Council News 211
This week’s news from around the Council.
- One-year anniversary of the first lockdown
Tuesday 23 March 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown. A time of reflection, sadness, and much loss, but also a time to look to the future. The Covid-19 virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, however, we can all do our bit to stop the spread, protect our loved ones and support our communities. There is light at the end of this long tunnel, but only if we stick to the rules.
- Covid-19 Roadmap
- The latest figures in Staffordshire, including a district breakdown can be found here.
- You can check your areas statistics by putting in your postcode here.
- The Government’s 4 Step Roadmap out of Lockdown can be found here.
- Further information on the Governments roadmap can be found here.
- It is nearly three weeks since the Government started easing up restrictions, with the main one being that children returned to school. Thankfully, Covid-19 cases have continued to fall, which is the main criteria that will see the implementation of further easing of restrictions. Please continue to be vigilant as things can change quickly.
- Everyone in a household where children and young people are at school or college should be getting tested twice weekly. This can be done through the Community Testing sites, workplace testing or by ordering tests to do at home (if you cannot get to a place to collect them). Click here for information on the pop-up testing sites or to order your home testing kits.
- Not long now before the next step of phase one – 29 March. The ‘stay at home’ rule will be lifted but restrictions remain in place. The following is a summary of the additional easing to the restrictions:
- Social contact – Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will now be allowed.
- Business and activities – Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports. Grassroot football will also start up, however, there remains very strict rules around who can attend, so click here for more information.
- Travel – The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March, but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed.
- From 1 April, Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) individuals are no longer advised to shield but must continue to follow the rules in place for everyone under the current national restrictions and continue to take extra precautions.
- Covid-19 – Key messages
Things are continuing to improve across the health system, with fewer patients and outbreaks. Conversations are now taking place around the restoration and recovery of services, but Covid-19 isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, so please read and heed these messages:
- Hands, Face, Space.
- Get routinely tested (please see ‘Get routinely testes’ news item).
- Get vaccinated when it becomes available to you (please see news item below).
- The vaccine rollout continues to be hugely successful – The Midlands leads the way as first to reach five million vaccines landmark.
- Everyone, including those who have been vaccinated, must continue to comply with current restrictions and still get tested regularly.
- Most people are complying with the restrictions and it is only the minority who are not. We recognise the difficulties people are facing and are grateful for those who are complying.
- Have a happy and safe Easter.
- Important Notice about the Covid-19 Vaccines
Dr Phil Bryan, MHRA Vaccines Safety Lead said: “The benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, far outweigh the risks of side effects. People should go and get their Covid-19 vaccine when asked to do so. It is still the case that it has not been confirmed the reported blood clots were caused by the Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. Our role is to continually monitor safety during widespread use of a vaccine. We also work closely with our public health and international partners in reviewing the effectiveness and impact of the vaccines to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh any possible side effects. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so. For further vaccination information, see our statement and advice published on 11 March.”
- Get routinely tested – This week’s testing sites in South Staffordshire
It is important to attend lateral flow testing routinely, irrespective of whether you have had the vaccine or not. You can get a rapid Covid-19 test at any of our community testing sites, provided you are asymptomatic, you are not self-isolating, you have not had a positive Covid-19 test in the last 90 days, and you are not part of another regular asymptomatic testing programme. The Covid-19 community testing pop-up sites in South Staffordshire for 29 March – 4 April 2021 are:
Monday 29 March
- Perton Civic Hall, Church Road, Perton. WV6 7PD – 10am-12.30pm
- Haling Dene Centre, Cannock Road, Penkridge. ST19 5DT – 2pm-4pm
Tuesday 30 March
- Great Wyrley Scout and Guide Hut, Walsall Road, Great Wyrley. WS6 6LA – 10am-1.30pm
Wednesday 31 March
- Featherstone Hall Community Centre, Baneberry Drive, Featherstone. WV10 7TR – 10am – 12.30pm
- Essington Community Centre, Hobnock Road, Essington. WV11 2RF – 2pm-4pm
Thursday 1 April
- Perton Civic Hall, Church Road, Perton. WV6 7PD – 10am-12.30pm
- Calf Heath Village Hall TBC, Straight Mile, Calf Heath, Wolverhampton. WV10 7DW – 2pm-4pm
- No testing
Saturday 3 April
- Essington Community Centre, Hobnock Road, Essington. WV11 2RF – 10am-12.30pm
- Great Wyrley Scout and Guide Hut, Walsall Road, Great Wyrley. WS6 6LA – 2pm-4pm
- No testing
South Staffordshire’s semi-permanent Covid-19 Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) site will be Wombourne Library, Church Road , Wombourne WV5 9EZ (Monday – Thursday and Saturday).
