiltshire Council wants to ensure that all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities have access to a first class education for SEND pupils. The new school is key to these plans.

 After consulting extensively with parents, pupils, schools and the community the council approved a number of recommendations including:

  •  The establishment of a new, maintained special school with a single leadership team to work across all three sites of St Nicholas, Rowdeford and Larkrise schools.
  • Expansion on the existing Rowdeford site to accommodate up to 400 pupils as part of the new special school by September 2023.
  • Approve that the sites of St Nicholas and Larkrise stay in use until the new provision is ready, and then review if it is appropriate for children to transition to the new site at Rowdeford. This is to be established by approval by cabinet of further consultation on the appropriateness of transferring the provision of St Nicholas and Larkrise to the Rowdeford site no later than 12 months before opening all the new provision. This consultation would be determined by the demand for places, views of stakeholders and wider development of inclusive education for children and young people with SEND living in Wiltshire.

 The Office for the School Adjudicator (OSA) examined the proposals to amalgamate the three schools and establish the new, maintained special school with a single leadership team to work across all three sites of St Nicholas, Rowdeford and Larkrise schools. It has now given the green light for the amalgamation to go ahead -  a key milestone in taking forward exciting work to develop the provision.

 In preparation for the OSA decision the council has already started to design a build programme to meet the need for additional special schools places in north Wiltshire.

 The council will be shortly announcing the preferred contractor to oversee the build and it looks forward to working together with families, pupils and schools to ensure the county has the best available provision which meets the needs of our SEND pupils now and in the future.

 

 

Regards

 

Cllr Philip Whitehead

 

Subcategories

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
& ACCOMMODATION.

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.
Image

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.