Worcestershire County Council – COVID 19 update – June 12th 2020

Key Messages

As stated previously, 97% of Primary Schools are open for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils. Up to 60% of eligible pupils attended last week but due to staffing and space constraints, some smaller schools have re-opened on a part time basis.

  • Plans are being finalised for the phased return of pupils in year 10 and 12 in secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges across the county from Monday next week (15 June). Risk assessments have been taking place on a school by school basis to ensure pupils and staff will be returning to school safely.
  • Face-to-face birth registrations by appointment only resumed this week at four sites across Worcestershire – Worcester (County Hall), Bromsgrove, Redditch and Kidderminster, and by the end of Saturday, the offices will have registered 226 births which is a fantastic achievement.
  • The Regional Testing Facility at Worcester Warriors can process approx. 600 tests per day. Capacity is managed within the DHSC system, with availability being released to meet demand as required. Review of “pop-up” locations underway as businesses and sites start to re-open.
  • 10 of the 11 Household Recycling Centres in Worcestershire are now open. As expected, these are extremely busy and therefore additional traffic management measures have been put in place.
  • The level of infections in Care Homes in Worcestershire remains stable and in line with levels across the West Midlands. All staff and residents in Care Homes with positive cases of COVID-19 have been tested.
  • The Test and Trace service is live. A team of Environmental Health Officers and Public Health Practitioners will provide this locally in Worcestershire. The COVID-19 Outbreak Control Plan is being developed
  • Plans under way to facilitate the phased re-opening of Libraries next month. Risk assessments being undertaken to ensure social distancing rules can be observed.
  • Pressure continues to ease on the Acute Trust with the number of active cases and new admissions still falling. Only 29 new cases have been identified in the past 10 days.
  • No significant issues with PPE. Now responding to calls for PPE from Dental Surgeries in light of plans to re-open next week.
  • Plans to support businesses as we begin to enter the economic recovery phase are being developed jointly by the County Council, the District Councils and partners. Government grants continue to be distributed to ensure businesses benefit from the additional funds.

Key Service Areas

Adult Services

Increasing concerns re the financial viability of Care Homes linked to a reduction in admissions.

  • As with school capacity issues, adherence to social distancing guidance will impact on Day Care capacity provision.
  • Worcestershire County Council Care Home Support plan has been published and is available at:

www.worcestershire.gov.uk/downloads/download/1437/worcestershire_s_covid-19_care_home_support_plan

  • COVID-19 restrictions have enabled a review to commence on how service provision could be delivered differently in future.
  • In addition to Libraries, exploring opportunities to re-open Museums and Registration Services.

Children’s Services

  • Awaiting several guidance notes from the Department for Education on:
    • Home to School Transport
    • Summer Activity Clubs
    • Autumn Term commencement
  • There remains a level of parental anxiety surrounding the phased re-opening of schools, which accounts for the lower turnout than expected.
  • To ensure social distancing measures are in place, it is estimated that there will be a significant reduction in pupil capacity, although this will obviously vary by school.
  • Attendance at school is still to be voluntary and online learning will continue to be available pupils not in schools.
  • Home to School transport being provided to those entitled to subsidised transport. Whilst too early to say, it is likely that transport expenditure will increase

Community Services

  • The Here2Help Contact Centre has scaled its opening times to reflect the reduction in calls for assistance.
  • Frequently Asked Questions paper being developed relating to testing within the community.

Economy & Infrastructure

  • Highways surface dressing and maintenance returning to “Business as Usual”. Construction work on the county’s major infrastructure projects are restarting.
  • The vastly improved Kidderminster Rail Station opened 6/6/20
  • In accordance with recent guidance from Transport Minister Baroness Vere, contractors are required to comply with the Highway Sector’s recently issued Site Operating Procedures which require personnel with symptoms to stay at home and sets out clear hygiene and travel procedures for those attending site.

Workforce and Training

  • Working from home will be the norm for the foreseeable future. We remain committed to ensuring staff are supported and that any action we take is mindful of wider considerations such as future transmission risk, social distancing measures, school closures, childcare needs and transport/travel concerns.
  • Self-assessment of home workspaces is now under way and all requests for additional equipment will be delivered by 12 June.

Communications

  • Developing messages around Test and Trace
  • Working with the Worcestershire Association of Carers, celebrating National Carers Week.

