The NHS and Public Health England are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

COVID-19 – SSPR update for businesses with fewer than 250 employees

08-04-2020

Dear customer,

At Budget 2020 the Chancellor announced details about a new coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees.

Today HMRC has published new online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Details about when the new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim will be announced as soon as possible.

We will continue to update you and the new GOV‌.UK guidance when these details are available.

HM Revenue and Customs

To find out all of the ways you can contact us and our opening times go to

GOV.UK – contact HMRC

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update

08-04-2020

Dear customer,

On 27 March I emailed you to advise that the latest guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme had been published at the links below, and we committed to keep you regularly updated.

I can now confirm that the employer guidance and guidance for employees have been further updated in line with some of the main queries we have received from stakeholders. Whilst all the guidance has been refreshed, the main areas I would draw your attention to are:

  • the more detailed information on scheme eligibility
  • further information on how to calculate a claim
  • clarification of what constitutes wages.

I would encourage you to please review the links above if you would like more information about the scheme.

We will continue to keep you informed to ensure that you have access to the assistance you need.

HM Revenue and Customs

To find out all of the ways you can contact us and our opening times go to

GOV.UK – contact HMRC

Council is #HereForSwindon as vital support measures are taken up

08-04-2020

More than 1,000 requests have been received by Swindon Borough Council for business support, council tax relief and volunteering opportunities as the Council’s coronavirus support measures continue to be rolled out.

The 11 measures, launched last week with the #HereForSwindon campaign, range from providing essential food and medical supplies to vulnerable residents, to ensuring millions of pounds of vital government funding reaches eligible businesses in Swindon.

Updates on the Council’s support measures are as follows:

Support for businesses

  • 800 requests received by the Council from local businesses seeking financial help during the pandemic
  • More than £7m has already been applied for and £3.25m has been processed
  • More than 1,200 letters sent to businesses in Swindon alerting them to the support scheme – any businesses that haven’t received a letter can check swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus for details

Council tax relief for vulnerable residents

  • 360 applications received, which compares to around 90 in a normal week
  • Officers are processing these claims and revised council tax bills will be issued to show the support awarded

Any resident who is struggling to pay their council tax due to COVID-19 should contact the Council urgently on 0345 302 2316. Officers will be able to help people who may now be eligible for Council Tax Support or be able to discuss the rescheduling of payments.

Compassionate Swindon

  • Over 500 Swindon residents have signed-up for volunteering opportunities, including speaking to someone over the phone to offer some companionship or collecting shopping for those who are staying at home

Emergency household supplies for residents

  • More than 388 calls into the Live Well Hub this week for emergency food supplies, prescription collections and advice
  • Made more than 140 calls to check on the welfare of vulnerable residents who are shielding in their homes
  • Packed 55 food boxes and delivered them to those in need
  • Delivered 117 emergency bags to those with a urgent or critical needs
  • Brokered deals with local supermarkets to provide free supplies for those most in need (we even collected 13, 25kg bags of potatoes from a local chip shop)

We are continuing to work with the army and local food suppliers to make sure those ‘shielding’ and in need of food are getting deliveries and we have set up a separate food delivery service to get food to people self-isolating who don’t have support.

Support for taxi drivers

  • Helped over 60 taxi drivers to extend their licences

 Libraries

  • In the past two weeks over 60 residents have applied online for library membership to access eBooks, audio books and eMagazines
  • For the first time, Swindon Libraries can offer library members free use of Find My Past from residents’ homes. Residents should email their name and library card number to localstudies@swindon.gov.uk to find out more and begin researching your family tree. Libraries staff have had up to 120 requests already

In further changes to how day-to-day services are delivered, the Council has allowed all NHS and social care staff to apply for a free permit in all the Council’s surface-level car parks, and on-street pay and display parking bays.

For the crews collecting waste and recycling, measures have been developed to enable staff to follow proper social distancing rules. We are also asking members of the public to help keep our crews safe. For example, we are asking people who have, or are suspected of having, COVID-19 to place waste tissues, cloths or wipes in a plastic bag which should be tied up when full. This bag should then be placed in a second bin bag, which should also be tied when full.

Our crews already wear full protective clothing and new measures are being explored to see how we can go even further.

Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “I am delighted by how quickly the Council has been able to get these vital support measures in place for residents and businesses who are struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Council officers are working round the clock to ensure support is in place for people who need it and that the process is as smooth and hassle-free as possible, and I have already received positive feedback from local businesses.

“I am extremely grateful to everyone who is continuing to work to help people. This includes our NHS staff, police, carers and everyone connected with the supply of food, energy and other vital services.”

Residents and businesses can find out more information about the package of support measures by visiting www.swindon.gov.uk/HereForSwindon.

Council to Fund Continued Childcare for Key Workers Over Easter Holidays

08-04-2020

Key workers fighting coronavirus on the frontline will be offered free childcare during the Easter holidays and May half-term.

Swindon Borough Council is providing funding for 24 hours of childcare per week (6 hours a day or as flexibly as required) to help key workers carry out their essential work during the ongoing crisis.

The Council is providing funding to childcare providers to enable them to stay open when they will be needed most, while at the same time keeping childcare staff in employment.

Information will be sent to all parents with children still in school to inform them if their school will be continuing to provide childcare over the Easter holidays. If the school is not providing childcare the parent can speak to the Council’s Education and Childcare team to make alternative care arrangements.

Parents who are classed as key workers and who have not been able to secure childcare to enable them to carry out their critical roles should get in touch with the Council’s Education and Childcare teams as soon as possible.

As long as one parent is classed as a key worker under the Government definition the family qualify for childcare through local schools and other local providers. However, children should be cared for at home wherever possible to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Many schools and childcare providers have stayed open during this period to provide childcare meaning not only are children of key workers cared for but they are kept in small groups to prevent spread of the virus.

The Council has been working with a number of these providers over the last week to ensure there is provision overnight, at weekends, during the school holidays and bank holidays.

One nursery, the Nursery of Narnia in Stratton, has offered to operate 24/7, providing childcare for key workers who may work night shifts.

This comes after the Government announced that free school meal vouchers will be made available directly through schools. Headteachers have been approached directly by the Government and will be reaching out to parents of children eligible for free school meals to distribute the vouchers.

Councillor Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Education, said: “On behalf of everyone in Swindon I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the vital work that keyworkers are carrying out to save lives in these very difficult times. We are grateful to our schools and childcare providers who continue to step up to provide support for Swindon’s key workers.

“We have been able to keep most of our school and childcare providers open in Swindon and are carefully following government guidance to keep everyone safe.

“If there are any key workers who are still looking for suitable, safe childcare provision please get in touch with our Education and Childcare teams, who will be only too happy to help.”

Any parents who are not in a position to be able to safely leave their children at home should email the Council at: earlyeducation@swindon.gov.uk

Support and advice available for Swindon businesses

08-04-2020

More than 800 businesses have applied to Swindon Borough Council for the Government grants announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting businesses in the town is one of the 11 measures which make up the Council’s #HereForSwindon package to help residents and businesses through the public health emergency.

