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Malvern Hills District Council COVID 19 Update 7th July 2020

Covid-19 – update

We hope that you, your councillors and residents continue to stay safe. We have been aiming to send you updates every fortnight but this will likely move to monthly from now on, as we begin to see many services reopen.

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

The Cabinet Office continues to update its guidance on what you can and cannot do. This includes information on the changes to the restrictions on people in the NHS shielded group.

NHS test and trace – scam warning

We have sent the following information out to residents who have subscribed to our news alerts:

The NHS test and trace service is an important part of helping us return to the way of life we were used to before Covid-19.

Unfortunately, there will be those who will attempt to take advantage of the situation to carry out scams.

Ofcom has issued advice on how to protect yourself from potential test and trace scams.

On a genuine call, contact tracers will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to purchase a product – including a test
  • ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS

If you receive a call from somebody claiming to be from the NHS, and they ask you to do any of these things, hang up and report the call:

  • to Action Fraud, by calling 0300 123 2040 or by visiting its website, if you are in England, Wales or Northern Ireland; or
  • to the Police, via 101, if you are in Scotland.

Please do not let this deter you from complying with the NHS test and trace system if you are contacted by them.

Your help is crucial to making the system work, so we can control the spread of the virus and save lives by making sure anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 is quickly tested. If they have the virus they can then self-isolate at home and those they have come into contact with will be advised to do so as well.

You can help by:

  • Self-isolating at home if you develop symptoms, along with other members of your household, and order a test to find out if you have the virus
  • If you test positive for the virus, sharing information promptly about your recent contacts through the NHS test and trace service so other people can be alerted who may need to self-isolate
  • Self-isolating if you have come into close contact with someone who has had coronavirus and you are advised to do so by the NHS test and trace service

Read more about the test and trace service and how it works

Read more about when to self-isolate and what to do

High Street Recovery Plan

Town and retail centres across the district have been very busy with non-essential shops opening their doors on 15 June and pubs, cafes and restaurants reopening gradually. The Economic Development team at the council has been liaising for the last two months with business groups, individual businesses and stakeholders to produce a recovery plan, which will include an internal secondment for a short term (6-12 month) role for a Town Centre Recovery Officer.

Free parking will be on offer in all Malvern Hills District Council car parks on every Sunday during July.

Residents can also buy 2 hour permits which will allow them to park for two hours, in any four-hour period, in any council owned car park. They cost just £25 and if people buy them during July and August, they will get 15 months for the price of 12.

They can be bought online at www.malvernhills.gov.uk/parking-and-streets

Visitors are urged to stay S.A.F.E by:

Sanitising and washing their hands regularly

Always being kind and considerate to others

Following social distancing guidelines

Enjoying our environment but making sure they take litter home with them or put it in the bins provided.

Signs have been put up to remind people about social distancing rules and public hand sanitiser points will shortly be installed around town centres, to help people maintain good hand hygiene. Most public toilets are open but Edith Walk, Malvern and Upton High Street are closed as social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Tourist Information Centres will be reopening in Malvern from Monday, 6 July and in Upton on Friday, 10 July. Tenbury TIC is expected to be open from Monday, 13 July.

Additional bike racks will also be installed to encourage cycling. Discussions continue with Worcestershire County Council about the use of public highways to help food businesses serve diners.

There will also be promotional campaigns to promote the safety measures in place and give residents the confidence to get out and support their local traders, while encouraging visitors to explore the district.

Play Areas

We have now reopened our play areas with adjustments. Phil Merrick, Director of Economy and Environment, has emailed all parish and town clerks to share the risk assessment and signs we will be using, which local councils are welcome to use.

Planning system changes

The Government has announced a number of changes to the planning system in response to the relaxation of lockdown.

Planning permission deadlines will be extended, planning appeals will be sped up and builders will be allowed more flexible working hours following agreement with their local council. Read the announcement in full.

