Coronavirus Covid-19

Coronavirus-Covid 19 – Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page  http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/category/covid-19/

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Friendly Society: Support for organisations

In a previous update we announced that the Friendly Society had established a scheme of emergency support for individuals and families whose income had been seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak.   The Friendly Society is also anxious to ensure that any voluntary organisations that serve the people of Westbury can survive the financial shock.  The Playing Fields and the Village Hall have arrangements in hand to bid for funding from external sources but if there are other organisations that have suffered financially, they may wish to consider an application to the Friendly Society.  A copy of the guidelines for organisations thinking of applying is here… Guidance Application for Organisations

The Village Hall AGM

The village hall was due to have its annual meeting in the week commencing Monday 11th May. In view of the pandemic it is proposed to conduct it via an exchange of emails. The agenda will go out shortly listing items and whatever comments might be made by the chairman introducing them.   Anyone interested in ’attending’ is asked to submit their email address and thereby give permission for it to be circulated on an open list.  Comments should be made to all on the list and replies made to ‘all’ so that everyone can see what others have said. The minutes secretary will draw threads together and circulate a draft of decisions made for approval.

As it is a public meeting anyone is welcome to join in. If you indicate your interest by emailing Peter Bright   peterbright60@btinternet.com  you will then get an agenda inviting comments. If you are not on email but would like to submit comments by telephone, please ring  01749 870640

Recycling

We have received the message below from Somerset County Council

Hold on to your clothes, or lose them to landfill

Somerset is being asked to hold on to its unwanted clothes and textiles to make sure they don’t end up in landfill.

Somerset Waste Partnership is committed to making sure everything it collects that can be recycled, is recycled and recycled close to home. Last year more than 92% of Somerset’s recycling stayed in the UK, cutting the same carbon as taking 25,000 cars off the road (https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/slider/beyond-the-kerb/ )

But Coronavirus is making that impossible to guarantee, so kerbside textile recycling collections are being suspended until the situation improves.

Residents are encouraged to keep unwanted textiles – that are of good enough quality to be worn again – at home until they can be taken to charity shops or the SWP kerbside collections restart.

Posters and poles

A reminder that there is still time for children and adults to enter our poster competition and also still scope for anyone to adopt a pole.  Volunteers have so far extracted over 170 grams of metal from those adopted up to now but here are still some lonely poles in the village with plenty of staples and pins.  Posters (A4 size) should be sent to Sue Reece – either scanned and sent to suereece1@btinternet.com or left for collection at the village shop.

Cheddar Gorge road closed.

Avon and Somerset police have just announced that the road through Cheddar Gorge has been closed until further notice because of dangerous driving in this area.  We will let people know as and when things change.

Beware of ticks

Since increasing numbers of people are taking regular exercise by walking in the countryside it seems important to remind everyone of the potential danger caused by ticks, which some locals report are particularly abundant this year.  In a small number of cases a bite from a tick can cause a serious infection called Lyme Disease – to read about the symptoms and how to protect yourself click here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease/  The ticks wait on vegetation until an animal brushes past and they then move over the body to find a suitable place to attach; so as well as checking yourself do look out for ticks on children and pets.

Sue Reece (870618)  Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council

 

Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

As the recent run of good weather has come to an end it is perhaps appropriate to focus on activities for children and families to undertake while locked down.  Ellie Mains has put together a number of suggestions for fun activities, and some rather more serious suggestions about how to combat the worries and frustrations that some children may be experiencing as the pandemic continues.

Update for Families 28 April  Safe Ways To Deal With Angry Feelings

brain in the palm of the hand visual handout-compressed

InspiredAfterSchoolPhotographyClubGuide[1]-compressed

Look Again – FREE 7-day Mindful Photography Activities FINAL LR4

There is still time to enter our poster competition, or indeed to adopt a telegraph pole as we described in a previous update – only five have been adopted so far leaving plenty of choice.  To encourage those thinking about poster production we are attaching a copy of one sent in to us by John Barkle depicting one of Westbury’s more relaxed inhabitants.

Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

We are forwarding a further message from the Chair of the Parish Council thanking all residents for their cooperation with the social distancing regime and highlighting the work of the many volunteers who are helping to make this possible. 27.4.20 Westbury PC message copy2

A good illustration of the various ways people are supporting their community is the list of helplines and services that are available in the village – we are attaching an updated copy of this list for people to print out and keep handy. Helpline Summary 5 27.04.2020

In a previous email we urged individuals to ‘adopt a telegraph pole’ and help remove the unsightly collection of staples and pins that attach to them.  A prize will be awarded to the person who extracts the maximum weight of metal from an individual pole. We are pleased to say that four poles have so far been adopted and will now provide clean surfaces for entrants to our poster competition.  However, there are still some poles, such as the one outside the school, which offer a potential prize-winning opportunity.

