Malvern Hills DC Coronavirus update – May 2021

Latest update

When we issued our last update we were just at the start of our journey back towards a more normal way of life.

Just over a month later and we appear to have successfully negotiated the first two steps of lockdown easing and are looking forward to the next set of restrictions being lifted on 17 May.

Infection rates in our district are low, at levels not seen since August 2020 (you can see the figures for yourself on the Worcestershire Coronavirus dashboard). Let’s make sure they stay that way by continuing to follow the lockdown easing guidance at each step.

In this update we have information on:

  • an update on the vaccine rollout and challenging vaccine misinformation
  • access to free rapid (lateral flow) testing
  • support if you are experiencing anxiety or difficult feelings as we come out of lockdown
  • information on our new economic recovery fund
  • Elections and Covid-19 update

Most of us will be looking forward to 21 June when it is planned all legal restrictions on social contact will end. But we are not there yet.

As Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, said at the coronavirus press conference this week ‘we need to hold the line for a teeny bit longer’.

We’re almost there, let’s not put it all at risk. Let’s get back to what we love safely.


Join the millions already vaccinated

vaccine millions

So far 49,534 people have had at least their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in our district. If you are over 40 you can now book your Covid-19 vaccine.

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and the best way to protect people from coronavirus. By coming forward for the vaccine when it is your turn, you are not only helping to save lives, but speeding up our return to a more normal way of life.

Vaccinated people are:

  • Less likely to get Covid-19 symptoms
  • Even more unlikely to get serious Covid-19 and have to be admitted to hospital or die from it
  • Less likely to pass the virus on to others (evidence is growing although more research is needed)

The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection everyone will need to get a second dose. Having your second dose will also protect you for longer.

If you have had your first dose then please make sure you go back for your second appointment.

It is essential that everyone continues to follow COVID-19 restrictions whether they have had the vaccine or not.


Beware vaccine misinformation

Vaccine 2

There is a lot of disinformation about the vaccine circulating on social media. Please make sure you are getting your information from reliable sources.

One of the biggest myths circulating right now is about the vaccine and fertility. The British Fertility Society has created a Covid-19 vaccine and fertility factsheet which explains why it is safe for people of childbearing age to have the vaccine. Please note, the advice in the factsheet about the vaccine and pregnancy is out of date as updated guidance was issued about Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy on 16 April.

Another popular myth that is deterring some people is the claim the vaccine contains animal products.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has confirmed the Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine do not contain egg or any components of animal origin.

The NHS Covid-19 vaccination page has more information on the safety of the vaccine and any potential side effects.

We know some of you have concerns about how fast vaccines have been developed. Here is a short explainer video on how it was possible to produce Covid-19 vaccines safely and at speed.


Get your free rapid (lateral flow) testing kits 

lateral flow

The Government is urging everyone without Covid-19 symptoms to carry out two rapid (lateral flow) tests a week at home. This will help identify the 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 who have the virus but do not realise it.

If you test positive you and anyone you live with must self-isolate immediately, report your test result and book a standard PCR Covid-19 test.

Find out more about what to do if you test positive for Covid-19. 

Rapid testing kits are available from pharmacies, some mass testing sites and some libraries. Visit Worcestershire County Council’s page on testing for people without symptoms for more information.

Watch Worcestershire GP Dr Jonathan Wells explain how to perform a rapid (lateral flow) test.


Looking after your mental health as we come out of lockdown

mental health

While some of us cannot wait for the 21 June and the potential end of restrictions on social contact, for others it is a time of anxiety.

Having spent so long staying at home and apart from others, the thought of returning to crowded spaces, or even just setting foot outside the front door, can result in difficult feelings.

If this is happening to you then it’s okay. There isn’t a right or wrong way to feel about this situation. The important thing is you do something about it.

The mental health charity Mind has produced some good information and self-help support on managing feelings about lockdown easing.

The pandemic has also disrupted our sleep patterns and increased our stress levels as we have adapted to a new way of living.

The Every Mind Matters website has a range of information on things you can try to help tackle some of these issues.

