Malvern Hills 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

 

Malvern Hills District Council- Flooding and Land Drainage

If you have a problem with flooding, please contact the most appropriate organisation to deal with the issue.

We receive regular flood warning information from the Environment Agency so that we have a good picture of how floods may develop. Information about flood warnings and river levels can be found by calling the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or on the Environment Agency website.

What to do before, during and after a flood

A useful guide from the Environment Agency about what to do before, during and after a flood. (374 KB)

The Association of British Insurers has also published a guide to recovering from a major flood.

Public Health England offers the following general safety advice on how to clean up after a flood.

  • Make sure there is good ventilation if you are using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces
  • Do not use petrol or diesel generators indoors: the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill
  • If you come into contact with flood water then wash your hands regularly.
  • Do not let children play in flood water

More information on how to clean up safely after a flood is available on the Government’s website.

The National Flood Forum is a charity that offers advice and support to people affected by flooding. You can call them on 01299 403 055.

Sandbags

In the event of flooding, sandbags are available from:

  • Council Depot in Pendragon Close, Malvern WR14 1GR
  • Hill Community Centre, Upton
  • Car park of Tenbury Community Swimming Pool

These are limited to six filled sandbags for each household. A limited number of sandbags may be available. 

Sandbags are only partially effective for flood defence purposes provided that they are used in conjunction with a suitable impermeable membrane. They can only be relied upon as a temporary measure, so where there is a regular need for some form of flood defence, we suggest a more easily deployed barrier or another form of property protection. For more information contact the National Flood Forum for independent advice and information.

Rest centres and other forms of help may be organised by the Emergency Management Team as necessary.

Communities

It may not always be possible for communities to be reached immediately during an emergency such as flooding. The Government suggest that communities could use local resources and knowledge to help themselves during an emergency. Useful links:

Land Drainage and Flooding

Land Drainage Functions are carried out by South Worcestershire Land Drainage Partnership (SWLDP).

Section 25 Enforcements

Under Section 25 of the Act any landowner who has a watercourse passing through or abutting their land is deemed a riparian owner and has a legal duty to keep it clear and free from obstruction to flow. As Drainage Authority the SWLDP has permissive legal powers to undertake enforcement action where appropriate.

To report obstructed watercourses please contact the Land Drainage Inspector on 01684 862145.

Consenting structures within a watercourse

Under Section 23 of the Act any alterations to, or proposed new structures that may affect flow in a watercourse may require Land Drainage Consent before works commence. Those requiring consent are shown in the  ‘consentable structures’ document. (212 KB)

Consent is required to be sought for the features shown whether the proposed works are permanent or temporary.

To apply for consent or discuss any structures that may require consent contact Debbie Bowen on 01386 565377 or email .

Please note consent cannot be given retrospectively so this should be done before any works are started.

All works in, on, or near a watercourse should comply with the Environment Agency pollution control recommendations in  ‘PPG 5 – Works in or near a watercourse’ (125 KB) . A summary is available below and the full version can be found on the Environment Agency website.

The designation of flood defence structures

Under the Flood and water Management Act 2010 the SWLDP has powers to designate features. These are private structures that although are not designed as flood defence structures provide a flood defence function. Designation involves protecting them from alteration without prior consent. Further information can be found in the  Designation Factsheet. (38 KB)

For more information see:  Flooding Information and Advice. (281 KB)

Malvern Hills District Council Newsletter December 2020

IMPORTANT News Release from Public Health England and Worcestershire County Council

The following news release and poster has been emailed to all Parish and Town Council Clerks.

Public Health partners urge people not to touch sick or dead birds

Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and Worcestershire County Council public health colleagues are urging people, including members of voluntary wildlife organisations, not to touch sick or dead wild birds.

The call comes as PHE and the local authority work together after confirmed avian influenza A(H5N8) diagnosed in a number of swans in Evesham and following reports of a growing number of sick and dead swans around the Diglis area of Worcester.

With an increasing number of cases of the infection being seen across the country, on 11 November Defra declared the whole of England as an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading to poultry and captive birds. This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures and from 14 December all poultry and captive birds will need to be housed.

The A(H5N8) strain is highly pathogenic to other birds, however there have been no human cases of infection reported. While the risk to human health is considered very low, it is still vital that people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses, and infection control measures may be necessary if they do.