The Council has issued more than £3.25m in grants so far and continues to work through hundreds of applications for funding for small businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries.

Support is also available for businesses in Swindon, which are not eligible for these government grants.

Swindon and Wiltshire’s Growth Hub, run by Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), has launched a website with up-to-date information and advice for businesses.

Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy and Skills, said: “We are doing all we can to support businesses through this challenging and unsettling time. The Council has been working extremely hard since these grants were announced to process them as quickly as possible.

“We recognise there are other businesses in Swindon which will not be eligible for these government grants, which is why we have worked closely with our colleagues at SWLEP to offer helpful information and advice to support those who need it.”

Paddy Bradley, Director of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, stated: “Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership continues to do everything possible to protect our  economy from the worst effects of the coronavirus outbreak. This extraordinary package of funding from the Government acts as a safety net for many local small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is vital we stand with our local businesses and those that rely on them for work and income.”

The Growth Hub offers help and advice around how businesses can protect their employees through this public health emergency, the local support available to businesses in Swindon, and advice on how to access government funding.

Information from Swindon and Wiltshire’s Growth Hub can be found at: growthhub.swlep.co.uk or by calling their helpline on 01793 698005.

Adjusting to Life Under Lockdown

06-04-2020

From ‘Total Guide to Swindon’:

We hope you are keeping safe and enjoying the Spring weather where you are able to! We don’t know when everything is going to go back to ‘normal’, but with the outbreak of the Coronavirus dictating our lives at the moment, we’ve created a range of content with ways to adjust yourself to the new norm and keep you entertained and informed during lock-down…

Read our Total Guide to Adjusting to Life Under Lock-Down

TOP TEN ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS DURING QUARANTINE

If the thought of keeping your kids entertained for weeks on end sends you into a panic spiral, rest assured you’re not alone. We’ve put together 10 ways to keep your kids amused during lock-down.

Keep the kids entertained at home

WIN THE ULTIMATE EASTER SET

We know that it’s been a difficult few weeks for everyone and that this April our Easters are going to be incredibly unusual. However, with our Easter giveaway, one lucky winner can get their hands on the ultimate Easter set to help make this Easter that little bit better!

Enter our competition

FOOD DELIVERIES IN SWINDON

With the recent government instruction issuing the closure of restaurants, many businesses in Swindon have turned to offering delivery services so the community can still enjoy their delicious food safely. We’ve also created a handy guide for essential food supplies here.

Get a delicious delivery

NEW SUPERMARKET OPENING TIMES

Supermarkets have new and improved opening times to allow the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers to be able to grab their necessities from freshly stocked shelves. This includes Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Aldi and many more.

View the opening times

HOME EDUCATION GUIDE

With all schools, colleges and universities closed, we know that all the parents out there are looking for ways to help make sure their kids are still getting the education they need. We’re here to help by giving you all the best homeschooling websites and much more.

Get education ready

ONLINE COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUPS

The pandemic is a worrying time for all of us. But you don’t have to worry about it all on your own. Communities up and down the country have grouped together to create online support groups on social media to help each other get through this difficult time.

Discover the groups here

101 Non-Emergency Police Calls Free from Today

01-04-2020

Yesterday the Home Office announced that the charge for calling the police non-emergency number is to be scrapped from today.

The Home Office will spend £7 million a year to meet the connection costs. At present, the telephony provider charges 101 callers a 15p connection fee.

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon has welcomed the news: “Reporting crime, passing on intelligence or ringing for an update should not cost callers 15p, and this is good news for victims and the people of Wiltshire.

“The police are currently working in unchartered territory, having to engage with the public in different ways and it’s important to me that the police are as accessible as possible and today’s announcement is a really positive step forward.

“That said, I would continue to encourage people to only call 101 when absolutely necessary, to report a crime/ incident, request an update or make a complaint. The Force are currently facing a high level of calls regarding the current Government restrictions in place.

“You should always call 999 if a crime is in progress or in an emergency.

“Many crimes can also now be reported on the Force’s website and there is also the option to raise concerns that people are not adhering to the restrictions set out by the Government online.”

Over the past two years, significant investment has gone into improving the performance of the Force’s crime and communications centre after concerns about its performance.

The time is takes to answer a 101 call has also improved from just over 5 minutes in 2017 to 1.20minutes at the end of 2019.

Since then, abandonment rates have also dropped 18% from 22.2% in 2017 to 4.3% for 2019.

The vast majority of people will be able to use the service free of charge from tomorrow. However, from 1 April to 1 July there remains a chance that users of small operators will be charged for using the 101 service. The Home Office will be urging those providers to refund their customers.

Council website offers advice for businesses requiring further support

31-03-2020

Businesses in Swindon still looking for advice and support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic should visit the Council’s website where updated guidance is now available.

This support for businesses is part of a package of measures, known as #HereForSwindon, launched by the Council last week.

In response to the public health emergency, the Government announced support for businesses including grants for those in retail, leisure and hospitality industries as well as business rate holidays for these industries and nurseries.

The Council has identified businesses in Swindon which are eligible for these government grants and is now working to make sure these businesses receive the money as quickly as possible.

Letters have been sent to these businesses and should have been received on either Saturday (28 March) or Monday (30 March). Recipients of these letters should now follow the instructions given to access the money.

Any business which believes it is eligible for the government grant but is yet to receive a letter from the Council should visit swindon.gov.uk/covidbusiness to find out how to get in touch with the Council.
Businesses are urged to check the criteria, which can also be found on the Council’s website, before getting in touch to make sure they are eligible.

Further information about support available to businesses and residents in Swindon can be found at swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus

Food supplies to be delivered with military precision

31-03-2020

Military planners are helping Swindon Borough Council respond to the coronavirus crisis as part of the local authority’s #HereForSwindon campaign.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Townsend and Staff Sergeant Alan Gray have been working with the Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing team to set up a new Community Resilience Hub, which will support vulnerable members of the community.

WO1 Townsend and SSgt Gray have been scenario planning with council officers to ensure the successful delivery of emergency food parcels to those that need them.

Over the weekend the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) delivered food supplies to the Council’s Civic campus and these will now be packaged up and sent to members of the community who have been forced to self-isolate following advice from the Government.

Over the weekend, 16 council officers from various teams volunteered to call 140 vulnerable Swindon residents who the Government has asked to shield for 12 weeks.

The Council will also put food parcels together for other residents who may be isolated in their homes with no support network to fall back on. This will include offering food boxes for £30, which will be delivered free of charge by volunteers. Additional bags of fruit and vegetables will also be available.

The logistics of the delivery service are still being finalised, but the Council is hoping to offer a same day delivery service if ordered before 1pm. Any orders placed after 1pm will be delivered the following day.

The food boxes are part of a series of local measures designed to help residents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

#HereForSwindon features 11 measures ranging from providing council tax relief and emergency household supplies for residents facing hardship from coronavirus through to its volunteering scheme, Compassionate Swindon, which will help people who have no one to turn to.

