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Malvern Hills District Council COVID Update Sept 2020

Are you ready for the new NHS Covid-19 app?

From Thursday (24 September 2020) the NHS Covid-19 contract tracing app will be launched. This is part of the test and trace service and will be important in helping control the spread of coronavirus and protecting each other.

All businesses in the following sectors must by law display a QR code poster from 24 September:

  • Hospitality
  • Leisure and tourism
  • Close contact services
  • Places of worship
  • Local authority venues

Community centres, youth and community centres and village halls are all covered by this change to the law.

Getting a QR code for your venue is quick and easy from the Government’s website.

Get a QR code for your business or venue

Further information

Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

A guide to creating a QR code for your venue

Tips for displaying your QR poster

An overview of how the NHS Covid-19 app works

Rule of 6 introduction and implications

Since Monday, 14 September, people are only allowed to gather socially in groups of 6 indoors and outdoors.

The Government has published updated advice for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities. In particular, you may find section 3 helpful as this covers the rules around things such as bookings for social clubs, support groups and public consultations

Long-term effects of COVID-19

There is growing evidence to suggest that those people who have experienced both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19 can suffer from long-term health effects.

Public Health England has produced new information and guidance on the health problems reported in COVID-19 cases following acute disease, and guidance for healthcare professionals on how to advise recovering COVID-19 patients.

Residents’ Survey 2020

We have begun our annual Residents’ Survey, which started on Sunday, 6 September 2020.

We are asking residents to tell us what they think of their local area and services.

This year, the survey includes questions on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted residents, as well as the response and support provided by the council. It will also ask questions about such issues as litter and homelessness.

Feedback will be used to improve services and the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. A summary of the results will be published anonymously on the council website.

It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete but progress can be saved so it can be completed in stages.

The survey will run until 4 October. Please help us to promote this to residents using the channels you have available. People can take part by visiting

www.malvernhills.gov.uk/performance

Crowdfund Worcestershire

Community groups (and parish & town councils) have until 30 September 2020 to register for Crowdfund Worcestershire, an £85,000 fund set-up by Worcestershire County Council to support projects to help the county’s covid-19 pandemic recovery.

Crowdfund Worcestershire is based on the Spacehive platform, used successfully in Malvern Hills, and allows community groups, parish councils and organisations to receive funding from the county council, as well as other donors.

Projects the county are looking to fund should focus on one of five key areas, with pledges of up to £20,000 available. The five key areas are:

  • Social isolation/befriending – looking at virtual community connections / or adapted schemes that comply with social distancing.
  • Maintaining our volunteering offer – helping to create a legacy of community and volunteer action post Covid-19.
  • Healthy Communities – activities to improve the health and wellbeing of your local community
  • Return to work – helping people prepare for a return to work or helping them into work.
  • Food Poverty – predominately focused on families

On top of this, community transport groups have until 30 September to register to be part of a crowdfunding campaign, where they can receive pledges of up to £50,000 from Malvern Hills.

Groups interested in taking part, or finding out more, should visit https://www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs for more information. Please help us to promote these opportunities to groups in your parish.

The process:

  1. Create your project page on Spacehive referring to their handy guide. If you want some 1:1 feedback on how your project page is looking then Spacehive can help, just email
  2. Pitch to the fund on Spacehive by 30th September.
  3. Submit your project for verification.
  4. Once verified, go live with your crowdfunding campaign and showcase local support ahead of project assessment in early November (check our tips and resources here).
  5. If successful, you’ll receive a pledge from the council towards your live campaign.

Green Dog Walkers

We are continuing with our Green Dog Walker pledge and ask for your help to promote this to residents.

All Green Dog Walkers take a pledge to always:

  • Clean up after their dog
  • Carry extra dog waste bags
  • Be happy to be approached to lend a dog waste bag to those without
  • Be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dogs

To become a Green Dog Walker please complete the online pledge form.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/GDWpledge

Once we have received the form you will receive a GDW badge, free poo bags, and an information pack.

Adopt a Street

Thank you to those of you who have already signed up to adopt a street as a parish council. Hopefully you have now received your free kits.

If you haven’t heard about the scheme yet, all you have to do is sign the online pledge which includes:

  • Telling us which area of land you would like to adopt (public land only unless you have permission from the landowner)
  • A promise from you to litter pick your chosen site at least three times a year on dates of your choosing and at your convenience

The area you choose to litter pick can be as small or as large as you like. The scheme is open to individuals, schools, community groups and Parish and Town Councils.

You can use your black bin at home for disposing of any litter you collect but if you find the volume you are collecting is an issue then please contact and someone will assist you.

In return for your commitment we will provide you with:

  • Free Litter picking equipment and bags (limited to 10 sets for community groups/schools/local councils)
  • Guidance on health and safety

Sign up at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/adoptastreetMHDC/

Worcestershire County Council- #HandsFaceSpace Campaign

Worcestershire County Council is creating a #HandsFaceSpace video campaign to encourage people to follow social distancing rules – wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings and keep a safe distance – and they need your support.

