Councillor Paul Collins Website
Councillor Paul Collins Website

Please see my COVID-19 updates below taken from council official releases and other sources along with my interpretation of issues.  Which I post at my earliest opportunity

 

Page Last Updated 29-08-2021

Update 29-08-2021

Give Wildlife a Local Home
I'm sure most residents are concerned about the well-being and diversity of our local wildlife.  Something I am passionate about so I will be occasionally exploring things we can do at home if you have a garden that doesn’t cost much but can have a major impact on our local environment and support our local wildlife and if you don’t have a garden there are still options such as window boxes etc.  Aside from bird feeders and other accessories etc, which can sometimes be costly there is a lot you can do or not do that can make a huge difference to our many local wildlife species.  2 things I have done in my garden is left out a couple of areas at the edge of my lawn that I leave alone and just allow to grow wild. This doesn’t cost anything and saves time and effort too so is a win-win for me and many of our little creatures.  I have also buried a hedgehog house in a safe area in my garden and was very pleasantly surprised (To be honest a little excited) to see a very healthy hedgehog rummaging around when I was putting my bins out.  If you have any other ideas that can help improve our local infrastructure to support our wildlife species please share and I will include them in future updates.  I'm looking for things that cost little to nothing involve little or no effort and can make a positive impact on our local environment i.e things we can all do? This is because I think Thousands of little things, provide far more overall benefits that enhance the wider environmental projects we do on an ongoing basis.  I will be looking into the benefits of domestic composting and water butts soon and will discuss them in future updates but please feel free to share your ideas with me.
 
Click Here For Some Ideas From The National Trust
 
Or Here For Some Ideas From The RSPB
 
Healthwatch GP Survey
The Communications Officer for Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh. Recently asked me to share details of a campaign they have launched to find out what the residents of Wigan and Leigh think about their local GP Practice and services. The experiences and views of residents will be anonymously recorded as a report later in the year.  Healthwatch would be very grateful if you could share their project and survey with your friends and relatives (e.g. via email or social media)
 
Click Here to Complete The Survey
 


 
Please let me know if you need any additional information/resources, and thank you so much!

Places for Everyone Joint Development Plan Document Public Consultation
Including Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan

I have received several enquiries relating to Places for Everyone Public Consultation

The Public consultation on the Places for Everyone Plan is now open until 23:45 pm on Sunday 3 October 2021. The Places for Everyone Plan will be a long-term plan of the above nine districts for jobs, new homes, and sustainable growth and will help meet the city region’s needs up until 2037.  It replaces the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework which is no longer being taken forward following the withdrawal of Stockport Council from the joint plan in December 2020

Click Here to View the Plan and Supporting Documents and Submit comments on the GM Combined Authority Website

Hard copies of the Plan can also be viewed at Wigan Library and Leigh Library

Click Here for Details on the 4 site allocations proposed in the borough and details of the 6 Proposed Green Belt Additions in the borough on Wigan Councils Website
   
Site notices have been erected around the 4 proposed site allocations and 6 proposed Green Belt additions,  

Vaccinations
More than 433,000 vaccines have now been given out to Wigan Borough residents. Vaccinations are available for anyone aged 16 and over. 38% of the borough’s 16- and 17-year-olds have now had their first jab. If you haven’t had your vaccination yet, walk-in clinics are open across the borough for your convenience.
 
There is no need to book.
 
Click Here to Find Out More


 
Covid-19 Update
This week’s Covid-19 tracker shows: The rate of new cases in Wigan is lower than the previous week and sits at 263 per 100,000 population. Wigan currently has the 6th highest total rate in GM. As of 24th August, there were 22 COVID-positive patients in Wrightington, Wigan, and Leigh hospitals. There have been 3 COVID–19 related deaths registered in Wigan so far in the latest week (w/e 13th August).
 
Thank you to everyone who is continuing to do the small things that can make a big difference to our Covid-19 levels in the borough, such as:
 
•         Meeting friends and family outside if the weather is nice.
•         Keeping homes well ventilated if you do have visitors.
•         Regularly sanitising frequently touched places in your home, such as door handles and light switches.
•         Wearing a mask on public transport and in busier indoor public spaces.
•         Sanitising your hands frequently if you’re out and about and wash your hands well when you get home.
•         Getting vaccinated if you haven’t already done so.
 
Click Here for the Councils Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) update and advice
 


 
Crowdfunding Scheme to Support Community Projects
 The Council has launched a new crowdfunding scheme to help community groups get much-needed funds for local projects this week. The Council is prepared to match funds of up to £1,000 or 25% of a project’s funding goal. Anyone launching a project, which aims to benefit the people of Wigan Borough can take advantage of the offer by setting out their funding goals on any of the major crowdfunding platforms, including JustGiving and GoFundMe. Once a project has been launched, support can be applied for through the council’s website.
 
Click Here to Find Out More
 
Adult Learning Opportunities
Residents are being encouraged by the Council to access adult learning opportunities, to acquire entry-level qualifications, that fit around commitments. The courses are suited to the following:
 
•         Unemployed and wondering how to kick-start their careers
•         With no formal qualifications and aren’t sure where to start
•         Wanting to improve their career but can’t commit to full-time education
•         Over the age of 19
 
The courses are flexible and residents can learn in a community venue, rather than a classroom. The timetable works around school hours and some courses offer a choice of remote or face-to-face learning. Subjects are taught by experienced, supportive tutors who understand the challenges around adult learning. The specialties are wide-ranging including teaching, construction, digital skills, and much more from just two hours of attendance per week.
 
Courses start from 13 September, so please do share.
 
Click Here For More Information
 

Update 01-08-2021

Local Government Boundary Review England (LGBCE)
 The Local Government Boundary Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Wigan Council. The aim of the electoral review is to recommend ward boundaries that mean each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters. We also aim to ensure that the ward boundaries reflect the interests and identities of local communities, as well as promoting effective local government
 
There are 2 issues to consider here 1. Where the Ward Boundary should be situated and 2. What the new Ward would be named (Currently Shevington with Lower Ground Ward). I think naming the Ward is probably more appropriate once we know what the new boundaries will be
 
Click Here to Have Your Say
 
Click Here for Wigan’s Review Page on the LGBCE Website
 
Bin Collections
As you may be aware our Bin Crews have been struggling to complete rounds to staff shortages caused by absences due to being ill with Covid or self-isolating.  As always if your bin isn’t emptied put it out again the following day as crews go round to pick up missed streets.
 
You should have received a new bin calendar by now but if you haven’t got one click below to enter your postcode and download the calendar for your street
 
Click Here to Download Your Bin Collection Calendar
 
Temporary Library Closures
Following a recent announcement last week about scaling back some non-critical services to cover critical services, a decision has been made to temporarily close a selection of the borough’s libraries from next week. Wigan, Leigh and Ashton library facilities will remain open. Each of our other libraries will close.
 
Our library staff will help our customer service teams to support our residents, such as managing the self-isolation emergency line/web forms and the locally supported contact tracing system.
 
The closures will be from Monday, August 2nd. Wigan and Leigh town centre libraries will remain open between 10am and 2pm on weekdays.  Ashton Library will be open 10am to 2pm Monday to Wednesdays, 1pm to 5pm on Thursday and Fridays.
 
The Popular e-book service is in operation across the borough with library members able to access 36,000 digital books and more than 20,000 audiobooks.
 
The change is needed because the Council workforce is experiencing significant pressures due to high Covid-19 rates and self-isolation and hopefully you will understand why this approach has been taken.
 
Click Here for More Information on the e-Book Service
 
NW In-Bloom Competitions are Back for 2021
Following the cancellation of the 2020 competitions. Our wonderful In Bloom community groups, Parks, along with the Council’s corporate entry, that brings so much vibrancy, colour and enjoyment into our borough,  will be visited by the judges in the next few weeks. 
 
The dates and the areas we will be visiting for In Bloom judging are as follows:
 
August 3rd (Shevington, Appley Bridge, Orrell, Haigh)
August 4th (Astley, Atherton, Leigh, Golborne Ashton, Bryn)
August 16th (Hindley Green, Hindley, Wigan, Whelley, Beech Hill, Newtown)
August 17th Corporate Day (Hindley, Platt Bridge, Bickershaw, Ashton, Bryn)
 
East Quarry (Appley Bridge)
We have received several enquiries relating to the East Quarry situated near our Ward in Appley Bridge (West Lancashire).  Wigan Council does have some responsibility and input into this issue as what happens can have an impact on adjacent areas within our Ward/Borough. We are aware that there are mixed views in our Ward and we need to ensure and respect that everyone has the right to their own view regardless as to which option or proposal they would like to see happen.
 
Some believe the quarry should be filled in to help reduce anti-social behaviour and improve safety especially following previous tragedies involving young children whilst others believe the quarry should be left alone for environmental reasons etc
 
As your elected representative it is my responsibility to ensure that everyone within my community has the right to share their opinion on this and other issues without any fear of repercussions from others with different views.  Debate and differences are both fine and encouraged but it must not escalate into conflict, which would neither be helpful or acceptable
 
The position of your District Councillors on this issue is neutral as there are valid arguments from both sides of the issue within our community, whom we are elected to represent, but we must ensure that whichever approach is taken, it is managed properly and any negative impact on our ward and residents is minimised and most of all, everyone within the community has a say in what happens
 
Covid-19 Tracker
This week’s statistics show: The rate of new cases in Wigan is lower than the previous week: Wigan has the third-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week (17th – 23rd July). Wigan currently has the 6th highest total rate in GM: Wigan is currently ranked 24th highest in England: The Delta variant accounts for the majority of new cases in Wigan: Wigan is higher than the Greater Manchester and North West averages for the rate of new cases in the latest 7 days: As at 27th July, there were 23 COVID-positive patients in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh hospitals – a decrease from this time last week: There have been 1 COVID–19 related deaths registered in Wigan so far in the latest week (w/e 16th July)
 
Legal restrictions may have been lifted but it’s important we continue to keep Wigan Borough safe by wearing a face covering, washing our hands and watching our distance.
 


 
Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 
Vaccination Update
The number of vaccinations given to residents across Wigan Borough is now over 407,000! Not had yours yet? There are now some walk-in vaccination clinics in the borough, where you can call in for your vaccination without an appointment. Please take up the opportunity to get vaccinated and help keep everyone safe.
  
For Your First Vaccine, Click Here for our Walk-In Vaccination Clinics
 


 
New Bus Service To & From Haigh Woodland Park
There will be a new weekend bus service between Haigh Woodland Park (HWP) and Wigan town centre. The Haigh Woodland Wanderer will run every weekend through the summer holiday season. The new bus has been organised and funded by a partnership including Wigan Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, the Friends of Haigh group and The Community Rail Network’s Integrated Sustainable Transport Fund. With tickets available for £1 for adults and 50p for children (free for concessions), the Wanderer’s hourly route includes stops in Scholes, Whelley, Aspull and on Wigan Road. In addition to the weekend schedule, it will run on Bank Holiday Monday (August 30) and through autumn half-term (Monday 25 to Friday 29, October) to coincide with the Haigh Halloween Festival. In line with the council’s Community Wealthy Building principles, the service will be operated by a borough-based firm, Finches.


 
End of Update
As always don't hesitate to contact me with and ideas for articles and issues to cover in my updates

Update 11-07-2021

Weekly Covid-19 Tracker
This week's statistics show: The rate of new cases in Wigan is higher than the previous week: Wigan is currently ranked 14th highest in England and is an Enhanced Response Area:   The volume of cases in schools continues to be high: As of 6 July, there were 16 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals: There has been 1 COVID–19 related death registered in Wigan so far in the latest week.
 
The Council strongly encourages everyone to remember the 3Ws; wear a face covering, watch your distance and wash your hands to reduce the chance of onward transmission. As you can see from the data, our rate of new cases remains very high and although our rollout of the vaccine is progressing well, there are steps we can all take to help these rates reduce.
 
Click Here For More Information on Testing, Details on the Current Restrictions and support for Self-Isolation
 
Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 

 

Vaccination Update
 The number of vaccinations administered to borough residents is approaching the 390k figure. Adults of all ages who have not yet had their first vaccine are urged to come forward to have it as soon as possible. A number of walk-in clinics – no appointment necessary – remain available.
 
Click Here for Information on Clinics and Second Doses
 


 
BeWell Programmes Keeping the Borough Active
The last month has seen BeWell start up several new programmes with partners across the borough. The Active Outdoors programme has launched a new run with Wigan Warriors Community Trust. The team has worked with Age UK to provide a six-week confidence-building cycling course. Back To Sport has also teamed up with Age UK to provide a further Walking Football session at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre. This week has seen the launch of two new programmes for BeWell Active Inclusive with Out & About an activity session for those living with dementia, and GOGA splash a family swim session for children and young people with disabilities.

Use these links below for more information on the various activities 
BeWell Wigan Main Page      Active Outdoors      Back To Sport
Active Inclusive      Out & About      GOGA splash
 
Big Listening Festival
Climate change - 12th to 16th July

The focus of the Big Listening Festival shifts to climate change from next week. Please encourage residents to register for the engagement events below.
 
Click Here to Register to attend and have your say at the Climate Change virtual event on Thursday 15th July, 6:30pm - 8pm


 We will listen to your thoughts and ideas on how we can tackle climate change together and how local action on climate can improve our health, wealth and wellbeing.

Click Here to Register to attend our Climate Change webinar on Tuesday 13th July, 6:30pm - 8pm
 This session will showcase examples of how we can all reduce our carbon footprint, then you'll have the opportunity to let us know what you're currently doing and what you’d like to do to tackle the climate emergency.
 
Click Here to Find Out More About The Councils Climate Change Work
 
Council Operational Matters

Decision: The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care (Deputy Leader) authorises:
1.       The award of admission to join a new framework to all 11 providers described in the report spanning the 8 Lots of contract “307 – The Deal 2030 Care and Housing with Care Household Goods Framework”; and
 
2.       The Assistant Director- Legal to enter into any agreement necessary on behalf of the Council to facilitate

 
Click Here For More Information About This Decision
  
Closure Order granted at Pagefield Mill
Following many incidents occurring on-site, A closure order has been granted for Pagefield Mill in Wigan, making it a criminal offence to trespass onto the site. Wigan Council obtained the order with the support of Greater Manchester Police and the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service following repeat reports of anti-social behaviour.
The order was granted by Wigan Magistrates Court on 29 June 2021 and is valid for three months. During this time any person found to be within the perimeter of the site could be liable to an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

End of Update
Please dont hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or have suggestions for coverage in my local updates, which are aimed at all residents who live within Shevington with Lower Ground Ward

Update 4-07-2021

Local Matters
Shevington Community Pantry
(Please Become a Member)

Meet Vicky Galligan who is one of the local volunteer organisers of the Shevington Community Pantry, which operates from St Anne’s Community Hall on Church Lane, Shevington.  Vicky who is also a member of Shevington Parish Council recently contacted us to help secure funding for some new industrial refrigerators to help keep the fresh food fresh and to cope with increasing demand due to popularity with local people and with the help of the district councillors sufficient funding was successfully secured to purchase some new state of the art industrial fridges.  When you consider the role of the pantry, which has been set up and is run by amazing volunteers, is to work with Fur Klempt and local supermarkets to redirect good quality fresh often perishable food to benefit the local community at hugely reduced prices to avoid the risk of it going out of date and finding its way to landfill.  For a small one-off joining fee and a couple of quid per visit local people can save a bundle of cash and the environment at the same time.  I would strongly urge all residents to become a member of the pantry and more importantly to use it, as whilst you will save a lot of money, you will be improving the environment by reducing the risk of food waste.

 

 
For information on becoming a member of the pantry please use the following links
 
Click Here to Contact Shevington Pantry by Email
 
Click Here to go to Shevington Community Pantry’s Facebook Page
 
By Text Message to 07977 922179
 

 
Noise / Nuisance (Wheatsheaf Appley Bridge)
We have received several complaints from residents and passers-by about the noise from crowds of drinkers in a Marquee situated at the Wheatsheaf pub in Appley Bridge.  I have asked council officers to investigate the issue and will provide an update as soon as I receive feedback.  We must make allowances to enable local businesses to thrive but at the same time this must be balanced with the needs and rights of local people so hopefully, a solution can be reached that will be satisfactory for all concerned.  Our aim is to maintain a community in which everyone can enjoy and thrive.
 
Grass Cutting (Crow Orchard Road)
Following this year’s decision by the council to stop cutting grass in selected areas to help provide habitat for local and endangered wildlife we have received complaints about the stretch of grass in the central reservation on Crow orchard road due to it restricting view for drivers pulling out of side roads.  We have reported this to highways officers who have agreed to cut the grass in the affected areas
 
Community Link & Healthy Routes Drop-In
Residents can now visit a drop-in centre at Shevington Library for help and support on several issues on Thursdays between 13:00-14:30. There will be a Community Link Worker & Healthy Routes Advisor on hand to help residents during the DROP-IN
 
The Community Link Worker can help residents get support to stop smoking, lose weight, reduce your alcohol intake, Benefits, debt & finances, Be more active, Housing issues, Unemployment, Bereavement, Support for carers, etc
 
The Healthy Routes Advisor can help residents get one to one support and advise with: Social isolation, Substance misuse, Domestic abuse and Volunteering etc
 
SUPPORT AND ADVICE GIVEN IS CONFIDENTIAL



  
This week’s Covid-19 tracker
It shows: Wigan has the third-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest week. Wigan is currently ranked 8th highest in England. Cases in schools have significantly increased in the last 2 weeks. Wigan is higher than the GM and NW averages for the rate of new cases. As of 29 June, there were 14 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals. There were 2 COVID–19 related deaths registered in Wigan in the latest week

 

 
Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 
Vaccinations
 We’re nearing the 400,000 mark for the number of vaccines administered to borough residents. It means that almost 70% of residents have had their first vaccines and 50% have had both. This is really positive news for the borough and we continue to encourage residents to take up their vaccine as soon as they are invited to do so in order to continue protecting our communities.

 

 
Walk-in Vaccination Clinics
A number of vaccination clinics are being held this weekend and through next week for anyone aged over 18 to get their first dose. Please circulate the details with residents to encourage those who haven’t yet had their jab to visit. The clinics are being run on a walk-in basis with no appointments required.

 
Click Here for Details About Walk-in Vaccine Clinics
 
Community Recovery Fund (Round 2)
The second round of applications opens on Monday for the Our Community Recovery Fund. It’s open to all community organisations, so please encourage any projects in your wards to consider making a bid, with up to £500 available. The first round of applications has already seen £57k shared between 121 projects.

 

 
Apply and See a list of the Projects Supported in Round One
 
Council Operational Decisions

Decision: The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Welfare: - 

  • endorses the approach to the acquisitions programme as described in the report to address the current challenges around demand for council housing and reducing supply of housing stock;
  • authorises the introduction of a range of options that are available to use by acquiring properties via HRA reserves;
  • delegates Authority to Director – Homes and Communities to approve the acquisition of residential properties in accordance with 1 and 2 above up to an individual value of £500k (five hundred thousand pounds) per property with a whole scheme budget of up to, but not exceeding, £2m (two million pounds);
  • notes that budget monitoring will be reported to the Acquisition Board;
  • authorises the Acquisitions Board to oversee the prioritisation of acquisitions when they come under council ownership; and
  • authorises the Assistant Director – Legal to enter into any agreements necessary on behalf of the Council to facilitate the above. 

Click Here to View More Details About This Decision
 
Out & About at Haigh Woodland Park
The Council have created a new fortnightly session that takes place at Haigh Woodland Park. Please see details in the image below where residents can book a place at these events

 

 
Click Here to Visit the Be Well Facebook Page
 
Click Here to Book a Place
 
Click Here to Contact BeWell Wigan by Email

Update 26-06-2021

Weekly COVID-19 Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published, it shows: The rate of new cases in Wigan is higher than the previous week. The over-60s weekly incidence rate for Wigan is the fourth-highest rate of the 10 Greater Manchester areas. As at 22nd June, there was 17 COVID-positive patient in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh hospitals – an increase from this time last week. There have been 2 COVID–19 related deaths registered in Wigan so far in the latest week (w/e 11th June).
 
With cases on the rise, it is much safer to socialise outdoors. However, if you do need to socialise inside, please ensure your homes are very well ventilated to reduce the risk of transmission.

 

 
Click Here to View the Full Tracker Online
 
Vaccination Update
More than 365,000 vaccines have now been administered to Wigan Borough residents, meaning that 66% of all residents have received their first dose and 48% their second! We are now focusing on everyone over the age of 18, the clinically vulnerable, extremely vulnerable and front line health and social care staff. Thank you to all of our volunteers and staff working in our vaccination centres!
 
From tomorrow, Saturday, June 26, the nationally run testing centre at Central Park will be moving to Chapel Lane Car Park in central Wigan. It will operate in the same way and is for symptomatic testing.

 

 
Click Here to Book or Manage Your Vaccination 

Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse of any kind is never acceptable and can never be justified.  Sadly, many people find themselves at the receiving end of domestic abuse and if you are experiencing or know someone who is a victim of domestic abuse, please call the dedicated helpline on 01942 311365 between 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday.

 
Men and Women who are victims of Domestic Abuse can Click Here for Domestic abuse helplines and support
  
Vicarage Lane Bad Parking
Following a lot of reports about excessive and irresponsible parking along Vicarage Lane during sports activities, We have visited the site and met with the club’s organisers along with representatives from the parish council.  I am working with ward colleagues to obtain funding to enable the clubs to extend their on-site parking facilities, I am just awaiting some specific pricing details from the clubs after which I will put an application in for additional funding.  I think it is worth noting that the work that the volunteers have put into getting the facilities to where they are is nothing short of amazing and we will do everything we can to help them better accommodate visitors to the site and we should also remember the volunteers who manage the teams taking hundreds of young people off the streets and enabling them to participate in productive and meaningful activities often winning many awards and trophies etc.  We need to remain vigilant where visitors to the club park irresponsibly and cause obstructions or conflict with residents.  The volunteers at the clubs will endeavour to better manage the issues along Vicarage Lane during sports activities.  I think it is important to remember that whilst we expect local organisers to manage events to minimise any negative impact on the local area, bad parking is due to irresponsible and inconsiderate drivers, which is an ongoing challenge to deal with across the ward in several areas often concentrated near, shops, schools and local amenities. We keep our police and enforcement teams involved and aware of this.


 
Up to £2000.00 Funding Available for Creating Age-Friendly Communities (Ambition for Aging)
Do you have an idea for a community project for older people?
We are looking to fund groups and organisations working with communities to deliver projects in specific neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester. You might want to buy more equipment, improve your venue, run an activity or hold an event for older people.
We want to help you make places more age-friendly and encourage older people to spend time with others, especially those from marginalised and low-income communities.
 
The second round of funding for Supporting Ageing in Place is now open to deliver projects of up to £2,000. We want to fund what older people in your area want. Previous Projects include: A sensory gardening project for local older people: An online ‘Brew & Natter’ group for marginalised older women: Developing the outside space of a local community centre to increase its accessibility: An IT skills development project for men aged 60+ with physical and mental health needs: A ‘Rainbow Walk’ walking group for LGBT older people: A local ‘dementia café’ group for older people and their carers
 
The Neighbourhoods
We are looking to invest in a wide range of small projects.
Due to lower numbers of applications in round one from the following areas, we would especially welcome proposals from groups and organisations working in: Wigan North (Wigan)
 
If you have a good project idea that supports marginalised older people to increase their social connections, we encourage you to contact ambition@gmcvo.org.uk so we can link you in with local support to develop your idea. 
Deadline: Monday 26th July, midday

 
Click Here to Find Out More about How to Get This Funding
 
Link to Online Funding Proposal Form


 
Big Listening Festival
This summer we are having an open conversation with our residents, to help us understand people’s hopes and ideas as we recover from the pandemic. Wigan Borough’s Big Listening Festival will cover several big topics and will include digital events, face-to-face conversations, a survey, webinars, short polls on social media and more. Each big topic will focus on a week of engagement.
 
The first big topic is Communities and Safety and there are two virtual engagement events you can attend to discuss your thoughts and ideas:



 
Community Safety: Wednesday 30th June, 6.30pm – 8pm
Click Here to Book now
 
Empowering Communities: Thursday 1st July, 6.30pm – 8pm
Click Here to Book now
 
Public Consultations (Planning Issues)
All residents and local business owners are invited to have their say on two important aspects of planning guidance.
 
There are two consultations. The first one gives local people the chance to tell us how their mental health and wellbeing should be considered when designing new communities. This includes questions on the planning of hot food takeaways and betting shops and ways that new developers could support the local community.
 
The second consultation is about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) which are residential properties shared by more than one household. This survey asks for public views on ways to improve the standard of these properties and gives them the chance to share their ideas about how any detrimental impacts on neighbours could be reduced. There is still time left before the consultations close.

 
Click Here to View & Participate in Current Consultations
 
Boundary Commission for England -
Proposals for New Wards and Parliamentary Constituencies

 
Constituency Boundaries
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) today (8 June) has published its initial proposals for new constituency boundaries. The public is now able to view and provide feedback on the proposed constituencies as part of an eight-week consultation process.

 
Click Here to View Proposals and Give Feedback
 
Ward Boundaries
The consultation will close on 23 August 2021. After the boundary commission have considered all representations made during this consultation, draft recommendations will be published in November 2021. A further period of consultation will be held on the draft recommendations. Final recommendations are expected to be published in May 2022. The new electoral arrangements will come into effect at the local elections in May 2023
 
The electoral review will recommend new electoral arrangements for Wigan Borough Council. and will propose: the total number of councillors elected to the council in the future; the number of wards; the number of councillors representing each ward; ward boundaries; and
the names of wards.

 
Click Here for More Information & to Have Your Say
 
Council Operational Decisions
 
Decision: That the Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People:
 Agrees that the inter-authority agreement for Together for Adoption is extended for a further 12 months, allowing the current inter-authority arrangements to continue until 31 March 2021;  2) Offers instruction to the Assistant Director – Legal to review the existing arrangements for the Regional Adoption Agency and to work with the other partner authorities in Together for Adoption to redraw the agreement, including the development of a formal contractual arrangement; and 3) Agrees the proposed timeline for the draft agreement and the schedule for decision-making through Wigan Council’s strategic and political leadership.

 
Click Here to View Information About This decision
 
Decision: The Portfolio Holder for Planning, Environmental Services and Transport
approves the Wigan Street Naming and Numbering Policy, dated June 2021.

 
Click Here to View Details About This Decision
 
Decision: The Director – Resources and Contracts (Deputy Chief Executive) and Director – Economy and Skills re Galleries Shopping Centre:
 
(1)            approve the approach to achieve vacant possession;
(2)            approve the surrender terms provisionally agreed with the tenant/occupier in respect of Unit 5 Leigh Arcade as set out in the report; and
(3)            authorise the Assistant Director – Legal to execute any agreements necessary to facilitate the above on behalf of the Council.

 
Click Here to View Details About This Decision
 
Decision: Land at Chorley Road: That the Portfolio Holder authorises:
 
1.       the formal declaration of the Site as surplus to the Council’s requirements;
2.       the sale of the Site on the terms detailed in the report in accordance with Section 123 Local Government Act 1972;
3.       the Assistant Director Corporate Property Assets and Greenspaces to finalise the details of the disposal; and 
4.       the Assistant Director of Legal Services to enter into all necessary agreements required to facilitate the disposal.

 
Click Here to View Details About This Decision
 
Decision: Updated High-Rise Roof Recoating and Associated Works Contract: That the Portfolio Holder authorises:
 
1.     The appointment of the Contractor identified in the report to undertake the replacement of substantial areas of the roofing system of several high rise buildings following a pre-works survey; and
 
2.     The Assistant Director – Legal to enter into any agreements on behalf of the Council necessary to facilitate 1.

 
Click Here to View Details About This decision

I do hope that you have found this information useful but please dont hesitate to suggest or provide me with issues of local importance that you would like me to feature in my updates

Update 22-05-21

Thank you Marlaine ?
In my last message, I congratulated Councillor Mike Crosby on his successful election on May 6th. I would now like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to Outgoing Councillor Marlaine Whitham who stood for election in Dec 2017 By-Election and despite horrendous weather conditions, was successful and won the Seat taking over from Councillor Damian Edwardson. Marlaine has been an integral part of the community long before becoming a councillor and made a huge impact in her term of office working with residents and organisations ranging from an extensive review of defibs in schools and the community to services for our more mature residents with digital access classes etc along with many other issues and has helped the ward through the COVID crisis one of our most significant challenges ever. I’m sure you will join me in wishing Marlaine all the best in her retirement and if I know Marlaine she will most like be just as busy as ever in the community.
 

Local Issues
Standish Lower Ground

Following a lot of reports about off-road bikes in Standish Lower Ground in and around Standish Lower Ground, officers are looking to install warning signs around the area to warn those responsible who risk prosecution and confiscation of their vehicles.  As always we encourage residents to report every incident by either calling 101, online via the GMP website or via Crime Stoppers.  You can provide information about other crimes and ask to remain anonymous if you wish.
 

Click Here to Report a Crime Via the GMP Website
 
Click Here to Report a Crime Via Crimestoppers
 
Click Here for Information on Wigan Council Website about Reporting A.S.B
 
Open Water Safety
Wigan Council wants all members of our community to enjoy parks and open spaces. This includes sites close to open water bodies such as canals, rivers, ponds, lakes and ‘flashes’. However, there are risks and hazards associated with open water bodies, which I have summarised below for your information
 

These include: 

  • Extremely cold, deep and dark waters (common in canals and reservoirs), even during hot summer days. This can have a disabling effect even on strong swimmers, leading to drownings and risking the lives of other people who may feel compelled to attempt a rescue.
  • Hard underwater objects (rocks) or sharp edges (scrap metal, shopping trolleys, bicycles)
  • Vegetation may entangle and trap a swimmer.
  • Toxic or harmful substances may be present in the water.
 
To help improve safety, the council will assess risks in the borough’s water bodies on a prioritised basis and introduce measures depending on the level of risk.

 

Click Here for Open Water Safety Policy and Guidance Documents From the Council Website
 
The poster below is available should you wish to post it on your notice boards etc.
 
 
 

Love is Not Abuse - Campaign
Love Is Not Abuse is a campaign that has victim experiences as its foundation. The campaign recognises the emotional and mental aspects of domestic abuse and Its focus will develop through the next 12 months for different target groups. A ground-breaking Wigan Council campaign highlighting the warning signs of domestic abuse has been developed alongside victims. Love Is Not Abuse, which will also guide residents to vital support services, focuses on the emotional and mental aspects of domestic abuse as well as the physical.
 
Informed by brave male and female victims, the campaign’s posters, animations and videos use real-life examples to show how different forms of abuse can be identified. It will develop through the next 12 months, focussing on the experiences of different age groups and emphasising that domestic abuse can take on many forms.
 
According to official statistics, reports of domestic abuse increased last year, particularly during lockdown periods. In Wigan Borough, data collected by DIAS (which is now part of the Wigan Borough Domestic Abuse Service) showed 3,090 calls taken by a team of 16 between 23 March – 11 October 2020 – a 272 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
 
The council hopes the campaign will encourage more people to come forward as it is recognised that many incidents go unreported.
 
Love Is Not Abuse will feature scenarios such as text message exchanges reflecting real-life scenarios that highlight controlling behaviour. Posters, billboards and signs will also be displayed throughout the borough to help highlight access to support services.
If you are affected by domestic abuse, please call the dedicated helpline on 01942 311365 between 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Click Here for Resources and Information to get Support with Domestic Abuse
 
Council Operational Decisions
A decision by Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People has been published: Review of arrangements for the Regional Adoption Agency.
 
Decision: That the Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People:
 
1) Agrees that the inter-authority agreement for Together for Adoption is extended for a further 12 months, allowing the current inter-authority arrangements to continue until 31 March 2021;  2) Offers instruction to the Assistant Director – Legal to review the existing arrangements for the Regional Adoption Agency and to work with the other partner authorities in Together for Adoption to redraw the agreement, including the development of a formal contractual arrangement; and 3) Agrees the proposed timeline for the draft agreement and the schedule for decision-making through Wigan Council’s strategic and political leadership.

Click Here to View Information About This decision
  
The Galleries25 Public Consultation
Wigan Council has been awarded a total of £16,633,691 from the Future High Street Fund to support a package of projects across Wigan town centre including helping to deliver the redevelopment of The Galleries, establishing a pioneering live-work scheme on King Street and public realm enhancements.
 
The projects are aimed at increasing the footfall, drive economic growth and improve the experience of the town centre for residents, businesses and visitors. North West based company, Cityheart (the developer leading on the redevelopment of The Galleries) has recently launched a pre-planning public consultation to gauge opinion on the five-year scheme, which is running until June 1st
 
The outcomes of the consultation will help to shape the final planning application, which will be submitted in June. This will be followed by a statutory planning consultation. A virtual public webinar took place on Thursday 20 May, where members of the public could look at the plans, ask questions of the project team and provide constructive feedback.

 
 
 

Click Here to Have Your Say About Galleries25
 
New State-of-The-Art Archives to Open at Leigh Town Hall in June
Wigan Council’s state-of-the-art archive facilities will be unveiled to the public in June at the newly renovated Grade II listed Leigh Town Hall.
Members of the public will soon be invited to book a visit to the archives which open on June 24 thanks to a £1.3m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
 
Visitors will be able to access historical records dating back more than 800 years and will be able to use these records to trace their family histories, explore how past communities lived and learn about how our Borough has grown over centuries. Also featured is an education space adjacent to the Chambers where schools will participate in an exciting new programme of activity. Schools are encouraged to get in touch if they’d like to find out more.
 
Initially, visits to the archives will need to be booked through an online system or by phone. Details of how to book will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Click Here to Find out More About the Archives Project
 
Click here to Explore Wigan Archives Online
 

Update 13-05-2021

2021 Local Elections May 6th
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Councillor Mike Crosby the successful candidate for our ward in this year’s local elections on a clear and substantial win.  As you can imagine it has been a very unusual election period this time around due to COVID restrictions and to protect the safety of our residents and canvassers most candidates refrained from activities such as door knocking at voters’ homes and some other typical activities etc, which made it quite challenging to run a campaign. Remember it’s important to vote so if you are not registered to vote please click the link below to register.  I would suggest also registering for a postal vote as it helps to avoid problems when working or if you can't make it to a polling station etc
 
The results for Shevington with Lower Ground Ward are as follows:
 

Voter Turnout: 34.9%
The Labour Party: 1,432 Mike Crosby Elected
The Conservative Party: 798
Shevington Independents: 739
Liberal Democrats: 220


Local Issues

Appley Bridge
I have arranged with Network management to have dropped kerbs installed at the end of the footpath adjacent to the entrance of The Dell (3 in total).  This is to allow wheelchair and mobility scooter users along with pushchairs to cross The Dell from the footpath without having to go into the highway.
 
I have also arranged for a dropped kerb to be installed at the parade of shops on Woodnook Road so those with pushchairs, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters can get their prescriptions and use the shops, etc as the pavement is quite high restricting access for some patrons.
 

Standish Lower Ground
We have had a number of complaints about off-road bike use in and around Standish Lower Ground.  We have notified our Police and ASB teams and our advice is to report every incident by either dialing 101 or online via the GMP or Crimestoppers website
 

Shevington
I received a concerning report from a resident about a sharp knife blade protruding from a tree left where children play, which could have been deliberately left.  This has been passed on to our police team for investigation who have access to CCTV footage and Forensic Science etc to hopefully identify its owner.  This emphasises the need to keep our eyes open for hazards when taking the children out to play by checking for hazards that may have been left behind due to other people’s carelessness or negligence or even worse more sinister reasons.
 

COVID Tracker

Our weekly Covid-19 tracker has been published. It shows:
There are 21 new cases per 100,000 population in Wigan Borough - lower than last week. This means we now have the lowest rate of new cases in GM. This rate is also significantly lower than the GM average and lower than England average. The over-60s weekly incidence rate in the borough is the second-lowest rate across the 10 GM areas. As of 4th May, there were 7 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals – an increase from this time last week

 

 

Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 
Vaccinations
Here are the latest figures for the borough’s vaccination program (which now includes residents who have had their vaccination at locations outside of Wigan Borough). More than 50% of people in Wigan Borough have now had their first vaccination. Please continue to take up your appointment as soon as you are invited to.


 

Click Here to Book an Appointment When Invited
 
Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May)
The theme of mental health awareness week this year is ‘nature’, so throughout next week, residents are encouraged to head outdoors and explore nearby greenspaces. We will also signpost to local support provisions for those who may need more specialised help. The Council's social media posts will include information about a Mindfulness weekend at Haigh Woodland Park on 15 and 16 May. May is also National Walking Month, so the council will also share messages from GM Walking Festival, giving tips to walkers of all abilities about things they can do throughout the month of May.
 
In addition to this, the Council has ambitions to launch a new mental wellbeing campaign in partnership with health colleagues in the coming months. On Monday 10 May the Council launched an online survey so we can understand what things people have found tough over recent months, what they have enjoyed and how they have managed to stay healthy through this tricky time. The information collated from the survey will be confidential and will be used to inform our messages.

 

Click Here to Complete the Mental Wellbeing Survey
 
Plant & Share Month (19th Apr – 19th May)
Food For Life Get-Togethers Engagement team in the North are supporting community leads like yourself to join in a celebration of growing, with activities to encourage people to sow, grow and share veg with their communities. Everyone can get involved – schools, early years settings, community leaders, and those growing on a window ledge.
 
If you’d like to discuss any ideas, activities, and projects growing this Spring, please get in contact with Sarah-Beth Cooper, your local engagement officer by phone 07741 310496 | or email at
 sbcooper@soilassociation.org
 

 
Citizens Advice – Wigan Borough
I received the following snapshot from Lisa Kidston, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Wigan Borough (CAWB).  The snapshot shows a summary of the services used by residents from our ward between 1st January - 31st March 2021. CAWB is a registered charity that has worked with people across the areas of Wigan, Leigh, and Makerfield since 1939. Residents can access advice by calling free on 0808 2787 801 or by using the self-referral tool online HERE
 

CAWB has also introduced a new video advice service - Attend Anywhere. Which is a secure online service enabling residents to get face-to-face advice via a video platform with an appropriate adviser. Please see the yellow poster below, I have also included a link to a video that shows how the service works.
 

 

Click Here to Watch the Video that Demonstrates How the Attend Anywhere Service Works
 
Citizens Advice Wigan Borough - Magnum House, Suite 2.1, 33 Lord Street, Leigh

Update 19-04-2021

Register to Vote Deadline for Local Elections on May 6th
Residents are reminded that if they are not already registered to vote in this year’s elections, they need to be registered by Monday, 19 April. Whilst It is not my place to tell people who to vote for, I believe everyone should always use their vote as many thousands of people gave up everything to give us that right.
 
Your vote is your choice and can make a difference so use it wisely

 

Click Here to Register to Vote
 
Covid-19 Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published It shows: The rate of new cases locally is lower than the previous week’s but is higher than regional and national rates. As of 13th April, there were 16 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals – an increase from this time last week. There have been 2 COVID–19 deaths registered locally in the latest week - a decrease from the previous week.
 

Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 

 

Vaccinations
More than 130,000 vaccines have now been administered in the borough. Thank you to everyone who has come forward and taken up your appointment and a big thank you to all staff and volunteers who are working so hard at our vaccination centres. If you have not had your vaccination yet, you will be contacted by the NHS as soon as a local appointment becomes available. If you are aged 45 or over or are aged 16+ and clinically extremely vulnerable, you are also invited to book your own vaccination through the NHS website, although this may mean travelling outside the borough for your appointment.
 

Click Here for More Information
 

 

Adult Services

Update 15/04/21 

General:

Rates are coming down, overall 46 per 100,000 and over 60s 13.5 per 100,000. I’m really pleased to say that, for the first time in over a year, there are no Covid cases in any of the 52 Care Homes in the Borough
 

Care Homes:
All 52 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital! Which is excellent news
 
The reported death figure is 290 of these the data now shows that 255 of these have been categorised by the provider as; 103 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19: 22 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19: 89 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19: 41 people passed away in a care home with suspected Covid -19
         
The Care Homes Squads remain on standby as there are no new requests for support. Care Homes have made arrangements to allow residents to receive two visitors.
 

In-house Services:
No Covid isolation cases for the last week and staff are now receiving their second vaccines, planning is taking place to look at how and when respite service reopens.
 

Testing, Contact Tracing
With the government’s announcement of the Lateral Flow Device Test for all and increasing the availability of home testing, including a collection of tests from local authorities, the numbers attending our test centres have reduced. As a result of this, we have closed 2 of test centres and extended the operating hours to (09:00 to 18:00 hrs Monday to Friday) – (Saturday 09:00 to 14:00 hrs). The 2 remaining Centres operating are Leigh South community Centre and Progress House Wigan
 

Vaccinations
Vaccination roll-out continues to go well. Care Home uptake now at over 80%, programme to deliver 2nd doses of the vaccine in care homes is now well underway.
 

Anti Social Behaviour & Operation Bluefin

We have recently had a lot of enquiries about incidents of anti-social behaviour taking place across the borough leading to councillors calling for more steps to be taken to tackle these issues. In response to a nationwide increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB), Greater Manchester Police and Wigan Council launched Operation Bluefin on March 1. The goal of the operation was to focus specifically on problem areas and reduce the number of incidents taking place. A total of 130 contact cards have been issued since the start of the operation on March 1. A further 120 warning letters have been issued and 30 home visits have been carried out.
 
Liz Sanderson, Chief Inspector for Partnerships and Neighbourhoods in Wigan, said: “The contact card process is important in enabling Police and partners to identify those involved in ASB. Where crimes have been committed, we will take robust action against those responsible and when suitable seek injunctions to help prevent further crimes. “Since Operation Bluefin started on 1st March 2021, three young people have agreed to sign Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, one Criminal Behaviour Order has been obtained at court and one male remanded into custody due to his involvement in a number of offences. “Acceptable Behaviour Contracts can be used to evidence ASB in applications for future orders if necessary. “It is important members of the public reports incidents of ASB to us directly so we can ensure our resources are deployed appropriately.”
 
If any resident experiences ASB they immediately. Residents need to provide details of the incident including where and when it occurred. Where concerns have been raised regarding housing, please keep in mind that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic rules were introduced preventing any form of eviction. Once these restrictions are lifted by the government, the council and the police will be able to investigate housing incidents, but the eviction of a resident will always be the decision of the courts.
 
All residents concerned about anti-social behaviour should contact the police using the following methods:
 
For non– emergency to report a crime or provide information about a crime. Please call 101 or 0161 872 5050. Only use 999 in emergencies where there is a threat to life or if a crime is in progress.
 
Reports can also be made via ‘Live Chat’ on the GMP website between 8 am – Midnight by clicking the chat button in the bottom right-hand corner of the webpage or by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is free

 

Click Here for The GMP Website
 
ASB Specifically Can be Reported Here
 
Click Here for Crimestoppers
 
Wigan Council can also receive complaints on 01942 404364 (option 3) or via My Report It App or via Wigan Council Website

 

Click Here to Visit Wigan Councils Report it Section
 
Littering and Streetscene Operations
As you may have already spotted yourselves, our parks and public spaces are incredibly busy with restrictions lifting and the shops reopening. While we are happy to see more freedoms return for our residents, we have seen a huge spike in demand for our Streetscene teams to ensure the borough remains clean and tidy. This spike coincides with grass cutting starting but rest assured staff are working flat out to respond and empty bins. We are urging residents to please work with us in this period of high demand and to not drop litter when outdoors and if bins are full then we ask them to take any rubbish home and recycle any items they can or dispose of it in another nearby bin. We do appreciate everyone who responsibly bags up their rubbish when leaving our parks but please avoid placing next to bins if they are full either find another bin or take it home and put it in your own recycling bins at home. We want to keep our parks and open spaces clean so they can be enjoyed by everyone, but we all need to play our part. An exception to this is for our volunteer litter pickers to whom we have provided equipment where arrangements have been made to pick up their bags when full
 
The council will be sharing messages across social media reminding residents to be mindful of others and their local environment, so rubbish is not left on our streets, parks and open spaces.  After all we deserve public open spaces that we can all enjoy

 
The Future of Lamberhead Library

Public consultation on the future of Lamberhead Library launched on Monday, giving residents the opportunity to give their views on the library’s proposed relocation within the grounds of the Dean Trust School. During the consultation, the community library will remain closed to allow staff to assist residents who wish to give their views. The consultation will involve both face to face session and an online element.
 

Lamberhead Consultation is featured here and the deadline for taking part is Sunday, May 2
 
Business Restart Grants
We are beginning to receive enquiries from local businesses about the government Restart Grants and when they will be distributed. The scheme officially launched on 1 April; however, it is subject to mandatory pre-payment checks on a particular system, which is only being made available to local authorities from 12 April. We are also awaiting further information around the criteria for these checks to ensure the awards are made in line with government guidance. Despite this, teams have been working hard to prepare and ensure we are in the best position to process the grants as soon as we are able. We completely appreciate that many borough businesses are waiting on these funds to help them now the restrictions have started to ease, and we’d like to reassure business owners that once we have all of the necessary information and the tools to complete the relevant checks, payment can be made very quickly. Wherever possible, we will use records of previous grant awards to make automated payments, meaning the business will not need to make another full application. Where we require further information from the business, we will contact them directly by email. Throughout the pandemic, Wigan Council has worked hard to distribute all grant funding as quickly as possible. Our targeted approach to supporting residents has been commended both on a national and regional scale with Poverty Action groups sharing our approach with others. Our commitment to supporting the local economy through this time is stronger than ever and we will continue to distribute funds as soon as possible to ease pressures for those who need it most.

