Council News 189
This week’s news from around the Council.
- Results – The MJ Awards
The results of this year’s MJ Achievement Awards were announced last week at a live virtual awards ceremony and the Council were Highly Commended in the Best Senior Leadership Team category, which is absolutely fantastic given the stiff competition. South Staffordshire Council was also shortlisted in the Best Commercial Council category. These awards recognise the very best in people, projects and practice across local government.
- i54 Bus Contract
The i54 bus contract with NX due to expire on 10 October will now expire on 30 October and there will be no direct replacement service available. The service was heavily subsidised since inception and despite the promotional activity and business support, the patronage figures were not sufficient to continue the service on a commercially viable basis. There are still services operating to the site but not through the site to Staffordshire. The services which run to the site from Wolverhampton will continue. These services will run to normal timetable and they are service numbers: 4, 6 and 25.
- Emergency Assistance Food and Supplies Grant – In these challenging times, do you know anyone who is struggling financially and would benefit from some support to purchase food or emergency supplies as they can receive funding towards food and essential supplies. Click here for more information.
- Police – Crime/Anti-Social Behaviour Statistics
Chief Inspector Dave Wain tweeted a thank you to the local community and partners for helping the neighbourhood policing team to cut crime and anti-social behaviour in South Staffordshire. See his tweet
- Planning Enforcement Team – Keeping on top of fly tipping and neighbour issues often gets a bad press despite the hard work of our planning enforcement officers. However, the determination of the Enforcement Team paid off recently when a landowner finally cleared a site which had caused issues for a local community in Great Wyrley since 2017. Click here to view the photographs.
- Street Scene Update – This week Rachel Porter has joined the team as our new Enviro Crime and Enforcement Officer. The Street Scene team are now responsible for the investigation and enforcement of breaches of environmental legislation across the district. In practice this includes fly tipping, abandoned vehicles, dog fouling and littering. Please note that our planning enforcement team are still responsible for investigating breaches of planning control, including unauthorised works, non-compliance with planning conditions, enforcement of tree preservation orders etc.
- Protect against flu
Every year, the annual NHS flu vaccination is available to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications. With COVID-19 still in circulation, it’s important that as many people as possible get vaccinated for flu this autumn to protect the most vulnerable and reduce the number of people needing flu treatment from the NHS. This year, the flu vaccination programme has been expanded and more people are eligible for free flu jabs. The flu can be a serious disease and by getting the vaccine, you will be protecting yourself as well as your loved ones. Visit the NHS website to find out more about the flu vaccine and visit your GP practice website or speak to your pharmacy about booking a flu vaccination. High street chemists and most of the leading supermarkets also offer the vaccination to any adult at varying costs.
- Quit smoking this Stoptober
Stopping smoking is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your health. It’s never too late to quit and this year’s Stoptober campaign features a range of information and support on quitting, including a free Stoptober App. The sooner you quit, the sooner you’ll notice changes to your body and the positive benefits that quitting smoking has on lung health. Many people try to quit smoking with willpower alone, but it’s much easier with the right help so take a look at the support that’s available and visit the NHS Better Health website for more information.
- COVID-19 update
Protect #South Staffordshire and help avoid a local lockdown
With the district now experiencing an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, please observe social distancing guidance and follow the rule of six to avoid a local lockdown. Remember to Wash hands, cover face, make space.
- Warning issued to act now as South Staffordshire cases rise rapidly. Click here for more information.
Information about face coverings – When to wear one, exemption cards, enforcement measures for failing to comply with the law, and how to make your own. In England, you must wear a face covering by law in a number of indoor settings and face coverings now need to be worn by staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality except when seated at a table to eat or drink. The penalty for failing to wear a face covering or breaking the rule of six is £200 for a first offence and there are fines of up to £10,000 for those who fail to self-isolate.
Information about meeting others safely – Social distancing, the rule of six, and COVID-Secure guidelines. The rule of six means that people cannot meet socially in groups of more than six people. This applies in any setting, indoors or outdoors but does not apply to schools and workplaces. COVID-Secure weddings and funerals are exempt and up to 15 people are able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions and up to 30 people can attend a funeral. Adult indoor team sports are no longer exempt and the planned return of spectators to large sporting events/venues and business conferences/exhibitions has been paused.
Information about what you can and can’t do – Frequently asked questions about social contact, visiting public places and taking part in activities, clinically vulnerable groups and clinically extremely vulnerable groups, and care homes, going to work and being COVID-19 Secure, workers’ rights, public transport, and schools and childcare.
