Social distancing in public places
As our high streets, town and city centres and businesses begin to re-open, we’ve provided responses to some frequently asked questions.
Yes, non-essential retail was able to re-open from Monday 15 June. Shops that could reopen included those selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and electronics. Tailors and photography studios could open as well if it was safe to do so. Businesses can only open if they are confident about managing the risks and are able to follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines. From 4 July restaurants, pubs, bars, takeaway services, barbershops and hairdressers will be able to re-open.Close
Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services can re-open from 4 July. Hairdressers and barbershops can also re-open from 4 July for services that relate to cutting or treating hair on the head only.
Other businesses that can re-open from 4 July include:
• hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
• places of worship
• community centres
• restaurants, cafes, workplace canteens, bars, pubs that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside
• hair salons and barbers, including mobile businesses
• theatres and concert halls
• funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities
• outdoor gyms and playgrounds
• museums and galleries
• bingo halls
• outdoor skating rinks
• amusement arcades and other entertainment centres
• model villages
• social clubs
• indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction
• indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage sites, film studios and landmarks
More details are available on the government website
Businesses can only open if they are confident about managing the risks and are able to follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.Close
The following businesses will remain closed until further guidance is received from the government on their re-opening:
o Bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
o Indoor play areas including soft-play
o Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
o Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
o Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
o Swimming pools including water parks
o Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business who run the venue
From 4 July you can visit pubs and restaurants for example, however venues designed for crowds such as nightclubs will remain closed until further guidance is received from the government on their re-opening.
We are putting up signs to remind people to follow social distancing measures and these can be seen in some high streets and city centres as well as council-run car parks.
We’ve provided businesses with advice and guidance as to how they can re-open their premises safely. We’ve also provided a toolkit which contains floor markings and posters they can use in their premises. This will help keep their customers, staff and visitors safe as they re-open for business.
We have worked with town councils to develop further measures to ensure high streets re-open safely and to develop more ambitious proposals to re-shape high streets, deliver economic benefits, safeguard health and environmental benefits and adapt places for the future.
Some shops have to limit the number of customers inside their premises and ask other customers to queue outside.
Businesses and managers of shopping centres will be responsible for managing queues and social distancing measures outside their premises. They are encouraged to put markings on the floor outside their store to help customers queue safely. Some shops may agree to a shared queueing space with their neighbours.
We have no legal powers to enforce the public and their social distancing behaviours out in the street or shopping precincts, as this is guidance not law. The emphasis is on individuals to follow the guidance for the safety of themselves and others.
If anyone has any concerns about how social distancing and COVID control measures are being managed at a particular business, they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
street markets are open, except Corsham market which will re-open soon. Details can be found in the markets area of this page.
All events on council owned land have been cancelled until the end of July. This includes events that were planned on our high streets, parks and gardens.
Street entertainment and busking is discouraged where it creates a risk of large crowds gathering.Close
We recommend walking or cycling to your destination or staying local for your shopping and supporting local businesses as they re-open.
You should follow social distancing guidelines in car parks such as:
- Where possible park your car leaving one space or more between cars to aid social distancing
- Keep 2 metres away from others when waiting to pay.
Most bus stations in Wiltshire are operated by bus companies and they will have made their own arrangements to ensure social distancing. At the bus station in Chippenham which is operated by Wiltshire Council we have re-arranged the stands so that the busiest services are not grouped together.
Public toilets are run by town and parish councils, and each one will make their own decisions on which facilities to open and when. Please check with your local town or parish council for more information.
Where facilities are open, you will be able to wash your hands at public toilets, but we recommend you take hand sanitiser with you on a trip to the shops so you can easily sanitise your hands when hand washing isn’t available. Some shops will also offer hand sanitiser on entry/exit.
We have received confirmation of £227,000 funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to progress the first five road reallocation schemes in the county.
The five schemes, in Salisbury, Bradford on Avon, Purton, Trowbridge, and Chippenham, are based on existing bus routes and will link the city and town centres with homes and places of work on the edges of the city and towns.
They will make it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to access shops, businesses and places of work without driving or using public transport, and also help people to maintain social distancing.
