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Coronavirus update
25 March 2020

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced that everyone must now stay at home except in exceptional circumstances, to protect our NHS and save lives.

All shops selling non-essential goods such as clothing and electronic stores will close. Libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship will also close immediately. All gatherings of more than two people in public - excluding people you live with - will be stopped immediately. All social events including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies except funerals will be stopped.

The only reasons you may leave home are to:
  • Go to work (but work from home if possible)
  • Shop for groceries, medicine and other essentials (infrequently)
  • Exercise outside (once a day)
  • Provide care or help a vulnerable person
  • For any medical need.

Do not visit friends or family who don't live with you. The advice will be updated in three weeks.

If you want more information or advice, check the official and professional sources of information including www.gov.uk/coronavirus .
Community hub activation

The RBWM community hub has now been activated following the announcement from central government on Sunday 22 March. The hub will help community groups and individuals who want to volunteer to co-ordinate their efforts and ensure that our most vulnerable residents get the help and support they need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

As we activate the hub we are asking residents the following:
  1. Become a COVID–19 Good Neighbour. Just get involved in your local neighbourhood. Share the message and encourage others to do the same. Click on the link to see how easy it is: www3.rbwm.gov.uk/goodneighbour
  2. If you are an individual looking to volunteer please complete this form and register via this link and the RBWM community hub will be in contact with you.
  3. If you, or someone you know, is in need of help please complete this form
  4. If you are an organisation already working in your community and offering services – please let us know where you are and what you are doing so we can reach the most vulnerable. Please email: info@wamgetinvolved.org.uk

We will be updating you regularly about the hub here, or if you have any other questions, please email  info@wamgetinvolved.org.uk
Foodbank donations

The borough are awarding £500 per group to community self-help groups and £5,000 grants to each of the two foodbanks in the borough to support their work. Cllr Andrew Johnson, Leader of the Council, said: “I hope that these grant fundings will help our community through this difficult time. Please do keep safe and look after each other.”

If you're a community self-help group, please email  transformation@rbwm.gov.uk  with details of your group, a contact name and number and the areas you cover and we'll ring you back.

Generous businesses have been helping too - Greggs at Braywick Esso have donated food to John West House in Maidenhead, which has been gratefully received. The Castle Hotel have supported Trinity Church with food donations for the Windsor Homeless project who are based at the church.
Waste and recycling update

Due to the new restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 outbreak there are a number of changes to our waste and recycling service:

Stafferton Way civic amenity site is now closed until further notice.

The garden waste collection service is now suspended until further notice, in order to prioritise collections of rubbish, recycling and food waste. We apologise for any inconvenience. Any missed weeks will be added to the end of the paid subscription at no extra cost when the service resumes.

Waste and recycling collections continue as normal, however some roads have been missed due to larger volumes than normal. Keep an eye on Twitter for updates on collections in your road.

Business Rate Relief

The government has announced a number of changes to business rate relief both as a result of the budget and in order to assist with the effects of the current Coronavirus outbreak.

We've put together a list of frequently asked questions designed to assist business understand the effect of these announcements and how these will be applied to eligible ratepayers.

Bailiff debt recovery suspended

As part of our COVID-19 response we will be suspending any bailiff debt recovery, as well as suspending any new court proceedings, and the issuing of final demands for debt until further notice
Advice on wedding ceremonies

Following the introduction of new measures by the government we are now unable to perform wedding ceremonies for the foreseeable future. Our registrars will be contacting those with weddings booked in April and May first. 

We know that this will be a worrying and upsetting time for all couples with weddings planned so we have updated the advice on our COVID-19 page.
 
Residents parking arrangements
 
Where on-street parking is at a premium, we are working to allocate extra space. We appreciate you may be self-isolating with family members who are returning to the borough and may not have their own parking permits. If you are in this situation with an extra car and no parking permit, we are temporarily allowing residents to park without a permit in the car parks listed below. You may still need to prove residency. Free parking is available in the following car parks without needing to show a parking permit, until further notice:

  • Datchet: Horton Road and The Avenue
  • Eton: Eton Court, Meadow Lane
  • Maidenhead: Boulters Lock, Braywick sports centre, Hines Meadow (Sainsbury's), Magnet Leisure Centre, Stafferton Way, Town Moor
  • Windsor: Alexandra Gardens, Alma Road, Home Park, King Edward VII, Romney Lock, Victoria Street, Windsor Leisure Centre

Libraries online resources

If you aren't already a member of the library, you can still join online . Once you have joined you will be given a temporary library card number - the team are working hard to ensure that you will be able to access digital services while libraries are closed. If you live in the borough your card will be posted to you. If you already have a library card, but have forgotten your PIN, you can reset it online.

Libraries are hosting a secure Minecraft realm accessible on Windows 10, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or Android. It's invite only and consistently moderated to ensure it remains a safe place for everyone. Email rbwm.libs.minecraft@outlook.com for more information on how to join.

Click on the link for library online resources including audio and e-books and stay in touch on Facebook , follow us on Twitter or Instagram .