COVID-19 UPDATE – Tuesday 16 June 2020
Please find below the latest update on COVID-19 and other council matters:
COVID-19 Business Re-opening Pack
We’ve launched the attached 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.
Briefing Note for Town and Parish Councils – Fly Posting and the Law.
Types of fly posting:
Three main types of fly posting have been identified by the Department for Communities and Local Government:
- Advertisements primarily for local events
- Posters advertising products of large organisations
- Posters displayed by pressure groups or political bodies
- Within the public highway
- On Wiltshire Council/publicly owned land
- On private land
Within the highway: The local authority (i.e Wiltshire Council) has power under the Highways Act 1980 to remove flyposters with immediate effect. If the owner of the poster is identifiable 2 days advance notice may be given so that the owner can remove it.
On council/public land: as highway but the power to remove is under the Town and Country Planning Act. 2 days advance notice must be given if the owner is identifiable.
On private land: As council//public land but the landowner may be asked to remove it as the first resort.
The local authority also has powers to prosecute should they deem it appropriate or necessary.
Link to the current DCLG Guidance:
Reporting fly-posting to Wiltshire Council
Instances of fly-posting can be reported via the council’s website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk using either “report a problem” or by downloading the My Wiltshire app.
Please note that the council may exercise judgement on the urgency of securing removal according to the extent to which there is a risk of public safety.
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 at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/gardenwaste 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. See www.wiltshire.gov.uk/rubbish-and-recycling or 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 at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/rubbish-collection-days.
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.
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.
Funding could help to unlock potential of Bradford on Avon site
Wiltshire Council has secured £85,000 in funding from the Government’s One Public Estate (OPE) programme to explore future possibilities for a new community facility in central Bradford on Avon.
The site, opposite the railway station, is currently home to the town’s health centre, and a police and fire station. The funding will be used to conduct feasibility and environmental studies to see whether the site could be redeveloped to benefit the town, including a new health centre; combined facilities for fire, police and community emergency volunteers; a new museum; a tourist information centre; council offices and social housing. This funding will help to test different ideas for the site and help establish what it could become in the future.
Specifically, the funding will be used to engage a team of architects and master planners on the project and help establish what it could become in the future. This work is expected to begin in the autumn, in consultation with Bradford on Avon town council, other public sector partners, residents and businesses.
Once ideas have been collated, any plans will, at a later stage of the process, be subject to full consultation. Any development of the site is some way off and would also be subject to further applications for funding that would be led by the town council.
The OPE programme provides support and funding to councils around the country to create property-focused projects that bring economic growth; bring services together; and generate efficiencies through capital income and reduced running costs.
Update on Rights of Way & Countryside Volunteers
We just wanted to make you aware of the below letter which has been sent to Rights of Way and Countrywide volunteers:
Dear Rights of Way & Countryside Volunteers,
We hope you are keeping safe and well during these Covid-19 times.
Further to our email below which was sent in March, as government is easing lockdown we know that some of you would like to resume normal volunteering activities; Wiltshire Council has taken the view however, that we should not be asking you to return to normal volunteering just yet. We know you will find it frustrating, it is for us too. The council has made this decision based on government guidance and what the health professionals are advising, but this may change in the near future. When it does, and when the council advises that volunteers can return if they wish and if they do not fall within the vulnerable/shielding categories, the latest government Covid-19 guidelines will still need to be followed. For rights of way and countryside volunteering, it is likely the following procedures also will still need to be followed:
- Travelling to site in own vehicle – lift sharing only with others in your own household
- Social distancing maintained at all times
- Avoiding busy areas/busy times of day to minimise contact with others
- Being prepared to abandon task if the way or area becomes too busy to enable social distancing
- Avoid touching latches, stiles, notice boards etc if possible – wearing gloves if this is unavoidable
- Using only own tools, and not sharing them
- Bringing own refreshments and drinking vessels, and not sharing them
- Washing hands before and after undertaking other activities, especially before eating/drinking/touching your face
- Using hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available
We mention the above at this stage to assist with plans for returning to normal. We are really grateful for your work before lockdown, and right now we are really grateful for your understanding, support and keenness to get back to volunteering – it is really good to know we can still rely on your help in managing Wiltshire’s rights of way and country parks – hopefully in the near future now.
We will be back in touch again soon; if one of your colleagues doesn’t have access to email, would you be kind enough to pass this message on please? In the meantime, stay safe and please don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you have any questions.
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 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 at http://wiltshire.gov.uk/registrations-births
Cllr Philip Whitehead