Apply early to vote by post or proxy in this May’s elections

Residents are being urged to apply early if they are thinking of voting by post or proxy in the upcoming May elections.

Voters go to the polls on Thursday, 6 May to elect a new West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner and councillors to represent them on Worcestershire County Council.

Arrangements are being made to make sure people can vote in person at these elections. Covid-19 Secure measures will be in place at polling stations including one-way systems, regular sanitising of common touchpoints and ventilation where possible. Because of this people may not be able to vote at their usual polling station so should check their poll card carefully when they start to arrive at the end of March/early April.

Voters will also be asked to bring their own pen or pencil to make their mark on their ballot paper and will have to wear a face covering unless legally exempt. Social distancing will also be in place.

Anyone who would prefer to vote from the safety of their own home though can do so by applying for a postal vote or can send someone else to vote for them – known as a proxy vote.

The deadline for applying for a postal vote for this election is 20 April 2021 at 5pm and a proxy vote at 5pm on 27 April 2021.

Details of how to apply can be found at www.wychavon.gov.uk/elections.

Anyone who has recently moved house or just turned 18 may need to register to vote. This can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Elaine Dicks, Electoral Services Manager for Wychavon District Council, said: “We will do everything we can to make voting in-person on 6 May as Covid-19 Secure as possible. If people would prefer to vote by post or proxy then we would urge them to apply as soon as possible. By applying early, it will give people the maximum time possible to receive and return their postal ballot or confirm arrangements for their proxy vote.”

PARISH LENGTHSMAN Vacancy- for Contract Services Provider

WYRE PIDDLE PARISH COUNCIL

Lengthsman

Wyre Piddle Parish Council are seeking to appoint a Lengthsman (preferably qualified) for 2021/22.

Deadline for applications 5/03/2021

Interested parties should contact The Clerk at

Quoting the hourly rate you will charge for 2021/22 and giving 2 references, one of which must be an existing employer.

The Parish Lengthsman is a self-employed person who can really make a difference to the community environment by maintaining roadside verges and drainage. The work may be expanded to include other small-scale maintenance work.  Appropriate basic training on the hazards of working in the highway and standards of work to be achieved will be provided.

This contract for services is for one year only but may be extended. 

Contract commencement will be April 1st 2021.

Lengthsman duties include:

Drainage:

  • Clear gully grates.
  • Clear verge grips.
  • Clear headwalls, outfalls.
  • Rod blocked drains if practical.
  • Advise landowners and frontagers when their ditches need cleaning.
  • In especially difficult circumstances clear ditches – only with prior agreement of the Manager.

Vegetation Clearance:

  • Remove vegetation obstructing signs.
  • Remove vegetation at junction visibility splays.
  • Removal of basal tree growth from highway trees.
  • Pulling / cutting of noxious weeds following site specific approval from the Manager.
  • Side out footways to normal width and spread arisings on verge where possible.
  • Negotiate with frontagers for them to cut back overhanging vegetation.

Miscellaneous:

  • Rotation and charging of mobile Vehicular Activated Signs (VAS) following site specific approval and authorisation from the Manager.
  • Clean dirty signs and/or retighten brackets, reposition signs which have been knocked out of place where no excavation is required (except illuminated signs).
  • Painting of heritage cast iron direction signs.
  • Snow clearance and gritting / salting by hand.
  • Removal of illegal fly posting.
  • Maintenance and repainting of highways approved visibility fencing.
  • Cleaning of subways.
  • The Lengthsman will be required to travel around the parish at short notice

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE Lengthsman application form – January 2021 WP

Operation SNAP – West Mercia Police

op snap campaign tile

As part of Operation Snap, members of the public can report and submit digital footage showing potential traffic offences via a secure online form

This can range from driving dangerously or carelessly to overtaking on solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring traffic lights or dangerous driving around other road users, such as horse riders and cyclists.