The five schemes at present are:
Full details of the five projects are as follows:
1. Salisbury cycleways to link Harnham to the city centre, allowing cyclists easy access to the city. The scheme will see one southbound lane on Brown Street turned into a cycleway and the removal of on-street parking on Exeter Street to create a cycleway on the street while maintaining two-way traffic.
2. A segregated cycleway and footway on the B3108 between Winsley and Bradford on Avon, allowing easy access between the two, and giving cyclists the option of a traffic-free ride from Winsley, into Bradford on Avon and then on to Bath along the Kennet and Avon Canal.
3. On the A420 in Chippenham, a segregated cycleway linking Bumpers Farm to the town centre, giving cyclists easy access to the centre of the town.
4. The removal of through traffic on Hook Street in Purton, which runs parallel with the A3102 between Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon. Created in partnership with Swindon Borough Council, this will install a 3.5km route for cyclists and walkers, linking Purton with Swindon's Lydiard Park.
5. A segregated cycleway on the A361 Hilperton Road in Trowbridge, from near the fire station into advisory cycle lanes from Stancomb Avenue to Hilperton Road roundabout, of more than 1km in total.
Work is due to start in the next four weeks on these schemes, and the council will have more to announce on the next round of funding, and other major cycling and walking projects, soon.
Using separate funding, we are also progressing a social distancing scheme in Malmesbury town centre that will benefit both cyclists and pedestrians. As part of this trial, a one-way footway system for pedestrians will be installed on both sides of the High Street. Work should begin on this project in the next week or so.
Further schemes are being considered for the summer.
Following government advice on social distancing, we are taking the sensible precaution to protect the public and have reduced some non-essential council services.
All our hubs are currently open as usual, though some services may be affected, including the face to face housing options service - please see the full list of services below. Find your nearest hub and opening times.
Changes to shielding
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and are currently advised to 'shield'.
As the prevalence of COVID-19 within communities in England has continued to decline, the Government has announced planned changes to shielding advice which will take effect in two stages, on 6 July and 1 August.
For the latest Government advice on shielding and the planned changes visit the GOV.UK website.
Local Outbreak Management Plan
We have published our plans to help the county respond quickly and effectively should there be a local COVID-19 outbreak.
We were allocated £1.586m from a £300million government fund to work with the NHS and a range of local partners to ensure a joined-up local approach was in place in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
The Wiltshire Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP) sets out the approach for managing COVID-19 outbreaks locally to protect residents and support the most vulnerable.
The LOMP will build on local expertise and effective health protection processes that are already in place, and outlines how the council and partners will positively engage with the public so they’re fully aware and supportive of the crucial part they have to play in the process.
The government has identified seven themes that are deemed essential to plans to manage an outbreak effectively. They are:
- Care homes and schools
- Identify high risk settings, communities and places
- Local testing capacity
- Contact tracing
- Data integration
- Vulnerable people
We will work with the Government to support test and trace services in local communities, taking a place-based approach to containing the spread of the infection as much as possible.
Take a look at the Local Outbreak Management Plan
Health advice and information
- For the latest health advice, please visit the dedicated COVID-19 NHS website.
- The Government website has details on the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the UK, broken down by region and local authority area.
- You can view Pillar 2 data on the Government dashboard later this afternoon (Thursday 2 July).
The following Twitter accounts will be regularly posting out the latest factual advice and information related to COVID-19:
- Public Health England (@PHE_UK)
- Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk)
- Wiltshire Council (@WiltsCouncil)
- NHS England (@NHSEngland) – the NHS advises to only trust NHS organisations on Twitter that are ‘blue-tick verified’
- Wiltshire Police (@wiltshirepolice)
- Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service (@DWFireRescue)
- NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (@NHSBSWCCG)
- Swindon Borough Council (@SwindonCouncil)
- Foreign Office (foreign office)
Community and volunteer packs
Further information can be found in the A - Z section of this page under 'Community information: support, volunteering, information packs'
- COVID-19 Community Pack to support you and your community
- Community Groups Directory
- COVID-19 Volunteer Pack - contains useful advice, guidance and support
- Sign up for email updates about council services direct to your inbox.
- Community Groups Map - Use the search box towards the top left of the map to find a particular location. Click on a red star to find more information about the group. Some groups cover a wide area so it is worth checking neighbouring locations as well.
Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub
If you are self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and you need help and do not have any family, friends or neighbours who can support you please let us know.
We are here to help you with:
- deliveries of food and other essentials
- loneliness and wellbeing.
You can request this help by calling our helpline on 0300 003 4576 or via email at email@example.com. The Wellbeing Hub team are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Food parcels being delivered by Wiltshire Council through the hub are emergency parcels to last people for three days while more sustainable solutions are found, such as a delivery by the voluntary sector. The council is charging for these parcels where appropriate. Please be assured that we will still be providing food parcels without charge for those that can show they are unable to afford them.
The charges are £20 to cover at least three days worth of food for one person, either meat or vegetarian, and up to £25 if the household has specialist dietary requirements such as gluten-free.
All funds received for payment of these food parcels cover the cost of the food only, and no profit is being made from the charging for food parcels.
Up-to-date information about council services
Find out the latest with council services and how you can book, pay and apply online.
A - B
With a lot of people stuck at home for the foreseeable future, and maybe struggling with ideas of things to do, stay active or just keep their mental health in a positive place, we’ve compiled a list of resources across a wide range of subjects to try and provide something of interest for everyone.Close
Please regularly check the meetings calendar for updates on public meetings as some meetings are cancelled, whist others will be taking place online for the public to view. Where meetings are taking place online, you will see details on the agenda about how you can submit questions or written statements for the meeting.
If you have any questions about meetings taking place, please contact Democratic Services on firstname.lastname@example.org.Close
To support older and vulnerable residents in our communities during this time, they are able to use their bus passes before 9:30am. With many supermarkets opening early specifically for them we hope this helps them to get everything they need.Close
C - J
Following the latest government advice on COVID-19, the promoters of a number of events scheduled to take place at City Hall unfortunately had to cancel the bookings.
We are working with the promoters to reschedule the events where possible. We apologise for any inconvenience but these are exceptional circumstances and we hope people understand the situation. We will be in touch with customers directly affected by this to talk about their options, including refund arrangements. All tickets for rescheduled shows will be valid for confirmed new dates.
We look forward to welcoming back people and hosting events as soon as we possibly can.
We are continuing to contact all customers affected by cancellations. We would ask all customers to refrain from contacting the Box Office unless absolutely necessary to do so. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult timeClose
Volunteer group survey
We have been heartened by the response across the county to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the strength and resilience of our communities and providing much needed support to our residents at this challenging time.
We are keen to understand more about what is being delivered at a local level to enable us to provide the support, guidance or resource that is required. We want to help ensure that individuals and groups are providing safe and effective local support to our communities. We have created a short survey where we’d ask you to add the details of your local group. Additionally, if you are aware of other individuals or local groups that are operating locally then can you please let me know and I will be sure to follow up with them.
COVID-19 Community Pack
We have created a COVID-19 Community Pack to support you and your community during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Within it you’ll find a list of key contacts, resources and information in one place, which we hope you can share with your community to support each other as much as possible during this time.
- COVID-19 community pack (last updated 13 May)
COVID-19 Community groups map
Take a look at the Community Groups Map. It shows the general location of the community groups featured in the directory. You can use the search box towards the top left of the page to find a particular location. To find out what services each group are offering, the area they cover and contact details, just click on a red star. Some groups cover a wide area so it is worth checking neighbouring locations as well.
COVID-19 Volunteer Pack
Wiltshire Council has created an information pack for volunteer groups to help them support their communities during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Wiltshire has already seen a large number of community groups mobilise up and down the county to support their fellow residents. The pack brings together a lot of their best practise in setting up an effective response. The ‘COVID-19 Volunteer Pack’ (last updated 13 May) includes top tips on setting up a volunteer group, advice on supporting those in self-isolation, and a range of template forms and useful signposting to other resources.
Safeguarding guidance for volunteer groups
This document provides information to community groups in Wiltshire where responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, regarding safeguarding, DBS checks and data protection.
This is to support groups in their work to protect vulnerable people from potentially unscrupulous people and to support volunteers to feel confident the work they are doing is safe and appropriate for all.
