Communities Update: 9th July

Keep Caring for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough – residents urged to keep to the rules, as coronavirus hasn’t gone away 

Residents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being urged by civic and community leaders from across the county to “Keep Caring” for one another, as coronavirus hasn’t gone away.

A campaign launched on Tuesday 7 July to reinvigorate public health messages and remind people that even though lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted – everyone needs to continue to take action to help us all return to a more normal life.

With certain government restrictions relaxed from Saturday 4 July, including being able to meet in groups of up to two households in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors – it remains the case that even inside someone’s home you should continue to keep a safe distance from anyone not in your household or bubble.

The two metre rule being relaxed to a ‘1 metre plus’ approach depends on the setting, and means people are being trusted to continue acting responsibly by following this and the related guidance to care for themselves and each other.

The more people we interact with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, everyone should still try to limit the number of people they see and get close to. The risk of transmission is also higher indoors, so people should take extra care, including wearing a face covering on public transport and in enclosed spaces where you can’t stay two metres apart.

The Keep Caring campaign outlines ways that people can take care of themselves and each other – for instance highlighting that:

  • Caring is keeping your distance – inside or outside
  • Caring is being responsible – staying isolated if you think you’ve got symptoms, or been close to someone who has
  • Caring is covering your face – even with no symptoms you might still spread virus
  • Caring is washing your hands – regularly, when you enter or leave a new place

It also points out that:

  • Caring is staying and buying local – to support local businesses and jobs
  • Caring is being considerate – rubbish destroys our countryside, and puts those who clear it up at risk

Vlogs from Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council have been recorded.

Comprehensive advice on current government rules is available on the gov.uk website.


Council Education Leads working to ensure the safe return of all school year groups in September

Education Leads across Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been reviewing updated government guidance around the re-opening of schools for all year groups in September, and are confident the necessary measures will be in place to welcome back all pupils.

The guidance, announced last week by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, sets out the steps primary, secondary (including sixth forms), infant, junior, middle, upper, school-based nurseries and boarding schools need to take to ensure all pupils can return to formal education after the summer.

Find out more on our Cambridgeshire and Peterborough websites.


Residents attending city centre pubs, bars and restaurants enjoyed themselves responsibly over the weekend in Peterborough 

Residents who visited the city centre over the weekend has been praised for enjoying themselves responsibly by both Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire Police.

With many venues taking bookings only and placing barriers outside to ensure social distancing, pubs, bars and restaurants welcomed customers back for their first ice cold draught beer or restaurant meal for over 100 days on Saturday.

A spokesperson from Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “We can confirm the weekend went well and passed largely without incident.

“Officers on patrol were on hand to keep the public safe and remind people to stick to the social distancing guidelines.

“We would like to thank the communities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for enjoying themselves responsibly and encourage everyone to keep up the good work in the coming weeks.

“It’s really important that everyone takes personal responsibility for their actions to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep our communities safe from harm.”


Volunteers to continue to support villagers

Dedicated volunteers in Isleham, who have ensured that vulnerable residents are provided with essentials and support during lockdown, have pledged to continue their efforts indefinitely.

Over the past three months, a volunteer group run by Isleham Cricket Club and supported by local suppliers, has been busy preparing and delivering weekly boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables, biscuits, potatoes and other essentials.

The group took over a phone box in the village where residents can leave non-perishable foods free for anyone in need to collect 24/7, with a volunteer visiting daily to help maintain its stock.

They have also collected and distributed over 500 medical prescriptions and completed over 400 shopping and errand requests.

Messages of thanks from residents have continued to be received on social media and through written cards and letters.


Car parking charges to be reintroduced in Peterborough on Monday (13 July)

Following a three month break during the Covid-19 lockdown, Peterborough City Council will be reintroducing parking charges across all its city centre car parks and on-street pay and display parking bays across the city on Monday (13 July).

Parking charges were suspended during lockdown, to help critical workers and keep the roads free for emergency vehicles and essential deliveries.

Now, as lockdown is gradually eased and Peterborough is opening up again, parking restrictions will go back to how they operated previously.

Although cash machines will still be operational at each car park – which will be cleaned daily, members of the public are encouraged to either use the PayByPhone app to pay for their parking charges, or by dialling the PayByPhone service number on the side of the car park machine. Both are touch-free methods of payment.

A parking scheme for NHS workers in the city has been set up through an official government recognised scheme, allowing them to apply for a free parking permit to help them carry out the vital work they are doing. Speak to your employers if you believe you qualify for access to this scheme.


County Council and British Red Cross extend their partnership through COVID-19 

When the lockdown began, the British Red Cross assisted the Countywide Hub with the distribution of food parcels. Together they have distributed 1,500 food parcels to more than 900 households and nearly 3,000 people.

But as the weeks went on it became clear that the British Red Cross could support in another important way, by helping to combat mental health issues and crucially loneliness, fear and isolation.

The British Red Cross offered to provide an additional service in the form of befriending people who were feeling vulnerable and isolated.

The County Council and British Red Cross quickly developed a virtual telephone service which not only gave a much needed communication lifeline to people and ensured they had someone to speak with, but also allowed trained BRC staff and volunteers to ask questions to ensure the person was receiving all the help they required. 

Between them they could identify any areas of concern and then refer the concerns back into the hub to be solved or referred on to other Red Cross colleagues or other charities to provide support.

Currently 700 people have been contacted by the Red Cross volunteers, with over 1,054 calls made to date and over 550 people confirming they would like regular calls from the volunteers.