Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update 11th September


New 'Rule of 6' law for social gatherings

The Government has announced new measures to suppress the virus and keep the number of infections down.

From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than six. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including private homes.

This change will simplify and clarify the rules on social gatherings, so they are easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce. There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total, but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups.

Full details here


More Wiltshire libraries to open, providing an order and collect service

A further eight libraries will soon be opening in Wiltshire, providing a new order and collect service to local residents.

From 14 September, libraries in Amesbury, Bradford on Avon, Calne and Marlborough will open, followed on 21 September by Royal Wootton Bassett, Westbury and Melksham. On 28 September Malmesbury will open.

People won’t be able to drop-in and browse at these libraries but an order and collect service has been set-up providing access to books. People can also book to use the computers for up to 45 minutes. It is hoped that people will be able to browse at these libraries in due course.

Click here for more information

Watch a short video to see how the order and collect service works


School admissions window now open for primary and secondary school places

You can now apply for primary and secondary school places for September 2021 entry, for children starting school for the first time or for children who are moving from a primary to secondary school or from an infant to junior school.

Applications can be submitted online at www.wiltshire.gov.uk until the national deadline dates of 31 October 2020 for secondary schools and 15 January 2020 for primary schools and infant to junior transfer.

The National Offer Day for school places from applications received before the published deadlines are 1 March 2021 for secondary and 16 April 2021 for primary and junior places. You will be able to log back into the online system on the National Offer Day to view the outcome of your application.

More on this here



Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update 4th September

Update on COVID-19 in the Swindon Borough Council authority area

You may be aware that last week (28 August) the Swindon Borough Council authority area was been added to the Government’s COVID-19 ‘area for enhanced support’.
Swindon will have prioritised access to increased national support and resources as needed to assist local action. There are no new requirements, restrictions or actions being imposed on Swindon.
We are working closely with colleagues at Swindon Borough Council to support them and will share any messages with yourselves, communities and businesses that will help improve their situation.
The infection rate in Wiltshire remains low, but we cannot be complacent and it’s important that everyone continues with their great efforts so far to follow social distancing measures and maintain good hand hygiene.
The advice remains the same:

·         Wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly

·         Cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces

·         Make space - stay at least a metre away from people not in your household

Anyone who is experiencing a new continuous cough or a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell, should isolate and get tested immediately, no matter how slight the symptoms.

As a reminder, the isolation period is now 10 days. Those living in households should self-isolate for 14 days if they or any members of their household receive a positive test. Staying at home means not going out for any reason, including to work, or to the shops.


Business Update

 Business grants funding 

The window to apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant, the £10,000 or £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and the local Discretionary Grant of up to £7,000 has now closed.

We are still working our way through those applications received and will process these as soon as possible. We have until the end of September 2020 to make grant payments to successful applications, at which time any unspent grant has to be returned to Central Government.

Overall we received 9,091 applications for Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants from 9,728 eligible businesses in Wiltshire and have paid out grants to 7,571 businesses totalling over £90 million. So far we have rejected 1,071 applications as ineligible.Under the Discretionary Grants scheme, we have received a total of 916 applications and have so far paid 566 applicants, a total of £3.79 million. 

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

From 1 September 2020, employers need to fund 10% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours they do not work, as well as continuing to pay their National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions.

This will increase to 20% of furloughed employees’ usual wages from October.

Further information and guidance on the Government Job Retention Scheme can be found here.


