Council News 194
This week’s news from around the Council.
Codsall Community Hub
Councillor Brian Edwards MBE, the Leader of South Staffordshire Council, was joined by representatives from Russell House Primary Care Practice, Codsall Library and Seddon at a ground breaking event to mark the start of construction work on the Community Hub, which is expected to open in early 2022. You can see a photograph and find out more here.
- Council introduces COVID-19 Support Officers
South Staffordshire Council is recruiting a number of COVID-19 Support Officers to provide guidance and advice to members of the public and local businesses where there are actual or potential breaches of COVID-secure regulations and guidance. The first COVID-19 Support Officers will start work next week and they will focus on high risk areas, including around schools, to ensure local villages within South Staffordshire are COVID-secure. Whilst they themselves do not have any enforcement powers, they will be helping to remind people and businesses about the importance of ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and the need to wear face coverings, wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser, and to maintain a safe social distance. These measures are vital to ensure people feel safe and to slow the spread of coronavirus in the district.
- Local hotel closed for coronavirus breaches and reports of anti-social behaviour
This week, the Himley Country Hotel, School Road, Himley, on the outskirts of Dudley was ordered to close by Staffordshire County Council for coronavirus regulation breaches deemed to pose an imminent threat to public health. The hotel has been ordered to close for 28 days until Thursday 10 December 2020. You can read more about this story here. The same hotel was also issued with a temporary closure notice by South Staffordshire Council and Staffordshire Police using the powers available to them within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. You can read more about the story here.
- Staffordshire to take part in mass roll out of rapid COVID-19 testing
Staffordshire is to increase testing of residents in a bid to identify more cases, reduce the spread of infection and protect lives and livelihoods. The county is one of a number of local authorities to sign up for the roll out of the rapid turnaround lateral flow tests – which can give results in under and hour, without the need for laboratory processing. You can read more about this story here. COVID-19 testing is taking place in various locations throughout the district – please keep an eye on social media and the Council website for the latest information.
- Construction work to commence on new extension for Telling Architectural
Following on from last week’s good news that construction work will recommence to complete the expansion of the Four Ashes Enterprise Park on Monday 16 November 2020, further positive news to report is that construction work will also begin on the same day for another of the Council’s commercial development projects, the extension of Unit 4e Station Road on the wider Four Ashes Industrial Estate.
Unit 4e is already the Council’s largest single commercial unit and is home to the Head Office of Telling Architectural, a multi-national cladding company. Telling has seen significant growth in the business since moving into Unit 4e when the Council acquired the unit in 2016. The extension will allow them to continue growing their business at the same location without needing to move elsewhere. The extension is due to be completed in April 2021 and it will add a further 1275 sqm to the property. It means Telling can employ up to a further 25 people and this is excellent news at a time when the wider economy is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.
- COVID-19 update
The four-week ‘national restrictions’ lockdown in England from Thursday 5 November 2020 to Wednesday 2 December 2020 continues and information about the lockdown measures can be found here at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.
You may only leave your home for a limited set of reasons.
- For work which cannot be done from home.
- For education.
- For exercise outdoors or to visit an outdoor public place. This can be on your own or with members of your household or support bubble. Unlike the last lockdown in March, you can take unlimited exercise.
- For medical reasons.
- To shop for food and essentials.
- To visit members of your support bubble or to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
You must not meet socially indoors or in private gardens with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. However, individuals may meet one other person from another household outside in an outdoor public place such as a park or playground. Children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside.
Clinically vulnerable people are asked to be especially careful but people are not being asked to resume shielding (guidance for clinically vulnerable) and children can move between homes if their parents are separated.
- COVID-19 business update
During this national lockdown, pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops have had to close. On Thursday 12 November 2020, the Business Secretary the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP made a statement on the response to coronavirus and outlined levels of support for businesses and an update on the Kickstart Scheme and Vaccines Taskforce. Click here to view the statement.
Also yesterday, the Government published data showing the amount of funding that councils have received and distributed to support small and medium businesses in England during the coronavirus outbreak. This data covers three coronavirus grant schemes which closed in August 2020: the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF), the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund (RHLGF) and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF).
Understandably, many businesses are concerned about the second national lockdown. If your business has been required to close or has been severely impacted by the new restrictions in place from 5 November to 2 December 2020 you will be able to apply for a new grant scheme to assist businesses financially. We are awaiting further clarification on the new scheme and this will be published on our website shortly, along with an application form for the new grant scheme. This information is in the process of being updated.
If you wish to subscribe to direct emails from the Council regarding business advice and support, please email your name, business trading name and phone number to [email protected]
For the latest updates about council services, guidance and support, visit:
www.sstaffs.gov.uk or sign up to receive regular eAlert updates at
Other useful links:
- Information about face coverings.