- Support during the Pandemic
- CEV’s without friends, family, or other support networks to rely on will continue to be able to register to request priority access to supermarket delivery slots until the 31 March via the National Shielding Service System website.
- The NHS Volunteer Responders Programme will continue providing support with food, prescriptions, and essential items to those who are self-isolating. This also includes anyone that is clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) or anyone that is vulnerable for another reason. Contact the NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646 or click here for more information on the NHS Volunteer Responders Programme.
- The Council can also help arrange local support for shopping, prescriptions and other necessities if anyone is self-isolating, who has an underlying health condition and cannot call upon friends, family or neighbours. Further information can be found here.
- Residents can use the Government’s online Test and Trace Support Payment page to check their eligibility if they need to self-isolate because of Covid-19 and cannot work from home. The site allows the public to input their postcode to find their local authorities relevant webpage.
- Elections Update:
- Notices of Elections have now gone up and can be found on the Council website.
- Some Poll Stations have changed, for a full list please go to the Council website.
- Poll Cards will be delivered through letter boxes over the next few days.
- We are currently receiving nominations – the deadline for this is 8 April.
- You can register to vote here. The deadline for registering to vote is 19 April.
- You can apply for a Postal Vote here. The last day for applications for Postal Votes is 5pm on 20 April.
- Good news for leisure members
As we approach April, we remain hopeful that, providing data and infection rates remain stable that our leisure centres gyms and pools will re-open on 12 April. We will be providing members with FREE access during April and going forward, membership fees will be reduced in May and June, until we are able to re-instate all facilities. Safety will be our absolute priority and we are confident that we can welcome everyone back into our covid-secure facilities. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook or subscribe to Leisure’s e-alerts.
- Council Job Vacancies
- Next week’s Council Committee/Panel meetings
- Full Council – Tuesday, 30 March 2021 – 7.00 pm – Public virtual meeting via Teams.
Members of the public can virtually attend these meetings via Microsoft Teams. In the news section at the bottom of the Council’s website, you will find the relevant news item that will include a link to enable you to join.
Good News Stories
- ‘Communities and Parks’ award at the LTA Tennis Awards.
Cheslyn Hay Tennis, a tennis community group, have won the ‘Communities and Parks’ award at the LTA Tennis Awards. One of 18 national winners, Cheslyn Hay Tennis received the accolade from the governing body for tennis in Britain on account of their efforts to encourage more people into the sport at Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre, Hednesford and Cannock Park.
Cheslyn Hay delivers a great range of community programmes, including Tennis for Free and SERVES, delivered through an amazing team of volunteers and coaches.
In a virtual ceremony, Cheslyn Hay were presented their award by Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent. “The LTA Tennis Awards are a real celebration of the people that make our sport thrive,” said LTA president, David Rawlinson. “They celebrate the achievements made by outstanding volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players, who are all vital in helping us to grow the game. “To be named a national winner out of over 2,000 public nominations is a fantastic achievement so I’d like to congratulate all of this year’s winners and extend my thanks to each and every one of them for all that they do to help tennis in Britain.”
