Wiltshire Town and Parish Council Update – COVID-19 (Tier 2: High Alert), Grants, and more!

1 December 2020
Last week, the government confirmed that our local authority area is being placed in the COVID-19 Tier 2 ‘high alert’ category from this Wednesday (2 December).

This is a different Tier that the county was in prior to the current national restrictions and it is disappointing, but not surprising, that we find ourselves in a higher Tier than before.

We have been planning for such an eventuality and we want to reassure residents and businesses that we are here to help them get through this.  More information about the Tier 2 category and what we are doing as a council to provide services to our residents can be found below.

COVID-19 is still very prevalent and will be here for some time to come, so I advise everyone to keep social distancing, have good hand hygiene, wear a mask and self-isolate when required to do so.

If we maintain that behaviour and everyone plays their part, then there’s no reason why we can’t move to the lowest Tier and then eventually get to the other side of this.


Cllr Philip Whitehead

Wiltshire placed in Tier 2: High alert
From this Wednesday, 2 December, the government will be reintroducing the tier system where different levels of restrictions apply in different parts of the country.

Wiltshire has been placed in Tier 2: High alert, which is one higher than before the current period of national restrictions. This means that from Wednesday measures will be in place including:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including gardens or public spaces
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
  • pubs and bars must remain closed, unless operating as restaurants and alcohol can only be served with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises must provide table service and are now required to close between 11pm and 5am with last orders being taken at 10pm
Full list of restrictions
What impact does this have on council services?
Our libraries and leisure centres will be able to open their doors to residents again and will be operating the same service as before the current national restrictions were introduced.

Leisure Centres are due to open this Thursday (3 December). Libraries and the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre will also start reopening from Thursday, with further information provided in the link below.

Weddings will be able to take place again with up to 15 people able to attend wedding ceremonies. Up to 30 people will be able to attend funerals.

During the current national restrictions, traders at our street markets were only able to sell food, but from Wednesday 2 December they will once again be able to sell their full range of products and produce.

We will keep our COVID-19 page as up to date as possible with any other information on our services.

More information on the re-opening of libraries and Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
More information on the re-opening of leisure centres
Video update from Wiltshire Council Chief Executive

Chief Executive, Terence Herbert talks through the Tier 2 restrictions and outlines how Wiltshire Council will be providing support during this time.

Watch the full video
Government COVID-19 Winter Plan
The government has published its COVID-19 Winter Plan which sets out the approach to ending the national restrictions on 2 December and aims to:

•    suppress the spread of infection
•    find new ways of managing the virus to return life closer to normal
•    minimise damage to the economy and to protect jobs and education

Read the government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan
UK-wide measures for Christmas 
A single set of UK-wide measures has been agreed by to help people come together with their loved ones in a way that is as safe as possible.

This means:

  • Travel restrictions between tiers will be lifted to provide a window for households to come together between 23 and 27 December
  • Up to three households can form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this period. When a bubble is formed it is fixed, and must not be changed or extended further at any point
  • Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place, but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period
Read the full announcement
Wiltshire COVID-19 cases and national data
The government updates its COVID-19 case rate data daily. You can view this information and check COVID-19 case rates in your local postcode area here:

COVID-19 data for Wiltshire schools, hospitals and care homes, is available here:

Up-to-date information about the latest number of COVID-related deaths in the Wiltshire Council area can be found here: GOV.UK

The following graphic shows Wiltshire’s latest seven-day COVID-19 case rate information (as of 30 November).

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub
Anyone can access the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub who may be struggling during this difficult time, this may include those who are self-isolating and don’t have a support network around them or know where to get help.

People can call the hub on 0300 003 4576 or email Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

People should be aware the opening hours will be regularly reviewed throughout the coming weeks and months.

More on the Wellbeing Hub
COVID-19 support for Wiltshire businesses

There are a number of government business grant schemes to support businesses during the COVID-19 restrictions with full information available on the council’s website.

This includes the recently launched Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme.

This new grant scheme is a discretionary scheme that will help those businesses required to close, or that have been severely affected by the national restrictions and are outside of the business rate system.  The scheme aims to support those businesses which are not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme.

Businesses could receive a grant worth up to £3,000 to help them cope with the challenges presented by COVID-19.

These grants will be awarded on a rolling basis with successful applicants receiving payments in November and December 2020.

Applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 18 December 2020 via the online application form. Applications will then be reviewed and assessed, with grants being paid as quickly as possible.

COVID-19 business grants guidance and application forms
Wiltshire COVID-19 public update – Live!

We are broadcasting our second live public COVID-19 update next month, to provide the latest local information and to answer your questions.

The broadcast takes place on Tuesday 8 December at 5pm.

Wiltshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Whitehead, will once again be joined by Terence Herbert, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council and Kate Blackburn, Director of Public Health to help guide you through the latest information and regulations.

The broadcast will be an opportunity to hear about the latest number of positive cases and the rate of COVID-19 cases in Wiltshire, the arrangements in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, and the work we continue to do to support residents and businesses at this time.

Full details on the live public update
England introduces new testing for international arrivalsThe government has announced that from 15 December, passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the government’s travel corridor list ( will have the option to take a test after five days of self-isolation to reduce the 14-day self-isolation period. A negative coronavirus result will release passengers from the need to isolate further.
Read the full announcement
Other council news:
Melksham Bypass consultation extended into the new year

The council has decided to extend the survey on the proposed A350 Melksham bypass, and the 18 different route options that are being considered.

The consultation was originally scheduled to end on 30 November, but given that the council is unable to hold face-to-face consultation events or display the plans in a public place for the foreseeable future, it has decided to extend the online consultation until Sunday 17 January 2021 to give as many people as possible the chance to have their say.

Find out more and take part in the consultation
Wiltshire Council launches cycle lanes consultation

Last week the council launched its consultation on cycle lanes in the county.

The council has received £681,000 from the second tranche of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Active Travel Fund to progress cycling schemes in the county.

The award is less than the £908,000 that the council originally bid for, and so to establish which schemes to take forward, it is holding a consultation on the proposed options, and also consulting on the first tranche of temporary schemes, which are already in place.

Read more about schemes and take part in the consultation
New name for North Wiltshire Special School 
After weeks of consultation North Wiltshire School has a new name.

Parents, governors, staff and pupils were involved in creating a shortlist, with Silverwood School being unanimously voted as the chosen name.

On 1 September, the three school sites of Larkrise, Rowdeford and St. Nicholas came together as one school with the working name of North Wiltshire School. Now pupils across all three sites will be pupils of Silverwood School with each site referred to as the Trowbridge campus, Rowde campus or Chippenham campus respectively.

Read more here
Wiltshire Council Active Communities webpage

The council has refreshed its Active Communities Webpage to provide new content, activities and information that will enable residents to be physically and mentally active throughout COVID-19.

There is now an updated list of resources that people can engage with from the safety of their own home, delivered by a range of council services, as well as a number of activities and ideas to support mental health, promote physical activity and offer ideas to do something new or different.

Visit the Active Communities webpage