The campaign is focused on asking people to create short videos to tell us why sticking to the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ guidance matters to them.

We want you to share your story by sending us a 50 second max, selfie-style video (landscape if possible), explaining why the government’s #HandsFaceSpace guidance matters to you personally. Maybe your loved ones have been shielding, or getting your business going relies on everybody following the guidelines? Perhaps you haven’t been able to regularly see your grandchildren, or you’ve really missed meeting up with friends?

We want to encourage more people to follow the guidelines and will be sharing your video across our website and social media channels.

Watch an example video using this link: https://we.tl/t-qOdDvXPrJU

Tips for recording your video:

  • Use a smartphone and if possible, record your video in landscape
  • 50 seconds max
  • Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, we just want to hear from you
  • Please don’t read from a script, just chat normally.
  • We’d like personal stories, to help others understand why it matters to everyone to follow the guidance.
  • Don’t worry about the public health messages, we will add a slide at the end of the video, which reminds everyone of the hands, face, space message.

Video files are usually too large for email so we suggest sending them to us using www.wetransfer.com. Just follow the instructions on screen to attach your file and in the ‘send to’ box use the email

Sharing your #HandsFaceSpace message will help us to continue keeping people safe. Many thanks for your support

 

 

Malvern Hills District Council- Newsletter for Parish Councils 14th August 2020

Appointment of New Chief Executive

Our Chief Executive Jack Hegarty retired on 31 July after 35 years in local government – the last 5.5 years of which were spent in charge of Malvern Hills District Council.

He has been replaced by Vic Allison MBE, who was Deputy Managing Director of Wychavon District Council and now steps up to be Joint Chief Executive of both Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Council.

Vic has worked in local government since the late 1980s and is a chartered public finance accountant. He has worked for councils including Stratford District Council and West Oxfordshire Council, before joining Wychavon in 2006.

He intends to build on the solid foundation Jack has laid and deliver the ambitions of the Council as set out in our Five Year Plan. He looks forward to working with you all.

Announcement on Planning Reforms.

The Government has published its white paper Planning for the Future which proposes radical changes to the planning system. This includes removing the current planning committee system and replacing it with a US-style zonal system where outline planning permission will be automatic depending on the proposed site.

A summary of the main proposals is below:

  • Local plans will be simplified and responsible for designating land into three categories. Growth – where outline approval for development would be automatic, Renewal – where proposals would be approved in principle subject to certain checks and Protected – where development is restricted
  • Local plans will focus on site and area specific requirements and local design codes rather than policy. Policy will be decided predominantly at a national level by the National Planning Policy Framework. It is estimated this will reduce local plans in size by two thirds
  • Plans must be produced and pass key stages in 30 months
  • Consultation with the public will take place at the plan making and design code production stage. The Government wants this to be a comprehensive, meaningful engagement, with greater use of technology and social media to allow people to feed in their views. In terms of the planning application stage, the process will be streamlined with no or limited opportunity for local people to comment
  • There will be a greater use of digital technology which will remove the need for adverts to be placed in newspapers, notices to be put on lampposts, notification letters etc. Instead the system will be more web based. Plans will be more visual to make them easier for people to understand what is proposed near to them
  • Digital technology should also play a greater part in decision-making with software and algorithms being used to automatically validate applications and decide whether they are within the rules
  • The existing test of soundness, updating requirements for assessments (including on the environment and viability) and the Duty to Cooperate will be replaced with a single test of sustainable development
  • The Government’s vision is planning department in future will switch from approving and processing applications to enforcing standards. As such, greater enforcement powers will be given to councils and there will be an expectation more enforcement action will be taken to ensure local design codes and national policies are being followed.
  • New homes will need to reduce carbon emissions by 75% to 80% on current standards from 2025 and be ready to become carbon neutral by 2050 as the National Grid decarbonises without the need for expensive retrofitting schemes
  • A fast track for beauty scheme will be introduced – this will allow high quality developments built to a high standard and reflecting local character to be automatically approved
  • A new infrastructure levy will replace S106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy. The Government state their aim will be to ensure this delivers at least as much on-site affordable housing as it does now but without months of negotiation. Councils will get more say over how developer contributions are used. The scope of the new levy will be expanded to capture changes to permitted development rights, so developers converting office blocks to housing would still have to pay.

For more detail read the Planning for the Future white paper.

Malvern Hills District Council will be responding to the consultation.

Re-opening of our Services.

Leisure centres in Malvern Hills District reopened on 25 July 2020 with social distancing measures in place.

The swimming pool at Malvern Splash will not reopen until January 2021. Tenbury Pool, which is run by a Trust, is not expected to reopen until October. Both are undergoing refurbishment.

Pre-booked face to face appointments are now being offered at the Council House but reception will remain closed to the Public.

Play Areas.

The government has revised its guidance on play areas. The latest version can be found here

Phil Merrick emailed all parish and town clerks on 17 July to share the poster the district council will be using for its own play areas, which you are all welcome to use.

