Plans for protecting West Sussex residents from the spread of COVID-19 have been published

Plans for how West Sussex will cope with any local outbreak of COVID-19 have been published by West Sussex County Council.

Every County and Unitary Council has been asked to publish its plans to deal with local pockets of the virus which may appear.

The West Sussex plan, which includes details about the public health response, what action businesses and members of the public might be asked to take, and how this will be communicated, can be found on WSCC website.

Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at West Sussex County Council, said: “COVID-19 has affected our way of life and everyday routine extensively. We have been asked to make unprecedented sacrifices in order to limit the spread of this virus and as national restrictions begin to lift, it is important for us to make sure that here in West Sussex we are able to monitor and manage any rise in cases locally.

“I know that a considerable number of people, as well as our businesses, are very keen to get back to a more normal life, but I also recognise that this will cause a certain amount of anxiety. We want to ensure that we get the balance right between keeping our residents safe and well while getting our economy back on track.”

To ensure the plan is delivering for residents, a Local Outbreak Engagement Board (LOEB) will be established as a sub-group of the County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB). This is chaired by Amanda Jupp and will report to the quarterly Health and Wellbeing Board, which is held in public. Dates and times of the meetings are available on WSCC website.

Select and Collect service coming to West Sussex Libraries near you

Libraries in West Sussex are introducing a phased reintroduction of services from Monday 6 July, starting with a ‘Select and Collect’ service.

The service will allow residents to collect books from the front doors of all 36 West Sussex County Council owned libraries without the need to enter the building.

People will be able to reserve specific titles in the usual way online or by phoning their local library. In addition, people who may not know exactly what they want to borrow, will be able to ask for a more general selection of books chosen by a member of the West Sussex Library team.

Customers can complete a short online form or phone their local library giving them some basic information so that appropriate books can be selected.

People will also be able to pick up existing reservations made before Monday 23 March.

When items are available, the library service will let customers know and arrange a time for the items to be collected.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the West Sussex Library Service has done their utmost to make sure that they offer all library users an alternative service to tide them over until lockdown restrictions were eased.

“Now, they are taking their first step back to a ‘new normal’ by offering this fantastic ‘Select and Collect’ service. We hope that this will get our regular library users comfortable with heading back into their local library when they re-open fully at a later date. It will also allow library users to see some of their regular library staff and have a chat or talk through any worries or concerns they may have about using the libraries at this current time.

“Whatever you plan to do, the staff at all of our libraries are looking forward to welcoming you back.”

Browsing inside the library is not yet available and all libraries will be operating with reduced hours for the foreseeable future.

Once the ‘Select and Collect’ service has been trialled, the next priority is to restore customer access to IT whilst still enabling staff to work safely.

For anyone who cannot visit the library and would like to borrow a selection of stock or request specific items, the Essential Delivery Service, which was set up when libraries closed towards the end of March, will still be available.

There are currently no overdue charges for outstanding items, so please do not worry if you are unable to return your books at this stage.

To take advantage of the ‘Select and Collect’ service, visit arena.westsussex.gov.uk/web/arena/staff-select and fill out the short online form.

 

WSCC Covid-19 update

Headlines and useful links from Friday 26th June update: Including Government announcements, local updates on support and services, extra money to support new schemes cycling and broadband.

  • Most recent Government Announcements – the new guidance for social distancing to be implemented from 4 July. This included changes to the two meter distance rule, the relaxing of rules for certain shops and venues, plus changes for those in the shielding category.  This is good news that many have been waiting for but we would urge everyone not to jeopardise the good progress our county has made so far in slowing the spread of the virus. Support our businesses and make the most of the relaxation, but please continue to take the necessary precautions at all time
  • Massive thank you to everyone who makes up the Armed Forces community, especially for all of the help they have provided our county during the pandemic. Saturday was Armed Forces Day.
  • Green light for 21km of temporary cycleways in West Sussex

  • Bereavement support during COVID-19 The Sussex Bereavement Helpline has been set up to provide information and guidance Please call: 0300 111 2141 (Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm). Find out more.
  • Thank you to local businesses – Since the end of March a number of local businesses have been kindly supporting our Community Hub operations.
  • CeremoniesOur Ceremonies team will restart marriage and civil partnership services from 4 July Find out more.
  • Local suppliers: new listingsDo you know which organisations and shops are delivering food and other essential goods in your area? Find out here Does your business deliver essential goods but isn’t listed? Please email us and we’ll add you to our website
  • Gigabit Voucher for residents & businessesStruggled with your broadband during lockdown? Extra money is available for gigabit-capable broadband for residents and businesses in our rural areas  information regarding the scheme

Pontail Road – Gas Network upgrade

Scotia Gas Network (SGN) are undertaking a project to upgrade the gas network in Pondtail Road, Horsham. This project involves replacing the existing gas mains in the area with new plastic pipe.

The essential work will ensure the community receives a continued and reliable gas supply for many years to come. They’re working closely with UK Government and public health bodies to make sure they carry out our project in line with all current coronavirus safety guidance. They shouldn’t need to interrupt gas supplies to homes or businesses, and the engineers won’t be calling at residents’ home.

They set up the works on Pondtail Road yesterday, with works starting early this week. The project will be carried out by contractor D J Utilities on their behalf.

In close consultation with West Sussex County Council, they have agreed to complete the following work:

  • From 29 June 2020 for approximately 2 weeks, they will be working on Pondtail Road at the junction with Ashleigh Road
  • They will need to implement multi-way signals around the junction to ensure traffic can flow safely around our site
  • Vehicle and pedestrian access will be maintained throughout

 

They have extra safety precautions in place to protect workers and the community from the virus. Workers will be keeping to social distancing guidelines on sites and they ask communities to keep their distance too. There’s more information about their coronavirus response on their website: sgn.co.uk/coronavirus

WSCC – Public Rights of Way service update

Please note WSCC has suspended the 15 month Inspection and Maintenance Cycle, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and is currently only taking action on Public Rights of Way where reported issues require work to ensure public safety on the network. Should any enquiries received not be of this nature it will be logged so it can be prioritised and addressed in the future when normal working practices are resumed. We are currently reviewing when we can re-start inspections in line with government guidance and ask you for your patience in dealing with issues that arise. It is also important to note that our summer clearance programme for surface vegetation has now begun on selected paths and is running between the 1st June and mid-August.

  • At this time it is important to remind people that public footpaths are for use by the public on foot only and cycling on these routes is a trespass against the landowner. This unlawful use risks conflict on the paths themselves and considerable challenges for people trying to keep the necessary 2m apart whilst enjoying the countryside.
  • It is also important to note that landowners are responsible for any side vegetation encroaching onto the path and any structures on the PROW network, such as stiles and gates. If appropriate to do so please contact the landowner, if known, directly to make them aware of the issue but if not you can continue to report such issues by following the link below.

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/land-waste-and-housing/public-paths-and-the-countryside/public-rights-of-way/report-a-problem-with-a-right-of-way/#report-a-problem

  • A final reminder is the need to ensure good hygiene when using the PROW network including regular hand washing along with social distancing in line with government advice.