Added July 8th 2020
Outdoor play areas and gyms reopening in Buckinghamshire
We are pleased to announce that outdoor play areas and gyms managed by Buckinghamshire Council will be gradually reopening from Saturday 4 July onwards, and ask that everyone who uses these outdoor areas maintains strict social distancing and good hygiene practice.
We anticipate it will take a few days from Saturday for all sites to reopen and they will be operating with clear guidance on how to use the areas and equipment safely.
Some play areas are managed by the local town or parish council who will make decisions for their own facilities; please check websites before you visit and follow signage in the play areas.
We know that social distancing can be particularly difficult in a playground setting, so we ask that parents, carers and guardians are aware of the risk and take extra care and responsibility for encouraging handwashing and social distancing as much as possible.
Cllr Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Sport and Leisure, said: “It is great that we are now able to start reopening many of our outdoor play areas and gyms for residents to use, especially with the school summer holidays starting soon, but using these outdoor areas does carry some risk, and it’s important that everyone continues to follow the guidance to keep safe.
“Avoiding the outdoor areas when they are busy, taking hand wash / sanitiser with you to wash hands frequently, and keeping your distance from other people as much as possible will help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Social distancing can be particularly difficult, so we ask that parents, carers and guardians are aware of the risks in the playground and use common sense and take extra care and responsibility for encouraging handwashing and social distancing as much as possible. Please consider if you can keep the children in your care safe when using the play areas, and if you can’t, please don’t use them, or return at a less busy time.”
There may be one-way systems in place, additional instructions and limits on capacity in some play areas, so please take notice of these and follow the signs. If you visit the play areas please follow these rules:
You must maintain social distancing from others, if it is too busy to do this please do not enter.
Do not use the equipment if you or any member of your household has coronavirus symptoms, or are self-isolating.
Children should not use the equipment if they are clinically or extremely clinically vulnerable.
Make sure you have hand sanitiser with you before entering the playground.
Encourage everyone in your family to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser regularly, as a minimum before and after using the playground.
Encourage children to avoid touching their faces
Some equipment can only be used by one child at a time while social distancing. Please ensure your family waits at a safe distance if the equipment is in use or return later to use the equipment
At busy times please think of others and limit your time in the play area so others may use and enjoy it too.
Please do not consume food or drink in the playground
If your family is wearing disposable PPE, please take it home with you or where provided use the bins – don't litter.
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Added July 1st 2020
Look out for your voter registration details from Buckinghamshire Council
Buckinghamshire residents are being encouraged to make sure their electoral registration details are up to date in the annual canvass.
With the first elections for Buckinghamshire Council taking place in May 2021, the canvass is an important opportunity for residents to ensure they will be able to take part and vote.
The annual canvass means Buckinghamshire Council can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.
Ian Hunt, Interim Head of Democratic and Electoral Services at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the county. To make sure you are able to have your say at the elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions as provided. It is really quick to confirm your registration details.
“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. The easiest way to register is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, otherwise you will simply need to confirm or amend the details following the respond method on your communication.
“This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing.”
The council will be contacting residents by post or email between July and August.
Further information, including contact details, can be found at https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/your-council/council-and-democracy/elections-and-voting/confirm-your-registered-voting-details/
Elections are taking place in Buckinghamshire in May 2021
The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on Electoral Registration Officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties.
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.
British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries (including Cyprus and Malta) can vote in local government elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. To date, the UK Government has not made changes to the eligibility of EU citizens, meaning at present they too can vote in these elections.
Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website.
Added June 24th 2020
Buckinghamshire residents can use new ‘hybrid’ coronavirus testing site in Slough
The first hybrid walk-in and drive-in coronavirus testing centre in the country is being set up in Slough this week, and will be available for use by neighbouring areas including Buckinghamshire.
The testing centre is expected to be operational from Wednesday afternoon (24 June) and will be in place for the foreseeable future.
It will be based in the Montem Car Park, Montem Lane (off the A4 Bath Road) and anyone with symptoms – and, for the first time, people who are not symptomatic but concerned they may be infected – will be able visit for a test either by foot or in a car.
The site is being provided by the Department for Health and Social Care and facilitated by Slough Borough Council.
The centre will be open both for those who wish to make an appointment and for those who just want to drop-in. People are warned that drop-ins may have to wait slightly longer, however.
If coming by car:
Up to four people can come in the same vehicle
All ages can attend
Tests will be administered by visitors, under the guidance of trained testing staff
There is no geographical restriction on where people can visit from
Actual testing should take between 15 and 30 minutes
All attendees over the age of three must wear face coverings or they will not be able to get tested
Children three and under need not wear masks
A special area for testing is available for those who do not wish to remove face coverings in public
A curtained area is available
Parents are welcome to bring children
Actual testing should take between 15 and 30 minutes
Josie Wragg, Chief Executive of Slough Borough Council, said: “We are proud to be facilitating, not only a site with huge capacity for testing but also one which is the first hybrid site in the country – where people can drive and walk in with no appointment.”
Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Engagement at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “This new site is a great addition to regional testing capabilities, and is particularly good news for people in the south of Buckinghamshire. We would encourage anyone with coronavirus symptoms, or who is concerned they may have them, to get tested. As aspects of lockdown continue to be eased, it is vital we continue to work together to stop the spread of coronavirus.”
To book a test, go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus and click on the appropriate link for you within the ‘testing’ section of information. The booking process is slightly different for members of the public to that for essential workers.
This site is in addition to other local and regional coronavirus testing sites (both permanent and mobile), which are still available for residents in Buckinghamshire to use
Added June 17th 2020
Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.
How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:
There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:
1 - Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): email@example.com
2 - Shopping online
If you're making a purchase from a company or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.
3 - Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.
NHS Test and Trace scams:
The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.
What you need to know:
Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.
All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.
The NHS Test and Trace service will never:
ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
ask for any details about your bank account
ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.