Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 24 May 2020

Cabinet and Full Council Meeting Update

 Following the success of the online Cabinet meeting on Tuesday,  the next Cabinet meeting in June will also take place online. An online Full Council meeting will be scheduled for Tuesday 16 June and this will be followed by meetings of the Area Boards to elect Chairs and Vice Chairs.

Further details of the Full Council meeting and elections of committee and Area Board Chairs will be provided in due course.


Reopening of schools

On Friday 22 May I wrote to all headteachers to reassure them that they should not feel compelled to open to all the additional year groups on 1 June.  Whilst it is recognised that it is of the upmost importance for children to resume their education, so they can learn and interact with their peers, it is the council's responsibility to work with schools to ensure that this is done in such a way that we minimise the risks to the school community. The council will support schools in implementing a phased return of pupils and students to manage this situation safely.

 You can read the full letter online


Household Recycling Centre Update

We continue to see large volumes of traffic at our household recycling centres (HRCs) with significant queues throughout the day at some locations. However, queues are being well managed by the on-site marshals and regular updates on HRC waiting times are being provided to residents via council social media channels and local media partners.

We continue to review our guidance and postcode tracker during this initial opening phase to ensure that residents can use the HRCs efficiently and safely.  A change has been made to the number of vehicle occupants that are permitted on site, although guidance remains that only one person from a vehicle can unload materials. Further changes to the guidance may be made over the following weeks, so people are advised to check the FAQs on the council website for the latest HRC updates before they travel.

 Please check that the local HRC is open before visiting as sites are closed on some days.


Wellbeing Hub Update

 The Wellbeing Hub continues to work effectively with partners and voluntary organisations to support vulnerable individuals.

 Headline figures (to 19 May):  

  • We have delivered over 1,174 food parcels
  • We have made 2,595 home visits
  • We have contacted 14,989 people in Wiltshire
  • We have received 2,469 emails
  • We have received 4,614 calls


The Wellbeing Hub can be accessed by anyone in need by calling the helpline on: 0300 003 4576 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Please note: The Wellbeing Hub opening times will be changing next week as follows:

Bank holiday Monday: 10am-4pm

From Tuesday 26 May (until further notice): 8am-6pm Mon to Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday to Sunday.


Food Bank Appeal

With some residents left particularly vulnerable by the COVID-19 situation, Wiltshire Council is encouraging people to continue to donate to their local food banks if they can.Some of the usual locations where people may have previously donated, such as schools and places of faith, are mainly unavailable at this time, but major supermarkets have food bank trolleys in their stores and people are encouraged to buy a couple of extra items to donate if they can.

Some food banks are reporting an upsurge in demand since COVD-19, with some of the likely reasons for this including some people being furloughed and the increased costs associated with whole families being at home for more time than normal. It is advised that items donated are non-perishable or with a decent amount of time left on the ‘use-by’ date.  Among the items people can donate, and perhaps don’t think to, include shower gel, jam, tinned potatoes, instant mash potato, tinned ham, long-life milk, tinned sponge puddings, tinned custard and tinned fruit and vegetables.

 The council has a local welfare assistance scheme for households who are struggling without funds, and it has also agreed to help food banks re-stock where they are running out of goods.

 A list and more details of Wiltshire’s food banks can be found in the ‘community information’ section of Wiltshire Council’s COVID-19 page at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus.

People can also donate money to local charities such as the Wiltshire Community Foundation, they are providing support to food banks via their Wiltshire & Swindon Coronavirus Response Fund. More information on that can be found at https://www.wiltshirecf.org.uk/Coronavirus%20Fund/. Their website can be found at https://www.wiltshirecf.org.uk/


Government Business Support and Initiatives

 BEIS working safely webinars

Following on from the Government's recent publication of workplace guidance, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be hosting a series of free webinars to help businesses make their workplace COVID-secure. Webinars for a number of different sectors will run from Wednesday 27 May and will run until Tuesday 2 June. Further information can be found by clicking on the following link https://bit.ly/BEISWebinars.


Pick for Britain campaign 

As you may have heard in Tuesday’s Downing Street press briefing, the Environment Secretary has launched a new ‘Pick for Britain’ website to address the fact that we are likely to only have about a third of our normal labour force for this year's harvest. 

