Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 1 May 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visit our website for the latest information about our services and COVID-19 support. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also visit:
Central government COVID-19 updates
NHS updates

 
Celebrating VE Day at home

We have created a special VE Day at home pack to help residents of all ages celebrate and mark the 75th anniversary of this historic moment in time.

With social distancing measures still in place, the pack contains simple advice and suggestions on how to have a household garden party on Friday 8 May, which this year is a bank holiday.

The pack also contains themed recipe ideas, a World War II/VE Day quiz and wordsearch, some suggested e-reading materials from our library service, craft ideas on how to make bunting and paperchains, 1940s-inspired games and songs to sing to keep the family entertained. 
Read more and download the VE Day pack
 
Letter of thanks to volunteer groups

We have written an open letter to say thanks and pay tribute to the 400+ community volunteer groups that have been set-up to support Wiltshire's communities during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The letter is from Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council; Cllr Allison Bucknell, Cabinet Member for Communities; Alistair Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer and Terence Herbert, Chief Executive Officer.

Read the letter to volunteer groups
 
Partners working together to target fly-tippers in Wiltshire

We are working in partnership with Wiltshire Police to conduct roadside checks on people carrying waste in order to disrupt and prosecute fly-tippers. These people are breaking both stay at home government guidance and fly-tipping laws.
 
During March there was no significant change in the number of fly-tipping incidents in Wiltshire but the first three weeks of April have seen 63 extra incidents, a 30% rise in fly-tipping in the county on April 2019. More than 50% of the reports received are commercial fly-tips, which indicates that rogue traders or a ‘man and van’ are still operating illegally, even during the lockdown.
Read more about how we are tackling fly-tipping
 
Are you looking for a volunteer role with flexible hours?

Interested in a role that can make a difference to the lives of children and parents?

We are looking for volunteer members to sit on our Independent Appeals Panel.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01225 718352
 
Leisure, library, heritage and arts services continue to support thousands

Despite the temporary closure of our leisure, library, heritage and arts buildings our teams are continuing to support thousands of residents, by coming up with creative and fun ideas to keep our communities engaged and connected, and we’ve been delighted with the response.
 
The library’s e-service saw more than 4,596 eMagazines checked out in March with another 7,046 so far in April – the highest monthly figures since the service was introduced in February 2018.
 
Rhyme time and story videos also continue to be popular, with more than 44,000 views so far and counting.
 
Our leisure service’s social media channels have seen a recent 93% increase in page views, while nearly 8,000 residents have accessed the recently created swim, gym, walking sports, ability sports and healthier communities activity packs. There has also been more than 10,000 views of specially made fitness videos.
 
The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre saw more than 10,000 visits to its Facebook page on the day that free ancestry resources were promoted.
 
3,650 calls have been made to older and vulnerable members of Active Health, Get Wiltshire Walking, senior leisure centre members and libraries to check they’re okay at this difficult time.
 
We have developed an online Active Communities resource page which covers a variety of topics, including opportunities for people to be active and exercise, the various library services available online – rhyme times, story times, e-books/magazines, resources on getting creative through mediums like song, dance, art and literature and opportunities to explore Wiltshire’s history.
 
View our Active Communities resource page
 
Daily creative challenges in May

Create to Connect is a month of creative challenges for each day of May, for you to do at home, established by 64 Million Artists.

You can sign up to receive daily challenge emails, or follow 64 Million Artists’ on social media.

They’ve created free downloadable activity packs for community leaders, teachers and families to run challenges locally.

You can also join a Challenge Whatsapp group! If you’d like to share your challenges in a small group with others taking part, you can let us know here.

Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 27th April 2020

Ask the athlete

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

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

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

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

Guidance for parents and carers

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

Keeping safe online

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

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

 

Update on grant schemes

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

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

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

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

Launch of Regional Redeployment Service

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

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

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

Other matters:

Closure of Ridgeway National Trail to motor vehicles extended

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

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

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

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

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

Regards

Cllr Philip Whitehead

Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 23rd April 2020

Child employment update

The council has released revised information for employers and parents after updated government guidance on child employment.

In liaison with other local authorities in the south west, the council acted on earlier government guidance and suspended child employment arrangements temporarily during COVID-19.

In response to new guidance from the Department for Education, this has since been reviewed. Suspension of child employment arrangements remains in place but businesses can apply for a dispensation, provided they meet clear criteria to ensure the child’s wellbeing is safeguarded and the child is able to work in safe conditions.

These include where an employer’s business is deemed to be essential and where a role is defined as a key worker and the employment of the child is considered essential in this context, then the local authority may consider dispensation to the suspension of a Child Employment Permit.

Employers applying for a dispensation will need to sign an employer statement and code of conduct and complete a risk assessment. Parents will also need to sign a medical declaration. All forms are available on the website and should be sent to

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

Once supporting documentation is received the council will consider whether dispensation may be agreed and employers will be advised in writing. Decisions will continue to be made taking into account our safeguarding responsibilities for the safety and welfare of young people in Wiltshire.

