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Covid-19: Latest news and information
West Berkshire Council sent this bulletin at 27-04-2020 11:35 AM BST
We're working hard to continue delivering services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and to support our residents - and in particular those who most need our help.
On our website you will find information about where to find support as well as details of any changes we've had to make to services.
Bulky Waste Service
Our kerbside collections have been running normally (with no service suspensions) during this period. Residents will be pleased to hear that our Bulky waste collections from kerbside, that were temporarily suspended, have been restarted (from outside properties only; excludes white goods) as of Monday 20 April.
There's a charge for collecting bulky waste, and all collections need to be booked in advance by calling the Customer Services secure payment line on: 0330 131 9742. We're unable to arrange collections via email. We are running the standard collection service only, where items are left outside your home for collection - for up to five items, the cost overall is £45. Where possible please leave item(s) out for collection in the front garden. You can read more about our bulky waste collection on our website.
Our household recycling centres (“tips”) remain closed due to current guidance on what constitutes an essential journey during this lockdown period. Please store your waste safely until they reopen. We want to thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Did you know West Berkshire was recently voted as one of the 50 best places to live in the UK in 2020? Help us to protect the beauty of our natural environment by preventing fly-tipping. Please use our online service to report instances of fly-tipping and provide us with as much details as you can. Remember, fly-tipping is a crime and is a blight on the natural environment.
Get creative! Print off and colour in your own bin. It could be as bright and colourful as you like.
Why not display on your window for our Veolia UK waste collectors to see or share a picture with us. Download a copy and get your crayons out to show us your thanks and creativity.
Make sure you follow Recycle for West Berkshire on Facebook for up to date information.
Community Support Hub
The Community Support Hub is continuing to support local residents who have no one else to turn to for help during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s also supporting the local community groups working across the district.
Up at the Hub distribution centre this week, we distributed copies of the Residents Seeking Extra Support leaflet and activity sheet created by our public health colleagues.
The leaflet has been written for our residents who, for a variety of reasons, require some additional support at the moment. Download a copy of the leaflet from our website and pass this on to your neighbours, family and friends across West Berkshire who need extra support. You can also download the activity sheet for a bit of fun.
Laura Farris visits Community Support Hub
Newbury MP Laura Farris made her second visit to our Community Support Hub last week.
She chatted to team members about the work they were doing and also spent some time listening to the calls coming through from communities with Customer Services Advisor, Elaine Colqhoun. Laura said:
“It was a real pleasure to return to West Berkshire Council Community Hub this morning. They’ve coordinated an outstanding community support response throughout the crisis. I was also really keen to discuss vulnerable children - many of whom are no longer in school. I was really pleased to hear the comprehensive approach that has been taken, and that contact has been sustained between social workers and hard-to-reach families. These are really difficult times and we cannot allow the most vulnerable children become invisible.”
We have set up a Community Support Hub Facebook page for volunteers across West Berkshire, whether they are part of an established community group or just helping neighbours, family or friends during this difficult time. Please like and follow the Facebook page to receive regular updates.
Want to know more about the Community Support Hub? Click on the image to watch a short video on who it helps and what it does - and some lovely feedback from people already being supported by the Hub.
Support for local businesses
Our Business Rates Team has now been in contact with over 954 West Berkshire businesses eligible for Government Grants. So far £12.2 million in grant funding has been given to support them.
All businesses must be contacted individually, which is causing some delays, but the team is working as quickly as they can and we have issued grants to over 99% of businesses who have returned their forms to us.
If you have heard from us and haven't returned your form, please send this in as soon as possible so we can get your grant to you. If you have any questions please contact: email@example.com.
Find out more about the support available to local businesses.
Additional Covid-19 Government funding
Following an announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, we are going to receive a proportion of an extra £1.6bn which has been earmarked for Local Authorities to help them respond to the impact of the Coronavirus within their communities.
This additional funding will assist in covering further costs that the Council is facing due to the virus in the short term and, along with the Council's strong financial management, is enabling the Council to continue to provide vital services to support its residents.
