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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
This is written by the Parish Clerk with input from the village.
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