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COVID-19 UPDATE 22nd September

NHS COVID-19 App launching this week

The NHS COVID-19 app will launch in England on Thursday 24 September.

In the run-up to the launch, the council is engaging with businesses and venues across the county to provide guidance for those required by law to print and display posters to help users of the app check in and record their presence.

The posters, which display a unique QR code for each setting, can be scanned by the app, which then saves information that can be used to help contact tracers in the event of an outbreak.

Settings that are currently required to keep records of visitors for contact tracing purposes must still maintain their own register to collect the contact details of those who have not, or could not, install the app.

Venues include facilities provided by local authorities and town and parish councils, including town and village halls, leisure centres, libraries, community and children’s centres.

Read more information about  which venues in England should display the official NHS QR code poster.

Venues that are required to display the official NHS QR code poster can download and print the QR code posters from the Government website.

For further details on the announcement please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/venues-required-to-enforce-rule-of-6-nhs-qr-code-posters-and-contact-logs.

Please do encourage businesses in your local area to download and display QR code posters to ensure they comply with this latest legislation. We’ll be sending out more information about how you can help encourage residents to download the app in the next couple of days so please keep an eye out for that.

Precautionary COVID-19 measures taken at ten schools

The following schools are taking precautionary measures with the advice and support of public health officials after one pupil at each school tested positive for COVID-19. 

St Augustines

160 Year 9 pupils have been self-isolating but returned to school yesterday.

Kingsbury Green Academy

The pupil is in Year 12 and is self-isolating with Year 12 and 13 pupils, 110 in total, and three members of staff for 14 days until 30 September.  

Bulford St Leonard’s School

The pupil is in Year 5 and is self-isolating with year 5 pupils, 35 in total, for 14 days until 26 September. Three teaching staff will also self-isolate.

The Springfields Academy

The pupil, who is in a year group bubble of Years 6 – 8 is self-isolating along with the other 11 pupils in the bubble for 14 days until 29 September.

St Margaret’s Preparatory School

The pupil is in Year 3 and is self-isolating along with Year 3 pupils, 27 in total and three staff, for 14 days until Monday 28 September.

Royal Wootton Bassett Academy
The pupil is in Year 9, and is self-isolating with all Year 9 pupils, 284 in total for 14 days until 25 September.

Avon Valley College
The pupil is in Year 10, and is self -isolating along with  Year 10 pupils, 65 in total, until 21 September. One member of staff is also self-isolating.  

Trinity School

The pupil was in year 4 , and is self-isolating along with year 4 pupils, 28 in total and 2 members of staff

Southbroom Junior

Two pupils in year 6 are isolating. No children sent home as the positive cases had not attended school during their infectious period

Southbroom Nursery

One positive case with 19 children now self isolating.

Statement on Bridgestone British Masters motocross event

A decision has been made that the Bridgestone British Masters Battlecross motocross event in Winterbourne Gunner will not take place this year.

The event wasn’t requested to be cancelled, but assurances were not met that adequate plans were in place for the event to take place while keeping everyone in attendance as safe as possible. Such plans are standard practice for any large-scale event.

Following conversations with colleagues at Wiltshire Council, Public Health, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Wiltshire Police, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, and the event organisers the decision has been made that now is not the right time for the event to take place. The health and wellbeing of our communities is our top priority and a gathering of this nature has the potential to undo some of the great work many people have done in following COVID-19 guidance and keeping each other as safe as possible.   

The organisers already have plans for the event to take place in 2021.

As we continue to see outbreaks of Coronavirus across the country we want to do what we can to ensure Wiltshire doesn’t end up with a significant increase in cases.

Any events or gatherings of more than six people, other than those which are exempt, risk increasing the number of infections in the county.

In response to the current situation, Wiltshire Council is strongly recommending local businesses and event organisers postpone or cancel events that are planned to take place in the county during September and October.

If you do become aware of events taking place in your local area, please could we ask for your support in sharing this message to help ensure that together Wiltshire helps reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and continues to keep rates low.

MyWilts launch

The council will be launching its new online reporting system, MyWilts, this week.

The new system replaces the previous MyWiltshire, which was introduced in 2013. MyWilts allows people to report issues such as:

·        Abandoned vehicles 

·        Fraud 

·        Weather emergencies 

·        Fly Tipping 

·        Dog mess 

·        Graffiti 

Over time the council will be adding more services to the app and website, making it simpler, quicker and easier for residents to access council services digitally, when they choose to.  

The new MyWilts will be available shortly via internet browser, App Store (Apple) and Google Play (Android).

To show you the new system in advance, watch the following five-minute video which provides an overview of the system features.

Wiltshire Council receives government support to help fund vital work with rough sleepers

Wiltshire Council has received more than £47,000 from the government to continue to help rough sleepers.

The pledge is part of £91.5m allocated to 274 local authorities by the government to help support vulnerable people housed during the pandemic.

The funding will be spent on a range of measures that will continue the council’s work with rough sleepers throughout Wiltshire to provide support and accommodation, and ultimately reduce rough sleeping in the county.

The council is committed to helping rough sleepers in Wiltshire, and has a dedicated outreach team that is working hard to connect with people on the streets and find them suitable accommodation.

If anyone sees a rough sleeper in Wiltshire, please report it on StreetLink or via the StreetLink app; this will direct our teams to help people who need it.

Further information about the scheme can be found here https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news-funding-help-rough-sleepers.

Green Homes Grant Scheme

Homeowners and landlords can now access funding to pay for the cost of energy saving measures under the new Green Homes Grant scheme and businesses are being encouraged to register their services.

The scheme means homeowners can obtain up to two-thirds of the cost of energy saving measures – up to £5000. Lower-income households could be entitled to claim as much as £10,000 to cover the cost.

Home improvements covered by the scheme include insulation of walls, floors and roofs, installation of double or triple glazing to replace single glazing and low-carbon heating. These measures could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.

The scheme supports the council’s Climate Strategy and helps us prepare for the future by protecting the environment and saving money for homeowners through long-term energy savings

Please promote this scheme to your local communities and businesses. Homeowners can get more information and apply at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme. Businesses can find out more and register at https://www.trustmark.org.uk/.

Thirty-six year record falls to Wiltshire Council-funded athlete

A Wiltshire Council-funded local athlete is celebrating recent success following the resumption of the 2020 athletics season.

Lucy-Jane Matthews, aged 17 from Salisbury, broke the British 100 metres hurdles record that has been held by British athletics legend Sally Gunnell since 1984.  This now places Lucy-Jane joint third on the British women’s U20 all-time list and in the process, earned her an invitation to compete at the British Championships – where she promptly won herself a silver medal.

To support her on the track, Wiltshire Council has funded Lucy-Jane via the Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians Foundation, first with a Sports Scholarship grant and in the last two years with an Elite Athlete Grant.

The council is proud to have supported Lucy-Jane over a number of years. We know that the council’s Sport Scholarship and Elite Athlete grants make a huge difference providing much needed financial support to athletes as they aim for success on the world stage. The council is looking forward to seeing what Lucy-Jane can achieve in the future.


Cllr Philip Whitehead

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