Destination Zero – Plan update.

many of you will know, we now have a Destination Zero plan to help us become a carbon neutral district by 2050. We held a session with our Parish and Town Council colleagues last autumn and many of the ideas you put forward now feature within the plan.

We wanted to update you on our progress with this plan including that we have recently interviewed for the new Carbon Reduction Officer post and we hope to be able to introduce you to the new officer in the autumn. One of their first tasks will be to set up the stakeholder group and rearrange our partnership event, which was postponed in March due to the crisis.

Out of the 57 actions in our current plan, 36 are in progress with others being longer term aims. You may have already seen that we have recently purchased 45.57 acres at Green Park, Greenhill Lane, Hallow, WR2 6LG for the purpose of contributing towards our targets. Estimates show from managing the land differently the soil alone could capture 2,500 tonnes approx. by 2030.

We hope to update you further on our progress when we next meet as a forum but we will also let you know once our new officer is in post, should you wish to contact them direct about our work in this area.

We want your help…

Tree planting is not the answer to tackling climate change. It is always better to reduce emissions rather than offset or capture them. But, tree planting does have a role to play. To support our ambition to become a carbon neutral district, we need to plant tens of thousands of trees. We won’t be able to plant them all.

If you have recently planted or are planting any trees, can you spare a minute to let us know, which helps us to calculate any carbon savings. You can use our tree planting form

Ready Steady Worcestershire – Holiday Activity and Food

The Worcestershire Holiday Activity and Food webpage offers details of local organisations providing summer holiday activities for children and young people as well as those with food included.
If you are providing activities with or without food included during the holidays and would like your details included on the page, please let Claire know

Family Fun with Photoboxing

For families or adults looking for something fun to do over the holidays, why not sign up to our latest challenge – Photoboxing! Photoboxing is a temporary replacement for the popular Letterboxing project which is a family and adult fun form of orienteering. The challenge will be available until the end of September.
Visit: http://www.malvernhills.gov.uk/get-active to find out more and sign up and check out our video on YouTube.

Funding support for community groups and charities

Please visit Support for community groups and charities page for more information on a range of funding sources available to community groups and charities supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.
Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund
Tesco Bags of Help has responded to the current COVID-19 crisis by setting up a new fund to support local communities. The programme will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups, as part of their emergency response in supporting local communities.
Typically, the fund will support organisations that have experienced;
• Increased demand – a holiday hunger club needs more resources to support children through the summer months or a food bank whose stocks are running low and needs an immediate donation to enable the food bank to restock.
• Disrupted services – a local charity setting up a delivery service to replace its monthly lunch club, or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
• New services –a health focused charity having to set up a new online patient service requires new IT equipment or a mental health charity developing a new service.
Applications will be welcomed from a wide range of organisations including: voluntary/community organisations, registered charities, schools, health bodies, Parish/Town councils, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, community councils, local authorities and housing organisations. Other not-for-profit organisations might also be eligible.
Businesses and ‘for profit’ organisations are not eligible.
Typically they would welcome applications from organisations such as ;
• Health focused charities- such as Cancer, Diabetes, Heart charities
• Food banks
• Hospices
• Homeless charities
• Charity supporting the elderly or those needing to self-isolate
• Women’s refuges
• Charity supporting children and young people
More information about the funding and application forms can be found on the website: https://tescobagsofhelp.org.uk/grant-schemes/tesco-cv-fund/

Neighbourhood Watch

We are currently promoting the Neighbourhood Watch scheme across the district and would welcome your help in promoting the scheme to your local residents. We have attached a poster with more details and would encourage any interested residents to contact Elliot Nixon for more details

Calling Community Project Creators!!! £85,000 funding available!!

Crowdfund Worcestershire has been launched by Worcestershire County Council to help local organisations gain funding through the Spacehive crowdfunding platform – www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs

Worcestershire County Council has a funding pot of £85,000 available through Crowdfund Worcestershire to support organisations in their bid to help in the county’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic – https://www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs/supporters

This is an opportunity for organisations that have project ideas, which need financial backing, to create a project on Spacehive and pitch for a pledge via the Crowdfund Worcestershire platform by 30th September 2020, clearly outlining how they may be able to help maintain progress in these five key areas:

o             Food Poverty – predominately focused on families.

o             Social isolation/befriending – looking at virtual community connections / or adapted schemes that comply with social distancing.

o             Return to work – helping people prepare for a return to work or helping them into work.

o             Maintaining our volunteering offer – helping to create a legacy of community and volunteer action post Covid-19.

o             Healthy Communities – activities to improve the health and wellbeing of your local community.

Projects may also qualify for pledges from the County Councillor’s Divisional Fund.

In addition, organisations in Malvern Hills and Wychavon will also have the chance to tap into pledges for community based transport projects. This funding, via the same Spacehive platform, will be led by Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils and there’s pledges of up to £50,000 up for grabs for this first round.

If you would like to find out how you can create a project and access funding please register for the FREE on-line events taking place on the 13th August and 4th September  by visiting https://www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs/news  Project Creator Workshop and click on BOOK A PLACE.

 

 

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.