COVID-19 Updates & Information

COUNCIL OFFICE OPENING  Updated 07-09-2020

If anyone wishes to speak to a Council officer during office hours, face to face, they can do so via appointment. Please contact the office on 01793 771066 and we will arrange a suitable time. Strict COVID-19 guidance will be followed including wearing of masks, social distancing and strict timings.
Emails are still operational for all staff.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE MESSAGE

Following ongoing communication and discussion with the community group “Outreach Purton” , The Council are working to provide essential basic support for residents who do not have the facility to rely on relatives, friends or neighbours. We have all agreed the following support initiative.

  • BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR - Please check that your neighbours either side of you are okay – drop a note through their door, speak to them in the garden – follow social distancing guidelines keep your distance but ensure they have what they need – if you are concerned that they have not been seen knock the door – if you do not get a response call the police on 101.
  • FURTHER CONTACT - If you need emergency medical supplies, food requirements that you cannot gain from the local shops/chemist and/or friends and neighbours, you can call help by utilising the following emergency procedures. These requests will be managed by the council and will call upon a group of known volunteers who will return your call and determine your needs, advise alternative options if necessary and if required, action support through the volunteer group or local government aids.
  • PLACE A POSTER IN YOUR WINDOW - Currently we are allowed to leave our homes to gain essential supplies and take one walk a day. If you can download this poster or collect from your local shop and place in your window, it will give details outlined above to those who are not able to access social media and therefore spread the word.
  • VOLUNTEERING TO SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY - If we all adopt the “good neighbour” approach we will reduce the need for additional support setup above within our community, however there will be those vulnerable that logistically need extra support and therefore a group of volunteers will be required.

    If you would like to be part of the volunteering list to offer a call to someone who is lonely and isolating or collect shopping/prescriptions, please send your details to the email on the poster. This information under GDPR will be kept for the sole purpose of this COVID-19 pandemic and will be destroyed as soon as we are able to remove the necessity.

    We are working on a pre-emptive, best endeavours basis to offer support at this time, we have no formal guidelines or have in place sufficient insurances, welfare support for the volunteers, so this request for volunteers is based on trust and the community pulling together.

Hopefully these actions will bridge the gap whilst the government works on the formal arrangements to safeguard our most vulnerable. Please always listen to the government guidance in all you do.

COVID-19 UPDATE – Thursday 2 April 2020

Please see the latest update regarding COVID-19. Business Support
The council has sent out over 8,000 letters to business who are eligible for either the:
Small business grant scheme (£10,000)

For businesses that pay little or no businesses rates, the Small Business Grant Scheme will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and rural rates relief.
Or
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme (£25,000)
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000
For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

The letters ask people to complete an online form, accessed via a dedicated grants webpage http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/business-advice-support-covid19, so we can ensure the grants are issued appropriately and help minimise fraud. Around £1.5m has been issued today (2 April 2020) as we started to release vital funds to support businesses struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.

We’re aware that many businesses are not open. If they think they are eligible they can complete the webform without the need to pick up their letter http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/business-advice-support-covid19. They will not be disadvantaged by not having the letter.

  • Food banks
    At this difficult time, food banks are in need of more volunteers and donations. If you are able to help in any way please get in touch with your local food bank. Food banks are there to support vulnerable people in a crisis, which is usually subject to a referral from a trusted source such as a social worker.
    List of food banks currently operating in Wiltshire. Please note these details are subject to change during the COVID-19 situation. You can also donate to your local foodbank through the foodbank donation points at your local supermarket.
  • Markets in Wiltshire
    Recent government guidance advised that all indoor and outdoor markets will be cancelled until further notice. The only exception to this is food stalls, which are making their own decisions on whether to trade, so please check with your local market to see if it is going ahead. Please read the government guidance.
    We’re keen to support our local community’s food stalls to trade but would encourage any markets that remain open to ensure that customers follow the Government advice on social distancing (click here) at all times.
  • Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub
    The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub is available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time, such as people who are shielding or self-isolating and don’t have a support network around them or know where to get help. Our team can help provide support but also signpost them to where additional help is available in their local area, via the hundreds of community groups set-up across the county providing invaluable assistance.
    People can get in touch with the hub via email at wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 003 4576. It’s available from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.
  • Getting Wiltshire Talking
    Although Wiltshire Council’s Get Wiltshire Walking programme has been suspended, the council’s walking co-ordinators have made more than 100 calls to the group members to ensure they feel supported and connected during this difficult time.
    The Get Wiltshire Walking programme generally engages older people, many of whom live on their own and may be feeling isolated. Our co-ordinators have been encouraging the members to stay in contact with each other via phone/text/email, buddy up where they can, and look out for one another during the ongoing situation. Some groups are arranging virtual coffee mornings via skype or video calling on WhatsApp at the time they would normally have coffee after the walk – yet another great example of people staying connected and enjoying some form of social activity by virtual means.

The team will stay in contact as much as possible with the group over the coming weeks.

Helping our communities to be aware of misinformation.

We’re supporting national efforts to encourage members of the public to check the information they receive and share about COVID-19.

The Government is running a ‘Don’t Feed The Beast’ public information campaign via its Share Check List website to empower communities not to believe or spread information from purported ‘experts’ issuing dangerous misinformation, or become victims of criminal fraudsters running phishing scams.

The public can really help stop the spread of potentially dangerous or false stories circulating by following official government guidance. The ‘SHARE’ checklist below includes basic but essential advice such as to checking the source of a story and analysing the facts before sharing.

Source - make sure information comes from a trusted source
Headline - always read beyond the headline
Analyse - check the facts
Retouched - does the image or video look as though it has been doctored?
Error - look out for bad grammar and spelling

Please kindly share this information with your communities to help them protect themselves as well as others.

Regards ,
Cllr Philip Whitehead
Wiltshire Council