Update 13-04-2021

The Passing of The Duke of Edinburgh
I am sure each of us would want to join the Mayor in passing on our condolences to the Royal Family following the sad news about Prince Philip.
 

  

Brighter Borough Clarification
An issue was raised at the last Community Association Meeting which I attended during my update, with regard to the funding for the bin at the entrance to John Pit which I arranged to be installed in February this year following requests from residents. It was raised that the funds had also been taken from Janet Brown's funds later in error for the same bin.  It has been clarified and the relevant surplus funds will be returned to Janet Browns Brighter Borough allowances to use elsewhere in the Ward.

Shops Reopen with The Latest Roadmap Milestone
On April 12, lockdown will ease further with the reopening of outdoor dining, non-essential shops, and hairdressers. This will include the reopening of pubs which will be allowed to open and serve customers with outdoor service only. Everyone who visits will have to check in on the NHS's Test and Trace app and groups are limited to six people or two households. There are no rules in place requiring pubs to serve a meal alongside alcohol. All non-essential shops will also be able to reopen with retailers permitted to stay open until 10 pm. Hairdressers and nail salons will also be allowed to reopen along with outdoor venues like zoos and theme parks.
 

Libraries Reopen And eBook Service Set to Launch
As part of the easing of lockdown on April 12, libraries will reopen but will operate on reduced opening hours to allow staff to work in a Covid safe environment. This includes allowing time for track and trace and additional cleaning of sites, as they did when libraries reopened following the first national lockdown, which was managed in a controlled and safe way for staff and customers.
 
Wigan and Leigh libraries, including Life Centres, will be open between 10 am and 2 pm, Monday to Friday, while the Borough’s community libraries will be open between 10 am and 2 pm Monday to Wednesday and 1 pm until 5 pm Thursday and Friday.
 
Along with the libraries reopening, April 12 will see the launch of a new eBook and audiobook service. Library members will have free access to up to 36,000 digital books and over 20,000 audiobooks through the BorrowBox app which can be downloaded to smart devices.
 

 

This Week’s Covid-19 Tracker Shows:

Our rate of new cases has decreased but remains higher than the regional/national average; We have the fourth-lowest rate of new cases in GM; As of 6 April, there were 15 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals – a decrease from this time last week; Prof Kate Ardern will host a live Facebook Q&A tomorrow at 6 pm to answer your coronavirus related questions.
 

Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 

 

Latest Vaccination Figures Have Been Released
More than 120,000 vaccines have now been administered locally. If you're over 50, are CEV or are eligible for the vaccine through cohort 6, please come forward to book your appointment. Call 119 or use the link below.
 

Click Here to Find out More
 

 

Nominate Your Community Hero
Local heroes across Wigan Borough will be recognised at an awards ceremony in June. The awards will celebrate all those who regularly go above and beyond to make their neighbourhood a better place. The awards were postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but nominations have now re-opened, and everyone is invited to nominate someone who has been a community hero to you. In response to the extraordinary lengths individuals and community groups have gone to during the pandemic, a new ‘Covid-19 superheroes’ category has been added. Residents have until midnight on Sunday 25 April to submit their online nomination.
 

Click Here for More Information
 
VCSE Survey
In February last year, we started a conversation with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations at our VCSE summit as part of Wigan’s Deal 2030 strategy.  The aim was to understand how we could collaborate and work together and for the benefit of our residents. As we all begin to move out of lockdown it is important for us to restart that conversation with these organisations. We intend to use the findings of this survey to understand how we can work with you to build back better and strengthen partnerships throughout the VCSE.
 

Click Here for More Information
 
Government Statement on AstraZeneca Vaccine
The government published a statement following updated advice from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. In the statement, the government reiterates that the vaccine is safe and effective and that both the MHRA and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have said the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for most adults.
 
The government also confirmed it will follow the updated MHRA advice which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible. NHS England has sent a letter to chief executives of NHS Trusts, copied to council chief executives, providing an update on the MHRA advice, and setting out actions now required from vaccination sites. In line with the new advice, Public Health England (PHE) has published new guidance on COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting. PHE has also updated their COVID19 vaccination guide for adults and older adults, and guidance on what to expect after vaccination.

 

Click Here to Read the Full Statement
 
Adult Services

Update 09/04/21

 
Care Homes:
50 out of 52 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital.
 
 2 care homes affected today as follows: (None have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital; 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only; None have symptomatic residents in hospital only)
 
2 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19: 1 in a care home and 1 in an acute setting.
 
The reported death figure is 291, of these the data now shows that 257 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 103 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19: 22 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19: 88 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19: 42 people passed away in a care home with suspected Covid -19: We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services. The Care Homes Squads are still on standby as there are no new requests for support. 
 

Homecare:
Over 85% of home carer providers staff are now vaccinated and some have had their 2nd dose.  We have no clients this week who are in receipt of homecare who have Covid. Our rapid response service continues to support hospital discharges to prevent any delays.
 

Testing, Contact Tracing:
With the government’s announcement of the Lateral Flow Device Test for all and increasing the availability of home testing, including a collection of tests from local authorities, the numbers attending our test centres have reduced. As a result of this, we have closed 2 of test centres and extended the operating hours to (09:00 to 18:00 hrs Monday to Friday) – (Saturday 09:00 to 14:00 hrs)
 
The 2 remaining Centres operating are: Leigh South community Centre Progress House Wigan
 
There were 2 cases of the South African variant of Covid-19 identified on the Leigh Commerce Park, industrial estate at a single employment site. Both cases live in different areas, Manchester and Wigan and work in different areas of the employer’s establishment. The team went into the employment site and carried out 176 Lateral Flow Device Tests all of which were negative. The test team are now commencing Surge Testing on Leigh Commerce Park with PCR test kits, with effect from 08/04/21. The test team are being assisted with contacting all the companies by the Invest in Wigan Team and Environmental Health Team. This testing will continue until Wednesday evening of 14th April and is part of Operation Eagle. All tests completed each day will be taken to Haydock Park by the test team. 
 

Vaccinations:
Vaccination roll-out continues to go well. Care Home uptake now at over 80%, programme to deliver 2nd doses of the vaccine in care homes is now well underway.
 

Libraries Set to Reopen as Lockdown Restrictions Ease

Libraries across Wigan and Leigh will reopen on April 12 in line with the Government’s easing of lockdown restrictions. Initially, all libraries will operate on reduced opening hours to allow staff to carry out additional work in relation to operating in a Covid safe environment. This includes allowing time for track and trace and additional cleaning of sites, as they did when libraries reopened following the first national lockdown, which was managed in a controlled and safe way for staff and customers.
 
Wigan and Leigh libraries, including Life Centres, will be open between 10 am and 2 pm, Monday to Friday, while the Borough’s community libraries will be open between 10 am and 2 pm Monday to Wednesday and 1 pm until 5 pm Thursday and Friday.
 
The reopening of libraries will coincide with the launch of a public consultation on the future of Lamberhead Library which will remain temporarily closed. Staff will assist residents who wish to give their views on the community library’s proposed relocation within the grounds of the Dean Trust school. The consultation will involve physical face to face sessions and an online element.
 
Community-run libraries in Aspull and Hope will also remain closed until the further lifting of restrictions has been applied and Ince Library will remain closed, whilst extensive refurbishment works are carried out at the community centre.
 
Going forward there will be regular reviews of opening hours in line with government guidance.

 

Click Here for Up-To-Date Library Opening Times
  
Click Here for Details Of Current And Completed Consultations
  
Dispersal Orders (A.S.B)
At the last meeting of the Confident Council Scrutiny Committee meeting which I attended there were a discussion and several questions relating to the use of dispersal orders when tackling anti-social behaviour.  I have received the following clarification as to the use of dispersal powers, which are subject to legislation, summarised below for your information.
 
Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 Explanatory Notes
 

Dispersal Powers
 
•         The dispersal power enables police officers in uniform and police community support officers (“PCSOs”)) to direct a person who has committed, or is likely to commit, anti-social behaviour to leave a specified area and not return for a specified period of up to 48 hours.
•         The test would be that the officer is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the person’s behaviour is contributing or is likely to contribute to anti-social behaviour or crime or disorder in the area and that the direction is necessary to prevent the same.
•         The dispersal power can only be used where an officer of at least the rank of inspector has authorised its use in a specified locality.
•         The authorisation can last a maximum of 48 hours.
•         The direction would in most instances be given in writing to ensure that those individuals being dispersed are clear where they are being dispersed from. Where this is not reasonably practicable, the direction could be given orally, and the officer would keep a written record of the direction.
•         The officer must specify the area from which the person is excluded and may specify when and by which route they must leave the area.
•         Where the officer believes an individual is under the age of 16, an officer can remove that individual to a place where he or she lives or to a place of safety.
•         Failure to comply with the direction would be a criminal offence and would carry a maximum penalty of a level 4 fine (currently £2,500) and/or three months imprisonment.
•         An officer would also be able to require an individual to hand over items causing, or likely to cause, anti-social behaviour – for instance, alcohol or a can of spray paint. Failure to comply with the requirement is a criminal offence, the maximum penalty for which is a level 2 fine (currently £500).  However, the officer does not have power under this provision to retain any seized item indefinitely. The officer must give the person information in writing about how and when they can recover the item, which must not be returned before the exclusion period is over. If the person is under 16 the officer can require that person to be accompanied by an adult when collecting the item.
•         In terms of Dispersal Orders, anti-social behaviour consists of those involved in nuisance behaviour, fighting, causing criminal damage, shouting verbal abuse, and causing noise nuisance however there may be other reasons that the police could include dependent on circumstances.
 

Council Operational Decisions

Planning, Environmental Services and Transport - Victoria Street Junction Improvement Scheme

 
Decision: The Portfolio Holder for Planning, Environmental Services and Transport: -
 
(1) approves the appointment of the contractor as identified in the report as the main civil engineering and landscaping contractor for the Victoria Street junction improvement scheme following the conclusion of a tender exercise.
 
(2) endorses the signing of the delivery agreement with Transport for Greater Manchester to secure the Mayor Challenge Fund funding to facilitate scheme delivery; and
 
(3) authorises the Assistant Director – Legal to enter into any agreements necessary to facilitate (1) and (2) above.

 

Click Here to See More Details About This Decision:
 

197 - Integrated Advocacy Service

 
Decision: - The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care
 
1)       agrees on the award of the 3 Lots of contract 197 – Integrated Advocacy Service as set out in the report.
 
The contract will be for an initial period of 2 years with an option to extend annually for a further three years giving a potential overall contract period of five years.
 
2)       authorises the Assistant Director – Legal to enter into any agreements necessary on behalf of the Council to facilitate 1.

 

Click Here to See More Details About This Decision:


 
The Brick Project
I have received the following March update from the Brick project outlining some of the excellent support they provide to people in need which I have put below for your information.
 


 
March Update!
Here’s a snapshot of some of our achievements last month. 


  
Working together with our local community we provide a safe, solid building block for people in crisis to start to rebuild their lives. Behind every number is a person who needs our help, and we could not carry out our vital work without the support of our amazing team of staff, volunteers, supporters, fundraisers and businesses. Thank you, everyone, we truly are #RebuildingLives together.

Update 02-04-2021

Happy Easter
I hope everyone enjoys the long Easter weekend, with the restrictions easing this week I am sure all of us will have plans with family and friends. Please be mindful of the rule of six, two household and outdoor setting guidance and continue to wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear a face-covering to help stop the spread. As restrictions ease, I will adjust the frequency of my updates accordingly aiming for 1 per week with the exception of urgent notices until some kind of normality returns at which point, I would normally aim for one update per month.
 
Haigh Hall Verdict
Following on from previous reports about the situation with Haigh Hall I have received the following update from the leader Councillor Molyneux, 01/04/21 as follows:
 
Following a 12-day trial to recover possession of Haigh Hall, the judge has today delivered his verdict, ruling in favour of Wigan Council.
 
I am delighted with this result and the contents of the judgement which praised the conduct of council officers.
 
I would like to put on record my thanks to the staff and our legal team for achieving this result.
 
In terms of the next steps, the current lease has ended, and possession of the Hall will be returned to the council. A hearing will take place in a few weeks to agree on the finer details, including possession date and financial arrangements.
 
I will keep you updated when I am made aware of any further developments.
 
Extended Hours for Two Testing Venues as Two Others Close
Two venues used for Wigan Borough’s Covid-19 targeted testing programme (for anyone without Covid symptoms), will have extended hours from next week. The move comes as two sites previously used for testing will close as we prepare for the reopening of the buildings’ usual facilities in line with the government’s roadmap.
 
Progress House, Wigan, and Leigh South Community Centre will be open 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays from Tuesday, April 6. These sites will continue to open on Saturdays, also with extended hours (9 am to 2 pm).
 
Golborne Library and Standish Leisure Centre will close at 3.30 pm on Thursday, April 1, and will not reopen for testing purposes. All testing sites for those without symptoms will be closed over the Easter Weekend. If you do have symptoms you should book a test through the national online system

 
Click Here for More Information

 Click Here to Book a Test Via the National Online System
 
Weekly Covid-19 Tracker
Wigan Borough’s rate of infection is 94 per 100,000 – higher than regional & national rates. As of 30 March, there were 20 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals – an increase. 6 COVID–19 deaths were registered in Wigan in the latest week – a decrease

 
Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 

 
Local Vaccination Programme Update
More than 100,000 people in Wigan Borough have now received their first vaccine and more than 7,000 people have received their second. A big thank you to everyone who has come forward for their vaccine so far and to all the staff and volunteers at the vaccine centres. Please take up your vaccination appointment as soon as you are invited to do so.

 
Click Here for More Information
 

 
The Deal for Communities Team
As we move out of lockdown, some of you may feel apprehensive or have some concerns about how community organisations can get back to work in the community again. Support will be made available to you from the Deal for Communities Team should you need it. The following are summaries of some projects that have been set up to celebrate the work done by Wigan VCSE and help support our VCSE sector to get back on their feet.
 
The Community Recovery Fund 
Following a difficult 12-month period from March 2020. Many of our VCSE organisations have been instrumental in delivering the crisis response to our vulnerable residents whilst others have not been able to continue to operate as they had previously. To support the sector to build back, we are very pleased to announce we have launched the first phase of our new Community Recovery Fund. Funding is available for Community organisations based in Wigan Borough, particularly small community based local groups, that encourage community spirit, engage volunteers and who need some financial support so that they can continue to work with their communities.
 
Funding is available for up to £500 and more on the Deal for Communities Website

 
Click Here for More Details
 
Wigan Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Survey
In February last year, we started a conversation with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations at our VCSE summit as part of Wigan’s Deal 2030 strategy.  The aim was to understand how we could collaborate and work together and for the benefit of our residents.  As we all begin to move out of lockdown and can start delivering services again, it is important for us to restart that conversation with you. We intend to use the findings of this survey to understand how we can work with you to build back better and strengthen partnerships throughout the VCSE.

 
Click Here to Participate in the Survey
 
Our Town Awards
We’ve witnessed extraordinary acts of kindness from people all over the borough, from those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic to a friendly neighbour checking in on vulnerable residents. There are lots of heroes in Wigan Borough and we want to celebrate them. The categories are listed below but more information and nomination forms can be found on the Wigan Borough Council website


Click Here for More Information
 

There are 5 categories as follows:

Neighbourhood Hero
From bringing in your bin unprompted, tidying up your garden or popping to the shops. This is the category for that generous, friendly neighbour who always goes out of their way to help people.
 
Community Hero
Do you know someone who rolls up their sleeves and takes the initiative to bring your local community together? They might organise the troops to put on a special event or co-ordinate getting donations to those who need them most in the local area.
 
Environmental Hero
We all know we should do something to be good for our environment, but there are a few special individuals who make the effort to create a better place to live for everyone. They might organise a litter pick or spend time creating a special green space for the whole community to enjoy.
 
COVID-19 Superheroes
The last few months have been a testing time for all of us, but there are a few extra special people in our communities who have risen to the challenge and stepped up to help out others before themselves.
 
Extraordinary Acts of Kindness
This category is for those extra special stars who selflessly put others before themselves to really make a positive difference in someone’s life.

 
Click Here to Send an Email to The Deal For Communities Team
 
Council Operational Decisions
A decision by Deputy Leader (Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care) has been published: Support and Nominations Agreement with Partners Foundation

 

The Portfolio Holder

 
1)       agrees to the entering into a fifteen-year Support and Nominations Agreement with Partners Foundation for the provision of accommodation for people with learning and/or physical disabilities; and
2)       considers that the decision should be implemented urgently and is therefore not subject to call in.


Click Here to See Information About This Decision

Update 31-03-2021

Roadmap Out of Lockdown
From March 29, as part of the government's roadmap, we move from 'stay at home to 'stay local’. Continue to work from home where possible. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step of restrictions loosening further. Only when the government is sure that it is safe to move from one step to the next will the final decision be made.
 
The decision will be based on four tests:

  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  4. Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

 

Click Here to Read More About the Roadmap Out of Lockdown

 

The following measures are also now in place


Roadmap for Community Volunteering:
Since the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the borough’s parks and green spaces have become increasingly popular which is great to see, with a significant rise in residents taking pride in the borough, and wanting to volunteer outdoors; from litter picking to creating wildflower meadows and tree planting, to name just a few of the nature of requests. With the Prime Minister announcing the road map easing out of COVID-19 restrictions, we are really looking forward to supporting our residents with outdoor volunteering opportunities.
 
The following roadmap to community volunteering opportunities has been agreed by EMT:
 
•         From 29 March – The ‘stay at home’ order will end, and although many lockdown restrictions will remain, outdoor gatherings will be allowed to increase to either 6 people or 2 households, therefore providing greater flexibility for volunteering outdoors, e.g. litter picking, planting spring bulbs, working on community allotments, cleaning park notice boards, ‘grot spot’ tidy ups.
•         From 17 May – Most social contact rules will be lifted outdoors, allowing up to a maximum of 30 people to meet up. This is great news for our Friends of parks and outdoor community volunteering groups, as we can start to recommence outdoor projects, with opportunities such as large scale environmental improvements to our parks and green spaces, painting opportunities, maintenance and enhancement joint projects with Council officers; plus also involving our sports clubs, brownies, scots groups, etc., as they too come out of lockdown.
•         From 21 June – It is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed and we should be back to normal. Regular volunteering opportunities can recommence, together with building on the community groups and residents demand during lockdown to develop sustainable growth with our volunteers. 
People can contact either the CLM Team or Parks & Streetscene services for help and advice on both volunteer opportunities and litter picking kits, etc. We will also advise on planting opportunities - what to plant and where to plant it, to enhance our natural environment and support the Council’s climate change strategy and naturalising the borough project.
 
Reopening of libraries from April 12
 
Wigan and Leigh Libraries - 10 am-3 pm, Monday–Friday
 
Community Libraries (excluding Lamberhead, Aspull, Hope and Ince)
 
10 am-2 pm, Monday–Wednesday
1 pm-5 pm, Thursday-Friday
 
Lamberhead Library will remain temporarily closed while the staff assist with the public consultation in relation to a proposed relocation of the library within the grounds of the Dean Trust school. The consultation will begin w/c 12th April in conjunction with the school.
 
Aspull and Hope community-run libraries will remain closed until the further lifting of restrictions has been applied.
 
Ince Library will remain closed while extensive refurbishment works are carried out at the community centre.
 
These reduced opening hours will enable staff to be able to carry out additional work in relation to operating in a Covid safe environment, such as track and trace and additional cleaning of sites, as they did when libraries reopened following the first national lockdown, which was managed in a controlled and safe way for staff and customers. Going forward there will be regular reviews of opening hours in line with government guidance.

 
Click Here for More Information
 
Weekly Covid-19 Tracker
It shows, The rate of new cases locally is similar to the rate for Greater Manchester but higher than regional and national rates. As at 23rd March, there were 15 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals – lower than last week. There have been 11 COVID–19 deaths registered in Wigan so far in the latest week - an increase from the previous week.

 
Click Here to View the Tracker
 

 
Weekly Vaccination Figures
We continue to encourage everyone to take up the vaccines as soon as they are offered an appointment. If you have specific questions, please get in touch with your GP.

 

 
Click Here for More Information
 
World Autism Awareness Week
This week is World Autism Awareness Week and we’re encouraging everyone to celebrate some of the positive things that autism can bring. We’ll be sharing local people’s stories and useful resources throughout this week on our social media channels. Search #WorldAutismAwarenessWeek21 and #AutismFriendlyWigan.

 
Click Here for Information About What Autism is, along with Training Opportunities and Inclusive Activities
 

 
Our Town Cleaner Greener and Community Heroes
A community initiative to spruce up the borough’s district centres which had to be postponed due to the pandemic is being brought back. In total, 12 districts are set to get new cleaner, greener package to tidy up streets starting in Ince. Works include new bins, new trees and flower planters, enhanced road maintenance and deep cleans.
 
Recognising the impact of the pandemic on local high streets, Wigan Council has committed an additional £400k to the Our Town pot, bringing the total investment to £1million. The extra funding will support additional activity, with a focus on community safety, high streets, and green spaces.
 
Local heroes across Wigan Borough will be recognised at an awards ceremony in June. Submissions to the Our Town awards, which will celebrate all those who go above and beyond to make their neighbourhood a better place, have reopened after they were postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Residents have until midnight on Sunday 25 April to submit their online nomination. The awards ceremony will be held virtually during Volunteer Week in June. Further details will be announced following the closing date.

 
Click Here For More Information
 
Operation Bluefin Update
Last week saw the multi-agency Operation Bluefin continue tackling youth ASB in known hotspots across the borough. Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Targeted Youth Support Services (TYSS) have patrolled various locations across the borough. Mounted officers from GMP Specialist Operations Branch have also been deployed and a further 109 contact cards have been issued in the last 7 days, taking the total up to 189 since Op Bluefin started on the 1st March. A further 77 warning letters (total now 108) and a further 18 home visits (total 28). TVIU have made arrests in relation to car thefts during the week. One CBO was granted at Wigan Youth Court to another young person who continued to engage in ASB at several locations across the Wigan District.
 
Highways Planned Maintenance 2021-2023
I have Converted a list of known works planned by the council on our highways to images, there is quite a lot of information so consider this a test. If it doesn’t work I will explore links next time
 
2021 – 2022


 
2022 – 2023


 
Council Operational Decisions
Portfolio Holder for Resources, Finance and Transformation: -
1.       approves the proposal to enlarge the school to facilitate increasing pupil numbers of SEND pupils including an associated car park extension.
2.       approves the acceptance of the successful tender submitted by Walter Carefoot & Sons Ltd for the value identified in the report.
3.       authorises budget release of the out-turn figure at the sum identified in the report.
4.       delegates authority to the Assistant Director – Corporate Contracts and Assets to approve tender acceptance, budget release and authorise the use of the project contingency if required within the budget release figure; and
5.       authorises the Assistant Director – Legal to complete the necessary agreements to give effect to the above.


Click Here to view details about this decision

Portfolio Holder for Planning, Environmental Services and Transport has been published: Landscape Design Supplementary Planning Document

  • That the Portfolio Holder Planning and Environment approves the Landscape Design Supplementary Planning Document for adoption on behalf of the council.
Click Here to view details about this decision

Portfolio Holder for Communities, Public Relations, Corporate Land, Community Assets and Culture:
  1. notes the progress made to date on the negotiations with Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (IHL) for mutual termination of the Service Concession Contract and in particular the agreed Heads of Terms;
  2. delegates authority to the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Digital Services and Integration to agree the detailed terms of Settlement Agreement with IHL for the termination of the Service Concession Contract made between the Council and IHL with effect from 1st April 2021;
  3. authorises the novation and/or assignment of the IHL contracts as identified in the report as required for the ongoing provision of the Leisure Service by the Council from 1 April 2021; and
  4. authorises the Assistant Director – Legal, to enter into such agreements as may be required to give effect to the above.

Click Here to view details about this decision
 
Wigan Borough Reflects on One Year of the Pandemic
A national day of reflection was observed on Tuesday, March 23, to mark the anniversary of the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown.
Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: “In March 2020, I don’t think anyone could have predicted how long this pandemic would last, nor the havoc the virus would wreak on our lives and on the lives of those we love. The last 12 months have been extremely difficult, and it is important we take the time to reflect and recover. “Council staff, our public sector partners, community groups and volunteers have worked incredibly hard to keep residents safe and services running and for that, we are incredibly grateful. Our residents have demonstrated their resilience with kindness, compassion, and a strong sense of community spirit.”
 
Chief executive of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Silas Nicholls said: “Most of us need no reminder of the challenges we’ve faced over the last 12 months, but it is important that we all take time to reflect in order to look ahead to a more hopeful future.
Professor Craig Harris, Accountable Officer, NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said: “I can’t believe it has been a year since we first entered lockdown and it truly has been a year like no other.  When I think back to this time last year and the confusion and fear that we all felt, it feels like a lifetime ago.  Life has been hard for many of us: home-schooling, furlough, redundancy, pressure like never before, and sadly, too many losses. This is a moment for reflecting on where we have been and what we have lost, but it is also a moment to think about where we are going, and thanks to the vaccine, the hard work and perseverance of all of us, we are coming out the other side and can begin to look to brighter, freer days.”


Residents can Click Here to leave tributes to those who have lost their lives during the pandemic in Wigan Borough’s Book of Remembrance
 
Haigh Woodland Park Secures National Lottery support
Wigan Council has received initial support* from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the second phase of the Haigh Woodland Park project. The project aims to restore and bring unused areas of the park back to life while enhancing the overall visitor experience. Development funding of £256,000 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help Wigan Council progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date. The project aims to address the major restoration needed to protect the heritage of the site while expanding the activities on offer for visitors to enjoy. The project will also explore ways in which the park can further impact the health and wellbeing of visitors, identify ways to boost volunteering and educational activity and enhance the biodiversity value of the park, in particular the woodland.
 
Haigh Woodland Park has become a regional hotspot for tourism since the major investment was completed in 2016 following £3.6 million investment from Wigan Council. Phase one of the Haigh masterplan included car parking improvements, construction of the play area, adventure golf and high ropes, conversion of the stables into Haigh kitchen courtyard and installation of new furniture.

Feedback from a resident’s survey in 2019 helped to shape the proposal and over the next few months, Wigan Council will launch a big listening exercise, giving residents and visitors another opportunity to engage and shape the future of Haigh Woodland Park

Update 15-03-21

Police Update (Operation Blue Fin)
This week Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Targeted Youth Support Services (TYSS) boosted their patrols as part of the Place and Community Safety Partnership’s Operation Blue Fin. Over the past week patrols have taken places in the following areas:
 
Shevington with Lower Ground Ward, Wigan Town Centre (Including the bus station), Mesnes Park, Standish Town Centre Leigh Town Centre, including the Bus Station, Firs Park and the Poets Estate; Leigh, Atherton Town Centre including Central Park and Vulcan Park, Platt Bridge; Woodcock Drive, Millers Lane, Liverpool Road and Walthew Lane
 
Mounted Officers from GMP`s Specialist Operations have also patrolled hotspot areas in Leigh and officers from the Tactical Aid Unit have deployed to the bus stations at Wigan and Leigh.
 
Operation Blue Fin is a multi-agency approach to tackling ASB and youth crime in hotspot areas across the borough. Since 1st March a total of 50 contact cards have been issued. As a result of these contact cards, 34 first warning letters will be issued to young people and four home visits will be carried out by partner agencies. Further enforcement action is being considered for a further two young people.
A Dispersal Order was also authorised on 10th-11th March for a 24-hour period in relation to Firs Park and the Poets Estate in Leigh.

 
 
 
COVID-19 Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker shows that the rate of new cases in Wigan is lower than the previous but remains higher than regional & national rates. Wigan has the 5th highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester. As at 2nd March, there were 38 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals – the same level as last week. There have been 10 Covid–19 deaths registered in Wigan so far in the latest week – a decrease from the previous week

 
Click Here to View the Full tracker Online
 

 
Vaccinations
We continue to encourage residents to take up the vaccines once they’re offered an appointment. This week’s vaccination figures show that almost 83,000 vaccines have now been delivered locally.

 

 
Fibre Broadband Project at Haigh
The visitor experience at one of the borough’s main attractions is set to be upgraded thanks to the installation of lightning-fast broadband. Monday (15 March) will see work commence on improved connectivity at Haigh Hall Woodland Park where anyone visiting can currently largely suffer from poor mobile phone connectivity.
 
The work is part of a borough-wide project and is in conjunction with our partners GMCA and Virgin Media Business which once complete will see up to 120 public sector sites connected to full-fibre network. Effective planning and preparation from teams on the ground have meant there will be minimal disruption in the Haigh area. The civil works are expected to take between five and seven days with engineers excavating from the junction of New Road though to the barrier entrance at Haigh Hall.
 
Makeover at Pennington Flash Nature Reserve
Exciting plans to improve the visitor facilities at Pennington Flash Nature Reserve in Leigh are underway. The £1.6m makeover includes a new visitor centre and café with internal and external seating areas and a package of improvement work as part of the second phase of the £5m Believe in Leigh programme. Funding has also been earmarked for a woodland play area and improved toilet and parking facilities, following feedback from residents. In 2017, residents were given the opportunity to submit their ideas for improvements in Leigh as part of the Believe in Leigh fund. More than 100 suggestions were submitted with ideas ranging from new play areas to better shopping facilities in the town centre.

 
Click Here to Find out More
 
Adult Services

Update 26/02/21

 
General
The over 60’s rate is now below England & NW average, lowest in GM.
 
Care Homes
47 out of our 52 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital, 5 care homes affected today as follows, 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital, 3 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only, No homes have symptomatic residents in the hospital only, 10 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19, 7 in care homes, 3 in an acute setting
 
The reported death figure is 291. The data now shows that 257 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 103 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, 24 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19, 86 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19, 44 people passed away in a care home with suspected COVID-19.
The Care Homes Squads are still on standby as there are no new requests for support. Following a Government announcement, Care Home staff have been busy organising changes for their residents who from 8th March will be allowed, one regular visitor.
 
Homecare
No issues with Homecare at present to report, all going well. One of our providers, Premier, have recently had a CQC inspection and the result was Required Improvement.  We were already working with the provider and still are to ensure that all improvements are in place etc.
 
External Supported Living
Weekly testing of all staff in supported living across all external providers ongoing.
 
Inhouse Services

  • Currently, 7 staff members in isolation (x1 Residential, x6 Supported Living Services), Respite currently still closed but under review against the current roadmap, Plan in progress to arrange second vaccinations for staff

 

Testing, Contact Tracing
  • The Centre – which went live on Monday 22nd February as planned. Originally the centre at Standish was going to operate 3 days a week but it will operate 5 days a week now.
  • This week saw us offering extended opening hours on Tuesday evening at Leigh South Community Centre until 20:00 hrs and the facility will be open Saturday morning until 12:30 hrs.
  • It was originally intended that Progress House would also operate late night opening on a Wednesday and open Saturday morning. However, this had to be postponed as the test team has moved into HPM Hindley this week to support the prison to manage an outbreak there. This involves test 540 inmates twice with an interval of 5 days between each test. The team will be working in the prison this week, on Saturday and next week.
  • Once the prison testing is completed, we will be looking to operate a late-night opening at Progress House on a Wednesday evening and on a Saturday morning.
  • This will mean we have a site on the east and west of the borough offering late night opening and Saturday mornings. This is to support workers who cannot be tested during normal working hours.
  • The new booking system went live and enables critical workers from other organisations to access our test sites. A communications package and direct contact with organisations is being implemented.
  • We have resolved the waste disposal problem of Lateral Flow Device Test kits and PPE form our 4 test sites, via a contract with PHS.
  • The issue of disposal of waste from satellite test sites; workplace testing within the council, workplace testing of private providers and workplace testing within SME business, sites that the council support testing at is still an issue. However, we have developed a plan to deal with the waste streams utilising the Waste Transfer Station license that the Depot has and seeking a waiver under Covid-19 regulations with the EA to enable the Depot to receive the chemical and offensive waste. In addition to this, we would utilise the council’s waster carries a licence to enable council staff to bring waste from their workplace test facility to the Depot or we will instigate a collection system; the route being planned by the software used to plan domestic bin collections. The waste would be removed from the Depot and treated/disposed of by PHS. We are still working on the final details and putting things in place to facilitate this and hope it won’t be long before we ‘go live with our plan. This process would ensure we are fully compliant with EA Waste Regulations.

 
Vaccinations
Vaccination roll out is progressing really well: 55,500 vaccines have been administered by PCNs by 21.02.21 and 16,500 front-line health and social care staff have been vaccinated by WWL and PCNs in total
 
Total of residents vaccinated locally and at national sites to 21.02.21: 93% of all over 80s, 95% of 75 to 79-year-olds, 93% of 70 to 74-year-olds, 56% of 65 to 69-year-olds, 75% of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, PCNs to administer 8,000 vaccines by 28.02.21 to residents considered clinically extremely vulnerable in priority group 6 (aged 16-65), Residents in priority group 5 (aged 65-69) will be invited to be vaccinated at the national sites, Second dose vaccination will commence week beginning 01.03.21 for those vaccinated in December
 
Personal Protective Equipment
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community
 
I.W.D 2021
Monday 8 March was International Women’s Day. A group of influential women including local democracy internet sensation Jackie Weaver - and local role models spearheaded a discussion panel to showcase the principles of IWD. A borough doctor and former Wigan Soroptimist president, Dr Muriel Haigh, will receive a Blue Plaque for setting up the Soroptimist International Club Wigan 80 years ago. The plaque will be installed on her former home near Mesnes Park, where her son Dr. Colin Haigh currently lives with his wife.

 

Update 11-03-2021

Anti-Social Behaviour
We have received a lot of complaints about anti-social behaviour in different areas of the ward. Whilst we are in constant contact with our local police teams on an ongoing basis, I have attached a poster below which details how to report and incident or crime. The poster highlights which procedures should be followed in the case of both emergencies and non-emergencies.

 


 
Litter Picking
We have been receiving lots of requests for litter picking equipment and we have provided litter pickers, bags, gloves, and hi-vis vests for our volunteers which we were provided with thanks to the Wigan North Hub, which is conveniently located in Shevington. Prof Kate Ardern, our director for public health, has also reassured us that people are fine to head out and pick litter as part of their daily exercise. But please remember that any activities should be restricted to very small groups ideally with members of your family/support bubble. I have used my Brighter Borough funding to supply a new litter bin for the area close to the Entrance to John Pit and the refurbished footpath between Herons Wharf and Mill Lane, which I recently arranged with our footpaths officer
 
Walking / Cycling
I attended a member’s seminar along with colleagues recently where officers discussed proposed walking and cycling routes and proposals across the Borough and beyond with members.

 
Click Here to View Details of Projects across the Bee Network
 
Click Here to Download Wigan Councils Cycling Strategy
 
I have asked officers to revisit the proposals I put together some years ago with highways officers for a footpath to be installed along the S Bends where there currently is no footpath. Meaning there is no safe route between Shevington and Standish Lower Ground for people on foot. Whilst it will be very difficult to get the funding for this project which is likely to be up to or above £150,000.00 I think it is worth continuing to push for this at least until a safe alternative can be found for our pedestrians.  I did previously work with colleagues and officers to look at upgrading the T Shaped footpath running from Church Lane and Vicarage Lane to Crooke but regulatory limitations and agricultural vehicular access makes a long term solution non-viable at the moment but we can continue to monitor this
 
Kickstart to National Careers Week
This National Careers Week, we’re encouraging businesses to apply to the government’s Kickstart scheme through Wigan Council. By getting in touch with the council, borough businesses can be supported in recruiting and training local young people. Original rules meant that only companies able to offer a minimum of 30 places could apply direct. Becoming an umbrella organisation meant that the council could ensure the borough’s smaller businesses could still benefit. Changes in the scheme mean that now, businesses of all sizes can now apply themselves, however, Wigan Council is still keen to help. The process can be quite long and resource-intensive, so our teams have already done the leg-work meaning that businesses applying through the local authority can focus on recruiting the right person. The council can provide 1:1 support, job description templates and provide access to training opportunities for the young person the business recruits. Businesses will also receive a financial sum to fund the placement. Local businesses are encouraged to get in touch.

 
Click Here for More Information
 
Home Testing Kits
As laid out in the government’s roadmap of easing restrictions, testing kits are being made available to households with primary, secondary and college-aged children, including childcare and support bubbles. Currently, these kits are available for pick-up from the Central Park site on Montrose Avenue in Wigan with further details below. The kits are not available from the other test sites across the borough.

 


 
Click Here to Find Testing Sites
 
Wigan Borough Vaccination Update
The following poster is the Vaccination Programme update up to 28/02/2021 sent to me by the Wigan North Hub
 

 


 
Census 2021
Households across Wigan Borough are being asked to take part in Census 2021. Census day is on March 21, but households will now be receiving letters with online codes explaining how they can complete their forms. If you do not get one in the next couple of weeks, please get in touch with the census contact centre. You can also request a paper questionnaire if you would prefer to complete your census that way. Local census support centres will be open while the census is happening. Staff will offer help for people not confident online, who do not have a computer or need help completing on paper. The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, except for 1941.

 
Click Here For More Information or to Find Out How to Get Help

 

 
or call the contact centre on 0800 141 2021
 
Parents Urged to Bin Disposable Nappies Correctly
Wigan Council has joined forces with “Keep Britain Tidy” to launch a new campaign aimed at stopping millions of disposable nappies that are contaminating recycling. It comes on the back of new research which reveals that more than one million UK nappy users are wrongly putting them in their recycling bin. Contamination in Wigan Borough is also a problem with waste teams at the council calculating that 138,596 nappies end up in recycling every year which results in tonnes of recyclable being rejected and sent to landfill.


Click Here for More Information From "Keep Britain Tidy" Website
 
Operational Decisions
The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Welfare approves the approval of the Landlord Harassment and Unlawful Eviction Policy and any associated working procedures.


Click Here for More Information About this Decision
 
International Women’s Day
Following on from International Women’s Day (on 8th March). On Friday 12th March (6-7 pm), local influential women, including Chief Executive Alison McKenzie-Folan, local business and community leaders and young women from our Youth Cabinet, will join presenter and actor Victoria Cook and local democracy internet sensation, Jackie Weaver, for an online debate. The theme for the year is #ChooseTo Challenge.

 
Click Here for More Information & to Reserve a Place
 
Children are also invited to think about their hopes for the future and hang dreamcatchers on allocated ‘dream trees’ in Mesnes Park, Wigan, Lilford Park, Leigh, Elnup Woods, Shevington, Three Sister's recreation ground and Walmesley Park, Ince.
 


 
Click Here to Find Out More
 

Update 25-02-2021

Roadmap Out of Lockdown
The government announced a four-point plan to lift the coronavirus lockdown. Under the timeline, the first changes will see a return to schools in two weeks’ time and up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors.
 
The first date of note is 8 March when all schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in a public space will also be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.
 
The next milestone is 29 March when outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children's sport, such as grassroots football, will also return.
 
Restrictions will be eased step-by-step across the whole of England, avoiding a return to the previous system of regional tiers. The government has stressed that four tests must be continuously met for the country to progress to the next stage. They are:
 
1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
4. Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.
 
We will continue to analyse the data locally and hope to see continued drops in infection rates so the borough can reopen safely. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to stay at home unless for essential reasons until there are any changes. Everyone can also continue to play their part by following the three W’s – watch your distance, wash your hands regularly and wear a face-covering unless you have a medical exemption.
 
Wigan Borough Vaccination Programme Update

The chart below provided by Wigan North Community Hub


 
Q&A with Prof Kate Ardern
Professor Kate Ardern is holding another live Covid-19 Q&A Tonight. Professor Ardern will answer some Questions including some that have been submitted through a post on the council's Facebook channel before 5 pm Wednesday but if people missed the cut off then Prof Ardern will take a few live questions on the night.


 
 
Council Cabinet Member Decisions
 
A decision by Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People has been published: Schools Dedicated School Grants (DSG) Funding Formula 2021/22
 
Decision: - The Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People:
 
(1)   agrees to the school funding formula for 2021/22 as set out within this report and previously agreed by Schools Forum; and
(2)   considers that the decision should be implemented urgently and is therefore not subject to call in.

 
 Click Here For More Information About This Decision
 
A decision by Director - Digital, ICT and Integration has been published: Consultant requirements Haigh Woodland Park: Heritage, Nature and People
 
Decision: - The Director – Digital Services and Integration approves the decision to:
 
(1)            accept the National Lottery Heritage Fund grant development phase grant award;
(2)            extend the appointment of Community First Partnership to carry out the scope of services set out in Lot 1 of the specification to further develop the Haigh Woodland Park project from a position whereby the stage one NLHF approval has been secured to the submission of a detailed stage two application in April 2022;
(3)            extend the appointment of Plincke to carry out the scope of services set out in Lot 2 and 3 of the specification to further develop the Haigh Woodland Park project from a position whereby the stage one NLHF approval has been secured to the submission of a detailed stage two application in April 2022; and
(4)            instruct the Assistant Director – Legal to enter any agreements on behalf of the Council to facilitate the above.

 
Click Here For More Information About This Decision
 
Haigh Hall Hearing
A break notice was served in 2019 to the occupier of Haigh Hall. The subsequent legal proceedings have now reached a court hearing stage.  However, whilst the case is heard, for legal reasons, it would be inappropriate to comment any further. an update will be provided as soon as it is possible.
 
 
Women's EURO 2022
Next year will hopefully see Leigh Sports Village host UEFA 
Women's EURO 2022. Four games, including a quarter-final clash, are scheduled to take place at the stadium in Leigh. UEFA's new ticketing portal is now open for fans to register for early access to tickets and stay up to date on all the latest information ahead of next year's finals.
 

Update 21-02-2021

Covid-19 Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published and it shows the rate of new cases remains lower than the regional rates but higher than for England overall. The Kent variant still accounts for the majority of new cases locally. As of 16 February, there were 51 COVID-positive patients in WWL hospitals. Remember to wash your hands, wear a face covering and to watch your distance

 


 
Click Here to View the Full Tracker
 
Vaccinations
Teams continue to progress with Covid-19 vaccinations throughout the borough. These are the latest figures locally. Most people will be contacted when it is their turn, however, anyone aged over 70 and classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and hasn't yet had their first jab, can 
Click Here to Book Online or call 119 to book an appointment.
 

 
Updated Shielding Advice
Residents classed as clinically extremely vulnerable that have been asked to shield until 21 February will soon receive a letter encouraging them to continue shielding until 31 March. We understand that this is a difficult time, especially for those who have been shielding for a lengthy period. We’re on hand to help if you need access to food and essential items, need support connecting digitally with loved ones, practical help around the home or simply need someone to talk to.

 
Click Here to Fill in the Online Form and someone will be in touch
 
Vaccinations & Myth Busting
 The Wigan Borough roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations began in December with the most vulnerable among us being vaccinated first. Wigan Borough has already reached some significant milestones with residents and staff at every care home having received their first vaccination. In the community, those aged over-80 have also now been offered the first vaccination. The program continues moving down the list of priority groups set by the national government in the months ahead. You will be contacted when it is your turn so there is no need to call and check.
 
Some people raised concerns that include questions about how a vaccine was developed so quickly and if there is potential for adverse reactions etc. These concerns - along with other topics are addressed, which you can read by Downloading 
This Leaflet issued By Dr Tim Dalton, Chair of Wigan Borough CCG and Professor Kate Ardern Wigan Councils Director of Public Health. Remember it is still essential to practice current social distancing measures even after you have been vaccinated, as you will still be able to transmit the virus to others.
 

Dr Tim Dalton & Professor Kate Ardern
 
Scheme to Enhance Poolstock
On Saturday 20 February, a phased programme of improvement works started, taking advantage of the released road space following the creation of the A49 link road. The works will include new parking bays, a zebra crossing and enhanced walking and cycling facilities, which will position the route as an attractive residential road, rather than a congested traffic corridor. The scheme will be funded with £800,000.00 allocated to Wigan Council by the Greater Manchester Growth Deal Minor Works fund, which will take place in phases over a five-month period. Some lane closures or diversions will be necessary at certain points in the scheme to ensure the timeliness of the project and to safeguard the public and workforce on-site, which will be communicated to local people in advance and will be clearly signposted.

 
Click Here For More Information About This Scheme
 
Budget Proposals Receive Cabinet Approval
The 2021/22 financial plan has been presented to Wigan Councils cabinet which would include no service or staff cuts. This will mean that Wigan Borough will continue to pay one of the lowest council tax rates in the region. The proposals include 3% for adult social care precept, which was introduced by the central government and General council tax will see a 0.99% rise. With authorities across Greater Manchester and the wider region in the process of confirming their financial plans, it is expected that Wigan Borough’s rates will remain among the lowest. The budget proposals will go to full council on Wednesday, March 3 for consideration and approval

 
Click Here to View Current & Previous Council Financial Plans
 
Give Your Views on Busy Borough Junction Changes
Wigan Council has launched a consultation asking for local people to submit their views on changes to the Riverway ring road, which would address current difficulties for pedestrians who cross the road at the Darlington Street / King Street junction. The proposal is to widen existing footpaths and install new crossing facilities on all sections of the notoriously busy junction at Darlington Street. Figures attained from Transport for Greater Manchester show that throughout the coronavirus pandemic, journeys by foot and bike have increased with cycling and walking, reaching a peak mode-share of 33 per cent of all journeys in the city-region. The £1.3m scheme will be funded through the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and forms part of the Bee Network - the wider walking and cycling plan for the city-region that aims to create the largest cycling and walking network in the UK. The consultation will last for four weeks, closing on 19 March


Click Here to Give Your Views on the Plans then click ‘see the proposed schemes’
 

 

Update 17-02-2021

 

!!!! DO YOU NEED HELP !!!!