Dr James Chipwete, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control with PHE in the West Midlands, and lead consultant for flu, said: “During the last week there have been confirmed cases of avian influenza A(H5N8) in swans in Evesham, and we are receiving an increasing number of reports of sick and dead swans in the Diglis area of Worcester. We are awaiting results of investigations currently being undertaken by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

“We know that people are concerned for the welfare of the swans, especially ensuring they are fed in these colder months, however it is important that people avoid contact with these sick or dead birds. Even though no cases of human infection have been associated with this strain of avian flu, as a precaution, anyone who was not wearing appropriate PPE while in contact with the droppings or birds in an area where the infection has been confirmed, will require close monitoring and a course of antiviral medication for 10 days from last contact with infected birds.

“We have seen a number of avian flu cases in poultry and captive birds across the country – with confirmed cases of A(H5N8) in Herefordshire last month, and suspected cases now in Warwickshire. People must avoid touching potentially infected birds at all costs, and if you do see any sick or dead birds by waterways or on your private land, please leave them and call the Defra helpline on 03459 335577. In areas where the infection has been confirmed, anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings, while not wearing the correct PPE, should make sure any footwear is properly cleaned and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water. They should then notify Public Health England’s Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3560 to arrange for antiviral medication and active surveillance of their condition. If someone handled infected birds while wearing adequate PPE, they must still undergo active surveillance.”

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire, said: “We’re continuing to work Public Health England Midlands to monitor this outbreak of avian influenza. It’s really important that we do all we can to protect both humans and birds throughout this outbreak of avian influenza in wild birds and keep the case numbers as low as we can in Worcestershire. The bigger risk is to birds rather than people. The risk of transmission to people is low and there is guidance that all keepers must follow to help keep both themselves and their birds safe.”

Help accessing food and other support

We have included some links on our website to signpost anyone who may need help accessing food, medicines, financial advice or other types of support:

  • Hardship Support and Advice. A list of local and national organisations supporting anyone in need. This includes help with clothing, counselling, financial support, food, housing, other support and general information and advice.
  • Ready Steady Worcestershire provides information about food, activities and support available to families in Malvern Hills District during the school holidays.
  • Here2Help is for anyone who is vulnerable and needs help but does not have family, friends and neighbours to support them. Fill in the online form and someone will get back to you shortly.

Malvern Hills Good Neighbour Network provides details of local community support groups.

Festive Children’s Trails

Malvern Hills District Council has joined forces with Malvern, Upton, and Tenbury Town Councils to launch this year’s festive shop window dressing competition with a twist. New for 2020, the competition will include a fun children’s trail to encourage local shoppers onto the high streets, whilst following social distancing guidelines. Children are being asked to help Santa Claus find a series of letters hidden within the window displays which will reveal a Christmas word or phrase. Prizes are up for grabs for those who complete the challenge, different rules apply for the different trails.

The trails will launch on the following dates:

  • Upton: 3 to 19 December
  • Tenbury: 3 to 23 December
  • Malvern: 5 to 23 December

Visit www.malvernhills.gov.uk/community/christmas for more information.

Tier Two restrictions for Worcestershire from December 2nd 2020

Tier Two restrictions for Worcestershire

Today, the Government announced Worcestershire will go into Tier Two category of restrictions, once the current lockdown finishes on December 2nd.

Worcestershire has worked very hard during the lockdown to reduce the number of cases of Covid-19 in the county.

We have seen some good progress, which has resulted in the county avoiding tier 3 restrictions. We now need to continue the good work and bring the number of Covid-19 cases down further.

From Wednesday 2nd December, everyone in Worcestershire will need to observe Tier Two restrictions.

Tier Two restrictions include:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.

The full list of restrictions are available on the dedicated pages of the Government’s website.

These restrictions are considered necessary because the infection rate remains too high. The virus doesn’t stay in a single area but spreads where people are mixing. It is very important that we all now follow these new rules, to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases and stop the virus spreading further.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health for Worcestershire said:  

“I would like to thank you all for your continued hard work in helping to stop the spread of Covid-19. During these recent restrictions, we have seen some positive signs that Covid-19 cases are starting to stabilise in the county.

The tier we will be in from December 2nd, will be reviewed every two weeks so it is important that we keep these figures heading in the right direction. Therefore, we need to continue to follow the measures in place to protect us all. We need to keep following the rules and keep building on the hard work we have done so far.

