Somerset Health and Wellbeing Updates Including Vaccination Centres and Health Checks.
Town and Parish Council Elections
People elected to represent their community at the town and parish council elections also taking place on 5 May, will serve a five-year term. For your information the only contested parishes/parish ward areas are:
- Brompton Regis
- Cheddon Fitzpaine (Maidenbrook Ward)
- Old Cleeve (Old Cleeve Ward)
- Wellington (East Ward)
- Wellington (Rockwell Green Ward)
- Wellington (South East Ward)
- Wellington (South Ward)
Polling day is on Thursday 5 May and the counting of votes and declarations of the results for the town and parish council is scheduled to take place on Saturday 7 May 2022.
Please visit the SWT Elections 2022 page on the Council website for more information.
Calls for voters to register in time for May elections
Anyone eligible to vote but not already on the electoral register has one week left to ensure they are able to vote in the elections. Applications to register to vote must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by Thursday, 14 April, and can be made online: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Voters have three options for casting their ballot – in person at the polling station, by post or by proxy – appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf.
The last day to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 19 April 2022.
The last day to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday 26 April 2022.
Beware of Council Tax Energy Rebate Scam
Residents are being warned that criminals are calling people and asking for their bank details in order to receive the Council Tax Energy Rebate.
The Government announced the extra support amid the rising cost of energy bills, with payments being administered by local authorities.
SWT will start making payments to eligible households during April but will never cold call and ask for your personal bank details over the phone (or by email). If you receive such a call, hang up and report it to the Police on 101.
Jubilee Street Party and Road Closure Application process
Time is running out to submit a road closure order if you and your community are planning to hold a street party for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, think about what you want to achieve and get in touch with SWT at least six weeks in advance, but preferably a little more.
Applications for temporary road closures need to be submitted no later than Wednesday 18 April to ensure adequate processing time. Please click here to visit the SWT website and find out more information.
If you are holding a Street Party, Village Hall Party, or another event, please submit details onto the interactive Platinum Jubilee event map: Events – The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022.
Somerset Waste Partnership Services (SWP) – Bank Holiday Collection arrangements
When’s bin day? All your collections change for Easter, bank holidays and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
At Easter, Good Friday 15 April pick-ups move to Saturday 16 April and with no collections on Easter Monday 18 April, all Easter week collections are a day later, including Friday collections taking place on Saturday 23 April.
Bank holiday Monday May 2 means the week’s collections are a day later, with Friday pick-ups on Saturday 7 May.
To see, download, print or add to a smart device all your collection days – for recycling, rubbish and garden waste – visit My Collection Day at somersetwaste.gov.uk. (When entering your post code in the search bar, please include the gap i.e., AB12 3CD)
Calendars can be downloaded for printing or directly into your laptop or mobile device’s calendar – creating helpful automatic reminders.
You can find lots more information about Recycle More online at somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycle-more. Extra guidance and support can be requested using a form on this page, or by calling SWT.
Community Council for Somerset (CCS) – Reminder- Meal and food boxes
Meal and food boxes are available in your community. Anyone can request a meal or food box, regardless of your financial situation. You can access these free meals by contacting your local Village Agent call – 01823 331222. Please click here for further information.
Somerset COVID Cases
In the week ending 1 April approximately 111,106 tests were carried out across the county. This is a reduction on previous weeks, but lateral flow testing is now no longer free of charge to the public. There were 6,188 new confirmed cases identified by these tests. The rates of COVID-19 remain very high at 1,100.6 per 100,000. This is just below the South-West average, but considerably higher than the national average.
Hospitalisation data for Somerset has increased by a significant amount over the last week to around 226 COVID-19 in patients in Somerset hospitals. Most of these patients are not ill with COVID-19 but have been detected through routine screening on hospital admission.
COVID-19 now presents with a very wide range of symptoms, similar to other respiratory infections, so without testing it is not possible to know if symptoms are of COVID-19, or flu, or a common cold for example. COVID-19 case numbers in Somerset are at record levels, so there remains a significant risk of contracting COVID-19, and thus a significant risk to business continuity if a large proportion of staff are sick at any one time and isolating.
Although it is no longer a legal requirement to isolate as a case or contact, many of the controls that businesses have had in place will remain important in reducing risks to business continuity, including workers isolating while symptomatic and good workplace ventilation.
Free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for COVID-19, for the general public, came to an end on the 31 March 2022, in line with the move to the Living with COVID-19 strategy.
Please click here to find out more information on who can access free COVID-19 tests from 1 April 2022 and how to get them.
Spring Booster Jabs
SCC’s Public Health team is urging older and more vulnerable residents to take up the offer of a free, further COVID-19 booster vaccine.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), as part of its latest review of the UK vaccination programme, has recommended an additional spring booster dose for our most vulnerable individuals. People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those individuals aged 12 and over with weakened immune systems, will be offered a spring booster of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
The Spring Booster has been rolled out for these groups of people because they are at higher risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. Protection from their previous vaccinations may be lower and may decline more quickly over time. If the number of infections increases over the summer, this booster should help to reduce their risk of developing serious illness and being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
Across Somerset, there are more than 80 thousand people eligible to receive their spring booster. They will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive the vaccine, although anyone eligible who has had six months since their last booster can also go online to book through the National Booking System or by calling 119 for an appointment.
There are also plenty of walk-in appointments available across the county. Please check the local NHS website: COVID-19 vaccinations in Somerset to find clinics in your area or use the national portal to find a clinic: www.nhs.uk/grab-a-jab.
NHS staff are ready to welcome you whether it’s for your first, second, or third dose.
COVID-19 and mental wellbeing
The impact and experience of the COVID-19 outbreak has been different for everyone, as has how we have reacted, but there’s no doubt it’s been a really difficult time for us all.
That’s why it’s so important to do what we can to look after our mental health and wellbeing, now more than ever.
Please click here to get help and advice from Every Mind Matters.