For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page of the Westbury Website http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/category/covid-19/
Mick and I were hoping that a third lockdown would not happen, but obviously the new strain of Covid 19 has proved a real problem.
This time may be much more difficult, with dark evenings and colder weather, the worries of rising numbers, and for some the lack of knowledge of when they might be offered their first injection.
Our help lines are still in place, and the shop again will provide a great service as you will see from our update below.
However, if you do feel you need to speak to someone, or need support please contact one of us -any correspondence will be treated in confidence.
Best wishes and stay safe
New Covid-19 Restrictions.
Last night the Prime Minister announced new restrictions in response to the Covid 19 pandemic with immediate effect. The speech can be read here. The major change for those areas like Somerset moving from tier 4 to tier 5 will be the closure of schools and colleges for all except vulnerable children and the children of key workers. The overriding message is still that people should stay at home unless they have a compelling reason to leave. A full description of the restrictions is available here.
Services in Westbury Church
We have received a message from Linda Mogford about the use of the Church, which is set out below. Although the message was written before the most recent announcement it remains just as relevant.
“Since the Prime Minister’s announcement on 30th December I have been considering the position of St Lawrence Church. Having consulted various people, I have decided to close the Church.
Although we have all the prevention requirements in place, we are advised to stay at home and not expose ourselves to unnecessary risk. We need to safeguard our congregation in these difficult times and with an increasing rate of infection in the Somerset, Wells and Mendip area services in Church will be suspended whilst we are in Tier 4. This decision has been taken with a heavy heart but we need to be sensible and to prevent the spread of infection in any way we can. Special arrangements may be made for funerals and burials.
We will continue to send the weekly services via e-mail to those who would like them and there are the services from Wells Cathedral via YouTube as before, plus those from the BBC.
Please be assured we look forward to being able to reinstate services as soon as the current situation improves.
This year we have decided to leave the church flood lights on for a further month as a symbol of hope in these dark days.
Let us hope for a New Year when we can worship together safely and happily
Linda Mogford [ Churchwarden]
The community shop and village helplines
The announcement of a stricter lockdown may have left some people feeling more anxious and some may feel more reluctant to leave home even for legitimate reasons such as shopping. Please remember that all the village helplines are still in place, the pub is still able to deliver take-aways (the menu here still applies) and it is still possible to order provisions in advance from the village shop and have them delivered. A copy of the poster summarising helplines is here
The Community Shop and Post Office have sent the following message
We remain open as before during ‘lockdown 3’. Customers who are shielding/isolating can email or phone orders to the shop.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 01749 870296
Orders for fresh produce:
Bread, milk, dairy: before 1 pm for next day.
Hector’s meat: Before 10 am Wednesday for Thursday.
Thorners of Somerset: 10 am Tuesday for Thursday.
Seagers: 2 pm Monday/Wednesday for delivery Tuesday/Thursday.
We will do our best to supply all other groceries (if available) the day after the order is placed. Orders can be collected from the shop or we can arrange delivery if required.
We would welcome extra volunteer help in the shop with deliveries and back room admin etc during the next few weeks. Please contact the shop if you can help.
Ken Banwell – Funeral Arrangements.
Many in the village will by now have heard about the death of Ken Banwell and may have been informed by the family about the arrangements for the funeral. Sadly, the current restrictions mean that the service will need to be a much more private affair than would have been normal for someone with such deep and wide local connections as Ken. We are setting out below the full text of government guidance on the conduct of funerals in tier 5 areas and must leave to Mary and Angela the difficult task of determining who can be present in the church or churchyard.
“Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.”
Several people have asked whether it might be appropriate to show their respects by standing in silence as the cortege passes. Sadly, the regulations for Tiers 4 and 5 are clear that everyone should stay at home unless they have a specific reason not to be. They state
“If you live in Tier 4 [ or above] you must not leave or be outside of your home or garden except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’”
Unfortunately, the list of ‘reasonable excuses’, which can be accessed here, does not include such demonstrations of respect. Instead, it is suggested that people might donate on-line to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance or the British Heart Foundation.
Answers to the Xmas Quiz
The answers to the fiendish Xmas Quiz are here Congratulations to anyone who got over 50%.
Sue Reece (870618) Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the Parish Council