5th January 2021
Town Council Covid-19 update
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Leader of the Council today met with senior Town Council officers to discuss immediate steps that would be taken to address the latest lockdown, regarding operations, facilities and support for the community.
As a result, it was agreed that to facilitate initial requests for help, officers would be re-deployed to field requests to the Community Emergency Volunteers, who currently have capacity, prior to reinstating the volunteer network in the wider community. This will ensure that those shielding or self-isolating have access to support with vital tasks like shopping. Those who kindly volunteered their services last year will be contacted in the next 36 hours to ask them whether they are able to assist – they DO NOT need to sign up again. However, anyone wanting to sign up who previously hasn’t, can do so here.
Town Council facilities are now closed with the following exceptions:
- St. Margaret’s Hall will be open to support NHS services, including the vaccination programme, but will be closed to all other events for the duration;
- Town Council Offices and the Explore BoA Visitor Information Centre are closed to the public and visitors; a maximum of two officers at any time will remain on site, with other staff working remotely until further notice. Town Wardens will continue to operate within government guidelines.
- The Youth and Community Centre will be closed with the exception of allowing for continued operation of West Wiltshire Radio in order for the station to maintain public service broadcasting;
- Public Toilets will remain open at Station car park and St. Margaret’s Car Park, operating reduced hours (10am – 4pm each day), and with one cubicle closed to allow for an enhanced cleaning regime at both sites. The Public Toilet at Culver Close will be temporarily closed;
- Play areas and parks will remain open – however, following current government guidance, tennis courts, basketballs courts and the Tithe Barn are required to close. Areas that remain open will be monitored to ensure cleanliness and promote social distancing;
- Signage will be reviewed and redeployed at key locations to continue to promote social distancing in the town.
The economic impact of the continuing pandemic has been felt by individuals and businesses alike, and the Town Council will continue to work with the business community to provide up-to-date information on which shops are able to open, and/or are operating online. Wherever you can, please shop local or shop online – details of local businesses can be found on the Explore BOA website. This will help keep you and the community safe, and local businesses to stay afloat.
We invite all businesses to update their listings as soon as possible, and officers will be contacting them in the next few days to check status. We will also continue to provide information on the support available to businesses and the self-employed, and how to access this.
If you are struggling financially, you may be entitled to a number of benefits, including some specific Coronavirus support from the Government. Details of these schemes can be found here. Additionally, please remember to claim entitlements such as free school meals vouchers, and seek advice or other support from the BoA Hub should you need to. If you would like to make a donation to the Hub at this time, you can do so here.
In response to the lockdown announcement, Leader of the Council, Cllr Dom Newton said:
“It is difficult to say that we welcome this renewed lockdown, but, given the change in the public health risks brought about by the change in virus behaviour, it is clearly necessary to save lives and protect the NHS.
At this time, we would also ask that people make sure they are familiar with the new rules and comply fully with them – we have, as a community, been comparatively lucky so far, but this could change quickly, particularly with the new strain in our midst.
The actions that we have taken today, and will be rolling out over the next few days, are built on the experiences of last year, and put us in a strong position to offer meaningful support to our community as the lockdown continues.
Clearly, this lockdown will feel different, at least in its early stages – not least due to the time of year, and the fatigue that many will be feeling following the great uncertainties of the last 10 months. We encourage and thank our community for continuing to support each other and meeting these renewed challenges.”
For more information, visit our dedicated COVID-19 website page https://bradfordonavontowncouncil.gov.uk/covid-19-local-information/ and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.
Wiltshire Council https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus