Borough Insight

This Issue

In this issue...

This second lockdown will significantly impact our local businesses and is understandably upsetting for many families and individuals. In the last issue of eBorough Insight, we highlighted that COVID-19 infection rates were steeply rising within the borough. Regrettably, this is still the case.

If we are to reduce infection rates and slow the rate of the virus, we mustn't be complacent and we must all observe the lockdown rules.

The government has stated that the tier system will be re-introduced when this present lockdown ends.  If infection rates continue to rise here, there is a possibility that the borough will enter the tiers at a higher level than when we went into lockdown, which would risk ongoing restrictions on our way of life for an even longer period.

In this special issue, we highlight the new rules and where you can get more information, how your council is addressing this new situation, the impact on the services we provide and some of the other information you may need over the coming weeks.

Stay safe and remember; hands - face - space.

News

National COVID Alert - Stay Home

From Thursday 5 November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons.Poster outlining national COVID alert - Stay Home 5 November to 2 December

Under the new restrictions:

  • People are being told to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave, such as work, which cannot be done from home, and for education purposes.
  • School, colleges and universities will remain open.
  • People are also allowed to leave home for exercise, medical reasons, to buy food and other essential shopping and to provide care for vulnerable people or for volunteering.
  • Meeting family and friends indoors or in private gardens will not be allowed.
  • People are still allowed to form support bubbles.
  • Children can move between homes if their parents are separated.
  • Outdoor recreation is encouraged, you can meet one person from another household outside in a public place.
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail must close, but takeaways and click-and-collect shopping can remain open.
  • Leisure and entertainment venues, including gyms, will also close.
  • Construction sites and manufacturing workplaces can remain open.
  • Clinically vulnerable people are asked to be “especially careful”, but people are not being asked to resume shielding.

The new restrictions came into force at 0001 on Thursday, 5 November 2020 and will remain in place until Wednesday, 2 December.

Find the latest guidance and exemptions at www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

What we are doing

Town hallThe council is doing everything it can to save lives and reduce harm by supporting the multi-agency emergency response across Surrey

This includes:

  • Working in partnership with local, regional and national bodies to save lives and reduce all forms of harm across the borough
  • Making decisions based on the evidence and in the best interests of all who live and work in the borough
  • Ensuring that there is clarity over advice, direction and data by using single sources of information. We will refer to the these identifiable sources of information on our website, in our press releases and other communications
  • Highlighting and promoting the latest national direction, guidance and advice. We share the messages in a wide number of ways to reach as many people as we can. This includes through Members’ Update, the council’s website, social media feeds, media work and other tools such as e-Borough Insight

    The council is taking action to support borough residents, especially those who are most vulnerable, together with partners/voluntary organisations

    This includes:

    • Being ready to relaunch our Community Hub, supporting vulnerable residents to ensure that their vital food, medical and welfare needs are taken care of
    • Maintaining our capacity to supply community alarms, shopping service and Meals at Home service for vulnerable residents who are living independently
    • Continuing to support and engage with volunteers and the local third sector, striving to ensure that no-one is without appropriate support
    • Demonstrating outstanding levels of care for the community. Council staff and Members are working as ‘One Team’ to address this ongoing pandemic.

    The council is taking action to protect and support the local economy

    This includes: 

    • Efficiently managing all business grants, discounts and queries, ensuring that business owners receive the support they need, when they need it
    • Supporting local businesses to quickly and easily access important information about what they must and must not do at this time. This is through our website, Business Brief newsletter, social media and our relationships with local businesses leaders
    • Being ready to take enforcement action in response to breaches in national guidelines designed to limit the spread of the virus in the community or by businesses
    • Support campaigns encouraging local people to return to the ‘high street’ and use local businesses, but only when it is safe to do so

    The council is maintaining essential services

    This includes: 

    • Doing our best to maintain key environmental services, for example waste/recycling collections, and quickly updating residents with any changes
    • Maintaining a focus on the safety and security of our borough, in collaboration with partners
    • Facilitating the safe operation of Epsom Market
    • Keeping as many open spaces as possible available for residents to use for safe, socially-distanced, exercise

    The council is taking action to protect the welfare and safety of its staff

    This includes:

    • Regularly reviewing our COVID-Secure arrangements in our workplaces in light of changes in the local and national risk level. This includes continuing our enhanced cleaning regimes, social distancing arrangements, maximum occupancy levels, etc. in our workplaces
    • Ensuring that staff are kept up to date about changes which affect them, their ways of working and the communities they support
    • Providing a system so that the staff attending their workplace as part of an agreed rota can do so in a COVID-Secure way while ensuring that when staff are working remotely at home, they can do so as effectively as possible
    • Facilitating working from home arrangements for office based staff as part of an agreed rota, when this is practicable and supports the delivery of our services

      Council services - stay updated!