This is a real opportunity, to take control of the virus, get our figures down and reduce the risk of transmission, especially with Christmas around the corner.

It is up to us all now to keep going with the good work, by social distancing, by wearing a face covering, by washing our hands regularly and limiting our contacts.”

Councillor John Smith, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing and Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board added: “These new measures represent a renewed opportunity to get our numbers down even more. If we keep working together to follow the rules, we will keep the people of Worcestershire safe and reduce the transmission of the virus.”

For the latest information on the restrictions and what you can do over the Christmas period visit the dedicated pages of the County Council’s website.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FLYER

Stoke Bliss Group Parish Council meeting on Monday 16th November 2020 at 7.30pm via Zoom

Stoke Bliss Group Parish Council meeting is scheduled for Monday 16th November 2020 at 7.30pm.

Should you wish to attend please contact the clerk at

Thank you

 

Carole Hirst

Clerk to Stoke Bliss Group Parish Council

 

Malvern Hills District Council COVID Update Sept 2020

Are you ready for the new NHS Covid-19 app?

From Thursday (24 September 2020) the NHS Covid-19 contract tracing app will be launched. This is part of the test and trace service and will be important in helping control the spread of coronavirus and protecting each other.

All businesses in the following sectors must by law display a QR code poster from 24 September:

  • Hospitality
  • Leisure and tourism
  • Close contact services
  • Places of worship
  • Local authority venues

Community centres, youth and community centres and village halls are all covered by this change to the law.

Getting a QR code for your venue is quick and easy from the Government’s website.

Get a QR code for your business or venue

Further information

Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

A guide to creating a QR code for your venue

Tips for displaying your QR poster

An overview of how the NHS Covid-19 app works

Rule of 6 introduction and implications

Since Monday, 14 September, people are only allowed to gather socially in groups of 6 indoors and outdoors.

The Government has published updated advice for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities. In particular, you may find section 3 helpful as this covers the rules around things such as bookings for social clubs, support groups and public consultations

Long-term effects of COVID-19

There is growing evidence to suggest that those people who have experienced both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19 can suffer from long-term health effects.

Public Health England has produced new information and guidance on the health problems reported in COVID-19 cases following acute disease, and guidance for healthcare professionals on how to advise recovering COVID-19 patients.

Residents’ Survey 2020

We have begun our annual Residents’ Survey, which started on Sunday, 6 September 2020.

We are asking residents to tell us what they think of their local area and services.

This year, the survey includes questions on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted residents, as well as the response and support provided by the council. It will also ask questions about such issues as litter and homelessness.

Feedback will be used to improve services and the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. A summary of the results will be published anonymously on the council website.

It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete but progress can be saved so it can be completed in stages.

The survey will run until 4 October. Please help us to promote this to residents using the channels you have available. People can take part by visiting

www.malvernhills.gov.uk/performance

Crowdfund Worcestershire

Community groups (and parish & town councils) have until 30 September 2020 to register for Crowdfund Worcestershire, an £85,000 fund set-up by Worcestershire County Council to support projects to help the county’s covid-19 pandemic recovery.

Crowdfund Worcestershire is based on the Spacehive platform, used successfully in Malvern Hills, and allows community groups, parish councils and organisations to receive funding from the county council, as well as other donors.

Projects the county are looking to fund should focus on one of five key areas, with pledges of up to £20,000 available. The five key areas are:

  • Social isolation/befriending – looking at virtual community connections / or adapted schemes that comply with social distancing.
  • Maintaining our volunteering offer – helping to create a legacy of community and volunteer action post Covid-19.
  • Healthy Communities – activities to improve the health and wellbeing of your local community
  • Return to work – helping people prepare for a return to work or helping them into work.
  • Food Poverty – predominately focused on families

On top of this, community transport groups have until 30 September to register to be part of a crowdfunding campaign, where they can receive pledges of up to £50,000 from Malvern Hills.

Groups interested in taking part, or finding out more, should visit https://www.spacehive.com/movement/worcs for more information. Please help us to promote these opportunities to groups in your parish.

The process:

  1. Create your project page on Spacehive referring to their handy guide. If you want some 1:1 feedback on how your project page is looking then Spacehive can help, just email
  2. Pitch to the fund on Spacehive by 30th September.
  3. Submit your project for verification.
  4. Once verified, go live with your crowdfunding campaign and showcase local support ahead of project assessment in early November (check our tips and resources here).
  5. If successful, you’ll receive a pledge from the council towards your live campaign.