Education update

Back to school advice

Schools are welcoming pupils back to school at the beginning of the new academic year, and where possible young people are being encouraged to use the green alternatives to arrive at the school gates, such as walking, cycling or scooting if they live a short distance (two miles or less) from their school. 
For those car sharing with someone outside of their support bubble or family, they are being advised they should share with the same people each time, open the windows for ventilation and wear a face covering unless they are under 11 or they are exempt.
Pupils who use public transport and are aged over 11 are being reminded to wear a face covering while travelling. Where needed, Wiltshire Council is adding on additional buses to ensure social distancing can be maintained. They will be advising pupils via schools of these plans.
It is recognised that social distancing can be difficult to maintain on dedicated school transport.  Therefore, alongside other local authorities, we are asking pupils who use dedicated home to school transport such as a school bus, minibus or taxi arranged by Wiltshire Council, that where they can, they should wear a face covering if they are over 11 years old.  There is no requirement for primary aged pupils or children who are exempt to wear one, although it is strongly recommended.
Other bus users are also being asked to consider taking their bus journey after 9am to help maintain the social distancing on the public buses.
The council has put guidance on our website for those pupils using dedicated school buses and for those who use public transport. It is difficult to predict how many school pupils will use public transport at this stage but the council has worked hard to ensure there is enough transportation available and it will be monitored as the days go forward.
Students using public transport, should continue to follow government guidelines to ensure they can travel safely on the network.

·       Plan their journey in advance

·       Allow more time to get to their school or college. 

·       Wear a face covering for the entirety of their journey if they are over 11 years old and are not exempt, wash or sanitise their hands regularly and social distance where possible. 

All pupils who are entitled to bus passes for dedicated school transport should have now received them. If they haven't arrived parents/carers are asked to email:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Public transport update

Changes to concessionary bus fares

The council will be reintroducing the normal time restrictions for using concessionary bus fares from 1 September.

The council took the decision to relax its Concessionary Fare Scheme times in March so that concessionary bus pass holders were able to make essential journeys to shops and health appointments, before 9.30am during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to ensure there is enough capacity on the public transport network at peak times for commuters and the return of school and college students, the time restriction has been reintroduced so that transport and social distancing can be managed effectively.

This means Wiltshire falls into line with the rest of the local authorities in the country in reintroducing allotted times for the scheme.

Concessionary bus pass holders can now only use their bus passes from 9:30am on weekdays, but can continue to use them at any time at weekends.

Bus operators have been notified of this change, and bus passes will not be accepted on ticket machines before 09:30hrs, unless travelling on an infrequent exempted route.


Waste and recycling update

 Wiltshire Council is at the start of a programme to bring more services online, to make it simpler, quicker and easier for residents to transact with the council securely across a range of services.

 The first step is creating a new unique ‘Citizen ID’ online account and moving some of our existing services over.

 If residents set up a waste account to manage requests like HRC bookings and reporting a missed bin before 4 September 2020, they will need to reset their password.

 Residents can do this by clicking this ‘Forgot your password?’ link and follow the on-screen instructions.


New measures in place to tackle mass gatherings

 From Friday, 28 August, tougher measures came into force to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 People facilitating or organising illegal raves, unlicensed music events or any other unlawful gathering of 30 people or more may face a £10,000 fine.

 Fines of £100 can continue to be issued to those who participate in illegal gatherings and those who have already received a fine will see the amount doubled on each offence, up to a maximum of £3,200.

 In light of these new measures coming into force the council is urging residents to continue to practice social distancing and to ensure they don’t fall foul of the new measures.

 The majority of people in Wiltshire have done brilliantly to stick to the guidance and keep themselves and each other safe during this time to keep COVID-19 under control in Wiltshire. Mass gatherings threaten to undermine so many people’s great efforts over the past five months so these new measures send out a clear message they are not acceptable at the moment.

 If anyone has information about a large gathering or event, they are asked to call Wiltshire Police on 101.


Health and wellbeing

Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG

A new campaign has been launched by Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG to encourage people to act early when it comes to their health and wellbeing.  

A drop in the number of people across Wiltshire, Swindon and B&NES seeking help from their GP for symptoms that could be cancer has prompted a warning that not getting checked could lead to serious consequences.  

The Don't Wait and Worry Campaign, which will be promoted through a series of regular radio adverts, also reinforces the message that the NHS, regardless of COVID-19, is always ready to offer care, help and support to those who need it.