More support to help rough sleepers

The Government has announced that £105 million will be used to support rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness into tenancies of their own.

The funding will be used to help with deposits for accommodation and to secure alternative rooms that are already available and ready for use, such as student accommodation.

A further £16 million is also being provided so that vulnerable people currently in emergency accommodation can access the specialist help they need for substance misuse issues.

The £105 million is made up of £85 million of new funding from HM Treasury and £20 million from refocusing existing homelessness and rough sleeping budgets.

Read the announcement here.

Recycling increases during lockdown

The amount of recycling collected from households across Worcestershire has rocketed by 12% during lockdown.

In total, 11,200 tonnes of recyclable items were collected during April and May – up 1,190 tonnes compared with the same period in 2019.

It is the equivalent of collecting an additional 135,000 green bins of recycling.

This outweighs the 4% increase in general waste across the county during the same period.

Household Recycling Centres are now open but with social distancing rules in place. Please make sure you have read and understood them before you travel.

Read Household Recycling Centre social distancing rules

If you are interested in learning more about how to reduce your waste then every Wednesday at 2pm, the Let’s Waste Less team are holding waste reduction sessions over Zoom, offering useful advice and tips.

You can access them using the details below:

To access the session log into Zoom: https://worcestershirecc.zoom.us/j/5530251529

Meeting ID: 553 025 1529

Password: 119159

Repair Café Outreach Plans

As many of you will know, we now have a Destination Zero plan to help us become a carbon neutral district by 2050. One of the actions within that plan is to support the Malvern Hills Repair Café to develop their service.

The Café is currently looking into potentially developing an outreach service for 2021, visiting different village halls across the district during the course of the year. This would be a reduced service to their permanent one, with two repairers and they would bring any equipment they need. They would just need the hall to provide some tables and chairs.

There are a few other things to consider before responding:

  • They are volunteers who work for donations so ideally the village hall would be able to supply the village hall for a few hours free of charge.
  • Whilst reducing impact on the environment is a crucial element of their work, they also believe that the social element is as important and the usual Repair Café includes tea, coffee and biscuit provision for those bringing their items along. As they will only have two volunteers for this outreach service, they would welcome support from one or two members of the community in providing refreshments for local residents who attend the cafe with their items.
  • This would not be a regular event but more likely an annual visit. Because it will be a one off we would ask the parish/town council to support us in promoting the service beforehand.
  • The village hall would need to provide parking and be easily accessible, with a kitchen or tea-making facilities available.

If you think your village hall would be able to accommodate the Repair Café for a session in 2021/22 then please let Claire know at ideally by Thursday 30 July.

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.

If you would like your parish to be included in this project and have an idea for a route then please let Claire know by emailing  before Thursday 30 July at

Heritage Open Days

Once a year, local historic buildings open their doors for the public to discover more about the hidden history on their doorstep. Although it is not yet clear if this September’s events can take place, the local organisers would like to hear any suggestions and comments about the annual festival. The current plan is to collectively assemble a draft programme which can be adapted accordingly.

The theme for 2020 is ‘Hidden Nature’ with a focus on the natural world. You can email the local organisers via

More info.

Malvern Hills Photoboxing

For 2020, we have revised the existing Letterboxing project due to Covid-19, temporarily renaming it as ‘Photoboxing’. This year there will be no physical boxes to find; instead, you need to take photographs of the answers to your clues. There are still 25 clues to solve, with five walks to choose from around our district.

You can purchase the latest clue pack for just £3 here. Select ‘Community Health’ as the top drop down and ‘Photoboxing’ as the second option.

Visit www.malvernhills.gov.uk/letterboxing to find out more (poster attached).

Run Route Quest Challenge

We will be running a new virtual challenge from Monday 20 July. You can find out more about the challenge at www.malvernhills.gov.uk/get-active or check out the promotional video here (poster attached).

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.

Here 2 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.

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.