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We all have a part to play in looking after the most vulnerable people in Swindon. I am so proud of the council officers, the scores of volunteers who have come forward and the members of other agencies who have all pulled together in the last few days.

“The fact we have had to call on the help of the military to help us with the logistics around the food supplies tells you all you need to know about the scale of the operation. I would like to thank both Warrant Officer Townsend and Staff Sergeant Gray for their help at this difficult time.

“I must also say a special thank you to the various supermarkets for their very generous food donations they have made over the past week. It is gestures such as these which will go a long way to seeing us through this public health emergency.”

To find out more information about the Council’s food box scheme call 01793 445500 or email: livewell@swindon.gov.uk

For further information about #HereForSwindon visit: www.swindon.gov.uk/HereForSwindon

Action Fraud Have Received Reports of Covid19 Related Scams

28-03-2020

Please note, this is the second in a series of messages we are sending over the next few days, all relating to the current situation. This email does contain links, please click here for guidance about whether you can trust links in emails.

Action Fraud have received reports of #COVID19 related scams. The majority relate to the online sale of protective items such as facemasks and other items in short supply due to the outbreak, that don’t exist..

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports

What scams are we seeing?

The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud

Protection advice

Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, ActionFraud, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.

Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.

How are we doing?

We hope this information is useful, please use the Rate button below to provide feedback about the value of this service. If this and subsequent messages are useful, please use the Share button below to share it to your own email lists and social media channels.

If you would prefer not to receive these messages from Action Fraud, please click the red Settings button below and un-tick Action Fraud.

Key workers urged to contact Council for priority childcare

28-03-2020

NHS staff and critical workers are being asked to contact Swindon Borough Council if they are struggling to find suitable childcare provision during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Last week the Department for Education issued guidance to parents asking them to keep their children at home, wherever possible, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

Schools, and all childcare providers were asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children, including those that are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Parents who are classed as key workers and who have not been able to secure childcare to enable them to carry out their critical roles should get in touch with the Council’s Education and Childcare teams as soon as possible.

There are more than 350 early years and childcare providers registered in Swindon ranging from childminders, preschools, nurseries, schools and holiday clubs. All are regulated by Ofsted to ensure the highest level of care will be provided for children aged from 0-14 years old.

The Council has been working with a number of these providers over the last week to ensure there is provision overnight and at weekends, including bank holidays.

Many providers have changed their registered opening hours to ensure Swindon’s critical workforce can continue to do their vital roles, while ensuring children are safe.

Councillor Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Education, said: “I would like to thank all our schools and childcare providers for their support in caring for the children of our key workers over the past week. It is very much appreciated and is allowing frontline staff in professions such as the NHS and social care, to continue to provide incredible support for those that need it.

“If there are any key workers who are still looking for suitable, safe childcare provision please get in touch with our Education and Childcare teams, who will be only too happy to help.”

Any parents who are not in a position to be able to safely leave their children at home should email the Council at: earlyeducation@swindon.gov.uk

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme update

27-03-2020

Dear customer,

The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support businesses and individuals through the Coronavirus pandemic. On 20 March as part of these efforts the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This funding will be open to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, including charities. Employers can apply for grants of 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage, provided they keep the worker employed. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020, if applicable.

HMRC have been working night and day to develop this scheme, and we can now confirm that we have been able to publish further details of the scheme on GOV.UK. We are aiming to have the scheme up and running by the end of April 2020. More detailed guidance will be published in due course and please be assured we will advise you when the scheme is open.

Guidance for employers is available on GOV.UK. You may also find the guidance for employees helpful.
We recommend you view the guidance which will be updated as the scheme is further developed, and in line with any further government announcements.

In the meantime, we will continue to keep you informed to ensure that you have access to the assistance you need.

Yours sincerely

Jim Harra
First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive – HMRC

Council makes support available to businesses in Swindon

27-03-2020

Millions of pounds in lifeline funding will be given to small and medium-sized businesses by Swindon Borough Council as part of the large package of support available to residents in Swindon.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has announced that grants are available for small businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries.

There will also be business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses alongside nurseries.
The Council has identified businesses in Swindon which fit the Government’s criteria and is now working to process these grants and make the money available to businesses as soon as possible.

Those eligible will receive a letter from the Council on either Saturday 28 March or Monday 30 March providing details of how to access the funding.

Any businesses which believe they fit the criteria and do not receive a letter from the Council by Tuesday 31 March should visit the Council’s website on that day for advice.

The full eligibility criteria and further information will be available via swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus from Monday (30 March) and businesses should check they qualify for funding before contacting the Council.

All applications will be screened for eligibility and any business caught falsifying an application may face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback.

Councillor Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We know this is an unsettling and worrying time for many businesses in Swindon so we are working hard to provide as much support as we can. I’m really pleased that the Government have worked so hard to be able to provide this support.

“We have been able to very quickly identify all those businesses currently eligible for the Government grant available through the Council and we will be distributing funding as fast as possible.

“All businesses should check they have received our letter while also checking the criteria on our website to make sure they can claim the grant before contacting us.

“For those who can’t claim these grants, information on the other Government support is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.”

Deferral of VAT payments as a result of COVID-19

27-03-2020

Dear customer,

The Chancellor announced a VAT payments deferral on 20 March to support businesses with cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that all businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June.

You therefore have until 31 March 2021 to pay any VAT deferred as a result of this announcement.
You do not need to inform HMRC if you wish to defer payment. You can opt in to the deferral simply by not making VAT payments due in this period. If you pay by Direct Debit you should cancel this with your bank. You should do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of their VAT return.

Should you wish, you can continue to make payments as normal during the deferral period. HMRC will also continue to pay repayment claims as normal. You must continue to submit VAT returns as normal.
For more information please go to GOV.UK.

Yours sincerely

Jim Harra
First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive – HMRC

NHS and social care staff to receive free parking during coronavirus crisis

27-03-2020

Free parking will be available to all NHS and social care staff over the next few months, Swindon Borough Council has announced.

The Council has joined other local authorities across the country in waiving parking charges as part of a joint campaign with the Local Government Association.

It also comes after the Council outlined a series of local measures designed to help residents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

#HereForSwindon features 11 measures ranging from providing council tax relief and emergency household supplies for residents facing hardship from coronavirus through to a new volunteering scheme to help people who have no one to turn to.

All NHS and social care staff will be able to apply for a free permit, which will let them park for free in all of the Council’s surface level car parks and on-street pay and display parking bays.

The permit will initially be valid until the 18 June.

The on-street parking bays available for staff to use are located in Wood Street and Market Square in Old Town; and Commercial Road, Harding Street and Sanford Street in the Town Centre. The scheme does not include barrier-controlled car parks.