01942311365

People may find themselves living in a difficult environment in the home with others they live with, which can be more apparent during the lockdown. this can be the case for both Men and Women and where help is needed, help will be given.  If you need help you are not alone, and we will help you, simply call 01942 311365 or 
CLICK HERE for more information and to be connected with the support you need.  People are on hand waiting to help you and its no trouble at all so don’t ever be afraid to ask

The DIAS service operates via our local SDF Community Hubs, so are right on our doorstep

 



Appley Bridge - Footpath No.12
Following on from my previous update a while ago I can confirm that Street Scene services have undertaken work on Footpath No. 12 which runs from Mill Lane to Herons Wharf. This involved clearing vegetation, surface grading after which gritstone material laid and rolled to consolidate, forming a solid surface with camber, whilst maintaining the natural environment.  I have also ordered an additional litter bin for the Mill Lane end to support our litter pickers and provide somewhere for walkers and pet owners to dispose of their litter.  I would like to extend a huge thank you to our street scene services and footpaths officer Liz Parry for getting this done in freezing weather, especially whilst we are in such challenging times. The image below is a member of Street Scene services consolidating the surface
 



Click Here for More Information about Public Rights of Way

Vaccination Programme Accelerating  
This morning Wigan Borough CCG announced how vaccinations for those in cohorts 5 & 6 will be starting. This means anyone aged 65-69 who does not already have an appointment will receive a letter requesting to set one up. Likewise, anyone aged 16-64 with underlying health issues which put them more at risk will be contacted by their GP practice when a slot becomes available. Nationally, the government has announced their first vaccine target has been met with everyone in the top four priority groups contacted for a vaccine jab. Please see poster below

 


 
You Can Care Week
This week we will be highlighting various care roles available in Wigan Borough by sharing first-hand stories about the positive impacts that these vital roles have on our residents’ lives. You Can Care is a local campaign highlighting the rewards that come with working in care roles. There has always been a need for people to join Team Wigan, from volunteering and supporting the elderly, to recruiting new adopters and foster carers. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this need as more residents feel the impacts of how we have had to adapt our lives. This week we will be highlighting several care roles which include: Shared Lives, fostering, adoption, unpaid carers, social workers, and personal assistants. If any resident is interested in a career change and wants to make a difference to someone’s life then they can find information about each service and how to apply on our 
You Can Care page
 



Gritting Team Final Winter Push
The council’s winter maintenance team remain on standby 24/7 ready to respond to any more periods of cold weather. This winter has seen crews head out 48 times to treat the priority network with 20,000km of highway gritted since the start of October. This year’s cold snap means the council has used 70% more salt at this point already when compared to last year. It’s important to remember the importance of residents using grit bins correctly. They should not be utilised for driveways and everyone needs to be mindful of others, so everyone gets a chance to take advantage of them when there is extensive cold weather. Stay tuned to the council’s social media channels for updates on when the borough’s roads are being treated.

Find out more on Wigan Councils 
Facebook & Twitter pages.

Update 13-2-221

COVID-19 Weekly Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published and it shows: The rate of new cases continues to decrease in Wigan & remains lower than the regional rate. The Kent variant accounts for most new cases locally. Wigan has the fifth-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week. As of 9th February, there were 68 COVID-19 positive patients in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh hospitals. Remember to wash your hands, wear a face covering and to watch your distance.
 


 
View the Full Tracker Here
 
Vaccination Update
Teams continue to progress with Covid-19 vaccinations throughout the borough. These are the latest figures locally. Most people will be contacted when it's their turn, however, anyone aged over 70 and classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and hasn't yet had their first jab, they can Book Online Here or call 119 to book an appointment.

 

 
 
Vaccine Myth-Busting
Although the World Health Organisation deems both Covid-19 vaccines as effective, we are aware of some genuine concerns and questions, which people have alongside some misinformation within the community. As a result, The Council have put together a helpful myth-busting resource pack to be used on social media to help reassure residents and encourage them to protect themselves.  This may also help people avoid being taken in by misinformation posted online. If you would like to request copies from the toolkit to share on your own channels, please 
Email the Council PR Team
 
Wigan Councils director of public health, Prof. Kate Ardern leads a fortnightly Q&A session with the public about Covid-19. Which You Can watch Here where she answers questions about the vaccine with Dr Shikha Pitalia, local GP and director of SSP Health. 
 
Wigan Borough Vaccination Programme
The following update was sent to me by the Wigan North SDF Community HUB on 09-02-2021 


 
Installation of Air Source Heat Pumps 2020 - 21
 
Decision Notice:
Wigan Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Welfare has authorised the award of Wigan Council’s Contract for the Installation of Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) 2020-21’ to the successful bidder, and the Assistant Director – Legal to enter into any agreements on behalf of the Council necessary to facilitate

 
Click Here for More Information About this Decision
 
 
WIGAN BUS STATIONS A.S.B
CLLR Aldred The Chair of GM Transport Committee has provided a report on TravelSafe prevention, following a question from Members regarding anti-social behaviour (ASB) at Wigan Bus Station. There had been an increase in reported anti-social behaviour and crime at Wigan Bus Station over the last 18 months ranging from minor ASB to serious Incidents which were linked. Primarily, a group of known individuals. There was a decrease in incidents during the first lockdown period, which may be attributed to a drop-off in incidents or reduced reporting due to the reduction of staff and passengers on the site.
 
OUTCOMES TO DATE
Reports of anti-social behaviour at Wigan Bus Station are reducing with only one incident (Breach of Exclusion Order) reported week commencing 18 January. The Transport Unit now has a list of target individuals in relation to Wigan anti-social behaviour, which has helped in the targeting of enforcement activity. One individual responsible for a campaign of anti-social behaviour across Wigan and Leigh Bus Stations was sentenced to a two-year custodial sentence and other offenders are subject to appropriate enforcement measures.

 
Click Here to Visit the Wigan Bus Station Webpage
 
Adult Services Update 05/02/21
 
Care Homes
43 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital and 9 care homes affected today as follows: 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital; 7 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only; 44 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19, which is a decrease of 33 since previous week: 42 in care homes: 2 in an acute setting.
 
The reported death figure is 290 (an increase of 4 since last week), of these the data now shows that 254 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 102 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19: 23 people passed away in hospital with suspected COVID-19: 86 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for COVID-19: 43 people passed away in a care home with suspected COVID-19: We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services. The Care Homes Squads are still on standby as there are no new requests for support.
 
Homecare
All providers in the Wigan borough have now been offered a vaccination slot, many already had the vaccine.  Capacity is improving and the demand appears to have levelled over the last 2 weeks. The number of residents supported by homecare remains very low, out of 1800 resident w/c 1st Feb only 8 reported cases where the clients are COVID-19 +. Weekly testing continues to take place with the providers.
 
External Supported Living
Weekly testing of all staff in supported living across all external providers ongoing.
 
Inhouse Services
Currently, 10 staff members in isolation (4 Residential, 6 Supported Living Services) 343 staff have been vaccinated.
 
Testing, Contact Tracing
The Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Testing at Leigh South Community Centre supported by the military is working well and averaging 100+ tests per day. Its operational hours are 09:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday. Officers visited Leigh Test Centre last week and spoke to both the senior officers and men of the military attachment working at the site, alongside our staff. A second LFD Test Centre opened its doors at Golborne Library this week.
The support from the military has given the test team time and space to work on developing the testing program. The new booking system going live next week. This will open access to our test centres to all critical workers with the borough, not just council employees. On Thursday we completed the build of our third test centre at Progress House which will go live from Tuesday 9th February. The team have also been scoping out a fourth location at Standish and a fifth one in the Orrell, Pemberton and Winstanley area. In addition to this, the team have been busy working with colleagues in HR to recruit and train additional staff to work in the test centres.
 
Friday 5th February is the last day the military will be working in Wigan and the Major recorded his thanks to Wigan for being so organised and for delivering on its both is MACA request and plan, for the way we have looked after the troops, responded to any requests, our professional way of working and making them feel part of the overall team. The Team Leader at Leigh is Liz Fisher who has played a significant part in forging this excellent working relationship. The Major commented it was a pleasure to have worked with us. It has been a struggle, but we have now just signed and agreed a contract with PHS to deal with all our waste from our test centre sites other than the standard general waste stream.
 
Vaccinations
Wigan Borough has 4 major vaccination sites running in PCNs along with WWL and one Community Pharmacy. Current priority groups to vaccinate are the over 70s population, care home residents and staff, frontline Health and Social Care staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable. Robin Park, Leigh Sports Village, Hindley Pavilion and Parkside vaccination centres now all operational.
 
In Care Homes
Number of staff still requiring vaccine: 243 (down from 459) - 243 represents 8.6%. Number of residents still requiring vaccine: 143 (down from 237) - 7.5%. A number of residents whose family have refused their resident to have the vaccine: 15. Of the residents still requiring the vaccine, there are mostly low single figures made up of either new admissions, residents who were in hospital or were poorly at the time vaccinations took place or are within 28 days of a positive PCR. There are a small number of care homes with double figures, the primary reason for these is that they have been in outbreak status over the last few weeks.
 
P.P.E
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community
 
New Recruits Join Wigan Council
As we mark National Apprenticeship Week (NAW2021), it is fantastic to welcome three new apprentices to Wigan Council. Joining three weeks ago, Ben Thornborrow, of Ince, Joe Aindow, of Hawkley Hall and Seb Bradshaw of Orrell, join as roadworker apprentices and are the latest in a long line of young talent to start their journey at the council. The apprenticeships will last around 30 months and will combine a two-year formal study with onsite practical experience. The theme for NAW2021 is ‘Build the Future’ and aims to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career. Providing all of our young people with the very best opportunities we can is a key priority for us. We are very proud to continue promoting apprentices and we’re delighted with the ongoing success of our apprenticeship programme.

 
Click Here to Download the NAW2021 Toolkit
 

 
Keeping the Borough Moving
It’s set to be another cold week in the borough with temperatures forecast to drop below freezing on a number of days so we would encourage people to keep safe and take care if it's essential to be out on the roads. Council teams are on standby 24/7 throughout the season to ensure our roads are monitored and treated if required. The winter maintenance crews have put in a fantastic effort during the last few months to keep the borough moving and the latest stats below show how we have already grit the primary network more than last winter and used more salt.

 


 
What’s on at Home
Wigan Council has put together a guide featuring free, family-friendly things to do at home that is updated with new activities at the start of each week and weekend. Go to The Councils 
Facebook Page or Twitter Page to find the link to the latest guide or search #WhatsOnAtHome



The Good Trader Scheme Offer
This week we want to ensure that traders and businesses are aware of a special sign-up offer for the council’s Good Trader Scheme. The network pulls together the borough’s most tried and test traders with over 185 local businesses signed up as members and we have around 35,000 residents that use the GTS website each year. Please make be aware that if you sign up now, there is just the £30 admin fee and no membership fees up to April 2020 – so two months free.

 
Click Here For Mor Information or to Apply

Update 04-02-21

New Testing Site
The council is opening a second lateral flow testing site at Golborne Library tomorrow (Tuesday). It will initially be available for council key workers with a view to expanding to support local partners and businesses soon. The first testing site in Leigh is already up and running. This increased capacity for testing our frontline staff will make a big impact for our teams and help us maintain business continuity.
 
Care Commissioning Group Vaccinations Update
Wigan Borough Care Commissioning Group (CCG) have supplied us with a poster on Feb 2nd via our Wigan North Community Hub. outlining the rollout of vaccinations, which I have attached below FYI, it is quite a large poster, but I thought I would give it a try anyway but if it proves to be too big or hard to read I will break future posters down to smaller sizes if possible.
 


 
Development & Air Quality SPD
A new supplementary planning document has been created and residents and developers are being asked to give their comments. The SPD is aimed at managing the air quality impact of new developments in Wigan Borough. The guidance will provide clarity to applicants and will guide planners on how to assess schemes more effectively.

 
Click Here to Find out More
 
Online Transactions to Become Even Easier
Access to Wigan Council services online is about to become even easier thanks to a new and improved online tool. The new version of MyAccount, an online platform allowing residents to access their Council Tax, Housing Benefit, and other council services, will be updated in March. Residents are now able to switch over or sign up to the new platform. The old platform will be unavailable from 31 March 2021. Once signed up, people can activate secure access to services such as council tax and housing benefits. The switch to a new MyAccount is the start of that journey which will ultimately benefit residents whenever they need to contact the council. Residents initially accessing the transferred services from the old system like reporting missed bins and environmental crimes and accessing booking services such as marriages, deaths, and births. Moving forward teams will identify additional digital services which increase residents, businesses, and organisations’ ability to transact with the council digitally.

Click Here To register for MyAccount
 
Novavax Publishes Positive Efficacy Data for its Coronavirus Vaccine
Novavax, on Friday, announced that its vaccine has shown to be 89% effective in preventing coronavirus in participants, as well as showing efficacy against new UK variant. The Government’s Vaccines Taskforce has secured 60 million doses of Novavax’s vaccine to be delivered in the second half of this year if approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) who will assess whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety, effectiveness, and quality.

 
Click Here to Read the Full Announcement
 
Secondary School & College Testing Programme
Following new advice, NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England have temporarily paused the need for secondary schools and colleges to carry out a confirmatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test following a positive result with a Lateral Flow Test (LFT). Following a positive Lateral Flow Test result taken at school or college, an individual will need to self-isolate in line with government guidance and contact tracing will need to be undertaken. It will also be the trigger for self-isolation payments. In line with clinical advice, confirmatory PCR testing will remain in place for primary school staff as testing is done at home.

Update 29-01-21

Vaccination Update
The borough’s vaccination figures are reported on a Tuesdays  and the latest statistical graphic from this week is included below:
 


 
Residents are reminded that even if they have had a vaccination, it is still possible for them to spread the virus to others. It is important therefore that everyone continues to practice the 3Ws; wear a mask when out and about (unless exempt), watch your space between yourself and others and wash your hands frequently. If anyone is experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms such as a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste, a high temperature or a new, persistent cough, it’s really important that you self-isolate and request a test immediately.
 
Click Here To Request an Appointment at a Test Centre
 
If you cannot attend a test centre, call 119 to request a home test kit.
 
Click Here to Find Out More About Vaccinations
 
Attendance at Funeral Services
Please remember that restrictions remain in place regarding attendance at funeral services. Specifically, there is a 30-person limit on a burial at Wigan Council cemeteries, keeping to social distancing. For cremation services, the regulation is 20 in the chapel and 10 outside of the chapel, again with social distancing. All attendees count towards the limit, including young children.
 
Repairs at Wigan North Western Train Station
Update we have received from Network Rail: 
On Wednesday 20 January the lift shafts at Wigan North Western station were damaged due to storm Christoph causing heavy rain leaking into the lift mechanism and station subway. As a result of the damage, both of the station’s lifts are out of service which means that there is currently no step-free access to the platforms. Our engineers are working urgently to get the lifts back into use for passengers as soon as possible. While we do this, we are asking anyone who needs step-free access to speak to station staff or to contact the Passenger Assist team:
 
1.       Avanti West Coast’s Passenger Assist team - 08000 158 123
2.       Northern’s Passenger Assist team - 0800 138 5560
 
Until the lifts are brought back into action, tickets will be valid for passengers to travel via the nearest step-free stations, where onward travel can be arranged. For Avanti West Coast passengers this would be Warrington Bank Quay or Preston stations. We are working closely with Avanti West Coast and Northern to ensure that passengers who need to travel to and from Wigan North Western station are aware of the lift repairs and their alternative journey options.

 
Flooding Update
Last week Storm Christoph led to the evacuation of thousands of households as torrential rain hit the country and caused significant flooding. With weather-related alerts and warnings covering most of the borough, officers from Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, and health services worked together to respond to hundreds of calls and mitigated dozens of flooding incidents.
 
While the responsibility to protect properties from flooding lies with the property owner not the council, our teams worked hard to assist wherever possible. The borough’s community spirit was also on display with neighbours, councillors and volunteers all pulling together to support their neighbourhoods. Pam Gilligan, CEO at Compassion in Action, provided clothes to one displaced family after their home was flooded, while local ward councillors helped to distribute sandbags. Acts of kindness like this could be seen across the borough. This week our recovery cell was initiated. The group is being led by Sonia Halliwell, director for customer services at Wigan Council, and is attended by the council’s civil contingencies team as well as key officers from across directorates and partners. The group is tasked with managing the borough’s recovery response.
 
The clean-up operation began last week with our street scene team helping to remove the debris and sludge left behind. All homes and business premises impacted by Storm Christoph have been collated and our highways team is assessing the damage and making recommendations. Some of the actions already identified include clearing gullies, checking drainage issues, and liaising with the Environment Agency and United Utilities. Repairs have been scheduled on all council affected properties.
 
The council’s bulky waste collection service has received and responded to eight requests to remove items that were flood-damaged free of charge. The Service Delivery Footprint teams have been providing on the ground support to residents, helping with transport, medication, and other essential requests. The business engagement team has been working with businesses affected, with one shop supported to remove flood-damaged items. During the storm, our contact centre received calls from residents and businesses affected. We are in the process of recontacting everyone to see if they require any assistance.
 
A multi-agency debrief is to be conducted after which I will update further along with an update on Wigan Borough’s recovery strategy once available.

 
Business fined for Breaking COVID Lockdown Rules
A business owner who opened his car wash business in the latest lockdown has been issued with a £1,000 Fixed Penalty Notice. Wigan Council received information that Leo’s hand car wash on Jackson Street, Ince was open. Officers from the Council’s Regulatory Services team alongside Officers from Greater Manchester Police visited the business on Tuesday  (26th January) and found the owner and his staff working on site. Under government guidelines only essential businesses providing essential services are permitted to stay open during the winter lockdown. Shops that supply groceries, medicines and financial services can continue to serve customers, as long as they are Covid-secure. A full list of which businesses can open can be found on the government website.
 
Click Here for COVID Advice for Businesses
 
Click Here to Report a business you suspect may be breaching the rules
 
East Quarry – Appley Bridge
Further enquiries regarding the East Quarry at Appley Bridge I have received the following information from one of our flood risk engineers in response to concerns raised by residents. I am still awaiting a response from officers in our Planning department, which I will update once I get the information.
 
Discharge
The design for the outfall is yet to be confirmed. The manhole cover will not be removed in any new design. The compound in which the pipe will run and outfall into the manhole will be fenced off to stop access from the public.
 
Flood Risk
In the licence agreement, Maybrook is required to include for suitable monitoring and control equipment, alongside regular inspections. As the EA monitor the water levels the best way to inform Maybrook of rises in water level is to be notified by the EA. We have not enforced the use of an auto switch but will pass on Information received. We are still awaiting details on the final design and method statements and risk assessments.
 
Diffuser  
The licence agreement states that Maybrook must remove the pipe and reinstate the permitted route to its state prior to commencement of the license, including making good of any damage caused. This will include the removal of the original diffuser.

 
Click Here for Council Flood Risk Contacts & Information
 
Click here to Report Environmental Problems
 
Wigan Council Report it App
Many residents are now using the report it app provided by wigan council to report problems.  If you have a smart phone you can download the app from your phone app store and once installed it provides a very easy way to report issues via your mobile device instantly without the need to make phone calls or other reports and you get updates on the progress of items, you have reported.  Please allow time for things to be fixed as it can take a little longer than usual to get things fixed as many staff are ill, self-isolating, or redeployed dealing with emergencies whilst we are in the COVID pandemic.
 
Download the App from your device app store from one of the following links.

 

          

          


 
Download Report It App Guide Here
  
Adult Services Update 29/01/21
 
Care Homes:
42 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital
10 care homes affected today as follows: 5 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital - 5 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only;
78 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19 (decrease of 12 since last week); 69 in care homes, 9 in an acute setting.
 
The reported death figure is 286 (an increase of 6 since last week), of these the data now shows that 249 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 100 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 - 23 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19 - 83 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19 - 43 people passes away in a care home with suspected Covid -19. The Care Homes Squads are still on standby as there are no new requests for support. 

 
External Supported Living:
Weekly testing of all staff in supported living across all external providers underway. We have rolled out vaccines to supported living staff this week.
 
Inhouse Services:
10 staff off isolating due to Covid - 322 staff have now been vaccinated. Respite remains closed and is under review on a regular basis
Pleased to report that Heathside have started to use the visitors' pod this week and has now been fully booked up by families for the next few weeks

 
Testing, Contact Tracing:
The new appointment booking system and data capture tools for the test centres have been going under security testing and is hoped to go live next week. This will enable us to widen the scope of critical workers who can book appointments for tests. The data capture tool for and outreach testing is working well. The Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Testing at Leigh South Community Centre supported by the military is averaging 100 tests per day. The centre is working well and the operational hours of 09:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday appear to be right. The support from the military has enabled the team to concentrate on other development work for the testing program. Our second LFD test centre will go live week commencing 1st February and setup work is underway with the build planned for 29th January. Plans are in place to open a third test centre week commencing 8th February. Scoping work is underway to establish two additional test centres which will operate two or three days a week. In addition to this, the team have been rolling out training to workplace locations to enable them to test critical staff in their work locations. Our recruitment drive for staff is working well. This linked with our training program will enable us to continue to operate all our test centres post 5th February without the need for military support.
In support from the military for three weeks has enabled us to develop our strategy and start to implement it.

 
Vaccinations

Wigan Borough has 4 major vaccination sites running in PCNs along with WWL and one Community Pharmacy. Current priority groups to vaccinate are the over 70s population, care home residents and staff, frontline Health and Social Care staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable. Robin Park, Leigh Sports Village, Hindley Pavilion and Parkside vaccination centres now all operational. 10,000 Health and Social Care staff have been vaccinated by WWL and PCNs in total.
Call out to staff for deployment to support with the rollout of the mass vaccination programme continues

 
Click Here for More Information
 
We have been informed by a provider contact that there are just 459 care home staff team members who want the vaccine but are yet to have it, this represents just 16% of the workforce and includes those who are booked in to have the first dose this week. There remain just 12% of care home residents awaiting their first jab, this is 237 people, with G.Ps scheduled to vaccinate a large proportion of these this week.
 
PPE:
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

 
Tree Planting Plans Across Wigan Borough
34,000 trees are set to be planted across the borough in the next few months as Wigan Council takes the next big step in its biggest-ever planting programme. Officers have identified 12.98 hectares of land across the borough as potential planting sites as part of a new initiative in partnership with City of Trees. The council have pledged to plant one million trees by the end of 2030. Trees absorb greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and release oxygen for us to breathe. They intercept and use rainwater to grow, which can help to lower the risk of flooding by reducing and slowing the amount of water entering our rivers and sewers. Trees can also be good for air quality by helping to trap or disperse pollution. Wigan Council aspires to be carbon-neutral by 2038 or sooner.

 
Trees will be planted at the following locations early in 2021:
Alexandra Park, Newtown - Aspull Common - Brocstedes Road, Ashton - Foggs Fold Open Space, Platt Bridge - Golborne Park - Lawns Wood, Crooke - Lilford Park, Leigh - Low Hall LNR, Platt Bridge - Parkfield Drive, Tyldesley - Pemberton Colliery, Wigan - Rose Hill Park, Wigan - Shakerley Brook, Tyldesley - Walmesley Park, Ince

 
For more information, please contact Ryan Tute, media officer, ryan.tute@wigan.gov.uk

Update 23-01-2021

Vaccination Figures
The vaccination rollout continues with the four vaccination centres now joined by the Hollowood Chemist, on Mesnes Street, Wigan. All locations are run with an appointment-only system so please continue to advise residents that when it is their turn, they will be contacted directly.
 

 
Smithy Brook/Bee Network works
From next week, the junction at Smithy Brook Road and Warrington Road will undergo 18 weeks of work to alleviate congestion, enable quicker travel and ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. The improvements will support the Greater Manchester Bee Network and follows consultation with residents and businesses. The council is working with the developer, Bethell Group, to ensure some of the main highway changes are delivered during the lockdown period in line with current Covid-19 guidance to minimise the number of residents and road users affected.
 

Click Here to Read the Full Story 

Bus Consultation
There is just one week left for residents to have their say on an important consultation which will decide the future of bus services in the borough and Greater Manchester. Currently, in Greater Manchester, the bus companies decide the routes, frequencies, fares, and standards. There is no coordination and limited oversight.  Where bus companies decide not to run services, where necessary, the public sector pays to fill in the gaps. Under franchising, bus services would be brought under local control. GMCA would coordinate and invest in the bus network based on the services passengers need. The bus operators would be contracted by GMCA to run the services. The consultation runs until midnight on Friday 29 January 2021.
 

Click Here to Take Part in the Bus Consultation
 
Council Teams Stretched – Extremely Heavy Workload
Since March 2020, the council’s teams have gone above and beyond to keep residents safe, often stepping up to support critical services, despite the risks involved. At times this has meant working outside of normal working hours, canceling annual leave, or learning new skills. The pressure of responding to a global pandemic while simultaneously trying to keep services running as normal has taken its toll.
 
At times, the workforce has been severely depleted due to staff self-isolating, shielding, or off sick with COVID-19. Now, more than 40 staff are confirmed as COVID-19 positive and an additional 50+ are self-isolating, representing a substantial increase compared with other points during the pandemic. The council has continued to keep services running, with staff working extended hours outside of working patterns and canceling annual leave to support services. But this way of working is unsustainable and to the detriment of our staff and residents.
 
This week has been particularly tough for staff, including our environment team, who have been heavily involved in the response to a second critical incident. Storm Christoph has had a significant impact on our borough with our teams working day and night delivering sandbags, helping the fire service to divert floodwater, installing road closures, and rehoming residents to keep them safe. The team is also maintaining borough resilience and preparedness in this challenging winter season; the gritting teams were out again last night. This is all in addition to the key essential services such as waste collection, emergency housing repairs, pest control, vaccination center support, and food parcel delivery. This picture is similar across all the council departments.
 
To allow the council to maintain effective services we need to be understanding, patient and realistic.  This means we need to have realistic expectations and think carefully about the issues we report for follow-up, which can take up valuable staff time potentially taking them away from dealing with other more serious issues. and accept that many non-urgent issues may need to wait whilst urgent and high priority issues are attended to. And before making reports we must ask ourselves is it urgent or is it something that can wait?
 
Children’s out of School Settings
Under the current lockdown restrictions, we must all stay at home unless we need to make an essential journey. This means that children must also stay at home and cannot attend any classes such as gym sessions, martial arts, or dance classes in person. There are very limited exceptions where a child can attend out of school settings and include where it is necessary to enable their parent or carer, and who is a critical worker, to attend work. Failure to do so could result in a £200 fixed penalty notice.
 

Click Here for More Information
 
Adult Services - Update 22/01/21
 
General:
Storm Christoph has put some additional pressure on the system and capacity, but services have reported that they are managing.
 
Care Homes:
37 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital.
 
15 care homes affected today as follows:

  • 4 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital;
  • 10 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only;
  • 1 home has symptomatic residents in the hospital only.
  • 90 (increase of 22 since last week) care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 64 in care homes, 4 in an acute setting.

 

The reported death figure is 280 (an increase of 10 since last week), of these the data now shows that 243 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 98 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 - 23 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19 - 80 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for COVID-19 - 42 people passes away in a care home with suspected COVID-19 - We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services
 
The Care Homes Squads are still on standby as there are no new requests for support. 
 
Homecare:
Homecare staff are now getting their vaccinations, the process has been positively received. The weather has added to the challenges to delivering home care, but providers have done amazingly well.
 
Inhouse Services:
Currently, 16 staff members in isolation (x2 Residential, x14 Supported Living Services) - Vaccination Process started and 240 staff are booked in so far and booking more for next week. - Respite is currently still closed and being reviewed on a regular basis
 
Testing, Contact Tracing:
Following a ‘walk through’ with the military detachment supporting the council with Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing at Leigh South Community Centre last Friday the test centre went live on Monday 18th January. The first week has gone well and the centre has tested key/critical staff working for the council who have pre-booked appointments and accommodated some staff from partner organisations. We have taken a soft start approach to testing out both systems and working practices. In accordance with GM Targeted Testing at Scale strategy the team has also been contacting partners and organisations with key/critical workers and developed a program of training and support to enable them to deliver LDF testing at their own location and report the results to us. This program will soon go live. The team has also carried out several LFD tests of key/critical workers in their work setting to help keep critical services operational, supported living accommodation, and homeless person settings for example. The team will shortly start work on setting up another LFD test centre. 
 
Vaccinations:
Priority is the over 80’s, care home staff & residents. We are aiming to have all care homes completed by the weekend; we have just needed to work through a couple of homes with outbreaks. Care Home workforce being routed through Primary Care Network. There were 800 vaccination slots available this week which we have tried to share out fairly whilst needing to follow national guidance. Home care has had the bulk of slots to protect the elderly. It is an open booking system and also available to WWL staff. Etihad under national control, as reported last week the messaging about the Etihad caused some confusion.  There are 500 slots available to Wigan via the Etihad, but the way slots have been released meant we had no control over who accessed them. Call out to staff for deployment to support the rollout of the mass vaccination program continues.
 

Click Here for More Information
 
The Operating Procedure for Priority 2 cohort (frontline social care workers) has been developed. It supports the deployment of vaccinations to frontline Health and Social Care workers in priority cohort 2, as identified by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).  It does not include the care home workforce as in priority 1. It is not intended to disrupt existing local arrangements, complementary to the clinical guidance to support the safe and effective delivery of the vaccination. Nursing and residential care homes have a staffing cohort of 2803. Currently, staff are being vaccinated in one of two ways, either via the hospital hubs based at Wigan, Wrightington, or Leigh or via primary care networks. Below is an illustration of vaccines administered to this cohort of staff to date. We have had A total of 495 staff vaccinated, 331 via the hubs, and 164 via PCN networks. There is an additional 50 staff being vaccinated at LSV this evening and 196 across hospital hubs on the 20th of January this will bring the total to 641. Today however has seen lots of activity in respect of a system-wide push to ensure that all care home staff that want the vaccine are vaccinated by the 24th of January. Each care home with remaining staff to be vaccinated was contacted last week and given the details regarding the booking system for these GP alliance vaccines. We continue to work with health colleagues and care homes to maximise uptake of the vaccine within the workforce. In addition, Care home managers are working hard to capture consent for each of the individuals that they support using the toolkit shared with them on the 24th of December ensuring robust practice in doing so.
 
P.P.E
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS, and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to the CHC community
 
Storm Christoph & Flooding Update
After an extremely busy 48 hours, the latest forecasts suggest the worst of Storm Christoph has passed over the region. Our teams have responded to hundreds of calls and along with our emergency services colleagues helped mitigate several incidents of flooding across the borough. The major incident that had been declared by Greater Manchester authorities was stood down on Thursday.
 
A breakdown of the council’s response as follows:
 
•         234 calls to Wigan’s central watch team
•         90 calls to dedicated flood line, plus 39+ via other lines.
•         33 council staff deployed to support response.
•         10 temporary road closures introduced.
•         2 road diversions
•         40 updates on social media
•         2,223 vulnerable families identified in flood risk areas.
•         Two pumps and 3 tankers deployed, plus multiple wagons.
•         36 areas attended to, with multiple calls received for each of these sites.
•         More than 1200 sandbags used.
 
Anyone who has remaining concerns about surface water flooding in their area can contact the hotline on 01942 489018.
 
The forecast for the next few days is bringing with it a fresh set of challenges with sub-zero temperatures expected. Given the amount of rainfall that has fallen, this will continue to cause hazardous conditions on the road network, and we are encouraging everyone to remain extra vigilant.
 

Click Here for Flooding Advice

 

 
Holocaust Memorial Day
Greater Manchester is standing together for Holocaust Memorial Day with an online service at 10 am on 27 January. You can join the Mayor of Greater Manchester with a candle to light in memory of those killed in the Holocaust and other genocides. Wigan Borough’s candle lighting representative is Jean Hensey-Reynard, who has been involved in the borough’s Holocaust Memorial Day events for 20 years.
 

Click Here to Watch it online or follow #HMD2021 

Update 21-01-2021

 

Flood Update Storm Christoph
GM authorities have declared a major incident due to Storm Christoph causing torrential rain and council teams have been working throughout the last few days to ensure we are prepared. A number of flooding incidents have been reported following torrential rain brought by Storm Christoph. Council teams have been working closely with the fire service to mitigate the impact and will continue to work through the night to ensure our residents are safe from harm. The Lilford Park flood basin and barrier is in operation as is the Wigan flood basin and our teams are responding to several incidents across the borough. If you are concerned about flooding incidents in your area, please report them by calling this number: 01942 489018
 
Here is a List of useful information
⚠️
 Click Here to ViewFlood advice and guidance
Click Here to report highway flooding by email
☎️ If you are concerned about flooding in your area, contact: 01942 489018
?  Do not walk through flood water. It may be deeper than you think and be hiding further hazards
?️ Avoid travelling if possible, driving conditions will be difficult
? 999 is for reporting emergencies only
 
The Council will continue to update social media channels.
In the first instance, it is a resident's responsibility to do all they can to protect their properties in advance. The following link will take you to the national flood information service:
 

The Government Flood Information Service
 
A team of volunteers from the central depot is being deployed to the highest risk areas this evening. A reminder that residents who are asked to leave their homes to stay with friends/relatives due to flooding will not be in breach of lockdown laws, which allow for exceptions such as escaping the risk of harm. Everyone should continue to take precautions to try to minimise the risk of virus transmission during this time though, but if their stay is necessary, no action will be taken against them.
 

Click Here For Full Details about flood Warnings
 
Road closures and possible future road closures are as follows

  • A5106 Chorley Road, Standish, between A49 Wigan Lane and B5239 Red Rock Lane
  • A574 Warrington Road, Leigh, between A580 and A572 Chapel Street
  • Walkden Avenue/Buckley Street, Wigan, closed between Gidlow Lane and B5376 Mesnes Street.
  • Slag Lane, Lowton, near the household recycling centre, to be closed this evening
  • Scot Lane, Wigan, to be closed this evening;
  • A580 East Lancashire Road (Manchester bound) between St Helens boundary and Park Road, to be closed this evening
  • Stirling Close, Higher Folds, to be closed this evening

 
The Met Office has issued warnings for heavy rain and flooding that could continue through the rest of the week. The alert covers many areas across England, including Greater Manchester and Lancashire in the North West
 

Click Here for further advice and guidance Via the Met Office
 

 
East Quarry Appley Bridge Licence to Abstract Water
I have received several enquiries about the application for a licence to abstract water from East Quarry, Appley Bridge originally submitted by Maybrook Investments Limited.  Affecting the area between National Grid References SD 52448 09755, SD 52752 09698, SD 52755 09463 and SD 52379 09429
 
My understanding is that the intention is to pump the water from the quarry and transfer it to the Calico Brook at Grid Reference SD 52770 09473 without intervening use, which can have a very significant impact on the surrounding area and local natural environment.
 
There are mixed views in the community about what should happen with the Quarry
 
I have requested updated information from our planning department which I will share once I receive it
 
2 Links to some Background Details & Information about the Application Below
 

Click Here to View Details & Documents Via the Environment Agency
 
Click Here to View details on the Government Website
 
Haigh Hall Play Area Closure
Following advice from Public Health and concerns raised by visitors, Haigh Woodland Park play area will close from today. The play area is a very popular attraction with families and as such is difficult to manage safely with the current infection rates we are experiencing in the borough. Protecting visitors is our key priority. Local visitors can still access the park for their daily exercise.  If you do not live locally, please follow government advice and do not travel to the park. We will continue to monitor the situation in line with the latest restrictions.
 
Vaccinations
The vaccination programme continues to roll out this week and four testing centres are now up and running across the borough, as mentioned in previous briefings, at locations in Wigan, Leigh, Golborne and Hindley. Greater Manchester’s large-scale centre at the Etihad Campus in the city is also now operating. If You receive an appointment but cannot make it across to the city centre, then that is no problem. You will be asked to wait for another local appointment letter. Their local GP will be in touch as soon as it is your turn. The national priority remains the over 80s in addition to care home residents and staff. NHS hospital staff are subject to a vaccination rollout programme also. Work with colleagues at the CCG continues and we hope to have confirmed plans on other priority groups such as the wider social care workforce very soon. Our teams are working hard to deliver as supply increases. The latest statistics from the last week are in the graphic below.
 

 
You will be contacted when it's your turn
Vulnerable groups such as the elderly are a priority
Help the NHS, Choose Well. NHS 111 can help 24/7.

 
What’s on at Home is back
To help support everyone in the borough to stay safe by staying at home, we’re putting together weekly lists of free, family-friendly activities that you can do at home. Starting this week, you’ll find our weekday and weekend posts on our Facebook and Twitter channels by searching #WhatsOnAtHome or on the council 
Website



International Travel
The Prime Minister has confirmed all air travel corridors will be temporarily closed from 4 am on 18 January to protect against the risk of unidentified new coronavirus strains. This means that travellers to the UK must have proof of a negative coronavirus test that they have taken in the 72 hours before leaving, must have filled in a Passenger Locator Form and must quarantine for 10 days on arrival.
 

Click Here for Full Guidance
 
Council Cabinet Portfolio Decisions
Portfolio Holder for Planning, Environmental Services and Transport has published a decision: Government (Consultation on Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure) to approve the council’s response to the Government’s public consultation on Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure, as set out in the appendix to the report.
 

Click Here to View further Details about this Decision
 
A decision by Portfolio Holder for Planning, Environmental Services and Transport has been published: Planning Local Enforcement Plan to approve the (Planning Local Enforcement Plan), dated January 2021, to be brought into operation as soon as practicable, and operated thereafter as the basis for the Council’s activity in respect of planning enforcement matters
 

Click Here to View further Details about this Decision
 
Wigan Council Electric Vehicle Charger Expansion
Wigan Borough is taking another step forward in improvements to green transport with the installation of a new ‘rapid’ electric vehicle (EV) charging point as part of Greater Manchester’s publicly owned network. The new rapid chargers located at Robin Park on Loire Drive and Harrogate Street, Car Park in Wigan town centre two of 25 being installed across the region on the Be.EV charging point network, owned by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and maintained by support services supplier Amey. The rapid charger project is financed with £3 million from the government’s Clean Air Plan ‘Early Measures’ funding, which is designed to help areas like Greater Manchester with initiatives to meet legal nitrogen dioxide air pollution targets in the shortest time possible.
 

Click Here For Further Information on the Be.EV Network

Update 14-01-2021

Wigan & Leigh Pernsionerslink
As many of you may already know I work with Wigan & Leigh Pensionerslink one of our local charities helping to deliver vital support for our more mature residents across the whole of the borough aged 50+.  The charity provides a variety of services and support options to meet the needs of older residents including, accompanied transport home from the hospital for patients, Delivery of Books to readers and time to have a chat with isolated clients.  The charity also runs a host of groups from their premises in Leigh, which are currently suspended due to the COVID crisis, but charity staff and volunteers adapt services and support on an ongoing basis to maintain delivery of vital services and contact with residents in line with current restrictions.
 
As an example of the value of these services, I have been confronted with an emergency, triggering the Charity’s robust emergency out of hours action working with our emergency services fast response team to deal with the situation.  For obvious reasons, it would not be appropriate give further details, but these situations serve as a reminder of the value of these vital services to the community that go beyond basic support and are delivered by our dedicated charities in partnership with the council, supported by a team of amazing volunteers all working together for our mature residents many of whom live without the benefit of having someone to turn to in a time of need
 
Pensionerslink centre is currently closed to the public whilst we are in the pandemic but staff can be contacted by calling 01942 261753 and please don’t hesitate to call for more information about how to get involved, make a donation or if you need some advice
 

Click Here to Visit the Pensionerslink Website

Click Here to Email Pensionerslink



What’s on At Home
To encourage residents to stay safe and stay home we’ve relaunched our ‘What’s on at home’ guide. The weekly schedule includes ideas for homeschooling and activities designed to keep the family safe and happy.
 

Click Here to Find Out More
 
Letter for Shielded Residents
As the borough and nation enter the third coronavirus lockdown, more than two million people are being asked to shield again in England. In line with this, letters from the NHS have been sent to millions of clinically extremely vulnerable people, informing them how to stay safe. The government has updated guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable. Those shielding are asked to stay at home unless for an essential reason and are advised to do their shopping online. We’re sharing messages across our social media channels to remind residents about the support available to them. The Government has also published a reference-only version of the letter from the Government to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
 

Click Here to read the Updated Guidance
 
Click Here to Download the letter in Full
 
Evictions Ban Extension
The Government has announced an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions for all but the most egregious cases for at least six weeks – until at least 21 February – with measures kept under review.  In addition, a new mediation pilot will further support landlords and renters who face court procedures and potential eviction from next month. It will offer mediation as part of the possession process to try and help landlords and tenants to reach a mutual agreement and keep people in their homes
 

For More Information Click Here
 
Any resident who is worried about eviction can also get in touch with Wigan Council to make sure they get the help they need. It’s so much better to get in touch sooner rather than later and any resident who may find themselves homeless or at risk of losing their home should get in touch, no one has to wait until they’re evicted.
 

To Find Out What Support is Available Click Here
 
Libraries Closure
In December a decision was made to close our Life Centres and community libraries across the borough as we entered tighter coronavirus restrictions. Upon closure, we informed residents the decision would be reviewed in the New Year. With the announcement of another lockdown, libraries and cultural venues in the borough will remain closed for now. We will continue to monitor and review the situation. Residents are asked to check Wigan Libraries social media channels where they can be signposted to digital resources.

Council and Leisure Trust Agreement to Safeguard Jobs
Leisure Centres & Wellbeing Services in Wigan and Leigh will be managed by the Council from April 1 following a mutual agreement to safeguard jobs and vital services. Providing high-quality leisure and wellbeing services has always been a key priority for Wigan Council and Inspiring healthy lifestyles (Ihl), the provider of leisure services in Wigan Borough since 2003. Following the successful transfer of library services in 2017 the council will now undertake consultation with Wigan-based leisure staff with a view of transferring existing services back into the council in early 2021. Regular updates will be provided over the next few months.

Lifeline Equipment Provided to Borough’s Young Carers During Lockdown
Vital tech support is being delivered to dozens of young carers in the borough to ease the extra burden and challenges they face during the lockdown. Laptops and dongles are on the way to 62 young carers in partnership with Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre with the first laptops already in the hands of those in need. The charity has been forced to suspend the majority of face-to-face groups and activities in an effort to minimise the risk of spreading the virus so staff and volunteers have needed to utilise online alternatives to stay in touch. Funding for the equipment was secured by Wigan Council as part of an emergency assistance grant for essential supplies during the lockdown. Once the funding was allocated, teams worked identifying what was needed and as part of the grant, equipment was purchased to support young carers so they could stay connected with family and friends and for their education. There is wider support available to unpaid carers in the borough and Wigan Council is committed to recognising the difference carers make. A support plan and personal budget, getting short term breaks, education and training opportunities, support with benefit applications and counselling are all available to carers. Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre is also ready to help Wigan’s young and adult carers. The charity can be reached on 01942 705959 for advice or information.

   


Click Here to Visit The WLCC Website

Adult Services Update 11/01/21

Care Homes
41 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital, 11 care homes affected today as follows, 0 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital, 11 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only, 0 homes have symptomatic residents in the hospital only, 45 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 80 in care homes, 2 in an acute setting.
 
The reported death figure is 268 (an increase of 2), of these the data now shows that 246 of these have been categorised by the provider as either;
106 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, 23 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19, 77 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19, 42 people passes away in a care home with suspected Covid -19, We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services
The Care Homes Squads are still on standby as there are no new requests for support. 
 
Inhouse Services
21 staff members currently isolating ( x17 Supported Living Services, x2 Day Centre, x2 Team Leader)
 
Testing, Contact Tracing
(further update will be available on Friday 15th January)
There is currently a call out for staff deployment to support targeted testing
 

More Information can be found Here
 
We are continuing to work through the local logistics of delivering the GM Strategy of Targeted Testing at Scale in accordance with the GM Strategy, working closely with our providers.
 
Vaccinations
Call out to staff for deployment to support the rollout of the mass vaccination programme is underway.
 

More Information can be found Here
 
Nursing and residential care homes have a staffing cohort of 2803. Currently, staff are being vaccinated one of two ways, either via the hospital hubs based at Wigan, Wrightington or Leigh or via primary care networks. The chart below is an illustration of vaccines administered to this cohort of staff to date. We have had 350 staff vaccinated, 255 via the hubs and 95 via PCN networks,. We have also supported the coordination of a further 76 vaccines within the hospital hubs on the 12th of January
 

 
P.P.E
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

Update 08-01-2021


 Vaccination Programme Update  
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, medical and scientific professionals have been working to develop a vaccine to help stop the spread of the virus. We have all felt the impact of the pandemic, and this has been the most challenging year in NHS history. Happily, following extensive trials, two safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 are now available to help prevent you from catching the virus. The vaccines have been through the same regulatory approval process as any medicines to ensure they meet strict safety standards and offer high levels of protection.
 
Over the last few weeks, the NHS has prioritised those who are oldest and are most at risk, including Clinical Extremely Vulnerable residents of all ages. With a second vaccine approved for use, the vaccine will be rolled out to healthcare workers so that colleagues can protect themselves from the virus, and so they can be there for their family, friends, and patients.
 
Residents will be contacted by their GP to let them know how to get their vaccine, so there is no need to get in touch.

 

The NHS has robust workforce plans in place to deliver large numbers of vaccinations to the public. We will ensure we have enough trained and experienced staff to vaccinate as many people as possible, making sure this does not affect other hospitals, GP, and community services.
 
