Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 9 July 2020



Business support: We have issued over £88 million in grants to 7,386 businesses. We had 740 applications for our local discretionary grants and have paid out £1.6 million in grants to 240 businesses.


Chancellor’s Summer Economic Update

 Yesterday, when delivering his Summer Economic Update in Parliament, the Chancellor announced a package of measures to help protect support and create jobs.

 These include a job retention bonus scheme, a kickstart scheme for young people and the new eat out to help out scheme. You can read more information here.


 Businesses can apply for temporary pavement licences

Wiltshire Council has opened applications for temporary pavement licences for premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption, which includes cafes, restaurants and pubs.

Once approved, these licences will allow eligible businesses to put tables and chairs on the public highway outside their premises to attract more customers and increase trade, while also promoting social distancing and subject to normal highway safe passage requirements. Temporary pavement licences, which are available free of charge, will, in most cases, last for 12 months from date of issue. However, they are subject to a statutory notice period of ten working days, during which time people will have an opportunity to comment on the application.

Businesses can read detailed FAQs and download the application form  here

Completed application forms should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. As applications come through, people will also be able to view applications for consultation on the same page.


Wiltshire Council Pillar 2 COVID-19 test data

The information on Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 COVID-19 test data has now been made publicly available.

Definition of testing pillars
pillar 1: swab (antigen) testing in Public Health England (PHE) labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need and health and care workers
pillar 2: swab (antigen) testing for the wider population including at setting such as community test centres

Following the publication of this data Kate Blackburn, Interim Director of Public Health at Wiltshire Council, said: "I can reassure residents and businesses in Wiltshire that COVID-19 cases currently remain extremely low and a local lockdown is certainly not necessary. On a daily basis we review a number of different reports and data with our Public Health England colleagues. Should there be any issues there are alert systems in place.

"The most important thing we can do as a community at the moment is to stick to the national guidance around social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene. I would like to thank you for your continued support at this time."

You can find further information and latest figures on this https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/




Cllr Philip Whitehead

Wiltshire Council COVID 19 Update 2 July

COVID-19 UPDATE – Thursday 2 July 2020


Chief Executive appointment

Terence Herbert has now been appointed as the Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council.This follows a period of consultation on a proposed change to the Tier 1 structure at the council which sees a reduction from two Chief Executive Officers to a single Chief Executive leading the council.

Members of the Officer Appointments Committee panel approved Terence’s appointment when they met on 26 June. They also approved an application for voluntary redundancy from Alistair Cunningham. Terence has now taken up his role and will be working with myself and cabinet to shape the organisation moving forwards and lead the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Changes to Cabinet and Portfolio Holders

I have made changes to the council’s Cabinet and Portfolio Holders to align with the recovery structure now being put in place within Wiltshire Council following COVID-19. The changes, which came in from yesterday (1 July), will see Cllr Allison Bucknell step down from her Cabinet position and take up a new Portfolio Holder role for Communities, Arts, Heritage and Tourism. This will reduce the number of Cabinet members from nine to eight, and the number of Portfolio Holders has also been reduced from 14 to 10.

You can view the changes on our website http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/cabinet-changes


Public urged to act responsibly ahead of pubs reopening

We have joined forces with Wiltshire Police to remind residents to play their part and act responsibly when pubs reopen this weekend.
At the end of June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs, restaurants, and hotels could reopen from 4 July.Several other businesses will also be allowed to reopen, such as barbers, hair salons and cinemas.
Whilst this is a positive step forward in revitalising the economy and showing that Wiltshire is open for business, it is important the public continue to take extra precautions to stop coronavirus from spreading and ensure they act responsibly at this time as anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
As the licensing authority we have an important role in ensuring pubs and restaurants are opening with the right conditions in place and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
To help with the reopening, the government will also relax the two metre social distancing rule, replacing it with ‘one metre plus’ in situations where keeping two metres apart is not possible.
This means people can maintain one metre apart, as long as other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus.
These include wearing a face mask or covering, installing plastic screens, and providing extra handwashing facilities.