Information about NHS test and trace – The NHS test and trace service is a vital tool and helps control the spread of coronavirus. To get a test, you will need to apply online or call 119 and the test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be asked where you’ve been recently and who you have been in close contact with. This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you. All information you provide is confidential and no one who is contacted will be told your identity. Anyone you’ve been in close contact with will be told to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.
Information about the NHS COVID-19 app – This app is an integral part of the test and trace programme and is the fastest way of knowing when you are at risk from coronavirus. It is available to download on smartphones from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
What the app does:
- It alerts you if you’ve been near other app users who have tested positive or coronavirus.
- Lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district.
- Alerts you if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus.
- Provides a checklist of coronavirus symptoms to see if you need to order a free test.
- Helps you book a test and get your result quickly.
- If you need to self-isolate, it keeps track of your self-isolation countdown and provides relevant advice.
The app includes a QR Code tool that scans QR Codes on posters that businesses have been asked to add to their premises, making the process of data collection easier for both customers and businesses. Customers simply scan the code with their smartphone, and this registers their visit. It means that anyone using the premises can be contacted in the event of a coronavirus outbreak and will help contact tracing efforts.
Information about self-isolation support schemes – Local authorities are administering payments for self-isolation to people who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria. Information about South Staffordshire Council’s test and trace support payment scheme is now available on the Council’s website. The application process will be live from 12 October and the form will be on our website. Anyone unable to access the online application form can request a call back and the application can be taken over the telephone.
- Coronavirus support and advice for businesses
- Business webinar next week – Run in partnership with Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, the Council’s next business webinar will take place on Tuesday 13 October 2020 at 2pm. The subject of the webinar is ‘Selecting Your Marketing Mix – For Business Revival’ and this interactive session will guide you through your marketing strategy. Register here for the webinar.
- Free resources in Council’s business toolkit – Posters about face coverings, hand sanitisers and social distancing can be found in the Council’s online bank of resources on its website. Businesses can download and print the posters and signs free of charge and display them in their place of business.
- South Staffordshire Community Lottery – £2,000 Winner
Each week the Lottery gives supporters the chance of winning cash prizes ranging from £25 up to a £25,000 jackpot! Last Saturday, one lucky supporter scooped £2,000 when they matched 5 numbers in a row! The lottery has now made 288 cash winners and given away just over £16,500 in cash prizes. Play today from as little as £1 a week to be in with the chance of winning £25, £250, £2,000 or the £25,000 jackpot. Play today at www.southstaffslottery.co.uk
- Refer a Good Cause and receive FREE lottery plays!
Are you connected to a local sports club, PTA, charity or community group that supports South Staffordshire’s residents? Are they looking for new ways to generate income? Why not tell them about the South Staffordshire Community Lottery! It’s a FREE online platform that can give them a sustainable means of generating income at a time when traditional fund raising activities can’t take place. Signpost them today to www.southstaffslottery.co.uk today. When referring a good cause, email Niki Taylor at [email protected] with the name of the good cause. If they register you will receive 2 FREE lottery tickets for 2 weekly draws!
- Urban Tree Challenge Fund – The council has recently been successful in our application to the Urban Tree Challenge fund for funding to plant 1,500 trees across the following council owned sites:-
- Jubilee Wood, Bilbrook
- Open space off St Andrews Drive, Perton
- Strawberry Lane Cemetery, Great Wyrley
In monetary terms, the grant comes to £1,725 to cover purchase of stock and maintenance of the tree and we shall be making plans to work with our friends groups, parish councils, and volunteers to plant these trees over the coming winter. If you have any questions or would like to get involved in this project, please contact Ryan Taylor on [email protected]
- Council job vacancies
- Benefit Assessment Officer – application information.
Closing date – 9 October 2020.
- Street Scene Operative – Level 3 (Arboriculturist) – application information.
Closing date – 19 October 2020.
- Next week’s Council Committee/Panel meetings
- Member Engagement and Training Group – Tuesday 13 October 2020 – 4.30pm – virtual meeting on Teams
- Member Briefing Session re RPP – Tuesday 13 October 2020 – 6.00pm – virtual meeting on Teams
- Personal Development Review and Appointments Panel – Wednesday 14 October 2020 – 10.00am – virtual meeting on Teams
- Special Council – Wednesday 14 October 2020 – 5.30pm – virtual meeting on Teams
- Licensing and Regulatory Committee – Thursday15 October 2020 – 2.30 pm – virtual meeting on Teams
Members of the public can virtually attend these meetings via Microsoft Teams – links can be found in the news section on the Council’s website at www.sstaffs.gov.uk.
Everyone is encouraged to submit news items, please email: [email protected]