Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 27th April 2020

Ask the athlete

Wiltshire Council’s sports development team has launched a weekly series of ‘Ask the Athlete’ videos that feature on the Active Wiltshire social media platforms.

The feature gives people an opportunity to send in questions to their favourite local sporting stars as well as seeing them participate in interactive challenges – will the athletes be able to rise to the challenge they are set?

Athletes will also promote other resources developed by Wiltshire Council in response to COVID-19. These resources include opportunities for residents to be active, to undertake virtual museum tours, library resources and opportunities to get involved in reading activities, as well as information on digital learning and home schooling and downloadable activity packs. All of these resources are available on a new Active Communities webpage developed by Wiltshire Council, which is available at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-active-communities

To get involved, submit a question and to see the full schedule of athletes taking part, people should visit the Active Wiltshire Facebook page www.facebook.com/ActiveWiltshire and @Sport4Wiltshire on Twitter.

Guidance for parents and carers

The council has created a Covid-19 Advice and Support for Parents document which provides guidance on looking after the whole family during this situation. The document is available on the ‘school’s section’ of the Covid-19 webpage and includes support on home education.

Keeping safe online

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted everyone’s daily lives. More people are working from home, looking after children and spending time online. Now more than ever, it is important for everyone to know how to stay connected, stay safe online, and check the facts.

The DCMS has published some new advice to help people, particularly children, stay safe online during the coronavirus outbreak  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-staying-safe-online.  It’s also provided additional advice for parents and carers on this subject.


Update on grant schemes

We’re appealing to local businesses not to miss out on vital funding that could offer a real lifeline to their company.

Around 2,500 businesses in the county have yet to apply for either the £10,000 Small Business Grant, or the £10,000 and £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

We’re contacting these businesses, by telephone or email, to encourage them to apply for the grant. There’s around 1,300 of these businesses where we do not have up to date information or contact details. We’ve set up a dedicated team to carry out some more detailed work to try and track this information down. Businesses that think they may be eligible can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details of their business for us to check.

We are continuing to assess those applications received. So far, we have issued £55 million to support over 4,700 local businesses through these challenging times.

Launch of Regional Redeployment Service

A Regional Redeployment Service has been launched with the aim of supporting individuals and employers in addressing not only the immediate needs and challenges brought about by the crisis, but also long-term support to ensure a robust economic recovery for the future.

This service offers support for recruitment, furloughed workers and direct support to their employers and learners affected in colleges, universities and work-based learning amongst others.

For more information: https://workwiltshire.co.uk/2020/04/24/regional-redeployment-service-launched/

Other matters:

Closure of Ridgeway National Trail to motor vehicles extended

Part of the Ridgeway National Trail in Wiltshire will be closed to motor vehicles over the spring and summer months to enable essential repair works to be completed.

The first few miles of the Ridgeway National Trail are near Avebury and lie within the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site between Overton Hill and Hackpen Hill. This part of The Ridgeway is a Byway Open to all traffic, which means that motorised vehicles can legally pass along here. Use by motor vehicles had caused considerable rutting of the surface, making it difficult for all types of users to travel and damaging internationally important archaeological features.

In order to protect the surface during the wettest months of the year, a seasonal Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) currently prohibits motorised vehicles from using this stretch of the route throughout the winter months, between 1 October and 30 April. This year, from 1 May to 30 September, a further Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) prohibiting motorised vehicles will be put in place.

Walkers, cyclists, horse riders and horse and carriage drivers will be able to continue to use the route at all times, ensuring they are following the latest stay-at-home restrictions. The TTRO will be in place during the summer solstice celebrations should they take place, but the first stretch of the Ridgeway and byway Avebury 5 will be open for public access as usual. The permanent seasonal TRO will then come into place on 1 October 2020, as normal.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but the repairs required are essential. The subsequent testing will help us and our partners decide how we best protect in the future this part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the National Trail and the internationally protected archaeological features that it contains.


Cllr Philip Whitehead

Related Articles