We have today received advice from The Vale of White Horse District Council, and the relevant sections of the advice are published below:
Vale of White Horse District Council update – COVID-19 guidance for town and parish councils
We’ve been asked by a few of our town and parish councils for some guidance on COVID-19, so thought it might be helpful to share what we’ve been doing ourselves.
We’re in regular contact with partner organisations and monitoring and following the latest government and medical advice.
We have been reviewing our resilience plans so that we can continue to deliver our front-line public services to our residents.
We’ve kept our staff up to date on the latest situation and given guidance on how to minimise the spread of the virus. Where people are able to do so without affecting front line services, we have asked staff to work from home.
We have created a dedicated section on our public website to provide the latest information on our current response to the situation, but also announce any changes to service delivery.
As a precaution we are currently postponing any events or activities that are predominantly aimed at people in high risk groups such as chair yoga.
To help our planning service continue to deliver its services to customers we are also making some changes to working practices.
From today, 16 March, as most staff are working from home where they do not have print facilities, we will not be sending town/parish councils hard copies of applications and plans as part of our formal consultation on planning applications. This approach is also more environmentally friendly and will help the councils to reduce the impact on our climate (less printing, paper, postage).
We already send local councils a link to our web site, where they can access folders to view applications and associated plans. If you have any difficulty in downloading this information, then please contact our Customer Services Team 01235 422600.
We will continue to send you a link to comment on applications. Please only send electronic responses to consultations, as we cannot accept hard copies at this time.
Our Planning Service will be writing to you shortly about some other changes and updates to the planning system, which we hope you will find helpful.”
You may be interested to hear that AGE Concern Oxfordshire has today set up a new helpline to advise anyone worried about the Corona Virus. You can find out more by visiting their website https://www.ageuk.org.uk/oxfordshire/about-us/news/coronavirus/
The following websites are also very useful sources of information, which have been put together by government for the general public:
Public Health England website – updated daily – www.gov.uk/coronavirus Public Health England have guidance on the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do on their website – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection NHS 111 Coronavirus service has an online questionnaire that helps people to identify if they need to self-isolate – https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 NHS information on how you can self-isolate, if required – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
We will keep in regular contact and will be doing what we can to work with you and other local partners to ensure that vulnerable residents get the advice, help and support they will need over the coming weeks and months.