Additionally, the campaign shines a light on mental health, with one of its key aims being to reassure people that it is perfectly normal to feel isolated, run down and anxious, and to seek help early on.

Further details of the Don’t wait and Worry campaign can be found here. 


Wiltshire Alzheimer’s Support

Wiltshire Alzheimer’s Support  has announced that it will be reopening its community groups from mid-September.

The return of its wide range of groups including Movement for the Mind, gardening and memory cafes will be gradual and controlled, with the popular art sessions in Lyneham being the first to welcome back members on September 14th.

The charity began reopening its day clubs at the end of July, but many of its community groups were held in village halls and could only be restarted once the venues’ managing committees had put their reopening plans in place. As with its day clubs, Alzheimer’s Support has carried out a thorough risk assessment and strict guidelines set by Public Health England will be followed to ensure everyone stays safe.

The groups are currently open only to existing members. Anyone wishing to join should contact the charity’s Devizes office on 01380 739055.


Community First – Link Scheme recruitment campaign

A campaign has been launched to appeal for new volunteers to support local Link Schemes in Wiltshire.

Link Schemes are voluntary groups which offer transport and ‘good neighbour’ services to local people who are in need, perhaps because they are elderly, disabled, isolated and lonely, single parents, or perhaps temporarily in need because of illness.

These essential services provide a safety net for those unable to access services in other ways. Link Schemes aim to complement other services, statutory and voluntary. They operate as small, independent charitable organisations and all volunteers use their own private vehicles (insurance and DBS checks are carried out and mileage expenses covered).

To demonstrate the level of support the schemes offer, last year they made 31,351 health related journeys and completed 48,027 ‘good neighbour’ tasks, for example collecting prescriptions and shopping.

Due to COVID-19, Wiltshire Link Schemes have found themselves suffering from a large number of volunteers being unable to drive because of age and or vulnerability.

Two campaign posters are attached to this briefing and we’d be grateful if you could share these with your communities.  

Anyone who is interested in helping out can contact Community First on 01380 722 241 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request more details.



Cllr Philip Whitehead



Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update 26th August

Business Updates

 Joint statement from Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police

 Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police are urging local businesses to continue to operate responsibly as we continue through the busy summer season.The council is starting to become aware of, and receive applications for, events taking place at locations across Wiltshire with live bands performing.

 Current government guidance states that venues should not permit live performances to take place. The council is working with businesses to offer advice and guidance so that they can safely welcome people back to their venues in a COVID-secure way. However, it is important that owners take responsible steps to avoid entertainment that will encourage people to forget social distancing measures, to help keep transmission of the virus low across Wiltshire.  

The council and government do have powers to prohibit events if they have concerns about the possible impact on public safety but this would be a last resort. We hope by encouraging responsible behaviour, business owners and venues will consider the wider implications that live music events could have. These events, even if designed to be held in a socially distanced way will inevitably lead to people singing and dancing and mixing with others outside of their household. We continue to see outbreaks of the virus across the country and the threat of local lockdown remains a very real possibility, as we have seen in other areas.

 We want people to enjoy meeting family and friends and enjoying a day out to support their local businesses but it is vital we continue to observe the social distancing measures that are still in place.


Temporary pavement licences for Cafés, restaurants and pubs

Cafés, restaurants and pubs that wish to put tables and chairs on a public pavement or road outside their premises to attract more customers and increase trade are being reminded that they need to apply for a free temporary pavement licence.

Temporary pavement licences are available free of charge and will, in most cases, last for 12 months from date of issue. Businesses can find out more information and apply at: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/licences-permits-temporary-pavement-licences


Business Recovery Packs and Toolkits

The council has updated its COVID-19 Business Recovery Packs for businesses reopening their premises, including one specifically for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaways.  

The packs contain 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. 