Advice for parents during Covid-19
We understand from our colleagues in the NHS that there is a concern that A&E visits have fallen significantly since the Coronavirus outbreak.
Medics fear some people may be nervous about attending the hospital leading to serious medical issues, like strokes and heart attacks, slipping through the net. This can seriously reduce recovery rates and even prove fatal.
Hospitals are reassuring parents with very poorly children that they must still consider taking them to hospital for swift and safe treatment if needed. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has produced this handy guide to help.
To be clear, if you need to visit A&E, please do so as you could be putting your health at risk if you do not.
Celebrating the community heroes
During this Covid-19 pandemic we have seen people across the district in West Berkshire generously giving up their time, money and skills to volunteer out in the community while adhering to social distancing rules. Businesses, community groups and residents have gone beyond their call of duty and joined forces to ensure the district’s elderly and most vulnerable residents have access to food, medication and other supplies during this lockdown.
We are collecting all these lovely stories on our website so why not head on over and have a read how the Council and your neighbours are helping out in the local communities, no matter how big or small the gesture.
Those who have lived in Brightwalton for more than 35 years will have fond memories of Reliance as the local bus operator that grew to become a substantial coach business running trips all over the UK and abroad.
Memories of that era are now being revived with the publication on 30 April of the book ‘Reliance Motor Services – The Story of a Family-Owned Independent Bus Company’ by Barrie Hedges (who grew up here) and his friend David Wilder from Chaddleworth.
It was Barrie’s great grandfather, James Hedges, who created the basis for Reliance when in 1917 he bought a horse-drawn carrier’s round from the Thomas family of Leckhampstead. James’ son, George, picked up the round when he came home from war in 1919, and soon invested in the newly available bus versions of the Model T Ford.
In the early 1920s, George moved the business from a barn at Brightwalton Common to land which he bought from the Wroughton family in the heart of the village. The name ‘Reliance’ was registered in the early 1930s and a rapid era of growth followed through the Second World War and beyond as the cream and brown buses became a big part of daily life.
Meanwhile, the origins of the Sayers haulage business at that time can also be traced back to James whose elder daughter, Ida, married Wilf Sayers. From them and their family came another major employer for what was then a busy village.
In the late 1940s, the next generation of the Hedges family took over the Reliance reins from George, with Alan as managing director, Colin doing the logistical planning and Gordon running the engineering. By the early 60s, the Brightwalton site had become too small and the company moved to new premises in Newbury. It did, however, maintain a small depot at Brightwalton until the company itself closed in 1985. Today, the site is occupied by Saxons Acre.
The book tells the story not just of the company but of the Brightwalton community in the era before the motor car became widely available. They were days when Reliance made it possible to get to work and to school – but also to expand horizons in leisure hours. Barrie also relates his own personal recollections of Brightwalton in the 1950s and 1960s and returns today to assess the changes.
Published by Pen & Sword, the Reliance book is available from its website and also from the Archway Bookshop at Axminster in Devon, which is owned by Barrie’s stepson. The cost is currently reduced from the recommended retail price of £30 to £24. More details here: https://archwaybookshop.co.uk/product/reliance-motor-services-the-story-of-a-family-owned-independent-bus-company.
Despite the cancelled fete, the Parish Council would still like to go ahead with the competition of dressing the front of the village houses and, or gardens in honour of all the heros for VE Day.
There is a prize for the winner, pictures can be posted on the Facebook page and also shared for the website and Brickleton News. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Judging will take place on Sunday 10th May , we look forward to seeing the display!
Date: 22 April 2020
West Berkshire Council to receive additional Covid-19 Government funding
West Berkshire Council is to receive additional funding following an announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.
Within the next few weeks, the Council will receive a proportion of an extra £1.6bn which has been earmarked for Local Authorities to help them respond to the impact of the Coronavirus within their communities.
