Coronavirus National and Local Emergency Measures
Following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on 23rd March 2020 all play equipment within play areas including the skate park and outdoor gym have been closed from 24th March. The Public Toilets will be closed until further notice from Thursday 26th March to ensure the safety of users and the Council’s contractors.
Tending allotments is still permitted but please observe strict social spacing and wear gloves when opening and closing gates.
The instruction has also been given that people must stay at home except where it is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
The Parish Clerk will continue to work from home and can be contacted Monday to Friday by email on email@example.com or by phone on 01725 513874 between the hours of 10am and 3pm.
Please help us to limit the spread of the virus by:
- Taking your litter and dog waste home
- Respecting the closure of playgrounds, the skate park and outdoor gym
- Following government guidelines
You can only leave your home:
- to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
- to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
- for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary
Thank you for your support and assistance in keeping the special parish of Downton and the community safe in these exceptional times.
Latest Information from Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub
We have set up a designated Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub specifically for our most vulnerable residents to receive support and guidance during COVID-19.
The phoneline number is 0300 003 4576 and will be open from tomorrow (Saturday 27 March) for the duration of the pandemic. We will be publicising this number through Council, partner and media channels and I would be grateful if you could make your communities aware of it too.
We continue to keep our hubs open in Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury for the following essential face-to-face services:
- Support for the homeless
- Adult social care
- Children’s social care
- Support for vulnerable people
Our Customer Service Team continues to support our communities on all other matters through our customer services number 0300 456 0100 (lines open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday) and via social media channels.
Information pack to support volunteer groups
The council has published a ‘COVID-19 Volunteer Pack’ today to help volunteer groups support their communities during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Many groups have shared their way of working with us and this pack brings together a lot of their best practise in setting up an effective response, including top tips on setting up a volunteer group, advice on supporting those in self-isolation, and a range of template forms and useful signposting to other resources.
which lists all the volunteer groups the council has been informed are providing support in their community. This directory will be updated as much as possible.
Council Tax and Business Rate Payments
To support people as much as possible during the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the council has confirmed that no resident or business in Wiltshire will have to pay council tax or business rates until June 2020 if they are struggling.
Any resident wishing to defer paying their council tax in April and May 2020 can contact the council and this will be arranged. Those payments will then be taken in February and March 2021 instead, as council tax is normally only collected over the first ten months of the financial year.
Similarly, businesses who also wish to defer business rates payments for two months, and not pay in April and May, can also arrange that by contacting the council. For anyone wishing to do this, the council will freeze direct debit payments, so people do not need to contact their bank to arrange.
People should call 0300 456 0109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the deferral – these will be taken at face value and there will be no vetting of anyone wishing to defer payments for April and May 2020.
For those who choose to defer, payments will resume in June 2020 and will be taken over the 10 months from June 2020 to March 2021. For those that pay annually, they can still do so at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/benefits-council-tax. Those that make manual payments can also continue to do this if they wish, but they will need to contact the council if they want the April and May payment break.
Working age residents who benefit from the current Council Tax Support Scheme will receive an additional reduction to their bill in line with the government’s hardship fund criteria. Those households eligible for this reduction will automatically be re-billed.
We are committed to supporting all of our businesses through these unprecedented times and will continue to work closely with Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub to ensure we deliver information and support to businesses as quickly as possible.
Next week the council will be issuing a letter to 10,000 businesses who we believe may be eligible for either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. The letter requests businesses to provide information on eligibility so please encourage any relevant businesses in your area to return this to us as quickly as possible so that we can release the grants to help support them. If businesses have any questions about the letter they can email email@example.com for further assistance.
The council welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement yesterday regarding the introduction of a Self Employment Income Support Scheme bit.ly/SelfEmployedSupport which will:
- pay a taxable grant worth 80% of their profits up to a total of £2,500 per month. This scheme will be open for at least three months and grants can be claimed from June 2020
- be open to businesses with average trading profits of up to £50,000 over the last three years. Only those who are already self-employed and have a tax return for 2019 will be able to apply. HMRC will contact these businesses directly
- allow an extra four weeks from today for businesses to submit their tax return for those who missed the deadline
- provide eligible businesses access to Universal Credit with an advance payment available almost immediately after the claim has been submitted
Visiting Wiltshire Council hubs
Following government advice and to help stop the transmission of COVID-19, Wiltshire Council are asking people not to visit their hubs where possible.
A number of their key services can be dealt with online or over the phone including:
Adult Care 0300 456 0111 or email AdviceandContact@wiltshire.gov.uk
Children’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub 0300 456 0108
Housing enquiries – call 0300 456 0104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homeless enquiries – call 01225 718005 for the Trowbridge area, 01249 706666 for the Chippenham area or 01722 434233 for the Salisbury area. Or email email@example.com
Planning enquiries – call 0300 456 0114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration enquiries – call 0300 003 4569 for births and marriages and 0300 003 4570 for marriages. Or email email@example.com.
Waste enquiries – call 0300 456 0102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful website links on this issue are:
Downton Village Plan for Covid-19: click here