NHS and social care staff can apply for their free permit by emailing PBusinessSupport@swindon.gov.uk and providing their name, email address, and a copy of either their staff ID, or paperwork confirming they work, or are volunteering for, the NHS or Social Care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “Our NHS and social care staff are doing an absolutely fantastic job for us locally here in Swindon and across the country in caring for those most affected by this pandemic.

“They are all heroes and I know each and every one of us appreciates the work they do, which was reflected in the show of support last night during the Clap for Carers tribute.

“I am pleased we are introducing the free parking for them at this time, it is the least we can do as a Council.”

Further information on the Council’s #HereForSwindon campaign can be found at: www.swindon.gov.uk/HereForSwindon

Residents can get the latest updates on council services during the pandemic by visiting: www.swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus

Why are you here today?

27-03-2020

The government restrictions currently in place DO NOT permit you to use your vehicle to travel to this location to exercise.

Each and every one of us has been instructed to avoid ALL UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.

You are entitled to exercise once daily. This should be walking, running or cycling etc from your home address. You should not be driving to a location away from your home to carry this out.

Please refrain from unnecessary travel until the restrictions placed upon us all to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic have been rescinded.

We appreciate your co-operation and your understanding at this time.

A message from the SBC Waste & Recycling centre

26-03-2020

Update on the waste and recycling centre – the centre is now closed to the public.

All Wiltshire Police Enquiry Offices Have Temporarily Closed Following New Social Distancing Advice

26-03-2020

All Wiltshire Police enquiry offices have been temporarily closed in a move to protect both the public and our officers and staff.

The decision has been made following the latest Government advice on social distancing and staying at home as part of the ongoing fight against coronavirus.

However, we want people to be reassured that they will still be able to contact us through a variety of means, including the 999 emergency and 101 non-emergency numbers, our website, and using the yellow phones positioned outside our enquiry offices.

The temporary closure will also include the police desks within the front counter services at our shared premises at Monkton Park, in Chippenham, and Bourne Hill, in Salisbury.

At the moment, the Wiltshire Council enquiry offices at these sites will remain open as a necessary contact point for vulnerable people.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Swindon and Wiltshire Angus Macpherson said: “The Government advice is clear – all non-essential social interactions need to stop, and one way that we as a police force can help with that, is by introducing these temporary closures.

“Footfall at our enquiry offices has fallen dramatically in recent days, and there are a number of other, more appropriate ways that people can contact the police at this time.

“Calling us or visiting the Wiltshire Police website is safer for everyone. Not only will it keep the public safe, but it will allow us to redeploy those staff who usually work on a front counter, to a more critical role.”

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “I want to reassure people that this is a temporary measure and I hope people will see that we have made this decision for very practical and safety-conscious reasons.

“This will not impact our visibility in your communities. Our police stations are still running as normal, and you will continue to see our Community Policing Teams out and about on patrol and responding to 999 and 101 calls.

“I want to thank you all for you continued support for Wiltshire Police. These are unprecedented times, and I know there will be challenges and uncertainty ahead, but we are committed to providing the very best service to the communities of Swindon and Wiltshire.”

Anyone who has a pre-arranged, essential appointment at a police station can attend as normal, but use the yellow phone outside to alert an officer or member of staff.

Council announces package of measures to support community during COVID-19 crisis

26-03-2020

The Leader of Swindon Borough Council has today (26 March) outlined a series of local measures designed to help residents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor David Renard has announced a package of support to benefit both local residents and businesses most affected by the current public health emergency.

The 11 measures range from providing council tax and emergency financial help for residents facing hardship from coronavirus through to relaxing parking restrictions.

Millions of pounds in lifeline funding will also be given to small and medium-sized businesses by the Council as part of the large package of support announced by the Government last week.

Top of the list to help households is the Government’s £500m hardship fund, which will provide council tax relief to vulnerable households as it is anticipated there will be an increase in both claims and payments to those already being supported.

Swindon has been allocated £1.3m and the Council can use this funding to help people who are not already claiming support, and need to do so, to make a claim online.

The support offered by the Council also includes a new volunteering scheme. Compassionate Swindon is a partnership with Voluntary Action Swindon and the Volunteer Centre, which will pair volunteers with those people who have no one to help them. This could involve speaking to someone over the phone to offer some companionship or collecting shopping for those who are staying at home.

Key workers and volunteers helping vulnerable members of the community will be allowed to park in areas with parking restrictions and car parks will be opened up for use by residents with parking permits.

Businesses who are unable to pay their rent will not be evicted and some not-for-profit and commercial operators will be able to take a three-month rent holiday following new guidance from the Government. Council housing tenants affected by coronavirus who have fallen behind on their rent will also be given extra support.

All library books will be automatically renewed until the Borough’s libraries are reopened and any memberships due to expire before the end of June will be automatically renewed for six months.

There is help too for Hackney and Private Hire drivers with the Council set to extend drivers’ licences for six months with no charge.

Couples who have had to postpone their weddings at the Register Office will be given first refusal on booking their rearranged wedding. They will also have their charges waived for re-announcing their Notice of Marriage.

The package of measures includes support already announced by the Council over the past few days including business rate relief for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry, as well as extending the use of free bus passes for older and disabled people.

Announcing the package of support, Cllr Renard said: “The coronavirus crisis is affecting all our lives and we will face tremendous challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

“We are working closely with our health partners, business groups and the voluntary sector to minimise the impact on our local communities in what is a fast-moving situation which is changing on a daily basis.

“I want to reassure those who live and work in Swindon that we are here to help you. Whether you own a business that has been hit hard by the events of the last few weeks or a resident who has no support network around you, help is at hand.

“The package of measures we are putting in place today is designed to ease some of the pressure and worry that some people may be facing in these uncertain times. We’ll be adapting these local measures in line with further national guidance and support announced by the Government.

“We know they will not solve everyone’s problems, but it is important that as a Council we do as much as we can to help the residents we are here to serve.

“We have an amazing community here in Swindon and we all need to support each other.”

Residents and businesses can find out more information about the package of support measures by visiting www.swindon.gov.uk/HereForSwindon

Council to prioritise waste collections over coming months

26-03-2020

Swindon Borough Council will prioritise certain waste collections over the coming months amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

Black wheelie bin, blue bag, food waste and clinical waste services have been classed as a priority by the Council due to the perishable nature of the waste.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on many council services and the waste collection team has faced staff shortages due to a combination of the ongoing self-isolation measures and illness. The nature of the work means that staff have to be trained and have a good level of fitness, making staff redeployment from other areas of the Council more difficult.

Measures are being put in place to protect the waste crews by ensuring they follow proper social distancing rules which will have an impact on how much waste can be collected. As a result, crews will be reduced to just a driver and a loader and, if additional manpower is needed, other crew members will be taken via a second vehicle to help complete the round.

In order to keep the priority collections running, the Council may need to suspend other services to divert staff to the priority collections. As of today, garden waste collections will be suspended until Wednesday, 8 April 2020 to allow crews to assist with priority collections.

Subscribers to the paid-for garden waste service are being informed by email or letter with the Council looking at either extending the current subscription year or reducing the cost of next year’s subscription.