Government guidance update – shielding programme

The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding, taking into account that COVID-19 infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks. This guidance remains advisory.

From Friday 6 July:

  • People who are shielding no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of their household.
  • People who are shielding will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people they do not live with, while maintaining social distancing.
  • People who are shielding can create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.  All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance.
  • From Saturday 1 August, the government is advising people to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means people may wish to go out to more places and see more people but they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household or support bubble.

From 1 August:

  • Those shielding can visit shops, places of worship and outdoor spaces.
  • People shielding will be able to return to work if they cannot work at home as long as the business is COVID-safe.
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers.

More detailed guidance will be provided as the changes in advice come into effect on 6 July and 1 August.

Those in receipt of central government provided food boxes and medicine deliveries will continue to receive this support until the end of July if required.  Anyone requiring this assistance should register online or call 0800 028 8327 before 17 July.


Business Update – Local Discretionary Grant

 The application window for the Local Discretionary Grant closed at 5.00pm on Monday 22 June.

 The council received 736 applications and has sent out its first grants totalling circa £1 million to local businesses with further grants being issued this week.


Highways update

 The council has received confirmation of £227,000 funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to progress the first five road reallocation schemes in the county.

The five schemes, in Salisbury, Bradford on Avon, Purton, Trowbridge, and Chippenham, are based on existing bus routes and will link the city and town centres with homes and places of work to make it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to access shops, businesses and places of work without driving or using public transport.

Full details of the five projects are as follows:

1. Salisbury cycleways to link Harnham to the city centre, allowing cyclists easy access to the city. The scheme will see one southbound lane on Brown Street turned into a cycleway and the removal of on-street parking on Exeter Street to create a cycleway on the street while maintaining two-way traffic.

2. A segregated cycleway and footway on the B3108 between Winsley and Bradford on Avon, allowing easy access between the two, and giving cyclists the option of a traffic-free ride from Winsley, into Bradford on Avon and then on to Bath along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

3. On the A420 in Chippenham, a segregated cycleway linking Bumpers Farm to the town centre, giving cyclists easy access to the centre of the town.

4. The removal of through traffic on Hook Street in Purton, which runs parallel with the A3102 between Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon. This will install a 3.5km route for cyclists and walkers, linking Purton with Swindon's Lydiard Park.

5. A segregated cycleway on the A361 Hilperton Road in Trowbridge, from near the fire station into advisory cycle lanes from Stancomb Avenue to Hilperton Road roundabout, of more than 1km in total.

Work is due to start in the next four weeks on these schemes, and the council will have more to announce on the next round of funding, and other major cycling and walking projects, soon.


Re-opening of children’s play areas operated by Wiltshire Council

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 June regarding the reduction of restrictions to public movement, the council will be reopening the 59 play areas it operates from 4 July.

The council will be erecting signage onsite to advise the public of social distancing, hygiene and safety rules and will be monitoring use of play areas when they reopen. Council officers may re-close any play area where it is considered not possible to minimise the risk of COVID-19  infection and will respond to further guidance issued by the government in respect of their use.

 For all town and parish council’s looking at the reopening of play areas, please find links to the governments’ updated guidance on managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms and safety in outdoor spaces. to assist in your own decision making.


Library service update

The council is seeking the views of residents and library users to help with its planning for reopening library services safely in the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A four-week public consultation is now underway. Hard copies will be made available at County Hall, Trowbridge; Monkton Park, Chippenham; and Bourne Hill, Salisbury. The consultation closes on 26 July 2020.



Chippenham Minor Injury Unit to re-open for booked appointments

The Minor Injury Unit (MIU) at Chippenham Community Hospital will start to receive referrals from NHS 111 from Monday 6 July 2020. Chippenham MIU will have appointments available from Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm for patients who have rung NHS 111 and are referred to be seen in the MIU. Chippenham MIU closed in April after a decline in the number of patients attending since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Staff employed at the units were redeployed to help look after patients across the local health and care system.