Green Dog Walkers

We are continuing with our Green Dog Walker pledge and ask for your help to promote this to residents.

All Green Dog Walkers take a pledge to always:

  • Clean up after their dog
  • Carry extra dog waste bags
  • Be happy to be approached to lend a dog waste bag to those without
  • Be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dogs

To become a Green Dog Walker please complete the online pledge form.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/GDWpledge

Once we have received the form you will receive a GDW badge, free poo bags, and an information pack.

Adopt a Street

Thank you to those of you who have already signed up to adopt a street as a parish council. Hopefully you have now received your free kits.

If you haven’t heard about the scheme yet, all you have to do is sign the online pledge which includes:

  • Telling us which area of land you would like to adopt (public land only unless you have permission from the landowner)
  • A promise from you to litter pick your chosen site at least three times a year on dates of your choosing and at your convenience

The area you choose to litter pick can be as small or as large as you like. The scheme is open to individuals, schools, community groups and Parish and Town Councils.

You can use your black bin at home for disposing of any litter you collect but if you find the volume you are collecting is an issue then please contact and someone will assist you.

In return for your commitment we will provide you with:

  • Free Litter picking equipment and bags (limited to 10 sets for community groups/schools/local councils)
  • Guidance on health and safety

Sign up at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/adoptastreetMHDC/

Here 2 Help You! Find out more about Crowdfund Worcestershire at latest online event

Here 2 Help You! Find out more about Crowdfund Worcestershire at latest online event

Has lockdown given you an idea of how you could improve things for your local community? If so, the County Council wants to hear from you.

Charities, local organisations and individuals across the county are being encouraged to join an hour long online event to learn about how they could fund their community project ideas through Crowdfund Worcestershire.

The latest event is running on Friday 4th September from 12-1pm.

Worcestershire County Council, alongside Malvern and Wychavon District Councils, are inviting anyone who may have a project idea that will support their local community, no matter how big or how small to join the latest online event.

Your project idea must be around the following themes:

    • Food Poverty – predominately focused on families
    • Social isolation/befriending – looking at virtual community connections / or adapted schemes that comply with social distancing.
    • Return to work – helping people prepare for a return to work or helping them into work.
    • Maintaining our volunteering offer – helping to create a legacy of community and volunteer action post Covid-19.
    • Healthy communities – activities to improve the health and wellbeing of your local community
    • Ticket to ride – transport projects that are sustainable, innovative, citizen-led and community-based to support increase resilience and boost connectivity of communities in Wychavon and Malvern by improving local people’s ability to travel to services and opportunities for social interaction.

The Crowdfund Worcestershire initiative has been launched to help build on the success of its Here2Help community campaign.

It is there to give anyone who lives locally who might have ideas about how to improve their community the opportunity to gain much needed funding through Spacehive, a crowdfunding platform.

Worcestershire County Council will be working with Spacehive on the initiative with a funding pot of £85,000 which they hope will at least double for the projects through the crowdfunding they will carry out themselves, with help and support along the way from Spacehive.

This funding, via the same Spacehive platform, will be led by Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils and there’s pledges of up to £50,000 up for grabs for this first round.

 

Spacehive is a funding platform that brings together people, businesses, councils and foundations to collaboratively fund projects that communities want.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities, said: “It’s great that we’re able to continue the community spirit generated from Here 2 Help, it has proven really successful, and we must hold on to it, as we look forward to the future and the recovery phase.

“So if you have an idea on how a to support your local community, then join the online event to find out more about how Crowdfund Worcestershire may be able with funding to get your project off the ground or improve on what you are already delivering.

The hour long event is a great way to learn more and ask any questions you may have. It could be the gateway to getting funding from the Council and from your local community.

“You know what your community needs best as you understand the challenges and opportunities your  local area and this model puts you and your ideas in the driving seat.”

If local people and organisations have an project idea they will need to register their idea on the Crowdfund Worcestershire platform by 30th September, clearly outlining how they may be able to help maintain progress in the key areas.

To find out more information about Crowdfunding Worcestershire and book your place on the event on 4th September, please visit the dedicated pages on Spacehive.