Residents can help the Council during these unprecedented times by changing the way they handle waste to help keep vital collection services running. This includes:

  • Avoiding DIY or garden work that will produce large amounts of waste that can’t be disposed of
  • Reducing food waste, tips for this can be found at lovefoodhatewaste.com
  • Reducing waste in general
  • Avoiding creating bonfires

Members of the public are also being asked for their help in keeping crews safe. Anyone who has, or is suspected of having COVID-19, should place waste tissues, clothes or wipes in a plastic bag which should be tied up when full. This bag should then be placed in a second bin bag, which should also be tied when full and presented for collection only after 72 hours have passed.

The Council will be continuing fly tipping investigations over the current period to discourage anyone from fly-tipping waste they cannot dispose of. Fly-tipping is illegal, especially during this time when collections may be limited. Any residents who witness fly-tipping are asked to take photos and report it to the Council via the website.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “The crews are working as quickly and efficiently as possible to deliver your waste and recycling collections.

“We are constantly reviewing the service in these uncertain times to ensure we are prioritising perishable waste collections, however like many other front-line services we are contending with ongoing self-isolation measures and staff sickness.

“We thank our residents for their patience during this time and encourage our residents to keep up to date with any changes to our services on the Council’s website.”

Changes to services may happen at short notice over the coming weeks so the Council is urging all residents to keep up to date with services through the Council’s dedicated service status update page swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus and through its Facebook page.

Open Letter from Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner

26-03-2020

Please find attached an open letter to the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon from Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson.

https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/media/4819/Open-Letter-260320/pdf/Open_Letter.docx.pdf?m=637208212523000000

We are #HereForSwindon

26-03-2020


As coronavirus continues to affect us, this remains a difficult time for everyone. Today we’re announcing a package of measures which we hope will ease the pressure and worry some of you may be facing. We are #HereForSwindon

Support for residents

1. Compassionate Swindon: volunteer support for those who most need it

2. Council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus

3. Providing emergency financial assistance for residents most affected by coronavirus

4. Support for Council housing tenants

5. More parking options for key workers and residents making essential journeys

6. Helping residents access library services online

7. Extending bus pass use for older and disabled people

8. Priority re-booking and waiving fees for marriages postponed due to coronavirus

Support for businesses

9. Supplying vital financial support to businesses

10. Supporting not-for-profit and commercial tenants in council properties

11. Support for Swindon’s taxi drivers

You can find out more about how we are #HereForSwindon here

Community hot meals

25-03-2020

The Community Hot Meals service is available for lunchtime deliveries to your home on every day of the year and has been specifically created for older people living in Wiltshire and Swindon.

Our meal delivery service has been specifically created for older people living in Wiltshire and Swindon.

We will bring you a hot, freshly prepared midday meal and dessert for just £6.50, delivered direct to your door by our own experienced and dedicated team from Age UK Wiltshire.

The meals are produced in Wiltshire by a team of chefs, dietitians and nutritionists using sustainably sourced ingredients and supporting British food and farming to create a wide menu choice designed for older people.

In addition to over 100 standard menu choices, we can also accommodate specific dietary requirements including low sugar, gluten free and texture modified meals.

What are the costs?

The meal delivery service is available for lunchtime deliveries to your home on every day of the year and costs £6.50 for a main course and dessert.

Payment for the service will be collected on a monthly basis by Direct Debit, bank transfer or card payment over the telephone. You will only be charged for the service on the specific days when you have requested a meal delivery.

Holy Cross Church opening update

25-03-2020

The Church of England has closed all churches with immediate effect. Please call Rev Roger Powell on 01793 740 369 for any care and support you may need at this time.

Spar shop notice

25-03-2020

To enable social distancing

For the safety of staff and customers, whilst our orders from spar are being delivered
(tuesday, thursday & saturday mornings)
We will close the shop for 60 minutes to enable us to get new produce on the shelves and for staff and customers to remain safe.

We will also be limiting the amount of customers in the shop to 6 at any one time.

We all thank you for your continued support.

Voluntary Action Swindon (VAS) update

25-03-2020

Thank you Swindon for a phenomenal response – we are currently closing the registration form for new volunteers whilst we manage and match the 500+ who have already registered.

If you want to volunteer and haven’t registered already through Compassionate Swindon there is now the opportunity to join the national NHS led ‘Volunteer Responder’ scheme who will be matching volunteers with the 1.5 million people who are specifically being asked to shield themselves due to underlying health conditions.

Thank you for your compassion.

Best regards
Claire

Commissioning Manager – Voluntary Sector Commissioning

New Road allotments

24-03-2020

Parish Council statement:

The Parish Council is keeping the allotments open for as long as Government guidelines permit it, and as long as tenants can agree to work within the confines of social distancing/no gatherings over 2 people.

Please continue to enjoy your allotment and get some fresh air and exercise.

Any growing tips for easy fruit & veg to the rest of us for our gardens would be appreciated.

Restricted Access

24-03-2020

Sir Henry Calley Memorial Gardens and Butts Road Cemetery:

By order of H.M. Government as part of the UK Coronavirus response.
Effective from Midnight 23rd March for a minimum period of 21 days.
No maintenance or checks will be carried out in this area whilst this restriction is in place.
Do not enter this area unless absolutely necessary. No gatherings of more than 2 people. Practice social distancing. Burials and interments should only be carried out if your funeral director advises you should do so without delay.

Castle View Play Area:

Play area closed by order of H.M. Government as part of the UK Coronavirus Response
Closure effective from Midnight 23rd March for a minimum period of 21 days
No equipment safety checks will be carried out whilst the play area is closed.

Station House surgery update:

24-03-2020

The waiting time for prescription medication is now 72 hours from the point at which prescriptions are dropped off. Make sure your prescription is submitted in plenty of time.

Church service changes

23-03-2020

All church services in the ridgeway benefice have been suspended until further notice

However, the churches –
Holy Cross, St George and
St Andrew
– will be open for private prayer and quiet reflection as follows:

Sundays, 10am to 11.30am

Wednesdays – Holy Cross, 10am to 11.30am
Maundy Thursday – Holy Cross, 10am to 11.30am, 7.30pm to 9pm
Good Friday – all churches, 1.30pm to 3pm
Ogbourne St George church is open every day

Rev Roger Powell is available as usual on 01793 740369

Eligible Swindon businesses to receive business rate relief from next month

23-03-2020

From Swindon Borough Council:

Swindon businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry who are eligible for the Government’s 12-month business rate holiday will see it reflected in their bills from next month.

Swindon Borough Council will be administering the financial help to all firms who qualify following a package of support announced by the Chancellor yesterday evening (17 March) aimed at helping businesses through the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government also revealed it will make £330bn in loans available via banks, with the Treasury as guarantor, for firms of all sizes so they can keep paying employees’ wages, plus a further £20bn in funding, including grants of up to £25,000 for small firms.

The latest measures are in addition to a previously announced range of support including business interruption loans; statutory sick pay relief; time to pay arrangements; business rate retail discounts and cash grants.