 As such, Britain’s horticultural sector needs to rely on British workers to lend a hand to help bring that harvest home. Opportunities are available across the UK for those seeking a second job, particularly those that are furloughed.  Further information on how to find work or advertise job opportunities in Wiltshire can be found by clicking the following link https://bit.ly/Pick4Britain.


 Road Safety Campaign

 Wiltshire Police has launched a #SlowDownSaveLives road safety campaign to remind road users in the county to drive safely.

From now until early June, Wiltshire Police and forces throughout the UK and are undertaking a national enforcement operation to remind motorists of the importance of travelling within the speed limit. This operation is deliberately timed as the easing of Government travel restrictions has shown an increase in speeding on roads across the country.

Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum (LRF) partners will be supporting this campaign through social media channels. The Wiltshire Police press release can be read here.





Cllr Philip Whitehead


Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 19 May 2020

Household Recycling Centre Update

All of Wiltshire’s household recycling centres (HRCs), bar Stanton St Quintin, reopened yesterday. As anticipated, there have been high volumes of visits to the sites on both days, with significant queues throughout the day in most locations. However, the queues were well managed by the on-site marshals. We have noticed that sites appear to be significantly busier in the morning than in the afternoon so please continue to support our messaging as we encourage people to either wait a few weeks before visiting or visit later in the day to avoid the early morning queues.

Measures to observe social distancing and maintain the safety of staff and public have been rolled out across all sites, and regular updates on the queue times at each site have been provided throughout the day to residents via council communication channels and partner media outlets, alongside key messages to remind people of the new arrangements in place.Initial reports from the HRCs indicate that the postcode tracker system is working effectively and the majority of visitors are aware of requirements around opening times, permissible materials, vehicle types and occupant numbers. We will continue to review and amend the postcode tracker and develop our guidance so please check our website for updates.

We expect demand to continue to be high during this initial opening phase, so please encourage people to delay their visit to an HRC if at all possible to minimise queuing time and remind them to check the FAQs on the council website before they set off.

Highways Update

 Following the announcement of the COVID-19 lockdown by Government in late March, many more people have been walking and cycling for exercise purposes or to access essential services. Because of the reduction in traffic, people have largely been able to do this in a safe manner. However, as the COVID-19 lockdown is eased, increased levels of traffic will make it more difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to safely achieve the 2m social distancing requirement and to travel and exercise safely. The importance of this is heightened by the Government advice for people to avoid using public transport where possible and to instead walk, cycle, or drive.

 In response to the above situation, the Department for Transport (DfT) issued the following new statutory guidance on 9 May 2020; 'Traffic Management Act 2004: network management in response to COVID-19’  which sets out an expectation for local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. The guidance states that local authorities, where public transport use is low, should be considering all possible measures and that these measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks.In response, the council has formed multi-disciplinary teams of Officers for each community area who have initially been asked to identify potential sites and measures using their local and technical knowledge. Given the Government’s timescale requirements and the growing on-the-ground need, it is not proposed to carry out an extensive consultation process either with stakeholders or the public. Rather, officers will liaise with local Members (through Area Boards) and city, town and parish councils to further identity potential sites and measures using their local knowledge. In addition, suggestions from members of the public, stakeholders, partners and other bodies will be considered. Ultimately, it is proposed that all potential schemes will be assessed against the agreed criteria by a panel of officers to identify a priority list for design and implementation. Where applicable, measures will also be subject to a Road Safety Audit and accessibility audit prior to implementation.

 Most proposals are not likely to require Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTRO), but where they are required these will be subject to consultation and Cabinet Member approval in accordance with the latest DfT guidance. Members and the relevant city, town or parish councils will be informed of the intention to install the measure. Should you have any queries or suggestions, could you please forward it to Integrated Transport at the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  The priority to complete this work will mean that this will be the focus of the teams who would normally complete Community Area Transport Group (CATG) work.  CATG projects will be suspended (unless currently working onsite) until it is practical to recommence.     


Mental Health Awareness Week

 Yesterday marked the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and young people in the county, including Members of the Wiltshire Youth Parliament, have shared their own experiences and wellbeing tips on how to manage everyday life during COVID-19 (click here to read more).