You are also encouraged to make your own free NHS online plan, with simple steps to help manage anxiety, sleep and to boost your mood.

Create your Mental Health Action Plan


£500,000 economic recovery fund unveiled

money

A £500,000 Economic Recovery Fund is being created to support the rebuilding of the district’s economy from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The money will be used to provide, amongst other things:

  • A programme to support businesses to take on apprentices, graduates and other trainees
  • An event development budget to support events that will generate footfall for the district’s town centres and money for marketing
  • A Town Centre Transformation Scheme which will include grants to help businesses improve shop fronts, support for businesses to trade online, marketing and branding activity and free parking after 3pm during April and May

Read more about our economic recovery fund.


Get back to supporting our traders safely

lockdown traders

Our traders have been through a lot this last year and it has been good to see people returning to our town centres since non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality restarted on 12 April.

We are running our ‘let’s get back to supporting our traders safely’ marketing campaign to encourage people to back local businesses.

Where you spend your money matters. If every adult in the UK spent £5 in their local shops and businesses, instead of online retailers or multi-national chain stores, It would mean £13.5billion going directly back into local areas. You have the power to make a difference to the success of our high streets with the spending decisions you make.

Many of our local businesses are continuing to offer delivery and click and collect services as well.

Use the links to find out how you can support local businesses and a list of outdoor hospitality venues.


How to vote in next Thursday’s local elections

voting covid

On Thursday (6 May) elections will take place to Worcestershire County Council, for the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner and there is also a by-election for The Malvern Hills Trust.

If you are voting in-person on the day then Covid-19 Secure measures will be in place to keep you, other voters and our staff safe.

You will be required to:

  • Wear a face covering when in the polling station unless you are legally exempt
  • Sanitise your hands on entering the polling station
  • Pay attention to floor markers which will help maintain social distancing
  • Bring your own pen or pencil. Clean pencils will be available on the day if you forget

Staff will also be carrying out extra cleaning.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm. It may take longer than usual to vote so please vote early on in the day if you can.

Some polling stations may have changed due to the need to maintain social distancing restrictions. You can find out where to vote using our online checker

If you are voting by post then please watch this short video on how to complete your postal vote. Royal Mail recommend you post your vote by 4 May so please don’t delay and get your postal vote in asap.

If you are worried your postal vote will not make it in time, then you can hand it in at your local polling station on polling day itself.


Jobs and training opportunities now all in one place

Worcestershire jobs

A new website has been launched by Worcestershire LEP and Worcestershire County Council to help people easily find jobs, training options and educational courses all within Worcestershire.

Worcestershire jobs is a free service that works by gathering all local vacancies and courses into one easy to use website. This allows anyone to quickly search for jobs, training opportunities or further educational courses at the click of a button.

Users can also enter keywords to filter their results based on the interests or skills they have.

Check out the site at www.worcestershirejobs.co.uk

Concerned About Road Safety? Use West Mercia Police Operation Snap!

West Mercia Police Operation Snap

As part of Operation Snap, members of the public can report and submit digital footage showing potential traffic offences via a secure online form.

Submit footage

This can range from driving dangerously or carelessly to overtaking on solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring traffic lights or dangerous driving around other road users, such as horse riders and cyclists.

Your submission will be sent to West Mercia Police where the evidence will be reviewed by one of their road traffic police officers.

Due to the large volume of submissions received each week, they are unable to update each submitter regarding the outcome of their allegation. However, all submissions are dealt with pro-actively to help reduce risk taking and poor driving on our counties roads.

Any footage submitted through the portal can be used by them to help educate other road users and to advise on case results.

For more information, please see https://www.westmercia.police.uk/operationsnap

or email OpSnap@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021

It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

Further announcements will be made in due course.

The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Further information can be found at https://www.royal.uk/

SCHOOL CROSSING ESCORT NEEDED

 

SCHOOL CROSSING ESCORT NEEDED

Salary: £9.36 per hour (term-time only – 38 weeks p.a.)