Community Groups: prescription collection and delivery process
Voluntary and community groups offer a vital support service for residents who are unable to collect prescriptions. Some pharmacies are able to deliver directly to individuals, however, picking up personal and potentially lifesaving medication comes with a number of safeguarding considerations. It requires a robust system to ensure safe delivery of the correct prescription to each recipient. In this document we set out our recommended process for working successfully with your local pharmacy to collect and deliver prescriptions
PPE volunteer guidance
We have produced a protocol document to provide guidance for volunteers working in our communities during the COVID 19 pandemic. It aims to help you take the appropriate precautions and protect both yourself and the people in our community from the spread of COVID 19.
Community Groups Directory
The communities of Wiltshire have risen to the challenge of COVID-19 to make sure people are supported through this very difficult time. The council has collated all the community groups we have identified so far in our Community Groups Directory, which also contains a link to details on local food banks. This directory is updated regularly so please ensure you are using the most recent one. The date it was last updated can be found on the front cover.
In the time available we have only been able to collate this directory and therefore this is not an endorsement of the groups listed but it is for you to decide what use you will make of the offers of support at this time.
If anyone uses a community group and has concerns about the response/practice please inform us by emailing email@example.com giving the clear reasons for your concern. The council wants to ensure that everybody can access the support they need. If you make contact with a group and they cannot help or you do not get a response within the required time-frame, then please do not hesitate to contact the council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure you get the support you need.
Community Engagement Managers (CEMs)
Our CEMs are here to support your local group. They can help you coordinate, make links with other groups and organisations and be a constant source of advice and guidance. Their contact details and the community areas they cover can be found below:
- Amesbury – Jacqui Abbott - 01722 434 344 or email@example.com
- Bradford on Avon and Corsham – Ros Griffiths – 01225 718372 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Calne – Jane Vaughan - 01249 706447 or email@example.com
- Chippenham – Ollie Phipps - 01249 709404 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Devizes – Andrew Jack 01225 713109 or email@example.com
- Malmesbury – Ollie Phipps - 01249 709404 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marlborough – Andrew Jack – 01225 713109 or email@example.com
- Melksham – Peter Dunford - 01225 713060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pewsey and Tidworth – Richard Rogers 07771547522 or email@example.com
- Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade – Jane Vaughan - 01249 706447 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Salisbury – Marc Read - 01722 434557 or email@example.com
- South West and Southern Wiltshire – Karen Linaker 01722 434697 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Trowbridge – Liam Cripps - 01225 713143 or email@example.com
- Warminster and Westbury – Graeme Morrison - 01225 713573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Supermarket/small food provider arrangements in light of COVID-19
Many local supermarkets and small food providers have changed their operating arrangements to support the elderly and vulnerable in our communities, and introduced initiatives to support volunteers. The latest information we have can be found below. This information below is subject to change and you are encouraged to contact your local supermarket/food provider for more information.
At this difficult time, food banks are in need of more volunteers and donations. If you are able to help in any way please get in touch with your local food bank. Food banks are there to support vulnerable people in a crisis, which is usually subject to a referral from a trusted source, such as a social worker.
- Food banks currently operating in Wiltshire (details subject to change)
A number of befriending organisations in Wiltshire are providing support to people who perhaps feel a little lonely or isolated at this difficult time.
Take a look out our table of information for a list of the organisations and the type of support they provide.Close
If you need support with payments contact us as soon as possible:
- call 0300 456 0109
- email email@example.com
For more information and FAQs please visit our council tax page.
- Contacting council tax and benefits teams
- Pay your council tax
- Find out more about housing benefit
- Apply for deferred council tax payments
Any council tenant with a gas safety check scheduled for the next three weeks will go ahead as planned, as it is a legal requirement that we remain gas compliant as a landlord. All engineer will wear the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) and will stay two metres away from residents at all times, in line with social distancing measures. However, if you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have underlying health conditions, or you would like to postpone your appointment, please call contractor PH Jones on 01722 413344 to reschedule your visit.
Resident engagement events and trips
All planned events and trips are postponed until further notice.Close
As legislation has now been published to confirm the postponement of national and local elections, by-elections and referendums during the coming months, We have released details of the forthcoming polls affected in the county which can be found on the news page.