Details on when the funding will be available are still being finalised, but the Council and its business support partners are working with government departments to ensure that businesses have accurate information and the most efficient methods of accessing any support for which they are eligible.

The Council’s Business and Economy Team is also liaising with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Federation of Small Businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce to provide up-to-date information and advice for Swindon businesses.

Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “This is a challenging time for many people, not just in terms of the impact of the virus on people’s health, but also their livelihoods.

“I would like to reassure everyone in Swindon that we are doing everything we can to support people to be safe. Our officers are also working incredibly hard with our local partners and government departments to ensure local businesses, who are going through a very difficult time at present, have the support they need.

“The Chancellor’s package of measures provides significant support for local businesses and I am delighted we will be able to facilitate the 12-month business rate relief to those eligible businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry from next month.

“We will making the case to Government to make the other support available to companies as quickly as possible.”

Information on the support available to Swindon companies will be published on the Council’s website and social media channels as soon as it is available. Business can also sign up to SWLEP’s Growth Hub for the latest advice and information at: growthhub.swlep.co.uk.

Finding Things For Kids to Do Indoors

23-03-2020

For tips to help children find things to do indoors, visit:

www.scouts.org.uk/the-great-indoors/

Help with Coronavrus from Local Organisations and SBC

23-03-2020

If you know someone outside Chiseldon who may need help in the current situation, you can direct them to this website which offers help from local organisations and SBC:

Coronavirus – Compassionate Swindon

 

Latest Updates from SBC, 23rd March

23-03-2020

Latest Government announcement on the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just announced that cafes, pubs and restaurants must close from tonight (20 March), except for take-away food, to tackle coronavirus.
  • All the UK’s nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been asked to close “as soon as they reasonably can”. The situation will be reviewed each month.
  • The Chancellor has said the Government will pay 80 per cent of wages for employees who are not working, up to £2,500 a month.

Health Advice

If you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough – even if it’s mild, everyone in your household must stay at home for 14 days and keep away from others.

  • Do not visit your GP or local hospital
  • Visit nhs.uk/coronavirus for further advice
  • Continue washing your hands for 20 seconds

If you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough – even if it’s mild✅Everyone in your household must stay at home for 14 days and keep away from others.❌DO NOT go to the GP or hospital ❌✅Only call NHS 111 if you can’t get online or your symptoms worsen.Find out how to isolate your household: nhs.uk/coronavirus

Posted by Swindon Borough Council on Thursday, 19 March 2020

 

General Coronavirus Information

Helping those who need it most

We’ve launched a new voluntary initiative aimed at helping our vulnerable residents who have been forced to self-isolate.

We’ve teamed up with Voluntary Action Swindon and the Volunteer Centre Swindon to match volunteers with those who have no one else to help them.

This could involve speaking to someone over the phone to offer some companionship through to collecting their shopping.

Could you help an isolated or vulnerable resident in Swindon? Get in touch below.

Sign up here.

Unrestricted travel for concessionary bus pass holders

Older people and those with disabilities will be able to use their bus passes before 9.30am from Monday (23 March).

We have decided to help both older and disabled residents get to the shops earlier allowing them to make the most of early opening hours at supermarkets.

Parents must keep children at home

Parents are being encouraged to keep their children at home, following the Government’s decision to close all schools from today (20 March).

Schools, and all childcare providers are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

The Department for Education has issued a number of key principles for parents to follow during the COVID-19 response:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them, should they not be able to be cared for at home.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare from those who should be social distancing such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  • Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or who work in one of the critical sectors outlined by the Government, and cannot keep their children safe at home, then their children will be prioritised for education provision.

Other Information

You can also access the latest health advice and information on the government’s response to the ongoing pandemic.

Information on the latest government guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website.

 

 

New webpage goes live with updates on Council services affected by COVID-19

23-03-2020

Only a small number of services delivered by Swindon Borough Council have so far been affected by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

In order to keep residents fully up to date with services, the Council has published a new page on its website with real-time updates on services, which residents can see here: www.swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Yesterday (Wed), STEAM Museum temporarily closed its doors to the public until Friday, 1 May. The closure is in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment, while also following recommendations by the Government to reduce the spread of the virus.

Likewise, the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery on Bath Road is now also closed until May, as is Lydiard House and Park. Lydiard hotel is open Monday to Thursday but remains under review.

Council-run parks – Stanton, Coate Water, Mouldon Hill and Barbury Castle – are open as usual, though the pitch and putt course at Coate Water is closed until further notice.

In line with the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week, schools in Swindon will be closed to the vast majority of pupils from Monday, 23 March until further notice.

Parents are encouraged to visit the websites of individual schools to find out what provisions are being made to support the children of key workers. Schools should also communicate their plans directly to parents and carers.

The Council is currently able to ensure its five core libraries are kept open, though all events, exhibitions, activities and groups have been cancelled for March and April.

Beechcroft Library, run by Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, will close from Monday (23 March) and four libraries run by Swindon North Parish Council – Penhill, Pinetrees, Moredon and Even Swindon – closed yesterday (Wed).

The following Council services are currently operating as normal:

  • Waste and recycling collections
  • Education and social care transport
  • Housing services
  • Homeline
  • Homeless support
  • Customer Services
  • Register Office

As reported yesterday (Wed), limited meetings will take place at the Civic Offices up until Thursday, 21 May. A review will take place at the end of April to assess the situation.

Kingsdown Crematorium and the Council’s three cemeteries are open for visitors, though the crematorium office has a reduced service and is only taking urgent enquiries by telephone.

The Household Waste Recycling Centre in Cheney Manor Industrial Estate is also operating as usual, though it is currently experiencing significant pressures. Residents are therefore asked not to use the facility unless it is absolutely necessary.

Cllr David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that we are continuing to deliver as many vital services as we possibly can.

“Like local authorities all across the country, we are facing significant and unprecedented challenges but we will continue to do all we can to make sure that, where possible, services are not interrupted unnecessarily.”

Support for Older People Who Are Self-Isolating

23-03-2020

Latest Government announcement on the COVID-19 pandemic

22-03-2020
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just announced that cafes, pubs and restaurants must close from tonight (20 March), except for take-away food, to tackle coronavirus.
  • All the UK’s nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been asked to close “as soon as they reasonably can”. The situation will be reviewed each month.
  • The Chancellor has said the Government will pay 80 per cent of wages for employees who are not working, up to £2,500 a month.

If you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough – even if it’s mild, everyone in your household must stay at home for 14 days and keep away from others.

  • Do not visit your GP or local hospital
  • Visit nhs.uk/coronavirus for further advice
  • Continue washing your hands for 20 seconds

Station House surgery

22-03-2020

As we have entered the delayed phase of coronavirus (COVID-19) the surgery is providing a restrictive service to protect vulnerable patients and staff. All appointment requests will be triaged by a Clinician. Ring 01793 812221 for a telephone appointment. If you have been asked to come to the surgery please ring the buzzer on arrival. Post prescription requests through the letter boxes on either site. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Station House Surgery

21-03-2020

Only one person at a time may enter the lobby. Please wait outside until the person before you leaves. This is in the interest of confidentiality and for patients own safety and well-being.

