Play areas and outdoor gyms set to reopen in July
Play areas and outdoor gyms are set to reopen from Saturday 4 July in line with the latest government guidance.
The borough council will start reopening its 150 play areas in the borough from Saturday 4 July and is asking residents to be patient while the necessary health and safety inspections are carried out and signage is installed at each location. The council’s play inspection team will also be reopening 50 play areas belonging to parish and town councils in the borough as well as outdoor gyms.
Before each play area and outdoor gym can be safely reopened it must be inspected and residents are asked not to use the equipment until the council’s team has carried out this work and declared it fit for use.
Families and those wishing to exercise on the gym equipment will also be asked to follow the latest social distancing guidance when using the facilities. For more information and to find your nearest play area visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/playareas
Return of weekly waste collections to be considered next month
The temporary decision to reduce waste collections to fortnightly will be reviewed mid-July to determine if the weekly service can be brought back yet.
Together with waste contractor Serco, the borough council will assess if weekly waste collections can resume with an aim to set a date for the service to start if the outcome is positive.
As staffing levels have began to stabilise during the pandemic, the council has staggered the return of services with those requiring the fewest staff brought back online first.
The fortnightly garden waste service, which has over 12,000 customers signed up, started on Monday 15 June for existing customers. This followed the reintroduction of the council’s bulky waste collection service and deliveries of bins and glass containers in May.
Waste collections, which have the biggest impact on staffing, will be reviewed mid-July following the completion of two garden waste collections.
For more information on the services and frequently asked questions visit /www.basingstoke.gov.uk/covid-19-bins-and-recycling
Small businesses encouraged to apply for grant support
Funding support for small and micro businesses not eligible for other government funding will be available from the council from Monday.
Following the first round of applications to the Small Business Discretionary Scheme, £652,500 of funding has been paid to 109 small businesses and a new application round has now been launched.
Grants of £2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000 will be available for small and micro businesses in the borough linked to their level of fixed property overheads costs.
When applying, businesses must be able to demonstrate a significant loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, the business must have fewer than 50 employees, occupy a property with a rateable value of up to £75,000 or part of a property with a rateable value of up to £75,000. The business must also not be eligible for any other government schemes including (but not limited to):
· Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
· Small Business Grant Fund
· Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
· The Fisheries Response Fund
· Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
· The Zoos Support Fund
· The Dairy Hardship Fund.
Businesses are being encouraged to apply as soon as possible as grants will be administered on a first come, first served basis. The new application window will launch on Monday (29 June) and businesses will need to complete an application form by 4.30pm on Thursday 9 July.
For more information on the eligibility criteria and to apply, see www.basingstoke.gov.uk/COVID-19-business-support-and-grants
Mayor’s Charity Appeal 2020/21
The Mayor, Cllr Diane Taylor, has praised local people for helping her raise more than £24,000 for local charities during her past year in office.
As Cllr Taylor embarks on a second year as the borough’s Mayor, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has announced that her new charities for 2020/21 will be Sebastian’s Action Trust and St John Ambulance (Hampshire district).
After a hugely successful fundraising year from May 2019, which was brought to a halt when the lockdown restrictions were introduced, the Mayor is delighted to announce that a total of £24,881 has been raised for the Mayor’s Charity Appeal 2019/20.
This will be divided between her three chosen charities – HeartSmart which receives £9,752, Real Change Not Loose Change which also receives £9,752 and Besom in Basingstoke which receives £5,376.
Have your say on unique opportunity to shape future of health services
Working in partnership, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover, have launched a programme of public engagement on the biggest modernisation of local health services in 50 years.
Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services is an exciting programme that will involve all NHS and social care services across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas.
Along with the unique opportunity to build a brand new hospital for residents in north Hampshire, the central aim of all partners is to deliver a joined-up healthcare approach that supports patients to access the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
An online engagement session will be held for people in and around Basingstoke next Thursday (2 July) to explain the programme and a range of healthcare experts will be on hand to answer your questions. To register for this session, which is taking place between 8pm and 9pm, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hampshire-together-online-engagement-session-for-the-people-of-basingstoke-tickets-109824696624
To find out more about the programme and to share your views throughout June and July, please visit the Hampshire Together website, Home :: Hampshire Together