Malvern Hills District Council COVID 19 update 19th June 2020

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

If you would like to book a 15 minute slot to get your bike security marked, please email: .

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.

If you would like your parish to be included in this project and have an idea for a route then please let Claire know by emailing  before Thursday 30 July at

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.

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/

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.

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.

 

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.

 

Worcestershire County Council update on Coronavirus and their services.

Update from Worcestershire County Councillor Cllr. Dr. Ken Pollock

At this time of unprecedented disruption to our daily lives, I am concerned that all representatives of the people of the Tenbury division should be fully aware of all that is being done to assist them in getting through the crisis with the minimum of trouble.

Worcestershire County Council is working with a number of other organisations under the One Worcestershire brand. Details of all the assistance that is being offered to businesses can be found by going to the Worcestershire Business Central website.

For personal help, try the Worcestershire County Council website. On the home page, you will find the Here2Help brand, that should answer most queries.

Some of the other organisations that have been helping put together this advice – and whose own sites offer their distinctive take – are the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, (the LEP), the Chamber of Commerce for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, the Federation of Small businesses, (the FSB), and National Farmers Union, (the NFU).

Government money is being channelled through the District Councils, so for the Tenbury Division, this is Malvern Hills District Council. They have done a great job with government cash for those affected by flooding, and now they are processing all business claims for assistance due to the virus crisis.

All of this effort is coordinated by a structure under the Local Resilience Forum, (the LRF), set up for any such emergency. This includes all the blue light services as well as the county’s councils.

Should you find that none of these answers your needs, please do get in touch with your local District Councillor, or me, as your County Councillor. We are also well aware of the effort put in by our local MP, Harriett Baldwin, who will always be keen to help if needed.

All of this effort is being complemented by the work of the NHS and the care sector, and I am sure we are all grateful for their selfless efforts. In addition, we must appreciate all the other essential work that goes on, often unrecognised, but nevertheless essential to our wellbeing.

Thank you for your attention and very best wishes for you all, in overcoming the problems we face, so we can enjoy this wonderful county, and country, long into the future.

Cllr Dr Ken Pollock,

Member, Tenbury Division,

Cabinet Member Responsible for Economy and Infrastructure, Worcestershire County Council, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP

Information from Abberley Village Stores.

Current Opening times;

Shop 

Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm

Saturday 9am – 4pm

Sunday 10am – 12pm

Post office hours as normal.

Abberley General Stores is still open during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m sure that most people are aware by now that we’re still open but I just wanted to clarify the current arrangements given the situation so you can best prepare yourself before you come in or in case you or loved ones need to use our delivery or collection service.

We have had in place for a few weeks now, a two in two out policy. This is to keep our customers and staff as safe as possible when shopping and working in store. We have quite a big floor space for a village shop so we feel we are all able to keep at least 2 metres away from each other at all times. For this reason it is preferred that you take ‘two in two out’ to mean two people shopping in store at any one time but if you need to shop with another member of the household because you can’t leave them in the car or at home then we will allow more than one person per household but please take extra care to keep your distance from other shoppers and be prepared to wait longer so we can let just your household in at once if myself or any member of staff feel this cannot be achieved.

If you would prefer to shop in-store alone, we are happy to accommodate this but please be aware that you may have to wait a little longer so that we can get the queue down first. If you ring the doorbell at the front of the shop then we will attend to you outside and you can explain this to us.

We occasionally have extra help to stock shelves or collect deliveries for us. These people are often volunteers but they are aware that they need to keep their distance from you and during these times we may feel it necessary to reduce the number of customers in at any one time or to lock the door altogether and serve you from outside, just whilst a safe distance is not achievable inside, this isn’t often very long.

Whilst waiting outside please remember to keep away from each other, many a time when I bring the chairs in from outside people have moved them right next to one another so they can have a good chat. The 2 metre advice is still relevant when out in the fresh air so please be careful and allow people to leave the store without being crowded.

