Shielding and Social Distancing changes
This week, the Government has introduced a lot of changes and easing of social distancing restrictions which will come into effect next month. This is as a result of the fact that COVID infection rates have decreased nationally. This will have come as good news for all of us, however it’s extremely important that we all continue to observe good hygiene, social distancing and to self-isolate and request a test if you’re suffering any coronavirus symptoms.
From 6 July the government is advising a series of measures to relax shielding guidance which can be read here
In West Berkshire, we have over 4400 residents identified by the NHS as clinically extremely vulnerable. As these residents may now start to feel more confident and spend more time outdoors, we encourage all residents to be considerate to others, keeping a 2 metre distance from others where possible.
Meeting people from outside your household
From 4 July, you can meet in a group of 2 households (including your support bubble), in any location- public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time. When you do meet indoors, people from different households should socially distance, where possible. You can only gather in slightly larger groups of up to 30 for major life events, such as weddings. Read the Guidance.
Until 4 July, the current guidance should continue to be followed.
If you have specific queries about what you can or can’t do with regards to social distancing measures you may be able to find your answers below.
Before 4 July
After 4 July
West Berkshire Museum and Shaw House to reopen to the public
West Berkshire Council is delighted to announce that West Berkshire Museum and Shaw House will be reopening to the public in July.
Staff have been working hard to make sure that they can offer visitors the same social and cultural experience that they’ve enjoyed in the past, but within a slightly reduced capacity.
Read more information about the re-openings here.
Young Carers in lockdown
Here’s Isabella, one of our wonderful young carers talking to Channel 4 News about the difficulties she’s been facing while caring for her mum during lockdown. Our young carer’s team has been working tirelessly to support Isabella and many other young carers during this difficult time. They’re always looking for more people to help out, if you’re interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the video of Isabella and her mum.
Save on your energy bills
Covid-19 has changed the way we all live, work, learn and play. You may find you have increased energy costs from working at, or being at home more than usual.
Why not spend some time making sure you have a good energy deal for the coming year?
A free to join scheme called West Berkshire Energy Switch gives residents the chance to see if they can make savings on their fuel bills. 724 households have switched supplier through the scheme, saving over £161,500 between them since 2016.
It’s not too late to sign up and see if you can save; nearly 5000 West Berkshire households have registered for the scheme, registration and switching is open until 30th June. To register or find out more, visit www.westberks.gov.uk/communityswitch
Our Waste team want to thank residents for their continued great work at reducing, reusing and recycling. Here’s an update from the team to help you to keep up the good work.
We are pleased to confirm that as of the 22 June trailers are allowed back into both recycling centres. Both centres are coping well with the amount of visitors at the moment, as such we are confident that they will no longer cause any undue issues to other site users or staff.
Help charity shops by carefully considering what you donate and get in touch with them before you drop off any donations. If you are unable to donate straight away at the shop or collection point, please hold on to your things at home until you can. Even if you mean well and leave items outside charity shops, or next to full recycling bins, this is still fly tipping
From Monday 29 June the Community Furniture Project (CFP) will resume accepting donations of toys, furniture, bicycles and bric-a-brac for reuse at our Newtown Road recycling centre. Please be aware that no soft furnishings will be accepted at the donation point due to the difficulties associated with cleaning them. If you bring soft furnishings to site which are deemed suitable for reuse, you will be asked to take them to the CFP at Bone Lane in Newbury. Staff will call ahead to advise that you’re en-route and ask that you are assisted promptly when you arrive.
You’ll need to book an appointment before visiting either recycling centre at www.westberks.gov.uk/clickandtip
Please remember to bring your permit and only visit if it is essential. For further information on the waste service that we provide please visit www.westberks.gov.uk/waste and follow us on Facebook @RecycleWestBerkshire
Beat the Heat!
The sun has certainly had its hat on this week and the heat has risen to a sweltering Level 3 Heatwave. While many of us are sun worshippers, the effects of heat can be harmful to our health, particularly for those with long term health conditions, the elderly and the young. Please remember to look out for them when the heat is on. Check out this advice on how to cope in hot weather.