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

Cream-spotted tiger moth

A local, mostly southern species that usually flies at night but, as in this case, can be diurnal immediately after emergence. Second year running in our garden.

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

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 20.05.2020

Update 20.05.2020

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


Now that the lockdown arrangements are well established, we plan to reduce the frequency of these updates, unless of course there is a major change that people need to be aware of.  We expect to only put them out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so if you don’t get one on other days don’t think you have missed something.

The main item tonight is a reminder about the Friendly Society scheme of financial support  Financial Support Summary for families whose income has been hit by the pandemic.  This sets out how people can find out what support might be available and how to apply to the Friendly Society.  We are anxious that everyone in the community is aware of this initiative so would be grateful if local coordinators could bring it to the attention of those not on email: we will in addition be displaying it on parish noticeboards.

We advised in a previous update that bin collection services are back to normal;  you need to remember however that because of the Bank Holiday on Monday collections next week will all be one day later (as is normal for Bank Holidays)  It is also worth remembering that although the tips have reopened everything other than garden waste risks going to landfill so only take recyclables if you have no alternative.  See details at

As it is a Bank Holiday weekend coming up the AONB have issued guidance to visitors planning to come to the area, reminding them that facilities will be closed, parking limited, and social distancing rules required.  They are asking visitors to

  • Think carefully before deciding to come to the Mendip Hills.
  • Remember that all attractions, pubs, cafes, toilets and shops are shut.
  • Understand that this is a living, working area and that there is a need to respect farming and local communities.
  • Keep strictly to social distancing guidance and avoid walking near farm buildings and homes where possible.
  • Not stay overnight on open access land or in visitor car parks.

Government guidance on access to green spaces can be found here

Finally, being a Wednesday, Peter Bright’s ‘Butterfly of the Week’ has been posted on the village website.  It is the Red Admiral and you can find it here


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

Butterfly of the Week 20th May 2020


Red Admiral: This spectacular butterfly probably got its name from the ‘royal navy ensign colours’ of its wings rather than being a corruption of ‘admirable’ which it also undoubtedly is! It is a butterfly which traditionally did not survive British winters and so our butterflies came in several waves of immigration – first from North Africa and Southern Europe, then from Spain and Portugal and lastly from Eastern Europe. The offspring of the butterflies that came to the UK do, to some extent, head back south again. The variable numbers of this butterfly in the UK each year reflects the size of these several immigrations. With milder winters it may be that there will be some homegrown butterflies as they can be seen flying in any month of the year. Unlike Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells, they do not go into proper winter torpor for hibernation. It maybe that caterpillars and pupae can also survive our winters in increasing numbers, which provide some of the early butterflies seen in March and April. The main food plant is stinging nettle and eggs are laid singly on the top surfaces of suitable nettle leaves. The caterpillar constructs a tent out of the leaf so remains hidden for its whole life. New tents are made as it grows and finally forms the pupa inside a tent made from a folded nettle leaf. Do try looking for them on nettles. There are no distinct generations with so many immigrants coming in widely variable numbers throughout the summer, but all the life stages can be found in most months of the year. In autumn they can be seen feeding up on the sugars in ivy flowers or rotting fruits before heading south. There is considerable interest in just how much they are now overwintering in the UK successfully, so records in December and January would be particularly interesting.

Photos   John Ball    Robert Maxwell Wood

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   



Coronavirus Community Support – Update 15.05.2020

Update 15.05.2020

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


There are only two items in our update tonight.  There is a short message from the Chair of the Parish Council, thanking those residents who are simply being good neighbours as well as those who have volunteered for specific tasks: Westbury PC chair’s message May 15 copy (002)

and a slightly revised Countryside Code being issued by the AONB in the light of the coronavirus crisis.  As more people are now allowed to drive into the countryside to take exercise we can expect to see more people on some of our favourite walks around the outskirts of the village.   The revised code reflects the need to stay safe as well as respect the rural environment.

Alternative Corona Countryside Code poster v3 (002)


Have a good (and safe) weekend


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

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 13.05.2020

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

Update 13.05.2020

Clap for carers

Many people in the village join in with the ‘clap for key workers’ on Thursday evenings but what do the workers themselves think.  We print below a personal response from one village resident whose work is on the front line.

This is just a quick note to say thanks to everyone for joining in with the Thursday clap for Key Workers. It really helps to give us a lift in these challenging times. 

I drove a patient into the Royal United Hospital last Thursday as the time was approaching 8pm and we had a standing clapping noisy ovation for the journey through Bath which literally brought tears to our eyes – fantastic.

It is so great to know that our efforts are appreciated in these difficult times.

For your information all hospitals in our area are running well and have lots of space and capacity. A+E attendances are low along with 999 call outs. If you are ill and feel you need to visit a hospital, please try not to worry and either attend or call 999 if needed as you would before this outbreak. 

All ambulance crews wear fresh PPE for every call out and Patients with Covid concerns are placed in separate areas of the hospital, so the chances of transmission are as low as possible. So, if you need medical help please seek it.

Thanks again for all the support.

Paul Wylie, Lead Paramedic – Glastonbury Ambulance Station and Westbury-sub-Mendip Resident 


Another way people in the village have been supporting front line staff is by making masks.  Cathy Hancock and her team have now supplied 500 facemasks both to care home staff and local residents – they are available for free in the village shop (maximum two per household, donations appreciated)  The government has come round to recommending the use of face masks in enclosed public spaces ( see ) but emphasises that they are not a substitute for hand washing, social distancing etc., should not be worn for prolonged periods and should be carefully washed after use.

If you would like to help, Cathy is looking for donations of clean unwanted T shirts, men’s cotton shirts or cotton dress fabric.  Leave them in the box in her front garden at Cottage Farm,  the Hollow.

Spending time outdoors

There is also revised guidance from the government on spending time outdoors which you can find here As well as being able to spend an unlimited time outdoors people are also now free to drive to other places for the purpose of recreation. While this will be welcome, we should remember that social distancing rules are unchanged, and that the freedom to travel may bring more people from outside into the Mendips making distancing harder.

Butterfly of the week

Finally, when spending time outdoors, people may want to identify some of the butterflies that appear to be particularly abundant this year.  Peter Bright’s butterfly of the week posted on the village website is the Brimstone.  Find it, together with all previous examples, here

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