Council News 200
This week’s news from around the Council.
- COVID 19
Following the latest announcement and the third national lockdown for England starting on Tuesday 5th January 2021 and information on the new national restrictions can be found here:
During the national lockdown, pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will have to close, Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Everyone must stay at home and may only leave for a limited set of reasons and there will be a ban on meeting anyone from outside your household indoors unless they are part of a support bubble.
Under the new lockdown restrictions, everyone must stay at home and must not meet socially indoors or in private gardens with family or friends unless they are part of their household or support bubble. Clinically vulnerable people are once again being asked to Shield, and children can move between homes if their parents are separated.
You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubbleor childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible
Businesses and venues which must close
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
- non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
- hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
- accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
- leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
- animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
- indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
- community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services
Businesses that can remain open include food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services. Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect shopping. Construction sites and manufacturing workplaces can remain open and hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes. A number of public services will also stay open including the NHS and medical services like GPs, Jobcentre Plus sites, Courts and Civil Registrations Offices
Places of worship will be open for services, Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.
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 COVID-19 links
- Information about COVID-19.
- Information about face coverings.
- Information about meeting others safely.
- Information about making a support bubble with another household.
- Guidance on making a childcare bubble with another household.
- Information about what you can and can’t do.
- Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable.
- Guidance on visiting care home residents.
- Information about the financial help for businesses during COVID-19.
- Discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant and Local Restrictions Support Grant.
- Community Hub
This week’s update about the Community Hub contains building news and a selection of photos.
- Scam Alert – warning over text message claiming to be from the NHS
Please watch out for a text message claiming to be from the NHS, which says you are eligible to apply for a vaccine and includes a link asking you to click through to apply. Click here for more information.
- Leisure Staff assist with waste collection
Due to the latest national lockdown our leisure facilities have had to unfortunately close once again. However, Leisure Services staff have still been busy and this week members of the team attended training delivered by Biffa (our waste contractor) to enable them to operate as loaders and assist Biffa with the collection of domestic waste around the district.
Due to the poor weather and impact of Covid-19 Biffa have suffered operation delays. Leisure Services staff came forward to support a challenging role and something that is very different to their day jobs. They all passed the induction and test and are now able to support Biffa where needed. The team all discovered that loading the bins onto the back of the vehicle is trickier than it looks but have all really enjoyed learning new skills and are looking forward to supporting the Council and Biffa in keeping services going for residents during the current challenging conditions. Click here to see Emily Langford pictured during training.
The staff involved were Jane Turner, Rob Sharratt, Laura Carnell, Sinead Ryan, Lee Hodgkinson, Matt How, Emily Langford (pictured) and Mark Moore – well done everyone!
- Online Classes January Offer: £6 PER MONTH
Join our online exercise class membership in January for just £6 for your first month.
The online classes give you access to a range of 25 classes per week which are for all abilities and tailored to make sure they can be done in small spaces with minimal and no equipment required. The online class membership is £12 per month but if you join in January, you’ll receive your first month at half price.
Don’t let coronavirus stop you from getting fitter and healthier this year. Take control and sign up TODAY. Click here for more information.
- Changing Lives Through Childcare
This FREE national webinar on 9 February 2021 at 9:30am- 12:30pm provides family-facing professionals with the knowledge and strategies useful for promoting the benefits of the two-year old entitlement to 15 hours early learning. Click here for more information.
- Parent and Carer Forum Events – January 2020
Do you have a child with a special need or a disability? Would you like to be involved in Council decisions and share your thoughts on processes that involve your children? Click here for more information.
- New Tenant moves into Jubilee House
We are delighted to welcome new tenant, Executive Corporations, to Jubilee House. This move takes Jubilee House to 100% occupancy. In total, Jubilee House now contributes just over £33,500 per annum into the Council’s MTFS.
- Lucky Lottery supporters Scoop Boxing Day and New Year Prize
We are delighted to congratulate two lucky lottery supporters who each scooped £250 in the Boxing Day and first draw of 2021. As of 4 January 2021, a total 141,169 tickets have been bought, which has generated just over £84,500 for good causes, charities and community groups in South Staffordshire. As the traditional means of fund raising has been paused, this online Community Lottery continues to provide a vital fund-raising lifeline. If you know of a community group, school PTA, charity, sports club or good cause that would like to benefit from this free fund raising opportunity, please encourage them to register as a good cause at southstaffslottery.co.uk
- Next week’s Committee/Panel meetings
- Standards & Resources Committee – Thursday 14 January 2021 – 2:30 pm – 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.
- Council job vacancies
- Corporate Director Resource, Corporate Resources, closing 10 January 2021 – application information
- Senior Planning Officer, Development Management, closing 5pm on 19 January 2021 – application information
- Housing Strategy Officer (Maternity Cover), Strategic Planning, closing 5pm on 19 January 2021 – application information
Everyone is encouraged to submit news items, please email: [email protected]