Your submission will be sent to West Mercia Police where the evidence will be reviewed by one of our road traffic police officers.

Due to the large volume of submissions received each week, we are unable to update each submitter regarding the outcome of their allegation. However, all submissions are dealt with pro-actively to help reduce risk taking and poor driving on our counties roads.

Any footage submitted through the portal can be used by us to help educate other road users and to advise on case results.

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section or email 

Click the following links for information on speeding tickets and speed camera information.

Click below to link to Operation Snap.

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/police-forces/west-mercia-police/areas/west-mercia/campaigns/campaigns/2019/operation-snap/

 

Wychavon District Council COVID Update

Covid-19 update

Cases have risen rapidly across our district since the end of the second Lockdown at the start of December. Worryingly, the impact of Christmas mixing is still to filter through into the figures.

The expectation is we will continue to see cases rise for the next 7 to 10 days. This will lead to further hospitalisations and inevitably deaths. This will add to the already significant pressure our NHS locally, and nationally, is under.

We cannot stress enough how serious the situation is and we ask you all to continue to play your part in encouraging our residents to stay at home and follow the rules and thank you for your efforts so far.

Infection rates are now reported daily on the Worcestershire County Council website and they are also broken down by local area. We will use this data to target communications in areas where we see cases remaining higher than elsewhere in the district.

Coronavirus dashboard

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire, has issued a message to the public encouraging them to play their part, which you can share on your own channels – Message from Dr Kathryn Cobain

Our Council Leader Cllr Bradley Thomas has also released a message which you can view here and are again encouraged to share and a video message has been prepared and will be released shortly on social media.

Communications
We are ramping up our communications on social media and signs are being printed to put around our parks and public spaces urging people to stay apart and limit the time they spend outdoors. Our sign is attached if you would like to use it locally in your area.

The Government has produced the attached poster which briefly explains the rules which again you are welcome to use on social media. Again, please put this up on noticeboards and around your local area.

Attached is a Covid-19 advice leaflet which we have produced and intend to distribute as soon as possible to as many households as we can. You are welcome to put this on any local websites or social media groups.

We will be using supermarkets to get the bulk of them out but would also like some delivered locally door to door.

We will be asking our voluntary sector, but you as our town and parish council colleagues to help.

If you have contacts for local shops/stores that would be willing to take some of these leaflets then please email with the details and the suggested quantity.

Also, if you or your parish/town councillors are able and willing to deliver some of these door to door in your area, then please let Ian Dipple in the communications team know how many copies you will need and we will make arrangements.

Please point people towards www.wychavon.gov.uk/coronavirus for support and advice.

People in need of help
As always, if people need help accessing food or other essentials then please ask them to contact www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help. They will then direct them to support locally.

Impact on services
We are keeping our public toilets and playgrounds open in-line with government guidance. We intend to maintain key services, as we have done throughout this pandemic, and have plans in place to redeploy staff to support that ambition if needed.

Parking in all of our car parks is now free until further notice. On-street parking restrictions and time limits in waiting bays remain in place and will be enforced.

We are, for the time being, no longer offering face to face pre-booked appointments in our reception but remain available by email or phone.

Libraries are offering limited services and Household Recycling Centres remain open.

Use of village and community halls
The guidance on the use of village and community halls has been updated. While most must close there are a small number of activities, they can still be used for in a Covid-19 Secure way, this includes hosting blood donation sessions, as polling stations etc.

If you do not directly operate your town or village hall, then please pass this on to the relevant people.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities

Lateral flow testing – can you help?
Worcestershire public health is urgently looking for places to undertake rapid result Lateral Flow Testing of asymptomatic people.

In order for them to be able to do this they need your help.  Please could you let them know if you have any indoor space available such as a community centre, village hall or sports hall, that could be used to support their extended testing programme.  In order to enable their testing teams to use the indoor space you have it needs to:

  • Have toilets
  • Be accessible to wheelchair users
  • Have heating
  • Have parking or be near facilities where parking is available
  • Be available for use until the end of March 2021

If you think you have a space that might be suitable please let their logistics team know on :

They can then discuss it with you and decide if the property is suitable. There would be no obligation to use it if you or your organisation did not want to once you know more details.