Worcestershire County Council- #HandsFaceSpace Campaign

Worcestershire County Council is creating a #HandsFaceSpace video campaign to encourage people to follow social distancing rules – wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings and keep a safe distance – and they need your support.

The campaign is focused on asking people to create short videos to tell us why sticking to the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ guidance matters to them.

We want you to share your story by sending us a 50 second max, selfie-style video (landscape if possible), explaining why the government’s #HandsFaceSpace guidance matters to you personally. Maybe your loved ones have been shielding, or getting your business going relies on everybody following the guidelines? Perhaps you haven’t been able to regularly see your grandchildren, or you’ve really missed meeting up with friends?

We want to encourage more people to follow the guidelines and will be sharing your video across our website and social media channels.

Watch an example video using this link: https://we.tl/t-qOdDvXPrJU

Tips for recording your video:

  • Use a smartphone and if possible, record your video in landscape
  • 50 seconds max
  • Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, we just want to hear from you
  • Please don’t read from a script, just chat normally.
  • We’d like personal stories, to help others understand why it matters to everyone to follow the guidance.
  • Don’t worry about the public health messages, we will add a slide at the end of the video, which reminds everyone of the hands, face, space message.

Video files are usually too large for email so we suggest sending them to us using www.wetransfer.com. Just follow the instructions on screen to attach your file and in the ‘send to’ box use the email

Sharing your #HandsFaceSpace message will help us to continue keeping people safe. Many thanks for your support

 

Malvern Hills District Council- Parish Council update 17th August 2020

Appointment of New Chief Executive

Our Chief Executive Jack Hegarty retired on 31 July after 35 years in local government – the last 5.5 years of which were spent in charge of Malvern Hills District Council.

He has been replaced by Vic Allison MBE, who was Deputy Managing Director of Wychavon District Council and now steps up to be Joint Chief Executive of both Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Council.

Vic has worked in local government since the late 1980s and is a chartered public finance accountant. He has worked for councils including Stratford District Council and West Oxfordshire Council, before joining Wychavon in 2006.

He intends to build on the solid foundation Jack has laid and deliver the ambitions of the Council as set out in our Five Year Plan. He looks forward to working with you all.

Announcement on Planning Reforms.

The Government has published its white paper Planning for the Future which proposes radical changes to the planning system. This includes removing the current planning committee system and replacing it with a US-style zonal system where outline planning permission will be automatic depending on the proposed site.

A summary of the main proposals is below:

  • Local plans will be simplified and responsible for designating land into three categories. Growth – where outline approval for development would be automatic, Renewal – where proposals would be approved in principle subject to certain checks and Protected – where development is restricted
  • Local plans will focus on site and area specific requirements and local design codes rather than policy. Policy will be decided predominantly at a national level by the National Planning Policy Framework. It is estimated this will reduce local plans in size by two thirds
  • Plans must be produced and pass key stages in 30 months
  • Consultation with the public will take place at the plan making and design code production stage. The Government wants this to be a comprehensive, meaningful engagement, with greater use of technology and social media to allow people to feed in their views. In terms of the planning application stage, the process will be streamlined with no or limited opportunity for local people to comment
  • There will be a greater use of digital technology which will remove the need for adverts to be placed in newspapers, notices to be put on lampposts, notification letters etc. Instead the system will be more web based. Plans will be more visual to make them easier for people to understand what is proposed near to them
  • Digital technology should also play a greater part in decision-making with software and algorithms being used to automatically validate applications and decide whether they are within the rules
  • The existing test of soundness, updating requirements for assessments (including on the environment and viability) and the Duty to Cooperate will be replaced with a single test of sustainable development
  • The Government’s vision is planning department in future will switch from approving and processing applications to enforcing standards. As such, greater enforcement powers will be given to councils and there will be an expectation more enforcement action will be taken to ensure local design codes and national policies are being followed.
  • New homes will need to reduce carbon emissions by 75% to 80% on current standards from 2025 and be ready to become carbon neutral by 2050 as the National Grid decarbonises without the need for expensive retrofitting schemes
  • A fast track for beauty scheme will be introduced – this will allow high quality developments built to a high standard and reflecting local character to be automatically approved
  • A new infrastructure levy will replace S106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy. The Government state their aim will be to ensure this delivers at least as much on-site affordable housing as it does now but without months of negotiation. Councils will get more say over how developer contributions are used. The scope of the new levy will be expanded to capture changes to permitted development rights, so developers converting office blocks to housing would still have to pay.