Job-share arrangement (30 min morning / 30 min afternoon shifts)

Are you looking for a part-time job that gives you the chance to serve your local community? If so, we might have the ideal opportunity for you.

Martley Parish Council wishes to operate a School Crossing Escort for village schools, to assist children and pedestrians on their journey to and from school.

The duties are term-time only and are therefore ideally suited to anyone who prefers to take school holidays. Post holders will receive full training and uniform.

For further details and to apply, please contact:

Martley Parish Council Clerk

Guestwick, Suckley, Worcs WR6 5EH

Email:clerk@martley-pc.gov.uk

Tel: 01886 884195

 

 

 

Website Photographic Competition!

COMPETITION TIME!!
We Are Looking For Your Favourite Seasonal Photos Of Martley!
From now until August 2021 send us your favourite seasonal photos of Martley. The best photos will be judged each month & winning entries displayed on the new website and social media channels, with the overall winner announced at Martley Show 2021. For more information or to enter your photo, please email clerk@martley-pc.gov.uk
*Terms & Conditions apply

 

60 More Houses for Martley? Planning Application 20/01963/OUT

There is a planning application before Malvern Hills District Council to build a further 60 houses in front of the Nubbins, next to the Hopyards estate. (see this website section on Planning to see a location marker).

To find details of this plan, go to this website: www.malvernhills.gov.uk/planning. Click ‘Search for applications’, and enter the reference number 20/01963/OUT.

It is important that you let the District Council know what you think, and you can enter your comments on the same website. Alternatively, you can email Michelle Alexander, Martley Parish Clerk at clerk@martley-pc.gov.uk.

In usual circumstances, the Parish Council would organise a public meeting, but this is not possible because of COVID restrictions.

The Parish Council will next meet on 1st March, and will make its recommendation to the District Council (which has the final decision).

Police and Crime Commissioner and Worcestershire County Council elections May 2021

The Police and Crime Commissioner and Worcestershire County Council elections are scheduled to take place on Thursday 6th May. Due to the ongoing public health situation we are promoting the availability of postal votes to Malvern residents.

Polling stations will be safe places to vote but we would like to encourage anyone who is concerned about attending a polling station to apply for a postal vote. Anyone who is already registered as a postal voter doesn’t need to re-apply and will be send one automatically.

Electors who want to apply for a postal vote can contact us on 01684 862202 or email elections@malvernhills.gov.uk

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Katie Vass (AEA Cert.)

Electoral Services Manager

01684 862212

The Council House, Avenue Road, Malvern, WR14 3AF

MHDC_May_elections

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Operation SNAP West Mercia Police

Operation SNAP West Mercia Police

As part of Operation Snap, members of the public can report and submit digital footage showing potential traffic offences via a secure online form.

Submit footage

This can range from driving dangerously or carelessly to overtaking on solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring traffic lights or dangerous driving around other road users, such as horse riders and cyclists.

Your submission will be sent to West Mercia Police where the evidence will be reviewed by one of our road traffic police officers.

Due to the large volume of submissions received each week, we are unable to update each submitter regarding the outcome of their allegation. However, all submissions are dealt with pro-actively to help reduce risk taking and poor driving on our counties roads.

Any footage submitted through the portal can be used by us to help educate other road users and to advise on case results.

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section or email OpSnap@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

Operation SNAP website

 

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  “

Twitter: @worcstravel

Web: www.worcestershire.gov.uk

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Worcestershire Moves in to Tier 3 from 31st December 2020 – latest advice

Worcestershire moves into Tier 3


t4e

Today, the Government announced Worcestershire will move into Tier 3 (very high risk) of national restrictions from 31 December 2020.

The rules for a Tier 3 area include:

  • No mixing of households, apart from support bubbles, indoors or in private gardens apart from support bubbles. Maximum of six can meet outdoors in some outdoor public spaces.
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close.
  • Entertainment venues must close.
  • You should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area.

Read the full list of coronavirus restrictions in a Tier 3 area.

Read an update from Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health for Worcestershire.