Finally, those interested in Westbury Wildlife will be pleased to see that Peter Bright has uploaded to the website details of the latest butterfly of the week – the Holly Blue.  In future these will appear on Wednesdays to coincide with the start of the weeks on the butterfly recording sheets that many villagers are using. If you would like to help record the appearance of different species of butterfly throughout the year please contact Peter on  peterbright60@btinternet.com

Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher  (870531) on behalf of the parish council

Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Friendly Society Grant Support – for individuals and organisations

The big news is that the Westbury  Friendly Society is launching its own grant schemes to help individuals, families and organisations that in the short term cannot get adequate help from elsewhere.  The details of both will be available on the village website and updated as things develop.  Full details of the support scheme for individuals and families are also attached here. 2020 Fund Protocol and Guidelines – Individuals Final final

The Friendly Society has made money available from its own funds, anticipates getting further funding should it be needed from the parish council, and is in a position to bid for funding from public and private sources outside the village. It can therefore respond quickly as needed.

Telephone support for those concerned about financial issues

The listening line have agreed to extend their offer of confidential telephone support to people who have worries about their financial circumstances and might like to discuss where they can look for help including through the Friendly Society scheme.  We have recruited an extra team of three advisers with experience in these matters who can offer help: they are not financial advisers and are not able to provide  financial advice to individuals but can point people towards sources of support from government and private organisations.  If someone leaves a voice message or text on 07851 227855 one of our team will ring back.

Foodbanks.

Foodbanks are increasingly important in helping families cope with short term emergencies and there are ones available in both Wells and Cheddar.  Customers in the village shop have been very generous in providing donations which are sent to the Cheddar Foodbank.  Since individuals can no longer add items to the foodbank box while browsing in the shop it has been suggested that when ordering people might like to add a small sum for a donation.  Some have already started to do this, and have been very generous, but the foodbanks could always use more.  To contact the Wells Foodbank ring 07871 689958   Information about the Cheddar Foodbank can be found at https://cheddarvalley.foodbank.org.uk/  and they can be contacted on 07919 540803

Sources of Support

We are seeking to put together an accessible summary of information on sources of financial support for those facing financial issues.  A first draft of the summary is attached but this document will regularly be updated as more information comes to light and new initiatives are launched by government or other bodies.  If you register for updates from the village website you can be alerted when new versions of the document with more up to date information are posted.

Other Financial Support

Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher (870531)  on behalf of the parish council

Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Friday 24th April

Brighten up our telegraph poles

One visible reminder of the social opportunities currently not available to us is the sad state of our telegraph poles; instead of a range of posters advertising events in the village hall or on the playing field there is simply a jumble of rusting staples, pins and tacks.  Some time ago people were invited to adopt a pole and extract the disfiguring hardware and a small prize was offered for the one who removed the greatest weight of metal. If anyone is keen to do the same again, please let us know which pole you have cleaned, and the weight of metal and we will arrange a prize for the winner.

To further brighten up the village we are launching a competition for children to design posters on the theme of keeping us safe. Please see the poster inviting entries which is attached.   The posters will be displayed on the various telegraph poles and prizes will be awarded.  Please send your entry to Sue Reece  either as a scanned file or via the village shop.

POSTER (002)-compressed

A note from the church about the parish survey

We are pleased to pass on a note from Linda Mogford about the parish survey conducted by the church.

Firstly thanks to those people who returned the survey although unfortunately it had to be delivered just at the start of the Covid problems.
Now that we have received many of the surveys, which were sent to every house in the village, we have been able to compose the description of the village and its attitudes and aspirations for the Church in future which will be a part of the Profile document for applicants to the post of Vicar..
Everyone who responded was keen to keep the Church and a Vicar, even if they never go to Church. Many would like the building to be used more for events as well as services and to be available to all age groups. This information has become a part of the Profile document which will be sent to anyone who responds when the vacancy is advertised. The Profile document will have sections about Westbury, Easton and Priddy and a part on how the Benefice of three parishes works as a whole

Improvements to the Westbury Website.

Regular users of the Westbury Website will find a change that should make it easier to use as more items of interest are uploaded.  Items posted on the News page   (http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/news/ ) are now sorted into various categories so that, for example, anyone interested in Westbury Wildlife, can find all the news items on that topic placed together. As more use is made of the site further categories can be added; suggestions should be sent to Mark Smith at webadmin@westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk

Update from Somerset Councils

There is a link here  https://tinyurl.com/y7m3btf6 to a newsletter from Somerset County Council giving information on a number of initiatives including action on domestic abuse and funding for Somerset charities.  It also reports that local authority staff will be contacting another 70,000 potentially vulnerable people across the county to check that they are being supported and to advise where local groups might help.  If anyone gets such a call, they shouldn’t worry and should be encouraged to accept the help that is available.

Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council.

Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Until now Somerset has not been seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak, but the signs are that we are now beginning to catch up with the rest of the country.   It seems a good time therefore to summarise the information from NHS England about the symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you feel unwell.  The information in the attached sheet has been specially prepared for us by a qualified doctor and emphasises the need to self-isolate if it seems you might have the disease or have been exposed to someone who has.  We would remind everyone that we have sufficient volunteers available to ensure that anyone needing to self-isolate should have no need to leave the house other than for emergency medical attention.

COVID Advice if unwell at home_ (002)

As well as the physical consequences of the disease, self-isolation and anxiety about the illness and its consequences can give rise to mental health issues.  We are therefore also drawing attention to a helpful guidance note from the government on supporting children’s and young people’s mental health during the current crisis.   It is available here  https://tinyurl.com/tq8daw8  and we can make summaries available for those not on-line should they so request.

Coronavirus-Covid 19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

 

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Tuesday 21st April

There are two things in our update.

1. We are attaching a copy of the latest briefing document put out by Mendip District Council which includes information on grants to support businesses, fly tipping and several other matters. Of particular interest may be the request from the Council for people to be considerate to their neighbours and where possible avoid having bonfires. They point out that smoke can cause problems for anyone with respiratory conditions and the lockdown means that it is not so easy for people to go out for an hour or two to escape smoke. It is recognised that stopping the collection of garden waste may cause difficulties for some households, but the Council encourages people to consider composting as a more environmentally friendly solution to the disposal of green waste.

ISSUE 3 MDC Parish Briefing 18 042020 FINAL

2. There are many ways in which people are helping others deal with the pandemic and locally a small team led by Cathy Hancock have been making face masks. A report on their achievements to date is given below –

Our group, Mask Force Wells, has sewn and donated over 200 washable cotton masks so far. They have gone to shielded individuals, drivers, and a large home carer company in Somerset and Wiltshire. They were extremely grateful as official PPE is hard to come by and often runs out. We have helped Weston Super Mare set up a satellite group to make masks for their care homes too. By making these masks we hope we are helping to reduce demand on the official PPE which is desperately needed for frontline medical staff.

We are making these masks out of recycled materials as much as possible to reduce costs. We now need more fabric. We are recycling fine cotton fabrics from old shirts, skirts, sheets, pillow cases etc and also T shirts; also white sewing thread, interfacing and pipe cleaners are all needed. If anyone is able to donate any of these, please put in the plastic box in my front garden (you are welcome to knock on the door to say hello too!) It’s Cottage Farm, The Hollow. Many thanks to everyone who has already donated.

We donate these for free. Those who wish however can make a financial donation to Love Musgrove Covid 19 fund, which is buying equipment for patients and staff to make their job a bit easier, as well as offering ongoing counselling support to the staff, to help them cope in this gruelling new world they are working in. See https://www.lovemusgrove.org.uk/news-1/covid19 for info and how to donate.

Could I ask anyone who is dropping off completed masks to leave their name so I can contact them.

Finally, if anyone would like to sew for us, or to contact me please Email cottagefarm@hotmail.com. Cathy

3. Wildlife enthusiasts may have noticed that Peter Bright has started to publish Butterfly of the week on the Westbury Village Website (if you haven’t noticed it is here http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/butterfly-of-the-week-8th-april-2020/ ).

 

Sue Reece (870618) Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council

 

Coronavirus-Covid-19 : Community Support

 

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Saturday18th April

Anyone who has been out walking recently will have noticed the increased numbers taking their daily exercise around the village and taking advantage of the relative lack of traffic on our lanes. It seems a good time therefore to remind people of the Westbury Walk leaflets all of which are available in the village shop (50p each or 3 for £1, – additional notes for the village walk cost another £1). All the walks start and finish at the cross just next to the shop so no need to get in the car.

Austin Little, one of the authors of the series, has provided a helpful summary of some of the most accessible walks for those wishing for a change from their usual route indicating their length and a rough guide as to how far they involve stiles and gates. We have already put out guidance on keeping safe while walking in the countryside for those for whom it is relatively novel but as a reminder it is attached again here and it is still available on the village website.