Any town and parish council by-elections that have had to be postponed, have a vacancy that cannot currently be filled. In these areas, residents should contact their town or parish council directly to access the support they would usually receive from their parish councillor.
As a precaution, our drop in service has been temporarily suspended until further notice.
We have taken this decision to minimise the risk to clients, staff and visitors, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions and those aged over 70.
For the time being, we will be operating a telephone and email service to respond to advice enquiries. Extra advisers are being deployed to operate the telephone helpline during this time. Contact details for the temporary service are as follows:
01225 718005, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
01249 706666, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
- 01722 434233, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
You can also contact the service on firstname.lastname@example.orgClose
K - Z
Suspension of services
The following sport and leisure services are affected:
- Get Wiltshire Walking is suspended until further notice
- All running courses are suspended until further notice
- All disability sport is suspended until further notice
Following government advice and to help stop the transmission of COVID-19, we have taken the decision to close all leisure centres until further notice.
Leisure centre closures FAQs
Which leisure centres are closed?
All Wiltshire Council leisure centres and Places Leisure-run centres in Wiltshire are closed until further notice.
Why have they closed?
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to do so. 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.
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 on our Active Communities page
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.Close
Libraries remain closed for the time being. See below for more information.
Consultation on Wiltshire Council reopening libraries safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
We are seeking your views to help with our planning for reopening library services safely in the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library service in Wiltshire was temporarily closed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 March. The existing eBooks, eMagazines and eAudio service continues providing access to reading material, and on 27 March a new service launched via Facebook offering rhyme times, tea and chat, bedtime stories and online book groups. At the start of June, the Home Library service was relaunched, serving library members shielding and without digital access to download books; this service is currently used by approximately 100 people. The online library content produced since lockdown has so far generated more than 83,000 views.
We would like to hear your ideas and feedback on how to reopen our library services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and within the council’s current resources and budget.
During this challenging time the council has to manage its resources carefully and has put forward three possible options for how the service might operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You are also encouraged to provide your own ideas to help the council deliver the most appropriate service in the circumstances and within the council’s current financial resources.
The possible options take into account COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing measures, resources available and the council’s current financial pressures – meaning that there will be a partial and phased reopening of library services.
The possible options being considered include:
An order and collect service
This involves customers contacting the library service by email/phone to request books or other materials that they wish to borrow. This might include specific authors or topics such as crime or autobiographies. These would then be collected in person from a library.
This would operate from 10 August at some main library hubs in Wiltshire, and in each of the 18 community areas across the county by the end of September. This means that 20 libraries could potentially be open by the end of September, subject to staff and finances being available.
An order and collect service with bookable computer access
The order and collect service as detailed above and the ability to pre-book a computer session for those without access to the internet.
This would operate from 10 August at some main library hubs in Wiltshire and in each community area across the county by the end of September.
A socially distanced service offering the public some access to browse stock and use computers. This would operate in up to six libraries from the end of August and a maximum of a further four, subject to staff capacity and social distancing requirements.
A four-week public consultation got underway from 29 June 2020. Hard copies will be made available at County Hall, Trowbridge; Monkton Park, Chippenham; and Bourne Hill, Salisbury. The consultation closes on 26 July 2020.
Following analysis of the feedback received, the favoured option will likely be introduced initially for a six-month period from 10 August. Monthly reviews will also be carried out to assess how the impact of COVID-19 is changing, the financial impact of operating, lessons learnt and the opportunities for change.
In the meantime, we have a range of online resources to keep you busy.
FAQs on the consultation to reopen libraries safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
Why are you
carrying out this consultation now?
Now that the Government has confirmed that libraries can reopen we have given ourselves some time to look at the guidance carefully and ensure that when we reintroduce some library services during the COVID-19 pandemic, that they are safe for the public, our staff and volunteers, and take into account our current resources and financial pressures. We also wanted people to get involved in our planning and to tell us how they think we should reopen and to provide any ideas they have. This will really help us shape the service we provide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim is to reopen some library services at the conclusion of the consultation and that will mean we have time before then to carefully plan, using people’s feedback, and ensure we aren’t rushing back – which will be beneficial to our staff, volunteers and the public.
When will library services reopen?
