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An update from BDBC

Grass cutting during the pandemic

Our grounds maintenance team has been working hard to meet its grass cutting schedule.

It has been a challenging time for all of the operations staff who have continued to carry out their duties while facing reduced staffing through shielding and self-isolation following the coronavirus outbreak.

Most of the team cannot work from home and have had to make some big adjustments to their working day. This includes covering other areas in the service, such as the cemetery or fly-tipping, and applying social distancing to their daily routines and work practices, such as the depot they work out of or the number of staff able to work or travel together.

Following an initial break in grass cutting during the lockdown period, a focus on priority areas such as parks for exercise and verges for sight lines and new social distancing measures, the grounds maintenance team is behind in its usual cutting schedule compared to last year.

The delays are because they have had to make adjustments to working practices and ensure the safety of the team and the public comes first.

It takes approximately three weeks to complete a full round of mowing in the borough and the team is working hard to catch up and get back on schedule to ensure our borough remains a beautiful place to be proud of.

We are asking residents to remain patient and supportive as the team works to catch up during this challenging time.

Work under way on safe reopening of Basingstoke town centre

The government has announced plans for non-essential retailers to reopen stores from Monday 15 June.

We are working closely with Festival Place, The Malls and Basingstoke Together Business Improvement District to coordinate plans to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for shoppers in Basingstoke.

We will also provide support to other centres in the borough in areas such as Overton, Tadley and Whitchurch. Businesses are also being supported through signposting and advice on the measures they need to take in order to reopen.

To help with this work, we have been awarded £155,000 from the government to help with the costs of introducing safety measures for shoppers. Officers are currently considering how this funding can be best used.

Shoppers will be encouraged to support local businesses and to enjoy again what local shops have to offer while ensuring the safety of visitors, business owners and their staff.  A number of measures are being considered so that social distancing can be maintained. This includes walking on the left hand side of walkways in the town centre area, an increased cleaning schedule of public areas and extensive signage reminding shoppers what they need to do. Plans will be update as further guidance is issued by the Government.