We will keep this page updated with information about council services that may be affected by COVID-19.
Following the latest government advice on social distancing, we are taking the sensible precaution to protect the public by reducing some non-essential council services.
All our hubs are currently open as usual, though some services may be affected, including the face to face housing options service - please see the full list of services below. Find your nearest hub and opening times.
Schools will remain open for key workers and most vulnerable children. Guidance on what constitutes a key worker. For childcare provision for key workers, check your school's website for information. For home learning ideas and guidance, see Right Choice.
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
To everyone across Wiltshire and Swindon, it's a simple message.
Please stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.
The most important action we can all take across the county, in fighting the spread of coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
All partners across Wiltshire and Swindon are working together to take all the necessary steps to slow the spread of the virus and to ensure we are well prepared for increases in cases across the county.
NHS services across the area are ready to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and deal with an upturn in patient numbers caused by the outbreak. Staff across councils, NHS services, police, fire and voluntary and community sector organisations are all working extremely hard to make sure we can continue to deliver our essential services and support the most vulnerable in our communities.
But we also need your help. Today. Anyone can spread the virus. Please stay at home.
The Government guidance asks that:
- You do not meet up with or visit friends and family members that do not live with you.
- You only leave your home for essentials such as food or medicine, to travel to work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home), to exercise, such as for a run, walk or cycle or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- You should minimise your time outside of your home to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Stay local - use open spaces near to your home where possible - do not travel unnecessarily
- Only go outside alone or with members of your own household
- Keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
- Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
Together, with your support, we can save lives.
Thank you for your co-operation, support and understanding at this time.
A joint letter from Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum; Swindon Borough Council; NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group; Wiltshire Air Ambulance; Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue; Wiltshire Council; Wiltshire Police.
How can you help?
- Read the up-to-date information and public health advice.
- Download and share our COVID-19 Community Pack to support you and your community (last updated 2 April 2020)
- Take a look at our Community Groups Directory (last updated 3 April 2020) to find out about the volunteer support throughout Wiltshire. Can you get involved? This directory is updated regularly so please ensure you are using the most recent one. The date it was last updated can be found on the front cover.
- Want to set up your own volunteer group? Take a look at our COVID-19 Volunteer Pack (last updated 2 April 2020) - which contains useful advice, guidance and support.
- Pay, report or apply for services online - you'll find links under the service headings below.
- Sign up for email updates about council services direct to your inbox.
- Also take a look at the Community Groups Map (last updated 3 April). It shows the general location of the community groups featured in the directory. You can use the search box towards the top left of the page to find a particular location. To find out what services each group are offering, the area they cover and contact details, just click on a red star. Some groups cover a wide area so it is worth checking neighbouring locations as well.
Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub
If you are self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and you need help and do not have any family, friends or neighbours who can support you please let us know.
We are here to help you with:
- deliveries of food and other essentials
- loneliness and wellbeing.
If you are self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we're here to help with:
You can request this help by calling our helpline on: 0300 003 4576 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's available from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.
Up-to-date information about council services
Find out the latest with council services and how you can book, pay and apply online.
A - J
With a lot of people stuck at home for the foreseeable future, and maybe struggling with ideas of things to do, stay active or just keep their mental health in a positive place, we’ve compiled a list of resources across a wide range of subjects to try and provide something of interest for everyone.Close
All Area Board meetings taking place over the next three weeks have been cancelled; other meetings are currently being reviewed and only essential decision-making meetings will take place.
Please regularly check the meetings calendar for updates as the situation is changing day by day.
If you wish to attend meetings that are going ahead, please email Democratic Services at email@example.com, and we would encourage you to to submit representations in writing via this email address in advance of the meetings if you do not wish to attend in person due to COVID-19 precautions.
You can also watch meetings that are streamed online (such as Cabinet) here.
Cabinet will take place on Tuesday 24 March; however, the public have been encouraged to submit statements in writing rather than attending in person, more details are available on the agenda. You can also watch the meeting online.Close
To support older and vulnerable residents in our communities during this time, they are able to use their bus passes before 9:30am. With many supermarkets opening early specifically for them we hope this helps them to get everything they need.Close
- An online toolkit has been published by the Government which includes key messages and digital content you may wish to use.
- Animal licensing
- Business closures - view our guidance for businesses and customers.
- Business grant form (COVID-19)
- Business information and advice email - dedicated contact centre for COVID-19 business information and advice
- COVID-19: Guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
- Pubs and restaurants - information and advice
- Sign up for email updates about COVID-19 business support
- Wiltshire care providers
- WorkWiltshire - Information, support and guidance including volunteering and emergency temporary vacancies
Government schemes to support businesses
The Government has announced a number of schemes to support businesses. Regular updates are being made, so please check the Government’s website for the most up to date advice.
