Coronavirus Community Support – Update 30.11.2020

 

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/

 

Covid and self-isolation

There are no changes to government guidance since our last update but we thought that some people might welcome clarification of the rules around self-isolation in cases where someone in a household tests positive. This poster sets out in a simple chart what members of such a household need to do whether or not they show symptoms.

 

Brighten up Xmas.

The socially distanced Halloween, which saw family groups out looking for pumpkin lanterns and other displays, has prompted several locals to think about how something similar might be arranged at Xmas. There seems to be a lot of support for the idea that people should be encouraged put up a display to be viewed from outside – as simple or complicated as they want to be.  One interesting idea is based around an advent calendar theme.  Those wanting to take part can ask for a number (1 – 24 ) from the village shop and are asked to incorporate that number in their display. Further information  from Alex Fraser  ( alexandmark49@gmail.com )

Xmas recycling dates

Those wishing to think ahead may be interested in this summary of collection dates from Somerset Waste Partnership.  It also contains a handy summary of what can be recycled.  If you are really keen you can also find out how you can download collection timetables to your phone.

Tree Group Success

The Parish Council Tree Group has been successful in a bid to the Tree Council to fund the planting of 150 native trees to replace the dying ash trees in the Lynchcombe nature reserve.  The project sees the parish working with the AONB and the Wildlife Trust to increase biodiversity and secure tree cover in an area that is important for woodland species such as early purple orchids.  The planting will probably take place in January – for further details about the tree group contact Buffy Fletcher (buffyfletcher@hotmail.com )

The answers to that quiz.

Finally, here are the answers to the book quiz which was circulated two weeks ago.

 

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

 

 

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 28.11.2020

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/

 

Somerset in in tier 2

We shouldn’t have made any assumptions when preparing the last update earlier this week.  Somerset has been placed in tier two – only Cornwall, Scilly and the Isle of Wight are in the lowest tier 1. The new arrangements are as follows

From 2nd December regardless of tier

  • the stay at home requirement will end, with travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier
  • shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen
  • collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume
  • people will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces –  the rule of 6 will now apply outdoors as it did in the previous set of tiers

 

There are then different rules for different tiers. A poster summarising the rules applying in tier 2 areas can be downloaded  here. We will be arranging for copies to be printed and placed on notice boards.

One difference from the current national lockdown is that bars and restaurants will be allowed to open if they serve substantial meals; however see the latest news from the Westbury Inn

Westbury Church has indicated that there will be no change to the arrangements already announced for December.

The Village Hall may be available for limited activities after December 2nd but please check with Peter Bright (870640) as the specific guidance on community facilities has not yet been updated.

 

Xmas bubbles

Many people will be trying to work out what arrangements they might make over the Xmas period and the government has now published the rules on what people are allowed to do. The fact that something is allowed does not of course mean that it is necessarily safe and people need to make their own decisions in the light of family circumstances; the elderly and those with underlying health conditions need to take extra care. The full details of what is allowed are set out here but the headlines are

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
  • you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December.

A new scam.

We have had a report of a very plausible scam affecting a local resident, which was fortunately averted by prompt action by bank staff and the local police.  The police have asked for information about this scam to be circulated as there are features people need to be aware of.  Please read the account here – there is no need to be alarmed as long as you remember a couple of simple rules; don’t respond under pressure; don’t give out personal or financial details unless you are quite certain the request is genuine; and be very careful when telephoning after a suspicious call – scammers can secretly stay connected for up to 15 minutes and intercept outgoing calls so it is best to use a different phone.

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

Scam warnings – genuine or hoax?

Recently we’ve seen a couple of warnings about delivery scams which people were sent by friends. One is genuine, the other a hoax, and yet they look fairly similar.

PDS                                                                                   DPD

Because it’s been sent to you by a friend, you can’t do the usual checks on the email address, weblinks, spelling and use of language. So how do you tell if a warning like this is real?