In Wigan Borough, approximately 4,000 vaccines have been administered in the Wigan and Leigh vaccination centres so far, including 400 care home staff. Next week, two more clinics will open in the borough. Before Christmas, the Wigan and Leigh sites each received one delivery of vaccine and so from these sites, we successfully delivered nearly 2,000 vaccines across 3 days. We have had a further delivery at each site this week and will have delivered another 2000 vaccines by the end of the week. For all four sites, we are currently waiting for updated vaccine delivery schedules so that we can start to book more patients in for their vaccines.
 
We have over 14,000 patients aged 80 and over within the borough and we are focusing our attention on delivering vaccines to these groups as it becomes available, considering patients' age, comorbidities and ethnicity when inviting patients for vaccination to ensure those most at risk from COVID-19 are vaccinated first. As soon as we have confirmation of vaccine delivery, GP practices will be contacting more patients aged 80 and over to invite them for their first dose.
 
We understand how much people want to be vaccinated themselves or to have their loved ones vaccinated.  We are set up and ready and as soon as possible we will get to them or their loved ones. Please be assured that they will be on our list and will get invited when we have a vaccine for them. 
 
The change to the requirements for when second doses are required should mean that we can vaccinate people with a first dose more quickly. At the same time as this, we are working through the program to vaccinate care home residents throughout January. The approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should make this easier as it is a more stable vaccine that we are able to transport and store for longer.
 
Residents will be invited to attend a vaccination appointment by their local GP, in the same way, they would be informed of a flu jab.
 
Information about Current Locations can be Found Here

 

Only people with an appointment can get vaccinated at the clinics, so residents are being asked not to just turn up.
 
It is crucial that given the rising rates of infection seen across the country associated with the new strain of the virus, everyone continues to follow the public health guidance, stay at home, and remember the three W’s; watch your distance, wear a face covering and wash your hands.
 
There is a set of FAQs below to help answer any questions you may have

 

COVID-19 Weekly Tracker
The latest Covid-19 tracker has been published and it shows: The rate of new cases has increased in Wigan in the latest two weeks but remains lower than the regional rates and similar to Greater Manchester. Wigan has the second-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week (26th December – 1st January). England remains in national lockdown – a decision that will be reviewed again in mid-February. Please continue to #DoYourBit to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

 

 

FAQs
 
What vaccine for COVID-19 is currently available?
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available. Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the MHRA.
 
The Government has in principle secured access to seven different vaccine candidates, across four different vaccine types, totalling over 357 million doses. This includes: 40 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, 100m doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, 7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is also being assessed by the MHRA,
 
Why are healthcare workers amongst the first groups to receive the vaccine?
The JCVI has put patient-facing health and social care staff into a priority group because of their heightened risk of exposure to the virus. The NHS is experienced in vaccinating hundreds of thousands of staff quickly and safely – we do it every year for the flu vaccine – and all local NHS employers will be responsible for ensuring that 100% of eligible staff can take it up over the coming weeks and months.
 
How do healthcare workers get the vaccine?
The NHS will offer vaccinations using different models. For healthcare workers, dozens of NHS trusts will act as hospital hubs where NHS staff can get vaccinated on site.
 
Which healthcare workers are being prioritised?
Some staff have been vaccinated to avoid doses going to waste, and employers have been identifying those who will benefit most – either due to medical conditions or the environment in which they work. Frontline health and social care workers at high risk of acquiring infection, at the high individual risk of developing a serious disease, or at risk of transmitting the infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment, are considered of higher priority for vaccination than those at a lower risk. Healthcare providers have been undertaking staff risk assessments throughout the pandemic to identify such individuals and should use these as the basis for prioritising access to vaccines.
 
Why are BAME groups not being prioritised?
Healthcare providers have been undertaking staff risk assessments throughout the pandemic to identify individuals at higher risk of contracting the virus and/or experiencing serious illness if they do. These risk assessments include factors such as ethnic background and should be used as the basis for prioritising access to vaccines for staff over the coming weeks.
 
How long does the vaccine take to become effective?
The MHRA has said these vaccines are highly effective, but to get full protection people need to come back for the second dose – this is really important. To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advises that the second dose of both the OxfordAstraZeneca and the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine should be scheduled for up to 12 weeks apart.
 Full protection kicks in around a week or two after that second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you act on that and get yourself booked in as soon as possible. Even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing and other guidance. 
 
Why is it important to get your COVID-19 vaccination?
If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS, you are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at work. Getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can, should protect you and may help to protect your family and those you care for. The COVID-19 vaccine should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services.
 
Is it mandatory, and what happens if healthcare workers don’t want the jab?
There are no plans for COVID-19 vaccines to be compulsory. Just as they do with the winter flu vaccine, local NHS employers will be working hard to ensure 100% of staff are able to get vaccinated, and that any concerns that staff has been answered. We are confident that the vast majority of our staff – as they do every year for the flu vaccine – will choose to protect themselves by getting the vaccine.
 
Is the vaccine vegan/vegetarian friendly?

There is no material of foetal or animal origin in either vaccine. All ingredients are published in healthcare information on the MHRA’s website.
 
For the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Information is available Here
 
For the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine Information is available Here
 
Will healthcare workers need to pay for the vaccine?
No, the COVID-19 vaccination is only available through the NHS to eligible groups and it is a free vaccination.
 
Who cannot have the vaccine?
People with a history of a severe allergy to the ingredients of the vaccines should not be vaccinated. The MHRA has updated their guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.
 
Can I go back to work after having my vaccine?
Yes, you should be able to work as long as you feel well. If your arm is particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. If you feel unwell or very tired you should rest and avoid operating machinery or driving. The vaccine cannot give you a COVID-19 infection, and two doses will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. However, you will need to continue to follow the guidance in your workplace, including wearing the correct personal protection equipment and taking part in any screening programs.
 
How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?
The MHRA has said this vaccine is highly effective, but to get full protection people need to come back for the second dose – this is important. Full protection kicks in around a week or two after that second dose, which is why it’s also important that when you do get invited, you act on that and get yourself booked in as soon as possible.
 
Is the NHS confident the vaccine will be safe?
Yes. The NHS would not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until it is safe to do so.  The MHRA, the official UK regulator authorising the licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has said these vaccines are safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgment and processes. As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.
 
What is the evidence to show the vaccine is safe for BAME communities?
The Public Assessment Reports contain all the scientific information about the trials and information on trial participants. For the Pfizer trial, participants included 9.6% black / African, 26.1% Hispanic/Latino, and 3.4% Asian. For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, 10.1% of trail recipients were Black and 3.5% Asian. There is no evidence either of the vaccines will work differently in different ethnic groups.
 
How was the vaccine developed so quickly?
Medicines, including vaccines, are highly regulated – and that is no different for the approved COVID-19 vaccine. There a number of enablers that have made this ground-breaking medical advancement possible and why it was possible to develop them relatively quickly compared to other medicines;
 
1. The different phases of the clinical trial were delivered to overlap instead of running sequentially which sped up the clinical process
2. There was a rolling assessment of data packages as soon as they were available so experts at the MHRA could review as the trial was being delivered, ask questions along the way, and request extra information as needed – as opposed to getting all information at the end of a trial
3. Clinical trials managed to recruit people very quickly as a global effort meant thousands of people were willing to volunteer.
 
How are you raising awareness of the vaccine with the NHS workforce?
The Cabinet Office has developed a campaign to raise awareness of the vaccine with the public and health and social care staff. This includes specific engagement with BAME communities and the workforce.
 
I’m currently ill with COVID-19, can I get the vaccine?
People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine until they have recovered.
 
Do people who have already had COVID-19 get vaccinated?
Yes, they should get vaccinated. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody so people who have had COVID-19 disease (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
 
Are there any known or anticipated side effects?
These are important details which the MHRA always considers when assessing candidate vaccines for use. For these vaccines, like lots of others, they have identified that some people might feel slightly unwell, but they report that no significant side effects have been observed in the tens of thousands of people involved in trials. All patients will be provided with information on the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the MHRA.
 
More Information on Possible Side Effects can be Found Here
 
How many doses of the vaccine will be required and when?
You are required to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, up to 12 weeks apart. You will get a good level of protection from the first dose but will not get maximum protection until at least 7 to 14 days after your second dose of vaccine.
 
I have had my flu vaccine; do I need the COVID-19 vaccine as well?
The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by at least a week.
 
Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from the flu?
No, the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you against the flu. If you have been offered a flu vaccine, please try to have this as soon as possible to help protect you, your family, and patients from flu this winter.
 
Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (IHL)
The council and IHL have been working together to determine the best plan in these challenging times to protect key physical activity and leisure services.  The aim is to help aid both recovery and develop longer-term community resilience to Covid-19 and indeed many other debilitating health conditions while safeguarding jobs. To build on the success of the previous transfer of library staff back in 2017. The council will commence a consultation process with Wigan-based IHL staff with a view to bringing them back into the council in early 2021.

Update 05-01-2021

Prime Minister's Latest Announcement

The Prime Minister has outlined that England will be subject to new national lockdown restrictions. Measures similar to those introduced in March of last year will see all residents told to work from home unless they are a key worker, or it is not possible for them to do so. It also means schools will close for most pupils, although children of keyworkers will still be able to attend (see below).

 
Wigan Borough was already subject to a Stay At Home message with the Tier 4 restrictions but tonight's update means England has moved away from the local system to these national restrictions. Residents are now only be permitted to leave home for specific reasons as outlined in the guidance, such as shopping for necessities, exercise once per day, or for medical or childcare purposes. Further information is available on the link below. Clinically vulnerable residents are again be asked to shield themselves. In light of this, the rising levels of infection (Wigan Borough is now at a rate of 309.4 per 100,000 of the population) and the new variant of Covid-19, it is crucial that we follow the public health guidelines to help prevent the virus from spreading further.

 
Click Here For Full Government Guidance
 
Click Here to Download a PDF with Full National Lockdown Details


Click Here to View Travel Advice & Information Provided by TfGM

  


 Impact on Schools and Education
The Prime Minister also announced that primary, secondary schools, and colleges will close from tomorrow except for vulnerable children and children of keyworkers. Schools will be expected to provide remote learning options for pupils until at least the February half-term. Early years settings such as nurseries will remain open.
 
Ministers will work on producing alternative arrangements for exams and assessments, GCSEs, and A-Levels in particular
 
Bin Collections
Eleven crews have been out to catch up with the collections that couldn't take place last week due to the weather. A small number of brown and blue bin collections remain outstanding after today's work and those should be picked up soon, weather permitting. Residents are advised to keep those bins out as usual until our crews get round to them.
 
A huge thank you for the kind words and feedback from residents about the hard work and dedication of our bin crews.  I have passed on this feedback and it means a lot to our dedicated staff. I'm sure we can all agree that this has been a fantastic effort from our waste crews.

Update 01-01-2021

First of all, I hope you have had a Merry Christmas and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year and hoping some kind of normality can begin to return as we go into 2021
 

Bin Collections & Recycling Centres
Waste collections crews have been faced with some extremely challenging conditions this week and as always, have displayed fantastic dedication and commitment. Unfortunately, because of the continuing adverse weather and the need to put safety first, collections are expected to be limited on Thursday 31st but residents are asked to keep their bins out as usual and crews will get to them as soon as they can. Waste recycling centres will remain open (according to the usual schedule) and are not affected by the Tier 4 announcements.
 

Full details and Opening Times Available Here
 
Please note that recycling centres will not be open on New Year's Day.
 
Closure of Leisure Centres across the Borough
As a result of being placed in Tier 4, Inspiring healthy lifestyles has confirmed the borough's Leisure Centres will not be open from today. An IHL statement said: "We'll be emailing customers over the next few days to explain about their membership freeze and ways to keep healthy and active during these latest restrictions."
 

For Further Updates, Visit IHL's Website Here
 
Tier 4 (Stay at Home) Restrictions
The government have announced that Wigan Borough, along with the rest of Greater Manchester, will enter the Tier 4 
(Stay at Home) restrictions. The image below is a handy guide on what you can and cannot do. 
 

For the Full Guidance, Click Here
 

 
Covid-19 Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker shows that Wigan has 577 new cases identified in the last 7 days, a rate of 194.7 per 100,000 population. The new strain of Covid-19 is at least 56% more infectious, with 25% of new cases in Greater Manchester caused by the new variant and Wigan has the third-lowest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester
 
Statement from our Director of Public Health
Following this week's announcements on the Tier system and approval of the second vaccine, please see the below statement from Professor Kate Ardern.
 

 
Vaccine Update
The second COVID-19 vaccine has been authorised for use in the UK, allowing a significant expansion of the immunisation programme with hundreds of more vaccination sites opening in the coming weeks and months to protect those most at risk from the virus. The UK regulator has accepted the recommendation of the Commission on Human Medicines and authorised the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
 
This follows months of rigorous clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people and an extensive analysis of the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The vaccine is highly effective in preventing disease, including in the elderly, and vaccinations will begin from next week, the government said
 
Return to School
The government education secretary Gavin Williamson updated the House of Commons on the return to education settings in January. He said that most primary schools will reopen as planned on Monday 4th January; a list of exceptions will be published on the gov.uk website. The staggered return to education for secondary-age pupils and college students to give schools time to prepare a mass testing programme with support from the military. Pupils in exam years are to return week beginning the 11th January, with all secondary schools and college students returning full time on 18th January
 
The DfE has released contingency plans for a return to school as follows:
 
Most early years and primary education (including Wigan Borough) will return as normal from January 4

Phased return for secondary schools and colleges
A limited phased return for universities
 
Areas, where primary schools will not be reopening next week, include London, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire.
 

For the Full Guidance, Click Here
 

 
My Mailing List
If you think other residents or organisations may benefit from or want to subscribe to My Mailing List, they can do so by either scanning or clicking the QR Code Below.  Thank You
 


Click Here to Join My Mailing List

Update 22-12-2020

Christmas Wishes
Well, what a year 2020 has turned out to be!!  Hopefully, we can look forward to a better 2021 ? I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and as always, instead of buying cards, I will make a comparable donation to a local charity.  I am scheduled to go into the hospital today so there may be a gap in my updates, I aim to start again in the new year around Jan 4th, but I may send a short update should something urgent arise but if you visit my website, all of my previous updates including this one is included on my COVID-19 Update page where you can find many useful links
 
Changes to Christmas Bubble and Extra Tier
Following a rise in infections nationally and a rapid spread of a new variant of Covid-19 being identified, the government announced a number of new measures at the weekend. An extra tier – Tier 4 – has been introduced for areas in the south of England. It means strict Stay At Home guidance is in place, you cannot join or form a Christmas bubble and you must not leave or be outside your home except for specific purposes. Wigan Borough, along with the rest of Greater Manchester, remains in Tier 3. However, for Tiers 1,2 and 3, the relaxation of restrictions for ‘Christmas bubbles’ has been reduced from five days to one. This means up to three households are able to meet but for one day only; December 25, Christmas Day
 


 
Click Here for More Detailed Information about Forming a Christmas Bubble

Local Police Team Update (Sgt Forshaw)
Your local neighbourhood policing team are out in the area to tackle burglary. There has been a number of burglaries reported in the area where the property targeted is un-occupied. Unfortunately, these properties stand out at this time of year. No Christmas Lights, no signs of activity in the address.
 
Please all be vigilant for yourself and each other. Use technology. Light Timers, changing routines of when lights come on and off. If possible, put a few decorations up, making the house looked lived in often helps deter the burglar. If you have social media groups, let each other know and look out for those elderly residents or empty properties. Police Officers will be patrolling, and we will also look for these properties and give advice directly if possible.
 

You can access many Police services Here
 
For emergencies only call 999, or 101 if it's a less urgent matter. You can also connect with your Police Team on the following Social Media Channels


Facebook      Twitter 
Instagram         Flickr
YouTube     Pinterest
 
Click Here to find out what is happening in your area
where you will be able to find and follow local social media accounts.
 
Vaccination Roll-Out
Wigan Borough residents have started to receive Covid-19 vaccinations, which will be administered by Our colleagues at the CCG and our own public health teams. Those who need it most, such as the elderly and clinically vulnerable individuals, are being prioritised at this time. Health teams will contact residents directly when it is their turn to receive it.
 
I have received several enquiries about vaccinations and as you can imagine this is a huge challenge so I have requested further clarification from Professor Kate Ardern which I have summarised as follows:
 
The prioritisation of recipients has been decided nationally by the expert Joint Committee on Vacc and immunisation. With the over 80s (eldest first) and frontline health and care staff by invitation only from GP’S. The service is run through the NHS, not the council although we will be working closely together. Unfortunately, neither Wigan borough CCG nor Wigan council has any control over national vaccine supplies, which is the responsibility of the NHSE/DHSC.  The vaccine is manufactured in Belgium and CCG colleagues will be informed when the next delivery is due.
 
Wigan has been extremely fortunate to have been able to do two large vaccination sessions this side of Xmas where nearly 2,000 over 80s have now received their first dose.. this has been the largest programme so far in the whole of GM because Wigan is particularly well geared up to deliver mass vaccination sessions.
 



Click Here for More Information About the Vaccination Progress on the NHS Website

Covid-19 Weekly Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published and it shows:
The number of new cases continues to decrease and is now lower than the national rate. Wigan has the third-highest rate of new cases in GM. Wigan, along with all authorities in GM remains in tier 3
 
Remember the 3 W’s
Wear mask, Wash hands and Watch distance
 

View the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates & Advice Here
 
 

 
UK Self-Isolation Period Now 10 days
 The self-isolation period for people who have been in contact with someone with coronavirus has reduced from 14 days to 10 days. This change also applies if you have been instructed to quarantine after returning from a high-risk country.


For more information on the new self-isolation, period click here
 
Covid-19 Update – Adult Services
The figures may be slightly out of date as another update may be due soon but no major changes are anticipated

Update 18/12/20

Please find below the latest info on Adult Social Care. 44 of the 52 Care Homes are Covid free and in Home Care, only 5 out of 1900 clients are Covid positive.  We have administered more vaccinations than anywhere else in GM, and are working with the Care Homes to ensure visiting can take place with PCR tests available 3 days before the visit and Lateral Flow Tests on the day of the visit.

 

General:
 
Care Homes:
44 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital. 8 care homes affected today as follows: 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital; 6 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only; 0 homes have symptomatic residents in hospital only. 82 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 80 in care homes, 2 in an acute setting. The reported death figure is 266, of these the data now shows that 246 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 111 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. 23 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19. 74 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19. 40 people passed away in a care home with suspected Covid -19. We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services
 
The Care Homes Squads are being stood down from today for the Christmas period as the position within care homes has improved and there are no new requests for support.  This will be kept under review and staff are prepared to step up again if we need to mobilise the squads in the new year.
 
Inhouse Services:
There are currently 10 staff off isolating due to covid-19.  We have completed the Christmas planning and there is cover in place for the festive period.
 
External Supported Living:
The position is stable with no concerns for cover arrangements over Christmas.
 
Homecare:
Good position in-home care – providers are busy delivering gifts to the residents.  Capacity is good and the Christmas rotas are in place.  Many of the carers are now undertaking weekly COVID test, but the evidence to date shows that very few of the residents we provide care for have been affected by Covid, which is positive.  We are currently providing care for approx. 1900 clients and this week only 5 have been positive. We are looking forward to 2021 to pick up on all the projects we started at the beginning of this year to continue the positive journey for people having homecare.
 
Testing, Contact Tracing:
The National PCR Test Centre, which is a walk-through centre opened to the public on operating from 08:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs 7 days a week and will be operating over the Christmas and New Year’s Days on reduced hours. The Test Team at Wigan have been training up team members in using the LFD tests and have run a mock community setting Test Centre in our Depot, testing some of our key staff based there. This has been a good learning exercise and we will refine our model with learning gained. We are continuing to work through the local logistics of delivering the GM Strategy of Targeted Testing at Scale in accordance with the GM Strategy, working closely with our care home providers. This is to establish how many of them want to facilitate personal visits to residents and what support and assistance they would require form us. We will take a similar approach with the roll-out of testing to schools – once we know the details from DfE and again this will be in accordance with the GM Strategy. While we are giving what support we can to all settings we do not have the resources to staff testing facilities in all the aforementioned settings so there will be a need for these settings to develop their own capacity over time. 
 
Vaccinations:
The vaccination rollout is going well, so far 1000 have been administered – more than others in GM.  We have set up a site in Robin park and LSV. The main issue is with supply, but we are ready to ramp up when more vaccinations are available. Care home staff will be included in the next batch of vaccinations.
 
PPE:
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community
 
 
National budget 2021 update and extension of furlough schemes
 
The chancellor has announced this week that the government will publish its budget on March 3, 2021. The Chancellor has also confirmed the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of April 2021and the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes will be extended until the end of March

Keyworkers to be Honoured for Pandemic Response
Health, social care, and frontline staff are to be honoured by Wigan Council for their heroic efforts through the pandemic. Stars will be laid on Believe Square, Wigan, and outside Leigh Town Hall in 2021, to form a permanent tribute to their dedication. Leading figures from the borough who have given outstanding service in their field have been honoured by Wigan Council over the last decade. A suitable date will be chosen in 2021 for the unveiling with the hope to have key-worker representatives present at the celebration event.
 
Wigan Council Appoints Galleries25 As Strategic Development Partner
Wigan Council has officially announced that Galleries25 – a joint venture partnership between Cityheart and Beijing Construction Engineering Group International (BCEGI) – has been appointed as the Strategic Development Partner for the £130 million redevelopment of the Galleries Shopping Centre in Wigan. The proposed scheme will see the 440,000 sq ft shopping centre transformed to provide: 

  • A multi-media centre comprising: Six screen cinema, Music and E-sports venue, 10 lane bowling alley, Indoor mini-golf, Food and beverage units
  • Evening entertainment space
  • A new hotel
  • 464 residential units
  • New market hall, including a contemporary food hall, co-working space and small offices
  • A re-animated Makinson Arcade
  • Landscaped public realm square for annual outdoor events
  • 460 car parking spaces located within the existing basement

Once details are agreed, construction is expected to start in early 2022 with an anticipated completion date of 2025.
 
Following consultation with residents, retailers, traders and visitors, the proposals have been designed to transform Wigan town centre into a vibrant, attractive and accessible place to live, work, visit and learn helping to secure its long-term future. The redevelopment will create 475 construction jobs and a further 190 jobs when the scheme opens.  Galleries25 has committed to recruiting local people to the jobs, including 25 apprentices annually, providing work experience and education visits and to supporting the local supply chain through the spend of £52m.  Around 864 volunteer hours will also be donated to the voluntary sector.
 
The plans support the Wigan Town Centre Strategic Regeneration Framework developed by the council last year. Its aims include:

 
Click Here For More Information
 
CGI's of the new centre
 
 
 
 
In 2019, the Wigan Town Centre Strategic Regeneration Framework was given the go-ahead by councillors. The framework sets the foundations for the long-term redevelopment of Wigan town centre as a diverse and thriving destination.
 

The Framework Document can be Downloaded Here
 
Boxing Day Tradition Goes Online For the First Time
A partnership between Wigan Council and United We Stream GM will be streaming a six-hour party with acclaimed Wigan DJ’s online for people to enjoy. A spectacular film, poignantly called ‘42’, has been created by artist filmmakers and The Fire Within curators, AL and AL, in collaboration with dance choreographer Amy Burdon of WigLe Dance and artist Anna FC Smith. The party will begin on 26 December at 6pm and will feature performances from acclaimed Wigan DJ’s including MC Finchy, DJ Jake Slater, DJ Kenty, DJ Caino, DJ Kyle H, DJ Harvey, DJ Jake Slater and DJ Danny Mac.

The event will be available on the following Council social media channels
at 6 pm on December 26.

@ThisIsWigan
@FireWithinWigan
@WiganTownCentre

GMSF Consultation Update
The scheduled public consultation on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) from 1 December – 26 January is no longer taking place due to a decision by Stockport Council to withdraw from the GMSF. The GMSF needed approval from all ten GM Councils to proceed.
 
At a meeting of the AGMA Executive Board, it was agreed in principle that the GMSF will continue as a joint Development Plan of the remaining 9 districts, including Wigan.  This decision will need to be confirmed at each council and, subject to that, will require the establishment of a joint committee with delegated authority to co-ordinate and develop a Joint Plan on behalf the nine councils. The rationale for the preparation of a Joint Plan remains including, amongst other things, supporting the delivery of the Greater Manchester Strategy; aligning the delivery of development with infrastructure proposals, including transport; and providing a framework to manage growth in a sustainable and inclusive way. It is intended to utilise the evidence base that has already been commissioned and completed as far as possible, but revision or updates may be required.  In accordance with planning regulations, if the revised plan has ‘substantially the same effect’ on the remaining authorities – including Wigan - as the original joint plan, it can continue to progress as a formal Publication Plan (as the GMSF was), rather than returning to an earlier draft stage. The timescales involved in proceeding with the GMSF as a plan of the 9 districts are still to be confirmed.
 
My Mailing List
If you think other residents or organisations may benefit from or want to subscribe to My Mailing List, they can do so by either scanning or clicking the QR Code Below.  Thank You

 

Update 12-12-2020 

Covid-19 Weekly Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published. It shows: The number of new cases continues to decrease but is still higher than cases regionally and nationally. Wigan has the third-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week
Wigan and along with the rest of GM remains in Tier 3
 


 

Click Here to download the full tracker
 
New COVID-19 Testing Facility in Wigan
We now have a COVID-19 test centre open in Wigan. The national testing site at Central Park is a walk-through facility operated by government contractor Deloitte. If you have symptoms or are advised to get a test you will now be offered Wigan as an option when you go online to book. The Chapel Lane drive-through testing site operated by the council has now stepped down and the teams have been reassigned to help with the rollout of the targeting testing operations.
 

Targeted Testing at Scale for the Borough
 From next week we will begin targeted testing in the borough. Along with the rest of Greater Manchester councils, we will be taking a ‘targeted testing at scale’ approach which is different from the mass testing approach taken in Liverpool. We will be using the borough’s allocation of rapid (lateral-flow) tests which will be for groups such as our most vulnerable, priority workers who due to the nature of their role cannot social distance and key locations such as care homes and schools. We will also use pop-up sites to enable us to test in high-risk communities and geographical hotspot areas inviting those in the community to attend. These tests – which show results within an hour - will help to improve the detection of positive cases in those who are yet to show symptoms so that they can isolate themselves and prevent the spread of the disease. The plan is to test people more than once and for those who test positive to be asked to then take the PCR test at Central Park for further confirmation. Those who test negative can continue as normal and be ready to take a second test the following week.
 

 Discretionary Business Support Fund
 Many businesses in Wigan Borough are struggling to meet fixed running costs because of government COVID restrictions but are not eligible for government support. If those businesses are operating from business premises – Wigan Council has a discretionary pot of money available to help. Around £650,000 in discretionary grant funding has already been given to businesses affected by the restrictions. Eligible businesses may not be known to the council and the businesses themselves may not be aware that this funding exists. If you have a business operating from premises you may not be liable to pay business rates.
 

Click Here to apply for council support
 
Click Here for Information about more support available for Businesses
 
Shape the Road to Wigan Pier

Residents and businesses can have their say on proposals to better connect Wigan Pier to the town centre with a new two-way cycling facility, improved public realm, upgraded footways and better crossing points. To facilitate these improvements, it's proposed to close Miry Lane at the junction with Wallgate. Traffic will still be able to access the industrial area via Wilcock Street, Clayton Street and Great George Street.
 


 

Click Here for more information or to have your say
 
Views Being Sought on Landscape Design Principles for Developers Building in Wigan Borough
New guidelines to help developers meet Wigan Council’s green aspirations are now open to public feedback. A consultation on the supplementary planning document (SPD) – which will also ensure designs reflect the borough’s unique environmental character – is open until January. If approved, it will ensure that new schemes consider the health and wellbeing of residents and links to green infrastructure. The approach looks to ensure that new development takes into consideration and reflects the borough’s wider environment and bases design on the borough’s unique character, features and topography. Once the SPD is adopted, the council will expect applicants who are seeking planning permission to demonstrate how they have taken account of the need for good quality landscape design in their development proposals. The SPD will also act as a device to provide greater clarity and detailed local design guidance for any future submissions and help inform developers during the decision-making process. The Landscape Design SPD is now open for consultation until 19 January 2021.
 

Click Here for more information and to have your say
 
NHS Healthy Start
If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. This is a means-tested scheme that provides vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and children over 1 and under 4 can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under 1 can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week, which can be spent on: certain things like milk, fruit & vegetables, pulses, infant formula and vitamins etc. Your midwife or health visitor will be able to tell you where you can swap your coupon for vitamins in your area.
 

Click Here for more information and to check if you qualify
 
Adult Services Update

Update 11/12/20

 
Care Homes:
It is really encouraging to see that 43 out of our 52 Care Homes are COVID-19 free
 
9 care homes affected today as follows: 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital; 6 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only; 1 home has symptomatic residents in hospital only. 87 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19: 82 in care homes, 5 in an acute setting.
 
The reported death figure is 262, of these the data now shows that 246 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 108 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19: 23 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19: 75 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19: 40 people passed away in a care home with suspected COVID-19. We are waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services and we currently have currently have a staffing squad supporting Ashwood Court
 
General:
WWL still under pressure due to A&E attendance & also high number of positive cases.
 
Testing, Contact Tracing:
The National PCR Test Centre, which is a walk-through centre opened to the public on Monday 7th December and is now operating from 08:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs 7 days a week. Our Mobile test Units (MTU’s) have continued to support services with clients who have complex needs by delivering PCR testing, but this will now be suspended. The Test Team at Wigan are now working through the local logistics of delivering the GM Strategy of Targeted Testing at Scale in accordance with the GM Strategy. We are working in partnership with our care home providers on what support and assistance they need form us to help them facilitate visits to loved ones. We are also training up our Test Team in how to carry out the Lateral Flow Test (LFT). We have also carried out first LFT tests to support a person with complex needs who needed an urgent hospital medical procedure. As the person could not tolerate being swabbed all their support staff were tested with LFT’s. A young person with complex needs also needed to be tested to be able to return to their long-term placement, as they would not take them without a negative test but as the young person was not presenting with systems the PCR test facility would not test them, so we facilitated a LFT. Track and trace – the focus is on over 60s, particularly with contact tracing to reduce onward transmission.
 
Vaccinations:
Vaccines are now starting to arrive in the borough.  The latest information from the hospital is that vaccines will arrive on the 15th December for over 80s that live in their own home. The hospital are expecting to receive a small amount of vaccines week commencing 21st December for at-risk staff, over 80s and care home staff. The number of vaccines we will have access to is limited to 150 so we will be prioritising how they are used.
 
PPE:
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan and there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS, and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

Update 05-12-2020

Keep Well This Winter
The GM Ageing Hub have put together some useful resources with key information about how residents can ‘Keep Well This Winter’. I have requested some Printed Booklets

Click Here to Download a Booklet
(Link May not Work on some Mobile Phones)

The booklets are particularly aimed at older residents who may not have digital access. Residents with access to email can request a booklet to be sent by post by sending An Email Here with their Name and Address
(If Email Link did not work on your Mobile. Send your request to Z.Ball@wigan.gov.uk)
 
Click Here to Watch a Short Film about Keeping Well
 
Click Here to visit the Keep Well Campaign Homepage
 
Libraries and Life Centres
To help the council maintain essential services, libraries and Life Centres across the borough will remain closed until the new year. The decision will also help the council manage its workforce. These facilities are currently closed because of the current lockdown period and will remain so after the tier system returns on Wednesday.
 
Spend, Support, Shop Local
Last weekend, we launched a new campaign encouraging residents to #SupportLocal this Christmas. Though the first phase of the campaign will focus on supporting independent businesses during the festive period, this campaign will run into 2021 and will embrace our community wealth building values, supporting small borough-based businesses of all kinds. We have been working with five business ambassadors from across the borough who have been helping to share our messages. In addition, we have asked our ambassadors what shopping local means to them and have started sharing videos to promote their businesses and stories on the Councils social media pages
 

Click Here for More Information about the Campaign



COVID-19 Tracker
This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published. It shows:

  • The number of new cases continues to decrease but remains higher than the rates seen regionally and nationally
  • Wigan Borough’s rates now sit at 212 per 100,000. Wigan has the fifth-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester
  • Wigan, along with all authorities in Greater Manchester, is currently classed as a Very High-Risk area
  • Wigan is now in Tier 3 following the end of the national lockdown

Click Here to See More COVID-19 Updates & Advice
 

 
New Restrictions Come into Force 
Wigan Borough, along with the rest of Greater Manchester has entered Tier 3 of the new local restrictions.
 
Tier 3: Very High Alert means:

  • No household mixing indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or in private gardens
  • Rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces like parks
  • Pubs/restaurants closed unless for delivery or takeaway
  • Indoor entertainment venues closed
  • Personal care including hairdressing allowed to open.
  • The first review point for the current tier allocations will take place by Wednesday 16 December according to the government.

 

Situation Report on Coronavirus Cases in England
The Government has published the epidemiological data and projection models used for the new local restriction tier system and tiering allocations.

The Data Includes
1.      Number of people tested
2.      Case rate per 100,000 population
3.      Office for National Statistics (ONS) data
 

Click Here to View the Full Data Set
 
Return of Weekday Free Parking for Christmas Shoppers
Free parking for Christmas shoppers has once again been extended in Wigan and Leigh town centres, following on from a new support local campaign by Wigan Council. To help everyone make a head-start on Christmas shopping, all council car parks will be free after 3pm on weekdays. This is in addition to the long-term free weekend parking scheme already in place. Having extra free car parking sessions over the next two months gives shoppers the perfect opportunity to visit Wigan and Leigh’s top high street names, independent shops and popular local markets. The announcement comes just days after the launch of a new campaign - a collaboration between Wigan Council and small businesses in the borough - which hopes to get residents changing their shopping habits to help safeguard the local economy.
 
While we encourage residents to shop in our town centres during the festive period, it’s important to acknowledge that coronavirus has not gone away so residents are urged to follow public health guidelines when shopping. Remember the three W’s whenever you are out in public.
 
The Three W’s are:
1.      Wear a face covering
2.      Watch your distance
3.      Wash your hands regularly.
 
Free after 3 pm parking continues until Friday, January 29. Free weekend parking continues until Sunday, March 28.
 

Click Here to see where council car parks are located
 

 
Wigan and Leigh Rugby Legends Commence Battle Ahead of RLWC
The countdown to next year’s Rugby League World Cup is officially on as the borough gets ready to welcome some of the best players from around the world to Leigh Sports Village. On top of being a World Cup host, we learnt in the summer that Wigan and Leigh will be the team training base for Lebanon's men's team who was a quarterfinalist in the previous World Cup. To celebrate the visit of Lebanon, recently retired Warriors legend Sean O’Loughlin and former Warrior and Centurion Micky Higham test their knowledge of the country while also attempting to break a world record. The video of the two at LSV will be posted on our social media channels at 5 pm on Sunday. With 61 fixtures over a six-week period, the tournament will showcase a festival of world-class sporting action.
 

Click Here to view the dates, venues and kick-off times for each of the three tournaments



Adult Services Update 03/12/20
 
Care Homes:
38 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital.

14 care homes affected today as follows:
3 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital; 9 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only; 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the hospital only. 99 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 84 in care homes, 15 in an acute setting.   The reported death figure is 261, of these the data now shows that 213 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 102 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid. 22 people passed away in the hospital with suspected Covid. 74 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid. 41 people passed away in a care home with suspected Covid. We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services
 
The Care Home squad is currently in Haighfield and will be moving to Ashwood from Monday.
 
General:
WWL still under pressure due to A&E attendance & also high number of positive cases
 
In-house Services:
Currently, 18 staff members in isolation. (x13 SLS, x1 Day Centre, x2 Residential, x2 SET). Testing took place at Mayfield yesterday and we are awaiting results
 
External Supported Living:
Supported Living going well; we have made good connections with the Learning Disability team lead around flu vaccinations.
 
Testing and Contact Tracing:
Demand for the outreach response of the Mobile Test Units (MTU’s) to support services with clients who have complex needs and educational establishments continues. Through working with community leaders and colleagues we expect to have offered testing to the remaining largest travellers’ site within the Borough in the next week or so. Numbers of people booking PCR tests at our ‘drive-through’ test facility have reduced significantly, reflecting the downward trend in cases in key workers
 
We have therefore suspended our drive through test facility for two reasons:

  1. The site agreed with DHSC and Deloitte’s for a ‘National Walk Through’ PCR Test Centre will be operational week commencing 7th December.
  2. It will give us some space and time to think through Targeted Testing at Scale and how we will implement the GM strategy and Lateral Flow testing. Having just received 10,125 Lateral Flow Test Kits.

Track and trace – the focus is on over 60s, particularly with contact tracing to reduce onward transmission.
  
Personal Protective Equipment
There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

Update 28-11-2020

Return to Tier Restrictions

Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that England will be returning to localised tier restrictions once the national lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December. This will mean non-essential shops, personal care facilities, and gyms can reopen but pubs and restaurants will have to adhere to varied regulations. The ban on outdoor grassroots sport is also to be lifted in all tiers. The government has announced that Wigan Borough along with the rest of GM has been placed into Tier 3: Very High Alert. The current national restrictions will remain until December 2nd. The first review point for the current tier allocations will take place by Wednesday 16 December. The PM also confirmed a small break in the rules on mixing of households over the Christmas period link below.

 

Tier 3 Restrictions Mean:

1.       No household mixing indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or in private gardens

2.       Rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces like parks

3.       Pubs/restaurants closed unless for delivery or takeaway

4.       Indoor entertainment venues closed

5.       Personal care including hairdressing allowed to open

 

Click Here to find out more about the local restrictions

 

Click Here to find out more information about Christmas guidelines

Weekly Covid-19 Tracker

This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published. It shows:

1.       The number of new cases continues to decrease, and Wigan Borough’s rates now sit at 317 per 100,000

2.       This is still higher than the rates seen regionally and nationally

3.       Wigan, along with all authorities in Greater Manchester, is currently classed as a Very High-Risk area.

 

View The Full Tracker Here

#SupportLocal This Christmas

This Saturday 28 November, we’ll launch our Spend, Support, Shop Local campaign, a collaboration between the council and small businesses in the borough to encourage residents to #SupportLocal this Christmas. The campaign focuses on how businesses have had to adapt their way of working throughout the pandemic and encourages everyone to change their shopping habits to help safeguard the local economy. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for campaign updates. We are also working on a Christmas guide to help you find the perfect gift while spending local. Watch this space! More info in next week’s newsletter.

Have Your Say

There is just one week to go before the consultations on the GM Minimum Licensing Standards and GM Clean air plan close. These are really important issues that affect us all so I would encourage as many people as possible to complete these surveys

 

Clean Air Plan

The government is working with more than 60 local authorities across the UK to improve air quality. Greater Manchester has received a direction from Government to introduce a Clean Air Plan to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels within legal limits in "the shortest possible time and by 2024 at the latest"

 

Click Here to Complete this Survey 

 

Minimum Licensing Standards

Proposals have been developed to establish a consistent set of Greater Manchester-wide minimum licensing standards to help deliver improved safety, reduce vehicle emissions, and improve vehicle accessibility for customers. This collaborative approach between the 10 Greater Manchester Local Authorities seeks to establish minimum licensing standards in a number of key areas while allowing Local Authorities to exceed these, where they consider this to be appropriate.

 

Click Here to Complete This Survey 

 

COVID-19 Impact Survey

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has launched a new survey to help understand the impact of the pandemic on residents across Greater Manchester.

 

Click Here to Complete the Survey

 , it will only take 15 minutes and the results will help to gather insight and support people in the future.

 

Adult Services Update (27/11/20)

 

Care Homes:

36 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital. 16 care homes affected today as follows: 5 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital; 9 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only; 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the hospital only. 129 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 109 in care homes, 3 in an acute setting. The reported death figure is 257, of these the data now shows that 213 of these have been categorised by the provider as either; 95 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 21 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19. 73 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19. 39 people pass away in a care home with suspected Covid -19. Our Care Home squad is currently in Haighfield.

 

General:

WWL still under pressure due to A&E attendance & also a high number of positive cases.

 

In-house Services:

2 Staff members have gone into isolation and 7 staff members have returned from isolation leaving 21 staff members still in isolation. (x15 SLS, x3 SET, x2 Residential, x1 Day Centre). 5 customers isolating due to Covid. Respite is currently closed – staff have been deployed into supported living

 

External Supported Living:

–  Some supported living providers feeling the strain these last two weeks with staff isolating and more positive cases in the people we support. However, still managing to keep people’s spirits up! Please see attached, helping one tenant to celebrate Diwali as he wasn’t able to do this with family and friends.

 

Testing and Contact Tracing:

  • Demand for the outreach response of the Mobile Test Units (MTU’s) to support services with clients who have complex needs and educational establishments continues to grow.
  • Through working with community leaders and colleagues we have carried out testing on one ‘Travellers Site’ and are getting ready to deploy our Mobile Testing Units on the largest ‘Traveller Site’ within the borough, we just have to confirm an agreeable date and times with community leaders.
  • Numbers of people booking PCR tests at our ‘drive-through’ test facility are reducing and this is thought to be because people have to visit the council's website to book an appointment and in computer searches for booking a covid-19 test they direct people to the national testing booking system.
  • Following the approach by DHSC with an offer to set up a National Test Facility within Borough, we have completed a feasibility study to identify a suitable venue and advised DHSC accordingly. We have also had discussions with and a site visit with representatives from Deloitte’s who have now approved the site we selected. It is envisaged the testing facility will come operational in early December.
  • Targeted Testing at Scale. Work continues with the GM group on developing a cohesive plan as to how the Lateral Flow testing will be rolled out, targeting priority workgroups/sectors and communities/demographic groups. Once an agreed GM strategy is produced, we will develop the logistics for implementation at the local level.
  • We have completed our site feasibility study of potential locations to implement our ‘Walkthrough’ test centre model for PCR testing and identified which ones would also be suitable for Lateral Flow Tests if required. Linked with the National Test Facility this means we have the ability to set up a test facility in each of the seven service delivery footprints across our Borough.
  • Track and trace – the focus is on over 60s, particularly with contact tracing to reduce onward transmission.

 

PPE:

There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS, and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

Update 12-11-2020

Future Use of Old School Site on Miles Lane
I have received enquiries from residents seeking clarification on the proposed use of the old site of Shevington Community Primary school on Miles Lane following a recent article in the Wigan Evening post by By Charles Graham, Wednesday, 11th November
 
As most of you will already be aware, we have been working with Deputy Leader Councillor Keith Cunliffe, officers in adult services and consulting with residents and community groups over a number of years with the aim of developing proposals for care provision for vulnerable older people incorporating provision for people with disabilities.  Work was delayed previously due to a series of elections and changes to the way in which funding is allocated for care provision with further delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hampered progress.
 
With regard to plans for care provision and this site, there are no changes in plans and there are no new alternative plans for alternative affordable housing etc however it is important that care provision is both accessible and affordable and meets the needs of our most vulnerable residents
 
The newspaper article quoted housing portfolio holder Councillor Halliwell who has not had any involvement to date with plans for this site, so it helps explain some confusion and the press release issued by the council could have been worded much better to reflect the actual progress with plans for the site and all of the hard work put in by Councillor Cunliffe, Ward Councillors, Officers from Adult Services along with our dedicated residents and community groups within our ward as we are all passionately keen to secure special provision for care for our older more vulnerable generation in a manner that both incorporates and enhances our community and takes advantage of our amazing local amenities
 
Obviously, any new proposals are reliant on the availability of funding which as always can be in short supply and of course the current challenges during this pandemic has not helped us maintain progress and momentum with our plans for care provision on this site in our ward but we remain dedicated to developing proposals for care provision for this site. Should there be any progress or changes, we will ensure that the community is both updated and involved at every stage
 
I do hope that this helps to clarify the situation and minimise any confusion
 
COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Groups: Interim Advice
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has provided Interim advice on the groups of people that should be prioritised for vaccination, if and when a vaccine is available.
 
Based on the information provided, the committee agreed that it was not possible to come to a firm position on priority groups at this time. This provisional prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccines is based on preliminary information on the vaccines in development, and provisional timelines for vaccine availability, and is subject to change. This advice assumes the availability of a vaccine which is safe and effective in all age groups and has a moderate impact on transmission.
 
The committee strongly agrees that a simple age-based programme will likely result in faster delivery and better uptake in those at the highest risk.
 
Whether health and social care workers should be prioritised above, alongside, or below, persons at highest risk from COVID-19 would depend on the characteristics of the vaccines when they become available and the epidemiology of disease at the time of delivery.
 
This interim ranking of priorities is a combination of clinical risk stratification and an age-based approach, which should optimise both targeting and deliverability. A provisional ranking of prioritisation for persons at-risk is set out below:

 

  1. older adults’ resident in a care home and care home workers1
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers1
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. high-risk adults under 65 years of age
  7. moderate-risk adults under 65 years of age
  8. all those 60 years of age and over
  9. all those 55 years of age and over
  10. all those 50 years of age and over
  11. rest of the population (priority to be determined)2
The prioritisation could change substantially if the first available vaccines were not considered suitable for, or effective in, older adults.
 

Read Full Document Here

 

Making a Support Bubble with Another Household
The government has produced guidance on how you can safely expand the group of people you have close contact with during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by forming a support bubble. A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more people who were under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

 

Who can make a support bubble?