The MIU will not be open to ‘walk in’ patients and there will be no x-ray facility on site. This temporary change in service has been designed to maintain the safety of patients and staff. Patients will not be able to directly book an appointment. NHS 111 will continue to triage all appointments and if a patient meets the criteria they will be referred to the unit and a member of staff will call them back to arrange an appointment. Anyone with a life threatening condition should call 999.

 Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should not attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do so by the NHS 111 service or a 999 call operator.

 Minor Injury Units offer a facility for treating injuries that are not serious, such as sprains and strains; minor burns and scalds, wound infections, insect and animal bites, and minor injuries to the eye, head. They are not specifically equipped to treat more serious conditions.



 Cllr Philip Whitehead


Wiltshire Council COVID 19 Update 1 July


We've dismissed lockdown suggestions

We have dismissed suggestions the county could be one of the next locations in the country to go into lockdown.

Media reports yesterday (30 June) had stated there had been a recent weekly increase of new cases in the county of 300%. However this actually equates to just an increase from one to four new cases.

There has been a total of 550 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Wiltshire Council area, still comparatively low nationally, and the South West remains the lowest ranked region for cases. We also have the sixth lowest rate of cases per 100,000 resident population with 110.4 cases per 100,000.

This data is taken from the Public Health Coronavirus Case website.


Your views sought on plans to reopen library services safely

We are seeking your views to help with planning for reopening library services safely in the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library service in Wiltshire was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 March.

The existing eBooks, eMagazines and eAudio service continues providing access to reading material, and on 27 March a new service launched via Facebook offering rhyme times, tea and chat, bedtime stories and online book groups. At the start of June, a Home Library service was launched, serving library members shielding and without digital access to download books; this service is currently used by approximately 100 people. The online library content produced since lockdown has so far generated more than 83,000 views and we appreciate everyone’s support.
To make sure the library services the council provides meet your needs safely and are as innovative in their delivery as possible, we would like to hear your ideas and feedback on how to reopen the services, so we can shape a service that suits you during this time.

During this challenging time the council has to manage its resources carefully and has put forward three possible options for how the service might operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are also being encouraged to provide their own ideas to help the us deliver the most appropriate service in the circumstances and within the council's current financial resources.
The possible options take into account COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing measures, resources available, meaning not all libraries will be able to initially reopen and there will be a partial and phased reopening of library services.

A four-week public consultation is now underway. Hard copies will be made available at County Hall, Trowbridge; Monkton Park, Chippenham; and Bourne Hill, Salisbury. The consultation closes on 26 July 2020.


Pubs and other businesses to reopen from Saturday 4 July

Thousands of pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other specified venues, have been given practical, clear steps they can take to reopen safely over the coming weeks.

New COVID-19 secure guidance for the hospitality sector and hairdressers means businesses will be able to reopen in England from 4 July, provided they meet government criteria for keeping staff and customers as safe as possible.


Guidance for marriages and civil partnerships

From Saturday 4 July, marriages and civil partnerships of more than 30 people will be permitted but only in certain public places as set out in law. This will include all licensed venues where legal marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can take place. However, it is strongly advised that numbers are restricted to 30 for public health reasons.

Those operating venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings from taking place.


Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub hours have changed

Since it was set up at the end of March, the hub has been open seven days a week to provide assistance to vulnerable people during the COVID-19 situation. This was then reduced to six days a week at the beginning of June.

However, to reflect a reduction in emails and calls to its hotline, the hub will now operate from 9-5pm Monday to Friday and will be closed at weekends. Outside of these hours, the emergency duty service will be in place as usual.