The first step is to check with the ActionFraud website:  www.actionfraud.police.uk You’ll find the banner below at the top of their page – click the magnifying glass symbol at the right-hand end to start a search.

If your search doesn’t show anything relevant, try one or more of the following to see what comes up:

  • Google search
  • Company website – if a company’s name is mentioned in the message
  • Snopes https://www.snopes.com/ – also useful for debunking conspiracy theories and urban myths
  • HoaxSlayer https://www.hoax-slayer.net/
  • If you’re still not sure, put a message in the Leave a Reply section below one of the Scam Alerts posts on the village website. We can then check and let you know what we find.

The DPD one is a genuine warning. and is on their company website:   https://www.dpd.co.uk/content/about_dpd/phishing.jsp

The PDS one is the hoax, an old one that’s been going around for 14 years.  The apparent endorsement by Royal Mail & Trading Standards Office is a clue – people use these to give their messages credibility. Another clue is that hoaxes often ask you to circulate to all your friends. Here is the ActionFraud page about it:   https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/hoax-email-from-pds-parcel-delivery-service

In fact, this was a genuine scam back in 2005, but because people reported it, it was stopped in early 2006 by the authorities. However, the warning is still being circulated by well-intentioned friends.

 

Does it matter if I circulate a hoax? There’s certainly the danger of ‘crying wolf’, so your friends might not take a genuine scam seriously. You’re also cluttering up their inboxes and social media feeds, and potentially making them worry unnecessarily.

Westbury Inn Update for 26th November 2020.

Please read the attached message from Andy Jones, the landlord, carefully. Thank you.

2020.11.24 Pub update version 3

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 24.11.2020

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/

 

Coronavirus news.

As was widely expected the Prime Minister has announced that the national lockdown will end on 2nd December as planned but be replaced by a new three tier system, with tier three being the most restrictive.  It is probable that Mendip will fall in tier one as the rate of infection here remains low but since the decision will also take into account the capacity of local health services that cannot be entirely guaranteed.  A decision on which areas fall in which tier is expected later this week.

The official guidance gives full details but in broad terms indicates

  1. The stay at home requirement will end, with domestic and international travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.
  2. Shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen.
  3. Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing.
  4. People will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces -the rule of 6 will now apply as it did in the previous set of tiers.

It is expected that there will be further relaxation allowed over the Xmas period but details are still awaited.

Ash Dieback.

The Parish Tree Group has prepared a summary of advice for landowners about ash dieback set out as a series of questions and answers. The overarching message is that if you have ash trees on your land close to a road or public footpath you need to keep an eye on their condition and take professional advice if there are signs of disease. The summary is available on the website here.

How to identify a real scam

As if keeping alert for possible scams is not enough there are also fake messages circulating from time to time that warn people to look out for scams that don’t exist. It is worrying but our scam buster in chief, Andrew Buchanan is publishing advice on the Westbury village website that helps you decide whether a threat is real.  To get his updates simply subscribe for alerts here.

Book Quiz.

To give people more time to complete the fiendish book quiz we are not publishing the answers until next week.  Does anyone claim to have done over 50% yet?

Lockdown poetry

We haven’t published a lockdown poem recently, focussing mainly on more serious matters, but this one seemed too good to miss.

 

I won’t arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
I’ll sanitise the doorknob and make a cup of tea.
Nor go down to the sea again – I won’t go out at all,
I’ll wander lonely as a cloud from kitchen to the hall.
There’s a green-eyed yellow idol to the north of Katmandu
But I shan’t be seeing him just yet and nor, I think, will you.
While dawn comes up like thunder on the road to Mandalay
I’ll make my bit of supper and eat it off a tray.
I shall not speed my bonnie boat across the sea to Skye
Or take the rolling English road from Birmingham to Rye.
About the woodland, just right now, I am not free to go
To see the Keep Out posters or the cherry hung with snow,
So no, I won’t be travelling much, within the realms of gold,
Or on to Milford Haven – all that’s been put on hold.
Give me your hands, I shan’t request, albeit we are friends
Nor come within a mile of you, until this trial ends.