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


Business grant funding closes next week

The £10,000 Small Business Grant and the £10,000 or £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant are only open for applications a short while longer.
If businesses think they may be eligible, they must submit their application and any additional information by 5pm on Friday 28 August 2020. This will allow time for applications to be processed and the funding paid before the grant schemes finally close.

After the grants funding closes any unspent grant has to be returned to central government, so eligible businesses are being encouraged to apply for financial support before it is too late.

For further information and to apply online visit our website.


Government Self-employment Income Support Scheme – second grant phase now open

Those self-employed individuals eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, will be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.
The grant will be worth 70% of an individual’s average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, covering 3 months’ worth of profits and capped at £6,570 in total.
 Self-employed individuals can make a claim for the second grant even if they did not make a claim for the first grant. Any claim needs to be made on or before 19 October 2020.

 For further information and to apply online visit the government website here.

Schools update

 A Level, GCSE and BTEC students praised for their hard work. The council has praised A-level, GCSE and BTEC students for their determination and perseverance against all odds as they received their results across the county this month.

This has been an extraordinary year which has deeply impacted our schools and students. The council would like to thank school staff who have worked hard with students and also the students themselves, who have had to come to terms with a very difficult few months and faced unprecedented disruption and uncertainties.

For those students requiring guidance and advice on next steps, support is available at schools, Wiltshire College and University Centre and the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) helpline.

Work Wiltshire, a Wiltshire Council service, offers advice in planning the next steps in education, training or apprenticeships. There is also a dedicated parents page, to help support parents and carers.

The National Careers Service is holding virtual careers fairs entitled “Options at 16” and “Options at 18”. The fairs will have their own Eventbrite page and attendees will be able to see content from organisations, watch videos and follow links to external sites, including live broadcasts, webinars and online Q&As.

 The Eventbrite registration page can be found here.   


Top tips for parents as Back to School Booklet is published

Families thinking ahead to the start of the September term can find a range of advice and support in a Back to School booklet published by Wiltshire Council.

Schools have been busy preparing to ensure pupils can safely return and each school will be contacting families to set out how the new school day will work and providing practical advice.

Where possible pupils are being encouraged to walk and cycle to school. The council  website also has a range of advice and FAQs on school transport as pupils return. There is information on dedicated school transport and pupils taking public transport.

 People can find the Back to School Booklet here

 People can find the information on school transport here


Wiltshire Council submits bid for more funding to boost cycling and walking

Wiltshire Council has submitted a second bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding of up to £1.7m to reallocate road space to prioritise cycling and walking in the county.

The bid comprises five different projects around Wiltshire, which meet the DfT aims for cycling to replace journeys previously made by public transport and deliver significant health, environmental and congestion benefits.

Cycling infrastructure is most effective in areas where the potential for cycling is higher and when it can be combined with other measures. It’s for this reason that these bids are focused on our towns, often linking town centres with peripheral areas.

 The five schemes are:

A420 Bristol Road, Chippenham. On the A420, the scheme would see a permanent new segregated facility for both cyclists and pedestrians between the junction with Woodlands Road and the A350 bypass. This will further help to provide a safe route on the main road from Bumpers Farm.
Lowden Hill, Chippenham. This project would see improvements at Lowden Hill to provide continuous cycle and pedestrian facilities between Bath Road and Lowden Hill, and onwards into the town centre and railway station. The scheme would see the closure of the western section of the route to motor vehicles, to allow the footways to be widened and the carriageway made into a dedicated route for cyclists.
Downton Road, Salisbury. This permanent shared-use cycle path will be created by widening into the verge. It will connect to existing shared path facilities on New Bridge Road via very low traffic streets, where a 20mph zone will be introduced, to the Britford park and ride site.
Hilperton to Melksham via Semington. This permanent facility complements the new cycling facility on the Hilperton Road, and links Hilperton to Melksham via Semington, removing the need for cyclists to travel on this section of the A361. The scheme starts at Hilperton, with a closure on Devizes Road, and then follows a length of shared-use path on the north side of the A361 to allow cyclists to access Whaddon Lane. The route then follows a byway to Semington, along High Street and towards Melksham before reaching the A350.
Easton Lane cycle link between Chippenham and Corsham. This project would see a permanent closure on Easton Lane, just south of the junction with the B4528, before linking with the Wiltshire Cycleway.
It’s hoped that all of these projects will be accepted for funding, but some may not be successful. The council will hear more from DfT in the coming weeks.To find out more about Wiltshire’s road reallocation cycling schemes, please see www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-road-reallocation-schemes