Finance

  • £2.7m funding allocated to support Test and Trace.
  • The return to MHCLG on our expected spend / lost income due next week, with an increasing concern over Social Care and Home to School Transport.

COVID-19 STATISTICS

Official statistics and information are available on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-track-coronavirus-cases

Some key statistics being:

Number Testing Positive in Worcestershire 1423
Number Testing Positive in UK 292950

 

UK 8/6 
Number of Tests carried out on the day 193253
Daily Increase in Cases 1541
Cumulative Deaths 41481

 

WHERE CAN I GET FURTHER INFORMATION, HELP AND ADVICE?

Reminder that the Here2Help website www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help is the first point of contact if people want to offer assistance or gain support. The other option is the telephone contact number which is staffed 8am-6pm 6 days a week – 01905 768053.

Carers who support a family member or friend who require support should contact the Worcestershire Association of Carers on www.carersworcs.org.uk  or call the Helpline 0300 012 4272.

http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/coronavirus

NHS Website for information on Coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Shavers End Quarry – NOTICE

Dear Parishioners,

Over the years many problems have been caused by illegal trespass at Shaver’s End Quarry. Although the quarry is situated in the parish of Astley and Dunley we are greatly impacted by whatever happens there.

The last few weeks, despite the regulations governing movement and social distancing, have seen a huge influx on to that site which has caused severe and worrying disruption to Abberley inhabitants.

The police are extremely aware of the problem and as a result there has been a stronger police presence with vehicles being towed, fines issued and arrests being made. However, last weekend saw an increase in activity which saw over a hundred vehicles parked on the Shaver’s End Road, blocking it completely. No farm, or emergency vehicle or ordinary motorist could have got through.

The Parish Council has started an incident log which Carole Hirst, our Parish Clerk, will maintain. We would be very grateful for two actions on the part of parishioners; that they are to report any incident, which has given them cause for concern, to both any member of the Parish Council and the Police.

The police can be contacted on 101 with the specific request that the incident is reported to the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) at Droitwich. It doesn’t matter what the incident is whether it is being approached by people selling drugs, dangerous driving around the lanes or cars blocking roads it should be reported. Indeed, any suspicious activity in Abberley should be noted.

Parents – please discourage any of your children from going to the quarry which apart from being an illegal activity, is known as a place where drugs are dealt and has already claimed the life of one young man.

It is extremely important that we build up a body of evidence to support the moves to solve this issue. Photographing car number plates is extremely useful as this places people in the vicinity but no one should attempt to engage with members of the public or do anything with which they feel uncomfortable.

The rubbish which is regularly dumped is a disgrace and despite valiant efforts on the part of villagers to clear it continues to blight our beautiful countryside.

Perhaps with a combined effort and refusal to let this situation continue we may be able to do something about it.

 

Abberley Parish Council

June 2020

MHDC Covid 19 update 5th June 2020

Covid-19 – update

We are beginning to see the reopening of some services and businesses across the district. We hope that you, your councillors and residents continue to stay safe.

As we were unable to hold a Parish Forum in the spring we are considering arranging a virtual session. This will follow a similar format to the normal forum style where we provide you with a district council update, you request a speaker/topic and we also hold a virtual workshop with us splitting into smaller groups to discuss things in a bit more detail. If you and your councillors would be interested in attending and would like to request a topic, please let Claire Vaughan know at or tel: 01684 862449.

You can also keep up-to-date with all our public messaging by following our social media accounts or checking the coronavirus updates on our webpage

What is and isn’t allowed under the new rules

The Cabinet Office has provided a detailed FAQs list for people on what is and isn’t allowed following changes to the lockdown restrictions.

Track and Trace System

The Government has launched a new NHS Test and Trace service across England.

Anyone who tests positive for Coronavirus will be contacted within 24 hours by the NHS Test and Trace service via text, an email alert or a call and will be asked to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. They will be given instructions on how to share details of people they’ve been in close, recent contact with and places they have visited, and will be asked to provide this information online via a secure website or over the phone with an NHS contact tracer.

Anyone identified to have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus will be alerted by the NHS Test and Trace service via text or email. They will then need to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website. If this isn’t possible, a trained call handler will contact the identified person about what they need to do.

The Government has also expanded testing availability for children aged under five, to help support the phased opening of schools and childcare settings in England from 1 June.

All symptomatic individuals in England can now access a test if they need one.

