COVID-19 UPDATE – Thursday 26 March 2020
I am writing to provide you with the latest update regarding COVID-19.
Our teams and partners continue to work around the clock to adapt and deliver key services affected by the ongoing COVID-19 situation in accordance with Government plans and guidance. We are so grateful for the commitment of our staff as they work to support our communities in Wiltshire, and to our communities as they work to support each other.
In terms of volunteer activity, we’re continuing to gather information on all the support that’s being offered throughout the county and our teams are updating our Community Volunteer Directory regularly to provide communities and individuals with the latest information.
The council wants to ensure that everybody can access the support they require so I’d be very grateful if you could you kindly check the directory in relation to your own area, and contact the council by emailing email@example.com :
- If there are any groups active in your area that are not on the list (alternatively groups can add their details via this form (here)
- If there are any communities that are not represented so that we can work to ensure that support is delivered where it’s needed.
An updated Community Pack will be published soon to accompany the Directory and shared widely across all channels for people’s use.
In addition to this initiative, the council has undertaken the following action:
Parking restrictions eased
At this time it is vital we support our communities to ensure they can follow government guidelines and ensure our key workers can deliver vital services across Wiltshire. From tomorrow council car parks will be free allowing all key workers and residents to use on and off-street parking bays without time restriction or charge. This includes any council car parks, on-street paid for parking bays and permit bays in controlled parking zones.
In addition, the Council will also be relaxing restrictions in residential areas to maximise the parking spaces available to residents who might be self-isolating or working from home. Timed restrictions in residential areas will be lifted so that residents can park on the road all day.
All valid parking permits and season tickets will be frozen at this time. This will be reviewed after three weeks in line with government guidance on staying at home and social distancing.
The enforcement service will continue to prevent incidents of obstructive or dangerous parking that could have a more significant impact on safety and access for emergency and essential services.
We have published a new COVID-19 Business newsletter, to provide regular updates on how we are responding to the challenges faced by businesses during the COVID-19 situation. This first newsletter provides a round-up of information and support from the Government. Click here to read and sign up for future updates.
Homeless community supported
We are working with partners including Visit Wiltshire to ask hotels and B&B owners to offer their help by opening their doors and providing accommodation to homeless people and families during the COVID-19 crisis.
We started this campaign less than 24 hours ago and have been delighted with the response from our county’s hotel sector so far. I’d sincerely like to thank those who have already come forward and offered their support and hope to see others do the same very shortly.
If you are aware of any hotel or B&B in your area that would like to help this initiative, please ask them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All businesses and individuals who provide emergency accommodation will be compensated and Wiltshire Council will work with clients to find accommodation that is suitable for each individual, as well as ensuring food and support needs are met.
Latest service updates:
Our waste and recycling collection staff are working hard to continue to keep council services going they are continuing to provide waste and recycling collections services. They’re extremely grateful to all the residents who are thanking them for their hard work in challenging circumstances.
Please also encourage your communities to help our teams by ensuring people put all general waste bags into their bin. Any excess waste left by the sides of bins will not be collected – it slows the rounds down and means some waste collection rounds might not be completed. Thanks for your help and support.
Wiltshire Council’s seven cemeteries remain open to provide funeral services. However, to ensure that we can continue to operate safely protect staff and visitors, we have closed our onsite chapels and are following Government Guidance to permit only immediate family members to attend funerals. This has been defined by the Government as parents, partners, siblings and children.
Due to these restrictions families are welcome to record the service on their own tablet or mobile phone, provided the Celebrant or Minister makes an announcement at the commencement of the service to ensure they have everyone’s consent.
Highways and Amenity
During the COVID-19 situation, Highways and Amenity services are following the current Government guidance and undertaking essential repairs and maintenance. Highways planned works will be completed where appropriate and resources allow.
Cllr Philip Whitehead