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:
- Our communities and the local economy
- Resetting the business of the council
- Recovery of the organisations
- 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.
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.