Coronavirus Community Support – Update 25.05.2020

For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page of the Westbury Website

Update 25.05.2020

Tonight we are focussing on one big issue, have a further item for information and a couple of lighter ones.

Domestic abuse.

One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic has been an increase in cases of domestic abuse and increased difficulty for those abused to escape to safety. For this reason, we are providing access to documents with information relevant not only to victims but to friends and neighbours who may suspect that abuse is happening and a range of professionals who may encounter instances of abuse in different contexts.  Information can be accessed here and also from the Newsletter which was published by the Safer Somerset Partnership.

Temporary stop to new admissions at Weston Hospital

People may have heard on social media that Weston Hospital has stopped taking new admissions from 8.00pm tonight because of an increased number of patients with Covid-19.  This includes A&E services. A statement put out by the hospital, which sets out alternative arrangements, can be accessed here.


Take away menu from the Westbury Inn

After a week’s break Andy and the team at the pub are back with a new menu.  Check the village website for details or contact Peter Bright (870640) to be put on his direct mailing list.


Poem of the week

Since it is a Monday we are putting out our regular ‘poem of the week’.  To encourage those who might want to compose a poem but have difficulty starting Andrew Buchanan has suggested that people might try to compose a ‘Cinquaine’ –  a five line poem written to a specific format.

Look around you and write down a favourite thing you can see

Use one word to name it; Use two words to describe it; Use three words to tell what it is doing; Use four words to tell how you feel about it; Use one word to wrap up your experience.


Here is his example:


Standing there

Waiting for action

Lockdown keeps it idle




Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher  (870531)   on behalf of the Parish Council

Westbury Inn Takeaway menu for week Monday 25th to Sunday 31st May

2020.5.25 Takeaway Menu PLB version

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 22.05.2020

For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page

Testing for Covid-19

The major item in tonight’s update concerns testing.  The government has announced that anyone displaying the symptoms of Covid-19 can apply for a test but warns that testing centres will be very busy.

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; and now also a loss of or change in your normal sense of smell or taste can book a test by visiting

A link to the full government press release is here

And there is also a useful ‘Which?’ report describing in simple terms  the sorts of tests that are available and whether you should spend money on ones being offered commercially – in general it suggests that you should not.  You can read the whole report here

School Update

The local primary school has shared with us the following message which reflects the advice they have already given to parents.  Those in the wider community are asked to help the school by avoiding the area around the school entrances at pick up and drop off times when it reopens to allow for effective and safe social distancing.  We will let people know when a final decision on opening is taken.

It is not clear yet whether schools will be opening on June 1st, but in line with Government guidance The Federation of Priddy and St Lawrence’s has made plans to reopen for selected year groups if asked to do so. Both sites will be open for different year groups, with plans in place to significantly lower risks through hygiene measures and social distancing. 

The school minibus will not be running, and parents will not be allowed into the playground, so will need to wait outside the school sites when dropping off or collecting children. 

If schools open on June 1st, the wider community can help by avoiding the area whenever possible during pick-up and drop-off times, enabling parents to do the school run safely. In particular the area around St Lawrence’s has limited parking and limited pavement space for the required 2m social distancing, so it would help if traffic can avoid School Hill where possible during these times. 

Times to avoid the area around the school: 

St Lawrence’s – 8.45am – 9.25am for drop-off; 2.35 – 3.15 for pick up


Bank Holiday Shop Hours

Finally, a reminder that Monday is a Bank Holiday and the shop will be offering a reduced service. The shop will open 9.00 – 11.00, the post Office will be closed, and there will be no collections other than for regular orders.


Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher  (870531)   on behalf of the Parish Council

Westbury Inn Takeaway Menu

Andy and Ann-Marie are having a well deserved week off providing Takeaway meals.  They will start again on Monday 25th May.  The menu will probably be posted on Sunday 24th May and circulated to the Westbury Inn diners email list as usual.  If you want to be included on this circulation list contact

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 18.05.2020

Update 18.05.2020

For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page


New Covid-19 symptoms

We hope that everyone is enjoying the fine weather and the slight easing of restrictions on movement.  There are no major developments to report but everyone needs to be aware of the extra symptoms of Covid-19 which indicate that you and your household should immediately self—isolate.  They are the loss of, or change in, your sense of smell and taste. Updated guidance on staying safe is here


The guidance reiterates the continuing relevance of basic hygiene and social distancing in keeping the infection rate down.  Some may have seen press reports that the South West now has one of the highest reproduction rates (the ‘R’ number) in the country.  According to Public Health England this simply reflects the fact that the spread of the virus into  this region was some two weeks behind London (see )



Since an increased number of people are wearing facemasks, we thought it important to set out the following extract from the guidance that relates to when and how they should be used

If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops.

Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.

Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste – anosmia), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.

It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.

You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose.


One small step back towards normality is that recycling and waste services are operating.  Although the information on collection dates on the Mendip web site may still be unreliable, the kerbside collections of rubbish and recycling are operating as before, and the new garden waste collection is operating here on Mondays.  The recycling centres are open and in our experience working smoothly (though check here for details as there are different days for odd and even number plates ) and staff are not allowed to help you lift material.  Garden centres are also said to be operating safe systems though progress can be slow at busy times.


Financial Support

The economic impact of the pandemic continues to bite and it would be good if everyone was aware of the financial support scheme put in place by the Friendly Society for people whose income has been hit by Covid-19.  Details of the scheme are available on the village website here

There is also a very useful summary of all the sources of support for people who have difficulty covering their outgoings because of the virus.   Find out more here .


If you do not have internet access leave a message on the Listening line 07851 227855 (anonymously if you prefer) and someone will ring back and talk you through it.


Poem of the week

Finally our poem of the week is a parody of John Masefield’s ’Cargoes’ set in the time of coronavirus. Cargoes   



Butterfly of the Week 13th May 2020



Brimstone: That this butterfly is the origin of the word ‘butter-fly’ with its abundance and colour, flying early in the year, is a lovely story. Brimstones over-winter as adults in woodland and hedgerow places such as amongst ivy. They can appear at any time in January or February flying on warm sunny days but will inevitably return to hibernation. They emerge properly in late March and April and will wander widely in search of mates, and for the females, in search of purging buckthorn around Westbury and alder buckthorn in parts of the country with more acidic soils. The males are bright yellow and unmistakeable, while the females are a much paler greenish cream colour – resembling large whites in colour and size. However, once they settle, with wings always closed, the lack of black wingtips and the pointed shape of the wings make them easy to recognise. Having found a suitable buckthorn shrub, the female will flutter around until exactly the right places have been found and then lay one egg in each of them. These eggs hatch to produce a green caterpillar which can be found quite easily by looking closely at the leaves of a buckthorn bush. The pupa is formed on the underside of a leaf and has the appearance of a folded leaf. By the end of June the adults that flew in April and May will have died and during July and August the new generation of adults will have emerged from their pupae and will be feeding up on nectar from flowers, often purple or blue, such as knapweed and buddleia, before going into hibernation for the winter. There is just this one generation a year.

Photos Peter Bright

Westbury Inn Takeaway menu for week Monday 11th to Sunday 17th May

2020.5.11 Takeaway Menu PLB version

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

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

We have two attachments.  One concerns VE day and gives further details of activities on Friday 8th May that Mendip District Council is urging local residents to join in with. The activities are of course all home based because the social distancing rules will not allow public meetings. Mendip VE day

The 8th May is a Bank Holiday this year but in case anyone was wondering it will not affect bin collections the following week.

The other attachment gives details of services offered by Somerset Library Service that anyone can sign up for – you don’t have to be a current member of the library as you can sign in online.  The message from the Library Service also confirms that no one will incur a fine if the lockdown has prevented them returning a book in time. Somerset libraries

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


Westbury Butterfly of the Week 29th April 2020


Green-veined white: It looks like a cabbage white but isn’t. They over winter as pupae which emerge in April and lay their eggs on wild relatives of cabbages – garlic mustard, charlock, lady’s smock and other wild brassicas. In gardens they may use nasturtiums and Alyssums. The offspring of the butterflies flying now emerge in July or August and their offspring, in turn, will become the overwintering pupae. The butterfly is the size of a small white but on the upper side of the forewings the black on the wing tip goes round the point of the wing. In the small white it is only on the front edge. The underside of the hind wing has veins heavily dusted with black and yellow scales giving the ‘green veins’ in its name. Compared to the ‘cabbage whites’ both large and small, they are much more commonly seen out in the wider countryside though they do pass through gardens on their wanderings. The whites seen on the top of Mendip are more LIKELY to be green-veined whites whereas in your garden cabbage patch, it is the other way round. See Butterflies of the Week for 6th May.

Photos John Ball   Peter Bright