 Mental health issues can affect people of all ages and young people are no exception, so it is vital that we continue to raise awareness of such an important issue and ensure young people have access to the support they need, which includes the following:

The On Your Mind website has online resources and details of the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust  24/7 mental health helpline for children, young people and parents/carers.

9am – 5pm 01865 903777 – 5pm to 9am and weekends 01865 90100

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services  (CAMHS) 01865 903889

Kooth online anonymous counselling service

Young carer support is available with Carer Support Wiltshire


Cabinet Meeting – Tuesday, 19 May, 2020

 Cabinet held its first virtual meeting today which included a formal update on the council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 The meeting went well and thank you to members and officers for their participation and support throughout. You can view the papers from the meeting on our website https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=141&MId=13064




Cllr Philip Whitehead


Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 16 May 2020

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub

The Wellbeing Hub continues to work effectively with partners and voluntary organisations to support the community.

Headline figures (to date):

  • Total number of people on the master list – 22,716
  • Food parcels to individuals – 1,100
  • Home welfare visits made to people not reached by phone/email – 2,229
  • Total people actively contacted – 14,031
  • Total calls received – 4,240
  • Emails received – 2,252

 The council is working with the government to streamline the process of making calls to shielded individuals to avoid unnecessary contact duplication. 

  • The council, with the support of DBS checked volunteers from partner organisations, is undertaking welfare checks at the addresses of individuals who have not been reached by phone/email.

 Business Support

 The Business Support Contact Centre has provided one-to-one support to over 2,500 businesses to date and the council is working with larger organisations to make them aware of UK wide opportunities /initiatives.

  • We are continuing to process the applications and contact those businesses that have not yet applied for their grant. We have paid out over £78m to support nearly 6,500 local businesses.

 Business grant fund schemes

The council is currently reviewing the guidance received from Government on this fund to see how we can roll it out. We aim to be in a position where we can advise businesses on eligibility and how they can apply for this new funding next week. In the meantime, we are advising businesses not to complete the existing application form on our website, which should only be used for those businesses applying for the small business grant or the retail, hospitality and leisure grants.

 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can apply for funding. The online application service is now open, with money being paid into bank accounts within six working days of the claim being submitted.

 The grant is paid in a single instalment and is worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months, capped at £7,500.

 Business support schemes

Please see attached our guidance outlining the various business support schemes available. A printable version is on our website. http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus

Household Recycling Centre Update

As you are aware, all of Wiltshire’s household recycling centres (HRCs), bar Stanton St Quintin, will reopen on Monday with an easy to use postcode entry system to help limit the number of people on site at any time and ensure social distancing.

 Stanton St Quintin HRC will remain closed because parking spaces on site have been significantly reduced and because of the already difficult traffic management issues at the site. This will be kept under review and in the meantime people should use the Purton, Melksham or Lower Compton sites.

 Information about the postcode entry system, HRC opening times, details on the types of waste that can be taken, FAQs, and the restrictions being put in place to protect our customers is available on our website  www.wiltshire.gov.uk/household-recycling-centres This information continues to be communicated via council comms channels and through local media partners.

 We anticipate high volumes of visits to the HRC’s when they re-open so would encourage people not to visit in the first few days if at all possible to minimise their queuing time.

 Leisure Services Update

With all Wiltshire leisure centres closed at the current time, the council is offering free access to a comprehensive online group exercise class programme. This is a great way to stay active while working from home, shielding or simply not able to access a similar offer in a local leisure centre.

There are fitness classes available every day of the week at different times throughout the day, with the vast majority requiring no equipment. All classes are being provided through Zoom, so residents will need to have this downloaded to the device that they wish to use to join the class.

For the full class programme and details on how to access all the classes please visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-online-classes


Cllr Philip Whitehead


Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 14th May 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday, the Government has issued a raft of new guidance and advice on its website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus, some of which can be read by clicking the following links here and in the Business Support section below:

 The reopening of schools and other education settings from 1 June

Guidance for safety of passengers using transport network

Public advice to cover face in enclosed spaces

Guidance on spending time outdoors


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

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Please call us on 01666 822143, or visit our contact page here to contact a specific councillor or member of the council staff directly.