Please pass this on to any contacts you may have locally that could help.

Vaccination info
The Covid-19 vaccine has begun to be given to people in this area in accordance with the nationally set priority list.

If you find people are asking you about when they may receive the vaccine, the message is that the NHS will contact people in priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine and they should not contact their GP practice, or local hospital, directly asking for an appointment.

Below is a table setting out the order of prioritisation and a statement explaining how this has been reached.

covid picture

Statement on prioritisation of Covid-19 vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccine scam
The police have made us aware of a scam relating to the vaccine.

People due to receive the vaccine have received a text messages, claiming to be from the NHS, telling them they need to complete a form for their first vaccine and providing a link to a very official looking site. They are then asked to fill in an official looking online form looks and after completing it, they are then asked for their bank details.

This is a scam, and a despicable one at that. In other versions of the scam people are being cold called and being asked to pay a charge for the vaccine.

You do not need to provide your bank details to receive the vaccine and there is no charge. The NHS will not ask you to send a text or push a button on a keypad to confirm you want the vaccine.

A message from Dr.Kathryn Cobain, the Director for Public Health in Worcestershire 

A message from Dr.Kathryn Cobain, the Director for Public Health in Worcestershire 

Dear Residents,

I know that the news of a new lockdown for England, will be frustrating and upsetting for many people. Worcestershire has tried very hard to keep Covid-19 cases down, and many of you have made sacrifices to protect yourselves and others. We have all had to make changes to the way we live our lives in recent months, and that included over Christmas, when so many were not able to spend time with loved ones.

But some stark realities remain for us all. Worcestershire’s infection rates are at the highest we have ever seen. In the past 7 days alone, the county has 1,888 positive Covid-19 cases, which is more than all positive cases seen during May, June, July, August and September 2020 combined. I am concerned about this level of spread, and the risk it poses to our health and the lives of our vulnerable and elderly residents. We need to act now to protect one another, prevent the virus spreading further and reduce the demand on our hospitals.

The pandemic continues to dominate our daily lives, cases are rising nationally and we know the new variant of Covid-19 spreads very quickly. Our NHS is also facing considerable pressure on its services. All of these factors have led to the government’s announcement of a new lockdown across England. This means once again, we are facing tough restrictions on our way of life. I know this is hard, but by doing as we are asked, we are saving lives. The restrictions have been brought in to protect every one of us.

Please now stay at home, don’t go out unless you need to, for example to buy food or collect medicines. The Government has set out the clear limitations of the lockdown and I ask you to read the restrictions and follow the rules. You can read a full explanation of all the restrictions on the government’s website; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Once again, Worcestershire County Council’s Here2Help service is available to anyone who needs support or is clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding). If you have no-one to turn to for help, our service can respond and provide help such as collecting medicines and getting shopping. You can reach the service online; https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

If you are on the Government’s shielding list, you will be receiving guidance about what to do now. It is key that you socially distance, and you reduce your physical contact with others. The governments webpages are updated regularly and you can read detailed guidance at; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

While we are all at home, please do remember to check on vulnerable or isolated residents. Just a phone call or a text message can provide a vital link to the outside world, and can ensure those who need comfort or help, have someone to turn to.

You will know that a programme of vaccination has begun nationally, and we are already seeing Worcestershire residents receiving the first doses. This process is being co-ordinated by central Government, and following a strict order for administering the doses. Worcestershire County Council is supporting NHS colleagues to ensure the roll-out is progressing. The vaccines are safe, and if you are called forward to receive one, I strongly urge you to do so. In the meantime, please keep following the rules, wear face coverings, wash your hands, keep your distance. These simple measures help reduce the spread of the virus.