As part of Sport England/SASSOT Covid-19 recovery, the tennis group are launching their offer of 200 free tennis lessons of 30 minutes to players of ages – perfect in getting players of all abilities started. You can find out more information about the Junior and Adult Tennis sessions taking place throughout the week here or alternatively, email [email protected] or phone 07969 829318.
- Dementia – Day Opportunities
- Information on activities and support for people with dementia and other complex needs across Staffordshire, can be found here. Day opportunities are still available with strict Covid-19 compliance.
- Day Care at Home offers great support for individuals who are unable to attend our normal Day Opportunities centres.
- Digitalising Day Care offers Sing-alongs, musical bingo, reminiscence, and other activities at home or in small groups.
- Let’s Beat Loneliness Together
Loneliness can affect anyone at any point. It can have an impact on our health, wellbeing, and self-esteem. In a recent survey 35% of Staffordshire residents reported that loneliness and isolation was a concern to them and 80% were worried about not seeing family and friends during lockdown.
- Further information on beating loneliness together, can be found here.
- Further information on befriending services can be found here.
- Staffordshire Together for Carers
Do you have a family member, friend or neighbour who cannot manage without your support? Staffordshire Together for Carers Service is delivered by n-compass in partnership with a range of organisations committed to supporting Carers. If you would like to talk to us about how we may be able to help you or access our services, please get in touch:
Telephone: 0300 303 0621 (calls charged at local rate)
Text: 07786 201226
General Email: [email protected]
Online Chat: www.n-compass.org.uk/our-services/carers
Address: FREEPOST Staffordshire Together for Carers Service
Outside office opening hours registered Carers can talk to our team of supportive Volunteers on our Carers Help and Talk chatline. Call 0330 022 9297, lines are open 24/7.
- Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – April 2021
A treatable cancer when caught early #stopbowelcancer. Click here for more information on Bowel Cancer awareness month.
- Parkinson’s Awareness Week
World Parkinson’s week starts Sunday 11 April 2021 and ends on Saturday 17 April. This year’s theme is focused on the mental health aspect of living with Parkinson’s. Click here for further information on Parkinson’s Awareness week.
Parkinson’s Care and Support UK will be launching the first ever Parkinson’s Mental Health Support Hub. More information can be found at their website. This will offer the following free services:
- Parkinson’s CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)– a GP referred service for people with Parkinson’s who are suffering from Anxiety or Depression.
- Parkinson’s ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)– a self -referred service for people with Parkinson’s who may be struggling to accept their diagnosis.
- Parkinson’s Bereavement Support Line– a support line for family carers whose loved one is coming towards the end of their life or for those who have lost a loved one with Parkinson’s.
- Parkinson’s Befriending and Companionship Network– a service designed to reduce isolation and loneliness for people living with Parkinson’s through peer support and visiting care.
- Safer communities and safeguarding
- A campaign is to be launched in the summer to talk with all Parish Councils about their perceptions of crime in their parish area and hold conversations about how the Community Safety Partnership can work with them and residents.
- All crime is on a downward trend from 3306 to 2855 – down 14% (these figures are a comparison for April – Nov 2019 and April – Nov 2020).
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- There has, however, been an overall 5% increase in anti-social behaviour. Targeted work relating to ASB is being planned by the South Staffordshire Community Safety Partnership (off-road bikes and car cruising and hotspots relating to nuisance and drug related issues). Designated operations being undertaken by South Staffordshire Local Policing Team has seen several arrests and the seizure of 5 off-road bikes. Extra resources are being put in hotspot locations.
- Data shows an increase in ASB, particularly in Locality 5:
|Locality||April 2020 – February 2021||% change from previous year|
- Demand on domestic abuse support services has increased, and additional funding has been provided to increase service provision. Useful information and contact details can be found below:
- The helpline for New Era Victim Support is 0300 303 3778
- Data shows an increase in Domestic Violence (in line with national trends) in all areas except locality 2:
- Locality information can be found here.
Everyone is encouraged to submit news items, please email: [email protected]