Following analysis of the feedback received during the consultation, the favoured option will likely be introduced initially for a six-month period. We hope to have reopened some services by 10 August but that could change. Monthly reviews will also be carried out to assess how the impact of COVID-19 is changing, the financial impact of operating, lessons learnt, what library-users are telling us, and possible opportunities for change
Will all libraries reopen when services come back?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our finances and resources, we will not be able to open all libraries in Wiltshire straight away. There are 33 libraries in Wiltshire, including mobile libraries, and unfortunately it won’t be possible to run all those services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ll still be aiming to provide an innovative and vibrant service to people Following analysis of the consultation feedback, some services will return initially for a six month period, likely to be from 10 August. There will be regular reviews in between to see how effective this is proving to be. When the consultation has concluded we will detail the plans for reopening services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why aren’t Wiltshire libraries opening immediately after 4 July like in some other areas?
Given that the services libraries provide will be different during the COVID-19 pandemic when some are reopened, we felt it would be beneficial to ask residents to provide feedback on the options we are considering when we reopen services. The consultation gives people the opportunity to look at the options we are considering when planning to reopen some library services, to help ensure they meet the needs of the public safely and are as innovative in their delivery as possible. We also welcome people’s ideas on how they think we should reopen services during the pandemic, given our resources, and we look forward to seeing what suggestions come in.
Why won’t you be able to provide the same library service as before COVID-19?
Given current COVID-19 social distancing measures and our current resources and financial pressures, it means we aren’t currently in a position to offer the same service during the COVID-19 pandemic as before. However, we are working hard to ensure residents still have some library services available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, our libraries service has a range of online resources to keep people busy.Close
- Stand two meters apart in queues
- Don’t pick up and put back items unnecessarily
- Shop individually if you can
- Pay via Contactless if you’re able to
- Don’t visit if you’re displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
- A socially distancing queuing system will be in place at each market for each stall
- A number of stall holders have laid their stalls out differently to have a dedicated entrance and exit and operate a one way system
- All stallholders have been advised to follow government guidelines around hygiene, regular hand washing and sanitising
- Council officers will be on site to manage set-up and ensure stalls are socially distanced
What dates will street markets be open?
Are any of the market not opening? If so, why?
Will the opening and closing times be the same?
Are the markets based at the same locations?
Will the layout of the markets be different?
What safety measures will be brought in?
- A socially distancing queuing system will be in place at each market for each stall
- You are encouraged to pay via contactless where you can and when it’s available
- You are encouraged to not unnecessarily pick up items and put them back
- You are encouraged to shop independently if you can
- A number of stall holders have laid their stalls out differently to have a dedicated entrance and exit and operate a one way system
- All stallholders have been advised to follow government guidelines around hygiene, regular hand washing and sanitising
- Council officers will be on site to manage set-up and ensure stalls are socially distanced
Can I pay in cash?
Will anyone be on site ensuring social distancing measures are being adhered to?
What about Chippenham, Devizes, Royal Wootton Bassett and Salisbury markets?
Following the latest government guidance, you are now able to leave your home to exercise and spend time outdoors for recreation as often as you wish. Exercise or recreation can be done alone, with members of your household, or with up to six person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart at all times.
It’s now possible to walk, cycle and drive to publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance. However, these should be for day trips only and you should not stay away from your home overnight.
Plan ahead to ensure that, where you are visiting places like beaches and national parks, you have checked that they are open and appropriately prepared for visitors. Some locations will be very popular so think carefully about where you are going and how you will be able to keep your distance from others.
Play areas and outdoor gyms where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces still remain closed in Wiltshire, please do not use these and do not allow your children to use these areas until further notice.
When enjoying yourselves outdoors remember to stay safe and alert:
- take hygiene precautions when you are outside
- wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
- keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
- take hand sanitiser with you when you set off in case there are no handwashing facilities
We are continuing to process planning applications to help keep the local economy moving, although it is possible that officers may be re-allocated to COVID-19 support work at short notice. All Planning Officers are now working from home, so please communicate with them via e-mail.