For more detail read the Planning for the Future white paper.

Malvern Hills District Council will be responding to the consultation.

Re-opening of our Services.

Leisure centres in Malvern Hills District reopened on 25 July 2020 with social distancing measures in place.

The swimming pool at Malvern Splash will not reopen until January 2021. Tenbury Pool, which is run by a Trust, is not expected to reopen until October. Both are undergoing refurbishment.

Pre-booked face to face appointments are now being offered at the Council House but reception will remain closed to the Public.

Play Areas.

The government has revised its guidance on play areas. The latest version can be found here

Phil Merrick emailed all parish and town clerks on 17 July to share the poster the district council will be using for its own play areas, which you are all welcome to use.

Destination Zero – Plan update.

many of you will know, we now have a Destination Zero plan to help us become a carbon neutral district by 2050. We held a session with our Parish and Town Council colleagues last autumn and many of the ideas you put forward now feature within the plan.

We wanted to update you on our progress with this plan including that we have recently interviewed for the new Carbon Reduction Officer post and we hope to be able to introduce you to the new officer in the autumn. One of their first tasks will be to set up the stakeholder group and rearrange our partnership event, which was postponed in March due to the crisis.

Out of the 57 actions in our current plan, 36 are in progress with others being longer term aims. You may have already seen that we have recently purchased 45.57 acres at Green Park, Greenhill Lane, Hallow, WR2 6LG for the purpose of contributing towards our targets. Estimates show from managing the land differently the soil alone could capture 2,500 tonnes approx. by 2030.

We hope to update you further on our progress when we next meet as a forum but we will also let you know once our new officer is in post, should you wish to contact them direct about our work in this area.

We want your help…

Tree planting is not the answer to tackling climate change. It is always better to reduce emissions rather than offset or capture them. But, tree planting does have a role to play. To support our ambition to become a carbon neutral district, we need to plant tens of thousands of trees. We won’t be able to plant them all.

If you have recently planted or are planting any trees, can you spare a minute to let us know, which helps us to calculate any carbon savings. You can use our tree planting form

Ready Steady Worcestershire – Holiday Activity and Food

The Worcestershire Holiday Activity and Food webpage offers details of local organisations providing summer holiday activities for children and young people as well as those with food included.
If you are providing activities with or without food included during the holidays and would like your details included on the page, please let Claire know

Family Fun with Photoboxing

For families or adults looking for something fun to do over the holidays, why not sign up to our latest challenge – Photoboxing! Photoboxing is a temporary replacement for the popular Letterboxing project which is a family and adult fun form of orienteering. The challenge will be available until the end of September.
Visit: http://www.malvernhills.gov.uk/get-active to find out more and sign up and check out our video on YouTube.

Funding support for community groups and charities

Please visit Support for community groups and charities page for more information on a range of funding sources available to community groups and charities supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.
Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund
Tesco Bags of Help has responded to the current COVID-19 crisis by setting up a new fund to support local communities. The programme will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups, as part of their emergency response in supporting local communities.
Typically, the fund will support organisations that have experienced;
• Increased demand – a holiday hunger club needs more resources to support children through the summer months or a food bank whose stocks are running low and needs an immediate donation to enable the food bank to restock.
• Disrupted services – a local charity setting up a delivery service to replace its monthly lunch club, or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
• New services –a health focused charity having to set up a new online patient service requires new IT equipment or a mental health charity developing a new service.
Applications will be welcomed from a wide range of organisations including: voluntary/community organisations, registered charities, schools, health bodies, Parish/Town councils, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, community councils, local authorities and housing organisations. Other not-for-profit organisations might also be eligible.
Businesses and ‘for profit’ organisations are not eligible.
Typically they would welcome applications from organisations such as ;
• Health focused charities- such as Cancer, Diabetes, Heart charities
• Food banks
• Hospices
• Homeless charities
• Charity supporting the elderly or those needing to self-isolate
• Women’s refuges
• Charity supporting children and young people
More information about the funding and application forms can be found on the website: https://tescobagsofhelp.org.uk/grant-schemes/tesco-cv-fund/

Neighbourhood Watch

We are currently promoting the Neighbourhood Watch scheme across the district and would welcome your help in promoting the scheme to your local residents. We have attached a poster with more details and would encourage any interested residents to contact Elliot Nixon for more details