Launch of mental health hotline for children and young people

A children and young people’s mental health helpline has been launched in Wiltshire, BaNES, and Swindon by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust which runs children’s mental health services in the region.  

Anyone concerned about a child or young person’s mental health (or the child or young person themselves) can phone the helpline and speak to mental health experts who will provide advice, guidance and support over the telephone.

The helpline will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be contacted as follows:

9am-5pm – weekdays 01865 903777

5pm-9am – weekdays and weekends 01865 901000

Helpful resources to support children and young people experiencing worries about coronavirus are also available on the following websites

https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/camhs/

https://www.onyourmind.org.uk/

Launch of mental health hotline for adults

A mental health helpline for adults in Wiltshire, BaNES and Swindon has also been set-up by the Avon and Wiltshire Partnership.  The number is 0300 3031320 and more information can be found here: http://www.awp.nhs.uk/advice-support/24-hour-support/.

Both helplines should not be used for situations which are life threatening (when emergency services should be notified by phoning 999).  The helplines will also help to reduce pressure on NHS 111, who are having to manage an increasing number of Covid-related calls.

Thank you for your continued support and please stay safe

Regards

Cllr Philip Whitehead

 

Wiltshire Council COVID-19 Update - 19 April 2020

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub

 

The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub is hitting its stride, regularly taking calls and providing a valuable service to our most vulnerable residents during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

 

Our latest hub figures show:

  • We have delivered 617 food parcels
  • We have received 1,779 calls
  • We have received 599 emails
  • We have contacted 8,029 people in Wiltshire

 

We are conscious there may be more people out there who need help so we are asking people to help spread the word in a simple but effective way.

 

We are encouraging people to colour in images and display in windows to share the message about the hub. You can download here use your artistic flair and display in your windows. We look forward to seeing lots of posters on show across Wiltshire.

 

The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub is available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time such as people who are shielding or self-isolating and don’t have a support network around them or know where to get help.

 

Our team can help provide support but also signpost them to where additional help is available in their local area with hundreds of community groups set up across the country providing invaluable assistance.


People can access the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and weekends, 10am to 4pm on 0300 003 4576 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Thanks to carers

 

This week we have sent our thanks to staff in care homes and domiciliary care providers across Wiltshire for the vital role they play in the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

 

Our vulnerable residents are most at risk from this disease and we wanted to recognise the dedicated work being carried out by carers every day to protect them and provide the care they need.

 

The people doing these crucial roles are not always highlighted so we felt it was important we let them know we value the support they are providing in these challenging times.

 

You can read the full letter here.

 

 

Domestic Abuse Campaign - #YouAreNotAlone

 

The government has launched a new public awareness campaign highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, they are still able to leave and seek refuge. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, will create a community around those affected by domestic abuse and reassure victims that support remains available.

 

As part of this, we’re working with our Wiltshire Police colleagues and encouraging people to join in the campaign. Please feel free to follow the steps below.

 

  • Post a picture or video of yourself or someone from the organisation with the symbol of a heart drawn on their palm. Tag five or more people asking them to do the same to spread the message. Please use the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone in your post.
  • Share the gov.uk/domestic-abuse address where people can find out more information, including helplines. Again, please include the #YouAreNotAlone hashtag.

 

You could use this wording in your post.

At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from #DomesticAbuse, isolation rules do not apply. Police response & support services remain available. Find support at gov.uk/domestic-abuse or call 999 if you are in immediate danger. #YouAreNotAlone

 

Active Communities activity packs

 

We have created a range of activity packs to support you during the current stay-at-home restrictions.

 

The packs are suitable for everyone but have been designed with specific audiences in mind; adults, older people, those with a disability, young people, and individuals who previously took part in Wiltshire Council swimming and gymnastics sessions. Each pack contains tailored ideas for people to get active, be creative, stay in contact and keep focussed, all from the comfort of their own home.

 

They are part of our Active Communities online resources to support people during this difficult time. The resource page covers a variety of topics, including the various library services available online rhyme times, story times, e-books/magazines, resources on getting creative through mediums like song, dance, art and literature and opportunities to explore Wiltshire's history. You can download the packs online http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-active-communities

 

Business support and grants

 

We continue to work seven days a week to issue the grants to eligible businesses, as quickly as possible and to hopefully bring them some relief.

 

So far, we have received over 6,250 applications which are currently being assessed and over £46million has been sent out to almost 4,000 businesses.

       

We continue to follow up with those businesses who have not yet submitted their form to encourage them to apply for the support that is available to them. The grant is not a loan so it does not need to be paid back.

                                 

Our Contact Centre has dealt with a vast number of emails regarding support and advice since they were set up to respond to Covid-19.

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

 

 

Regards

 

Cllr Philip Whitehead

Subcategories

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.

Regards

 

Cllr Philip Whitehead

LOCAL NEWS.

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

ATTRACTIONS
& ACCOMMODATION.

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

MALMESBURY

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.
Image

CONTACT INFO

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.