National lockdown and service updates
The County Council has issued a press release which outlines the Authority’s commitment to drive down the Covid R-rate and halt the spread of Covid-19.
The Leader of the County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, is quoted: “With infection rates rising across England, we must do everything we can to prevent the further spread of infection. Hampshire residents have worked hard to keep local transmission rates down, and my heartfelt thanks for all they have done… My hope is that by adhering to the national lockdown guidance now, we see an easing of restrictions by Christmas, and get back to local decision making.”
A press release has been published today (4 November) which outlines how residents can continue to use Hampshire’s country parks and outdoor spaces during lockdown. It confirms that country parks will remain open to visitors and the normal opening hours and parking charges will apply. However, from 5 November, indoor areas such as country park visitor centres and shops will close, and the park cafés will operate takeaway services only.
The County Council’s Community Transport team have shared a letter with transport operators for them to circulate to customers. The letter reassures customers that services will continue throughout lockdown, although there may be some reductions in services, as there were during the first lockdown. The operators will also, once again, offer shopping delivery services to their customers who do not want to travel at this time.
The County Council continues to respond to new national guidance and will update its webpages with information on any further changes to services. Press releases will also be issued on key topics when updates are available, these are published on the news pages.
Apprenticeship and Skills Hub
The County Council has confirmed that additional funding secured from the European Social Fund will support apprenticeships and skills training opportunities for jobseekers.
Hampshire County Council successfully bid for the £3 million project to deliver the Apprenticeship and Skills Hub, tendered by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3 LEP). Over the next three years, this Hub will provide at least 360 small and medium enterprises, and other apprenticeship levy-paying employers, with an impartial service to source apprenticeships and develop their workforce to both improve productivity and reduce the skills shortage.
In the press release, the Executive Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Roz Chadd, is quoted: “The funding will help us to work with the EM3 LEP to develop the Apprenticeship and Skills Hub, complementing the model operating successfully in the south of the county… Helping young people to develop core and employability skills to access better jobs in our future economy is a key element within our Employment and Skills Action Plan, developed in response to Covid-19.”
Local businesses in Hampshire and Surrey can access support and request more information by contacting Hampshire County Council’s Skills and Participation Service. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The County Council has launched a new food waste survey with the aim of understanding how residents attitudes towards food waste is changing.
The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Rob Humby, is quoted: “Before the Covid-19 pandemic, we knew that people were throwing away around one fifth of the food they bought … But with such drastic changes to our lifestyles this year, this may no longer be the case…National research indicates that during lockdown, there was a 34% reduction in key food items being thrown away, with more people planning meals, making use of freezers and using up leftovers.”
The survey is open until 12 November and can be accessed online here.
A special edition of Your Hampshire has been issued today to just over 10,000 subscribers. The e-newsletter contains key information ahead of the new national restrictions starting tomorrow (5 November), including a message from the Leader, advice about the availability of the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline, the opening of household waste recycling centres and outdoor attractions, celebrating bonfire night safely and the County Council’s plans for a virtual Act of Remembrance on Armistice Day and the latest Government guidance.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) and partners are urging people to stay safe this bonfire and fireworks season. With many organised events cancelled, the emergency services are preparing for a busier night than usual and they are urging families to think twice about the risks before holding home displays. There is a concern that due to lockdown measures in place from tomorrow (5 November), more people may decide to handle fireworks for the first time which could lead to a high increase in the number of severe burns or injuries.
To help avoid an additional strain on the emergency services, residents are asked to show “Respect this Bonfire Night – respect fireworks, respect emergency services and respect neighbours”.
As part of the ongoing Keep Hampshire Safe campaign, the County Council is raising awareness via our social media channels of the importance of celebrating Bonfire Night this year with safe alternatives to fireworks. The County Council will promote a short and informative animation and signpost to advice on the HFRS website. Adverts are running county-wide across Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Remembrance Sunday preparations
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has updated the guidance on preparations for Remembrance Sunday with information for councils on how to ensure those hosting local Remembrance events can do so safely.
Funding for local government
The Government has confirmed that in response to the new national restrictions,
councils will have access to the following financial support:
Children and education
Higher education: new national restrictions guidance
The Department for Education (DFE) has published new national restrictions guidance for the higher education sector. The guidance sets out how higher education providers can minimise risks during the period of new national restrictions from 5 November.
Ofsted has updated their guidance and information relating to Covid-19 for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. This includes details on how they will continue to work during the new national restrictions starting on 5 November.
National Tutoring Programme
Thirty-two providers have been approved to deliver tutoring to disadvantaged pupils as part of the national tutoring programme ‘Tuition Partners’. Delivered through the Education Endowment Foundation, an independent charity, schools will be able to access tuition from an approved list of providers, subsidised by 75 per cent.
Adults' social care and public health
Care home visits
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued guidance to support safe care home visits during lockdown. All care home residents should be allowed to receive visits from their family and friends in a Covid-secure way, with social distancing and PPE, while national restrictions are in place from Thursday 5 November.
Clinically extremely vulnerable
DHSC has published new guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable on keeping safe under new national restrictions. The group are strongly advised to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or doctors’ appointments.
Liverpool to be first whole city testing pilot
The Government has announced that the new whole city testing approach is to launch in Liverpool from Friday 6 November with hundreds of thousands of new, rapid turnaround tests deployed. All residents and workers will be offered repeat Covid-19 testing, even if asymptomatic, with the aim of finding more positive cases and breaking chains of transmission.
Help us, Help You
NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health England have launched the next phase of their ‘Help us, Help You’ campaign to remind pregnant woman about the importance of attending check-ups, contacting their midwife or maternity team when needed, and to reassure them the NHS is available to see them safely. To date, the campaign has focused on encouraging the public to contact their GP if they are worried about a symptom that could be cancer.
Economy, business and finance
Loan scheme deadlines
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which provides financial support to larger businesses affected, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak, and the Future Fund, which provides government loans to UK-based companies, application deadlines have been extended to January 31 2021.
The Government has confirmed that the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for self-employed Universal Credit claimants will remain suspended until the end of April 2021.
The Housing Secretary, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation and Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders have written to the housing industry to make clear that house building, and its supply chains that support it, should continue working.
Ports and the fishing industry
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is inviting applications for grants to help ports or harbours impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and to provide health and safety equipment for fishing vessel owners.
Environment, transport and travel
Household Waste and Recycling Centres
The Government has confirmed that Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) should remain open throughout the second lockdown, in line with the guidance updated last month.
National Covid-19 data
As of 4pm on 4 November, the total number of lab-confirmed cases was 1,099,059. The daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 25,177. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths within 28 days of a positive test was 47,742, with 492 deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.
The R number range for the UK is 1.1-1.3 and the growth rate range is +2% to +4% per day as of 30 October.
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