Welcome to our latest update, we hope you find it useful.
You can keep up to date with all our public messaging by following our social media accounts or checking the coronavirus update page on our website.
If you are aware of anyone who is vulnerable and in need, please make sure they fill in the form or call the number on the Worcestershire Here 2 Help website.
Test and Trace service
The new NHS Test and Trace service launched across England on 28 May. This means that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents.
The service will help trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.
Update on council services
- Our Customer Contact Centres in Droitwich, Evesham and Pershore remain closed. You can still use our online services or contact us by phone.
- The Exceptional Hardship Fund has been temporarily replaced with the Covid-19 (coronavirus) Council Tax Hardship Fund 2020-2. Visit the page for further information Exceptional Hardship Fund.
- All children’s play areas are closed. Our parks remain open but you must follow social distancing rules.
- Droitwich, Evesham and Pershore Leisure Centres are closed.
- Public toilets – Broadway Activity Park and Pershore High Street (due to maintenance issues) are closed.
- Libraries (run by Worcestershire County Council) are closed. You can still download free audio books.
- Committee meetings are being held virtually.
- Our bulky waste collections have re-started. Garden waste and waste and recycling collections are unaffected.
- Our licensing functions have also been affected. Visit the Worcestershire Regulatory Services website for more information.
- Car parking – all of Wychavon’s Pay and Display Car Parks are now free to use. NHS Staff and health care staff can also park for free in any on-street parking bay, for any length of time, while carrying out essential duties, as long as they are displaying evidence of employment. See our parking page for more information.
Household recycling centres
The HRCs in Droitwich and Hill and Moor are now open and operating in line with the social distancing requirements.
Residents are being encouraged to check the website for full details of the social distancing measures, opening times and other restrictions before they visit an HRC. These measures include a ‘one in, one out’ access policy, no staff assistance to remove items from vehicles so those visiting need to be able to remove their own waste, and additional services such as compost sales and charity reuse points will be closed until further notice.
Sites are expected to be very busy so residents may have to queue for a long time before they are able to access the site as only a limited number of cars will be allowed in at any one time. Worcestershire County Council has worked with colleagues in Highways and will have traffic management in place where possible and will monitor this to try and keep disruption to the network to a minimum.
Support for businesses
By the end of May we had paid 2,347 of business grants to Wychavon businesses totalling £27.4 million.
In addition we have been given £1.5million of discretionary grant funding to help businesses not eligible to receive either the cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses or the small business grant.
Guidance has been issued by the Government and the types of business that are expected to benefit from this new funding are:
- Businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
- Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
- Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
- Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
Businesses must also demonstrate they have been significantly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Visit our website for more details and how to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 19 June 2020.
Our Covid-19 information business page contains lots of other information and advice for businesses including reopening businesses safely, making shops Covid-19 safe, links to government guidance for different types of businesses and other sources of financial support.
Crowdfund WYCHAVON launched
All community groups operating in Wychavon can apply for funding as part of our Spacehive crowdfunding platform. Crowdfund WYCHAVON has now been launched and the deadline for expressions of interest is 15 June.
Supporting our communities to respond to the coronavirus pandemic isn’t just about dealing with the immediate crisis. It also requires a long-term commitment to helping our residents and businesses recover from the impact of the virus. Helping our local economy and our communities to rebuild is important to our overall recovery plan for the district.
We want to get behind projects that have the support of the community and make a positive difference, we believe that Wychavon’s community groups are a key part of this. We have pre-selected some groups and organisations that we know are providing important services and support and would benefit from additional financial help to allow them to continue their vital work.
To support groups to reach their target, we will pledge up to 50% to each group, funding a maximum of £200. The remaining funds will need to be pledged by members of the community and other interested funders, over a six week period unless the total is reached sooner. Groups will receive support from both Wychavon District Council and Spacehive to generate interest and access other sources of funding.
Expressions of interest can be completed here. If successful, a group’s crowdfund will be live shortly afterwards and will run until 31 July.
Changes to electoral canvass
The Government has extended the date revised electoral registers need to be published by in response to coronavirus.
The annual electoral canvass starts in July and will pose some difficulties this year due to social distancing rules, availability of volunteers and concerns about door-knocking. As a result, the Government has amended the final date for the publication of this year’s revised registers from 1 December 2020 to February 2021. This will give councils more time to complete their canvassing and maintain the accuracy of their registers.
And finally …..
Don’t forget to check our Support for community groups and charities page for the latest sources of funding support available to community groups and charities affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. We are adding new sources of funding regularly.
Some of you have been asking about the third round of Wychavon Community Legacy Grants. Expressions of interest will not open before September 2020 at the earliest. When we have a definite timetable we will be in touch with parish and town clerks.