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