 

If you are in a single-adult household
You can form a support bubble with another household of any size that is not part of a support bubble with anyone else if you:
  • live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support
  • are a single adult living with children who were under 18 on 12 June 2020

 

If you live with other adults, including if your carer or carers live with you
  • You can form a support bubble with one single-adult household who are not part of a support bubble with anyone else.

 

If you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with
  • If you are a single-adult household, you can form a support bubble with another household other than the one that includes your child’s other parent.
  • If you are not a single adult household, you can form a support bubble with a single-adult household other than the one that includes your child’s other parent

Read the Full Government Guidance Here

Update 09-11-2020 

New Grant Helps Residents Save on Energy Bills
Residents will be able to access grants of up to £10,000 towards the cost of installing energy efficiency measures in their homes, thanks to new funding that has become available. The grants can be used towards the cost of installing insulation, including the external wall, loft and cavity wall insulation, and low carbon heating systems, for example, an air source heat pump. Homes receiving these installations can also apply for additional measures, such as new doors and windows to replace single glazed windows and smart heating controls. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is working with energy provider E.ON to deliver the scheme, although residents do not need to be E.ON customers to apply. To be eligible for the grant of up to £10,000, applicants should have a gross annual household income of less than £30,000 and be living in homes with a low energy efficiency rating (EPC band E, F or G). For more information or to express interest, call E.ON’s Green Homes Grant team on 0333 202 4820,
 E-Mail
Or Click Here  
 
Open for Business
Given the latest covid-19 restrictions announced last week urging us to stay at home as much as possible, we want to re-establish our open for business database for all those who might be offering delivery of food and essential items. Initially launched during the first lockdown back in spring, the database can be accessed by residents who are in need. To ensure this list remains up to date, any businesses that asked to be on the list last time but are no longer offering delivery, or whether someone would like their business to feature on the list this time

Please Email
To view the database, Click Here
 
Storms and Flash Floods Advice for Residents
(Provided by Councillor Paul Prescott Wigan Council’s cabinet member for the environment)
Residents are being encouraged to prepare for winter weather and act now, so they can survive any festive floods in the borough. Over five million homes and businesses in England are at risk of flooding so the message is, do not assume it will not happen to you. In 2015, we saw more than a month’s rainfall fall in the space of 24 hours on Boxing Day – with damage to the borough’s highway infrastructure, homes, and businesses. Wigan Council wants to make sure the borough is better prepared and more resilient every year to ensure any losses or damage are minimised and the best way to do that is to take preventive steps rather than reacting to unforeseen extreme weather. According to the Environment Agency, the average cost of flooding to a home is around £30,000. But, crucially, taking steps to prepare for heavy rainfall and flooding, and knowing what to do in these events can significantly reduce the damages to a home and possessions (by around 40%), reduce risk to life, and reduce the likelihood of suffering from mental health impacts in the future.
 
You can check whether your property is at flood risk by contacting the Flood Advisory Service.
 
Tips for protecting yourself from flooding:
1.      Register with the Environment Agency for flood warning alerts
2.      Clean out your rainwater goods and drains – remove leaf fall from grid covers
3.      Think about investing in property flood protection such as the installation of flood guards or flood doors, more information available from The Flood hub. These will be a better investment than buying and storing your own sandbags which aren’t a particularly effective defence against flooding.
 
1.      Check your insurance cover
2.      Develop a personal flood plan
 
If flooding occurs:

  1. Do not drive, cycle or walk through standing floodwater if you aren’t sure of the depth
  2. Do not enter or swim in floodwater
  3. Make sure you have sandbags ready
  4. Turn off all electrical items if your property is flooded
  5. Move your belongings upstairs if your property is flooded

 
More Information Click Here
 
New Funding Support Available
Businesses in the borough can now apply for financial support if they are impacted by Covid-19 related government restrictions. There are four grant schemes which cover the different restrictions businesses have found themselves under since August through to the current national lockdown. Grant awards vary based on the scheme and information on both the qualifying criteria and award structure for each scheme is available on our website. We are pleased to say that we have already begun supporting local businesses and have made the first grant payments today, totalling £380,000
 

Click Here for more information and to apply
 
Business owners who would like further advice or guidance can contact our business engagement team by emailing business@wigan.gov.uk.
 
Alternatively, they can access support from our colleagues at the Business 
Growth Hub Here

Update 06-11-2020

Remembrance Preparations
As we approach Remembrance week, our teams have installed poppy designs on roads at 15 locations across the borough, including outside the Armed Forces Hub (see picture below). We are also continuing to light cenotaphs and war memorials in the evening in the lead up to Remembrance Day. These pictures are being shared via our social media channels although the schedule has not been shared widely so as to not encourage crowds gathering and to be in-keeping with social distancing guidelines. The service providers are now working to a new schedule between now and Wednesday. On Sunday, the private services from Wigan and Leigh parish churches will be streamed via our Facebook pages:
 

Wigan Service

Leigh Service

 


 
Covid-19 Local Tracker

This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published. It shows 1.  The number of new cases has increased compared to this time last week and is higher than the rates seen regionally and nationally.  2.  Wigan has the second-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week 

View the Full Tracker Here
 

Supporting Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Residents
The government has published updated guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people about how they can protect themselves during this 4-week period which advises them to as follows:
1.      Stay Home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments
2.      Follow the three W’s if you do leave home – Wash your hands, Watch your distance and Wear a face covering
3.      Work from home, if you can’t work from home then don’t go to work
4.      Avoid all non-essential travel
5.      Use online shopping or ask others to collect and deliver the shopping
6.      Do not go to the pharmacy – arrange for others to collect medications or use the delivery service or NHS Responder
7.      Register for support from the National Shielding Support Service

Clinically extremely vulnerable children whose GP has confirmed they need to remain on the vulnerable list should not attend school, and their school will make arrangements for them to continue their education at home. The updated government guidance includes further detail on how to seek support and provides a link to the National Shielding Service System (NSSS) website through which individuals can register for support – these support needs will flow through to councils. We have arrangements in place to pick up the support requests in the borough which will link into our Service Delivery Footprint hubs and the Contact Centre arrangements.
 
Clinically extremely vulnerable residents can also call our helpline on 01942 489018 or request support online via our
self-isolation assistance form here

The Full Government Guidance is Available Here
 

National Restrictions
New national restrictions are now in place until Wednesday 2nd December to reduce the transmission of covid-19. You must now stay at home as much as possible and avoid meeting people you don’t live with. Certain businesses and venues will now be closed. There are exceptions to the restrictions and a limited number of reasons people can leave home. There is comprehensive guidance on the government website about the new restrictions which we’ll be promoting across our channels from today. Please share our messages where possible.

Click Here to Read the Full Guidance
 


  
Council Services Temporary Closure
Due to recent government guidance and to keep council staff and visitors safe, The Museum of Wigan Life, including the local studies and archives facility and The Fire Within exhibition at The Galleries is temporarily closed. It’s hoped they will reopen on Thursday 3 December but please check the council website for details before planning a visit. In the meantime, do look out for online talks and events which will be shared on social media and on the council website. The Archive office at Leigh library will remain closed to the public until the reopening of the new archives offer in the Town Hall in the New Year

Update 04-11-2020

Remembrance Sunday Nov 8th 2020

Considering the national restrictions that will come into force on Thursday, the council have updated plans for Remembrance Sunday events this weekend. You may already be aware that the council usually organises 14 events across the borough, which is not possible this year. Services scheduled at Wigan and Leigh parish churches will now take place remotely with no physical congregation present.

 

In Wigan, a private service will be live-streamed. In Leigh, the service will be pre-recorded and broadcast. Both will be available via the council's social media channels or directly on the church's own social media accounts. There will be no outside services, to avoid any gatherings. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor will lay wreaths at the cenotaphs at Wigan and Leigh and I will be laying wreaths at our 3 cenotaphs at Appley Bridge and Shevington and at our Miners memorial.

 

Residents, families, and schools are encouraged to pay their respects from home by displaying poppy posters and designs in their windows. And everyone is being urged to observe their own two-minute silence on their own doorsteps or in their homes at 11 am on Sunday, in line with national initiatives. If anyone does wish to lay a wreath at a cenotaph, we are asking them to do so throughout the day, rather than forming any gatherings at 11 am.

 

At each cenotaph managed by the council, poppy directional signs will be installed to help residents with social distancing and there will also be poppy road markings installed at the 14 locations where events usually take place across the borough, plus outside of the Armed Forces hub.

 

The council has been lighting cenotaphs in the early evening across the borough. These images are being shared through the council’s social media channels and teams have been working extremely hard to ensure we can still mark this important day in the calendar. We will still pay our respects, albeit slightly differently this year.

 

National Restrictions for England

Following the prime minister’s announcement over the weekend, the government has published the latest guidance regarding the national restrictions that will come into force from Thursday, November 5. They will apply for four weeks up to Wednesday, December 2. In summary, they require residents to stay at home except for specific purposes, prevent people from gathering with others they do not live with, except for specific purposes, and closing certain businesses and venues.

 

I will keep you updated with any further updates I receive as soon as I can. The council will also be relaunching the Open for Business section on the council website.

 

Latest Government Guidance can be Found Here

 

Car Parking Charges at WWL NHS sites

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust will be reinstating car parking charges for patients and visitors, which had been temporarily suspended in March. The decision brings WWL in line with other trusts across Greater Manchester. Parking charges for staff continue to be waived until further notice.

 

Due to ongoing building work in response to the pandemic at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary site, there is still limited parking so we would urge those attending for appointments to allow time to find a suitable parking space

 

Conclusion of Black History Month

As Black History Month (October) comes to an end, the council would like to thank all of the local residents, community groups and young people, who got involved and supported the initiative this year. In a video message, Councillor Paula Wakefield reminds us that it is important to embrace and celebrate our diverse borough all year round.

 

Watch the Video Here

 

Update 02-11-2020

Covid-19 Update

(England Lockdown Thur Nov 5th – Wed Dec 2nd)

The Prime Minister recently confirmed that England will go into a month-long lockdown commencing on Thursday 5th Nov through to Wednesday 2nd Dec. A summary of what this will mean as follows:

 

  • Pubs, restaurants, hospitality, and leisure facilities will close
  • Schools, colleges, universities, and essential shops will stay open
  • People should only leave their home for education, work (if they can't work from home), to shop for essential items, recreation outdoors, for medical reasons or to escape harm
  • When outdoors, they should only mix with people in their household or with one person from another
  • The furlough scheme will be extended until December 2nd
  • Takeaways can stay open but only for delivery services
  • All other non-essential retail will close and there will be a ban on households mixing indoors.

Click Here For More Information

 

Covid-19 Weekly Tracker

This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published. It shows:

1.       The number of new cases has increased and is higher than the rates seen regionally and nationally.

2.       Wigan has the second-highest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week.

Wigan, along with all authorities in Greater Manchester, is still classed as a Very High-Risk area

View the Tracker Here

Social Clubs

The government has issued new regulations which come into force today around social clubs.  This puts members clubs in the same category as pubs and bars, and they must therefore now close unless they are serving substantial meals.  Alcohol can only be served with a meal.

 

Staying Safe This Halloween and Bonfire Night

The government has confirmed that the local restrictions prevent groups from going door to door trick or treating as it counts as different households mixing which is not allowed. We are encouraging our residents to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night safely at home with their own household. We have also been sharing the latest safety messages from the fire service. There’s more information on the councils' website, which can be shared with our communities and groups

Read More Here

 

Christmas Plans

This week the council announced plans to host a virtual Christmas lights switch-on event which residents can watch online from their homes. On Saturday 21st November from 7 pm, a pre-recorded show called ‘Frost Fest Virtual Christmas’, will be streamed across a number of the councils' social media platforms, including council Facebook page and events page This is Wigan. Performances with local bands have been recorded and will stream alongside local business videos, encouraging people to shop local this Christmas. Ashton’s lights will be switched on first, followed by Leigh and Wigan town centres.

 

Mental Health Support for Young People

In these difficult times, it's vital to offer young people as much help with their wellbeing and mental health as we possibly can. Young people in Wigan borough aged 11-19 can access Kooth for free. The website offers online counselling, self-help tools, articles and discussion boards

Read More Information Here

A Very Merry Virtual Christmas

Residents can enjoy the annual Wigan Borough Christmas light switch on from the comfort of their own homes this year as the event makes a virtual return. Wigan Council is working with local bands and presenter, Chris Milow, to ensure a festive show can still go ahead in line with Covid-19 guidance on Saturday 21 November. A pre-recorded show called ‘Frost Fest Virtual Christmas’, will be streamed across a number of social media platforms, including Wigan Council and a new events page called This is Wigan

 

Popular band, The Lancashire Hotpots, will be the headlining act and the event will kick off at 7 pm. Ashton’s lights will be switched on first, followed by Leigh and Wigan town centres. For more information, please contact Natasha.Calder@wigan.gov.uk media officer, 01942 404055. The three Christmas light switch-on activities will not take place live as it will be pre-recorded.

Update 28-10-2020

Missed Blue Bin Collections

Some blue bins have not been collected in the following areas today, our crews have apologised for any inconvenience caused. Could residents from the following streets leave your bins out for collection tomorrow as the bin crews will return to empty them. As follows:

Appley Bridge - Herons Wharf

Standish Lower Ground - Woodrush Road, Spelding Drive, and Dingle Walk

 

Free School Meals

Just to confirm my previous message Wigan Council be providing additional support to families this week, ensuring thousands of children will receive free school meals during the half-term holiday. The vouchers for £15 per child per week are available for children aged four and upwards who attend schools. Around 10,500 children in the borough are eligible for free school meals in our borough. Eligible families will be contacted directly. Find Out More Here 

 

COVID-19 Do Your Bit Campaign

Wigan Council are launching a new covid-19 wave 2 campaign this week, encouraging residents to do their bit to follow the local restrictions and help bring infection rates down. The campaign focuses on big life moments that we are all missing. Please share the new artwork this week if you spot in on our channels

For those who aren’t able to wear face masks, there are a selection of printable cards available HERE 

You can take a photo of one of the cards and keep it on a mobile phone if printing isn’t an option

 

 

Green Flag Parks

Four parks in the borough have once again bagged the coveted Green Flag award. Jubilee Park, Pennington Hall Park, Alexandra Park and Mesnes Park have retained their titles. The Green Flag award is a sign that space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities. The council will be promoting the awards this week across various channels. Read more HERE

 

Covid-19 Q&A

Professor Kate Ardern held a live COVID-19 Q&A session earlier today at 5pm. You can watch it HERE

I will notify you if and when I become aware of future live Q&A sessions

Update 24-10-2020

Tier 3 Restrictions for Greater Manchester

Following the Prime Ministers announcement that Greater Manchester will be entering Tier 3 restrictions. Wigan Borough is now designated as a 'very high' alert level area from Friday. This means closures of pubs and bars unless they can operate as restaurants and residents will not be able to socialise with anyone outside of their household or support bubble in indoor or outdoor settings (including private gardens). The rule of six will continue to apply in outdoor public spaces such as parks

 

A summary of the restrictions is included below.

For more information and advice on COVID-19 visit Wigan Councils COVID Webpage Here

 

Wigan Town Hall update

As part of the council's efforts to tackle the second wave of the pandemic, Wigan Town Hall has been closed except for staff deemed critical. Closing the town hall, which is not open to the public, allows the council to focus on resources. This means that councillors will not be able to access the town hall in person. Councillors will need to work remotely and not visit the town hall

 

Message to all Households

The leaflet below is currently being distributed to all households in the borough with a call to action outlining what we can all do to slow the spread of the virus and with key information for where people can get support.

Wigan Council will Provide Free School Meals Over Half Term

Thousands of children will receive free school meals during the half-term holiday as part of an initiative funded by Wigan Council. Council leader Councillor David Molyneux said the local authority wanted to ensure families would receive the additional support during what is a challenging time. The move follows a motion calling for the government to provide free school meals during holidays until Easter 2021 being voted down in parliament earlier this week. Councillor Molyneux said: “This is the right thing to do. Thousands of young children and families across our borough rely on free school meals and this means they will not go hungry over the school holidays. Read More Details Here

 

Wellfest 2020 Launching Next Week

Wellfest – our festival celebrating all things health and happiness is launching next week. Wellfest is back with a brand-new online platform making it easier than ever for residents to get involved and do something which keeps their body and mind healthy this winter. Along with our health partners, community groups and some special guests we have joined forces for the event which will focus on mental health in line with the council’s Be Kind campaign. The online festival site will go live on Monday 26th October with the main stage line-up running from Wednesday 28th – Sunday 1st November. The council will be promoting the event across all council social media channels – please share where possible to help spread the word to residents: www.wigan.gov.uk/wellfest

Armed Forces Award

Earlier this year we were acknowledged with a gold level ‘Employer Recognition’ award by the Ministry of Defence for our commitment to supporting the armed forces community. Wigan Council are the only council in the region to be given the gold level award this year. The recognition is thanks to the local authority’s commitment to supporting veterans, serving personnel and their families in addition to supporting the services delivered in the Wigan Borough Armed Forces HQ. We accepted the plaque for the award today.

 

Adult Services Update 23/10/20

One of the main the problems the council is facing is staff availability following absences due to positive COVID-19 test, self-isolating, or childcare issues when children’s year groups are off school. This means that the council have to respond quickly to redeploy staff to cover shortages in critical services, such as the Community Equipment Store which provides aids and adaptations for people being discharged from hospital who lost 4 drivers that tested positive so staff were needed from other departments to cover the roles.  This is an ongoing challenge for the council across critical services

 

In order to avoid discharge of COVID positive patients back to Care Homes the council are working closely with Wrightington Wigan & Leigh NHS to provide a facility at Leigh Infirmary that can care of residents until they can be safely discharged back to their Care Home to protect themselves, staff and other residents.

 

Care Homes:

40 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital with 12 care homes affected today as follows:

 

  • 1 home has a symptomatic resident in the home and hospital.
  • 11 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only.
  • 0 homes have symptomatic residents in hospital only.
  • 96 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID
  • 92 in care homes, 4 in an acute setting.

 

The reported death figure is 207, of these the data now shows that 189 of these have been categorised by the provider as either.

 

  • 92 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19
  • 8 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19
  • 53 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19
  • 37 people passed away in a care home with suspected Covid -19

We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services

 

The Care Home Squad is deployed at St George’s Care Home and

The council are preparing to step up the care home squads as needed.

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

The demand for tests for the site is significantly lower than in September when the site had an open access policy and the policy was changed to a booking only target approach to address the needs of front line key workers and families/symptomatic young people.

The relative proportion of people being tested whose is test result is positive remains significantly higher.

As capacity increases at the test facility the access policy to test at the site will be reviewed.

Demand for mobile response continues to increase to support the Mercure and supported living establishments, which is key to ensure we are reaching people in a timely manner to try and contain the further spread of Covid-19

The test facility has also carried out mass testing at one educational establishment.

The VTN contract which was due to end has now been extended up to mid-December.

The overall approach to testing continues to be reviewed to ensure we are reaching those most at risk and we are able to maximise the capacity of tests available to us (1500 per week.)

 

General:

Work underway to secure previously deployed staff and recruit new staff to support adults.

The hospital is under increasing pressure and one of the main reasons is the inability to return people to care homes.  We are looking at options for using spaces available to us differently.

 

Homecare:

Now prioritising packages of care to manage the impact of staffing absences due to covid-19 within homecare, working with families and most the vulnerable. Work underway to identify where the pressures are.  We have stepped up the number of hours being provided by rapid response and are working closely with reablement.

 

Shared lives:

We are continuing the recruitment campaign for Shared Lives to recruit more champions, hopefully offering people who may be recently unemployed/furloughed an opportunity for career change.

 

Supported living:

Internal:

7 staff have returned from isolation 5x SLS, 2x Day Centre

27 staff still isolating, 2 Staff members have been added to the isolation sheet.

11 from SLS, 6 from Day service, 8 from Residential, 1 Registered Manager, 1 SET Team.

 

PPE:

There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

Update 15-10-2020

 

Considering the constant changes and the increases in COVID cases, Wigan Council staff and our amazing Volunteers like in many other authorities are confronted with a lot of significant changes on an ongoing basis. This means that big changes can occur close together and in a short time frame, which puts additional pressures on Council Staff along with our Volunteers, so I would first like to extend a huge thank you to them all for their dedication & commitment, the effort they put in and for their resilience in such challenging times, which is a big strain on all of us. Many other comparable local authorities are in a much worse position than we are and we owe this superior performance to our staff, volunteers and of course our residents for working together to get through this.  Hopefully, things will begin to improve soon but we must remain focussed on striking the right balance between protecting life whilst trying to maintain as far as is possible a reasonable quality of life.

 

I have decided to focus this update on providing you with a couple of links where you can find information on recent public decision notices which is an important ongoing process in the councils' function and helps to ensure we remain a step ahead of upcoming challenges.  The following links are for October 2020 Only but hopefully should give you an idea of how decisions can be made and then implemented.

 

An issue we all need to face is the need for us to be as understanding as possible during upcoming changes as many staff and volunteers will need to be re-deployed, be self-isolating/ill or may need to attend to other priorities etc to help protect life, which inevitably means even more strain on our already stretched services so it will be harder and may take longer to get things done and other less critical things may just have to wait until things improve as some difficult decisions will need to be made at short notice.  I am sure you will agree that protecting our most vulnerable residents and services is a high priority along with keeping control over this horrendous virus that is causing so much devastation and destruction to our everyday lives.

 

The following example links provide information and explanations to recent decisions taken by the Council during October 2020 and I will endeavour to keep you updated as things progress and will put together a summary from the leader etc soon once I have received the latest information.

 

As Follows:

 

Community Libraries 

 

Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme Policy 

 

Treasury Management Consultancy, DN310459 – Option to extend for 1 year 

 

To agree the amendment to contract number DN 324694 for the Consultancy Requirement, Pennington Flash Country Park - Master & Business Plan. 

 

1 To authorise the Assistant Director – Legal to complete all relevant documentation to discharge the legal charge registered at 8 Worthington Place, Leigh, Greater Manchester, WN7 2EJ (the property) 

 

Standards Decision Notices 

Update 05-10-2020 (2)

Local & Greater Manchester Picture

Our infection rate in the borough has increased and is now at 195 per 100,000 of the population. We’re currently the second lowest in Greater Manchester, with all boroughs facing a similar picture. Manchester is currently the highest rate in the country with a rate of 495 per 100,000. Over the weekend the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has called on the government to re-think the current local lockdown policy and introduce a new approach. The Mayor has set out five key conditions on which the new system will need to be based if it is to command public trust and support. These are 1. Clear thresholds for entry/exit from the different tiers 2. The ability for local areas in tiers 2 and 3 to request local control of the Test and Trace system, with resources transferring from the national system 3. Agreed levels of extra financial support for councils in tiers 2&3 4. A package of support for local businesses affected by local restrictions and 5. A local furlough scheme where businesses are required to close.

 

National Testing

Public Health England released a statement yesterday about a technical issue which meant more than 15,000 positive COVID-19 cases were missed from last week’s data. You can read the statement in full here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-statement-on-delayed-reporting-of-covid-19-cases

 

Financial Support for People Self-Isolating

The Test and Trace Support Payment is now live, with people able to apply if they have been told to self-isolate and are on a low income and cannot work during isolation. There is now a legal duty on people to self-isolate if someone tests positive or is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. A payment of £500 can be paid directly into someone’s bank account if they meet the eligibility criteria. There’s more information on our website here. https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Benefit-Grants/Welfare-Reform/Test-and-Trace-support-payment.aspx. We also still have our ongoing welfare support offer available for anyone who needs help and doesn’t meet the criteria for this payment.

 

Clean Air Consultation

The Greater Manchester clean air plan consultation will be launching on Thursday (8th October) which is National Clean Air Day. We’ll be sharing messages across our channels this week and throughout the eight-week consultation period encouraging people to have their say. You can find out more & sign up for updates here https://cleanairgm.com/?utm_source=Organic_LA&utm_campaign=GMCAP_Pre_Consult

Update 05-10-2020 (1)

 

Click on the image below to view an interactive map produced by staff in UK parliament which was last updated on October 1st. The map shows areas with local coronavirus restrictions and allows you to click on an area to see a summary of the restrictions and a link to further details. You can find more information in their research briefing.

Update 02-10-2020

GM Public Consultation Taxis & Private Hire

Greater Manchester’s 10 local councils supported by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will be opening an eight-week public consultation on Minimum Licensing Standards proposals on Thursday 8 October 2020. This consultation will be the first of its kind and is seeking the views of passengers, taxi and private hire drivers and operators. Following the consultation and review of feedback, the agreed standards, and the timelines for their implementation, will be confirmed. For more information and to participate follow this link https://www.gmtaxistandards.com/

 

Wigan MBC Deal for Healthier Wigan Wins Award

In the 2020 MJ Achievement awards, The Deal for Healthier Wigan was one of the finalists, the article on page 12 of the report reads; “The Deal for a Healthier Wigan is truly different not only because of its engaging and interactive style but because it is not owned by one organisation. It is a truly co-designed approach involving key health and social care partners coming together to help its combined workforce improve the lives of the people of Wigan.”.  You can view Here https://awards.themj.co.uk/media/1111/the_mj_awards_2020_finalists.pdf

 

Covid-19 Tracker

This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published. It shows the number of new cases has increased compared to this time last week but remains below regional figures. Wigan has the third-lowest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week. There has been 0 COVID-related death registered in the latest week. You can view the tracker on online here: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/COVID19-Weekly-Tracker.pdf

 

Book Your Flu Jab - Campaign

We’re supporting Wigan Borough CCG with this year’s flu campaign, with messages being shared across all the health organisations to encourage residents to book their jabs today via their GP or pharmacy. The programme is much larger than we’ve ran in previous years, with four new flu clinics set up across the borough, ran by local NHS staff, and thousands of appointments available. Anyone in one of the following groups is entitled to a free jab this year: •Anyone aged 65 and over •Pregnant women •Children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease) •Children and adults with weakened immune systems •People living with someone who is at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list) •Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020 •Children in primary school •Children in year 7 (secondary school) •Frontline health or social care workers

 

Survey for Parents of Younger Children

The council are currently running a survey for parents and carers of younger children aged up to 11, and parents and carers of young people with special educational needs and disabilities, aged up to 25. The aim is to find out how COVID-19 has impacted on their use of formal childcare, such as nurseries, pre-school and childminders who provide early education funded places, or out of school childcare such as breakfast, after school or holiday provision. We know that some parents’ and carers’ circumstances may have changed because of COVID-19 and so their needs for formal childcare provision may also have changed. It is really important that we ask as many parents and carers as possible to complete the survey as the results will be used to help us plan future services. You can fill in the survey here: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=159973866139 The survey will close at the end of 11th October.

 

Black History Month

Working alongside the community group Everything Human Rights, the council will launch an online programme to help highlight the issues raised as part of the global initiative. Throughout October, residents and community organisations will voice personal accounts, acknowledging the outstanding contributions black people have made throughout history. And as part of a cultural education scheme, young people from across the borough will debate the most influential black figures from history. Find out more on the council's dedicated webpage here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/The-Deal/Deal-Communities/Black-History-Month/Index.aspx

 

Update 28-09-2020

Local Issues

I have been asked by The Friends of Shevington Memorial Park who are a group of volunteers who are gathering funding to improve the children’s play areas on Shevington Memorial Park to share a link to their crowdfunding page to enable local people and businesses etc to make a donation towards their funding campaign.  The link to their crowdfunding page is Here:https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/f-s-m-p?utm_term=kmBa3QnBg&fbclid=IwAR2ehnOOz1QQIyclbOjv81gPX9Jy8nN9hFhdpJLjRNu--9jiyU7EKtZElJA If you would like to know more about the group or would like to join in or form another group for one of our other parks you visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/friendsofsmp/

New Local Restrictions

I have been receiving a lot of enquiries about the latest restrictions imposed by the government in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases.  You can keep up to date with the latest rules and guidelines here.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

From Saturday new local restrictions were introduced in the borough meaning residents and visitors are no longer allowed to mix with people outside their household or bubble in private homes, including gardens. This is now enforceable by law. Residents and visitors are also advised not to meet people outside their household or bubble in any setting, whether a bar, shop or leisure facility – indoors or outdoors. The government guidance is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-restrictions-for-wigan-stockport-blackpool-and-leeds-as-coronavirus-cases-increase?utm_source=58e10e43-2ac3-4983-ae45-5288d2e6459d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate and a full list of FAQs on what people can and cannot do in Greater Manchester is here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/greater-manchester-local-restrictions

 

Fines for not Self-Isolating

As of today, new rules have been brought in across England allowing the police to fine someone up to £10,000 for failing to self-isolate. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, or has been told they have been in contact with someone who has, now has a legal duty to quarantine. Last week the government announced a £500 payment for those struggling to self-isolate for financial reasons. Those in receipt of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit who cannot work from home will be eligible. They must have also been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Read the full story here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54320482

 

Community Wealth Building Launch

The new Community Wealth Building (CWB) strategy launched today with an uplifting online presentation and discussion with our partner organisations. Our unique version of CWB has been developed with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and will help us create a more inclusive local economy that works for everyone. You can visit the Councils webpage for more information here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/The-Deal/Community-Wealth-Building.aspx

Historic Environment Strategy Consultation

A consultation asking for feedback on the council’s draft Historic Environment Strategy has started today. It will run for six weeks (until November 9). The fresh approach outlines how both public and privately owned locations can be preserved, enhanced, and play a key role in regeneration plans for local communities. Councillor Terry Halliwell, the council’s heritage champion, said: “This borough’s rich heritage belongs to us all and therefore we all have a responsibility to protect it. “The HES is a fantastic opportunity to think about the things that make our borough special and get involved in ensuring they can be enjoyed for generations to come. “It’s not just about grand buildings, it’s street patterns, canal networks, detailing in brickwork and architecture of terraced houses.  They all contribute to the distinctive nature of the borough.” To view the strategy and fill out a short feedback survey, visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/historicenvironment

 

Update 25-09-2020

New Local Restrictions

New measures have been announced by the central government for Wigan Borough that will come into effect from midnight tonight. This means we are now more in line with other areas across Greater Manchester, apart from Bolton where further restrictions apply. Our understanding is that they will restrict different households from mixing in private dwellings and gardens unless in a support bubble. Full guidance will appear via the government website here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/greater-manchester-local-restrictions

Further updates will be provided next week

 

This week’s Covid-19 tracker shows:

1.      Our infection rate has increased and is currently 101.9 per 100,000

2.      The number of new cases has increased but remains below regional figures.

3.      Wigan remains red for new cases

4.      There have been no COVID-related death registered in the latest week.

View the tracker on our website here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/COVID19-Weekly-Tracker.pdf

 

National Announcement

Earlier this week the government announced several new restrictions which were introduced in England from Thursday 24th September which aim to stop the spread of coronavirus.

 

These include:

1.      Pubs, bars and restaurants closing at 10pm and offering table service only

2.      When visiting a pub, bar or restaurant people must wear a face-covering except when seated at a table to eat or drink

3.      People should work from home where they can

4.      People could be fined £200 for not following the guidance around wearing a face covering or if they are meeting in groups of more than six

5.      Face coverings must be worn by shop staff, taxi drivers and passengers

6.      Exemptions to the “rule of six” will be cut back, meaning indoor team sports such as five-a-side will end

7.      Weddings are limited to 15 people

 

Businesses Breaching Covid-19 Regulations

In July councils were granted new powers which allow them to shut down businesses which flout Covid-19 regulations put in place to protect residents. Working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, our licensing teams have served notice on a number of local businesses due to breaches of these regulations, including a lack of compliance with social distancing, and concerns regarding the behaviour of customers within the premises. The below statements have been issued to the local media this week to show the partnership work which is helping to keep people safe at this time.

Coun Paul Prescott, the cabinet member for planning and environmental services, said: “While the majority of businesses have implemented measures to keep their customers and staff safe, closures like this act as a reminder to those who don’t abide by the rules and regulations.

“We hope that this will send a strong message to businesses, that the council and its partners will not hesitate to respond when there is evidence that shows they are not acting responsibly and within the guidelines that have been put in place to protect us all. “Decisions like this are the last resort as we want all our businesses to be open so they can get back on a solid economic footing but we need to ensure we keep infection rates down and don’t undo all the good work of the past few months.”

Chief Inspector Liz Sanderson, of GMP’s Wigan District, said: “It is vital that licensed premises adhere to Government regulations in order to protect our communities, particularly given the heightened restrictions across Greater Manchester. “As the closure demonstrates, we will take action against businesses which are flouting the rules and will use our legislative powers to ensure premises operate safely. I hope this serves as a stark warning to other licensed premises that we will not hesitate to use enforcement if they are failing to comply with the regulations.”

 

Covid-19 app Launches

Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, are now legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace. If you visit one of these venues, you will be required to check-in using the NHS COVID app – available to download via your app store now. For more information, please visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Help Shape Clean Air Plan

A Clean Air Zone is coming to the borough as part of Greater Manchester’s plans to reduce harmful air pollution on our local roads. An eight-week public consultation starts on 8th October and we’re asking residents to help shape the final plan. The clean air consultation will ask for views on key elements of the Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone. This includes the zone’s proposed boundary, daily charges, discounts and exemptions – and the request to the government for a multi-million funding package to support local businesses to upgrade to cleaner vehicles before the Clean Air Zone is introduced in 2022. You can share your views and sign up for updates now at: www.cleanairgm.com

Update 24-09-2020

Adult Services Update

 

Care Homes:

1.      49 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital

2.      3 care homes affected today as follows:

1.      0 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital;

2.      3 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only;

3.      0 homes have symptomatic residents in hospital only.

4.      6 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 6 in care homes, 0 in an acute setting.

 

3.      The reported death figure stands at 199, of these the data now shows that 182 of these have been categorised by the provider as either;

1.      86 people passed away in hospital after testing positive for Covid-19

2.      4 people passed away in hospital with suspected Covid-19

3.      55 people passed away within a care home after testing positive for Covid-19

4.      37 people passes away in a care home with suspected Covid-19

5.      We are still waiting for a specific breakdown from a small number of services

*IMPORTANT: Care Home deaths figure - This has been provided by Care Home Managers to give us live situational awareness and is likely to include residents who have died in hospital (data already captured via national process) and residents on end of life pathways whose death was expected. This is part of the national challenge around the accurate capture of timely information from Care Homes. The is on average a week’s delay between date of death and death certification which provides a verified record, which needs to be triangulated with hospital data to ensure no double counting takes place. CQC are now recording this information direct from Care Homes and feeding this into the national analysis, with the expectation this will be available on a local level over time

4.      Care Home Squad is deployed at St George’s Care Home.

 

General:

5.      Across Adult Social Care and Health we are seeing an increase in numbers of the workforce staying home to care for children off school and those isolating due to displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

6.      The rapid response service delivered by Cherish is currently on stand by and approval granted to be put in place again, this is to be up and running by Monday.

 

Shared lives:

7.      We are continuing the recruitment campaign for Shared Lives to recruit more champions, hopefully offering people who may be recently unemployed/furloughed an opportunity for career change.

 

Supported living:

Internal:

8.      4 staff have returned 3 x SLS and 1 x Residential

9.      14 staff still isolating -12 from SLS, 1 from Day service, 1 Heathside

10.    Also have 2 members of staff isolating due to returning from Countries not on the corridor list – 1 x Heathside and 1 x Brookfield

11.    1 Customer has tested positive

 

External: (no update)

12.    Supported living providers are reporting some staff off self-isolating, mainly due to children being sent home from school with suspected cases in year groups. So far, no staff or service users have reported any positive tests.

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

1.      Situation with testing still challenging with the unprecedented demand for testing.

2.      Continuing on site at Chapel Lane and using mobile units, 1500 additional swabs per week have been secured.

3.      Restrictions have been increased for people that are allowed to come for tests at the Chapel Lane site, and this has been focused on staff working complex front-line services. Booking in advance is also necessary and is helping to make it more manageable. 

Update 19-09-2020

Local Issues

  • I attended a meeting with the Friends of Shevington Memorial Park who are one of our local volunteer groups who are raising funds for improvements to our Memorial Park in the centre of the Ward.  The group are looking at different options of fundraising and a large part of the discussion was around how to solve the drainage problems on the Park. The Friends Of Shevington Memorial Park got together in 2012 and are working with Shevington Parish Council, Wigan Council, and other organisations to raise funds.  If you would like more information or to donate or get involved the link to their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/friendsofsmp where I am sure the group would welcome any support and involvement

 

  • As a quick update the funding for the community Salt bin and shovel in Crooke Village has been secured and I have placed the order

 

Social Care Survey

ADASS is an organisation that looks at Adult Social across the Northwest and have invited elected members to submit experiences good and bad as part of a commission to assess the impact of Covid-19 on people with adult social care needs and the role of communities during this period. They are undertaking a call for evidence from organisations, service users, families, Carers, providers, etc.  Whilst this was sent to elected members, I would urge all of my residents, groups, or organisations to submit their experiences and stories as they are all equally vital and need to be heard.  The deadline is Sept 30th and even late entries will be considered.  The link to further information is https://www.nwadass.org.uk/elected-member-social-care-commission

 

Age UK Voice of Older People Survey

Age UK Wigan Borough has asked Do-Well to seek views from older people to find out about their experiences during the COVID 19 pandemic. Age UK are conscious that many older people may feel that they’re not being heard the aim of the survey is to give older people a voice, and a chance to share what it’s been like to live in Wigan during this unusual time. If you would like to contribute further to our research you can access the survey via this link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc9yPMDGhEVVh31EPmrAoZL8YYUQbY7lXs-_K9QDUrGK8ugng/viewform

 

If you, or someone you know, aren’t able to access this survey digitally but would still like to contribute please do get in touch either by email to sheena.mcdonnell@do-well.co.uk or by calling: 07955573122 - please leave a message telling us you'd like to talk about the Wigan Age UK survey, with your name and number and then someone will call you back as soon as possible

 

COVID-19 Rise in Infections

Like most of the country, the borough has seen a rise in COVID-19 infections as schools return, more venues open and many residents go back to work.

 

The borough is now reporting more than 50 cases per 100,000 people and has therefore passed the threshold to red status.

 

It’s vital we remind residents to not get complacent, so we don’t see infection rates rapidly rising and even tighter restrictions put in place. We’ll be reminding residents to wear face coverings, wash their hands regularly, and to watch their distance as part of our escalation campaign.

 

The Leader Issued the following statement

New Restrictions in the North West

Stricter restrictions will be implemented in parts of the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire from next week. The new measures have been confirmed by the Department for Health following consultation with local leaders. Lancashire, Merseyside, Warrington, and Halton have been escalated to areas of intervention, and fresh restrictions will come into force in Wolverhampton, Oadby & Wigston, and parts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale. Regulations and guidance differ between the areas, but all are due to come into force from Tuesday.

 

Test and Trace app

From Thursday 24th September, businesses and venues will have a legal obligation to generate and display NHS QR posters, so visitors and customers can start checking in safely and securely to those settings. This includes community centres, libraries, and public buildings. The government will be launching a national campaign in the next few days and we’ll be sharing information locally.

Firework Displays Cancelled

 The Home Office has informed Local Authorities that they are cancelling all public firework displays for 2020. Wigan Council will be working closely with communities and businesses to try and reduce the impact this will have on communities and police demand for those who attempt to organise private events.

 

Leigh Town Centre Face Covering Checks

On Wednesday (16 September) Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Police officers carried out patrols in Leigh town centre to check compliance for wearing face coverings. The day was a great success with extremely positive reports after recording 479 out of 532 shoppers were wearing a form of facial protection to help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Furthermore, of the 53 that were not wearing any facial protection, 24 had valid exemptions not to and the majority wore visible badges to indicate this. The patrols were part of a joint campaign by Wigan Council and GMP to offer support and guidance but also educate people on regulations set out by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are plans in place for patrols across the borough in the coming weeks.

 

Advice for Parents with Concerns for Children

The Council appreciate this might be a tricky time for parents with schools returning. The council has prepared an easy to understand guide detailing what parents with a school age child can do. The poster outlines to parents who maybe a bit confused on what steps to take if they or a household member displays symptoms of Covid-19.

Recycle Week

Monday marks the start of the UK-wide Recycle Week and Wigan Council is thanking households for the continued improvements during what has been uncertain times for families. The recycling rate for the first quarter of the year has increased to 56.6% from 56.4% last year with an additional 2480.87 tonnes recycled with many residents having to stay at home due to covid-19 restrictions. We are using the awareness week to remind residents about the importance of recycling and living sustainably. There are a range of ways in which residents can do their bit just at home, whether it’s from recycling cardboard toilet roll tubes and toothpaste boxes in the bathroom, empty cans and milk cartons in the kitchen or grass cuttings and weeds from the garden. During Recycle Week the council’s social media channels will be sharing reminder graphics of what goes in each bin which residents can print off and place in their houses or on their bins.

 

Adult Services Update

Update 18/09/20

 

Care Homes:

 

49 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital

3 care homes affected today as follows:

0 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital;

3 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only;

0 homes have symptomatic residents in hospital only.

5 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 5 in care homes, 0 in an acute setting.

The reported death figure has no change and stands at 201.

 

General:

Across Adult Social Care and Health we are seeing an increase in numbers of the workforce staying home to care for children off school and those isolating due to displaying Covid symptoms.

Roll out of pre-payment cards is underway for direct payments.  Social distancing and PPE being used when showing people how to use the cash machines.

 

Shared lives:

We are continuing the recruitment campaign for Shared Lives to recruit more champions, hopefully offering people who may be recently unemployed/furloughed an opportunity for career change.

 

Supported living:

Internal:

2 staff have returned to work following negative tests 1 x SLS and 1 x Day Opps. 13 staff still isolating; 10 from SLS, 2 from day services and 1 from Residential.  We also have 2 members of staff isolating due to returning from countries not on the corridor list – 1 x Heathside and 1 x Coppull Lane.

2 customers displaying symptoms – 1 OHD – been tested came back negative, 1 Chisworth – has been tested came back negative.

14 respite staff have been tested this week in preparation for opening on the 21st September.

 

External:

Supported living providers are reporting some staff off self-isolating, mainly due to children being sent home from school with suspected cases in year groups. So far, no staff or service users have reported any positive tests.

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

Situation with testing still challenging with the unprecedented demand for testing being driven by:

National failure and ‘switch off’ of northern testing sites by the national team

Schools advising testing for children and families as part of the processes they have in place for sending home the ‘bubbles’

Employers insisting on a test for individuals before they can be allowed back in work following illness

Residents needing a negative test result for airline and holiday companies prior to travel

 

We are continuing to work to review and streamline the processes we set up by scenario planning and checking they are fit for purpose now that we are seeing increasing numbers of cases. This is important in advance of September 23rd when national cases that have not been contacted within the first 24 hours will also be escalated to the local system.

Update 14-09-2020

Covid-19 Restrictions

The government has announced from today, Monday 14 September, groups of more than six people will not be able to meet, indoors or outdoors. Failure to comply will be breaching the law. This is being brought in across the country as a measure to slow the spread of the virus, as nationally there has been an increase in cases. The guidance previously allowed gatherings of up to 30 people. This number will be reduced to six people from today. There are some exceptions, including funerals and weddings. More information can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

 

When to get a Covid-19 Test

We’re asking members to support our efforts to inform residents about when a Covid-19 test is necessary. Due to national issues around testing availability, our Chapel Lane testing centre has been inundated with requests and we’re seeing a number of people turning up without an appointment. We receive an allocated number of tests per week, meaning we cannot facilitate all of the tests requested, especially those that haven’t been booked in advance. Members of the public should only book a test if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19. Anybody who isn’t displaying symptoms but has been advised to self-isolate by NHS track and trace system or because a member of their household has symptoms, should stay at home. Further information about this can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection#ending-self-isolation-and-household-isolation

 

 

NHS Test and Trace app

The government has announced that the NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app will launch in England and Wales on 24 September. Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and other businesses are being urged to download NHS Test and Trace QR codes, which app users can scan to register that they have visited a venue. More information can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-urged-to-prepare-for-nhs-covid-19-app

 

The Fire Within Relaunch

This Saturday 19 September, we will open the next phase of our cultural manifesto, The Fire Within, with a new show focused on promoting social inclusion. The theme for 2020/21 is Digital Wigan and the title of the exhibition – We Will Always Be Together – has become even more topical in a world of social distancing. The exhibition will explore technology, creating a digital world for visitors to experience in The Galleries shopping centre. Local, regional and international artists will be celebrated in the show. Closed tours will take place on Saturday due to social distancing. The exhibition will officially open to the public on Thursday 24 September, 11am-3pm but visitors can get a sneak peek on Saturday 19 September, 1pm-3pm.

Update 11-09-2020

Covid-19 Update

 

Our Covid-19 weekly tracker shows the number of new cases per week has increased in the borough compared to this time last week. As our infection rate is now above 20 per 100,000 we are now rated ‘amber’. View the full tracker here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Coronavirus/Coronavirus-update-and-advice.aspx

Professor Kate Ardern, director of public health, said: “Our local outbreak management plan sets out how we will work across our borough to prevent, contain, and manage outbreaks and community transmission. “In line with the increased rates of new infections, and following this plan, we’ve now escalated our response with our aim being to act at the earliest stage to stop any further increase in infection rates. “Our current focus is targeted messaging and increased compliance action and we are undertaking targeted work in specific areas where necessary, for example with our local businesses and in communities, should any potential hotspot be identified. “We will continue to work with our schools to ensure they have protocols in place to effectively manage any cases and will support with advice and guidance. “It’s so important people continue to follow the national guidance around wearing a face covering, washing hands regularly and keeping a 2m distance from others. “Our message has always been we cannot be complacent – coronavirus has not gone away and we all have a responsibility to follow this advice to protect ourselves and others.”

