Council News 218
This week’s news from around the Council.
- Elections Update
- Community Hub Opening
An update regarding the opening the Community Hub can be found here.
- A busy year at Baggeridge Country Park
Last year Baggeridge Country Park experienced its busiest year ever due to COVID-19 restrictions and the installation of a brand-new play area. The rangers have worked tirelessly and collectively as a team throughout the pandemic and experienced their highest ever visitor numbers. Huge thanks for keeping the park open and safe. It has been appreciated by many.
- Planning – National housebuilder admits guilt over inadequate housing estate sewage system
The Planning Enforcement Team might be small, but they are not afraid to take on the big businesses. Builders, Morris Homes, installed a sewerage scheme at Salters Meadow in Cheslyn Hay in 2014 that was not fit for purpose. The Council took the company to court to rectify it. Morris Homes received a fine and are now preparing a new scheme to be put in place. Read more about the Morris Homes case here.
- FAQs Register of Available Land
There has been a lot of interest recently, especially on social media, about sites that have been suggested to the Council for future development. We have put together some FAQs about our register of available land and how these sites differ from sites that will come forward through the review of the Local Plan. For more information see our Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions on Strategic Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) .
- South Staffordshire Community Lottery – A year’s review
During one of the toughest years any of us has ever experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lottery has provided an essential financial lifeline for good causes – all have had to stop their tradition means of fundraising.
Last year the lottery grew by 16% and raised just over £33,500 for local good causes, charities and community groups in South Staffordshire. We also had 11 good causes joining us, bringing the total to 78. 1,227 supporters won on the lottery, with 132 winning cash prizes; 2 of which each won £2,000. This year has started well with almost £3,000 in one month being raised. Thank you to those who are supporters.
- Street Scene Tree Services
Our tree team have been providing services for residents and businesses of South Staffs. We have completed 33 jobs for residents in the last 5 months as well as completing 87 jobs for the council which would normally be undertaken by sub-contractors at the council’s expense.
If you would like a free quote, please contact [email protected].
Here are just some of the compliments from customers:
- “A massive, huge thank you for organising the trees to be cut back in blue bell woods. Your team were absolutely excellent from start to finish. We can’t thank you enough!!!”
- “Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent work your team did today, they were very helpful and polite.”
- “What an amazing service, the area looks so much better thank you so much.”
- Exercise classes resume next week
Leisure staff are looking forward to re-instating indoor exercise classes from Monday 17 May. Advanced booking is essential, and classes are open to members and non-members. For class programmes and details on how to book, click on the links below:
- Cheslyn Hay exercise classes
- Codsall exercise classes
- Penkridge exercise classes
- Wombourne exercise classes
- Gentle Exercise Classes in the community resume 17 May
South Staffordshire Council provide gentle exercise classes which take place at various community venues across the district for people over the age of 50. Please click here to find out more information on the Gentle Exercise classes.
- Walking for Health
Walking 30 minutes, 5 times per week can provide huge health benefits; reducing the risk of diseases, improving mental/emotional health, improving the heart and lung functions, and increasing muscle and bone mass. South Staffordshire Council provide weekly instructor-led walks which take place around the district and which vary in duration and difficulty. Please click here to find out more information on the Walking for Health programme. Start walking today!
- Start Thinking Ahead – Bereavement
Although considered by many to be a taboo subject that most of us want to avoid, funerals are an inevitable part of life and being organised and planning ahead can relieve some of the emotional stress and financial pressures on your loved ones.
It isn’t uncommon for people to make arrangements for when they die, in fact 15% of people in the UK have already done just that*, but did you know that whilst many pre-paid funeral plans offered by funeral directors include everything from a coffin to flowers, they may not include your final place of rest or burial plot.
At each of our two cemeteries (Sytch Lane in Wombourne and Strawberry Lane in Great Wyrley) we have plots available to purchase in advance whether your preference is burial or cremation. Choosing your exact plot and purchasing it at today’s prices can give invaluable peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.
Contact Bec Morgan on 01902 696000 or click here to find out further information about our bereavement services.
* Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) Funerals Market Study – March 2019
- Next week’s Council Committee/Panel meetings
- Council AGM -Tuesday, 18 May 2021 – 7.00 pm
Members of the public can virtually attend this meeting via Microsoft Teams – a link can be found in the news section at the bottom of the Council’s website at www.sstaffs.gov.uk
- Relief Swimming Instructor at Cheslyn Hay Leisure Centre. Closing 5pm on 28 May 2021. Application Information.
- Property Solicitor and Litigation Solicitor. Closing 10am on 27 May 2021. Application Information.
- Technical Support Officer. Closing 5pm on 20 May 2021. Application Information.
Next Step on the Roadmap
Earlier in the week the Prime Minister announced that there will be an easing of restrictions on 17 May and as these are eased this will also increase the risk of catching and transmitting the virus. The key messages are:
- Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.
- Routinely test.