We have now stopped site visits, so we cannot currently put up site notices. Wherever possible, we are now relying on postal neighbour notifications to comply with the legislation, and third parties can continue to view details of applications on our website. However, in certain circumstances, such as alterations to listed buildings; major developments; and prior approvals, site notices are still a legal requirement. In these cases, we will seek to send them directly to the applicant and request that they are displayed. We will not be arranging any face-to-face meetings until further notice.
When submitting applications, please include photographs of the site and its surroundings. For example, if it is a rear extension, photographs showing the rear and its relationship to neighbouring properties will help the process, as we may be able to deal with some applications via assessment of the plans, photographs and online imagery. Please also ensure you do not send hard copies of applications to council offices as there may be a delay in processing these.
We have had a high percentage of applications dealt with under delegated powers for a long time, and this will continue. At present we are currently reviewing the position regarding the holding of planning committees, and note that the government has included proposals in the Coronavirus Act for handling committees, but these require the issuing of Regulations by the Secretary of State that have yet to be published. We will advise you if this impacts on your applications.
As you may be aware, the Planning Inspectorate is also affected, and is publishing updates about the impact on its service.
We have been asked about the likelihood of the government automatically extending the deadline for implementing extant permissions. This is not something that is within the control of the council and would require the government to change the planning legislation. As Parliament is now in recess, it would appear unlikely that there will be any changes on this aspect in the foreseeable future.
The service may be hit by further restrictions imposed by the government, or by sickness, and we thank you for your continued support and understanding at this time.
Local Land Charges
The Local Land Charges team will continue to operate a service as close to normal as possible, while following all the latest guidance. Many officers will now be working from home, so please communicate via e-mail on email@example.com. Please remember that you can submit an LLC1 (Official Certificate of Search) for £30 and receive the refined results via email. Please also be understanding about delays and changes to timescales and limit queries regarding turnaround times.Close
Can I now register the birth of my child and notices of marriage and civil partnerships?
The government announced recently that appointments to register births and notices of marriage and civil partnerships can now resume in England.
Your safety and that of our staff is our top priority, and public health risk assessments of our main buildings and registrars' offices will be completed to ensure that social distancing can be maintained at all times before we can offer appointments and welcome you back.
Any face to face registration appointments we provide will be restricted to people that are required to be there only and children are not to be brought along.
Further updates and information on when the service will recommence will be posted on this page shortly and we appreciate your patience while we finalise the arrangements.
We are currently only offering telephone death registration appointments. You must book your appointment by telephoning 0300 003 4569. The customer services officer will book you an appointment slot and you will need to be available for one hour from the start time of that appointment for the Registrar to contact you to conduct the registration. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but these measures are in place to protect both our customers and staff.
How much will it cost?
The service is free of charge. To deal with the deceased's estate, you may need to purchase death certificates which are certified copies of the register entry. Currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are restricting purchase to one certificate per registration. Further copies can be purchased once the pandemic is over. There is an £11 fee for each certificate issued. We can only process card payments so please have a card available to pay for your certificate at the time of registration.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
We have published some guidance for those attending funeral services during this time:Close
Waste and recycling collections
Following the introduction of new recycling collection rounds, though the situation has improved significantly, we are still experiencing a few delays.
If your collection is missed you can report it online.
- Find out about the new recycling collection services
- Find your collection day
- Missed bin collection? Report it online
We usually return to empty any missed containers the following day so please leave your bins our, although in some instances it is taking a little longer for us to reach you. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause, but please continue to leave your containers out and we will return as soon as we can. We continue to operate on Saturdays to empty bins on rounds not completed as scheduled on Fridays.
Throughout lockdown we have managed to maintain all waste and recycling collection services, including general waste, mixed dry recycling, chargeable garden waste, and bulky household waste collections.
If you suspect you have COVID-19, put waste tissues into a plastic bag and tie it when full. You can also put disposable cloths or wipes, used to clean hard surfaces such as kitchen worktops and bathrooms, in this bag. Once the bag is full, double bag it in a second bin bag and tie it up. Store the bags for 72 hours (three days) and then please place them in your normal wheeled bin. If you don't receive a wheeled bin collection, please make sure a council-issued bag label is placed on the outside of the double-bagged waste.
Household recycling centres
All of Wiltshire's household recycling centres (HRCs), are open for pre-booked visits only. You must book a visit before attending a HRC.Close