- Information about meeting others safely.
- Information about what you can and can’t do.
- Leisure update
- Leisure Centres – The leisure centres in Cheslyn Hay, Codsall, Penkridge and Wombourne are now closed until the end of the national lockdown on Wednesday 2 December 2020. But take look online!
NEW – launch of online exercise classes
This week saw the launch of online live and on-demand exercise classes. As a thank you for their ongoing support this year, all members of the Council’s four leisure centres will receive free access to the online exercise classes until the end of the year. Members will receive a unique URL to access the online platform.
If you’re a non-member and would like to access the online exercise classes, you can access them here, and view the class timetable, book and pay for your classes. Non-members can access classes on a pay as you go basis at a cost of £4 per class. Or you can join as an online class member for just £12 per month. To join, simply complete the membership form and direct debit form and email your completed forms to [email protected]
- Baggeridge County Park – Both the park and play area remain open. However, a number of restrictions have been introduced. Please only visit the park on your own, with the people you live with or in your support bubble, or one person from another household. The car park is open but restricted to 100 cars at any one time and normal car parking charges apply. The children’s play area is open but restricted to 30 people at any one time. Play is limited to 30 minutes during busy times. Adults are encouraged to use the Test and Trace QR Code scanning and to wear a face mask when in the play area with their children. The tea shop is open (takeaway service only) and the toilets are open. Challenge Academy is closed.
- Vote for Baggeridge Country Park!
Since 1998, Baggeridge Country Park has been awarded Green Flag status, an award that recognises well-managed parks and green spaces across the UK and around the world. As a Green Flag winner, the park has been entered into the annual People’s Choice Award, where the public vote for their favourite park. During this challenging time, the park has remained open, thanks to the tireless work of the rangers and volunteers. Please consider voting for Baggeridge Country Park as your favourite Green Flag park – you can vote here. Voting closes on Wednesday 25 November 2020.
- Business webinars coming up
In partnership with Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, South Staffordshire Council is holding two free business webinars on Zoom in November.
- Bids and Tenders: The impacts of COVID-19.
Tuesday 17 November 2020, 2pm to 3pm.
This webinar will focus on what businesses need to do to increase their chances of winning bids and tenders in a COVID and post-COVID business environment, concluding with some top tips to ensure you maximise your chances of winning new business.
- Funding – What is new and how can you access it?
Tuesday 1 December 2020, 2pm to 3pm.
- NHS test and trace support payments
Applications for NHS Test and Trace support payments are open. People who have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self- isolate who on low incomes and unable to work from home can claim a support payment of £500 to compensate for their loss of earnings if they meet certain criteria. Local authorities are administering the payments for self-isolation and residents in South Staffordshire are now able to submit an application for this support and the application form is now live.
- Reminder to dispose of fireworks safely
South Staffordshire Council and Walsall Council issued a reminder to residents not to dispose of unused fireworks in their recycling bins following a fire in a recycling collection vehicle last Monday on the A461 Lichfield Road, Walsall. The Biffa vehicle had just finished its rounds collecting recycling waste from households in South Staffordshire and was on its way to a materials recovery facility when the fireworks ignited and caught fire in the back of the vehicle during the journey. Click here to read more and click here to see some pictures.
- Tree planting taking place at council cemeteries
South Staffordshire Council has been awarded 500 trees from the Woodland Trust through their free trees for schools and communities scheme. The tress will be planted over the coming weeks at Sytch Lane Cemetery in Wombourne and Strawberry Lane Cemetery in Great Wyrley.
The current COVID-19 restrictions have stopped our original plan to involve the wider community but the Council is working with local schools and groups from forest schools to set up planting events onsite. For more information, contact Ryan Taylor ([email protected]).
- Community safety – ditch the blade campaign
This week, Staffordshire Police is supporting a national week of crime prevention and education activity around knife crime. The #DitchTheBlade campaign encourages young people not to carry knives and to instead choose a different path for their lives, one without the risk of prison, serious injury or death. For more information on the campaign, or if you are worried about a child and think they are involved with knife crime visit:
- Help prevent suicide
#TalkSuicide is a new campaign developed by Staffordshire County Council working in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, local hospitals and NHS community services. The campaign aims to bring individuals, organisations and businesses together to help prevent suicide in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Find out more about the campaign here.
- Council job vacancies
- COVID-19 Support Officers – application information.
- Planning Officer (Grad/Assistant – Senior) – application information. Closing date 27 November 2020.
- Administrator (Environmental Health and Licensing), 12 month fixed term – application information. Closing date 27 November 2020.
- Next week’s Council Committee/Panel meetings
- Planning Committee – Tuesday 17 November 2020 – 6.30pm – virtual meeting via Teams.
Members of the public can virtually attend this meeting via Microsoft Teams – a link 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]