      Stay up-to-date with council services, visit our dedicated COVID-19 page at: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/coronavirus Councilwebsite_serviceupdates

      We’re working hard to keep staff and residents safe and well.

      At this busy time, please use our online form to contact us (link is external).

      Remember you can also use our ‘report’, ‘apply’ and ‘pay’ for it pages from the homepage of this website.

      Some of our services and facilities (and those of our partners) are impacted under the new restrictions eg outside tennis courts have now been locked. However there are differences in the restrictions to the last lockdown (eg children's play areas remain open).

      These are some of the changes that you may find useful to know:

      • Community & Wellbeing Centre
        All classes have been suspended
        Higher needs clinic will not resume for the duration of the lockdown

        Foot clinic will continue.

      • Bourne Hall
        The library has returned to a Click & Collect service and is open for PC use only
        Public toilets are closed
        Coffee Shop and museum remain closed

        All classes/hirers have been cancelled with the exception of medical/fitness activity (eg the Blood Donors session and the BodyFit Clinic (for pre-booked appointments only). 

      • Town Hall
        The Town Hall is now closed to the public 

      • Hook Road Arena Sunday Car Boot 
        The last few Sunday sessions of the season have been cancelled.

      • Parks and recreation grounds (and associated car parks)
        These remain open however organised
        grassroots & astro turf football and outdoor fitness groups are suspended.

      • Meals at Home
        Continues as normal.

      • Transport from Home
        Available for medical appointments only.

      • Volunteers
        Group activity (eg Countryside volunteers) are suspended
        Individual litter picks can continue.

      • Ashley Road Cemetery
        The cemetery will remain open to visitors, operating in its current hours.

      Updates to Surrey County Council services (including Community recycling centres, Registry Offices and schools) can be found on their website - www.surreycc.gov.uk/serviceinfo 

      Epsom Markets update

      Weekly Thursday and Saturday marketsBorough wide shop safe icons image

      Our weekly Thursday and Saturday markets at Epsom Market Place will continue to trade with market traders selling essential items. Fast food outlets will be takeaway only. So do support the food stalls at the markets. 

      Surrey Farmers' market

      The Surrey Farmers' market will have an additional market on Sunday 15 November from 9.30am - 1.30pm

      Surrey Vegan market

      The Epsom Vegan Market is next on Sunday 22 November, from 10.30am - 3.30pm with traders selling food only. For more info please see www.surreyvegan.co.uk

      The Antique Bric a Brac Market on Sunday 15 November is cancelled. 

      Remember to follow the socially distancing queuing system in place at each market stall. Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands as soon as you get home. Shoppers are encouraged to only handle items they intend to purchase and to pay via contactless where they can and when it's available.

      Partners working together

      Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum (SLRF) are working together to ensure that they support residents and businesses across Surrey in dealing with the latest COVID19 restrictions.

      The Forum which is made up of representatives from the emergency services, health, hospitals, the county council, borough and district councils across Surrey, aims to ensure that there is a coordinated response to major incidents, threats and risks across the county to keep people safe and protect them from harm.

      Chair of the Forum, Steve Owen-Hughes, the Chief Fire Officer for Surrey, said: “Since March Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum have been working together to manage the county wide response to COVID-19.

      “Following the announcement by the Prime Minister we will continue to work together to deliver what is needed for the people of Surrey to help them manage the latest restrictions.

      “Over the last few weeks, we have seen a rapid rise in the infection rates across large parts of Surrey. This is causing my colleagues and I considerable concern. With hospital admissions rising from this deadly disease we need everyone to follow the Government’s advice to stay home and only leave for specific reasons, including education and work, where you cannot work from home.

      “Although non-essential businesses, bars and restaurants, must close, except for takeaway services, supermarkets and chemists will remain open so there is no need to panic or to bulk buy.

      “The people of Surrey have already risen to this challenge once and I have no doubt that they will rise to this challenge again. It is only by us all working together and taking steps that we can halt the progress of this deadly and unpredictable disease.”

      Worried about someone experiencing domestic abuse?

      As we prepare to stay at home again, you may have concerns that a friend, neighbour or family member may be experiencing domestic abuse.

      At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse then police and support services remain available. Find support at gov.uk/domestic-abuse or call 999 if you are in immediate danger. 

      Remember abuse doesn't need to be physical. It is also a pattern of controlling behaviour such as stopping a partner from socialising, attending classes or even work. There can be a control over their ability to communicate, monitoring social media or phone calls as well as the victim’s location, finances and activities.

      Surrey Police have outlined below what you can do to help if you are worried about someone.

      If you're worried, you can:
      - Report domestic abuse online, private message Surrey Police on their Facebook or Twitter or use the live chat function on the Surrey Police website
      - Speak to Surrey's domestic abuse outreach services listed on the Healthy Surrey website
      - Tell Crimestoppers anonymously.