We are all in this together. Throughout the pandemic, you have shown your resilience, kindness and compassion for others. We have seen many examples of people supporting one another, lending a hand or going the extra mile. The situation has demonstrated how working together, we are able to support one another and get through. I am asking you to do this once again. The single most important thing you can do for everyone, is to stay home. Please do this for yourself and for others. We all want to protect people who are precious to us, our family and friends. Let’s take care of each other, and work together.

Thank you for doing this. Our actions now will hopefully bring brighter days for us all in 2021.

Best wishes

Dr. Kathryn Cobain

Catherine Hepple

 

If you have a query regarding Coronavirus please refer to Public Health England guidance and/or call NHS 111 which has a dedicated Coronavirus helpline.

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

 

Wychavon District Council- Flooding Avice.

The Environment Agency will issue any flood warnings across the district. Drivers are being asked to take care on the roads and to adjust their driving according to the conditions.

View latest flood warnings and alerts

Road closures

Keep up to date with the latest on the roads by following Worcestershire Highways Twitter account @WorcsTravel

Sandbags

We do not have a statutory duty to provide sandbags. However, in the event of heavy rainfall with a possibility of imminent flooding we will provide the following assistance to householders:

Householders may collect up to 6 full sandbags from:

 Please note that there is limited stock available, therefore only take what you need.

Pensioners and Disabled Householders

Filled sandbags may be delivered to pensioners and disabled householders where there is an imminent risk of flooding. Please call Client Services on 01386 565018 (9am to 5pm) if you require assistance. Out of hours please call 01562 733180. Subject to availability of resources.

Be prepared

If you are not currently at risk of imminent flooding but wish to prepare for a possible future event, sandbags can be purchased from a local builders merchant.

Advice and warnings

For more information contact:

Client Services
Wychavon District Council
Telephone: 01386 565018 – 9am-5pm,  Monday to Friday
E-mail: 

Wychavon Parish News – December 2020

Wychavon Parish News – December 2020

2020 has been a year we probably all want to forget, but one that we probably never will. From dealing with a flooding emergency in February to a global health pandemic and now a bird flu outbreak, it certainly has been challenging.

Despite all of this though, public services, communities and businesses have pulled together and shown tremendous creativity, ingenuity, and resilience.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our parish and town councils, for everything you have done to support your communities and to help the vulnerable during this extraordinary year. Thank you. 

Have a happy, safe, and restful Christmas and let’s hope 2021 turns out to be much less eventful.

Changes to Christmas bubbles

At the weekend the Prime Minister announced changes to the rules on forming Christmas bubbles. This is in response to rising case numbers and the discovery of a new variation of the Covid-19 virus which is more easily spread.

You are now only allowed to form a Christmas bubble, with up to two other households, on Christmas Day.  This should be considered a maximum and not a target to aim for.

Read the new rules on forming Christmas support bubbles.

At all other times you must follow the rules for Tier 2.

Read more about what you can and cannot do in Tier 2.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Worcestershire’s Director of Public Health, has issued a Christmas message explaining more about the mutation of the virus and top tips to help you and others stay safe.

Read Dr Cobain’s Christmas message.

One in three cases of coronavirus are transmitted by people who do not have symptoms. That’s why you are urged to act as if you do have the infection and to make sure you follow the rules and do the basics – wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings and keep a safe distance from others.

Food, medicines and other support for the vulnerable

Worcestershire Here 2 Help continues to provide support for vulnerable people who need help accessing food, medicines or other support.

We are also working with other organisations to support families in need during the school holidays.

Read more about how we are tackling holiday hunger.

Christmas and New Year bin collection changes

We are making changes to our waste and recycling collections over the festive period.  You can read about these here.

We have also produced some top tips to help residents recycle right at Christmas and reduce your waste.