 

Covid-19 Update from Government

The government has announced from Monday, groups of more than six people will not be able to meet, indoors or outdoors. This is being brought in across the country as a measure to slow the spread of the virus, as nationally there has been an increase in cases. The guidance previously allowed gatherings of up to 30 people. This number will be reduced to six people from Monday. There are some exceptions, including funerals and weddings. The full announcement is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-9-september

 

PSPO Consultation

We currently have two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) in place that cover Wigan Town Centre and Leigh Town Centre, both due to expire on 17th October 2020. In brief it currently prohibits the following activities in the defined areas:

•        Intoxicating Substances

•        Begging

•        Anti-Social Behaviour.

When PSPOs are varied, extended or discharged, there is a statutory requirement regarding publishing or publicising this and we are required to undertake a further consultation process. It is now necessary to engage in an open and public consultation to give our residents and businesses the opportunity to comment on whether the proposed restrictions are appropriate, proportionate, or needed at all. Members are encouraged to have their say on the PSPO consultation here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/PSPO.aspx before the closing date on 1st October 2020

 

Adult Services Update 11-09-2020

 

Care Homes:

•        51  care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital

•        0 care homes affected today as follows:

 0 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital;

 1 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only;

 0 homes have symptomatic residents in hospital only.

      1 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 1 in care homes, 0 in an acute setting.

•        The reported death figure has no change and stands at 201.  *IMPORTANT: Care Home deaths figure - This has been provided by Care Home Managers to give us live situational awareness and is likely to include residents who have died in hospital (data already captured via national process) and residents on end of life pathways whose death was expected. This is part of the national challenge around the accurate capture of timely information from Care Homes. The is on average a week’s delay between date of death and death certification which provides a verified record, which needs to be triangulated with hospital data to ensure no double counting takes place. CQC are now recording this information direct from Care Homes and feeding this into the national analysis, with the expectation this will be available on a local level over time

•        All squads are deployed at St George’s Care Home.

 

Shared lives:

•        We are continuing the recruitment campaign for Shared Lives to recruit more champions, hopefully offering people who may be recently unemployed/furloughed an opportunity for career change.

 

Supported living:

•        Internal - 4 people isolating this week due to family member being symptomatic and we have had a customer tested, awaiting results.

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

•        Meetings with comms and appropriate directorates and departments including the CCG are taking place, to discuss how we ramp up and get some key and consistent messages out. This has been prompted by growing numbers and the national guidance to schools which indicates that they should advise bubbles and their families being sent home, to access tests, and we are trying to counter that. We have had briefings and additional material being sent out to schools all week to try to address this and the potential conflict in messaging. The rise in numbers of cases and the numbers of children and families being advised to get a test are not only creating a problem with the local testing provision, but also having a knock on effect in Primary Care and at A&E, with parents unable to book a test turning up there instead, with all the issues that that can bring re onward transmission.

 

National testing is currently shambolic, and Home tests (the only out of hospital option for testing under 5’s) hasn’t been available for the past 10 days. We are pushing the message back up the system through GM routes. The additional issue that even when the national testing is running at capacity the north has 30% of the cases and nearer 10% of the allocated testing capacity.

 

Meetings are in the diary with both DHSC and the lab next week to discuss the possibility of arranging an increase in the allocation we currently have, to support the outreach testing in targeted settings and areas, and in the regular testing of those who work closely with our most vulnerable groups. Even with an increase we are going to have to limit the drive thru site to between 100 and 150 per day, so to effectively target we need to limit the site as much as possible to target residents with symptoms.

 

From the intelligence we have from the past five days the rise in testing demand is being driven by:

  • National failure and ‘switch off’ of northern testing sites by the national team
  • Schools advising testing for children and families as part of the processes they have in place for sending home the ‘bubbles’
  • Employers insisting on a test for individuals before they can be allowed back in work following illness
  • Residents needing a negative test result for airline and holiday companies prior to travel

 

On a positive note we have already gone mobile with the testing from the site, following one of the Homeless Support Team in Leigh testing positive. We managed to trace 12 of the people who had accessed the HSP and test them. The learning from that work with such a difficult cohort has been really useful in making the arrangements slicker moving forward.

 

We are also looking to use some of our local allocation of tests to ensure our supported living, homecare staff and others who are working closely with our most vulnerable groups and are therefore more at risk of contracting or infecting others. We will look to start this by the end of September and achieve some parity with health service staff.

 

We have had working groups meeting over the past two days a part of the Test and Trace Cell to review and streamline the processes we set up by scenario planning and checking they are fit for purpose now that we are seeing increasing numbers of cases. This is important in advance of September 23rd when national cases that haven’t been contacted within the first 24 hours will also be escalated to the local system.

Update 10-09-2020

Local Issues

  • Dog Fouling Kilburn Drive – Following complaints from residents about dog fouling around Kilburn Drive reminders have been sprayed on the pavements for dog walkers to clean up after their pets.
  • Parking on Vicarage Lane – Residents have complained about vehicles parking along vicarage lane,  I have spoken with Shevington FC coaches and parents and discovered that the problem was due to Lancashire FA who had loaned the pitches for a cup match and some of the visitors didn’t comply with instructions from the club not to park on the road.  I have asked officers to investigate the issue to see if restrictions or a gate would be feasible

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Just a reminder for our volunteer groups that the Greater Manchester State of the VCSE Sector Evaluation 2020 survey closes on 11/10/2020. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win either £1,000 or £200 for their group. To access the survey, or to find out more information click this link: https://salford.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/state-of-the-sector-2020

We are also encouraging our local volunteer groups to register on a new online portal, managed by Wigan Borough Community Partnership. Where community groups can register volunteering opportunities, they have for residents to view. It is easy to complete and will help raise the profile of the respective group and more importantly will let visitors to easily identify where help is needed.  You can register your group of look for opportunities by following this link https://www.wbcommunitypartnership.org/register-for-volunteer-opportunities/

 

Green Belt Land Standish Lower Ground (Planning Enquiries)

We have received several enquiries about the siting of portable storage containers on the former John Pit Reclamation Land site where residents were worried of possible plans for development. A planning officer carried out a site visit on 20/08/2020 and was able to locate two containers on opposite sides of the site. The land is located within the designated greenbelt land and is therefore subject to stringent controls on what is appropriate development and use of land. The storage containers cannot benefit from any permitted development rights contained within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 and consequently would require the benefit of retrospective planning approval. The freehold landowner retains a statutory right to seek the necessary retrospective planning approval to retain the containers on the land should they wish. The Council have sent correspondence to the landowner seeking the submission of a planning application or alternatively, the removal of the containers from the land. The situation will be monitored, and we will be updated should the situation changes. For information about planning applications follow this link: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Planning-and-Building-Control/Planning/Search-planning-applications.aspx

 

Changes to bus services in Wigan District (Tfgm)

In line with protocols agreed with GMCA’s Transport Levy Scrutiny Panel, TfGM who are responsible for public transport across Greater Manchester are advising each district of recommendations for service changes in advance of implementation.

Recommendations as follows:

 

  • Service 126 — Leigh - Astley - Boothstown - Trafford Centre: Additional early morning journeys on Mondays to Fridays;
  • Service 132 — Wigan - Hindley - Atherton - Tyldesley - Boothstown -Trafford Centre: Additional early morning journeys on Mondays to Fridays;
  • Service 576 — Wigan - Horwich - Bolton: Route revised and service renumbered to 575;
  • Service 607 — Ashton Heath - Ashton-in-Makerfield - Bryn – Wigan Service revised to operate as a local Ashton town service only;
  • Service 694 — Leigh - Astley - New Hall Farm - Tyldesley – Shakerley Service revised to run between Leigh and Tyldesley only;
  • Service 715 — Bolton - Westhoughton - (Wigan): Evening and Sunday journeys revised to run only between Bolton and Westhoughton.
  • Service 113 — Wigan - Standish - Eccleston - Leyland - Preston: Route revised in Wigan;
  • Service 584 — Leigh - Crankwood: Monday to Friday first round trip withdrawn;
  • Service 682 — Leigh - Atherton - Hag Fold: Service extended from Hag Fold to Atherton, Shakerley and Tyldesley;
  • Service 683 — Leigh - Atherton - Tyldesley - Shakerley: Service withdrawn and replaced by an extension to service 682.

 

Support Available for Tenants with Eviction Concerns

Press Release

Tenants who are worried about the impending end to the eviction ban are being encouraged to get in touch with Wigan Council for essential support and advice. A ban on the eviction of tenants nationwide was put in place when the country went into lockdown in March. This ban was due to end on August 23 but has now been extended until September 20. Concerned private renters are being encouraged to get in touch at the earliest opportunity so it does not become crisis management. A recent survey by homelessness charity Shelter suggested that more than 170,000 private tenants have been threatened with eviction by their landlord or letting agent, and 230,000 in England have fallen into arrears since the pandemic started. Under current government instructions, courts can restart considering claims made by landlords from September 20 and evictions can potentially resume so the council wants to signpost residents to support.

Wigan Council can offer residents general advice about evictions and harassment, speak to landlords to try resolve issues amicably and look at housing options for anyone who has been illegally evicted. Councillor Terry Halliwell, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for housing and welfare, said: “The economic impact of this pandemic will be felt for a long time to come with many left furloughed, having hours reduced or even losing their jobs so no one should feel isolated or scared to reach out for help while facing financial pressures. “We have made significant investments in our housing services and built strong working relationships with providers and our partners to deliver a cohesive approach so services can work together to better understand people’s circumstances and their needs. “I urge anyone who feels they are at risk of being evicted or are struggling to pay their rent to come to talk to us. Our expert officers are on hand to offer the advice and support to anyone in need – please don’t wait.” Housing teams are also keen to hear from any landlords struggling with the eviction ban that also might have queries about new procedures put in place earlier this year. Wigan Council hopes to limit court hearings and evictions as much as possible, so teams are keen to open dialogue with all sides before last-resort measures are pursued. However, if eviction proceedings cannot be avoided then landlords will need to provide the courts with additional information about the effect Covid-19 has had on their tenants. Private tenants and landlords faced with housing difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic can find out more information here: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Housing/Private-Housing/Coronavirus-contact-private-housing.aspx

Update 08-09-2020

Entering a Shielded/Vulnerable Persons Home

I have had several enquiries about when it is appropriate to enter a vulnerable persons home so I have been in contact with Wigans director of public health, Professor Kate Adern and Portfolio holder Cllr Keith Cunliffe and asked for clarification. There is currently no change to the existing national guidance for people entering homes of shielded or vulnerable adults and it is better to limit any face to face contact to that which is absolutely essential for the provision of health, care and humanitarian services.  Similar is the case for workers, which will include volunteers.  The advice can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19 Links can also be found on the Covid 19 webpage on the council website here: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Coronavirus/index.aspx

Update 07-09-2020

John Pit Land (Burned out Vehicles)

Following complaints I received regarding vehicles being dumped on Land near John Pit and burned out.  I contacted officers with a view to restricting vehicular access to the land in question.  Officers consulted with affected residents and landowners and agreed to install a barrier, which is now in place.  Hopefully, this will put an end to it.

Crooke Village (Salt Bin)

I was asked by residents of Crooke to investigate the replacement of a salt bin that I was informed had been damaged during a police chase. The council cannot take responsibility for this bin due to an issue with unadopted land.  However, I contacted officers to re-evaluate the situation and I have agreed to fund the provision of a new community salt bin out of my Brighter Borough allowances with an accompanying shovel.  The community will be responsible to replenish the bin with salt should it be used.

Greater Manchester – Local Restrictions Update

On Friday the government announced casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres and indoor play areas (including soft play areas) will be able to reopen from Tuesday 8th September across Greater Manchester. Socially distanced indoor performances will also be able to resume, and remaining restrictions on certain close contact services (treatments on the face, such as eyebrow threading or make-up application) will be lifted. These easements will bring Greater Manchester, apart from Bolton, in line with the changes made in the rest of the country on 15th August. The restrictions around households mixing indoors are still in place in Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, Trafford, Oldham, Bury, Bolton and Tameside due to an increase in cases

World Suicide Prevention Day

Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday 10th September, yellow flowers are being planted in Believe Square today and tomorrow to help raise awareness of suicide prevention. Although we aren’t having an event to mark the day this year, in light of COVID-19 guidance, we will be promoting the support on offer throughout this week across our channels, including sharing real-life stories of residents. There’s more information about the support on offer across the borough here: https://bit.ly/2Rzytav

Update 04-09-2020

Greater Manchester Restrictions

After the local restrictions had been temporarily lifted in Bolton and Trafford, the government announced earlier this week that both areas would remain under the GM restrictions after an increase in cases. Bolton is currently reporting one of the highest rates of cases in the country. Wigan Borough and Stockport are still reporting low numbers of cases and are not under the restrictions.

 

Covid-19 Tracker

This week’s Covid-19 tracker shows:

  1. The number of new cases per week is similar to this time last week and remains low compared to regional figures
  2. Wigan has the second lowest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester for the latest complete week. Our rate is 11.3 per 100,000
  3. We have had no Covid-related deaths in the latest week.


View the latest tracker here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/COVID19-Weekly-Tracker.pdf

 

Kickstart Scheme

On Wednesday the government announced a new £2billion scheme to encourage employers to offer six-month work placements to 16-24 year olds who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term employment. The first placements are likely to be from November. There’s more information here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/kickstart-scheme-opens-for-employer-applications?utm_source=133521b4-1c77-4d36-b5d3-468ceba5e905&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Covid-19 Pilot Testing Scheme in Salford

Salford is to lead the way in developing the national approach to community testing for coronavirus over coming weeks. The new community testing model will identify the best way to deliver a quick and simple saliva test, without any of the discomfort of the existing nose and throat swab test. The development of the use of this new, rapid coronavirus test will begin in Salford with a phased roll out. When fully implemented it will be available to people who live, work and study in the city and people of all ages and backgrounds will be able to test on a weekly basis by providing saliva into a container, which will then be sent for a simple laboratory process, known as a LAMP test. It’s the next stage in the government’s covid-19 strategy as it moves to scale up testing capacity ahead of winter. The full announcement is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/500-million-funding-for-quick-result-covid-19-test-trials

 

Adult Services Update

Update 04/09/20

Care Homes:

Pleased to report once again that all 52 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital so are Covid-19 free.

This means none of the 52 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital, have symptomatic residents in the home, have symptomatic residents in hospital or in Acute settings

All squads are deployed at St George’s Care Home.

 

Shared lives:

The Council are starting a recruitment campaign for Shared Lives to recruit more champions, hopefully offering people who may be recently unemployed/furloughed an opportunity for career change.

 

Supported living:

Internal - we have had 3 staff tested this last week that were symptomatic all resulted in negative tests.

 

Homecare:

We are still reporting no positive covid-19 cases but we continue to support with PPE

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

Chapel Lane car park site is now fully operating.  Please note the Chapel Lane testing centre is not included on the online national booking system which means Wigan will not come up as an option.  If you have symptoms you need to get tested and if you want this to be at Chapel Lane please go to the Covid updates and advice page  and select ‘Request a Coronavirus test at Chapel Lane Test Centre’ from the top task menu or ring 01942 489670.  In addition to this, a mobile unit can, at short notice, travel to undertake testing elsewhere. If for example, someone is symptomatic in a care home we can get there quickly to test the residents and staff.

Tests can still be booked online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test

 

PPE: (no update)

There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

Update 01-09-2020

Greater Manchester Local Restrictions

On Friday the government announced the local GM restrictions would also be eased in Bolton, Stockport and Trafford, from Wednesday (tomorrow). However, it is currently being reported Bolton and Trafford have seen an increased number of cases since this announcement, and a meeting is being held today to discuss further. We’re continuing to remind residents in our borough that Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and we must all follow the national guidance to keep infection rates low. You may have spotted a number of our new Be Responsible, Be Kind campaign messages across our channels this weekend offering simple, clear advice.

Memory walks

Public Health and Inspiring healthy lifestyles are supporting an initiative by the Alzheimer’s Society to host a memory walk to raise money for dementia. They’re encouraging people to spend time with friends and family in the fresh air by organising a walk this September. It could be with your household or in a socially distanced group.  There is no minimum distance or any set location. Once you’ve planned a walk you can register at www.memorywalk.org.uk to receive a free fundraising pack.

Great British Spring Clean

 From 11th-27th September we’ll be once again supporting the Great British Spring Clean, organised by Keep Britain Tidy. We’ll be encouraging volunteers and groups, no bigger than six, to take part in a litter pick to help tidy our streets. If you’d like to get involved in your community you can sign up on the Keep Britain Tidy website here https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyPecqNTH6wIVFeDtCh09SQL1EAAYASAAEgLdxvD_BwE or email streetscene@wigan.gov.uk if you need any equipment.

Update 28-08-2020

Greater Manchester Local Restrictions Now Eased

The additional Covid-19 restrictions which are in place across Greater Manchester have now been eased Wigan Borough. The national guidance is still in place and to keep infection rates down and to avoid tighter restrictions being implemented again, we are reminding residents to be responsible and remember covid-19 has not gone away.

 

Please continue to:

  • Follow social distancing guidance and keep 2m apart where possible
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands regularly

 

Earlier this week the government announced new rules for wearing face coverings in schools and education settings, specifically in areas where there are local restrictions. This does not include our borough now the restrictions have been eased. In line with national guidance, we are not currently recommending face coverings are mandatory in schools.

 

Covid-19 Tracker - How Wigan Compares

Both our tracker and the figures published by the Greater Manchester Mayor earlier this week shows that Wigan Borough’s rates per 100,000 population remains very low in comparison with neighbouring areas. In the week 14th – 20th August, Wigan had 36 new cases identified, a rate of 11 per 100,000 population and the lowest rate of new cases in Greater Manchester. These positive figures are the reason local Greater Manchester restrictions in Wigan Borough have eased. However, we need to remain vigilant and ensure we’re washing our hands, wiping down surfaces, watching our distance and wearing face coverings. View the tracker here. https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Coronavirus/Coronavirus-update-and-advice.aspx

 

Appeal for Foster Carers

This week Wigan Council have appealed for residents to come forward if they’ve had a change of circumstances due to covid-19 and could now potentially become a foster carer. Our service is currently experiencing increased demand as the national shortage of foster carers grows. Read more here. https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/August/Appeal-for-foster-carers-in-Wigan-Borough.aspx

 

Wigan Athletic

I am sure you are all aware of the situation at Wigan Athletic and share our hopes that the club’s future will be secured as soon as possible. Council representatives continue to be in contact with the administrators and others. You may have also seen that the Wigan Athletic Supporters’ Club has this week launched plans to put together its own bid, which has our support. We will continue to assess our options as a matter of urgency in the coming days and will provide further updates when possible. Below is a statement from the leader issued earlier this week.

Update 24-08-2020

Lockdown Restrictions to Ease from Wednesday

The government has confirmed the current Covid-19 restrictions will be eased in Wigan Borough from Wednesday.

It will mean from Wednesday residents in Wigan Borough will be able to:

•         Socialise in groups of up to two households indoors

•         Stay overnight at somebody else’s home but must try to social distance

•         Book close contact services such as facials and brow or eyelash treatments

•         Visit bowling alleys, roller rinks, soft play centres and casinos

To keep infection rates down and to avoid tighter restrictions being implemented again, residents are being asked to be responsible and to continue following the national restrictions. The latest update from the government can be found here. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-targeted-action-in-local-areas-to-curb-the-spread-of-coronavirus

 

Evictions – Ban Extended

The ban on legal evictions has been extended for a further four weeks, the government announced on Friday. The ban was due to be lifted from today. Over the next four weeks we will be continuing with our work to support any resident who is currently at risk of eviction following the impact of Covid-19. Our ‘Don’t Wait’ campaign will launch this week, raising awareness of the different housing options available, including private renting and home ownership. The government has also given tenants greater protection from eviction over the winter by requiring landlords to provide tenants with 6 months’ notice until at least the end of March. The full announcement is here. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jenrick-extends-ban-on-evictions-and-notice-periods

 

Back to School

To prepare pupils returning to school next week, we’ve scheduled messages all week on our social media channels and will be hosting a live Facebook Q&A with Professor Kate Ardern on Thursday evening. The Prime Minister made a statement last night directly appealing to parents to send their children to school when they reopen next week. You can read it in full here. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-ministers-statement-on-returning-children-to-school

 

The government also released new guidance for parents and carers of children attending after-school clubs, community activities and other out of school settings which is online here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Update 21-08-2020

Covid-19 Tracker

The weekly Covid-19 tracker was published on Tuesday. It shows:

•         The number of new cases per week is slightly lower than this time last week

•         Our rates remain low compared to regional and national figures

•         Our neighbours are seeing slight increases, which is why we cannot be complacent

•         We have had no Covid-19 related deaths in the latest week.

The full tracker can be viewed here. https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Coronavirus/Coronavirus-update-and-advice.aspx

 

Lockdown Restrictions Ease

The current Covid-19 restrictions will be eased in Wigan Borough following calls from leaders across the region. It comes after the Leader took part in a press conference with the Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham on Wednesday where he called on the government to ease the current Covid-19 restrictions in Wigan Borough.

 

The latest announcement means, residents in Wigan Borough can now:

•         Socialise in groups of up to two households indoors

•         Stay overnight at somebody else’s home but must try to social distance

•         Book close contact services such as facials and brow or eyelash treatments

•         Visit bowling alleys, roller rinks, soft play centres and casinos

To keep infection rates down and to avoid tighter restrictions being implemented again, residents are being asked to be responsible and to continue following the national restrictions.

 

Buy Local Campaign

Independent retailers and local high streets are at the heart of our communities. We understand that the coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on our local economy, which is why we’re pulling together a new campaign encouraging people to ‘buy local’. We want to encourage residents to go back to their favourite bars, restaurants, hair salons, and shops in a safe and compliant way. Earlier this week, we put a call out on social media asking residents to get in touch if they had visited an independent business and were impressed by their social distancing or Covid-19 measures.

 

Two Wigan Town Centre Bars Closed

Trading standards and GMP served a closure notice on two town centre bars earlier this week following their failure to comply with the Covid-19 restrictions. Officers visited Casino de Cuba and Havana Sports Lounge on Millgate and observed large groups congregated together singing and dancing to extremely loud music emanating from the venue. This happened on multiple occasions with the owners showing little regard for any social distancing practices. New powers under Covid-19 regulations which only came into force in the middle of July allow councils to shut down businesses that do not adhere to rules and regulations. Wigan along with the nine other Greater Manchester authorities has spent the last few weeks under some of the strictest lockdown restrictions in the country. The closure will be reviewed within seven days, and a decision made as to whether to permit the two premises to re-open. To report other businesses in breach email comm@wigan.gov.uk with details

Exam Results Support

There’s lots of help and support available on our website for students who have received their A-Levels and GCSE results recently. Parents or students with concerns can get further information from the Councils dedicated webpage Here: https://bit.ly/3kZXqJ6 There is also a link to lots of training providers in the borough - https://bit.ly/2FyIql3

 

Roadworks near Waste Collection Depot

Please be aware there are roadworks on Manchester Road in Ince for the next three weeks. Due to the close proximity of the roadworks near the depot, the waste collection team are mindful it could have an effect on collections with wagons needing access through on a daily basis. The work started this week and the team has been closely monitoring the situation and has not reported much or any impact so far with fewer cars on the roads still.

18-08-2020

Victory in Japan (VJ) Day

The 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) was recognised over the weekend, commemorating the end of World War II. Whilst VE Day (Victory in Europe) marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East. We would have liked to have recognised this day in a way that brings communities and people together, just like we had planned for VE Day and Armed Forces Day, however, Covid-19 guidelines have prevented us from doing so. Despite this, we couldn’t let the day pass without recognition, so we lit up the Wigan Borough Armed Forces HQ in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Covid-19 Freelancer Culture Fund

 A few weeks ago, we launched the Freelance Creative Practitioner Covid-19 Fund to support the borough’s freelancers who have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. One-off grants of between £500 and £1,500 were available to help the borough’s freelancers manage their finances during this unsettling time. The eligibility criteria also meant that those otherwise ineligible for government grants were able to access funding. We’re happy to say that the money has now been allocated and due to the quality of the applications received, we have been able to support more practitioners than originally anticipated. More than 65 applications were received overall from practitioners working in visual arts, theatre, dance, design, film, photography, and illustration. There will be an article about the fund in the next edition of Wigan Observer.

 

Covid-19 Reminder

Council members are being asked to reinforce the Greater Manchester guidelines to residents. Although we are waiting for a review, the guidance in Greater Manchester currently remains unchanged. Greater Manchester Police have also reported a number of phone calls asking for clarity on the guidance and have also received questions about whether certain areas fall under Greater Manchester. Some residents are confused as they may have a Warrington postcode. Please make residents aware that if they pay their council tax to Wigan Council, they are included in the GM restrictions. We will update the guidance as soon as we receive further information from the central government.

 

In the meantime, all of the regional restriction measures can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

iPad Donations to Care Homes

With social distancing measures in place and all non-essential visits from family and friends temporarily stopped in care homes over the past few months, we have helped residents stay in touch with family and friends during the pandemic by donating more than 100 iPads. Care home residents have been using tools like Skype and FaceTime to help them stay connected with loved ones. Each of the borough’s 54 care homes have been supplied with two iPads to not only keep people connected but to support GP virtual ward rounds, digital consultations and for virtual meetings with partners across the Healthier Wigan Partnership. It has meant relatives have not missed out on special moments like silver wedding anniversaries and birthdays. One example at Lime House Care Home in Lowton saw staff help 100-year-old Bertha and her family celebrate her special day. The donated iPads from the council meant that Bertha’s family were able to have a virtual party and watched on as she blew candles out on her cake, opened presents and opened her card from the Queen last week.

16-08-2020

BEWARE Phishing & Smishing Scams

As I have reported previously Scammers are out in force and seem to be exploiting the COVID pandemic and lockdowns to steal money from people by pretending to be someone else or posing as reps from various organisations etc.  I have explained Phishing previously where scammers attempt to get you to click links in email messages to trick you into providing personal security details such as passwords etc which they can use to steal money from you or steal your identity etc. There has been an increase in doings this via text messaging which some are referring to as Smishing. Which is the same thing but the send you a text message and attempt to trick you into clicking links or making calls to scammers etc?  Please be vigilant and keep a lookout for these.  I personally try to avoid reacting to any emails or texts etc to go to websites and will instead go to the actual websites myself to log in and not via a link from a message but the scammers are very clever and can be convincing so please be extra vigilant.  I found a website which explains more about Phishing here FYI https://www.phishing.org/what-is-phishing

Update 14-08-2020

Easing of lockdown

The Government has announced that from tomorrow, lockdown measures in England will be eased, allowing beauty salons and barbers to offer close contact services. Bowling alleys, casinos, and soft play areas can also reopen. However, this new announcement does not apply to areas with local restrictions. It is important we continue to ask residents and businesses to adhere to the Greater Manchester rules to reduce the risk of transmission. We are still waiting for an update on the local position but will update you as soon as we receive further information. Read about the national announcement here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53772735

 

On Wednesday, the Mayor of Greater Manchester and local leaders agreed that the restrictions in Greater Manchester should stay in place for at least another week. Read the joint statement here. https://greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/greater-manchester-responds-to-extension-of-restrictions-for-another-week/

 

Children and Covid-19

We have been made aware that there is an element of concern among parents regarding symptomatic children in schools. Some parents have been wrongly informed on social media that if their child presents symptoms of Covid-19 in school, they will be removed without parental consent by children’s social services. This is fundamentally not the case. We wanted to ensure members were aware of this before children return to school so any parents can be reassured. If a child displays symptoms, parents will be contacted directly and asked to take their child for a test. They will also be asked to self-isolate.

 

Bereavement Services

Please could members remind residents that funeral services at the chapel need to be restricted to no more than 30 people? While we want to ensure people can still pay their respects in a dignified way, attendance numbers need to be restricted under government guidelines to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Staff have calculated that with social distancing in the chapel, a maximum of 20 people can attend inside with a further 10 people allowed within the grounds. A high-quality live webcast viewed via our secure and easy-to-use website is a very low-cost alternative for families and friends who want to share in a particular service. Webcasting allows up to 100 individual logins with the service secured through the need of a password for anyone wanting to join.

 

Victory in Japan VJ Day

 

The 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) will be recognised tomorrow, commemorating the end of World War II. Whilst VE Day (Victory in Europe) marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East. To help residents celebrate at home we have been sharing online resources via our social media channels. The Wigan Borough Armed Forces HQ will also be lit up tomorrow evening in remembrance. Photos will be posted on out social media channels. You can view and share the national online resources here. https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/toolkit/

Update 10-08-2020

Museum Reopens

The Museum of Wigan Life will reopen its doors to the public this week on Thursday 13th August. The Museum will operate on a temporary reduced opening timetable, Thursday–Saturday, 10-4 pm. Wigan Local Studies will reopen on the same day. Due to COVID-19, access to these collections will be available by pre-booking here. http://previewwigan.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Wigan-Archives/viewing-the-collections.aspx Only the Wigan Local Studies collections will be available. Wigan Archives and Leigh Local Studies collections will not be accessible until the re-opening of Leigh Town Hall in Spring 2021.

 

Local Testing Centre

The borough’s Covid-19 testing centre is now operational on Chapel Lane in Wigan and residents can book in to be tested. There’s a booking form here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Coronavirus/Request-a-test-for-Coronavirus.aspx on the council’s website to request a test or use 01942 498 018. There have been no updates to the Greater Manchester local restrictions – we will keep you updated if there is any further news.

 

Face Coverings

It is now mandatory to wear face-covering in public spaces including libraries and museums. This is in addition to them being compulsory in shops, supermarkets, takeaways and on public transport. We’ll be putting messages up in key venues across the borough where this will now be applicable including Wigan and Leigh life centres and libraries and the Museum of Wigan Life. The full government advice is here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Update 03-08-2020

Greater Manchester restrictions

Due to the increased rise in Covid-19 cases across the region, yesterday GM declared a major incident which will help us to respond to the situation and access any additional resources we need. A statement from the combined authority was issued yesterday reassuring members of the public it didn’t mean any further action was needed other than following the local restrictions announced on Thursday: A spokesperson from Greater Manchester Combined Authority said: “The public should be reassured that the guidelines announced by Government on Thursday remain unchanged. This move by Greater Manchester’s Strategic Coordination Group is simply to enable our public agencies to access any additional resources they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is no more than a boost to our capabilities at what is a challenging time for people in our city-region. It is absolutely appropriate for us to maximise our resources in the drive to reverse the spike in infection which we have witnessed in the last seven to 10 days. “The more we stick to the new guidelines and drive the R rate down, the quicker they will be removed. Please do not visit someone else’s home or garden unless you have formed a support bubble. Do not meet outdoors in groups of more than six. Please wash your hands thoroughly and as often as possible. Let’s not act selfishly and instead keep the health of our loved ones and neighbours in mind at all times.”

 

Safer streets in Leigh

More than half a million pounds has been secured to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve safety for residents in Leigh. We led the successful bid, on behalf of the Place and Community Safety Partnership, to the government’s Safer Streets Fund and are pleased to have secured more than £500,000 which will be spent on a package of new measures to reduce crime in targeted areas of Leigh. Read more here. https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/July/500000-investment-for-safer-streets-in-Leigh.aspx

 

Eat Out to Help Out

The new government scheme offering diners 50% off at restaurants and pubs on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays in August will begin today. This is all part of the plan to boost the economy and support the hospitality industry. You can see which local places are taking part in the scheme here. https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant/ We’ll be encouraging our residents to take advantage of the offer, in line with the current covid-19 restrictions, to support their local businesses.

 

Littering fines

A report has been approved by the cabinet which means the penalty fines for littering and fly-tipping will increase with immediate effect. This will support our ambition to be litter-free by 2030. Under the changes, offenders will see fines increase for littering (including from vehicles) from £120 to £150 but this will be discounted to £75 if paid within 14 days. Fly-tippers who are successfully prosecuted for flouting the law will be forced to pay £400 with the discounted 14-day payment coming to £200. We currently spend more than £4m taking litter off streets, parks and green spaces every year, and this includes £700,000 on fly-tipping alone, which is completely unacceptable. Our first focus is always on education, but we hope this increased enforcement will act a further deterrent and make people think twice.

 

Armed Forces gold employer award

I’m delighted to announce we have been given a gold level ‘Employer Recognition’ award by the Ministry of Defence for our commitment to supporting the armed forces community. We are the only council in the region to obtain this honour and it is a huge credit to the whole armed forces team who have worked for more than two years to secure it.

 

Parks signage

New signage will be installed at Pennington Flash and Haigh Woodland Park to encourage people to avoid visiting at peak times as we are seeing large numbers of visitors.

Update 01-08-2020

Obesity measures to be introduced

A new package of measures and a "Better Health" the campaign has been announced as part of the government’s new obesity strategy to help people lose weight and protect the NHS. Some of the published measures include: 

1.       Ban on TV and online adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt before 9 pm

2.       End of deals like ‘buy one get one free’ on unhealthy food high in salt, sugar and fat

3.       Calories to be displayed on menus to help people make healthier choices when eating out – while alcoholic drinks could soon have to list hidden ‘liquid calories’

4.       New campaign to help people lose weight, get active and eat better after COVID-19 “wake-up call”

Read the full announcement here. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-obesity-strategy-unveiled-as-country-urged-to-lose-weight-to-beat-coronavirus-covid-19-and-protect-the-nhs

 

Spain removed from travel corridor exemption list

People returning from Spain will need to self-isolate for two weeks as the government has removed the country from the travel corridor list. This is following a significant change over the last week in both the level and pace of change in confirmed cases in Spain. Read more here. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/spain-removed-from-travel-corridors-exemption-list

 

Expanded flu programme this winter

The most comprehensive flu vaccination programme in the UK’s history was announced by the government on Friday. A significant new group will be eligible for the free flu vaccine as people aged 50 to 64 will be invited later in the season for a vaccination.

 

As part of an unprecedented drive, a free flu vaccine will also be available to:

1.       People who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household

2.       All school year groups up to year 7

3.       People aged over 65, pregnant women, those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under 2s

The expanded programme is part of plans to protect the NHS and reduce the pressures on A&E departments this winter. Read the full announcement here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/most-comprehensive-flu-programme-in-uk-history-will-be-rolled-out-this-winter

 

Covid-19 impact survey

The Covid-19 impact survey - www.wigan.gov.uk/covidsurvey will close today so we’ll be issuing a final reminder today for residents to have their say if they haven’t already. The helpline has now closed. We’ve had thousands of responses about how people found life in lockdown.

 

The business impact survey and young people’s survey both remain open.

Update 24-07-2020

Libraries to Reopen Next Week in Phased Approach

Wigan Council plan to open life centres, libraries, and cultural venues in phases at the earliest opportunity, working in line with government guidance. There are 15 libraries across Wigan Borough, providing a hive of activity within local communities and playing an important role in supporting residents and preventing isolation. Wigan and Leigh Life Centres and central libraries will be the first to reopen to the public on 27th July. Opening hours will initially be Monday to Friday 10 am – 2 pm. Staff are busy behind the scenes preparing to welcome visitors again and can’t wait to open doors. Paramount to the planning is ensuring that each building is safe for staff and customers, risk assessments have been undertaken and measures put into place. To safely manage the number of visitors, each building will temporarily have a capacity limit and reduced opening times as well as social distancing measures. Community libraries will open from Monday 14th September to allow for extra staffing to operate buildings safely and for continued support to critical council services. Officers will be liaising with Aspull and Hope volunteer-run libraries to consider opening dates in due course as well as speaking to community groups that use our library buildings. There will be the last chance to see ‘Love is A Rebellious Bird’ exhibition at The Fire Within, The Galleries, Wigan from 30th July for two weeks before a temporary closure to install the new exhibition. The Museum of Wigan Life, incorporating the local studies and archives facility will reopen in Wigan from 13th August with reduced opening times.

 

Working Together to Keep Residents Safe

The Council has issued a press release this week highlighting the work of the Place and Community Safety Partnership which has faced various challenges throughout lockdown and continues to do so. This work includes preventing illegal raves and gatherings, supporting young people, and tackling ASB. Read the release here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/July/Working-together-to-keep-people-safe-over-summer.aspx to find out how all partners are working together to reduce crime during this time.

 

Visiting Loved Ones in Care Homes

Care home visits from family and friends can begin again following the publication of new government guidance. These arrangements will be based on the advice set out in new guidance to limit any further outbreaks and protect staff and residents. Local directors of public health will lead assessments on visiting within their local authority. Care home providers should encourage all visitors to take safety precautions including wearing a face covering, PPE where necessary, and consider hosting visits in outdoor or communal areas. To limit risk where visits do go ahead, this should be limited to a single constant visitor, per resident, wherever possible. It is expected all care homes will still only relax visiting arrangements for specific individual needs and continue to take the health protection of the whole care home as their main objective, but those wishing to visit should speak to the care homes before a planned visit. Read the full announcement here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/families-and-friends-to-be-reunited-with-loved-ones-in-care-homes-as-visits-restart

 

Rugby League World Cup 2021

We’re incredibly excited to be hosting three fixtures in the RLWC 2021 men’s tournament at Leigh Sports Village with details of those games released this week.

 

 

Update Adult Services

Update 24th July

Care Homes:

We are delighted to report that there are no COVID cases within any of our care homes!

 

1.       51 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital

2.       1 care homes affected today as follows:

1.       0 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital

2.       0 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only

3.       1 home has symptomatic residents in hospital only

4.       2 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 0 in care homes, 2 in an acute setting.

3.       The reported death figure remains unchanged, 202. *IMPORTANT: Care Home deaths figure - This has been provided by Care Home Managers to give us live situational awareness and is likely to include residents who have died in hospital (data already captured via national process) and residents on end of life pathways whose death was expected. This is part of the national challenge around the accurate capture of timely information from Care Homes. This is on average a week’s delay between the date of death and death certification which provides a verified record, which needs to be triangulated with hospital data to ensure no double counting takes place. CQC are now recording this information directly from Care Homes and feeding this into the national analysis, with the expectation this will be available on a local level over time

4.       Squads are currently deployed to St Georges, Greenacres, High Peak, Hourigan House, and Richmond.  We are will start providing support in Lime House from next week.

5.       Due to the much-improved position within care homes and the need for staff to return to their normal roles as council services start to reopen, we have taken the decision to withdraw care homes squads over the coming weeks.  The final day for squads will be Friday 7th August.  We have committed to reconvening the squads if the need arises again.

 

Supported Living:

6.       Marigold Lodge now handed over to Adult Social Care. First people due to move in from 3rd August 2020.  Attached are some pictures

Update (Adult Care) 17-07-2020

Update 17th July

 

Care Homes:

  • 50 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital
  • 2 care homes affected today as follows:
    • 0 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital
    • 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only
    • 0 homes have symptomatic residents in the hospital only
    • 4 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 4 in care homes, 0 in an acute setting.
  • The reported death figure has risen to 202 (an increase of 5 from last week). *IMPORTANT: Care Home deaths figure - This has been provided by Care Home Managers to give us live situational awareness and is likely to include residents who have died in hospital (data already captured via national process) and residents on end of life pathways whose death was expected. This is part of the national challenge around the accurate capture of timely information from Care Homes. This is on average a week’s delay between the date of death and death certification which provides a verified record, which needs to be triangulated with hospital data to ensure no double counting takes place. CQC are now recording this information directly from Care Homes and feeding this into the national analysis, with the expectation this will be available on a local level over time
  • Squads are currently deployed to Dean Wood Manor, Mahogany, St Georges and Golborne House, Garswood and Thorley.  We will start providing support in Richmond, High peak, Greenacres and Hourigan House from next week (coming out of Mahogany, Garswood, and Golborne House from next week).

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

  • The increase of local testing means that there is a greater risk in the reduction of the workforce as people are found to be positive for COVID-19.
  • We are pleased to now be making the preparations to open our own drive-thru testing centre on Chapel Lane car park from 3rd August.

PPE: (no update)

  • There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

Update 17-07-2020

Face Coverings

The government has announced face coverings must be worn in all shops and supermarkets from Friday 24th July. You could be fined £100 if you do not wear one. They are also still compulsory on public transport. The advice from Professor Kate Ardern is there is no need to wait to start wearing a mask so we’re recommending people start immediately when they’re in closed public spaces. Here’s Kate’s latest statement which we’ve issued this week and there’s a video on our Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/WiganCouncilOnline/ where Kate explains how to wear a mask safely.

 

Covid-19 Weekly Tracker

This week’s Covid-19 tracker has been published on social media and on our website here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/COVID19-Weekly-Tracker.pdf It shows:

  1. Our new infection rates are still low compared to national and regional figures
  2. Covid-19 related deaths in the latest week are the lowest since the end of March
  3. Our exceedance rating (which monitors rising cases) has been ‘green’ every day this week

 

Bereavement Services Fees

Wigan Council will be freezing cremation and burial fees until 1st April 2021 to support bereaved families in the next year. We review our fees and charges annually to make sure we are providing the best value for residents across the borough. Many of our neighbouring authorities are going ahead with an increase in fees this year.

 

Recycling Centre Permits

From 22nd July Wigan Council will be re-introducing the electronic permit system at recycling centres for all vehicles other than cars. The system allows residents with smaller and larger vans, campervans, and minibuses to obtain permits online in a matter of hours via MyAccount. Proof of address is still required on-site and we are asking residents to sort their waste before attending the centres as staff are still not able to provide physical assistance.

 

Funding for Councils

The government announced yesterday that Wigan Council will receive an additional £3,035,905 from the latest pot of funding for local authorities. This third tranche brings our total to £22,503,828. We are still waiting for guidance from the government about reclaiming lost income and what is eligible. The finance team is working on a revised budget that will be presented soon.

 

Young People’s Survey

The Councils Covid-19 impact survey for children and young people has gone live this week. We want to find out how Covid-19 has affected young people in the borough and what they think the council’s priorities should be. The results will help us to make future plans. All young people aged up to 17 are being asked to share their views with us in this short survey, which has been put together with the help of young people from Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet. Find the survey here: www.wigan.gov.uk/covid or www.wigan.gov.uk/LINC2/HaveYourSay

 

Playgrounds

Council maintained playgrounds and outdoor play areas will open in phases from this weekend. New signage will be in place to ensure visitors adhere to social distancing guidelines and use the equipment and spaces in a manner that will keep everyone safe.

Updated 10-07-2020

Inclusive of Updates Provided to me from

Council Leader Councillor David Molyneux

 

Borough Life out now

The summer edition of Borough Life will be distributed to all households from today until 17th July. This edition celebrates and recognises the tremendous efforts the borough has gone to during Covid-19 – we hope you enjoy reading it. While waiting for your copy to be delivered you can read it online here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Borough-Life/BoroughLife.aspx A paper copy of the Covid-19 impact survey is also included in this edition.

 

People can post the survey back to us or can now call our dedicated survey helpline on 01942 827789 which will be open weekdays from 8 am – 6 pm until Friday 24th July if they would prefer to speak to someone

 

New Domestic Abuse Helpline

A dedicated helpline has been set up for anyone at risk of or suffering domestic abuse. People worried about a family member or friend can also report their concerns. There’s more information in our press release here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/July/Wigan-Council-aims-to-bring-domestic-abuse-out-of-the-shadows.aspx

 

Weekly Covid-19 Tracker

We have been monitoring the impact of Covid-19 locally and each week will be publishing a Covid-19 surveillance tracker so you can clearly see how the borough is doing in comparison to the region and the nation. You can view it on our website here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Coronavirus/Coronavirus-update-and-advice.aspx

 

In the borough, new Covid-19 cases continue to reduce weekly and our rates are now at the lowest since mid-March. In the last week, our new infection rate stood at 3.4 per 100,000 population. This is much lower than the regional average of 10.2 and the national average of 6.9.

 

 

Safe Streets (Cycling & Walking)

Residents are being asked to submit ideas for improved cycling and walking facilities across the borough to encourage safe travel in line with social distancing. We have published an interactive map online, where residents can leave comments and suggestions by clicking on their desired part of the borough. The work supports the Safe Streets Save Lives Campaign, which has allocated £5m from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Challenge Fund to help local authorities across the region implement measures to give pedestrians and cyclists more space when travelling. Some changes were implemented in early June, including temporarily extending pedestrian zone times in Wigan and Leigh town centres, introducing 20mph speed limits on some town centre roads and extending the operating times of bus lanes. Four new zebra crossings will also be installed in areas across the borough to help pedestrians navigate the roads, especially children and families walking to and from school. We encourage members to ensure residents in their areas submit their ideas here https://safestreetswigan.www.safestreetswigan.commonplace.is/

 

Further Easing of Restrictions

From today, people who were shielding from Covid-19 can gather in groups of six outdoors and form a support bubble with another household. They must still follow the social distancing guidelines. The full guidance for people on the shielded list is here. With a number of bars, pubs and restaurants reopening on Saturday, GMP reported no major incidents over the weekend. Following reports of a potential gathering at Haigh, a dispersal order was granted last Friday. Thanks to partnership work with GMP, the 150 young people that turned up at the plantations were quickly dispersed without incident and the roadblocks were removed yesterday morning.

 

Further Easing of Restrictions (Cont’d)

The government has announced several updates regarding the easing of restrictions, including as follows:

 

Gyms and pools - outdoor pools will reopen from 11th July and indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities will reopen from 25th July. The government announcement and guidance is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-gyms-and-pools-to-reopen-safely?utm_source=13c3c75b-f11f-4522-8d81-f4315f522da2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles is producing risk assessments for each of the borough’s gyms to allow them to reopen safely in response to this government update and will be working on a plan to phase the reopening of sites.