Visit www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works for more information.

Recovery plan for Malvern Hills District Council

Our recovery plan was approved at Executive Committee on 26 May. The plan sets out how the council will help its communities and economies recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as how the organisation will get back on track. The approach to recovery is based on four pillars:

  1. Our communities and the local economy
  2. Resetting the business of the council
  3. Recovery of the organisations
  4. Councillors and democracy

Discretionary Grant funding

A grant from the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is available for Malvern Hills businesses not eligible to receive either the cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses or the small business grant.

Guidance has been issued by the Government and the types of business that are expected to benefit from this new funding are:

  • Businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

We have put together a policy to help us distribute this money in the fairest way possible and to help us support as many businesses as possible. Unfortunately, the money will not be enough to help every single business that does not qualify for the two main grants.

Business should ensure they have read the guidance before completing the application form.

The application form is available here. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 26 June 2020. Payments will be made after the funding round closes.

Businesses occupying rated property that are eligible for the Small Business or Retail Hospitality and Leisure grants but have not applied are still able to apply via the MHDC website.

Covid-19 Memory Bank Project

Malvern Hills District Council has launched the Covid-19 Memory Bank Project.

The Covid-19 outbreak is undoubtedly a significant moment in human history and we are keen to capture information about what happened locally to inform future generations.

People are encouraged to send in messages of goodwill they have received from neighbours, rainbow pictures they have drawn, messages of thanks they have left for key workers, diary entries the may have made during lockdown, video blogs, pictures, video footage, poems, songs or artwork.

The subject can be anything from how people felt during this time to the way the community pulled together, the weekly clap for our carers event, response of key workers on the frontline and the challenges or joys of home schooling.

The information received will be used in a future art project or exhibition and then handed over to the archive at The Hive or locally for preservation.

You can find out more about the project and upload any contributions you may have our Covid-19 Memory Bank web page.

Guidance on social distancing in outdoor spaces

The Government has issued new guidance on what people can and cannot do outdoors following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Guidance has also been issued to help owners of parks and public spaces help people to follow the rules on social distancing. You will find it at www.gov.uk/guidance/safer-public-places-urban-centres-and-green-spaces-covid-19

People Make Places Fund (Malvern Hills)

Helping our local economy and our communities to rebuild is important to our overall recovery plan for the district. As part of that plan, we want to get behind projects that have the support of the community and make a positive difference.

We have pre-selected some groups and organisations, including those signed up to the Good Neighbour Network, that we know are providing important services and support and would benefit from additional financial help. These groups will have access to our Spacehive crowdfunding platform to unlock and raise funds to continue their vital work.

The district is full of people with great ideas who come together to make things happen to support their communities. People Make Places Fund helps to connect those ideas that make a positive difference with supporters, to raise funds to make projects happen. You can find out more about the fund by emailing: . Details of local projects that are using the crowdfunding platform will be shared over the next month.

Funding support for community groups and charities

Each week we are adding new sources of funding support available to community groups and charities who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak or who are working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19.

Visit our support for community groups and charities page for more information. Please promote this support to relevant groups in your parish/town.

Here 2 Help reminder

A reminder that if you are aware of anyone who is vulnerable and in need to please make sure they fill in the form or call the number on the Here 2 Help website.

Pledge to help flood hit communities

Residents and businesses devastated by February’s severe flooding will be able to access help, advice and support at virtual roadshows.

Held by the National Flooding Forum, the roadshows in Malvern Hills will run on the following dates:

  • River Severn and Powick – Friday 19 June River Severn and Powick – Monday 22 June
  • Tenbury and Teme Valley – Friday 26 June

Anyone wanting to attend one of the virtual sessions needs to book a slot by calling the National Flood Forum on 01299 403101. Once interest has been registered, joining details for the online sessions will be provided. Click here for more information.

New training courses for clerks and councillors

Worcestershire CALC has just released a host of new training options for parish clerks and councillors. Visit www.worcscalc.org.uk/ to find out more.

Finally…

Did you see our Community Environmental Protection Officers Dan and Jude on Channel 5’s Filthy Britain SOS (formally known as ‘Grime and Punishment’) on Sunday evening? If not, then you can watch on catch-up and they also feature in the second episode on Sunday 7 June. It’s not all as filthy as the title would have you believe, with Dan and Jude demonstrating several of the tasks they regularly undertake to keep our streets clean including enforcement work and education.

