Appointment of Clerk to the Council

Following a rigorous recruitment process, Datchworth Parish Council are delighted to welcome Mrs Lucy Crofton as our new Clerk to the Council.

HCC COVID-19 Weekly Stakeholder Bulletin

Welcome to this week’s edition of Hertfordshire County Council’s weekly stakeholder bulletin. This provides updates on the county council’s key priorities this week, as well as outlining preparations being made for the recovery of services.

 

Local Outbreak Plan

  • Hertfordshire’s COVID-19 Local Outbreak Plan was published on 30/06. There is both a short summary aimed at the public and stakeholders and a much more detailed plan. You can find both of these here.
  • The plans detail how we will seek to prevent and respond to outbreaks of COVID-19 across multiple settings including workplaces, care settings, schools, hospitals and more. It sets out the arrangements for surveillance of and response to local outbreaks and infection rates. The plan has been agreed by the Leaders of all eleven councils, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the NHS.
  • An elected Member Engagement Board and an officer-led Health Protection Board have been established. A communications programme will seek to reach residents, workplaces, schools, homes and many more.

 

Hertfordshire’s COVID-19 work highlighted as good practice

  • Hertfordshire’s work on safer public places has been highlighted as good practice in newly issued Government guidance.
  • Teams from the County Council, District and Borough Councils and University College London developed and rolled out a programme of information and tools to help people comply with safe social distancing and hygiene measures in public spaces.  You can read more on this here.

 

High Streets and Hospitality

  • We have implemented highways measures at fifteen high street locations across the county so that people can shop whilst being safely socially distanced. With the re-opening of many businesses on 15/06, we have kept the locations under review, taking on board stakeholder comments and where appropriate we have adapted the measures.
  • The next step will be the re-opening of hospitality businesses on 04/07. To help support the hospitality industry the Government has introduced The Business and Planning Bill, which will simplify the licencing process that allows businesses to put tables and chairs on the footway.

 

Support to Residential and Nursing Care Homes

  • As mentioned under Section 1, Hertfordshire’s Local Outbreak Plan sets out the arrangements for surveillance of and response to local outbreaks and infection rates. Some of these (specifically the multi-agency work in Care Homes) are already in place. We are working with Public Health England to understand how Track and Trace will work with care homes and what additional supports need to be put in place.
  • We are finalising with health colleagues the capacity required to be maintained and immediately available should we experience a second wave of infections in Hertfordshire. It is clear that the response in Hertfordshire from care and health partners has prevented the rate of infections spreading and a greater loss of life in our care homes.  We are committed to maintaining this support going forward.

 

Operation Shield

  • As of 25/06/20 there are currently 42,253 records of Hertfordshire residents on MHCLG’s shield list.
  • A number of activities are taking place to help reduce demand for the service as we work to exit from direct provision of food through July.
  • Since Operation Shield was mobilised, food deliveries have been made to nearly 6,000 residents across Hertfordshire.

 

Operation Sustain

  • In the light of the Government’s decision to pause shielding, we will continue to provide food parcel support until the end of July when this service will end nationally. Operation Sustain will work to provide food parcels for those in financial crisis after this point through existing contracts.

 

Young People asked to share their Covid-19 experiences

  • Young People in Hertfordshire are being asked how lockdown has affected their wellbeing in a survey which was launched this week.
  • The Survey by Hertfordshire County Council’s youth service, YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People asks young people how covid-19 has affected them and what their biggest concerns are.
  • The results will be used to help shape support and services available to young people over the coming months. More information and the link to the survey can be found here.

 

Testing

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms.
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City.

 

More information

  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub – providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents
  • Please contact our Corporate Policy team if there are other areas you would like more detail about.

 

We are continuing to work on our recovery plans and will share further information as plans develop.

 

Kind regards,

 

David Williams                  Owen Mapley

Leader                                 Chief Executive

Stansted Airport update

London Stansted Airport, Future Airspace Programme

Step 1B – Design Principles

 

Earlier this year, we wrote to update you on an important piece of work that London Stansted Airport was undertaking as part of the Government’s national programme to modernise the way UK airspace is managed.  As a reminder, we have been working to gather views from local communities and other stakeholders on a set of principles that will underpin any future proposals to change the way airspace around the airport is managed.  You can find out more about this work and how it fits into the UK-wide programme here.