Thank you.

Bus pass restrictions to be lifted for older and disabled people in Swindon

20-03-2020

Older people and those with disabilities will be able to use their bus passes before 9.30am from Monday (23 March).

Swindon Borough Council has made the decision in conjunction with local bus companies to enable both older and disabled residents to get to the shops earlier during the current COVID-19 pandemic so they can take advantage of designated shopping slots from the major supermarkets.

Holders of a senior citizen and disabled bus pass were previously only able to travel for free on buses after 9.30am.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment said: “I would like to thank all our local bus companies for their support in extending the period in which people can use their bus passes.

“This will make a real difference to the older generation and those people with disabilities, giving them greater access to shops during what is a really difficult time for our local communities.”

Swindon Borough Council has a statutory duty to provide passes for free bus travel throughout England for older and disabled people under the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS).

Spotting the Scammers

20-03-2020

Wiltshire Police wants to remind residents to be aware of fraudsters trying to take advantage of others during the current global situation.

We’ve heard from other police forces of new scams which are targeting the elderly and most vulnerable who are self-isolating at home.

Examples of fraud include, people visiting homes posing as police officers and/or health officials trying to gain entry with a view to burgle them. The criminals will often offer fake coronavirus testing as well as bogus food and medicine delivery services.

So far, we have not seen any such cases in Wiltshire – but we want to make people aware.

Top tips to thwart the fraudsters:

  • Be a good neighbour – keep an eye on an elderly or vulnerable person living near you.
  • Check ID – volunteers working with the health and emergency services will be in possession of the necessary documentation to prove they are genuine.
  • If in doubt call us – if you are not sure about someone, don’t engage and report any serious suspicious behaviour.
  • Online fraud – don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
  • Shopping online – if buying from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

The majority of groups are well intentioned and will be working with charities or a local authority and should have proof that they are doing so.

Remember, currently in Wiltshire, police officers and medical professionals are not doing door-to-door checks or administering tests.

Report any suspicious person or activity to us straight away so we can gather evidence and take action against the individuals.

Call 101, if non-urgent, or 999 in an emergency. You can also report crime online now via our website www.wiltshire.police.uk

There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): latest NHS advice and information

19-03-2020

Please follow the link to see the latest NHS information and guidelines:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

Takeaway Food - Baker's Arms, Badbury

19-03-2020

COVID-19 UPDATE

Throughout this uncertainty we will be operating a FULL TAKEAWAY MENU

This will be BY collection ONLY

Bottled drinks will be available to take out too.

But we please urge you if you’re visiting the pub for a collection to wash your hands, so we can run this for as long as we can.

Orders can be placed in person or over the phone. 01793740313

PLEASE SHARE TO KEEP YOUR LOCAL LITTLE PUB THRIVING.

Takeaway Food - Calley Arms, Hodson

19-03-2020

Calley Arms in Hodson are offering take away fish and chips and pie and chips. If you want something off our main menu – ask us and we will try to accommodate this. We are also offering bottled beers and wine to takeaway.

calleyarmshodson.co.uk/dining/

 

Takeaway Food - Chiseldon Smokehouse

19-03-2020

Take away menu

Starters £5

  • Spicy chicken wings
  • Cauliflower and mushrooms fritters
  • Calamari and red velvet prawns
  • Vegetables samosas
  • Mix bhajis

Mains £10

  • Burgers with chips ( chicken, pulled pork, sinollona chicken) Or Portobello mushroom and red red pepper burger
  • Scampi and chips Cod and chips
  • Homemade pie and chips
  • Curry(chicken or lamb) rice and papadum
  • 16 hour slow cooked Brisket Slow and low JD and cola Ribs
  • Chilli and rice Lasagne garlic bread and salad

For more please call us or leave message drinks can place order on phone

Takeaway Menu - Plough On The Hill

19-03-2020

Update from Sainsbury's Chief Executive, Mike Coupe

19-03-2020

I wrote to you last week to tell you about some of the steps we are taking to support increased demand for food and other essential items.

After I wrote to you last week, many of you replied. You wrote to share your concerns about our elderly and vulnerable customers and to ask if we can do more to restrict the number of items each person can buy. I have listened to feedback from you and from Sainsbury’s colleagues across the country and wanted to share some of the extra steps we are taking to make sure everyone has access to the items that they need:

A number of you suggested that we reserve an hour in stores for elderly and vulnerable customers. In response to this request, we will set aside the first hour in every supermarket this Thursday 19th March, for elderly and vulnerable customers. I hope that you can respect this decision and will work with us as we try our best to help those that need it the most. If you or an elderly family member, friend or neighbour would like to shop during this hour, please check online for your local supermarket opening hours.

We will also help elderly and vulnerable customers access food online. From Monday 23rd March, our online customers who are over 70 years of age or have a disability will have priority access to online delivery slots. We will contact these customers in the coming days with more details.

For any online customer who can travel to our stores, from Monday 23rd March, we will operate an expanded ‘click and collect’ service. We are significantly increasing the number of collection sites across the country over the coming days in preparation for this. Customers can place their order online as usual and pick it up from a collection point in the store car park. We believe this will also work for people who are self-isolating.

As we work to feed the nation, we are also focusing all of our efforts on getting as much food and other essential items from our suppliers, into our warehouses and onto shelves as we possibly can. We still have enough food for everyone – if we all just buy what we need for us and our families.

To help us get more essential items onto the shelves, from this Thursday 19th March, we will be closing our cafes and our meat, fish and pizza counters in supermarkets. This means we can free up warehouse and lorry capacity for products that customers really need. It will also free up time for our store colleagues to focus on keeping the shelves as well stocked as possible.

I mentioned last week that we had put limits on a very small number of products. Following feedback from our customers and from our store colleagues, we have decided to put restrictions on a larger number of products. From tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March, customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product and a maximum of two on the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk. We have enough food coming into the system, but are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger numbers of customers.

Finally, I wanted to end by saying a huge thank you to Sainsbury’s colleagues across the business. Everyone is working flat out in difficult circumstances to do their best to serve our customers. If you’re able to say thank you to them when you see them, I know they would hugely appreciate it.
Best wishes

Mike

Age UK Helpline for COVID-19

18-03-2020

If there are any elderly people who have health concerns at this time, Age UK has a free helpline on 0800 055 6112, open 7 days a week, 8.00am to 7.00pm. They can also help with welfare, care and housing issues.

 

Eligible Swindon businesses to receive business rate relief from next month

18-03-2020

Swindon businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry who are eligible for the Government’s 12-month business rate holiday will see it reflected in their bills from next month.

