The current government advice is for everyone to stay at home and limit their contact with others. This means only going outside for food, health reasons or essential work. If you must go outside you should stay 2 metres away from other people and wash your hands in warm, soapy water as soon as you get home. These measures will help to stop the spread of infection and give our NHS the best chance to cope with the additional demand generated by Covid-19. There are lots of things you can do to stay happy, healthy and safe while at home and you will find some ideas on how to do that at the Healthy Somerset webpages It is completely normal for people to feel overwhelmed and vulnerable as we read the news about the Covid-19 outbreak and experience big changes to our day to day lives. Mindline are offering an emotional support telephone service for people who would find it helpful to talk. They are available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 11pm, and 8pm to 11pm at the weekend on 01823 276892. Somerset County Council has produced a new website so that up to date information can be widely and quickly available. Click here. Continue reading for this weeks Somerset Update.
Following the Governments imposition of strict new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus Bridgwater, Sedgemoor and Somerset Councils have moved today to a state of lockdown. Measures introduced include a ban on public gatherings of more than two people, leaving home only to exercise once a day, travelling to and from work where absolutely necessary, shopping only for essential items and medical or care needs. This also now includes the immediate closure of shops selling non-essential goods. As of this morning 338 people have died with the virus. A National Emergency has been declared and the message is that staying at home was necessary to protect the NHS, save lives and tackle “the biggest threat this country has faced for decades”. Police and local authorities will have powers to disperse gatherings, including through fines.
At a meeting on Friday 20th March 2020,which lasted all of 10 minutes, members of Bridgwater Town Council (who weren’t self-isolating or closing down their businesses in line with Government instructions) met to vote through Emergency Measures which included the closing down of Council offices and approving emergency powers to Town Clerk, David Mears, in conjunction with the appropriate Executive Portfolio Holders. Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley said “These measures will last for as long as the emergency lasts and can be lifted or downgraded when deemed appropriate. Council staff and councillors can still be contacted by email and by phone and information will be put out through the Town Council website. Members are encouraged to get involved in Community Support Groups if health and circumstance allows and meetings will continue online weekly for the Executive and monthly for the Full Council. We will be working in conjunction with the other authorities and supporting the Government and Public Health England in confronting this serious international emergency.” Thereafter Mayor of Bridgwater, Cllr Tony Heywood, immediately locked the front doors of the Town Hall.
Bridgwater Town Council will once again be sponsoring the ‘Bridgwater Youth Awards’ which will pay tribute to and recognise the work and achievements of young people in our community for the period 2019 to 2020. The awards will be presented by Town Mayor Cllr Tony Heywood at a gala event scheduled for Friday 24th April which will be organised by the members of the Bridgwater Youth Council, which consists of delegates from all 5 schools in Bridgwater within the age range 11-19.
Bridgwater Town Council has long campaigned alongside residents for a blanket 20 MPH speed limit around our schools and today that campaign bore fruit as Somerset County Council committed £1.5million to tackle the issue rolling out a programme of advisory 20MPH zones across the county. County Council Labour group members from Bridgwater, Cllr Leigh Redman (Bridgwater South) and Cllr Dave Loveridge (Bridgwater North), welcomed the move saying it was ‘long overdue’. Town Mayor and Eastover campaigner Cllr Tony Heywood said it was “Excellent news”.