 

I am writing to let you know that, after completing our engagement with local communities and other stakeholders for this first stage, we have now submitted our proposed Design Principles to the industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for review.  We would like to extend our thanks to all those who gave us their views as part of this process, particularly at this difficult time.

 

You can view our Design Principles report and all accompanying appendices on the CAA’s dedicated airspace change portal here.

 

Thank you for your support and input during this challenging period.

 

Future Airspace team

London Stansted Airport

Waste aware Update – May 2020

Put used masks and gloves in your bin

 

Like us, you may have seen increasing numbers of disposable gloves, wet wipes and masks being dropped as litter around the county – and reaching the sea.

 

These items pose a risk to others, including our street cleansing crews, if they are thrown on the floor. Keep our streets tidy and our waste collection crews safe.

 

The best place for disposable gloves, facial masks, tissues and wipes is in your rubbish bin. If you are using these whilst you are out, please take these home with you to dispose of safely in your bin.

 

There are many options for reusable cloth masks to buy or make online.

Partial re-opening of Hertfordshire’s HWRCs 

 

Since our last update, Hemel and Hoddesdon Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) have also been reopened, bringing the total to 12 HWRCs that are open for essential visits only.

 

These sites remain under tight social distancing controls to keep everyone safe, so staff will not be able to help you carry waste from your car to the containers. Materials are limited (see below) and expect queues.

Limited material types being accepted

 

We’ll accept garden waste, card, wood, rubble, non-recyclable waste, metal and electrical appliances (including large items like fridges / cookers).

 

Please do not bring other materials to the site. We cannot take textiles, plasterboard or commercial waste currently. They may have to be discarded as waste.

 

Containers for other materials may be reopened in the future as Government advice changes. Please check our website and Facebook page for updates. 

Plan your journey – avoid long queues

 

As expected, extremely long queues have been present outside many HWRC sites over the last 2 weeks, up to 3.5 hours in some cases. This is due to the strict one in, one out policy with limited vehicles on site, designed to keep everyone safe.

With over 35,000 visits seen since sites have reopened, please consider if your trip is essential and check the online queue time tracker before leaving home.

Do what you can to reduce the amount of time you spend on site by sorting your waste before leaving home. Please don’t bring vans to the sites.

 

If there is a long queue on the road when you approach the road, site staff or the police may request you return another time.

Only visit HWRCs for waste you can’t store

 

Most local council home recycling and rubbish collections are running normally so please use these first. Check our website for how to recycle right. If you can store other items safely at home this is a much better option at the moment.

 

Our main message, in accordance with government advice is that journeys should only be made where there is no alternative.

COVID-19 Bonfire Advice

https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/

Bonfires

Many people consider the traditional method for disposing of garden waste is to have a bonfire – but simply lighting a fire in the garden can be full of pitfalls for the unwary.

You may be breaking the law or endangering somebody’s health.

Be a good neighbour

Don’t stop others from enjoying their gardens by lighting a bonfire carelessly, try to be considerate and tell your neighbours what you plan to do in advance. A little advance notice could mean that you don’t interfere with plans they have. It will allow them time to bring in anything that may get smoky if left outside, like washing, garden furniture or cushions.

Remember that bonfire smoke can be irritating and even harmful to people with chest or heart problems.

Avoid Smoke

If you do light a fire, ensure that only dry material is burnt as this will produce the minimum smoke. Never add household rubbish, aerosols, batteries, foam filled furniture or rubber tyres to the fire, or use sump oil to set it alight. Don’t burn animal bedding.

Do not light a fire when weather conditions will cause problems.   Smoke hangs in the air on damp windless days and in the evening around sunset. Don’t light bonfires when the wind will carry smoke or burning embers over people’s property or across roads.

Legislation

There are no official time restrictions for lighting bonfires in East Herts but we do take up complaints if smoke becomes a nuisance.

By lighting a smoky bonfire you could be breaking the law. Anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke to drift across a road faces a fine of up to £2000 under the Highways (amendment) Act 1986.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence for smoke to be emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance- the maximum penalty is £5000. Business premises are liable to a fine of up to £20,000 if they persist after a notice has been served.

How to complain

If someone is causing you a nuisance by lighting a bonfire at an inconvenient time you should first try to talk to them, it is likely that they may not have realised that their activities could be causing a nuisance and disturbing others. If there is a persistent nuisance that you are unable to resolve informally, you can contact Environmental Health on (01279) 655261 and explain the problem to them.