- Vaccination and Vigilance.
- Everyone, including those who have been vaccinated, must continue to comply with current restrictions and still get tested regularly.
- Further information on how restrictions have been eased from 17 May can be found here.
- Information on the Governments roadmap can be found here.
- Frequently asked questions can be found here.
- Summary of the restrictions eased from 17 May
(Please read the guidelines in the links above to ensure you have the full information)
- Indoors you can meet with a maximum of 6 people or 2 households.
- Indoor hospitality will open.
- Outdoors events are allowed to a maximum of 30 people.
- Outdoor events can start taking place.
- Up to 30 people will now be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes, as well as standalone life-cycle events. These can take place outdoors or at any indoor Covid secure venue that is permitted to open. The number of people able to attend a funeral will be determined by the number that can be safely accommodated in the venue with social distancing in place.
- 30 people will be able to attend a support group or parent and child group. The limit will not apply to children under 5.
- Organised adult sport and exercise classes can resume indoors and saunas and steam rooms may reopen.
- Care homes residents will be able to have up to five named visitors, with two visitors able to attend at once provided they are tested and follow infection control measures.
- International travel can begin to safely reopen from 17 May, allowing people to go on foreign holidays to ‘green’ list countries. Strict border control measures will remain in place, including pre-departure tests and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK.
- Covid-19 Vaccination
The vaccination programme is now open to those under 40. Due to the small risk with blood clotting, under 40s will be offered either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine. If you have had your first dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine; this will be offered for your second dose as evidence shows that the small risk of blood clotting only happens after the first dose.
The good news is that having the vaccine reduces the risk of you getting hospitalised with Covid-19 but it also reduces the risk of transmitting the virus. Have the vaccine to protect your loved ones. But please remember that there is still a risk of transmission so follow all the current restrictions and rules. Click here to find out more about the vaccine programme.
- COVID-19 Testing options
Covid-19 testing will continue for people without symptoms. We know that one in three people who have the virus show no symptoms, and it is essential we identify those not showing symptoms so that we are able to break the chain of infection. Residents are encouraged to test at least twice a week and if you test positive, please isolate for 10 days. There are three options available, of which are all free:
- Collect test kits from a pharmacy; click here to find the nearest one to you.
- Order test kits online by clicking here. These will be sent to your home address. Please note: If you are self-testing, do not forget to report your result whether positive or negative here.
- Visit a test site to either collect test kits or to have a test done.
- Community Testing Sites in South Staffordshire
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.
South Staffordshire’s semi-permanent Covid-19 Community Testing site is Wombourne Library, Church Road, Wombourne WV5 9EZ, and the opening times are:
- Monday 00-16.00
- Tuesday 00-14.00
- Wednesday 00-16.00
- Thursday 00-19.00
- Friday 00-16.00
- Saturday 00-16.00
- Sunday 00-16.00
Next week’s Covid-19 community testing pop-up sites in South Staffordshire are:
- Saturday 15 May
- Kinver Edge and The Rock Houses, Compton Road, Kinver, Stourbridge, DY7 6DL
- Lower Drayton Farm, Lower Drayton Lane, Penkridge, ST19 5RE
- Support during the Pandemic
The Council can 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.
Local community groups are providing support to vulnerable people and seeking volunteers through their Community Support Effort initiative.
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.
- Free Online Training
The WEA (Workers Education Association) is delivering online courses. These support those 19+ and courses are free to those in receipt of means tested benefits. Additional support is in place to ensure everyone has a good first experience of joining a WEA course. Further information on the WEA can be found here.
Follow the link on the course you are interested in; this opens a flyer to give you further information. These courses are only available for Staffordshire residents.
Click here for further links to each course (some links are provided below)
- IT and Digital Skills (Basics) – learn about the different devices, applications, getting online.
- Digital Skills for Learning and Work – learn about different social media applications.
- Get That Job! – Boost your confidence applying online. Improve your digital presence.
- Customer Service – basic principles of good customer care.
- Step into Warehousing – explore working in this fast-growing sector.
- Step into Retail – Learn about the skills needed to work as a Retail Advisor.
- Induction into Care – an introductory course into the role of a care worker.
- Getting the most from Social Media – get to know the different social media platforms.
- Buying and Selling Online – learn how to make money buying and selling online.
- All About Me – How to eat well to stay healthy.
- Parenting Workshops
Manage your child’s behaviour and learn how to look after your own wellbeing. Online workshops running in June and July 2021. Further information on the parenting workshops can be found here.
- Funding Opportunities – Grants Online monthly e-Magazine
The May 2021 highlights a sample of the latest funding opportunities to have featured on the Grants Online website. This e-Magazine is completely free of charge. A sample of opportunities for funding are Town Councils, Urban tree planting, Neighbourhood plans, schools, women’s projects, Tesco Bags of Help etc. To download a free copy of the latest Funding Insight Newsletter please click here.