Our outreach team continues to work with rough sleepers with a view to getting them off the streets. We have offered accommodation to all of our known rough sleepers, however there are still a handful in Wychavon who are refusing accommodation. We are also feeding into a countywide Homeless Taskforce.
Dogs on leads
We have had some complaints about the notices we have put up in our parks and open spaces asking people to keep dogs on leads to make sure people stay 2 metres away from each other while using our parks for exercise. We want to make it clear that this is not something we have chosen to do but we have been told to do as part of the information issued to us by the Government. You can read the specific guidance here.
Following the announcement by the Government that councils should keep parks open, some members of the public and parish councils have asked if we will be reopening play areas. The guidance has not changed from that issued at the end of March and still states that play areas should remain closed. We are committed to keeping our parks open to allow people to exercise and will work with police to ensure people do so responsibly.
Bulky waste and fly-tipping
We are delighted to report, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our waste crews, we have restarted bulky waste collections this week.
We are not seeing an increase in reported fly-tips. Many of the rogue traders who usually operate, particularly at this time of year, are finding it more difficult to move around with less traffic on the road and police stopping vehicles. What we are seeing though is a shift in the type of waste being dumped from house clearance type items to garden and domestic household waste.
We are still investigating reports of fly-tips where there is a realistic prospect of evidence. Action will be taken if evidence can be found.
Household Recycling Centres
We know some residents have expressed concerns about the closure of Household Recycling Centres. As you know, these are run by Worcestershire County Council who have explained that Household Recycling Centres are closed, because under the current regulations travel to them is deemed as non-essential. Residents should only be leaving their homes to shop for basic necessities, pick up medicine, travel to work when they absolutely cannot work from home and exercise once a day.
We have put out messages discouraging residents from using bonfires as a means of disposing of their waste. Not only is it anti-social, as smoke could get into somebody’s home, it could also cause breathing issues or prevent someone using their garden for exercise. They could also be committing an offence as bonfires can easily get out of hand resulting in pressure on the fire service.
We are asking residents to be considerate of their neighbours and consider alternative ways to dispose of their garden waste. If you have a complaint about bonfires to make please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01905 822 799.
Funding support for community groups and charities
Each week we are adding new sources of funding support available to community groups and charities who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak or who are working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19. The latest sources include grants for voluntary and community organisations who provide mental health services, support for professional and recreational cricket clubs and funds to help low-income families.
Visit Support for community groups and charities page for more information. Please promote this support to relevant groups in your wards.
Pick for Britain
We are supporting the Pick for Britain campaign which is aiming to recruit thousands of workers to help harvest fruit and vegetables. If someone has been furloughed from work, they can still work on a farm while waiting for their usual work to resume. This, along with other Covid-19 related job opportunities, are available to view on our job opportunity pages here. Please help promote them to your residents.
Support for victims of domestic abuse
The household isolation instruction does not apply to people who need to leave their home to escape domestic abuse. Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. If you are concerned read the factsheet Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse.
Here 2 Help reminder
A reminder that if you are aware of anyone who is vulnerable and in need to make sure they fill in the form or call the number on the Worcestershire Here 2 Help website.
NHS Volunteer Responders
The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service has announced vulnerable people and their families will be able to directly call on the army of NHS Volunteer Responders. The scheme has been fully operational for two weeks with healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and local authority and social care staff calling on volunteers to carry out around 35,000 tasks to date, including delivering medicines, shopping and other supplies as well as making calls to check in on those isolating at home. More information can be found on the Royal Voluntary Service website for the NHS Volunteer Responders Scheme.
Seek help if you are in medical need
There is increasing concern about the drop off in GP appointments and increase in deaths as a result of non Covid-19 causes. It is not clear why this is but it could be due to people not wanting to bother the NHS due to the intense media coverage about the pressure it is under.
The NHS is still open for businesses for anyone who does not have a coronavirus related medical need. The way you access this help may be different, but help is still available. Read more advice about getting medical help at home. In a genuine life-threatening emergency you should still call 999.