Allotment Bonfires

Each year the Council receives a number of complaints regarding allotment bonfires. Most come from people living nearby who are affected by smoke and fumes.

Often the problem is made worse by several allotment holders lighting fires at once and then leaving them to smolder and smoke. Not only is this unpleasant for people living nearby, but you may be risking prosecution and a fine of up to £5000.

As well as nuisance from the smoke, there is always a risk that a fire left unattended can get out of hand. Always douse it thoroughly to ensure that it is out before you leave.

An Alternative to Bonfires

Garden waste can be composted or put in the brown recycling bins.

Garden rubbish can also be disposed of at your local Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Household Waste & Recycling Centre

 

 

COVID-19 Update

Dear Partner,

Welcome to the second edition of Hertfordshire County Council’s new weekly stakeholder bulletin.  This bulletin provides updates on the county council’s key priorities this week, as well as outlining preparations being made for the recovery of services.

 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

  • Following the recent release of additional guidance from Defra, 10 Hertfordshire HWRCs will re-open from Monday 11 May.
  • They will follow their usual opening days and hours – more details are available on our website: HCC Website – HWRCs.
  • The sites opening will be Waterdale, Rickmansworth, Turnford, Letchworth, Royston, Bishop’s Stortford, Stevenage, Harpenden, Berkhamsted and Potters Bar.
  • We are continuing with communications to encourage people not to go to the HWRCs unless it is essential – HWRC Press release is available here.
  • We have been working with our partners to ensure safe opening and, in due course, will be able to review the position and consider either opening additional sites or increasing the opening hours at the sites that are open.

 Support to Residential and Nursing Care Homes

  • The County Council is leading a multi-agency group to bring together a range of partners across the health and care system to oversee, monitor and map outbreaks of COVID-19 across Hertfordshire.
  • There are a range of support and services being offered to care homes to enable them to remain open and to provide quality care to their residents. The Provider Hub is supporting homes with issues and concerns about access to and the appropriate use of PPE.  Support with stocks has been offered throughout this pandemic as well as training and information to interpret the stream of guidance that has been issued nationally.
  • Two former care homes will open shortly, providing 85 additional beds to support those people who are recovering from the virus.  Both homes have been registered by the CQC and are being supported by the local NHS community health providers.  A third home, St Margaret House in Abbots Langley, was due to be closed but will now stay open to provide additional capacity in the west.

Testing

  • Three mobile test sites were again set up last weekend and all slots were filled very quickly.
  • A total of 333 tests were carried out.
  • Further pop-up testing will be taking place this weekend.

 Operation Shield

    • As at 30 April, we have 24,510 records of Hertfordshire residents on MHCLG’s main shield list (first two cohorts). We are waiting to receive an updated list from Central Government, which includes the records of more Hertfordshire residents. This increased shielded figure is expected to raise the number to approximately 33,500.
  • Additional staff have now been redeployed to help with the process of calling citizens who have received a food parcel, to confirm if they need further support. This process is supporting the operation to reduce the level of demand for the service and keep track of the ongoing needs of service users.

 

 Our work to support Hertfordshire’s schools

  • Intense work is continuing from council officers alongside partners in Herts for Learning (HfL) and schools to continue planning for potential reopening of schools pending formal announcements expected from the Government later this week.

 Mental health support during COVID-19

  • A new group has been set up to oversee the mental health and wellbeing support available to Hertfordshire residents and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hertfordshire’s Behaviour Change Unit is supporting the group, and has already developed a Top Tips for resilience at home infographic.
  • Information for children, young people and their parents is available at www.justtalkherts.org and a live webinar for 11-19 year olds to address their questions about Covid-19 takes place on Thursday 14 May 2020 11-30am-12.30pm
  • A series of guides to support people through bereavement are available on the County Council website.

 High Streets

  • Highways and Public Health colleagues are working closely with District and Borough Councils and other partners to identify how and where we may need to make changes to the network of roads and pavements to help enable social distancing to keep busy urban areas safe and open as the restrictions of lockdown are eased.
  • In a county like Hertfordshire this is particularly challenging as we have several medium and larger towns to consider along with some very constricted local centres elsewhere.
  • We are working up management plans to help create areas that enable social distancing and better pedestrian and cycling friendly infrastructure in areas where this is possible.
  • We are seeking to ensure that access for commercial deliveries are maintained and public transport can continue to operate.  Arrangements for disabled parking and those with disabilities will be a key.

