Updates from Bath & North East Somerset Council's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Last updated 1 April 2020 15:00
Message from Councillor Dine Romero, Council Leader
"The situation regarding Coronavirus is changing rapidly and we must work together as a community to protect ourselves and those around us. It is important that everyone remains calm and follows the latest national advice on the steps needed to reduce the spread of infection. It is essential that we support each other and understand that we will all need to adapt to different day-to-day behaviours during this period."
We are doing all we can to keep our essential services running and our communities safe during this challenging period. As well as the changes to services identified here, there are likely to be some reductions in service levels across the council and increases in waiting times during the Covid-19 pandemic. Thank you for your patience.
As well as providing these updates, we have set up a dedicated email address for queries directly relating to Cov -19: email@example.com
Help from the community
Our community and voluntary sectors are playing a key role and we’re working hard to provide up-to-date health information and advice to these organisations.
Bath & North East Somerset Council, working with 3SG and Virgincare, has set up a telephone line giving for advice on a range of critical support.
The line is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm initially with the aim of expanding it to seven days a week from 8am to 8pm as the service develops.
The telephone number is 0300 2470050. Please understand we may experience high call volumes and ask you to bear with us during this time.
Vulnerable people with concerns over food supply, welfare or wellbeing should seek help from the hub. We are urging those residents who are able to safely get support from family and friends or to order their food or medication on-line, to continue to do so. This means staff operating the phone line can prioritise those who need the most help and get to calls as quickly as possible.
Almost 2,000 people from across Bath and North East Somerset have already volunteered. You can sign up to be a Compassionate Community Connector and help others in your community, please register your interest if you'd like to get involved.
Charities and community groups who would like support from the #CompassionateCommunity volunteers can also post volunteer opportunities with 3SG.
We are working hard to keep our recycling and waste services running, thanks to the commitment and dedication of our crews and staff.
Rubbish and recycling collections
These services are being prioritised, but there may be some delays or missed collections. If the rubbish and recycling for your whole road has not been collected on your usual day, please leave your bin and box out and we’ll get to it when we can, but make sure it is not causing an obstruction or spilling litter. Please check our current collection problems page for information on specific roads that have missed collections.
Unfortunately we are not able to return where individual properties have not been collected.
Disposable cleaning clothes, tissues, nappies or any other personal waste should always be put in your rubbish bin. If members of your household have the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), personal waste like this should be double bagged, tied securely and kept separate from other waste for at least 72 hours before being put in your black wheelie bin or re-usable rubbish bag. Never put any personal waste in recycling boxes as we won’t collect it.
Please help us to protect the health of our recycling and rubbish collectors, who are working hard to keep our services running.
Garden waste collections
From 24 March, there will be no garden waste collections for the next three weeks. We are not able to issue refunds for these missed collections, but will update you on your options as the situation progresses. It is not our intention for residents to lose out.
Our recycling centres are now closed until further notice. Please bear with us and keep your rubbish and recycling at home until we are able to lift these restrictions.
Support for businesses
Businesses which need to access urgent financial help from the Government due to Coronavirus can do so by using our online form www.bathnes.gov.uk/register-business-grant-due-covid-19
The council’s Invest in Bath business support service has a dedicated team to give targeted help to companies and the new online form aims to speed up the process so that most payments will be made within weeks.
This support is for small businesses via two grant funding schemes: the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
Any business currently in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate relief may be eligible for a £10,000 cash grant. Any retail, hospitality or leisure business with a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000 may be eligible for a £25,000 cash grant.
The Government announced a new Expanded Retail Discount scheme for retail, leisure and hospitality premises in response to COVID-19. Under the scheme, eligible premises will receive a discount of up to 100% on their bill for 2020/21. For information on eligibility please visit our Information on Retail Discount page.
Government also announced further business support measures which include a job retention scheme, new tax deferments and relaxation of Universal Credit eligibility criteria for those that are self employed. You can find further information on Invest in Bath.
The Council’s Invest in Bath service is co-ordinating support services to local businesses in light of the COVID19 public health situation. If you do have specific concerns, questions or needs at this time please email Invest in Bath at firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will respond directly. Alternatively, visit their website for the latest news and links to their Twitter and newsletters.
You can also read the full government documents in response to the impact of COVID 19 on businesses.
All council car parking charges (on street and off street) in council-owned car parks have been suspended as of 25 March 2020. This will enable key workers to park without fear of a charge or penalty in permitted parking areas. It is in line with national government guidance relating to the three-week closure of non-essential shops and businesses and will be kept under review.
Enforcement will continue where vehicles are parked in blue badge bays, loading bays, double yellow lines and loading bans to ensure that emergency services, key workers and other priority users can function on the network.
Schools and childcare
All school children should remain at home, if it is safe for them to do so. Many schools and early years settings will be offering limited child care provision for vulnerable children, and children of 'critical workers'. They are also organising support for families whose children normally receive free school meals.
To find out more about what will be available and who qualifies for these services, view our page on School and early years provision. To learn what is happening at your child's school or early years setting, go to our pages on Open schools and meal arrangements and Open early years settings.
Our libraries are closed.
Bath, Midsomer Norton and Keynsham One Stop Shops are open, in their capacity as information services, for access to critical services including welfare vouchers.
Please check our website and social media for regular updates:
Many council meetings have been postponed, following current Government guidance. You can view details our current meeting calendar.
The Roman Baths and Pump Rooms, Victoria Art Gallery, Assembly Rooms including The Fashion Museum and and Bath Record Office are closed until further notice, in line with advice from Public Health England. All tickets already purchased for visits before 31 May 2020 will be refunded over the next 30 days. Visitors do not need to contact these venues to arrange this, as refunds will be made automatically.
The main office is operational by appointment only. It is otherwise closed until further notice. Existing appointments will be honoured and families will be met by staff outside the office. We will assist families over the telephone or by email whenever possible. Waiting rooms have been closed, to avoid people having to gather in confined spaces. We are working hard to continue to give the best service possible to families at an already difficult time. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologise for any distress caused by these necessary changes.