Wiltshire Council’s new website goes live on Tuesday 25 August

The council’s new website goes live tomorrow with improved security, accessibility and reliability making it easier for our residents to find the information they need. Whilst the site will look different to the current one, the content will remain the same following the first phase of the project.

The new website will be aligned to the gov.uk format to improve the customer experience.

The next phase of the project is to review and rewrite content on the website to reduce the number of pages and ensure residents can find information simply, quickly and easily. By making these improvements the council hopes to reduce demand on customer services staff by ensuring residents can complete transactions easily online.  


Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre to reopen

 The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre is opening up to visitors tomorrow with some new ways to access the site.

The centre, which is a focal point for heritage services in the county, will open on Tuesday 25 August with new measures put in place to ensure the safety of visitors.

People will need to book their visit via the History Centre’s website, by email or telephone in advance and wear a mandatory face covering in the building.

The new opening hours for the centre will be Tuesday to Friday from 9:30am to 5pm. The centre will be closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday until further notice.

Further details and booking information is available on the WSHC website at www.wshc.eu.


Government Green Homes Grant

Following the Government’s announcement of a £2bn Green Homes Grant in England, homeowners and landlords will soon be able to apply for a voucher to fund up to two-thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their home. The maximum contribution is £5,000, but low-income households will be eligible for up to 100% government funding, up to £10,000.

 Find out more: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/






Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update 13th August

Shop Local week

We've been supporting #ShopLocal by encouraging all of you, when shopping, to think local.

Shop Local Week is part of the Government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, encouraging people to get back to the way of life they have missed, while following safety guidelines. From popping into a local family-run bakery for a loaf of bread, or buying a quirky gift from an independent shop, by shopping locally you can help local business owners and local communities get back up and running.

Read more here.


Take precautions when car sharing

Many people like to car share but it can be hard to maintain social distancing whilst car sharing, increasing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.


Renewing your garden waste collection

You have until tomorrow (Friday 14 August) to renew your garden waste collection and avoid a disruption to your service.The cost of having garden waste collected will be £50 per bin for the year.

To renew your garden waste collection click here.


VJ Day

The 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) will be recognised this Saturday (15 August) commemorating the end of the Second World War.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be holding an official ceremony at County Hall in Trowbridge, but we remember and recognise the service and sacrifice made by soldiers, sailors and airmen from Wiltshire, the UK and commonwealth nations who fought throughout the Second World War and particularly in Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, India and the Far East.

A televised national two-minute silence will take place at 11am on Saturday.

 Find out how you can celebrate VJ Day at home


RUH launches new maternity app for mums

New parents and pregnant women now have access to a wide range of useful information and advice at their fingertips, thanks to a new app launched by the Maternity team at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

The new Maternity HANDi app aims to provide extensive maternity information for women who:

 Are planning a pregnancy
 Are pregnant
 Are wanting to know more about labour
 Have recently given birth

To find out more click here.


Temporary closure of A345 to remove diseased trees

Please be aware there are a number of static and rolling road closures on the A345 and minor roads in the villages between Upavon and Durrington to allow for some essential tree felling. Thousands of ash trees across Salisbury Plain Training Area, as well as many more across the country, are infected with a disease called ash dieback. There is no cure or treatment for the disease and over time infected trees will weaken, causing branches to fall and trees to eventually collapse and die.




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.



Cllr Philip Whitehead


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


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


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.


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.