Locality budget scheme

  • It was confirmed yesterday that, a further £390,000 will be invested into the County Council locality budget scheme.
  • Each County Councillor will be receiving a further £5,000 for 2020/21, in addition to the £10,000 that is available to them through their locality budget each year.
  • At least £5,000 of each Member’s budget will be spent on COVID-19 related schemes.
  • The county council has already allocated over £211k to local organisations across 312 grants since the early opening of the 2020/21 Locality Budget Scheme.

Herts Memories

  • Friday 8th May 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of WWII ending in Europe. The day offers an opportunity for us to reflect on the sacrifices made by all members of the Armed Forces.
  • To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) has launched a new online exhibition, Herts Memories. The exhibition offers an insight into life on the Home Front in Hertfordshire and enables residents to share their own family memories and pictures of VE Day: Get involved.
  • In line with the current COVID-19 government advice, the county council are encouraging residents to mark the occasion from home.

 More information

  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub – providing guidance on PPE
  • Current Defra advice can be found on the government website
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents
  • Please contact our Corporate Policy team if there are other areas you would like more detail about.

As you’ll be aware, it is anticipated that the Prime Minister is due to provide a COVID-19 update on the current lockdown measures for the country and whether some of the existing restrictions will be eased. HCC is continuing to plan for the recovery of services and hope to be able to share more with you next week.

Kind regards,

David Williams                  Owen Mapley

Leader                                 Chief Executive

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HCC – COVID-19 Update

Dear Partner,

Welcome to the first edition of Hertfordshire County Council’s new weekly stakeholder bulletin. This bulletin will provide you with updates on how the county Council is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, detailing actions the Council has taken over the past week, as well as future preparations currently in development.

The bulletin is intended to support the knowledge included in the Council’s other frequent communications provided to MPs, Councillors, staff and residents. In addition, a more detailed  COVID-19 update report will be going to the council’s Special Cabinet Panel on 6 May.

Now entering the sixth week of lockdown, it makes us both extremely proud to see how well everyone is working together to overcome the challenges we are all currently facing. Like many of you, it has been another busy week for all at HCC as we adapt our routines and processes to the challenges of this time.

The bulletin below highlights some of the key priorities and updates from the county council this week:

 Residential Care Homes / Supported Home Care

  • We continue to see a rise in the number of deaths of care home residents – in hospital and in the care homes.
  • We are working closely with health partners as part of a coordinated effort to support homes with an outbreak, including advice on infection control and staff swabbing.  We have seen a welcome increase in care home residents and staff who are being swabbed through the Herts Urgent Care pathway.
  • We have also helped the NHS to release beds through a mixture of buying extra spaces in care homes and working to temporarily bring back into use two former care homes.

Supporting our most vulnerable residents

  • As part of Operation Shield, we have now made over 2,500 food and toiletry deliveries to individual households and have delivered over 1,700 parcels to Districts, food banks and charities.  494 prescription deliveries have also been made, supporting over 900 individuals.
  • HertsHelp have continued to receive increased call levels as a result of a leaflet being distributed to all Hertfordshire households, which offers advice and guidance for residents.
  • The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership continues to operate and to accept referrals, both from the public and from professionals. Up to date information on support available on Domestic Abuse is available on the Herts Sunflower website.

Our work to support Hertfordshire’s schools

  • Discussions continue around planning for possible partial reopening of schools as and when Central Government provide a directive to do so.
  • Further work is being carried out with the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office in relation to those who are most vulnerable/subject to child protection measures and their school attendance.

Libraries

  • Whilst Hertfordshire libraries remain closed, the council is recommending the use of all online services. More information about library services can be found here.
  • Hertfordshire County Council has also recommenced a Home Delivery Service to supply books to Hertfordshire residents.

Redeployed HCC Staff

  • As of 15 April, a total of 849 Hertfordshire County Council staff have been redeployed to work in critical services to help fight Covid-19.
  • Around 270 Public Health clinicians have moved to frontline NHS roles, 17 on-call firefighters have been trained to support the East of England Ambulance service and 562 staff from suspended council services are being redeployed to Covid-19 response roles.