      Poster outlining domestic abuse outreach services as part of the government\'s You Are Not Alone campaign

      Be scam aware during Covid-19

      The Government and Crimestoppers have joined forces to launch the COVID Fraud Hotline. The new service launched in October is an anonymous reporting service for those with information about covid fraud.
      The hotline is available 24/7, 365 days a year for all COVID fraud related crime. Call 0800 587 5030 or visit the website https://forms.theiline.co.uk/crimestopperscovidfraudhotlineCrimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline 0800 587 5030 don\'t let fraudsters abuse COVID support.

      Wash your hands of coronavirus scams and share the Friends Against Scams postcard below with friends and family, protect yourself and others. For more information visit: https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/

      Friends Against Scams Coronavirus postcard

       

      Spotlight on

      Protect yourself

      The government has stated that taking care of your health is important and attending medical appointments is important during this lockdown.

      If you have a booked appointment, a scan, a test or planned surgery, then it's important to keep that appointment.Image: NHS nurse

      People with mental health issues are also been encouraged to access NHS support.

      The NHS has learned over the last eight months how to safely run face to face healthcare appointments in a world with Coronavirus. Appropriate social distancing, appropriate PPE and appropriate infection control measures are all in place.

      If your pre existing condition should worsen while you are awaiting treatment please call your GP or the appropriate hospital team for advice as soon as possible. Should you require urgent medical care please access 111.nhs.uk or call 111 immediately. People with potentially life-threatening illnesses or injuries are still being advised to contact 999.

      If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, DO NOT visit your GP or the hospital. Instead, people with symptoms should self-isolate and book a test at a local designated testing centre, or order a home testing kit by calling 119 or by visiting the NHS COVID-19 testing website.

      The NHS has also launched a campaign urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked and to keep routine appointments, as new research found that even now, nearly half (48 per cent) of the public would delay or not seek medical help at all.

      A fifth (22 per cent) would not want to be a burden on the health service while a similar number said that fear of getting coronavirus or passing it onto others was a major reason for not getting help.

      More than four in ten people would leave it longer to get health advice than they normally would have before the coronavirus outbreak, however delaying can have serious consequences for some cancers.

      NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to keep cancer services going throughout the pandemic, with almost one million people referred for checks or starting treatment since the virus took hold.

      England’s top GP says that people should not hesitate to get help and that waiting could have serious consequences for patients.

      Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care in England said: Alongside treating 110,000 people with coronavirus, NHS staff have gone to great lengths to make sure that people who do not have COVID can safely access services.

      Get protected!

      Flu vaccination clinics across the South East of England are well underway and Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership is encouraging anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccination to book an appointment with their GP or pharmacist, as soon as possible.

      This year, the NHS is aiming to vaccinate around 4.5 million people in the South East – up from 2.6 million last winter – to help prevent the spread of flu. Every year the flu virus kills people and hospitalises many more. This year it is even more important people who are most at risk of flu have their free flu vaccination.Image: Flu jab

      All clinics will run in line with infection prevention control and social distancing measures will be in place. For the first time, children in school Year 7, and household contacts and carers of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, are all eligible for the free vaccination. These groups are in addition to people aged over 65, those under 65 with long-term health conditions, pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3 and children in primary school. Vaughan Lewis, Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement’s South East region says: “This year with both the flu virus and Covid-19 circulating flu immunisation is more important than ever to reduce infections, protect each other and protect the NHS.

      “There is an expanded list of priority groups this year and we are offering the vaccine to children aged from 2 to 11, as well as those over the age of 65 and anyone with chronic illness including diabetes and weight problems. So, if you have a Body Mass Index of more than 40 or a chronic illness or learning disability, look after yourself and protect the NHS by having the flu jab.

      “People aged between 50 and 64 who are not in a clinical at-risk group may also be offered a free flu vaccination later in the year, providing there is enough vaccine available. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.

      “Anyone of any age, including those between 50-64, who is a household member or a carer of a shielded patient, is eligible for the flu vaccination and should contact the GP practice they are registered with or their pharmacy to book an appointment.

      “Flu is a highly infectious disease that is spread from person to person and infects the respiratory system, where it can lead to pneumonia and other complications. The flu viruses are constantly changing and this is one of the main reasons why people should be vaccinated annually. The symptoms, that come on very quickly, include fever, chills, headaches, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. The best way to avoid getting the flu is by having the vaccination. Doing so reduces the risk of developing the illness significantly.”

      Dr Charlotte Canniff, NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG Clinical Chair says “It is vital that those who are eligible have the flu vaccine every year as it helps protect against different strains which evolve each year. It is particularly important that those who are at increased risk of flu, and their carers, get the vaccine as it is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm”.

       

      Key Facts

      Got any coronavirus symptoms? Isolate and book a test

      If you have symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home and book a test as soon as possible.Book a coronavirus test if you have symptoms

      This helps protect those around you.

      The symptoms are:

      • a high temperature
      • a new, continuous cough
      • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

      Use the NHS COVID-19 app or go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

      For more info see: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test 

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