Deliveries and collections;
We are operating a delivery and collection service for anyone who feels they need or want it. There are no ‘vulnerable’ criteria, we feel you are the best judge of your own safety and that of others.

Deliveries – This are made on Mondays and Thursdays.
To order to be delivered to on a Monday please order by Saturday 4pm at the latest.

To order to be delivered to on a Thursday please order by Tuesday 4pm at the latest.

This gives us time to order bread and fruit and veg etc fresh ready for your delivery.

Collections;
We can put orders up for you and these can be collected from shelving outside by the back kitchen double doors in the car park.
We prefer to keep the bulk of collections to Wednesdays and Fridays so we can organise staff around these busier periods, however, if you need to collect outside of these days please call us and we’ll try and help.

To place orders for delivery or collection please leave your orders on the answerphone on number 01299 896 620. We realise that you may not know what we have in stock / generally sell, especially if you are a new customer, but leave what you would ideally like on the answerphone and we will try and get items in even if we do not normally stock them or we will call you back with alternatives where available (if you have left a phone number). Please note, we can not call everyone back to confirm we have received their order but do not worry if you don’t hear from us until the day of your delivery or collection. We will get to you, do not worry, you will not be forgotten or missed. We realise it’s frightening stuck at home not knowing how you’re going to get supplies but we will be there. We often work late into the night and start early in the morning to get everything ready so just because the shop opening hours may have passed doesn’t mean you aren’t still in the system and we will get to you. If you are really concerned then you can always call us to speak to us in person using the 01299 896 000 number.

If you have symptoms;
Please do not enter the store. We understand that whilst people are told to self-isolate they can-not always get supplies delivered to them from supermarkets because of delivery wait times etc. If you ring the door bell on the front door I will come out and attend to you or we will happily put up collections or deliver to you if you phone in. We realise that symptoms do not always comply with delivery or collection days so please just call us on the 01299896000 number and explain and we will be happy to prioritise you so that you can keep yourself and others save by staying home. We have many vulnerable people shopping with us who we all need to try and keep safe and we ourselves are trying our best to keep our vulnerable loved ones at home safe by not bringing anything home. We can only achieve this by following these rules and we have delivered to many a family who have been self-isolating with symptoms, doing their bit to keep us all safe.

If the staff unknowingly contract this virus we like so many other key workers have the potential to spread it to others, this is why we wear masks and gloves all day, however uncomfortable and we serve you from behind the glass. If any staff develop any symptoms they will leave immediately and if we are not able to continue safely, in all likelihood we will probably have to close at least for a while. This would be a great shame as we have been able to reach so many people in these last few weeks and prevent them from having to leave their homes at all whilst still providing someone for them to talk to.

All of our staff at home or still working have had to make great sacrifices to keep the shop open. From those who have to stay home when they want to be in helping and working to those of us who just have to just wave to our parents through windows and keep to our rooms so we can try and keep everyone safe. Please respect this and do not enter with symptoms.

Lastly I’d like to say a massive thank you to our volunteers who, without them, we wouldn’t have been able to get to so many people or keep as stocked as we have. They have been our own little lifesavers and they are very much appreciated.

Also to our local suppliers, a massive thank you. We have been able to keep goods on the shelves that you may not have seen in the supermarket for some time. This is because our little local, often family run suppliers – who you have supported all year round by supporting us, have really come through for us all.
Mawley Town Farm – run by the Robinson family and their team have been absolutely amazing in keeping supply coming. Whilst Wiseman’s a national company, has reduced us to three days a week from six and who before this crisis began threatened to stop supply altogether despite driving past the door daily.
Also to Ashley’s Bakery – run by husband and wife team Estelle and Ashley, have been amazing. Never missing a delivery despite them both being out of action for sometime. Whereas Warburton’s a national supplier momentarily decided to stop supply altogether to us for at least two weeks at the start of the crisis but have since had a change of heart with intermittent supply going forward.