Testing

  • Council teams worked with NHS colleagues and the Military to establish three mobile test sites last weekend in Hemel Hempstead (69 tested), Watford (161 tested) and Stevenage (261 tested) for symptomatic key workers and essential staff.
  • We are pleased to see this response to our concerns about key workers previously having to travel to regional centres in Stansted and Wembley and are keen to retain greater local testing capacity.
  • We are working with the military to secure additional local testing facilities this coming weekend.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

  • The plan for reopening Household Waste Recycling Centres in Hertfordshire is being finalised and sets out a phased approach.
  • Communication to accompany any reopening will stress that visits should only be made if they are essential and highlight the rules on site, in line with national government guidance.
  • We anticipate traffic congestion around opened sites and are liaising with the police and highways over traffic management options.

More information

  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub – providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents
  • Please contact our Corporate Policy team if there are other areas you would like more detail about.

With the Prime Minister now returning to work after recovering from coronavirus, we expect the government to deliver further national announcements next week, detailing both the country’s continued response to the pandemic and its strategy for delivering its recovery programme. We intend to use these bulletins to keep you informed on HCC updates and future plans in line with these announcements.

Finally, we would once again like to reiterate our thanks to all of you for helping us work through the challenges this country, and all of us here in Hertfordshire are facing. We must continue to work together through these challenges and ensure that Hertfordshire is united against coronavirus.

 

75th VE Anniversary – what HCC are doing…..

On behalf of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board I wanted to highlight the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May 2020, let you know how Hertfordshire County Council will be marking this important event and share some of the resources which have been developed to help people safely mark VE Day 75.

As you may be aware, plans for celebrating and commemorating VE Day 75 on 8th May 2020 have been changing along with published Government guidance in light of COVID-19.  The Armed Forces Covenant Board works to ensure that the sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces Community are recognised and remembered.  While events and gatherings have been cancelled, many areas across Hertfordshire are planning innovative ways for people to get involved in VE Day 75 celebrations this year.

Hertfordshire County Council and VE Day 75

  1. Hertfordshire County Council press release can be found here.

 

  1. We will be promoting VE Day 75 on Hertfordshire County Council social media channels and encouraging residents to celebrate at home with toolkits from VE Day 75 and English Heritage. If you use social media, please join the nation in marking the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe. Hertfordshire County Council (@hertscc) will be posting tweets that you may wish to share.

 

  1. You may be interested in looking at the online exhibition that Herts Memories has created.  Or, if you have your own family story or photo of VE Day, please do share them

 

  1. Throughout the day on 8th May Herts Memories will publish audio clips and other pieces of VE Day history. Follow their twitter page (@hertsarchives) for links to more VE day content as they add it.

 

  1. Hertfordshire County Council is a member of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board, or Hertfordshire Heroes. If you haven’t heard of Hertfordshire Heroes, maybe you’d like to visit our website to learn more. Hertfordshire Heroes works in partnership with organisations across Hertfordshire to:
  • ensure that veterans and those in the Armed Forces are not disadvantaged in accessing services;

 

  • that the sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces community are recognised and remembered; and
  • to encourage the integration of service life into civilian life.

However you are marking the anniversary, we’d love to see photos on twitter and facebook using #VEday75 so we can all feel a little more connected.

Kind regards,

Ashley Lamprell on behalf of Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board

 

Ashley Lamprell
Policy Officer | Corporate Policy Team | Resources

Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8DE, Postal Point: CHO144
T: 01992 588952 Internal: 28952
E:  

Please note my working days are Tuesday – Thursday

 

CPRE Monkey Survey on Aircraft Noise & its effect on Health

To complete this Survey please click on the link below or key in separately

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cpreaviation

Brown Bin Collections to re-start

RE-START OF BROWN BIN COLLECTIONS – with effect from Monday 11 May –

From Monday 11 May our contactor, Urbaser, will begin restarting garden waste collections for our residents.

Staff shortages and changes to working practices caused by coronavirus meant that we had to make the difficult decision to suspend brown bin collections to prioritise the most critical collection services: refuse and recycling.

Our contractor’s crews are now settled into the new working practices and this, along with increased staffing numbers, means that garden waste collections can now be restarted.

While this is undoubtedly welcome news, there are still some staff shortages which might result in collections taking slightly longer than usual so we will be asking residents to bear with us as we get back up to speed.

We will be making a public announcement tomorrow (Friday 1 May) through social media, press and on our website, which has all the latest information. The Leader, Cllr Haysey will also mention this in the network e-newsletter to residents and we’ll also ensure more information is provided to you via MIB this week.