 

 

 

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

Westbury-sub-Mendip Community shop AGM – 6pm tonight

A reminder for members that the 2020 AGM is online at 6pm this evening.

The link to join the Zoom meeting is in the email sent to all members on Saturday 14th November, along with the agenda and other documents.

 

 

Westbury Inn Takeaway menu for Thursday to Sunday 19th to 22nd November

2020.11.19 week beginning Takeaway Menu PLB version latest       Note that there are some small changes in the delivery protocols.

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 16.11.2020

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/

 

Coronavirus news.

There are no changes to the lockdown regulations to report this week and we remain one of the safest areas of the country. Thanks to everyone who is sticking to the rules, limiting contact and helping to keep it that way.  We are however not immune from the financial effects of the pandemic and the Friendly Society has asked us to put out a reminder about their financial support scheme for local people who are in urgent financial need because of COVID 19. Full details and an application form are available on the village website or you can request them from the Chairman of the Society by email at ts15abs@gmail.com or from Orchard Court, Wells Road, BA5 1EX.

Crochet and the R number

To see a nice illustration of the so-called ‘R’ number which indicates how quickly a disease can spread, watch this demonstration – using crochet!  It’s fun but makes a serious point.

New waste collection system.

A quick reminder that this is the week for general waste collection as well as recycling; if you miss Wednesday there will not be another until 9th December.  If they miss you, then you can report it on-line.

Book Quiz.

Finally, if you are fond of quizzes or just bored with being at home this quiz will help you pass many locked down hours.  Answers will be posted next week

 

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

Unsuccessful delivery scam

There are a number of “unsuccessful delivery” scams around at the moment, possibly driven by our increased use of online shopping and delivery services.

The green link below will show you an email which purports to be from Royal Mail. Fraudsters could, of course, pretend to be from any of the courier companies, so, if you’re not expecting a delivery, treat any email or text like this with caution.

2020.11.12 Royal mail scam_Redacted

Things which show this email is a scam:

  • Royal Mail usually put a card through your letterbox
  • The From: email address is clearly NOT Royal Mail
  • The Royal Mail delivery office is unlikely to have your email address

Other things to look out for are mis-spelt words and poor English – both absent from this email.

 

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 11.11.2020

 

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/

 

Coronavirus news.

In case you were wondering, you didn’t miss an update last Monday.  There was rather a lot of information put out last week and as the rules hadn’t changed since then we thought it best to give everyone a night off.  There are no changes to the rules this week either but some related village news worth passing on.

Letter from our District Councillor

We have been putting out a regular letter from the Chair of our Parish Council with information about local matters.  This week we are including a Letter from our District Councillor, Ros Wyke, who talks about COVID numbers in the South West and also about recycling.

New recycling and waste collection system.

This is the second week of the new recycling system. We are aware that in the first week a number of areas of the village were missed out, the reason given being that we are at the end of a long route and the lorries were full. Whatever the reason a missed collection can be a nuisance but we are pleased to report that when people have contacted the recycling team on-line, they have had a very prompt response.  Whether it is a missed collection or you need a new blue bag or whatever, you can make a request here.

Remember also that the next rubbish collections (ie the big bins as well as recycling boxes) will be next week – 18th November and then 9th December.

New pub takeaway menu.

A reminder that the takeaway menu from the Westbury Inn is changing weekly and details of the offer from 12th to 15th November are now available on the village website.

Ash Dieback

Awareness of ash dieback is growing in the area.  The Community Tree group has put information on its pages on the village website and will shortly be adding a list of frequently asked questions and answers.  The Somerset Wildlife Trust has an on-line zoom seminar on the subject Thursday and has commissioned a special film which will be shown on their YouTube channel on Friday this week; see details here

 

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