 

Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas - these further businesses will be able to reopen safely from Monday 13th July. We’ll be communicating this with our local businesses and supporting them as they are able to reopen. The full guidance is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/beauty-salons-set-to-reopen-for-some-services-next-week-under-new-government-guidelines?utm_source=80a9eb15-0095-4056-bff4-aae1a5ceba1a&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Libraries and playgrounds - we’re currently working on plans to safely reopen our libraries, community centres and playgrounds, but in the meantime, a list of what facilities are open will be published online so that residents can check before they make plans.

 

Driving tests - will restart in England on Wednesday 22nd July with new social distancing and safety precautions in place. These will only be for people who had their driving test cancelled because of coronavirus to begin with.

 

There is a full list of helpful FAQs which explain what people now can and can’t do on the government website here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

 

 

Haigh Play Area to Reopen

The Children’s Woodland Adventure Play Park will re-open on Wednesday (8th July). To keep everyone as safe as possible, several safe operating procedures will be in place. This news will be shared the Haigh’s Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/haighwoodlandpark/

 

Business Grants

There is still money left in the pot to support the borough’s businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 71 per cent of the small business grant scheme has now been allocated along with 50 per cent of the discretionary business grant. We are committed to supporting businesses financially and want to ensure they have access to the necessary funds as soon as possible. Please encourage local businesses in your communities to contact us as a matter of priority. We do not know how long this money will be available to us. Where we hold details, we will contact businesses directly, but we do not want anybody to miss out. Please speak with the businesses in your wards to ensure they are aware of this opportunity. For more information, please contact business@wigan.gov.uk

 

£30,000 Fund for Creative Industries

Freelance artists and creative professionals in the borough can apply for a new funding pot which opens today. We’ve launched the Freelance Creative Practitioner Covid-19 Fund to help anyone working freelance in the arts and culture sector, as we know the impact the pandemic has had on this industry. Grants are between £500 and £1,500 and applications will close on Friday 31st July. There’s more information here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/July/Councils-Covid-fund-for-creative-industries.aspx

 

Arts and Culture Funding

The government has announced a £1.57 billion investment package for the arts, culture and heritage sector to help mitigate the impact of Covid-19. Organisations from a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music, and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.

 

The rescue package includes:

  • £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
  • £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
  • £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • An extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million)

 

We will be looking at how we can access and benefit from this funding pot. The full announcement is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-to-ease-guidance-for-over-2-million-shielding

 

Regular Retesting for Care Home Staff and Residents

The Department of Health and Social Care have announced that care home staff and residents in care homes for over 65s and those with dementia will receive regular coronavirus tests from this week as part of a new social care testing strategy. Staff will be tested weekly, while residents will receive a test every 28 days to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in social care. This is in addition to intensive testing in any care home facing an outbreak, or at increased risk of an outbreak. The new testing strategy comes following the latest advice from SAGE and new evidence from the Vivaldi 1 study indicating a higher prevalence in care homes, and therefore a case for frequent testing in care homes and their staff.

 

Wigan Athletic

Following a statement from the EFL this week, we’ve backed a local bid for Wigan Warriors to buy Wigan Athletic. I have also written to the EFL confirming our desire to find a positive way forward and offering to work with them on this. Our business team have a package of support available for any resident who has lost employment over the last few months, and this will be made available to the 75 employees who have sadly been made redundant. Read our statement and letter here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/July/Council-backs-consortium-bid.aspx

Update 03-07-2020

Wigan is not going into local lockdown

Following the statement released from Professor Kate Ardern earlier this week, which rebutted claims that Wigan was at risk of potential local lockdown, we’ve had lots of regional and national media interest. It also led to the BBC publishing this article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/53248531 about the list being misleading. From yesterday, positive cases from testing in the wider community (also known as pillar 2 data) at local authority level in England will be added to Public Health England’s daily Covid dashboard. This data was not previously included publicly in this way, so although the number of cases reported may increase, the rate of infection quoted in Kate’s statement remains the same and has always included this data. Her statement with the latest statistics for the borough is here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/June/Wigan-is-not-currently-at-risk-of-local-lockdown-statement.aspx The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has this week published its regional Outbreak Management Plan setting out how local authorities, including Wigan, will manage the test and trace programme and respond to any future outbreaks and subsequent infection rate peaks.

 

Local Lockdowns

Leicester could become the first area to go into local lockdown following a rise in Covid-19 cases. The Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed the government is considering a further two-week period of lockdown, keeping pubs and restaurants closed, as there had been 866 new cases in the last two weeks. The full story is here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-53217095

 

Wigan Local Update

Although many council staff are still on redeployment to support our Covid-19 effort, some are now returning to their usual roles. As shielding advice is eased, and many people have support already in place, calls to our community hubs are slowly reducing. However, in the previous week we’ve had 289 calls and 7 webforms submitted, delivered 1,130 food parcels, supported 32 people who wanted someone to talk to and organised 5 prescriptions.

 

Wigan Athletic statement

As a major sporting institution in our town, the news that Wigan Athletic Football Club has entered into administration is extremely sad. The economic impact of Covid-19 has been significant, affecting many businesses, organisations and individuals in Wigan Borough and across the country. I hope the administrators can find a way to avoid closure and we will of course provide our full support.

 

Stay Safe this Weekend

Wigan Council is urging residents to stay safe, be patient and be kind as the borough prepares to ease the current coronavirus restrictions. With more businesses expected to reopen their doors this weekend (Saturday 4th July), we’ll be reminding residents to stay safe, check before they travel and continue following the social distancing rules to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.  People are asked to continue to keep at least 2m apart wherever possible, wash hands, wear face coverings and comply with test and trace measures should they get coronavirus symptoms or become a contact. And - as pubs, bars, restaurants, hairdressers and other businesses and destinations start to reopen from 4 July – there’s a plea to residents to avoid anywhere that is crowded and to check that their destination is open before travelling as not all venues plan to reopen straight away. Playgrounds and libraries in Wigan Borough for example, will remain closed. Public toilets in Atherton, Leigh, Ashton and Tyldesley will be opening, but all others are closed while we carry out risk assessments. Licensing teams will be out over the weekend working closely with the police and local businesses to ensure the rules are being observed.

 

Illegal Raves

Wigan Council are working with the police taking a partnership and proactive approach to prevent and tackle potential illegal raves in the borough. GMP have intelligence about three possible events this weekend. We’ve just been made aware of a potential gathering at Haigh this evening. GMP have applied for a dispersal order and our enforcement team is on site now to prevent people accessing the area with road restrictions in place. We’ve been made aware of a gathering on Saturday 4th July after the funeral of Matthew Corbett who tragically died last week. The venue is private land at Springfield Fisheries in Ince and we understand around 60 tickets have been sold. GMP and licensing have visited the landowner and organiser as no licence or permission has been applied for, so it is illegal. Our teams are doing what they can to prevent this going ahead and a dispersal notice will be in place in case it is needed. We’re also aware of a potential gathering of young people at The Wash in Standish, due to their prom being cancelled, on Saturday 4th July. Our ASB outreach team is working with the local neighbourhood policing team to prevent this event.

 

Local Government Funding

The government has announced a new support package to help councils respond to coronavirus. Councils in England will now receive a further £500 million to respond to spending pressures. In addition to this funding, another new scheme will help to reimburse lost income during the pandemic and boost cash flow. Where losses are more than 5% of a council’s planned income from sales, fees and charges, the government will cover them for 75p in every pound lost. Additionally, the government is also bringing in changes so that councils can spread their tax deficits over 3 years rather than the usual one. We are currently waiting for further details on our funding allocation to see how this will affect our current budget position that was shared at cabinet yesterday.

 

SEND Schools Reopening – Survey

We’re currently consulting with families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) regarding the re-opening of schools and settings to all pupils. There are around 6,000 children with SEND in the borough. Two online sessions are being held next week which parents can join to share their views. There are also two surveys, one for young people up to the age of 25 with SEND here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/N93JK9D and one for their parents here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Covid2020SEND which will help us understand how they’re feeling and how we can support our young people to return to education.

 

Support for Young People

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has revealed a series of new measures to support young people across the region. Our Pass applications will open again on the 1st July giving young people free bus travel and reduced tram travel. School leavers will be able to start using the travel card from September as they commence the next step in their education and careers. Young people who were part of the first year of Our Pass will also have their access to Our Pass exclusive offers extended for a year. As part of the refresh for September 2020, a new website will be launched. And, in a significant move to young people with the greatest challenges at this time, the Mayor has brought forward the offer of free travel and offers for Care Leavers aged 18-21. Read the full GMCA press release here https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/mayor-delivers-first-package-of-support-to-help-young-people-through-covid-crisis-as-part-of-young-persons-guarantee/

 

Project Speed (Infrastructure Delivery)

We’re expecting an announcement from the government tomorrow setting out its plan to revive the economy following Covid-19. A special taskforce called ‘Project Speed’ has been set up to reduce the time it takes to deliver high quality infrastructure. Projects in the pipeline include new hospitals, prison places and schools. Today we’re expecting more details on the schools aspect – with the PM due to announce funding of £1bn for 50 major school building projects, with a further £560m programme of rebuilding, refurbishment and repairs. Read the full story here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53215221

 

Recycling Centres

All household waste recycling centres in Greater Manchester have reopened this weekend following advice from the PM asking councils to open them. Our three centres have been open since April to support residents with their increased waste and recycling and staff are still redeployed to the sites to help them run smoothly. We’ve had more than 100,000 visits to our three Household Waste Recycling Centres since we reopened, with more than 10,000 visits each week.

 

Reopening Town Centres

We’re continuing to support our local businesses to safely reopen and, in addition to local signage and graphics, billboards will be live from today for the next couple of weeks reminding visitors to stay safe and follow social distancing. The Galleries reported more than 50,000 visitors in its first week of reopening, signalling the public’s appetite for shopping. Grand Arcade also reported 48,000 visitors with a high of 10,000 on Saturday. We’ll also be sharing guidance this week ahead of the reopening of pubs, hotels and restaurants this weekend.

 

Adult Services Update

From Councillor Keith Cunliffe (Deputy Leader)

Care Homes:

  • 44 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital
  • 8 care homes affected today as follows:
    • 2 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital
    • 5 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only
    • 1 homes have symptomatic residents in hospital only
    • 34 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 30 in care homes, 4 in an acute setting.
  • The reported death figure has risen to 195. *IMPORTANT: Care Home deaths figure - This has been provided by Care Home Managers to give us live situational awareness and is likely to include residents who have died in hospital (data already captured via national process) and residents on end of life pathways whose death was expected. This is part of the national challenge around the accurate capture of timely information from Care Homes. The is on average a week’s delay between date of death and death certification which provides a verified record, which needs to be triangulated with hospital data to ensure no double counting takes place. CQC are now recording this information direct from Care Homes and feeding this into the national analysis, with the expectation this will be available on a local level over time
  • Squads are currently deployed to Dean Wood Manor, Mahogany, St Georges and Golborne House, Garswood and Thorley.  We are now reviewing where the support need is for the squads and reaching back out to homes to see if there are any others in need of support via the squads.

 

Supported Accommodation: (No update)

  • External: All good in terms of providers still managing really well.  Update on new developments:  Completion dates now 16th July for Marigold and 8th August for Hyndelle. We have at least 8 people confirmed for each block of apartments and are just finalising the last few people. Community Integrated Care have recruited their service leader for Hyndelle.
  • Internal: No supported living properties with customers who are symptomatic. Respite services are currently closed until 9th July and regular reviews taking place, staff have been re-deployed into Supported Living  properties, team leader are in regular contact with families to keep them updated and did a thank you card and flower drop off to every family.   Currently only people that are shielding are absent. We have redeployed 46 staff into the service to provide continuity and stability for customers planning continues around cover needed.
  • Heathside is still a Covid-19 free care home.

 

Day support & Shared Lives:

  • We have reviewed the increased payments for Shared Lives and agreed to keep them in place. We are now exploring opportunities where people have broken away from day support as to whether or not this could be a more permanent and better offer for customers.

 

General:

  • I-pads in Care Homes – we have delivered the 52 that we had, next cohort of 60 has now also been delivered. Most of homes have received at least one and delivered Zoom training. Resolving some issues around homes not being signed up to NHS.net.
  • The Appointee team have now undertaken training for pre-payment cards. Once in place we will roll out the use for those coming into buildings. These should be in operation from mid-July with an easy guide.

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

  • The increase of local testing means that there is a greater risk in the reduction of workforce as people are found to be positive for covid-19.
  • We are working with the CCG to try and work out a pathway to get results through to GP practices as soon as possible, there are a few barriers around GDPR but we are working to resolve this.
  • Department of Health have agreed local testing capacity, once confirmed we hope this will start from 06 July. This capacity can be used however we want locally, it allows for planning to take place for usage.

 

PPE: (no update)

  • There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

30-06-2020

Press Release From Leader Cllr David Molyneux

30-06-2020

Professor Kate Ardern, director of Public Health, said: “Following the government’s decision to introduce a local lockdown in Leicester, we have been made aware that the media is sharing a list of places that could be next, including Wigan.

 

“The figures being quoted are weekly case increases, without any wider context. So for example, in the last week we only recorded two new cases, compared to zero cases the week before. Our 7-day infection rate is 3.7 per 100,000 people compared to Leicester’s rate of 135 per 100,000. We also currently have the sixth lowest rate of cases in Greater Manchester and cases in Wigan have only accounted for 0.3% of all national cases this week.

 

“The way this information has been pulled together is misleading, unhelpful and irresponsible. I’d like to reassure our residents that we monitor all cases through our daily Covid-19 tracker which we’ll be sharing publicly on our website shortly so all residents can see clear, accurate, up to date information which should help put their minds at ease, but to be clear judging by our latest figures, I don’t think we can expect a local lockdown any time soon.”

Update 22-06-20

Enquiries Re Highways Surface Treatment

I have had several enquiries about road surface treatments which are underway in parts of the Ward where some residents feel the surface is not up to the usual highways’ standard. The work which is being carried out is a micro asphalt surface treatment which as part of the Councils preventative maintenance programme and is not a re-surface. This type of surface treatment process; involves a thin overlay laid on top of the highway designed to prolong the life of the existing carriageway by sealing the existing surface and helps to prevent further weather damage on our roads.  Whilst the surface treatment may look displeasing at first, it relies on the action of traffic flow to bed in the material into the highway surface, which will improve over time as traffic goes over the highway. Highways inspectors will monitor the roads and carry out inspections and any defects or areas which are below standard must be rectified by the contractor at their expense.

 

Covid-19 alert level is lowered from 4 to 3

The Covid-19 alert level for the UK has been lowered from Level 4 (epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (epidemic is in general circulation). The chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland say the move reflects the steady decrease in cases but have urged caution in that it does not mean the pandemic is over. “The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur,” the CMOs said. “We have made progress against the virus thanks to the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure this progress continues.”

 

Extension for Discretionary Business Grant Scheme

We have extended the deadline so more businesses can apply for a government funded grant scheme. More than £50m has been distributed to 5,000 firms across the borough since the start of the pandemic. The extension pushes the deadline for the latest tranche of funding back until the end of June, as the original window only gave businesses two weeks in which to apply. For more details click here. https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Business/Business-Support/COVID-19-Discretionary-Business-Grant.aspx

 

Celebrating Armed Forces Day in Lockdown

Wigan Borough’s annual Armed Forces Day celebrations will still go ahead this year, in line with government guidance to minimise the spread of the coronavirus. Due to current social restriction measures, Wigan Council has amended the usual format and will instead mark the day with a week of online activity and a low-key convoy. From Monday 22 June, the Union Jack flags on our town halls and the Armed Forces Day flag on Believe Square, will be raised for one week. Families and residents are encouraged to follow the council’s social media pages to take part in Armed Forces Day related activities including learning how to salute, writing letters to local veterans, and learning about different types of military vehicles. On Saturday 27 June, there will be a small convoy in both Wigan and Leigh. The route and times of the convoy will not be shared to avoid gatherings forming, however, sections will be live-streamed on the council’s social channels. “We are disappointed that our usual plans are unable to go ahead due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, but following the success of our virtual and socially distanced VE Day activities earlier this year, we’re confident that residents will still make the most of the day. “Public safety is our main priority and although we couldn’t let the day pass without acknowledging the sacrifice of our armed forces community, we will not share the exact route or timings of the convoy as we cannot risk residents standing in large groups. “We encourage residents in Wigan and Leigh to keep their eyes peeled throughout the day and to take photographs from their front doors and driveways if the convoy passes their homes. We also welcome motorists to show their support if they pass the convoy on the road." Organised by Wigan Council, the annual event tends to attract more than 20,000 people to the borough and was due to take place in Leigh town centre on Saturday 27 June. Throughout the week leading up to the day, Wigan Borough’s Armed Forces HQ will also encourage families to hide decorated rocks around the borough and share their location on social media with the hashtag #RemembranceRocks The idea is so other families can then find the rocks and re-hide them. Laura Ingham, managing director of the HQ said: “We are inspired by the resilience and passion of the armed forces community in Wigan Borough throughout the pandemic by keeping celebrations alive in a virtual way. Although we can’t be together this year, we will meet again."

 

Wigan Pride 2020

Wigan Pride is going digital this year. The online event, which celebrates diversity and reminds us of the importance of equality, is on Friday 26th June. The event starts at 6pm and will feature music, entertainment, speeches, and short films. To watch it go to Wigan Pride’s Facebook page here. https://www.facebook.com/OfficialWiganPride

Update 16-06-20

 

Residents Urged to Stay at Home

Wigan Council issued a renewed call for residents to follow our Stay Home, Be Kind message following the rise in the North West’s R number, which stood at 1.01 on Friday. Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, and Liverpool City Mayor, Steve Rotherham, issued a joint letter to the Prime Minister to share their concerns. Although some lockdown measures have been eased in the last few weeks, the council is still be encouraging our borough to stay at home as much as possible, only traveling for essential journeys and to follow health advice around handwashing. Professor Kate Ardern also spoke live on BBC Radio Manchester this morning about why we are following this latest advice and what it means for our borough. You can more here https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/June/Rise-in-R-number-prompts-call-to-Stay-Home-Be-Kind.aspx

 

New Task Force to Protect Care Homes

A social care task force has been launched to reduce Covid-19 infections in care homes and protect them as lockdown is eased. All care home residents and staff are now eligible for testing. The Care Quality Commission figures show that deaths in care homes have fallen by 79 percent since the peak of the outbreak. We are continuing to support our homes across the borough with many staff still redeployed to help those who need extra support

 

Face Coverings on Public Transport

From today it is the law that you must wear a mask or face covering when traveling on public transport including on a bus, train, tram, and coach. People could be fined £100 if they are not wearing a face covering. We are also encouraged to wear a mask when in an enclosed space, where it isn’t possible to social distance. The full guidance is here  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers?utm_source=b487af84-1c76-4114-b845-78d8c986d031&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Schools Announcement

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson made a statement in Parliament confirming that all primary school years in England would not return before the end of term in July. There had been an aim for all primary pupils to spend four weeks in school before the summer break, but it is no longer thought to be feasible and instead, schools will be given "flexibility" over whether or not to admit more pupils. It is hoped all children, including secondary schools, will return to school by September

 

Markets Reopening

On 15th June Wigan and Leigh indoor market halls reopened, with social distancing measures.  There will be a phased reopening to the two market halls at stallholder request, with all traders returning from 4th July, subject to any further announcements by the government. Social distancing markers, additional signage, hand sanitising facilities, and extra security and staff to ensure customer flow are new measures that will be implemented to ensure government guidance is adhered to. The council will be supporting traders with risk assessment so that they are confident they can reopen safely. You can read the press release here https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/June/Wigan-and-Leigh-markets-to-reopen.aspx

 

Shops Reopen

Shops are reopening across the borough today with social distancing guidelines in place to protect workers and shoppers. As mentioned on Friday, council car parks will also reopen so we can support our town centres, with normal parking charges and enforcement back in place. Parking for NHS staff and key workers remains free and our free weekend parking offer is on council car parks until March 2021. The council has written to all local businesses to offer guidance about reopening and has provided posters for them to use to help with social distancing measures. They are available on the Open for Business section of our website here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/The-Deal/Deal-Communities/Be-Kind/Open-for-business.aspx

 

Council Buildings

Council buildings, including the life centres and town halls, are still currently closed to members of the public. We are looking at how we can safely reopen and will keep you updated

 

Covid-19 Impact Survey

A reminder that new Covid-19 impact survey is now live, which will be promoted this week - and throughout the next two months - to residents and staff to encourage as many people as possible to have their say on how their priorities and behaviour have changed: www.wigan.gov.uk/covidsurvey

 

UK Travel Quarantine Rules

New rules come into effect today requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. People arriving by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – will have to provide an address where they will self-isolate and face fines of up to £1,000 if they breach the rules

 

Famous Faces Project

The archives team has launched a new project encouraging residents to nominate ‘famous faces’ in the borough, to be part of a new exhibition corner at Leigh Town Hall. The faces don’t have to be celebrities, but can be anyone, past or present, who has played a key role in the community. Find out more about the project and how to nominate here https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/June/Famous-Faces-needed-for-new-exhibition-in-Leigh.aspx

 

Rugby League World Cup 2021

In the countdown to the Rugby League World Cup 2021 with less than 500 days to go. It’s been revealed we will be hosting Lebanon in the borough next October, with Leigh Sports Village being an official tournament venue. The matches will attract thousands of visitors from across the world, bringing a welcome boost to our local economy

Update 05-06-20

As you may be aware I am the Vice-Chair of Adult Health & Social care scrutiny committee so I have been in discussion with the Deputy Leader Cllr Cunliffe and I thought it would be appropriate to provide you with an update based on information provided to me by Keith on care homes and next weeks carers week, where the council along with partners and local groups will be embarking on activities etc to recognise our amazing unpaid carers and the priceless work that they do, please note that being symptomatic doesn’t mean a person is COVID-19 positive. This update is specifically focussed on Care homes and Carers week, I shall do a more general update covering wider issues in another update.  As follows:

 

Care Homes COVID-19 Update (05-06-2020):

  • 34 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital (an increase of 2 since last week). The 18 care homes currently affected today as follows:

 

  • 6 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital
  • 10 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only
  • 2 homes have symptomatic residents in hospital only
  • 103 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19; 87 in care homes, 16 in an acute setting.
  • The reported death figure is 177.  *IMPORTANT: Care Home deaths figure - This has been provided by Care Home Managers to give us live situational awareness and is likely to include residents who have died in hospital (data already captured via national process) and residents on end of life pathways whose death was expected. This is part of the national challenge around the accurate capture of timely information from Care Homes. The is on average a week’s delay between date of death and death certification which provides a verified record, which needs to be triangulated with hospital data to ensure no double counting takes place. CQC are now recording this information directly from Care Homes and feeding this into the national analysis, with the expectation this will be available on a local level over time
  • Care Home Squads are currently deployed to Dean Wood Manor, Mahogany, St Georges, and Golborne House. 

 

Supported Accommodation:

An update on new developments and the completion dates have been moved back to 9th July for Marigold Lodge and 30th July for Hyndelle Lodge. People in supported living are still in good spirits. There are currently no supported living properties with customers who are symptomatic, all properties have regular in-house activities and contact with family via social media/skype and telephone calls.

 

Respite services are currently closed until 15th June and regular reviews taking place, with staff currently re-deployed into properties. The team leaders are in regular contact with families to keep them updated and to do welfare checks. 48 staff have been redeployed into the service to provide continuity and stability for customers.

 

Day support & Shared Lives:

  • We are reviewing the No of requests coming in for day support relating to dementia services with a view to assessing the need for a base to support social distancing and to support outreach. This may have an impact on staff currently redeployed and home care support may also be needed

 

General:

  • IPads have been distributed to 26 care homes at present and the rollout continues. This will support connecting residents with their families/ friends through video calling and messaging; supporting the ‘end of life’ pathway during COVID 19, where the current situation prevents family members and other visitors entering the home; supporting virtual meetings, webinars with the Council and their partners, such as Wigan and Leigh Hospice, Wigan CCG and GP virtual ward rounds and digital consultations with individual residents.
  • We are working with People First who are working with the People Powered Technology team to develop virtual circles of support for those people with learning disabilities and autism to support people who are struggling at this time. Helping to reduce anxieties and social isolation and ensuring people feel connected. 

 

Testing & Contact Tracing:

  • The increase of local testing can contribute to workforce reduction should more people be found to be COVID-19 positive.
  • We are now moving into the next phase of testing and contact tracing. As we move into the next phase of response to the pandemic, we are establishing effective contact tracing in Greater Manchester and Wigan, as part of a National Contact Tracing Service (NCTS) – it is universally agreed that success relies on all three elements working in tune together. There is a three-part plan that will shape how and when city regions and ultimately the UK leaves lockdown with three main aims central to it:
  •  
  • Testing people to uncover the virus
  • Tracking where the virus is spreading
  • Tracing people who may be infected
  •  
  • The resource required in Wigan has been modeled on the existing data available but will need to develop along with local requirements and impacts as we move forward through the phases of Covid-19 from ‘Crisis Management of Covid-19’ to ‘Managing down infection rates and deaths of Covid-19’ and on to ‘Living With Covid-19’. The GM program outlines five main headings for the local response, and we have adopted these to direct the work locally. (An overview of the GM test and trace system is attached).
    • Connecting to the GM contact tracing and testing architecture
    • Supporting and protecting vulnerable individuals, household and groups
    • Consequence Management - Understanding and mitigating wider community impact
    • Leading the local partnership response
    • Connecting, engaging and involving local communities

 

PPE:

Wigan currently has a stock of PPE and there are currently no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS, and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported Care Commissioning Group with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community clients

 

Carers Week 2020 (8th-14th June 2020)

Next week is Carers week 2020 and Wigan Council will be running with the theme ‘Making Caring visible’.  I'm sure you can imagine, it is difficult to manage activities in our current situation. The council has been working in partnership with Carers Centre, Young carers, Crossroads, Embrace, Shevington carers group, etc, along with support from our PR media and comms team to develop a plan for the week some of which will include things like, Presentations to carers from nominations received from partners. A digital campaign such as using Adshels and Supermarket screens to raise awareness of unpaid carers and help people to identify themselves as a carer. Prize competition for the design of a logo week, personal stories and activities, etc to be shared via social media channels, Wellbeing packs, and leaflets targeting known carers both Young carers and carers over 70. TikTok is being explored to use as a means to connect with young carers and the Chief officer of the Carers Centre will be completing a 26.2-mile bike ride to raise funds for carers centre.  You can find more information about the Carers week here: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/May/A-thank-you-to-recognise-the-vital-role-of-carers.aspx

Update 04-06-20

Millbank Quarry Incident

I have received several reports about an incident at Millbank Quarry about water being pumped across a footpath and into the nearby Brook which occurred on Monday and was due to an incident on the quarry site which has been resolved. The quarry along with the footpath affected are under ownership and responsibility of West Lancashire Council. This incident was dealt with by Dave Owens on behalf of WLC. I have spoken with our enforcement officers who have informed me that there are wider issues surrounding this development which are being investigated by Wigan Council, West Lancashire Council, and the Environment Agency. Wigan Councils legal team will be able to provide more formal details once they have thoroughly reviewed all the documents and information surrounding the development. Its important to note that local Residents have mixed views as to what should ultimately happen to the quarry

 

Off Road Bikers Standish Lower Ground

I have had reports from residents about off road bikers around Standish lower Ground.  Our police team are aware of this and as always, I would like to remind residents to call 101 and report any incidents to ensure logs are kept and evidence can be gathered that might help the police to catch any offenders.  Whilst it can be difficult to catch offenders when the community work together with the police it makes it must easier

 

Lockdown Restrictions Eased

As part of the government’s plan to ease lockdown, extremely vulnerable people who have been shielding have been told they can go outside from today, with members of their household or if they live alone to meet one person from another household. Our community hubs will continue to offer support to those on the shielded list to ensure they have the support they need should they decide to stay home. Also from today new rules come into force which allow people to meet up to six people from different households, outdoors or in private gardens, ensuring they are social distancing. While the government has advised people to still limit contact where possible.

 

Schools Update

A letter is currently being distributed to schools with a message from Professor Kate Ardern advising them to aim for Monday 15th June for opening more widely to pupils. This is a fast-moving situation, and our very latest advice has only been decided in the last couple of days, in response to the most up-to-date scientific evidence. The Council will continue to support schools with their risk assessments, but it is up to each individual school if they feel they are ready to open sooner. I will continue to update you if there is any further update on this

 

Discretionary Business Grants

A new fund has opened targeted at businesses excluded from the Covid-19 Business Grant scheme but are still affected by the outbreak. Wigan Council have distributed more than £50million in grant funding over the last 8 weeks and remain committed to helping our local businesses through this time. The scheme will be open for applications for a two-week period until 16th June. Where the council hold details, businesses who fall into a priority category will be contacted and invited to apply. There’s more information about the scheme and our online application form on our website here: https://wigan.gov.uk/Business/Business-Support/COVID-19-Discretionary-Business-Grant.aspx

 

Grass Cutting

Despite some easing of lockdown measures, hundreds of our staff are still redeployed to support our critical services at this time, which means we are not able to return to ‘business as usual’ just yet. We have had lots of enquiries from residents asking why grassed areas are not being cut across the borough. A lot of street scene staff are amongst those redeployed to support our Covid-19 response, meaning many services are operating at a reduced rate. Residents are asked to please bear with us at this time as we continue to prioritise our Covid-19 response. Last month the council set out plans to reduce our grass cutting schedule in some parts of the borough to enable wildlife to flourish, if you missed it you can read more here: https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/May/Attracting-wildlife-and-wildflowers-to-Wigan-Borough.aspx

 

Queen’s Voluntary Award winners 2020

Congratulations to four groups in the borough who have been given a Queen’s Award for Voluntary services, announced yesterday as part of Volunteers’ Week. The groups are Garswood Bowling Club, Leigh Ornithological Society, True Colours CIC and Breastfeeding Together. If you know a group that would be a worthy winner next year, you can nominate them here: https://qavs.culture.gov.uk/

 

Pennington Golf Club

Pennington Golf Club is reopening tomorrow to members of the public. Our partners Inspiring healthy lifestyles are sending notices out to residents and will be managing demand at the site, ensuring the safety of staff and players.

  

Britain’s Friendliest Street

Pemberton Road in Winstanley has been voted Britain’s Friendliest Street, with 33% of the vote, the council's signage teams have manufactured and installed a new road sign to reflect this achievement

 

Recognising Our Volunteers

It’s National Volunteers’ Week and throughout the week the council will be celebrating our volunteers and their dedication to our communities, particularly in the last few months. This will be the focus of this week’s Thankful Thursday on social media. We’ll also be encouraging residents to nominate their neighbours for the Our Town awards which we hope to pick up later this year.  Volunteers can be nominated for special Covid-19 honours award. Find out more here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-honours-nomination-form

 

Carers Week

Next week is Carers Week and we want to shine a light on all the unpaid carers in the borough who make a massive difference. We are currently looking for people who would like to share their story. If you know of an unpaid carer who could be featured please email pr@wigan.gov.uk if they are happy to be included in the campaign.

 

Creative Care Kits

22,000 Creative Care kits will be distributed to young people who are not online from today, thanks to a partnership led by Greater Manchester combined authority and involving local charities and businesses, including the Turnpike Gallery. Each kit contains 36 pages of activities, hints and tips on protecting your mental wellbeing and a set of art materials. As well as giving young people something to do, the kits will help create a sense of connection at a time when they are not able to rely on face-to-face interactions. Working with local authorities and education providers, the kits will be distributed to young people aged between 18 and 24, who may be struggling with their mental health, or might be a care leaver, a young carer or not in education, employment or training. For more information, click here. https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/cultural-sector-in-greater-manchester-comes-together-to-help-young-people/

 

Worsley Mesnes Regeneration Project

Demolition begins today on a project to regenerate an area of Worsley Mesnes which has previously suffered from anti-social behaviour. We’re pleased this scheme has been able to go ahead which will breathe new life into the area. Work has started today at the Dryden Close flats.

Update: 30-05-20

Easing of Lockdown

In Thursday’s press conference, the government said they were satisfied the ‘five tests’ are currently being met and therefore they can continue to ease lockdown restrictions.  From Monday in England six people from different households will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, ensuring they are social distancing at all times. This does not include those on the shielded list – the most clinically vulnerable must stay shielded at this time. Wigan council are continuing to support our residents on this list through our community hubs. The full announcement from the press conference is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-press-conference-statement-on-the-five-tests-28-may-2020

 

Mobile Testing to Return

The military pop-up test facility will return to Wigan at Robin Park Arena on:

 

•   Friday 12th June, •   Saturday 13th June, •   Sunday 14th June

 

Tests will be done on an appointment-only basis. Those eligible for testing are public sector key workers, for example health staff and carers, who are showing COVID-19 symptoms. People can book a test at www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test

 

Antibody Testing

The council understands that from this week antibody tests will be made available to NHS and care staff, eligible patients, and care residents to find out if they have had Covid-19 and have developed antibodies. If you missed it, the full announcement is here.: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-offer-antibody-tests-to-health-and-social-care-staff-and-patients-in-england

 

Test and Trace System

On Thursday the government announced the introduction of a national test and trace system. Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms must now contact 119 or order a test online immediately here.: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ If someone tests positive, they must isolate for 7 days and members of their household isolate for 14 days. The NHS test and trace service will then text, email or call that person and ask them to share details of people they have had close, recent contact with and places they’ve visited. Those people will then be identified and advised to isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms. Professor Kate Ardern has written a blog about the importance of developing a regional test, track and trace system which will enable us to get the borough moving - you can read it here.: https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Health-column/Test-track-and-trace.aspx

 

Schools Update

Wigan council have advised our schools that 8th June should be the earliest date by which we begin to introduce more children into primary schools.  This position will continue to be reviewed and again early next week following updated government advice. The council are supporting schools with their risk assessments and plans for wider opening and have posed several questions that need answering to give further assurances about the safety of staff and pupils to the DfE. Secondary schools will now plan as advised for wider re-opening in line with new guidance from 15th June, again this will be reviewed following any further government announcements. I will update you on this when I get new information.

 

Reopening of Market Facilities

Following recent government announcements, risk assessments have been undertaken regarding our outdoor market facilities and social distancing guidelines, to protect shoppers and traders. Wigan’s outdoor market will re-open to the public on Monday. Traders that wish to attend will need to have completed their own risk assessment template that has been previously provided. Following the assessments, the decision has been made not to open the outdoor markets in Leigh and Ashton from next week. We are not satisfied that these sites allow for current social distancing guidance to be maintained safely. We will continue to review this position and keep traders, members and residents informed of any updates. Further updates regarding Wigan and Leigh indoor markets will be communicated to traders next week.

 

Reopening the High Street

A new £50million fund was announced over the weekend to help councils in England reopen high streets safely. It will enable authorities to introduce a range of safety measures to kick-start local economies including practical measures such as new signs, street markings and temporary barriers.

You can read the full announcement here.: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/50-million-boost-to-support-the-recovery-of-our-high-streets

 

Recovery Plans

This week Wigan council have outlined plans for the transition to a post-Covid-19 borough, looking at the challenges we now face and how we’ll have to adapt.

Latest financial forecasts suggest we’re facing a £20m shortfall. We must accept we will not be able to go back to how we operated before this pandemic as we face new challenges.

The key areas for our recovery are:

  • Protect and improve health and wellbeing
  • Support a sustainable economic recovery
  • Build on new strengths within our communities
  • Ensure children and young people return and thrive in their education/training
  • Meet financial challenges and retain new and better ways of working

You can read more about these plans here.: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/May/Wigan-Council-outlines-plans-for-recovery-framework.aspx

Update 22-05-20

Dear Councillor

 

I hope you are coping well whilst we are in the lockdown, which is very challenging indeed.  Things seem to be improving and we seem to be past the peak of this current spike in infections so hopefully things will begin to improve soon.

 

Please find my latest update from Friday based on feedback sent to me by the leader of the Council Cllr Molyneux.

 

Local Issues

As you may have noticed I put the odd example of local issues and things I am working on at the beginning of some of my updates as I think it is important to remain focussed on local matters even whilst we are in a national emergency situation.  If you have issues that you would like covered let me know and I will try to put examples when I can.  Please note I very rarely use identifiable details in my updates so there are issues I can’t cover but I can sometimes give a more general report from time to time

 

Track & Trace Programme

The Prime Minister has said that England will have a tracing system in place from June, with 25,000 contact tracers in place able to track 10,000 new cases a day. The NHS tracing app will be launched after manual work starts on 1st June. The Local Government Association has added that Covid-19 needs to be seen as a pattern of local outbreaks, rather than a national pandemic, with councils ideally placed with the skills, knowledge and experience on the ground to help ramp up the level of testing and contact tracing necessary to defeat the virus. Meanwhile, Greater Manchester has become the first region to announce its own system tracker to support care homes. The new tool allows care home staff to input information about someone’s symptoms into a tracker which is shared with the GP and NHS community response team. It will allow the NHS to closely monitor how care homes are doing across the locality. It’s currently being piloted in Tameside. You can read more about it by following this link: https://healthinnovationmanchester.com/news/greater-manchester-develops-digital-package-to-support-care-homes-in-the-fight-against-covid-19/

 

Obesity Link to Covid-19

Following the discovery that a third of those dying from Covid-19 in UK hospitals were diabetic, primarily suffering from type 2 diabetes, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised that the government will redouble its efforts to tackle obesity

 

Council Tax Payments

According to a new report, more than two million people have fallen behind on council tax bills due to Covid-19. Wigan Council have recently sent letters to households in our borough who are behind with their payments for the first time to see if any additional support can put in place to help them manage if they’re struggling financially. If you find yourself struggling to pay your council tax it is important to speak to someone about it as soon as possible as this can help avoid serious problems down the line.

 

Travel Survey

As part of Greater Manchester’s recovery from Covid-19, Transport for Greater Manchester has launched a travel survey to get people’s views and attitudes on how they will travel in the future. They want to keep passengers safe, while supporting the economy and cutting congestion so are keen to hear from as many people as possible. Wigan Council will be asking residents to fill in the survey. You can complete the survey by following this link. https://surveys.tfgm.com/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=158986718538&site=4

 

 

I do hope that you find this information useful but as always do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance

 

Please, Be Kind, Keep Hands Sanitised, and Maintain Social Distancing to Save Lives.

Update 20-05-20

Please find my latest update below, which is based on the latest updates sent to me by the leader of the council, Cllr Dave Molyneux. I have also been in discussions with the Leader of the council along with senior council officials to discuss issues and concerns raised with me by my residents relating to the reopening of schools and whilst discussions continue there is a brief outline in this update below for your information

 

As Follows:

Extension of testing

Everyone in the UK who is showing coronavirus symptoms is now eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus. Essential workers, including care home staff and residents, will continue to be prioritised. People can register for a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus after checking your symptoms.

 

Thank you to education settings and childcare providers

Todays celebration was to say Thank you to as many key workers as possible who are working to keep vital education and childcare services running across the borough. Messages of support and recognition have been tweeted throughout the day by the council which coincided with the national thank a teacher day.

 

Schools Reopening

I have had a lot of enquiries from parents about the reopening of schools and the Council is also receiving lots of media interest in our position on the reopening of primary schools.

 

Wigan Council will support schools that decide to open to ensure they can reopen safely but ultimately it is the decision of each individual school as to whether they open or not. The Manchester Evening News has pulled together a round-up of each Greater Manchester council’s position which you can read here: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/schools-opening-june-greater-manchester-18276459

 

Up to 1,500 primary schools in England are expected to remain closed on 1st June after 18 councils, including Liverpool, Birmingham and Calderdale, have said they will not force them to open.  SEND schools have also said social distancing will be virtually impossible for pupils and the SEND Council, the National Association of Head Teachers, has said that special schools still do not have everything they need to open safely

 

Here for you 

We’re backing a Greater Manchester campaign #HelpUsHelpYou which encourages people to get in touch with their GP if they have any ongoing worrying symptoms. We know people are concerned about leaving their house during Covid-19 but many GPs are doing telephone appointments and want to hear from people if they have potential cancer symptoms.

 

Pick for Britain

In yesterday’s daily press briefing, the government announced a new initiative urging students and furloughed workers to apply for seasonal farm work. People can sign up for Pick for Britain to help throughout the harvest period. There’s more info on the website here: https://pickforbritain.org.uk/

 

Extra bank holiday for October being considered

The government is considering introducing an extra bank holiday, possibly in October around the time of half-term. The idea was put forward by the UK’s tourism agency, Visit Britain, who said it expected the tourism industry to lose £37 billion because of the corona-virus lock-down, including lost earnings over the two bank holidays in May. The government said it would “respond in due course” to the proposal

Update 18-15-2020

Please find my latest update below based on information sent to me by the Leader of the council Cllr Dave Molyneux for your information.  I will also update my website at www.myshevington.co.uk

 

Just a quick note to let you know that I have had several reports of fly tipping in Standish lower Ground.  I have passed the information on to enforcement officers for investigation and enforcement.  It is important for us all to remember that if we employ tradespeople to do work, we have a duty to ensure that they are licensed for removing, carrying and disposing of waste.  Please ensure that you check licences of tradesmen you employ for your own protection as it is not unusual for someone to be charged a disposal fee and then the perpetrator dumps the waste illegally in order to pocket the disposal fee, which means the cost is placed on the rest of us for clearing their mess and in some cases even the owner of the waste (I.e address where it came from) can be prosecuted.  There is no excuse or justification for fly tipping. It is nothing more than laziness, greed, utter selfishness and complete disregard for the environment and the rest of us who live in it !! as with any other crime call 101 if you have information or evidence of illegal activity.

 

Update As Follows:

 

Covid-19 Vaccine

It was announced yesterday that an experimental Covid-19 vaccine will go into production this summer in the UK, with a potential 30 million doses available by September should the vaccine prove to be successful. This means the UK would be the first to access this vaccine. You can read the full announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/business-secretarys-statement-on-coronavirus-covid-19-17-may-2020?utm_source=d71e4388-d36f-4089-b980-47dd67df410d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

New Symptom for Self-Isolation

The government has added anosmia (loss of or change of smell) to the list of key Covid-19 symptoms people should self-isolate with, along with a continuous cough or fever. Anosmia can also affect your sense of taste as the two are intricately linked. The government say they now have enough evidence to recommend this new measure. Anyone with these symptoms should self-isolate for 7 days, and members of their household for 14 days. Read the full statement from the Chief Medical Officer here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers-on-an-update-to-coronavirus-symptoms-18-march-2020?utm_source=da50a8b6-4a1c-4092-bfce-4bea6862f2fe&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Schools Update

Wigan Council have written to schools across the borough to offer support with their plans to reopen. As you will be aware, this issue has been heavily debated in the media over the last week and we have had several enquiries asking for our position. Ultimately each school is different and will have their own plans for how they can reopen safely, and we will continue to support them with this as best we can. I will continue to provide updates on this whenever I can

 

Outdoor Restaurant Plans Considered

It’s been widely reported the government is exploring plans to allow cafes, pubs and restaurants to sell food and drink from street stalls. I will update you with any further Information I receive on this.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is kindness. Wigan Council have set a 7-day kindness challenge encouraging residents to complete small acts of kindness for themselves and others. The Council will be sharing some examples across various media channels and signposting people to where they can access support if they need it. The Council are also delivering kindness packages, including information about the help available in the borough if anyone is struggling with their mental health, along with our food parcels this week.

Update 16-05-2020

Following on from my earlier message and after reviewing some of the information sent to me by the Leader of the Council Cllr Molyneux etc.  Please find my latest update fyi.  I would like to take this opportunity thank everyone for their positive feedback for my messages.  It is very much appreciated and helps me to ensure that the information I provide you with is relevant.

 

As Follows:

 

If You Need Support

If you need help with food deliveries & access to essential items or would like lower level support such as connecting with community groups or a listening ear, call Wigan Council helpline on 01942 489018. You can also refer yourself or someone else online here: https://apps.wigan.gov.uk/covid19/selfisolationassistance

 

Helpline Offers Wider Range of Support

Our community helpline working alongside our hub system has already come to the aid of many residents who have required urgent support, such as delivery of food and medicine supplies. The facility is now being used to offer more general welfare support, including helping residents deal with issues around social isolation.

Staff have been able to offer reassurance and advice and will continue to do so. The coordinated effort has seen those in isolation helped through volunteers walking their dog, dropping round books and DVDs or simply providing someone to catch-up with on the other end of the phone. Please continue to encourage residents to utilise this service (01942 489018) and for more information, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/bekind

 

Mobile Testing Unit

A mobile coronavirus testing unit will arrive in Wigan next week, giving public sector key workers the opportunity to get tested closer to home. The service, which will be operated by military personnel, will be open between Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th May on an appointment-only basis. Those eligible for testing are public sector key workers, for example health staff and carers, who are showing COVID-19 symptoms. It will be based at Robin Park Arena and people can book online for a test. We’ll be sharing this information with residents and the local media today.

 

North-South Divide Emerges in Covid-19 Modelling

Latest modelling from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows that a coronavirus ‘North-South divide’ has emerged across England. Around one in five Londoners have been infected with the virus compared to 14% of people in North West, 11% in the Midlands, North East and Yorkshire, 10% in East of England and 8% in South East. The data suggests around 6.5m people in England have already been infected, including 1.8m in London. It also suggests the death rate is far higher for older people than has previously been estimated and nearly one in five children aged between 5 and 14 has been infected.