Bird flu outbreak

Public Health England has confirmed an outbreak of bird flu among wild birds in Worcestershire. The risk to public health is low but please do not touch dead or sick birds. Residents who keep poultry or captive birds, even as pets in their back garden, need to take action.

Read more about the bird flu outbreak.

Help us support rough sleepers

We are currently running a campaign to encourage people to tell us if they see someone sleeping rough.  People are being encouraged to provide information through Streetlink either online www.streetlink.org.uk, by the smartphone app or by calling 0300 500 0914. StreetLink will pass the details to our housing team or outreach service who will go and find the individual and begin working with them to offer help and support.

We have helped 36 people to get off the streets since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sadly, a few people have chosen not to take up the help offered. We continue to work with them and to offer support.

Emergency shelters will be opened on cold nights to make sure people who have chosen to continue to sleep rough have somewhere to go when temperatures fall.

New Homes Bonus

We contacted parish and town clerks back in September to inform them about the  arrangements for closing our New Homes Bonus scheme. Since then we have received proposals to spend remaining New Homes Bonus allocations from a number of parish and town councils. If you still have uncommitted New Homes Bonus you have until 31 March 2021 to submit your proposals to us.

Community Legacy Grants

We received a flurry of last minute expressions of interest for round three Community Legacy Grants just in time for the deadline on 7 December. We received 26 expressions of interest in total and have invited parish and town councils to proceed to full application for 18 projects.  The closing date for full applications is 5 March 2021.

Census 2021

On 21 March next year households across the district will be asked to take part in the nationwide survey of housing and the population. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

For the first time the Census will be carried out mainly online. Households will receive a letter with a unique access code in the post, allowing them to complete their questionnaire online. Paper questionnaires will be available on request.

A number of temporary jobs are available to help carry out the Census.

Find out more about Census jobs and apply.

And finally …..

Keep up to date with all our public messaging by following our social media accounts or checking the coronavirus update page on our website

Wychavon District Council- Help us to support rough sleepers this Christmas

Help us to support rough sleepers this Christmas

Residents are being urged to help rough sleepers this Christmas by letting Wychavon’s housing team know about people they see on the streets.

People can play their part this festive season by remembering to see, say, support.

See – if you spot someone sleeping rough.

Say – tell StreetLink what they look like and where they are online at www.streetlink.org.uk, on the app or call 0300 500 0914.

Support – StreetLink will pass the details to Wychavon’s housing team or outreach service who will go and find the individual and begin working with them to offer help and support.

Wychavon has already helped 36 people to get off the streets since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sadly, a few people have chosen not to take up the help offered. Wychavon continues to work with them and to offer support.

Emergency shelters will be opened on cold nights to make sure people who have chosen to continue to sleep rough have somewhere to go when temperatures fall.

If people want to do more then they are encouraged to donate to local registered charities for the homeless or offer to volunteer their time with them.

If residents see a person collapsed on the street, they should call the emergency services immediately.

Cllr Christopher Day, Executive Board Member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing on Wychavon District Council, said: “If you want to help support rough sleepers this Christmas the best thing you can do is let us know by using StreetLink.

“The sooner we know about someone, the quicker we can find them and start to work with them to find a solution. Not everyone accepts our offer of assistance, which is their choice, but we will never walk away and will continue to engage with them until they are ready to be helped.”

Wychavon helping to feed those in need

Wychavon helping to feed those in need

Wychavon is working with schools and partner organisations to make sure families in need do not go hungry during the Christmas holidays.

Almost £100,000 from the Government’s Winter Covid-19 Grant has been made available to voluntary and charitable organisations working with those in need and will be distributed through Worcestershire Community Foundation.

Worcestershire County Council has also made £650,000 in vouchers available for pupils who receive free school meals so the hardest hit families can still access food during the Christmas break.

Wychavon is also working with the county council and Worcestershire Children First to support the Ready, Steady, Worcestershire scheme. This combines the efforts of a range of organisations and food banks to provide a community response to holiday hunger.