So many of our other suppliers too;
J Walsh – Tenbury Wells – paracetamol.
Cecil Hill – Hartlebury – Bread flour, yeast, pasta, chopped tomatoes.
Sue Coley – Abberley – reminding us all to keep calm and eat more cake.
Wenlock Edge
Wyre Pie – Far Forest,
Legges – Bromyard
Springfield free range chickens – Leominster
Our Meat suppliers from all over Worcestershire,
Hillhampton Honey,
Mill Orchard – Great Witley,
The breweries keeping us all sane whilst the pubs are shut – Cleobury, Wye Valley, Bewdley, Swan, Westons.
Bewdley Farm Shop,
They all deserve a mention for their tireless hard work.

Looking forwards to Drew’s tomatoes soon and Strawberries and Raspberries from Little Witley.

Samantha,

Abberley Village Stores

Worcestershire County Council internal gold meeting in respect of COVID 19- Issue 9- 6th April 2020

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD Look after yourself whilst staying at home

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD hospital-discharge-patient-leaflet-editable-v3

Key Messages

Key Service Areas

Adult Services

  • Please see the attached Discharge from Hospital Leaflet.
  • To ensure we have appropriate levels of domiciliary care available for individuals on discharge from hospital we have secured appropriate hotel accommodation across the county to ensure individuals are safe and cared for following discharge from hospital. This will be free for the individual and once it is determined that they can return home a range of services will be available to provide support should it be needed.
  • Recruitment campaign ongoing with redeployed staff receiving training.
  • Approximately 150 new enquiries continue to be received daily through the here2help website, with a similar number of calls being taken over the phone through the Access Centre.

Children’s Services

  • Social Care capacity holding up, with additional shifts being worked and visits reduced to statutory minimum and carried out ‘virtually’ wherever possible.
  • Direct support provided to those leaving care who are living independently, especially around the Social Distancing message.
  • Calls for additional PPE remain.
  • Lower numbers of vulnerable children are attending school than expected but we are working hard to encourage attendance.
  • Government have confirmed they will provide additional funding to those pupils entitled to free school meals whilst at school during the Easter holidays.

Community Services

  • All Libraries and Museums remain closed
  • Registering of deaths is now taking place over the phone.
  • Trading Standards are actively raising awareness of potential scams
  • Support is being given through volunteers and through community groups to assist with pharmacy deliveries.
  • Food parcels continue to be distributed to the individuals within the Shielded Cohort / those in urgent need.

Economy & Infrastructure

  • All major infrastructure project construction sites are now temporarily shutting down in a controlled manner
  • All Household Waste & Recycling Centres remain closed
  • District Councils continue to support each other with the current challenge regarding refuse collections, with the aim to get back to normal schedules next week.
  • Additional goggles and other safety equipment are being sourced from schools across the county.
  • Thoughts turning to what steps can be taken in readiness for any potential recovery, with particular focus on highways maintenance.

Workforce and Training

  • Daily communication update issued to staff
  • The volunteer redeployment form for use by staff who may have capacity to support critical roles where resource is currently limited or where we believe there will soon be a shortage is now live.
  • County Hall remains closed to the Public
  • Close liaison taking place with relevant Trade Union organisations throughout this crisis has been well received.

Communications

  • Messages around Mental Health wellbeing advice and tips for home working
  • “Wrap around” for free local newspaper being distributed from Thursday. development for distribution next week

COVID-19 STATISTICS

Official statistics and information are available on the link below:

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

WHERE CAN I GET FURTHER INFORMATION, HELP AND ADVICE?

Here2help

There will be many vulnerable people in our community who will have to self-isolate. This site will provide a central location for the vulnerable that are unable to seek help from family, friends and neighbours.  You can request help, volunteer to help and find useful resources.

Want to help/volunteer or need assistance

http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

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

NHS Website for information on Coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/hospital-discharge-patient-leaflet-editable-v3 Look after yourself whilst staying at home

Look after yourself whilst at home –