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20 March 2020

All Wiltshire libraries and leisure centres to close until further notice

All Wiltshire Council leisure centres and libraries are closed indefinitely to protect the health of the public and our staff during this time. This includes the leisure centres managed on behalf of the council by Places Leisure.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council

Following government advice and to help stop the transmission of COVID-19, Wiltshire Council has taken the decision to close all its libraries and leisure centres until further notice.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "All Wiltshire Council leisure centres and libraries are closed indefinitely to protect the health of the public and our staff during this time. This includes the leisure centres managed on behalf of the council by Places Leisure.

"We know how important these services are to the people of Wiltshire, and we apologise to all service users, but these are clearly exceptional circumstances.

"Customers who have a leisure membership with either Wiltshire Council or Places Leisure will have their membership frozen, so they do not need to contact us.

"Where possible, Wiltshire Council staff affected by these closures will be redeployed to help protect our essential services to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

"As soon as we're able to re-open these facilities we will do so."

If people have any borrowed items from our libraries, they will be renewed automatically throughout the closed period and we will not be issuing or enforcing any fines or charges. People can also still borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from www.wiltshire.gov.uk/libraries-ebooks.

The mobile library service will also be suspended during this time. If anyone knows of any family, friends or neighbours who rely upon this service, please feel free to share books with them if possible, but please take into account the latest public health advice on contact with people, particularly with the elderly and vulnerable.

The front desk at Devizes Hub and Library, which offer council services such as council tax, benefits, registrations and customer services, is also closed, and customers who wish to access these services should call 0300 456 0109 for council tax, 0300 456 0110 benefits, and 0300 456 0100 for customer services.

We would advise people to exercise at home as much as possible there are several strengthening exercises you can do at home, but please do not attempt to exercise if you feel unwell in any way. Further information about exercising at home can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51933762, and the BBC will also be offering programme that will help people to exercise at home during this time.

Information for looking after your mental health is available at: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters  

Libraries closures FAQs

Which libraries are closing?

All Wiltshire libraries and mobile libraries are closing until further notice.

Why are they closing?

Following the latest government directive, we are taking the sensible precaution to protect the public and our staff by reducing some customer-facing council services.

How long are they closing for?

As soon as we're able to re-open these facilities we will do so.

I have some items on loan. Will I be fined?

No. If you have borrowed any items from our libraries, they will be renewed automatically throughout the closed period and we will not be issuing or enforcing any fines or charges. You can also still borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from www.wiltshire.gov.uk/libraries-ebooks.

Will my items be renewed?

If you have borrowed any items from our libraries, they will be renewed automatically throughout the closed period and we will not be issuing or enforcing any fines or charges. You can also still borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from www.wiltshire.gov.uk/libraries-ebooks.

How can I join the library to access your RBdigital eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines?

You can register for membership online by selecting the ‘Join the library' tab at the top of the page and completing the form. If you wish to use our online resources, including our eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines, please email this reference number to libraryenquiries@wiltshire.gov.uk to be issued with a temporary library card number that can be used to register with RBdigital.  A physical library card can be collected from your local library at a later date.

I have a reserved item ready for collection, can I still collect it?

We will hold all Wiltshire items and notify customers when they are able to be collected.

Can I still reserve my books on the online catalogue?

While we are closed, no reservations placed online can be collected. However, you can download eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines via our library website or the RB Digital app.

Can I still access other services that operate from my local library?

Services or drop-in sessions offered in libraries by our partners and other agencies will not take place while our libraries are closed.

Can I swap books?

Not at present. You do not have to return your items currently out on loan. As soon as we're able to re-open these facilities we will do so.

How can I help people who rely on the mobile libraries?

If anyone knows of any family, friends or neighbours who rely upon this service, please feel free to share your own books with them if possible, but please take into account the latest public health advice on contact with people, particularly with the elderly and vulnerable.

How can I look after my mental health during this time?

Information for looking after your mental health is available at: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters   

What will happen to the libraries staff?

Where possible, staff affected by these closures will be redeployed to help protect our essential services to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

 

Leisure centre closures FAQs

Which leisure centres are closing?

All Wiltshire Council leisure centres and Places Leisure-run centres in Wiltshire are closing until further notice.

Why are they closing?

Following the latest government directive, we are taking the sensible precaution to protect the public and our staff by reducing some customer-facing council services.

How long are they closing for?

They are closed until further notice. As soon as we're able to re-open these facilities we will do so.

I have a leisure membership. What should I do?

All direct debit leisure memberships will be frozen for three months, and they will resume once the leisure centres reopen. You do not need to contact us to cancel or amend your membership, your membership will be frozen without any action from you. Your membership freeze will not cost you anything and will start with immediate effect. All annual memberships and leisure card holders have also been frozen, which will mean the expiry dates of those memberships will be extended by three months. If you have a Places Leisure membership, for more information and tips on how to stay active, please see www.placesleisure.org, where you will also find contact details for your local site.

Will I still be charged during the closure?

No. All leisure memberships have been frozen, and they will resume once the leisure centres reopen. You do not need to contact us to cancel or amend your membership, your membership will be frozen without any action from you.

Can I cancel my membership?

Yes, Wiltshire Council managed leisure centres, please contact leisureadmin@wiltshire.gov.uk if you wish to do so. For Places Lesiure cancellations, please see above. However, please note that during this time your membership will be frozen, so you won't pay anything while the centres are closed. If you cancel your swim school or gymnastics school membership you will lose the place in the lesson your child is currently attending. Please contact leisureadmin@wiltshire.gov.uk if you wish to do so.

I have booked a birthday party at a leisure centre. Will I be reimbursed?

Yes. Please contact the leisure centre directly via email. A full list of centres and contact details can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure. Please also email us if you'd like to reschedule your party we recognise that it won't be for your child's actual birthday, but they could still enjoy their party once centres reopen.

What about other activities held in leisure centres?

All of these are suspended, but if the service is not provided by Wiltshire Council or Places Leisure, the service provider should be in contact to discuss alternative arrangements and address any payment issues you may have please do not contact the council to discuss these as we are not able to assist with anything other than services provided by the council.

How can I exercise during this time?

We would advise people to exercise at home as much as possible there are several strengthening exercises you can do at home, but please do not attempt to exercise if you feel unwell in any way. Further information about exercising at home can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51933762, and the BBC will also be offering programmes that will help people to exercise at home during this time.

How can I look after my mental health during this time?

Information for looking after your mental health is available at: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters   

What will happen to the leisure centre staff?

Where possible, Wiltshire Council staff affected by these closures will be redeployed to help protect our essential services to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

Last updated: 20 March 2020 | Last reviewed: 20 March 2020

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