| Dear Resident, I hope you are all enjoying being able to safely spend more time outside now that better weather has arrived. I know that while the majority of people are still carrying on with the vital social distancing, I just want to remind everyone that if you do leave your house, it’s essential you keep 2 metres (6 ft) away from any other people you see. It’s the only way we can still control the spread of the virus. Thank you so much for your ongoing efforts. The difficult changes we have all had to make are saving lives. You can now meet one other person you don’t live with outdoors but please remember to do this safely. For more information on what you can and cannot do, please check the government’s website. Please also keep checking in with our regular video updates for news and information on the local response to the coronavirus crisis. Coronavirus symptoms The government has updated its guidance on when people should self-isolate with symptoms of coronavirus. People now need to self-isolate if they lose their sense of smell or taste, or if they spot a change in their sense of smell and taste. This is called ‘anosmia’. Anyone who has a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia needs to self-isolate for 7 days and if they live with anyone else, the whole household needs to self-isolate for 14 days. This means staying at home and getting essentials like food and medicines delivered. For more information check this section of the government’s website Coronavirus testingMost people can now get tested to see if they’ve got coronavirus if they are showing symptoms. Anyone over the age of 5 who has any of the main symptoms of coronavirus can apply for a test.There are mobile testing centres in Aylesbury and High Wycombe this week and all tests must be pre-booked. Check the government’s website and click on the section about testing to find the section most relevant to you. SchoolsYou’ll be aware that the government has asked schools and early years settings to prepare for a phased return of some children from Monday 1 June. Children in early years settings (nurseries and pre-schools), Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are those who will be able to start back first. This is so the youngest children and those getting ready to go to secondary school are able to start face to face education again. Secondary schools are also being asked to prepare to begin some face to face contact before the summer holidays with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year. We’re working with our schools to gather advance information on the likely numbers of children who will return to school so that everyone can be prepared and we can resolve any local issues. We are also working hard with our school transport team to allow those services to restart with new health and safety measures in place, to support wider schools opening when the time comes. I would really like to thank all of our teachers, teaching assistants and school support staff for the incredible job they have been doing throughout this crisis. Our teachers have been working hard to support children learning at home, plus they’ve carried on caring for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. Now they are also working hard to get schools ready for children to come back safely. Individual schools are contacting parents and carers directly about the arrangements they’ll have in place. Travel safelyIf you have to travel somewhere, for example, to work if you can’t do your job at home, we are urging as many people as possible to try to walk, cycle or travel by car. This will reduce numbers on public transport and will make it easier to stay away from fellow travellers. The government has released more information and advice on travelling safely so take a look here. It’s also really important to drive safely and keep your speed down. I have noticed, as a cyclist that over the past week that there is now more traffic on our roads. Also, some drivers are driving far too fast which is endangering not only themselves but also walkers and cyclists. |
It’s absolutely vital that all drivers observe the speed limits and take extra care out on the roads. This helps keep all road-users safe and avoids extra strain on the NHS and emergency services at a time when they’re already under great pressure.
We are looking at opportunities to bid into the Government’s recently announced ‘Active Travel’ fund which is designed to promote more walking and cycling.
Here’s more information about the current government campaign on safer driving, and I want to thank you all in advance for being safe and responsible when out and about in your car. Scams warningsIt’s terrible that many scammers are taking advantage of this crisis and are targeting people when we are all feeling more vulnerable than usual. We’ve had reports of many kinds of scams, such as people knocking doors claiming to be from public health departments, to various text and email scams. Please be on your guard if someone makes contact with you and it doesn’t seem quite right. If you’re in any doubt then please do NOT respond and check with a trusted friend or family member first. You can also email or call our Trading Standards team for more advice; email email@example.com or call 01296 388 788. Business grantsI just want to remind local businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure that there are grants available if you are facing financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic. Buckinghamshire Council has processed more than 5,500 grant applications so far, worth a total of nearly £75 million.For information on eligibility and how to apply, plus general advice and information on the support available for local businesses go to our website. Registering a birth or a deathThis is a reminder that most of our registration services are currently closed. The usual requirement to register a birth within 42 days is currently relaxed. If you have had a baby while the service is closed then do contact us to make an appointment when the service reopens. We will post updates on our website here.
We have an online form for anyone who sadly has to register a death. Please click here for more information on the current process.
Worried about a vulnerable friend, relative or neighbour?Our Adult Social Care team is checking in with all vulnerable residents we are aware of by making many regular phone calls and by supporting in other ways too. Please tell us if you know of someone who might need our help by calling the Adult Social Care team on 01296 383 204.Please also carry on using our online community hub for details of how to find support in your local area.#ProudofBucks – feeding the frontlineGlobal Infusion Group (GIG) is a global catering, hospitality and brand experience company, with their headquarters in Chesham. Unfortunately, the global events industry has been severely impacted by coronavirus and GIG effectively lost £9.4 million of business in three days due to cancelled events. Despite this, as soon as the crisis hit, they sprang into action to support the NHS and are now catering for 15 NHS sites across Buckinghamshire, providing over 1,000 meals a day to healthcare workers.
This is a fantastic response that is typical of the activity going on right across the county, and it’s brilliant hearing all these #ProudofBucks stories. Keep them coming and keep reading them via our social media channels, (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) using the #ProudofBucks hashtag.Mental Health Awareness WeekLooking after how we feel is so important at the moment. People cope in different ways with the current challenges, but some might feel more stressed, anxious or low.This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and you will be able to find lots of information on our social media channels about looking after your mental well-being which will hopefully help you cope better during these difficult times.Keep checking our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages for tips, advice and how to get some extra support if you need it.Stay safe, stay well and stay alert!
Martin TettLeader of Buckinghamshire Council