Here are the main Coronavirus-related news items notified so far; there are more inside the April and May issues of the Blewbury Bulletin. Information affecting the wider area can be found on the Local Government news page on this website.
THIS WEEK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
• Recycling centres open on 18 May for essential use
Oxfordshire County Council will re-open Household Waste Recycling Centres on 18 May, for essential use. Essential use means waste that cannot be stored at home, or would cause hard to health if stored.
There will be new site rules to ensure social distancing and the safety of residents and site staff. This includes reducing opening hours to 8am – 4pm to allow for cleaning, limiting the number and size of vehicles coming in and contactless payments only.
Queues are likely, so if it can wait, please do. If it’s waste that can be disposed of legally and responsibly in another way, such as weekly kerbside collections or district council collection services, please do that.
Full information about the changes to recycling centre rules can be found on their website – www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wastereopenquestions
• Information on Church activities
While all church buildings, including St Michael’s, are closed, the church community continue to be very active despite the current limitations on our gatherings and movements. Services and groups are continuing online and by telephone, and the clergy are available if people have questions, would like to talk, or would like to ask for prayer for themselves or someone they care about.
For full details, click here to view/download a PDF file containing the latest information from the Churn Benefice.
• Blewbury Post Office is now open Monday, Tuesday and Friday 9.00am – 11.30am.
Essential transactions only. No home shopping returns or eBay please.
• Bulky waste collection service reopens
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have reopened their paid-for bulky waste collection service for large household items and are also issuing a warning about fly-tipping while other outlets for domestic waste remain closed.
The bulky waste collection service was temporarily stopped to allow the councils’ waste contractor, Biffa, to prioritise the important kerbside household collections while members of their waste collection crews were off sick or self-isolating. Biffa has now built up sufficient resilience in its workforce and can now provide the paid-for service again. The situation is being regularly monitored and residents should be aware that if staffing levels fall the service may need to be suspended again.
With household waste recycling centres still closed, along with charity shops and their donation banks, there are fewer places to dispose of unwanted items that do not fit into kerbside collections.
The councils have issued a warning to anybody tempted to fly-tip – this includes leaving rubbish next to litter bins – that they will investigate and prosecute anyone found to be responsible.
• Please stay away from Trim Trail on Tickers Folly Field
Unfortunately there are some visitors still using the Trim Trail equipment at Tickers Folly field. None of the equipment should be used for the foreseeable future. Please be aware that the virus can remain on surfaces and be contagious for many hours.
Please protect yourself and others by not coming into contact with any shared surfaces. This includes, but is not limited to, all community play and fitness equipment.
Should you have any contact, thoroughly wash your hands directly you get home.
Chris Lakeland, Chairman Blewbury Parish Council
• From the Parish Council:
In the current circumstances, when the vast majority of children in the village are being home schooled and taking exercise breaks in their gardens, the Parish Council asks residents to be considerate and not light bonfires.
• From Sustainable Blewbury:
Our article in the April Bulletin has been superseded by recent Government announcements, so please note that our permaculture orchard garden on Woodway Road is now closed until further notice.
• From the Croquet Club:
Until further notice, Blewbury’s croquet courts should be seen as off-limits for any form of play.
The information we provided to April’s online Bulletin – advising that the courts were still open as long as players took sensible precautions – is now out of date, and has been overtaken by last night’s Government announcements. We are today closing the courts with immediate effect.
We will review the position as further advice is received, but safety and health concerns must come first.
David Long, BCC Secretary (07484 360169)
BLEWBURY GOOD NEIGHBOURS
If you live in Blewbury and are self-isolating due to COVID-19 we can help with: Urgent supplies Picking up shopping A friendly phone call Other essential errands • Help (by phone if necessary) with setting up Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime etc – just ask! Please text/call one of the following three phone numbers and a volunteer will arrange to help you: 851777 (Blewbury Post Office), 07825 154842, 07801 932393. If you would like to register as a volunteer, please also call these numbers or visit the Blewbury Good Neighbours page on Facebook. (Please note that the Post Office number will not be in operation during the period when the Post Office is closed for refurbishment, i.e. from Friday 10th April to 2.30pm on Tuesday 28th April.)
The April Parish Council meeting (April 8th) and the Annual Parish Meeting (April 22nd) will proceed as required by law, but in a highly restricted form. More details on page 18.
ST MICHAEL’S CHURCH
All weekday and Sunday services are cancelled until further notice, including Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Day. The church will be OPEN every day as usual for private prayer and reflection. More details on pages 10 & 11.
BLEWBURY FLYING SQUAD
Following Government advice on social distancing and non-emergency hospital visits, and taking into account the fact that many of our drivers are themselves members of at-risk groups, the Flying Squad service is regretfully suspended until further notice.
BLEWBURY BRASS BAND SPRING CONCERT
This concert, due to take place on Saturday May 2nd, has been cancelled.
VILLAGE HALL AGM
In view of the current restriction on public gatherings the AGM will be held as soon as possible after the reopening of the Hall following refurbishment, subject to government guidelines prevailing at the time.
DUCK RACE & EGG ROLLING
The Easter Duck Race has been postponed until Sunday September 27th. The annual egg-rolling competition, also scheduled for Easter Sunday, has regretfully been cancelled. More details on page 3.
All physical exhibitions that are part of Oxfordshire Artweeks are cancelled or postponed. More details on page 7.
Ringing at St Michael’s has now suspended with immediate effect. Hopefully when ringing is allowed to recommence we will send a powerful message of joy, hope and relief once the crisis has passed.
BULLETIN STOP PRESS SERVICE
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Please note that the Bulletin’s coronavirus coverage does not, and will not, include advice on the virus itself, or on how individuals should respond to it. For the latest, most reliable information on these health-related issues, we recommend tuning in regularly to national and local broadcast news, or visiting the following websites (web addresses shortened for convenience):
Public Health England – https://bit.ly/2WmUEUv
Department of Health and Social Care – https://bit.ly/2WthCci
Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK Government response – https://bit.ly/3aWAV1U
Please note that information on these sites is frequently updated, so should be checked regularly for the latest advice.