Countryside_ 2

Walks that are relatively short are as follows

No 12 Lodge Hill: around 2.3 miles with 5 gates and 2 stiles

No 15 Ramspits: about 3.6 miles with 7 gates and 5 stiles

No 8 Hollybrook: a tiddler of around 2 miles but with 9 gates and 5 stiles

No 1 Millway / Broadway Hill – around 3 miles with 2 gates and 10 stiles

Once you get into longer walks, then the numbers of gates and stiles tend to rise, so that you have:

No 4 Priddy Veal Lane: about 5.5 miles with 12 gates and 8 stiles

No 10 Easton Levels: around 3.5 miles with 4 gates and 15 stiles

No 16 Ebbor Wood: again around 5.5 miles with 7 gates and 19 stiles

No 18 Barrow Wood Lane: about 6.5 miles with 13 gates and 9 stiles.

There is some ambiguity about whether one is permitted to take more than one walk per day and the National Police Chiefs’ Council have put out a helpful statement covering exercise and also other issues such as what might be seen as essential shopping. This seems to suggest a ‘common sense’ approach to what it is reasonable to do rather than a legalistic one and we are therefore attaching it for information.

What-constitutes-a-reasonable-excuse

Sue Reece (870618) Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council

Coronavirus-COVID-19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website   WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Friday 17th April

We have one big item in this update concerning the Village Shop and one late Easter surprise, mainly for younger children.
The new systems at the shop are bedding down and there are a few reminders about the collection and delivery services which the shop management would like to bring to your attention. A letter from the shop is set out below (in italics), and an updated description of ordering arrangements is attached (and is also on the Shop’s webpage).

Shop Ordering Info (issued 17th April)

A message from the Chairman of Westbury Community Shop

Good evening,
As another 3 weeks of social distancing and self-isolation are about to begin, the village volunteers have been busy helping out alongside the regular shop team. I would like publicly to thank all those who are working so hard in the shop and we are very grateful for the many letters of appreciation we have received.
For shop orders and prescriptions it would be really helpful to have as much notice as possible. We go once a week on Tuesdays to Tesco and later in the week on a Thursday to Boots Priory, but we are reluctant to put our volunteers at risk by going more often. Please don’t wait until the last minute to put in a repeat order, and do make sure that it is waiting and ready to be collected when we get there. Please don’t order too far in advance either as then the pharmacies won’t make up the prescriptions! We have had several trips when prescriptions were not ready, which is frustrating for the pharmacist, as well as the volunteer who we are aware we are asking to go into a risky situation.
The Village Shop and the volunteers are working hard to process orders as quickly as possible. By setting up an account you can have your order made up ready to collect, but please wait until you get a phone call before arriving at the shop in order to save waiting and to self- distance.
Our last shop update was the 28th March and we have refined the system since then; please look at the shop attachment and note our changes.
We look forward to seeing you at the Westbury Community Shop,
Simon Reece, Chairman

The village Easter Egg competition has now been judged and the talented winners have received their prizes. The standard of entry was very high and the runners up have also received a prize. Pictures of the winning eggs are available on the village website.
Although Easter is officially over Andy Jones from the Westbury Inn has kindly donated a box of crème eggs so that every child aged 12 or under in the village can have a late Easter surprise. Parents can collect eggs for their young ones from the village shop (no need to produce evidence of offspring – we trust you ) and when they are gone they are gone. It’s a nice gesture from Andy; and if you want an easy way to thank him you could do worse than order one of his excellent take away meals (see the website for the latest menu)

Sue Reece (870618) Mick Fletcher (870531)

Coronavirus-COVID-19 -Community Support

For this update and all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please see the dedicated Coronavirus page on the Parish Council website WsM Covid-19 webpage

Updates issued by Sue Reece (870618) and Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the parish council:

Thursday 16th April

As widely expected, the government announced that the ‘lockdown’ will continue for at least another three weeks. This means that the rules on social distancing and self-isolation will remain in force and the restrictions on movement will remain the same. The full transcript of the Foreign Secretary’s speech is here https://tinyurl.com/y8hvpc5r If anyone needs to remind themselves of the detailed advice they can find all our summaries and links on the Westbury parish council website http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/

We are fortunate in Westbury to have so many willing volunteers prepared to help their neighbours, and hope that no one will feel they are being a burden on the community by asking for assistance however trivial it may seem; sometimes a tiny thing can make a huge difference .

As the next few weeks progress, we are aware that self-isolation for whatever reason will become more difficult and we would stress that villagers should not hold back from asking for any help. We would also ask that you let us know of anyone who might be feeling lonely or under any stress at this time.

In our last update we alerted people to a new single helpline providing access to all the services provided by the County and District Councils in Somerset. We are attaching a poster describing the service. One Number Poster

Finally many people welcomed sight of the letter from Rev. Paula a couple of days ago and a number passed back questions about life in London at this difficult time. Her answers are attached. replies from Paula

Best wishes

Mick Fletcher

01749 870 531

Mobile 07958 217829 (out of the office only)