This is on top of £101,000 Wychavon has also passed on to local food banks and almost £27,500 through its Social Mobility Grant.

More than £17,400 has been given to 27 schools to provide food and drinks for all pupils through breakfast and after school clubs and snacks for free school meal pupils.

Various positive activities providers are also being funded to deliver programmes aimed at tackling holiday hunger over Christmas and New Year. This includes providing Christmas meals to young people in bubbles, 40 breakfast hampers to vulnerable families in Evesham and 120 gift packs for families in Droitwich.

Overall, Wychavon has provided about £2.7million supporting people in need and the community response to Covid-19. This includes help for people self-isolating, to pay their fuel costs and their Council Tax bill.

Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “No child should go hungry, especially at this time of the year, so we are doing all we with our partners in local government and the voluntary sector to make sure we support those in need both during and after this pandemic.”

Anyone who finds they are struggling to access food should visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help for advice and support. Information about Ready, Steady, Worcestershire and other advice and support can also be found through www.wychavon.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Festive bin collection changes in Wychavon 2020

Festive bin collection changes in Wychavon 

Changes are being made to bin collections in Wychavon during Christmas and New Year.

Waste and recycling collections will take place as normal from Monday 21 December to Christmas Eve.

The following changes will then take place:

 

Normal collection day Festive collection day
Friday 25 December Monday 28 December
Monday 28 December Tuesday 29 December
Tuesday 29 December Wednesday 30 December
Wednesday 30 December Thursday 31 December
Thursday 31 December Saturday 2 January
Friday 1 January Monday 4 January
Monday 4 January Tuesday 5 January
Tuesday 5 January Wednesday 6 January
Wednesday 6 January Thursday 7 January
Thursday 7 January Friday 8 January
Friday 8 January Saturday 9 January

 

Residents should check their copy of the WYCHAVON magazine, delivered this month, or our dedicated web page www.wychavon.gov.uk/Christmas for full details.

 

The web page also features a naughty and nice guide to recycling to help residents put the right things in the green bin this festive season.

 

There is also advice on waste reduction, particularly how to avoid throwing away food. The average family household in Worcestershire wastes £700 a year on food and more food waste is usually generated at Christmas. Across the UK the equivalent of 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies are thrown away.

 

Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will be open except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Residents are also being urged to delay having a new year clear out until later in January as social distancing restrictions remain in place at HRCs and too many people turning up at once may cause issues.

 

Charity shops are open and accepting donations, but restrictions are in place. Please call ahead before you visit with a donation. A list is available on our Christmas web page. Residents are urged not to leave donations on the street outside charity shops that are closed as this is fly-tipping and may lead to a fine or prosecution.

 

People are also encouraged to make reducing their waste a New Year’s resolution and to have a go at the 30-day zero waste challenge on the web page.

 

Cllr Emma Stokes, Executive Board Member for Environment and Street Scene on Wychavon District Council, said: “We have seen an increase in recycling since March but the amount of waste people are generating is also on the increase. Reducing our waste is just one small way we can all play our part in protecting our planet and living more sustainably. I urge everyone to make it their New Year’s resolution for 2021.”

 

Our top festive tips for recycling and waste reduction this Christmas are:

 

  • Eat what you buy, plan your portions, and use up leftovers.
  • Use the scrunch test on wrapping paper. If it holds its shape when scrunched into a ball, then it can go in with your recycling.
  • Plastic pots, tubs, and trays – including those used for dips and nibbles – can be recycled as long as they aren’t black in colour.
  • Send an electronic card to reduce waste this year. If you do receive an actual card, save it for next year and use for gift tags.
  • Foil can’t go in your green bin but it can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres. Scrunch it up into a ball and store it until you next have to make a visit.
  • Plastic toys and clothing can’t go in your green recycling bin. If in good condition, please donate to charity or sell online.

Visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/Christmas for more information.