Covid-19 – update
We continue to see the reopening of some services and businesses across the district with many shops beginning to open their doors this week. We hope that you, your councillors and residents stay safe.
You can keep up-to-date with all our public messaging by following our social media accounts or checking the coronavirus updates on our webpage
Changes to lockdown restrictions
The Cabinet Office has updated its guidance on what you can and cannot do. This includes information on changes to the restrictions on people in the NHS shielded group.
You must now wear a face covering if you are travelling on public transport, although you are advised to avoid it and walk, cycle or go by car if you can. Here’s some advice on how to make and wear a face covering.
Track and Trace – Local Outbreak Plan
Councils will be responsible for managing and enforcing any localised outbreaks or lockdowns, linked in with the national programme run by Public Health England, as part of the new test and trace procedure.
Worcestershire County Council will be the lead in our area and have been given £2.7million from a national £300 million fund to develop and action their plan. Worcestershire Regulatory Service officers will be involved in the response to any local outbreak. The money will be distributed at the end of June when local plans are expected to be in place. Work is continuing to get arrangements in place locally including IT systems to track incidents/outbreaks.
Localised early warning indicators are also being developed to help give us more information on the potential for future outbreaks. The current thinking is while we may have some localised outbreaks during the summer, the risk of a second wave of the virus is greatest from September onwards leading into the winter months.
Support for those affected by flooding
Virtual roadshow events are taking place to help people who were affected by flooding during the autumn and winter, particularly February’s severe weather event.
They are open to residents and business owners who will be able to speak to representatives from the National Flood Forum, Worcestershire County Council, Malvern Hills District Council, the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water.
Advice will be on offer on a wide range of flooding issues including insurance and property re-instatement.
Sessions will take place on the following dates:
- River Severn and Powick – Monday 22 June
- Tenbury and Teme Valley – Friday 26 June
To attend one of the sessions you need to book a slot by calling the National Flood Forum on 01299 403101
Places of worship reopening for individual prayer
From Monday 15 June places of worship are permitted to reopen for individual prayer in line with social distancing guidelines. Communally led prayer, worship or devotion such as services, evensong, informal prayer meetings, Mass, Jummah or Kirtan will not be possible at this stage.
New guidance will be published shortly. This will recommend the thorough cleaning of shared spaces, hand cleansing at entry and exit and asking worshippers to bring their own items such as a prayer mat or religious text, instead of sharing or using communal ones.
Places of worship still have discretion over when they consider it safe to open and may decide to remain closed or reopen at a slower pace if they wish.
Planning and development management
In a previous newsletter, we mentioned that the Government has announced a series of measures that have implications for both the district council and local councils. This includes allowing builders to agree flexible construction site working hours with their local council, such as staggering builders’ arrival times to ease pressure on public transport. We have now produced a guidance note on this.
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.
Bike Security Marking
The Malvern Hills and Wychavon Joint Community Safety Team are running five bike security marking events next week. We have had a fantastic response so far and the event in Malvern on Monday 22 June is now fully booked.
There are still spaces available at the following events:
- Great Witley Village Hall Car Park, Friday 26 June, 11am-2pm
- Pershore Civic Centre, Tuesday 23 June, 1-4pm
- Evesham Viaduct Car Park, Wednesday 24 June, 1-4pm
Keep on running…
Our Health and Wellbeing officer, Rachel Nichols, would like to work with our Parish and Town Councils to come up with an accessible walking/running route in each parish over the next few years.
Ideally the route will:
- be under 5km
- be circular
- have few stiles
- avoid busy roads and private land
- have somewhere to park at the start
You may also want to take the opportunity to showcase a piece of local heritage, like a beloved church, as part of it too. The route could be part of an already established public right of way and this could just be an opportunity to promote it as an accessible, family-friendly walk or a running route.
Claire will be supporting Rachel with this project. We are hoping the walks will become waymarked routes with some also featuring on our walking app.
Here 2 Help update
As of the 3 June 2020 there have been 2,920 requests for help and over 2,000 offers of help. If you are aware of anyone who is vulnerable and in need, please make sure they fill in the form or call the number on the Worcestershire Here 2 Help website.
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 support for community groups and charities page for more information. Please promote this support to relevant groups in your parish/town.
Visit the Virtual Village Hall
Anyone looking to beat the boredom of isolation is invited to visit the Virtual Village Hall, a new programme of online activities to join in with at home.
Designed by the Royal Voluntary Service, the Virtual Village Hall is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and features themed video sessions led by expert tutors, TV and radio personalities, and Royal Voluntary Service activity co-ordinators and volunteers.
Live and pre-recorded sessions take place daily and include exercise and dance, music and singing, relaxation and meditation, arts and crafts, cooking and baking, technology skills, gardening and more.
Keeping well at home
Here is the latest social prescribing newsletter from South Worcestershire Citizens Advice, with tips on how to keep well at home. Please feel free to share this with your residents.