New government restrictions announced

Yesterday, on the advice of the four Chief Medical Officers, the UK’s COVID alert level was raised from three to four, the second most serious stage, meaning that transmission is high or rising exponentially.

The Prime Minister has made a statement to the Commons today. This covered these main points:

  • Office workers who can work from home should do so.
  • From Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways. Together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm.
  • The face coverings will be extended to include staff in retail, to all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and to staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
  • In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.
  • The rule of six will be tightened. From Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, though, up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now. The rule of six will also have to extend to all adult indoor team sports.
  • The spread of the virus is now affecting the ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events. Plans to do so will be on pause.

Other points:

  • Local lockdowns will continue where necessary. Where local lockdown areas are under more stringent measures these will continue for as long as necessary.
  • The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.
  • Following advice from senior clinicians, people do not need to shield – except in local lockdown areas. This will be kept under constant review.
  • If these actions fail to bring the R below 1, then the Government reserves the right “to deploy greater firepower, with significantly greater restrictions”.

It is vital to remember the basics – washing hands, covering faces, observing social distancing – and following the rules.

Updated guidance on social distancing measures

Following a press conference yesterday afternoon, the government has updated its social distancing measures in relation to social gatherings amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. From Monday 14 September, it will be illegal to meet in groups of more than six people in England. This applies to gatherings outside and inside the home.

The updated measure will be enforceable by law and the police can split up larger gatherings and impose fines of up to a maximum of £3,200. This single measure replaces both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidance on allowing two households to meet indoors.

COVID secure venues, such as places of worship, gyms, restaurants and other hospitality venues, can still hold more than six people in total but within these venues there must not be individual groups larger than six. Education, work settings, weddings and funerals and organised sport are unaffected by the change. More information on the new guidance can be found here.

The government also announced a stronger enforcement approach which includes the following measures:

  • Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days
  • The government will support councils and police forces to respond to breaches of COVID-19 Secure guidelines. A register of newly qualified and recently retired Environmental Health Officers will be launched so that local authorities can recruit more quickly and fill any gaps. In addition, COVID-19 Secure Marshals will be available to help local authorities support social distancing in towns and city centres
  • The current fine regime remains in place with escalation of fines for persistent non-compliance to a maximum of £3,200
  • There will be further steps to improve compliance with quarantine and UK border/point of entry requirements.

In addition to these measures, the government will review its current plans to pilot larger audiences in venues this month.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (Temporary Road Closure) (Cufaude Lane, Bramley) Order 2020

Please see following notice regarding a planned road closure along Cufaude Lane for Openreach repairs on the stretch of road up to the junction with the Bramley road (The Street), for a period of 5 days.  The precise dates aren’t known but expected after 14 September. The diverted traffic route is not through Sherfield Park, however we should expect some additional traffic as GPS systems plot various alternative routes.

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Notice is hereby given that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council pursuant to arrangements made under Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 with Hampshire County Council in exercise of the powers of the said County Council and in exercise of the powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (“the Act”), and of all other enabling powers, proposes to make the following Order:-

Reason for Order: The Council are satisfied that traffic on the road should be restricted or prohibited because works are being or are proposed to be executed on or near the road.

Effect of Order:  All traffic will be prohibited from travelling along Cufaude Lane, Bramley, at the junction with The Street for 618m south, as directed by traffic signs.  The closure is for Openreach repairs.

Duration of Order: The order will come into effect on 14 September 2020 for 3 months. (Notwithstanding the above it is expected the closure will be 5 days only during this period)

Alternative Route:  Vyne Road, Elm Road, Aldermaston Road, Ringway North, A33 Reading Road, Hanmore Road or by this route reversed.

If you have any queries regarding the above please contact Mollie Barker on 01329 289394 or email tmplanning@tc123.co.uk on behalf of Traffic Control 123. Plans are also available on the website at https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/ttro

503061 – Plan

First Ever National Impact Survey Launched By Neighbourhood Watch

This is a survey open to all members of the public including our supporters and members and we are asking our partners to share across their public networks.  It will enable us to look at how Neighbourhood Watch impacts in our communities and identify the concerns surrounding crime, fear of crime and the increase in neighbourliness and community spirit.

We ask that you share the survey IMPACT SURVEY with friends, neighbours, colleagues and your partners, to ensure that we get a good mix of responses.  You can do this in various ways through email, using social media and any other methods that you may have.

We look forward to receiving your responses on our survey which needs to be completed by 21st August 2020.

Neighbourhood Alert.

Hampshire Together engagement programme extended

The Hampshire Together engagement programme has been extended until Friday 7 August to allow more people to share their views.

Working in partnership, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover, have launched a programme of public engagement on the biggest modernisation of local health services in 50 years.

Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services is an exciting programme that will involve all NHS and social care services across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas.

Along with the unique opportunity to build a brand new hospital for residents in north Hampshire, the central aim of all partners is to deliver a joined-up healthcare approach that supports patients to access the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

To give residents across the borough a final chance to have their say as part of the programme, Hampshire Together will be running virtual sessions tomorrow (28 July) and Thursday 6 August. For more information on these events and to book your place, visit www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk/events

Last chance to take part in The Big Basingstoke and Deane Thank You

This week is the last chance to take part in ‘The Big Basingstoke and Deane Thank You’, with almost 200 submissions received so far.

Led by the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Diane Taylor, the project is providing an opportunity for residents to say a public thank you to key workers, individuals, organisations or businesses in the borough who have gone above and beyond to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will culminate in a virtual week of celebration taking place from Monday 10 August to Friday 14 August.

There are lots of way for people to get in touch to say their thank you by this Friday (31 July):

  • Tweet @LoveBstoke and include the #TheBigBDThankYou
  • Complete a submission form on www.thebigBDthankyou.co.uk
  • By post to The Big Thank You, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4AH
  • By phone on 01256 844844.

All messages received will be displayed on The Big Thank You website and the Mayor will send a personal letter of thanks, where possible.

Alongside this, a children’s drawing, poetry and spoken word project on the theme of kindness is also taking place. All artwork received will be displayed as part of a digital art projection that will take place later this year and will be able to view on the website as a lasting memory.

Shoppers must wear face coverings from Friday

Shoppers across the borough are being reminded to wear face coverings from Friday (24 July) when visiting the town centre.

Officers have been helping retailers to safely reopen by ensuring they have the appropriate measures in place, as well as working with Basingstoke Together BID, Festival Place and The Malls to ensure Basingstoke town centre is a safe and pleasant experience for shoppers.

A number of measures have been put in place, including walking on the left hand side of walkways, an increased cleaning schedule of public areas, hand sanitising units and extensive signage reminding shoppers what they need to do.

On 14 July, the government announced that face coverings would be compulsory in all shops and supermarkets, in line with public transport, from this Friday (24 July).

This new measure will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 from droplets from coughs and sneezes when visiting smaller areas where social distancing may be more difficult, alongside other measures such as regularly washing your hands.