COVID19 Town and parish council update 19/03/2020 – on behalf of Cllr Philip Whitehead

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March 19, 2020

Good morning,

This is the first of a regular message to give you the latest information on COVID 19.

  • For up-to-date information about council services, health advice, and information to support your communities, please see our COVID-19 page, and encourage your communities to access information and council services through this page.

  • You can also sign up for our email newsletter to get the latest information direct to your inbox.

  • Please directed any queries to the info hub publichealth@wiltshire.gov.uk. Please do not contact officers directly as all COVID-19 queries need to be overseen and dealt with by the info hub.

Service updates

Democratic meeting cancellations

  • All Area Board meetings taking place over the next 3 weeks have been cancelled, other meetings are currently being reviewed and only essential decision-making meetings will take place, residents are encouraged to regularly check the council’s calendar here for updates as the situation is changing day by day.  Those wishing to attend meetings that are going ahead are asked to inform Democratic Services via Committee@wiltshire.gov.uk, although residents are encouraged to submit representations in writing to via this email address in advance of the meetings if they do not wish to attend in person due to coronavirus precautions. Residents can access meetings that are streamed online (such as Cabinet) here.

  • All JNSA meetings have been cancelled until further notice

  • Our upcoming Our Community Matters events are supported by the Public Health team, and their involvement and input is integral to their preparation and delivery. Due to the quickly-developing COVID-19 situation we feel holding the meetings at this time would not be the best use of their resources, time and focus and, therefore with regret, we have postponed all of the events. Regardless of this, we will work hard to ensure we still get community input into setting our future priorities. There’s lots that can be done with social media and online resources and we are exploring all the options available to us.

Waste and recycling collections

All services are running. However, we are aware of some delays to mixed dry recycling collections, following the introduction of new services. If your blue-lidded bin or black box has not been emptied on your new scheduled collection day, please leave your containers out and our contractors will visit as soon as they can.

Waste tissues produced by someone who has or suspects they have COVID-19 should be placed in a plastic bag which should be tied when full. Disposable cloths or wipes used to clean hard surfaces such as kitchen worktops and bathrooms should also be placed in the same bag. This plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag, which should also be tied when full. The bags should be kept in a secure place until the individual’s test results are known. The bags should not be put out for collection or placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours (three days). After being stored for at least 72 hours (three days), please place these in your normal wheeled bin. If you don’t receive a wheeled bin collection, please make sure a council-issued bag label is placed on the outside of the double-bagged waste.

Council tenants – resident engagement events and trips

All planned events and trips are postponed until further notice.

Housing options service

As a precaution, our drop in service has been temporarily suspended until further notice.

We have taken this decision to minimise the risk to clients, staff and visitors, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions and those aged over 70.

For the time being, we will be operating a telephone and email service to respond to advice enquiries. Extra advisers are being deployed to operate the telephone helpline during this time. Contact details for the temporary service are as follows:

  • WEST
    01225 718005, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

  • NORTH
    01249 706666, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

  • SOUTH
    01722 434233, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

You can also contact the service on homeless@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Leisure Centres

At the instruction of TidNBul Garrison, Aspire Defence Services Limited have closed the leisure facilities at Tidworth Leisure Centre until further notice. All Wiltshire Council-owned leisure centres remain open at this time but this is under regular review. Other on-site facilities are currently unaffected: the library, Caterpilla’s Under 5s pre-school and all on-site businesses remain open.

City Hall

Following the latest government advice on COVID-19, the promoters of a number of events scheduled to take place at City Hall unfortunately had to cancel the bookings. Therefore, there are currently no events scheduled to take place at the venue until 6 May at the earliest. We are working with the promoters to reschedule the events where possible.

Libraries

Our libraries remain open at this time, but due to the ongoing coronavirus situation all scheduled events and activities taking place at them will be cancelled until the end of April at the earliest. We will keep this decision under review. We are working to deliver online/virtual alternatives and will provide further details as soon as we are able to.

The Communities team are busy scoping what support local communities are offering their fellow residents who may be self-isolating to see what extra support the council can provide

School Update

We are working closely with schools to ensure they are supported as they share latest government advice with their staff and pupils. As schools have had to partially close or close completely over the last few days we have been providing advice and support.

The Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson has announced that all schools will close to the majority of pupils by close of play on Friday 20 March however they will remain open for key workers and most vulnerable children.  It was also announced exams would not be taking place this year. We will continue to support the schools as they assess the news and work out how to plan going forward.

We will continue to provide regular updates around the ongoing situation

Thanks

Cllr Philip Whitehead

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