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Stakeholder Update North Somerset Council 5th March

Updated: Apr 2


Friday 5 March 2021

Dear all

With schools going back on Monday, the roadmap in place, and coronavirus cases falling there’s a real sense of hope that we might be able to start moving towards the end of restrictions in our lives.

Thank you to everyone for following the guidelines. It is not easy, but every day of home school, every video call, and every foggy pair of glasses from your face covering, is making a difference.

For now, we remain in lockdown. Please continue to stay at home as much as possible. From Monday two individuals from different households may meet to socialise outside, but the government’s current rules about staying at home still apply until at least 29 March.

Take it slow and steady, keep up the hand washing, face coverings, and social distancing, and we will hopefully keep moving in the right direction.

Latest coronavirus data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset.

107 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 169 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 49.8 compared with a South West figure of 46.1, and an England rate of 86.4.



There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 27 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Vaccinations in North Somerset

The vaccination programme has now started to invite people aged 60 and over for their first dose. Anyone aged 60+ can book their vaccination online or call 119. Anyone else in eligible vaccination groups should wait to be contacted by the NHS.

The latest NHS data shows that up to Sunday 28 February 79,445 people in North Somerset have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

You can find the vaccination figure reports on the NHS website.

Help spread the word to remember those we’ve lost

As we mentioned last week, on Sunday 14 March we are asking people across North Somerset to remember everyone who has lost their lives to coronavirus over the past year, and all those we've lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways.

Everyone who wants to get involved in this symbolic gesture of remembrance is invited to light a candle, or shine a light, in their window at 7pm to the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

Continued lockdown restrictions mean we can’t organise any gatherings to remember those we've lost, but please do share your candle pictures on social media using #NSTogether to create a virtual moment of remembrance.

It would be great if you could help us spread the word among your friends, family and community and encourage as many people as possible to take part. Please share our social media posts on the topic, or create your own using the attached image. Here’s some suggested wording you could use for your posts:

Facebook Sunday 14 March marks the anniversary of us losing our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. Over the past year many more people from our communities have passed away.

The year has been hard for everyone, but especially for those of us who have lost someone and not been able to mourn or pay our respects in the usual way. We have all lost someone, or know someone who has lost someone. On Sunday 14 March let us come together for a moment of quiet reflection and to remember all those who are no longer with us. Please join us in a moment of remembrance and unity across North Somerset that day by lighting a candle, or shining a light in your window at 7pm to the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

#NStogether


Twitter

Sun 14 Mar is the anniversary of us losing our first resident to coronavirus. Over the past year many more have passed away. Join in a moment of remembrance & unity that day by lighting a candle in your window at 7pm to the memory of those never far from our thoughts. #NStogether


Government’s budget brings more business support

In his budget announcement on Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced new and ongoing support for businesses over the next year.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended to September and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue with a fourth and a fifth grant. More self-employed people may now be able to claim direct cash grants under SEISS.

The business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional three months until the end of June.

For the tourism and hospitality sectors the government has extended the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months, until 31 March 2022.

Grant funding will be available to businesses in England through a new £5 billion Restart Grant scheme to help the high street, providing up to £18,000 to eligible businesses.

To find out more about support available and guidance to apply for grants contact our dedicated Business Grants centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Surge testing in South Gloucestershire

Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and South Gloucestershire Council are carrying out surge testing for Covid-19 following the identification in the area of the variant of concern first identified in Manaus, Brazil.

Five postcode areas, which fall within Bradley Stoke, Patchway and Little Stoke, are being targeted, and anyone living or working in those areas will have been contacted and asked to take a test.

A small cluster of cases has been identified and the risk to the community of onward transmission is low.

Information on rapid community testing for school communities

The government has extended rapid Covid-19 testing to families and bubbles of pupils and staff in schools and colleges.

Families, households and bubbles that include primary, secondary and college age children or staff, who do not have symptoms of coronavirus, are now encouraged to get rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week.

They can do this at:

  1. North Somerset’s community testing centres in Weston, Nailsea and Portishead,

  2. Via their employer if they are part of a workplace programme

  3. Using the government’s new home testing kits.

1. Community testing centres North Somerset’s testing centres are at Hutton Moor in Weston-super-Mare, Scotch Horn in Nailsea and Somerset Hall in Portishead.

The centres are open seven days a week 8.30am-5.30pm with late opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Tests are by appointment only and can be booked at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting


2. Workplace programmes The government has provided workplaces testing for many sectors, including schools, care homes, and emergency services. Anyone who is already getting twice-weekly tests through their employer does not need to get extra tests.


3. At home testing The government has set up home testing, with two options available. Test kits can be collected from designated sites, or, for those who cannot access community sites or collection points (for example, if they cannot drive), a limited number have been made available for ordering online.

Home testing kits are available for collection from the coronavirus testing sites in Locking Road car park in Weston-super-Mare, and at Bristol Airport between 1pm and 7pm.

We are working with the Department for Health and Social Care to increase the number of collection sites in our area to make it as easy as possible for everyone to access twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 testing.

Collection points will be listed on the NHS find a test centre map as they become available.

For more information on the government’s home testing, including how to get kits, see rapid testing information at GOV.UK

Secondary school pupils, and primary and secondary school staff should continue to take their twice-weekly tests using home test kits provided by their school.

Getting a symptomatic Covid-19 test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

You can get your symptomatic test at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open seven days a week and can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car. It will be in place until at least Friday 12 March, with a rest day for the team tomorrow (Saturday 6 March).

In other news…

A greener budget

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council (Tuesday 23 February) meeting.

Christmas tree recycling success

Following in the festive spirit the recycling and waste team at North Somerset Council adopted a more sustainable approach for disposing of Christmas trees.

Reaction to today's budget

Here’s a joint statement from Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Don Davies, and Deputy Leader, Mike Bell, reacting to today’s budget:

Back to school rapid Covid-19 testing available now

Families and households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, are now encouraged to get rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week.

Council asks public to choose North Somerset heritage sites to be conserved

The council and Historic England are asking the public to have their say on local heritage assets and areas that are significant to people and the history of North Somerset.

Step up to social work and be the difference

Graduates and people in North Somerset who are looking for a career change are being urged to ‘Step Up to Social Work’ as part of a successful training initiative supported by North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for active travel and outdoor investment

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council (Tuesday 23 February) meeting.


Marketing and Communications North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

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