 

£2bn for Transport Upgrades

In yesterday’s daily press briefing, the government said spending billions of pounds on infrastructure updates would lead to “smoother and safer journeys” as the country recovers from the pandemic. Around 11m potholes are to be repaired as part of a £1.7bn transport infrastructure investment fund and the government is accelerating more than £175m of work to be carried out while fewer people are travelling. There are also plans for every motorway service area in England to have a minimum of six ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging points by 2023.

 

New Restrictions

Since the government’s announcement on Sunday regarding the easing of certain restrictions, staff have been carrying out risk assessments at our parks and greenspaces. Wigan Council are working with businesses to ask them to carry out their own risk assessments too before opening to the public. For now Council car parks and toilet facilities at popular sites will remain closed but are being reviewing on a daily basis. To avoid mass gatherings over the weekend, we will continue to ask residents to stay at home wherever possible and to only travel for essential journeys.

 

Re-Opening of Schools

A phased return to school for some primary age children could start from June 1 at the earliest. The Prime Minister indicated pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 would be prioritised as long as infection rates continue to decline. Primary school year groups outside of those mentioned could then return by the summer if the first stage proves successful. In terms of secondary school pupils, it was mentioned that there is an ‘ambition’ for some years, such as 10 and 12, to have time back at school before the summer holidays.

 

Extension to Furlough Scheme

The chancellor is expected to announce an update to the furlough scheme which will see the government pay wages until the end of September, although this may involve pay-outs falling from 80 per cent of normal pay to 60 per cent. Our business community will be updated with any developments as they happen this week.

 

Encouraging Residents to Cycle and Walk

The government has announced a £2bn package to help with cycling and walking routes across the country. The first stage will see schemes such as pop-up bike lanes, wider payments and cycle and bus-only streets.  On a more local level, the Mayor of Greater Manchester has launched a #safestreetssavelives campaign to encourage safe essential travel. As mentioned previously, a number of measures have already been introduced in Wigan Borough to support cyclists and pedestrians.

They are as follows:

 

  • Temporarily extend the pedestrian zone times in Wigan and Leigh town centres from 10:30am to 4pm to 9am to 5pm to help walking and cycling movements
  • Introducing 20mph speed limits on some Wigan town centre roads including Standishgate, Market Street, Millgate, Crompton Street and Mesnes Street. Permanent signage will be in place. It is hoped that this particular measure will become permanent following a six-month trial period.
  • Extending the operating times of the bus lane on Leigh Road from peak hour to 24/7.

 

Support for Domestic Abuse Charities

Details on how domestic abuse charities can access vital funds have been released today. This funding will support domestic abuse safe accommodation services who not only provide beds, but also offer the critical help victims and their children need. The support can be used to ensure existing services remain open as well as to create additional capacity and support during these unprecedented times. More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-abuse-safe-accommodation-covid-19-emergency-support-fund

Update 05-05-2020

BLUE BADGE (DISABLED PARKING) SCHEME

ADVICE FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES

The DfT has issued advice to Local Authorities re the issue of new and replacement badges. The advice notes also stated that Local Authorities have been asked to make sure that they do not enforce on badges that expired from 1 Jan 2020 onwards, initially until the 30 Sept 2020.  An extract from the advice is as follows:

 

“Acknowledging that you may have to delay processing new Blue Badge applications and reapplications, and may also have an existing backlog of current applications, the UK Government is endorsing new guidance issued jointly by the British Parking Association, the Local Government Association, and London Councils advising that local authority parking teams should not issue Penalty Charge Notices to citizens using Blue Badges with an expiry date of 1 January 2020 onwards. This relaxation of enforcement against expired Blue Badges should continue initially until 30 September 2020.

 

This is a national instruction and it is hoped that no tickets are issued at places such as supermarkets that have private parking arrangements. In these circumstances, the badge owner should have a right to challenge if they have received a fine”

 

Stop Smoking Campaign

A new campaign in Greater Manchester is calling on smokers to stop smoking as smokers are at increased risk of suffering more serious complications if they develop coronavirus. The warning comes as emerging evidence shows smokers in hospital who have coronavirus are at a higher risk than non-smokers of severe illness.  A new survey estimates at least 300,000 people have quit smoking successfully, a further 550,000 have tried to quit and 2.4 million have cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke due to growing concerns around Covid-19.  Wigan Council will be supporting the campaign and sharing messages across various channels encouraging our residents to get support if they want to quit.

 

On Thursday 7 May, 11 am – 12 pm, ASH is hosting a webinar for local authority public health professionals and councillors on the importance of tobacco control as part of local COVID-19 strategies. The webinar includes an overview of tobacco control in Covid-19 responses, as well as case studies from other areas. Register for the webinar here https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7407981988808576779

 

New Shielded List

Wigan Council have received a new shielded list from the government with an additional 3,500 people in the borough who they have struggled to contact. As the local authority, we’ll now be contacting these people to provide welfare checks and to ensure they have essential items and support. Residents on the shielded list are extremely clinically vulnerable and have been asked to shield for 12 weeks to protect themselves

 

We are Here for You

We’re still reminding residents it’s important to seek help from local health services if they have signs or symptoms of a serious or life-threatening illness. The information has gone out to vulnerable residents via our community hubs and messages are being shared across the Healthier Wigan Partnership. Read more from our colleagues at the CCG here https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Health-column/Here-for-you.aspx

 

 

Reported Plan for Primary Schools

It has been widely reported that later this week Boris Johnson is expected to announce that primary schools can reopen as soon as 1st June. Year 10 and Year 12 pupils are then expected to form the first wave of secondary pupils returning to school at a later point. This is dependent on whether the government deems it safe to do so. The government’s “roadmap” out of the coronavirus lockdown is set to be unveiled in an address to the nation on Sunday. I will keep you updated as soon as I am aware of any confirmed plans.

 

NSPCC Campaign

The NSPCC has launched a new national campaign to encourage communities and neighbours to be alert to child protection issues and to feel confident to raise their concerns. Wigan Council will be adding these resources to our local communications. Please share on your channels too as they come through

 

Government Launches Contact Tracing App

A trial NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app is being rolled out to council staff and healthcare workers on the Isle of Wight, ahead of a wider roll-out on the island on Thursday.  The app works by using Bluetooth signals to detect when two people’s smartphones are close to each other. If one-person later registers as being infected, an alert will be sent to others they have been in close contact with who are judged at high risk of contagion. The government says it will also help them to spot geographical hotspots where the virus is spreading and gain new insight into how it spreads. If successful it could be rolled out further across the UK to help lift lockdown measures

 

Manchester Airport Finance Package

All Ten Greater Manchester authorities including Wigan Council, have jointly agreed on a finance package of over £250m for the Manchester Airport Group to soften the impact of Covid-19. This will help to protect our long-term investments in the airport and safeguarding tens of thousands of jobs that rely on it

Update 02-05-2020

Support for Vulnerable People

The government has launched a new web page as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for vulnerable people, those who are on the shielded list and are medically extremely vulnerable, and those self-isolating. It has all the information in once place for how people can access support, food or medical supplies. You can view the page here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-accessing-food-and-essential-supplies

 

National update

Boris Johnson announced that there had been a total of 26,771 UK coronavirus deaths in hospitals, care homes and the wider community. The government will now be including all deaths in their daily figures moving forward. According to these figures the UK has one of the highest number of deaths due to Covid-19.  Boris Johnson also said that the UK was "past the peak" of the virus outbreak but stressed the country must not "risk a second spike". He has pledged to set out a “comprehensive plan" next week on how to ease lockdown measures.

 

The government also reported traffic levels on our roads were at their highest level yesterday since lockdown was introduced. It is really important we continue to remind our residents of the current lockdown restrictions.  Hopefully the government will expand on their plans for easing the lockdown in the coming days then we know where we stand and can begin to make plans – I will continue to update you as new information is made available.  I’m sure you will agree with me that how right we do it is much more important than how quick we do it

 

Waste and Recycling

 

Fly tipping incidents have reduced in our borough by 13% and our recycling rates hit 61% during April which is fantastic news. This is compared to a new survey which has shown a potential 300% increase in fly tipping incidents in rural communities.  Wigan Council were featured on ITV’s Fly tipping: Britain’s lockdown problem programme, broadcast, talking about the positive impact of reopening our recycling centres and how it’s helped to reduce fly tipping.  As I understand it Wigan were the first authority in the country to reopen their recycling centres.  A number of other local authorities are now following our lead and reopening their centres.

 

From Monday, and in line with other Greater Manchester authorities, recycling centre users will need to bring a proof of address to show they are Wigan Borough residents. ID can be in the form of a council tax, gas or electricity bill or driving licence.  These measures are to ensure we can prioritise those living in the borough, and to make sure residents get full use of the reopened recycling centres, as we have had reports of people from other areas visiting the sites. We’ll be reminding residents that only cars and small vans are permitted and that only one person should be attending so we can protect residents and staff. People should only be making the journey if it is essential.

 

Windsor and Maidenhead Council Could File for Bankruptcy

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council could be the first local authority to file for bankruptcy because of the coronavirus. This is a stark reminder of how this virus will significantly impact us for many months and years to come. Officers are now considered issuing a section 114 notice saying that they cannot afford expenditure and their financial reserves are depleted. Our finance team is looking at our finances to prepare a revised budget and capital programme which takes into consideration our financial losses.

 

Donations

We’ve been overwhelmed with kindness from local businesses and organisations who have wanted to support our Covid-19 efforts. Just a handful of many donations include £10,000 from Leigh Centurions rugby club to help food and essential items at Leigh hub, Wigan North community hub received £1,500 in vouchers from a nearby B&M Bargains, Morrisons has given more than 140 ready-made food parcels, and local company, Primo’s Italian, in Ashton, has also provided surplus dry goods.

 

Scam Warning for Bereaved

Wigan Trading Standards officers are working with our registrars and bereavement services teams to help communicate information about potential scams to families who have lost a loved one. There are sadly a number of scams aimed at targeting vulnerable people after they lose someone. The Council are producing a leaflet, which will go out with every registered death in the borough to protect people from falling victim to scammers

 

Thank You to Key Workers

A huge thank you to all the residents who were at their front doors clapping to show our appreciation for our carers and frontline workers.  Since the Council painted the thank you messages on our highways outside the hospital and town halls last week, we’ve had various requests for messages to go outside other buildings so the Council is currently looking at how our key worker campaign can be extended, with further signage and banners across our borough.  Our colleagues at WWL showed their appreciation for Captain Tom Moore, who celebrated his 100th birthday today and has raised more than £30m for the NHS. You can watch the hospital choir video here https://www.facebook.com/WWLNHS/videos/945391742562813/?__tn__=kCH-R&eid=ARAFJECPyI-odFcDPovW2VVa0YqmQA1vFkfLeiR3MuPasSeFkGVAogBcih0g9XZjBtvAQHaJCUtppaFh&hc_ref=ARSNzju9QhUO08F_KkpgDdsfmq5_zEQek4sLJRWB5Vd9zhS_LD-RT-tf8PtlUEUeinQ&fref=nf

 

Carry on Colouring

 

As part of the Councils Be Kind campaign, a competition was launched to encourage our children to stick homemade artwork to their windows or bins and we pledged to give out free colouring sets as a thank you. We’ve had lots of lovely responses from residents who are now receiving their sets – including Kenny, aged 5 from Platt Bridge, who said the bin crews were ‘superheroes’.

 

Testing Update

A new programme of home testing has been announced and 100,000 randomly selected people from 315 local authorities across England will be invited to provide nose and throat swabs. The test looks for evidence someone is currently infected.  In a second part of the testing programme, several different antibody tests will be assessed for their accuracy and ease of use at home. This could potentially be rolled out to 100,000 people later this year, if the test is found to be accurate, which will give the government a good idea of how many people have developed Covid-91 antibodies.

Update 29-04-2020

Referring Someone for Support

If you are aware of someone in your ward who needs our support please refer them to us via the self-isolation helpline 01942 498018 or using the web form here https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Forms/Self-isolation-welfare-support.aspx Reporting through this central channel will ensure the details of that person go to the right place and are not missed.

 

Testing Update

The government have announced that millions more people will qualify for Covid-19 tests including all care home residents and staff, whether they have symptoms or not. People aged over 65, or those who leave home to work, and those they live with, can also be tested if they have symptoms.  The announcement came as ONS data showed that a third of all coronavirus deaths in England and Wales are happening in care homes. There were 2,000 coronavirus care home deaths in the week ending 17 April, double the previous week. It brings the total number of deaths in care homes linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic to over 3000. The government is expected to include all care homes deaths in future daily mortality figures. In Wigan Borough, care home squads have been deployed to support our care homes and staff to look after residents

 

Mobile Testing for Frontline Workers

Essential workers and the most vulnerable will have easier access to a test for Covid-19 with the government unveiling a network of mobile testing units. They can be set up in 20 minutes and will travel to where there is significant demand for tests including care homes, police stations, prisons, benefits centres and fire and rescue services. Specially trained armed forces personnel will collect swabs at the mobile sites and people will receive results within 48 hours. Read the full announcement here  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mobile-coronavirus-testing-units-to-target-frontline-workers

 

New Regional Shielding Team

The government has set up a new regional shielding team which will support our local work to protect extremely clinically vulnerable people at higher risk of Covid-19.  Every unitary, county and district council will have a named civil servant to act as their shielding contact. This will give local authorities the chance to shape the shielding programme and influence the decisions taken by the government. It will be split along the lines of the 9 English super-regions, with each region having a small team of civil servants to work with

 

Refining the Lockdown

The Prime Minister has said he will be revealing more information in the coming days for refining lockdown which may see current restrictions eased. In his speech, Boris Johnson said he will be sharing the government’s working and thinking, using science to inform what happens next as we move into phase two of the virus.  Professor Chris Whitty also reminded the public of the five tests the government will be using to see if the current social distancing measures can be adjusted. He added that the number of deaths is slowly declining, but we are not out of the peak just yet

 

NHS Vital Services to Resume

The health secretary Matt Hancock announced that the NHS would resume some vital services, starting with the most urgent cases involving elective surgery, some cancer treatments and mental health support.  He also announced a new life assurance scheme for NHS and social care staff who have died from the virus in the course of their essential frontline work, which will ensure that families of these workers will receive a payment of £60,000. He acknowledged that nothing replaces the loss of loved ones but hopes that it will support families who are dealing with grief. He added that similar schemes are being considered for other professions working on the frontline, where families would not have access to similar schemes

 

Here for You

This week the NHS is rolling out a national campaign to encourage the public to seek the urgent care and treatment not related to COVIDID-19 that they need. New findings show that four in ten people are avoiding approaching their GP, and data also suggests that A&E attendance so far in April is around half it was this time last year. Through the Healthier Wigan Partnership Wigan Council have developed our own local messages, which will be promoted from this week urging people to access emergency services if they need them

 

New Bounce Back Loans for Small Businesses

The government has launched a new fast-track finance scheme for small businesses, providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.  The Bounce Back Loans Scheme is the latest measure announced to support small businesses and will provide loans of up to £50,000.  The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The scheme will launch for applications on Monday 4th May. Firms will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders.  We’ll be sharing these details with our businesses through our engagement team. Read the full announcement here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/small-businesses-boosted-by-bounce-back-loans

 

Free Online Platform to Boost Workplace Skills

A new online learning platform to help boost people’s skills while staying at home was launched yesterday. Free courses are available through a new online platform hosted on the gov.uk website, called ‘The Skills Toolkit’. The new platform gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. View the toolkit here  https://theskillstoolkit.campaign.gov.uk/

 

£10bn Shortfall for Councils

The Local Government Association has told MPs that councils in England need up to £10bn from the government to cover the impact of falling income and rising costs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yesterday the LGA chairman said while the money already pledged does give us some ‘breathing space’, the need will be three or possibly four times that amount based on financial surveys

 

Government Funding Update

The second tranche of emergency funding for councils has been allocated, with Wigan receiving £9m, representing a 14% drop compared to the first allocation. This will inevitably affect our budgets and plans moving forward. Our finance team is looking at the finances to prepare a revised budget and capital programme which takes into consideration these financial losses.  A review of overall future funding due next year has also been put on hold, as has a shake-up of business rates

 

Partners at Hospital set up Healthcare Heroes Fund

Our partners at the hospital have set up a new WWL Healthcare Heroes Fund to ensure donations are collected in one place. They have been overwhelmed with goods, money, equipment and morale-boosters for staff so have set up the fund to make it easy for people to donate and so they can make sure donations are quality checked and meet appropriate standards. Click here https://www.wwl.nhs.uk/News/2020/April/Healthcare_Heroes_Fund_Launches.aspx to find out more about the fund

 

Update 24-04-2020

Testing Update

From today, testing will include anyone who is an essential worker, including teachers, food delivery drivers or the council workforce etc

As an employer the Council are now able to refer symptomatic essential workers for a test online and those needing a test will be able to request one directly. More Information Here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

This will run alongside the drive for increased testing will be a national campaign to encourage greater take-up.

The government has started a major long-term study to track the spread of COVID-19 in the general population. More Details Here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-begins-large-scale-virus-infection-and-antibody-test-study

This will involve antibody testing to help understand levels of immunity, with plans for up to 300,000 people to take part over 12 months

The first human trial in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine started in Oxford yesterday. There have been 800 people recruited for the study. Read more about it here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52394485

 

Parks and Public Spaces

We need to reminding residents that they need to keep following the social distancing measures when visiting our greenspaces. We have had some reports of residents sunbathing so it’s important to lead by example and encourage our residents to follow the restrictions. Our parks are open with these signs now in place.

 

 

Day Support at Home Scheme

To protect our residents, Central Day Centre and Etherstone Day Centre have been temporarily closed and are instead providing day centre in people’s homes. The team have changed how the day service is delivered, supporting residents and carers with shopping, encouraging exercise, gardening, and home activities. They have already received lovely feedback from families.

 

 

Further Support for Vulnerable Residents

Vulnerable people and their families will now be able to directly call on the army of NHS Volunteer Responders.

The national scheme has been operational for two weeks with healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and local authority and social care staff calling on volunteers to carry out around 35,000 tasks to date, including delivering medicines, shopping and making calls to check on those isolating at home.

The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service are now taking steps to make the service more personalised for people who need support and increase referrals into the programme, including enabling self-referral for those most at risk.

 

Adult Social Care Recruitment Campaign

A new national adult social care recruitment campaign was launched yesterday to boost the social care workforce. The Council will be sharing the campaign across various communication channels to help recruit staff to vital services.

 

Staying Safe Online

Across the country we’ve seen a number of Covid-19 scams so we need to continue reminding residents to remain vigilant when online. The government has also published new advice to help people, including children, stay safe online. It also looks at topics such as cyberbulling and tackling disinformation. You can read the announcement Here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/digital-minister-urges-parents-to-follow-new-guidance-to-keep-children-safe-online-during-lockdown

 

Appointment of HM Senior Coroner Manchester West

The Chief Coroner’s Office will be announcing on Monday that Mr Timothy Brennand has been formally appointed to the role of HM Senior Coroner, Manchester West within the Chief Executive’s Directorate.

As an independent office holder, the Senior Coroner stands at the head of the local coroner service, supporting the bereaved residents of Bolton, Salford, Wigan and Leigh. Tim will take the lead on complex coronial work, conducting inquests and work collaboratively with our communities and stakeholders to enhance service provision.  He will take up the role from 1st September 2020.

Update 23-04-2020

Wigan Pier Regeneration

Work has resumed on the Wigan Pier regeneration scheme. Step Places will be restarting works on a reduced basis, following all correct safety measures and social distancing restrictions. Small teams will be on site, in line with government guidance which says outdoor construction can continue with these measures in place

 

‘Thank You’ Road Markings for Key Workers

Today ‘thank you’ messages have been painted on our highways outside a number of buildings across the borough to show our appreciation and support for our key workers. The messages are outside Wigan Infirmary, Leigh Infirmary, Wigan Town Hall, Leigh Town Hall and on Makerfield Way, leading to the depot. The initial request for the road markings came from a North West Ambulance Service colleague who suggested it would boost morale and show our support. Hopefully it does give a small boost to staff on their way into work. Our contractor, KG Lines, have done the work with no cost for the Council

 

Minute’s Silence

As mentioned earlier this week the hospital and North West Ambulance Service have both sadly lost colleagues this week to Covid-19 so to show our respect we’ll be supporting WWL’s minute’s silence tonight at 7.59pm.

 

The Clap for Carers initiative takes place at 8pm to show our ongoing support for all frontline staff and key workers.

 

Funding for Community Groups

Ten community groups have received funding from the regional Forever Manchester Community fund which will support them in their response to tackling Covid-19 during this time. Collectively the groups have received more than £18,000. We’ll continue to support our communities where we can by sharing any funding opportunities.

 

The successful groups are Driven, Abram Community Cooperative, Bickershaw Village Residents Association, DIAS (domestic abuse support), Happy Smiles CIC, Hindley and Hindley Green Community Action Group, Leigh Film Society, The One House, The Storehouse Project and Umbrella Arts

 

Bereavement Support

The government has published a bereavement support leaflet for people who have lost a loved one which we’ll be sharing with residents to offer them additional support. The leaflet can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1co9qbkf7aGilHBa94-77KX0QaxwSsvW-   if you needed to share it too.

The full guidance is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-those-involved-in-managing-covid-19-deaths/guidance-for-those-involved-in-managing-covid-19-deaths

 

The Big Back Garden Sleep

We’re supporting the latest fund-raising initiative from The Brick called The Big Back Garden Sleep which takes place tomorrow. It’s an alternative to the annual sleep out, which was cancelled last month. To find out more or donate visit the Just Giving page here. https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gardensleep

 

Post Office Closure

The Post Office have notified us that the post office at Hawkley Hall on Carr Lane will be temporarily closing.

Update 22-04-2020

 

Following on from my update Yesterday our Leader has sent a further update which I have summarised below for your information

 

One of our residents Mr Byrne, who lives in our Ward has informed me that he has set up a youtube channel where he has recorded local video footage of some of his bicycle journeys along our canals and various locations etc which you may wish to have a look at if your looking for something to do, you may recognise some areas near you? Let me know? You can view the videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/user/singaporemick/videos Please note these are not my videos so if you need info or wish to use them you will need to contact Mr Byrne via his youtube channel

 

National Update on Vaccine for COVID-19

In yesterday’s daily press conference, the government announced human trials for a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford would begin tomorrow. Two leading vaccine developments at UK universities would receive a total of £42.5 million to support their clinical trials. You can read the full update here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52374653

 

VE Day May 8th 2020

The 8th May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (commonly known as VE Day). This year, the government moved the May bank holiday to VE Day to allow the nation to celebrate.  A number of events were scheduled, both nationally and locally to mark the occasion but Sadly these events have all been cancelled due to the Lockdown. However, the government has published digital resources to help residents celebrate at home which can be found here: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/and Locally, we’ll be launching our own plan to help residents celebrate the occasion. More information will be available next week.

 

Waste and Recycling

Since reopening our household waste recycling centres, we have had some great feedback from residents who have visited the sites and been helped by staff. It’s been extremely busy as expected but residents have largely adhered to the social distancing guidelines which we are thankful for. We will be reminding our residents today that only one person should visit per car.

We have had reports of bin bags of domestic waste left at the side of our street litter bins. Please remember that the Council are still collecting side waste on black bin collection days, so there is no reason for residents to leave any waste elsewhere.

We also need to remind residents to not burn their own waste in support of the fire service who are still receiving reports of this.

 

Ramadan

Ramadan begins tomorrow which many of our residents will be celebrating. Greater Manchester has issued some advice to residents during this time which can be shared with communities. We’ll be updating our own website and sharing links through our social media channels. Please share on your channels.

 

Bereavement services

Our bereavement services team will be offering additional cremation service slots at Wigan crematorium during the week, at weekends and over the May bank holiday weekend as they continue to support our residents in this period. This is such a difficult time for so many families, and to allow close relatives to pay their respects to a family member is of course a priority for us.

Update 21-04-2020

Pictures for Food Parcels

Last week the Leigh SDF team dropped off some Easter eggs to a local school and in return the children drew pictures of rainbows which were then inserted into food parcels. These pictures boosted morale for those receiving the food parcels, especially those who may not see anyone all day, every day at the moment.

 

To help brighten more people’s days we’re asking if you can encourage more of our children to write messages and draw pictures which is also a good activity for schools.  Please post any completed pictures at Shevington Library so they can be put into food parcels for distribution – thank you.

 

Post Office Closures

We’ve been notified the Post Offices at Spinning Gate, Leigh, and Church Lane, Lowton, will be closing temporarily.  For further information please visit the Post Office’s Consultation Hub via the link below:

 

Consultation Hub – Church Lane WA3 2RZ - https://www.postofficeviews.co.uk/national-consultation-team/church-lane-wa3-2rz-327434/

Consultation Hub – Spinning Gate WN7 4PG - https://www.postofficeviews.co.uk/national-consultation-team/spinning-gate-wn7-4pg-382406/

 

The homepage for the Post Office Network Consultation Hub is here - www.postofficeviews.co.uk

 

Litter Picking Advice

We have had offers from residents for litter picking, along with offers of help to empty the bins, however at this time it’s safer for these jobs to be carried out by trained operatives for safety reasons as waste may be contaminated and we need to maintain social distancing.

Normally we would encourage residents to get out and do their bit to help keep their community tidy, but we’re asking residents to follow the lockdown restrictions and stay home.

As always, we would like to thank all of our dedicated volunteers for their ongoing efforts

 

New Funeral Guidance

Further guidance for those managing or organising funerals during the coronavirus pandemic was issued yesterday.  The guidance aims to ensure that bereaved people are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect, while protecting individuals, communities and those in the funeral industry from the risk of infection.

 

The advice includes:

  • Those who have symptoms of coronavirus Covid-19 must not attend and must stay at home
  • Limiting the numbers in attendance to as low as possible to ensure safe social distancing. Numbers can be determined by the size and circumstance of the venue
  • Observing social distancing guidance across all aspects of attending a funeral
  • People who are extremely clinically vulnerable (shielded) can attend with measures put in place to reduce their risk
  • People self-isolating because someone in their household is ill may attend if they do not have symptoms themselves

 

Grass Cutting Service Returns

Grass cutting will resume from tomorrow to help keep our greenspaces maintained and roads safe. The work will be undertaken on a scaled down basis to ensure social distancing restrictions can be applied. Areas scheduled for cutting include the Towns Cenotaphs, in preparation for VE Day next month, cemeteries, country parks and highway grass verges where visibility is an issue.

 

Job Retention Scheme

The government’s coronavirus job retention scheme is now live, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.  Employers can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before 19th March they were on payroll and HMRC has been notified on payment. The council will be sharing details of the scheme with our businesses as we continue to support them as best we can.

 

Business Grant Funding

The government has published a table showing the amount paid out by local authorities through the small business grants scheme and Wigan is the top performing Council in Greater Manchester, having paid out 71.8% of grants so far. Currently we rank 41 out of 315 councils. Officers are working with our businesses to get the money out to them to help them get through these difficult times.

 

£1.25 Billion Government Support Package for Businesses

Yesterday the government announced a new package to protect firms driving innovation in the UK.  The package includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.  The £500 million Future Fund, delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and launching in May, will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5 million from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment.

 

A577/ M6 Junction 26 Orrell Footbridge Work

Work has now started to replace the footbridge Orrell Footbridge which was taken down by Highways England in 2017 following a bridge strike from a passing heavy goods vehicle.  The advance work has started and will be ongoing until 8th May 2020. Work is ongoing from 9pm and 5am, Monday to Friday.

 

For safety purposes, the A577 link road from the M58 will be closed until this date with diversion routes in place and a reduced speed limit of 30mph will be in place on the A577 link road from the M58 throughout the work.

 

Main construction work to install the footbridge will follow once this advance work is complete and will be ongoing until 29th September 2020. This will take place during daytime hours, however on occasion there will be some element of overnight work as well.  We have been notified that further overnight closures will be required to install the footbridge and I will endeavour to keep you updated as work progresses.

 

Ironman UK Update

The Ironman UK event, which was due to take place at Pennington Flash on 12th July, has been rescheduled until 4th July 2021.  Anyone who has been affected by this is asked to send an email to uk@ironman.com with any queries.

 

Education Resources

Additional educational resources for schools were released yesterday to help parents and carers with remote education.

 

The Oak National Academy is a new enterprise created by 40 teachers from leading schools across England and backed by government grant funding. It will provide 180 video lessons each week for every year group from reception to year 10. The BBC also launched its own education package across TV and online.

Update - 17-04-20

National Update

Following the government announcement, the social restrictions stay in place for another 3 to curb the spread of coronavirus, taking us into May where hopefully things will have improved.

 

The chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the virus was “probably reaching the peak overall” in the UK, and that there was a “flattening” of the number of deaths.  Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that changes made to guidelines for social care providers will mean that close family members can now see dying relatives to say goodbye.

 

Recycling Centres to Re-Open

Following on from my last update I am pleased to report we have received confirmation that we can now reopen our 3 Household Recycling Centres, our recycling centres will therefore be reopened from today Friday 17th April. The sites will be open each day 8am – 7:45pm so there will no longer be the need for skips in Wards for larger items of domestic waste but your local councillors can consider a local decision on this if at any time it is deemed necessary for the Ward and may be funded via Brighter Borough funding.

 

In line with the government’s social distancing guidelines, and our own Be Kind, Stay at Home campaign, it’s important that residents only visit the centres if absolutely necessary.  The sites will need to operate with several temporary restrictions including as follows:

  • All residents visiting the site will need to observe the social distancing measures now in place
  • Single occupancy vehicles only
  • Social distancing will be enforced on the sites which means, unfortunately, that no assistance for unloading can be provided
  • Only cars and small vans will be allowed. Transit type vans will not be accepted
  • No vehicle trailers or commercial vehicles of any type
  • The permit system will not apply
  • Traffic management will be in place at all sites and due to safety concerns queueing outside of the site will be restricted, residents may be asked to leave and return later
  • Residents may be asked for their postcode
  • If any households have had Covid-19 symptoms, then the waste should be left for 72 hours before being brought to site. Waste should be doubled bagged
  • If residents have medical waste this should be placed in their black bin and the excess waste brought to site
  • We’ll endeavour to provide all the recycling facilities that are usually available. However, some recycling plants are closed at the moment.

 

These measures are essential to ensure we protect our staff, our residents and to help deal with the expected high volume of vehicles trying to access the sites.

 

To further support our residents with their waste, our Waste and Streetscene Teams will still take side waste left by residents, this service will be available as part of our normal black bin collections only.

 

Mental Health Helpline

Residents who need support with their mental health can access a 24/7 crisis helpline ran by North West Boroughs NHS Trust: 01942 636395.

 

The crisis line will provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all ages, including children and young people, who need urgent mental health support.  More information about the helpline can be found at: www.nwbh.nhs.uk  

 

Nightingale Hospital

The NHS Nightingale Hospital North West has now been completed and is beginning to accept patients on a phased basis. The new hospital, in the Manchester Central conference centre (previously GMEX), will care for Covid-19 patients from across the region.

 

The hospital team is now liaising with NHS leaders across the North West to agree referral protocols and patient transfer schedules, and will be prepared to receive patients from all of the region’s hospitals in the coming days and weeks.

 

Ibuprofen Update

If you have any local residents who have queries around the use of ibuprofen you may want to update them that the group looking into the issue has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and susceptibility to contracting coronavirus or the worsening of its symptoms.

 

The full response from the medical group is https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-on-human-medicines-advice-on-ibuprofen-and-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Testing in Care Homes

Yesterday the government announced that all care home residents and social care staff with symptoms of Covid-19 will now be tested.

 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is leading co-ordination of testing for the care sector and have already offered 6,000 care facilities the opportunity to test their staff. By the end of the week we understand they will have contacted all 30,000 care providers. Care providers will identify workers eligible for testing and refer them to their local testing centre.

 

Testing will now also be provided to all potential care home residents before they are discharged from hospital.

 

These measures are critical to ensure our staff and residents are protected and kept as safe as possible.

 

We are incredibly grateful for all staff across the borough working in our care homes and with our most vulnerable residents. We will continue to push for further measures to ensure they have the equipment and support in place which enables them to do their jobs safely.

 

The Department of Health and Social Care have also published its Social Care Action Plan here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/879639/covid-19-adult-social-care-action-plan.pdf which looks at how they plan to control the spread of infection and support the workforce.

 

For the Full Press Release from the Department of Health & Social Care. Follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-action-plan-to-further-support-adult-social-care-sector?utm_source=a36273fe-e727-4661-8970-39982d20c081&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) update

We are currently sourcing a weekly supply of PPE until the government has a national solution to the shortage of equipment.

 

We understand the government plans to roll out a new online delivery system to supply care homes and will rapidly overhaul the delivery of PPE, a 24/7 helpline and new pilot website.

 

Essential M58 Link Road Project Works

It’s great to see works to the M58 link road project continuing, with additional measures in place to ensure the safety of staff including social distancing where possible.

 

Works to move and enhance Orrell St James’ sports pitches have now been completed.

The health and wellbeing of our employees and contractors is of paramount importance to us and we have had discussions with Cleveland Land Services and other contractors to ensure that any works that can be continued are done so in line with government guidance and social distancing measures.

Official government advice allows for construction work to go ahead but we will keep monitoring this if the guidance changes.

 

Clap for Carers

A big thank you to all who participated in the Clap for Carers initiative to celebrate key workers and NHS staff.

 

Sadly, We have been made aware of groups encouraging residents to release Union Jack lanterns for the occasion.

Please, Please, do not do this as it increases the risk of fires and can cause serious harm to wildlife.

Update - 15-04-20

I hope you have managed to enjoy the Easter weekend despite the current circumstances we find ourselves in.

 

A big thank you must go to everyone, including the council staff and volunteers, who have given up their Easter weekend to support our vulnerable residents ensuring that they can access the support that they need.  I would like to advise all residents to follow good hand and respiratory hygiene and to practice social distancing as this has been shown to save lives.

 

Remember if you are aware of any households which need access to welfare support or food parcel deliveries, they or you can fill in the referral form on https://wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Forms/Self-isolation-welfare-support.aspx , alternatively, they can call 01942 489 018 for help.

 

If you’re in an unhappy place

As mentioned in previous emails, we have launched a campaign to help residents who might be struggling with social distancing and are not in a happy home situation.  There are many aspects to this initiative, including reaching out to those who require mental health support or assistance with managing money and debt.

A serious issue to focus on is if residents feel they are vulnerable to domestic abuse, do not feel safe at home and need to leave.

Anyone in this position need to know that they can leave and we will support them.

There is a helpline available through DIAS (Drop in and share), the borough’s domestic abuse charity - 01942 495230 or they can be contacted through Facebook and Twitter, for more information visit www.diasdvc.org

In addition to this, a nationwide awareness campaign has been launched in recent days: ‘At Home Shouldn’t Mean At Risk’.

More information and resources are available from the government website  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help

 

Skips to be made available in each ward

Residents will soon be able to dispose of domestic side waste and their bulky items as skips will be delivered to each ward hopefully starting this week.  The initiative has been put in place as a temporary measure whilst the borough’s waste and recycling centres are closed. The aim is for skips to be made available in each ward every fortnight until circumstances change. I will update with more details about locations etc once I have more information.  Normal waste collection rounds will continue to go ahead with our dedicated crews who have been working above and beyond their duties to support residents during these difficult times despite their workload increasing.

 

National plan for distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE)

The government on Friday published its UK-wide plan to deliver PPE to those that require it on the frontline responding to COVID-19.  Ministers have said the measures will detail who needs PPE and when they need it, ensure those who need it have access at the correct time and make sure there is enough supply throughout the duration of this current crisis.

It is crucial that those on the frontline have access to PPE and the most up-to-date guidance to ensure they can do their jobs safely.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-plan

 

Cyber warning

Please remember to be extra vigilant when opening any links or text messages etc that you receive from various sources, particularly those related to COVID-19.  If you do receive any suspicious messages do not access any links as there are many scammers who are trying to exploit peoples fears during this difficult time and lure you into providing personal and security data etc also be very careful when making purchases online as many fraudsters are promising to sell you face masks etc that don’t exist

Further information in relation to cyber security can be found on the COVID-19 webpage https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Staff/COVID-19/Cyber-crime-awareness.pdf

Update 09-04-2020

If you are Isolating and need support
We now have seven operational volunteer hubs across the borough which are supporting our most vulnerable residents.

If you know someone who is isolating, vulnerable, or who doesn’t have friends or family to help them, please refer them to us using this link https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Forms/Self-isolation-welfare-support.aspx .  If they don’t have online access they can contact our self-isolation welfare support helpline on 01942 489018 and we have extended to hours of operation to Mon – Fri: 8am – 6pm Sat – Sun 8am – 12:30pm

All reports need to come through this form or helpline so we can coordinate help via the volunteer hubs.

Domestic Abuse Support
We’re stepping up our support for people who are experiencing or are at risk of domestic abuse.  If any of our residents don’t feel safe at home, and need to leave, then they can and we will support them.  The helpline is run by DIAS - 01942 495230 and support is also available online: https://diasdvc.org/ or through facebook and twitter.

The helpline is available Monday – Friday from 9.30am to 5pm but will also be staffed over the Easter bank holiday thanks to staff who have volunteered to keep it open.

Business grants
Almost £19.5m has been distributed to 1,700 eligible businesses through the small business grant scheme so far. A massive thank you to our business rates and finance team for working hard to get this money out to businesses.

 

Brighter Borough funds
More than £20,000 in Brighter Borough funding has been contributed to the community effort to tackle Covid-19.  I have spoken with Cllrs Whitham and Brown and we have agreed to provide a £1500 cash injection from our Brighter Borough allowances to support our local volunteers to help deliver vital food and supplies to vulnerable residents in our ward, We will review this on an ongoing basis to ensure we have provision in place and help is at hand for our most vulnerable residents.

I have no doubt that this is making a real difference to those most vulnerable in our community at this time.

 

 

 

Change to GP practices
To help keep people safe, residents can no longer walk into their GP practice or book an appointment online.  Residents need to contact their practice via telephone and answer some questions.  These new measures will help to keep staff and patients safe during this time.  The majority of conversations with a GP or nurse are now being done via telephone or video calls.

Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have advised practices will arrange who needs to come into the surgery for their appointment.

 

Foodbanks
A number of our foodbanks are running low on supplies. Please help in any way you can.

 

Outdoor signage
Additional outdoor signage is being designed and installed in cemeteries this week to remind visitors of social distancing guidelines. Signs are now up in our parks and on popular footpaths.

 

And finally, if you need to make a complaint about people breaching the social distancing restrictions, you should contact the police on 101.

 

Message to residents from the Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux (31-03-2020)

 

 

 

As we continue to tackle Covid-19 we’ll keep you updated with the latest government announcements and council news.

Today’s newsletter will focus on childcare and family support.

The government has said that all children must stay at home where possible to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

Schools and childcare provision are now only open to vulnerable children and children of key workers who cannot safely stay at home.

 

 

 

Are you a key worker and need to find childcare?

Here’s how to use our Family Directory:
1. Visit
www.wigan.gov.uk/familydirectory
2. Select ‘childcare’
3. In the place name and postcode box type in your postcode and click search
4. From the menu on the left tick the yes box for ‘places available for key workers’

We’ve asked our childcare providers to update their offer on the Family Directory to state whether they are open and have any place available.

If you need further assistance to help you find childcare you can email
fsd@wigan.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

Free school meal voucher scheme
Parents, guardians and carers of children usually eligible for free school meals can access a national voucher scheme, which will allow their children to continue accessing free meals while at home.

Schools are able to provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government guidance says that schools should continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves.

Where this is not possible, the new scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically or as a gift card for those without internet access.

Supermarkets where the voucher can be spent include:
-        Sainsbury’s
-        Tesco
-        Asda
-        Morrisons
-        Waitrose
-        Marks & Spencer

It is hoped that more supermarkets will join the scheme as soon as possible.

We are expecting schools to be contacted today with further information which we will share as we get it.

 

 

 

Resources and tips for parents teaching at home  
Are you currently home-schooling your child? We’ve put together some online resources to help you with your littles ones learning.
https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/March/Resources-and-tips-for-parents-teaching-at-home.aspx  

 

 

 

Culture at your fingertips
With us all spending more time at home, cultural organisations have been hard at work to find alternative ways for us to experience theatre, dance, museums and galleries.

Arts Council England has invested £160m into a support package so you can access virtual tours and theatre from your sofa.

Experience culture at your fingertips with the below links:
·       
The National Gallery virtual tour
·        The British Museum virtual tour
·        Sadler’s Wells Digital stage
·        National Theatre at home
·        Royal Opera House Programme

 

 

 

Be scam aware
We have been made aware by residents and other organisations of scams being emailed and texted to residents. These messages may look legitimate, but we would encourage all residents to remain vigilant and to be careful before providing personal information or clicking on links.

Please ensure the request is legitimate by contacting the organisation which has contacted you, or the council.

 

 

 

Be Kind, Stay at Home
Remember you can join our ‘Be Kind, Stay at Home’ campaign, which encourages people to stay at home, by sharing your videos and photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @WiganCouncil

 

 

 

#BeKind, stay home, stay safe and save lives.

 

 

Message to residents from the Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux

 

 

We know many of you want to help in the fight against Covid-19. That’s why we’ve been working with local community and voluntary groups to set up seven volunteering hubs across the borough.
 
These hubs, based on The Deal’s service delivery footprints (SDFs), will make sure vulnerable people get food and medical supplies and they are now operational.
 
The hubs are in: 
·       Wigan town centre
·       Leigh town centre
·       Ashton
·       Atherton
·       Hindley
·       Worsley Hall
·       Shevington

How can I help? 
Our key workers and volunteers are operating the community hubs, but more volunteers are needed to ensure we can deliver this service.
 
We’re looking for fit and well residents to come forward to support our staff to provide the necessary support and care to vulnerable households in their communities.
 
All volunteering services will be delivered in line with national guidance.
 
If you would like to volunteer you can find out more at
www.wigan.gov.uk/coronavirus
 
The roles available are: 

  • Emergency response volunteers’ who can support vulnerable people, are registered with the local authority or volunteer centre and have received training or instruction
  • ‘Good neighbours’ who might take a volunteering role which does not take them into direct physical contact with the most vulnerable (e.g. helping pack food at food banks or buying food for those who are self-isolating) 

Please also provide proof of a DBS check if you have one (this is only needed in some of the volunteering cases).

If you know someone who is vulnerable, and doesn’t have support from friends or family, you can refer them to a community hub through the
self isolation welfare support form or by contacting 01942 489018.  

 

Free parking for NHS staff 
Working with the government, we will be offering free parking to NHS workers and social care staff for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s vital staff are able to carry out their work at this crucial time without having concerns about parking. The Galleries car park in Wigan town centre is now closed to the public.

 

Leigh Town Hall  
We have made the decision to temporarily suspend works to Leigh Town Hall to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in line with government guidance.

 

Staying active at home  
Sport England have released a new campaign designed to help you #StayHomeWorkOut
 
There’s a whole host of online resources including fitness classes, tips and advice here:
www.stayhomeworkout.org
 
Whether it’s a Disney dance along, mindfulness tips or a PE session with The Body Coach there’s something for everyone.

 

Stay vigilant to scams 
Please be vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing your financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Remember to take these steps: 
1. Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe
2. Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you
3. Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud
4. Your bank or the police will never ask you to transfer

 

Government launch official whatsapp
The government has launched an official Coronavirus WhatsApp service.

WhatsApp is an app you can download on your mobile phone and it allows you to send messages, pictures and videos over the internet.

The free service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about Covid-19. You can ask commons questions and will receive an automated reply.

To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

The government have also announced from 30th March 2020, due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by six months. There’s more information
here.

 

Stay home, save lives 
Council staff are key workers and are working hard behind the scenes to keep vital services running and to keep our communities safe.
 
Wherever possible staff are following the social distancing advice and have protective equipment.
 
Sadly, we’re still receiving reports of members of the public gathering in our parks and people fishing at Wigan flashes.
 
Please encourage your friends and family to follow the advice and only leave their homes for food, medicine, to go to work where they can’t work at home and once a day for exercise. This should be a run or walk and should only be with people from your household.

 

 

A big thank you for staying at home during this time which allows us to keep doing our jobs which have today included:

  • Supporting 1,300 vulnerable children
  • Collecting 51,000 bins
  • Providing 1,000 school meals
  • Keeping five children’s homes open
  • Providing respite support to 70 families
  • 30 housing repairs for tenants
  • 20 child protection reviews completed this week
  • More than 100 greenspaces managed in line with social distancing

Stay at home, save lives, be kind.

For the latest updates and information from the council about Covid-19 you can also follow us on facebook and twitter @wigancouncil

 

 

 

Click the image below to view the latest updates from Wigan Council in detail 

If You are Self Isolating, live alone and need support

Click Here or call wigan Council on 01942 489018  The helpline operates Mon - Fri 8am - 6pm Sat - Sun 8am - 12:30pm

 

Domestic Abuse Helpline - 01942 311365 or to get information online Click Here

 

Mental Health Helpline - For support with mental health, you can access the 24/7 crisis helpline ran by North West Boroughs NHS Trust: 01942 636395.

 

The crisis line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all ages

More information about the helpline Click Here 

Subscribe to my Mailing List

If you would like to subscribe to my mailing list either Click Here or scan the QR code below with your mobile phone and complete the form to enrol

Print Print | Sitemap
© Paul Collins Personal Website