Time to renew or sign up for garden waste collections

Households that pay to receive garden waste collections will need to renew their subscription by 14 August. New customers can also sign up to receive this service.
The cost of having garden waste collected will be £50 per bin for the year. Current garden waste subscriptions expire on 30 June 2020, but due to COVID-19 renewals were delayed this year and garden waste bins displaying a red 2019/20 bin sticker will continue to be emptied until 31 August.

 You can renew or sign up to receive garden waste collections online. You don't need to contact us if you do not wish to renew.

Wiltshire Council COVID -19 Update - 24 June

COVID-19 UPDATE  – Wednesday 24 June 2020

 Please find below the latest update on COVID-19 and other council matters:


 Opening certain businesses and venues from 4 July

The Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that all businesses and venues can re-open from 4 July 2020, except for the following:

Bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
Indoor play areas including soft-play
Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
Swimming pools including water parks
Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business who run the venue

Cafes, restaurants and shops that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside, will still be permitted to open.

To support the NHS Test and Trace, businesses are being asked to keep a temporary record of their customers and visitors for 21 days. Many businesses will have a booking system but for those who do not have such facilities, the government will soon be issuing details of a system they can use that complies with data protection legislation.


Local authority administered grant schemes

As of Friday 19 June 2020, we issued £86.37 million to 7,221 local businesses. This has supported 5,301 businesses with Small Business Grants totalling £53 million and a further 1,920 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with grants totalling £33.36 million. Of the 1,920 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, 944 local businesses received a £25,000 grant and 976 businesses received a £10,000 grant.

We have also received more than 700 applications for the local Discretionary Grant. The application window closed on Monday at 5pm (22 June) and applications are now being reviewed, assessed and paid.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked.

This scheme closes to new entrants on 30 June and so from 1 July, only employees that businesses have successfully claimed a previous grant for will be eligible for more grants under the scheme. This means they must have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks sometime between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

Read the guidance here.

Wiltshire Council joins Countryside Climate Network to help tackle climate change

Wiltshire Council has today (Wednesday 24 June) become a founder member of a newly-launched network to promote the voice of the countryside in climate change discussions.

 The Countryside Climate Network aims to ensure that the voice of rural knowledge and experience on climate action is listened to in Westminster, and asks that rural councils are an active participant in transforming the national economy into one that saves, rather than harms, our environment.

 The network brings a voice on climate change to the two-thirds of the country who live outside major towns and cities, and calls for investment, such as the government’s delayed £100bn infrastructure fund, to be targeted at rural areas.

The council is also working closely with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the County Councils Network to develop a tool that measures the council’s levels of carbon emissions. The tool will create a standard, comparable measurement for all councils in the country, which can then be used to baseline carbon emissions and report on them regularly, as Wiltshire seeks to become carbon neutral by 2030. The trial of this new system is expected to begin later in the summer.

The Countryside Climate Network has been established by UK100, a network of local leaders that campaigns on climate change. The 21 councils represent 14.3 million people in total, a quarter of the population (25%) and two fifths (41%) of England by area. The group is chaired by the Leader of Cambridgeshire Council, Cllr Steve Count. To find out more about the Countryside Climate Network, please see: www.uk100.org.


Hot weather warning

Public Health England has today issued a heat warning encouraging vulnerable people to take care during the exceptionally hot weather forecast this week.

 People ‘shielding’ indoors from COVID-19, older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children are all more vulnerable from the higher temperatures.

Advice for keeping healthy:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, but babies, children and older people are particularly vulnerable.
  • Stay cool indoors: open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping.
  • Slow down when it is hot: exertion heats up our bodies so plan any strenuous activities (e.g. exercise, gardening) outside the hottest time of the day, typically 11am - 3pm.
  • Cool your skin with water, you could use a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or a cool, wet sheet.
    Stay connected and listen to the weather forecast, knowing the forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you’re doing.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather, protect yourself against the sun’s radiation and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes.
  • Eat smaller meals, more often. Cold salads and fruit are the perfect summer foods.
  • For more information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke visit NHS Choices.




Cllr Philip Whitehead



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.