4Rivers Churches Notice Sheet for week of 11th May

Please see below for link to the 4Rivers Churches Notice Sheet for week of 11th May 2020

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 4rivers churches Notice Sheet week 11th May

Worcestershire County Council has a website where you can report WCC issues that affect You.

Worcestershire County Council has a website where you can report WCC issues that affect You.

CLICK HERE for Worcestershire County Council “Report It”

Worcestershire County Council covers: Bridges and Structures; Drainage and Flooding; Grit Bins, Gritting; Improvements to walking Cycling, Bus or Disabled Access; Mud, Oil or Spillage; Other Road or Pavement Issues; Overgrown Shrubbery; Potholes; Public Rights of Way; Street Lights; Traffic Lights or to track a previously reported Highways Issue.

Please note: Do not use this online service if your report relates to an immediate public safety issue, please contact the police

 

How to report issues that concern YOU and the wider community within Malvern Hills District Council.

Malvern Hills District Council has its own page where anyone can make reports to the Council.

CLICK HERE for MHDC Report It link

Report it

Worcestershire County Council announces the re-opening of a number of Household Recycling Centres from Monday 11th May.

Please find below an update on the reopening of a number of our Household Recycling Centres (HRC’s) from Monday 11 May.

We will be communicating the following information to the public at 12pm today and I would like to ask that you do not communicate this information until then.

We will be opening 7 of the 11 sites and these are:

*   Bromsgrove (Quantry Lane)

*   Malvern (Newlands)

*   Pershore (Hill & Moor)

*   Redditch (Crossgates)

*   Stourport (Bonemill)

*   Tenbury

*   Worcester (Bilford Road

This recognises the additional resourcing required to operate the sites in line with the new requirements, e.g. social distancing.

It is important to note that journeys to HRCs must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means.

I need your help to try and get the message to residents that this means they should only be visiting if the waste cannot be stored at their home without causing risk of injury, health or harm. There is no other reason the journey will be considered a legitimate purpose for travel.  If the waste can be temporarily stored, recycled or disposed of in a way that does not pose a risk to safety or human health, then this should be done.

We are encouraging residents to check the website for full details of the social distancing measures, opening times and other restrictions before they visit the HRC. These measures include a ‘one in, one out’ access policy, no staff assistance to remove items from vehicles so those visiting need to be able to remove their own waste, and additional services such as compost sales and charity reuse points will be closed until further notice.

We expect the sites to be very busy so residents may have to queue for a long time before they are able to access the site as only a limited number of cars will be allowed at any one time . We will have traffic management in place where possible and will monitor this to try and keep disruption to the network to a minimum.

 

Applications for an Independent Lay Member of the West Mercia Police and Crime Panel are invited from members of the public. Closing date: 5pm on Monday 18 May 2020.

Applications for an Independent Lay Member of the West Mercia Police and Crime Panel are invited from members of the public. Closing date: 5pm on Monday 18 May 2020.

The Panel covers the geographical areas of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire with support for the Panel provided by Worcestershire County Council.

The Panel is part of the governance arrangements for policing in the West Mercia area and its role is to maintain a regular check and balance on the performance of the directly-elected West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

 Information on Police and Crime Commissioners can be found via this link: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20078/community_safety/861/police_and_crime_commissioners along with additional information on the recruitment process and an information pack.

Should you wish to apply, please download and complete the application form http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/downloads/file/12481/independent_lay_co-opted_member_-_application_form  and return to Sheena Jones, Democratic Governance and Scrutiny Manager by 5pm on Monday 18 May 2020

either by email:

or by post: Sheena Jones, Democratic Governance and Scrutiny Manager, Legal and Governance, Worcestershire County Council County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP

 In addition to the Worcestershire County Council website, details of this position can also be found in the CALC newsletter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

 

Abberley Parish Council on the 22nd April 2020, held their first Ordinary Parish Council meeting via ZOOM

Last night Abberley Parish Council held their first Ordinary Parish Council since the COVID 19 Pandemic via ZOOM. The meeting was a great success.

Changes in Government legislation have enabled the business of Parish Councils to continue by introducing the “Virtual Meeting” to discuss and make decisions.

The next Parish Council meeting will be staged via ZOOM  on Wednesday May 20th at 7.30pm. If you would like to join us please email "> for login details.