West Berkshire Council has already received £3.2 million from Central Government in March to support its initial response to the Coronavirus. This additional funding will assist in covering further costs that the Council is facing due to the virus in the short term and, along with the Council’s strong financial management, is enabling the Council to continue to provide vital services to support its residents.
Speaking about the additional funding, Leader of West Berkshire Council, Lynne Doherty said:
“At the start of this outbreak I, along with Council Leaders across the country, asked the Government to reassure us that they would provide us with all of the financial support that we might need to respond effectively within our local areas. I am pleased to say that they have not let us down.
“The Government’s swift response enabled us to quickly set up our new Community Support Hub (CSH), ahead of the enhanced social distancing arrangements that came into place on 23 March. The CSH is the vital link between those residents who need support and those who can help them. Through it we have already helped hundreds of vulnerable local people and have coordinated almost 90 community groups across the district.
“In addition to this money, we have been provided with up-front grant payments to support cash flow, a Council Tax Hardship Fund and additional funding for the cost of providing support to rough sleepers and those as risk of rough sleeping during this time.
“To mitigate some of the impact on our business community, we also made the unique local decision not to call-in business rates in April and May and our Business Rates Team has been working hard to distribute a further £29 million Government grant to support eligible businesses in West Berkshire.
“I am truly impressed with how agile the local authority has been, with staff stepping up to help in numerous ways both behind the scenes and on the front line. This further funding is very welcome and I can assure residents that we will continue to deliver the excellent local services our residents need.”
Press Release from West Berkshire Council 22/04/20
This new e-bulletin will tell you about the help and support that's available from West Berkshire Council in relation to coronavirus. It will let you know where you can receive advice, where the services we provide are changing and how you can stay safe, protect the NHS and help save lives.
You can also keep in touch with us online, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On our website you will find information for residents, businesses and a weekly blog from Leader of West Berkshire Council Lynne Doherty and Chief Executive Nick Carter.
A new Community Support Hub has been set up to support those residents who are most vulnerable in our communities and provide them with the help they cannot access anywhere else.
The Community Support Hub works with local community groups to match vulnerable people who need help and support with those best able to provide it. The Hub can also help those people who want to volunteer in their community but don’t know where to begin. This includes mental health support and practical support such as picking up shopping or medication and being at the end of the phone for a chat for those who are feeling lonely; all while adhering to national guidance on staying safe and social distancing.
The hub is open from Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm, and Friday to Sunday 8:30am to 4:30pm. You can get in touch at email@example.com or by calling 01635 503579.
Find out more about the Community Support Hub
Leaflet dropping on to doormats
To help raise awareness of the help that's available in West Berkshire we're delivering a leaflet to homes across the district. It provides information about staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic and tells you about help which is available from West Berkshire Council such as protecting yourself, financial support and how to get help from our Community Support Hub as we work together to minimise the impact in our district.
All households in the West Berkshire district should receive a copy of this leaflet. Should you wish to distribute copies please adhere to the national guidance of hand hygiene and social distancing - use hand sanitiser and wash your hand with soap and water for 20 seconds or more before touching anything. Keep two metres away from others and only go out if it's essential.
Download a copy of the leaflet.
New helpline for young people
We know that some young people are feeling anxious about coronavirus and are struggling to adjust to changes in their everyday lives. To support them, our Emotional Health Academy team has launched a new helpline. It provides self-help support, advice and guidance and an opportunity for young people to talk to someone about issues directly affecting them.
The helpline will be open between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, and young people aged 11 to 18 can use it to access advice and support by calling 01635 503587.
More information about the Emotional Health Academy helpline
You can find the latest health advice and guidance here:
Information about coronavirus
use this dedicated online site to check if you have coronavirus symptoms.
Primary Care Hub for Newbury
Two special Primary Care Hubs are being set up for local people who are showing symptoms of Coronavirus but don’t need immediate hospital treatment.
Read more about the Primary Care Hubs
stay up to date with national advice and guidance.
West Berkshire Council
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This is written by the Parish Clerk with input from the village.
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