Swindon Borough Council will be administering the financial help to all firms who qualify following a package of support announced by the Chancellor yesterday evening (17 March) aimed at helping businesses through the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government also revealed it will make £330bn in loans available via banks, with the Treasury as guarantor, for firms of all sizes so they can keep paying employees’ wages, plus a further £20bn in funding, including grants of up to £25,000 for small firms.

The latest measures are in addition to a previously announced range of support including business interruption loans; statutory sick pay relief; time to pay arrangements; business rate retail discounts and cash grants.

Details on when the funding will be available are still being finalised, but the Council and its business support partners are working with government departments to ensure that businesses have accurate information and the most efficient methods of accessing any support for which they are eligible.

The Council’s Business and Economy Team is also liaising with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Federation of Small Businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce to provide up-to-date information and advice for Swindon businesses.

Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “This is a challenging time for many people, not just in terms of the impact of the virus on people’s health, but also their livelihoods.

“I would like to reassure everyone in Swindon that we are doing everything we can to support people to be safe. Our officers are also working incredibly hard with our local partners and government departments to ensure local businesses, who are going through a very difficult time at present, have the support they need.

“The Chancellor’s package of measures provides significant support for local businesses and I am delighted we will be able to facilitate the 12-month business rate relief to those eligible businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry from next month.

“We will making the case to Government to make the other support available to companies as quickly as possible.”

Information on the support available to Swindon companies will be published on the Council’s website and social media channels as soon as it is available. Business can also sign up to SWLEP’s Growth Hub for the latest advice and information at: https://growthhub.swlep.co.uk.

Free Access to Pupil Learning Resources from TWINKL

18-03-2020

We have received the following from TWINKL:

 

Latest on COVID-19 from SBC

18-03-2020

Dear colleagues,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) remains a fast-evolving issue which is why we continue to signpost colleagues and the public to official government sources.

Please assure residents we are taking this very seriously, following the latest national advice.

To assist you in advising residents, people with symptoms are no longer required to call NHS 111, as the system is under strain, but are instead urged to look for information on the NHS website and 111 online. The public should:

Practice good hygiene:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Stay at home for 7 days if they have either:

  • a high temperature (over 37.8 degrees Celsius or above)
  • a new, continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

We have also made live a webpage on the borough website signposting to the latest advice: www.swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Senior officers are also in the process of compiling updated business continuity information so we can manage and mitigate risks across all our services and we have also met with social care and housing providers.

Are you self-isolating? Can we help you?

17-03-2020

Hello, we hope you are all keeping well and looking after yourselves. It is a bit of a scary time at the moment, and we would like to do what we can to help make your life easier.

If you live in the local villages and are;

  • Aged over 70
  • Have underlying health conditions
  • Are self isolating on the recommendation of the Government

Then we can help as we are offering local deliveries or a quick pre-paid pick up service. If you require this service please phone (01793 741436) or email (info@threetreesfarm.co.uk) and we can talk you through the options.

The farm shop is open as usual.

Don’t forget to follow us

Do keep an eye on our Website, Facebook and Instagram for details of upcoming events and offers in the shop.

Self-Isolation Printable Poster

17-03-2020

Download an print the following poster if you are self-isolating and want to alert visitors to the fact.

Swindon coronavirus update - Friday 6 March 2020

06-03-2020

Dear colleagues,

The UK Chief Medical Officer has today (6 March 2020) confirmed further cases of COVID-19 infection in the UK. One of these cases is a resident from Swindon who became infected while in Northern Italy and is self-isolating.

The individual is getting all necessary support from relevant agencies. Public Health England, the council and local NHS colleagues are working closely together to respond.

Public Health England is currently contacting people who may have had close contact with the confirmed case. Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after they had contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure that any risk to them is minimised and the wider public is protected.

Based on current evidence, Coronavirus COVID-19 presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

There is a lot going on nationally to ensure we are prepared to manage this risk and locally, we have tried and tested plans in place which means we are prepared to deal with a whole range of issues.

Whilst the confirmation of a case in the county will undoubtedly increase people’s anxiety, it’s important to remain calm but vigilant and take necessary steps.

The best action we can all take is to ensure we continue to have good personal and hand hygiene, which includes:

  • Giving your hands a good wash with soap and water is the most effective action you can take (but hand gels can be a good substitute).
  • Maintaining personal hygiene when coughing or sneezing is also important – use a tissue rather your hands and then throw it away.
  • It is good general practice to use cleaning wipes to give your keyboard, desk, phone etc. the once over on a regular basis.

Anyone who is concerned about their health symptoms is advised to follow the advice about what to do on the Government’s website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The advice for anyone who is experiencing a cough or fever or shortness of breath, is to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

People are asked NOT to turn up at their GP surgery or other health services (e.g. hospital).

If people have trips planned, they should follow the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice.

To stay up to date with the national situation and response and any advice PHE is giving you can visit their website. Alternatively, you can follow the Department for Health and Social Care on Twitter- @DHSCgovuk

I will keep you up to date with local developments.

Sue Wald
Corporate Director Adult Social Services and Health
Swindon Borough Council

Neighbourhood Watch Encourages Protecting the Isolated and Vulnerable During the Covid 19 Outbreak

05-03-2020

Dear Neighbourhood Watch supporters,

You will all be aware of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Neighbourhood Watch exists to look out for communities across England and Wales and at a time like this we encourage you to consider ways to keep yourself, your loved ones and those in your community safe, particularly the isolated and vulnerable. We are following the advice from the government and encourage you to do the same: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

10 ways you, as a Neighbourhood Watch supporter, can protect yourself, your loved ones and your community:

  1. Meet with household members, other relatives, friends and neighbours to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
  2. If your neighbourhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbours, information, and resources. Alternatively, share phone numbers and email addresses particularly with those who are isolated or vulnerable.
  3. Consider establishing a ‘buddy’ system within your community to ensure everyone stays connected to COVID-19 related news, services and can receive support safely, such as essentials deliveries.
  4. Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications.
  5. Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy.
  6. Learn how to self-isolate. Guidance can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
  7. Create a list of local organisations that you and your neighbours can contact in the event that one of you need access to information, healthcare services, support, or resources. Consider including organisations that provide mental health or counselling services, food, and other supplies.
  8. Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbours, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
  9. Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or childcare facility, and your employer’s emergency operations plan.
  10. Practice everyday preventive actions including regular hand washing.
    1. The NHS provides guidance on how to wash hands: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/.
    2. The World Health Organisation provides guidance on basic protective measures: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
    3. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance on handwashing for families https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/handwashing-family.html
      Please note: whilst we encourage you to follow advice from UK Government we are also sharing links to organisations such as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention an agency which works 24/7 to protect the safety, health, and security of America from threats here and around the world. Some of our key points above have been sourced from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also published (14th February 2020) Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Homes and Residential Communities which you may find useful: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html.

Regards and keep well,
Central Support Team at Neighbourhood Watch

Advice from Health Watch Swindon

27-02-2020

Health Watch Swindon have put together some advice and information about the virus, as well as what you should do if you think you may have it.