The below statement has been issued by OCC, and while it is not meant to cause alarm, we need to highlight the importance of following the guidance to stop the spread of the virus as restrictions are relaxed. Can I ask parish councils and support groups ensure that the importance of following the handwashing information and guidance around symptoms and isolation are sent round or published on community and parish pages where possible to help us stop the spread.
There are early signs of rising COVID-19 cases in Oxfordshire. This is to be expected as we ease out of lockdown, and it is consistent with what is occurring across other parts of the country. Oxfordshire County Council Public Health Surveillance Unit has picked this up at an early stage.
There are clear systems in place through our Local Outbreak Plans to manage any local hotspots. However, prevention is by far the best way to manage the situation, and the public has a vital role to play in preventing local outbreaks. So please do encourage your constituents to continue to follow these simple steps to keep safe and stop the virus spreading:
- Keep your distance Avoid busy gatherings
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available
- Wear a face covering where appropriate
- If you have symptoms, self-isolate and call 119 to arrange a test
Oxfordshire County Council will be working closely with our district, city and NHS partners to issue general and targeted communications urging people to follow government guidelines and take preventative measures. We would be very grateful if you would help reinforce these #stopthespread messages.
Further information is available at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stopthespread. The website includes a weekly update of confirmed cases in Oxfordshire, broken down by district.
Food and drink businesses looking for a way to increase the number of customers who can use their services safely have been offered the opportunity to place tables, chairs and other furniture on the pavements outside their premises thanks to a new pavement licence. More information is on the Government’s website
Firms will need to apply for a pavement licence – which costs £100 - via the dedicated pages on our websites (South) (Vale)
Our Licensing team will be carrying out a very quick turnaround on this process - we are required to determine applications within 14 days of receiving them, this includes a 7-day consultation period.
How we are tackling the issue of littering and local clean ups
Recently, we’ve had a number of people saying they’ve noticed an increase in the amount of litter in our districts. We don’t currently have any figures to say whether or not there has been an increase, but as litter is a concern for people at the moment, we thought it would be helpful to explain what we’re doing on this subject.
During lockdown, we temporarily stopped loaning out our litter picking kit to local voluntary groups. We’re hoping to resume this service soon and are currently reviewing procedures to make sure all the equipment can be properly cleaned and meet the necessary standards each time it is issued to volunteer groups.
We’ve been calling residents on our shielded list in the past few weeks to find out what support they think they’ll need when the shielding restrictions are eased from this weekend. The good news is that on the whole, people have been telling us that they are ready and willing to begin supporting themselves.
The community hub contact details are 01235 422600 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Lines are open Mondays to Fridays, 9am-5pm.
If you’d like more information on the changes to guidance for shielded residents, see the Government’s website.
Every household must check their details
From 3 August we will begin sending yellow letters to every home in our districts. The 'Canvass Communication Form' requires residents to check and confirm the details of everyone over the age of 16 that lives in their property.
This is something we need to do each year by law in order to ensure the electoral register is up to date.
In previous years everyone received the same letter and had to respond accordingly, however this year the process has changed slightly as there are different letters depending on individual circumstances.
The general message to all local residents is: When you receive your letter, if you need to make a change to your registration information, please respond as soon as possible by visiting housholdresponse.com/southandvale – you will need the two-part code on the yellow letter to do this. Doing this will make sure the process runs smoothly and there will be no need for additional contact, which is particularly important at the moment.
Useful Websites - If you have found any which have been useful for yourselves, please let me know and I will include them going forward for others.