- You can find out more including advice, news and announcements, on the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub support page.
- Wessex Chambers of Commerce is also offering help and advice to all firms, including non-members. More information is also available from the Federation of Small Business and the CBI.
If your business is eligible for a grant, we will contact you – you do not need to apply.
We have set up a dedicated page of information for you relating to the grants available.
Business rates relief
Council tax and business rates payments deferred until June for those who need it, please see our news item on how to register for this:
To defer your business rates payments please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01249 706290.
- occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
- wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Other Government schemes include:
- Be self-employed or a member of partnership;
- Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
- File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
- Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
- Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
o Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
o Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Following the latest government advice on COVID-19, the promoters of a number of events scheduled to take place at City Hall unfortunately had to cancel the bookings. Therefore, there are currently no events scheduled to take place at the venue until 6 May at the earliest.
We are working with the promoters to reschedule the events where possible. We apologise for any inconvenience but these are exceptional circumstances and we hope people understand the situation. We will be in touch with customers directly affected by this to talk about their options, including refund arrangements. All tickets for rescheduled shows will be valid for confirmed new dates.
We look forward to welcoming back people and hosting events as soon as we possibly can. The City Hall Box Office will be open Monday to Friday 10am-5pm. It will not open on Saturday until further notice.
We are continuing to contact all customers affected by cancellations. We would ask all customers to refrain from contacting the Box Office unless absolutely necessary to do so. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.
Volunteer group survey
We have been heartened by the response across the county to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the strength and resilience of our communities and providing much needed support to our residents at this challenging time.
We are keen to understand more about what is being delivered at a local level to enable us to provide the support, guidance or resource that is required. We want to help ensure that individuals and groups are providing safe and effective local support to our communities. We have created a short survey where we’d ask you to add the details of your local group. Additionally, if you are aware of other individuals or local groups that are operating locally then can you please let me know and I will be sure to follow up with them.
COVID-19 Community pack
We have created a COVID-19 Community Pack to support you and your community during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Within it you’ll find a list of key contacts, resources and information in one place, which we hope you can share with your community to support each other as much as possible during this time.
COVID-19 Community groups map
Take a look at the Community Groups Map (last updated 3 April). It shows the general location of the community groups featured in the directory. You can use the search box towards the top left of the page to find a particular location. To find out what services each group are offering, the area they cover and contact details, just click on a red star. Some groups cover a wide area so it is worth checking neighbouring locations as well.
COVID-19 Volunteer pack
Wiltshire Council has created an information pack for volunteer groups to help them support their communities during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Wiltshire has already seen a large number of community groups mobilise up and down the county to support their fellow residents. The pack brings together a lot of their best practise in setting up an effective response.
The ‘COVID-19 Volunteer Pack’ includes top tips on setting up a volunteer group, advice on supporting those in self-isolation, and a range of template forms and useful signposting to other resources.
Community Groups Directory
The communities of Wiltshire have risen to the challenge of COVID-19 to make sure people are supported through this very difficult time. The council has collated all the community groups we have identified so far in our Community Groups Directory (last updated 3 April). This directory is updated regularly so please ensure you are using the most recent one. The date it was last updated can be found on the front cover.
In the time available we have only been able to collate this directory and therefore this is not an endorsement of the groups listed but it is for you to decide what use you will make of the offers of support at this time.
If anyone uses a community group and has concerns about the response/practice please inform us by emailing email@example.com giving the clear reasons for your concern. The council wants to ensure that everybody can access the support they need. If you make contact with a group and they cannot help or you do not get a response within the required time-frame, then please do not hesitate to contact the council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure you get the support you need.
Community Engagement Managers (CEMs)
Our CEMs are here to support your local group. They can help you coordinate, make links with other groups and organisations and be a constant source of advice and guidance. Their contact details and the community areas they cover can be found below:
- Amesbury – Jacqui Abbott - 01722 434 344 or email@example.com
- Bradford on Avon and Corsham – Ros Griffiths – 01225 718372 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Calne – Jane Vaughan - 01249 706447 or email@example.com
- Chippenham – Ollie Phipps - 01249 709404 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Devizes – Andrew Jack 01225 713109 or email@example.com
- Malmesbury – Penny Bell – 01249 706613 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marlborough – Andrew Jack – 01225 713109 or Andrew.email@example.com
- Melksham – Peter Dunford - 01225 713060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pewsey and Tidworth – Richard Rogers 07771547522 or email@example.com
- Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade – Jane Vaughan - 01249 706447 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Salisbury – Marc Read - 01722 434557 or email@example.com
- South West and Southern Wiltshire – Karen Linaker 01722 434697 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Trowbridge – Liam Cripps - 01225 713143 or email@example.com
- Warminster and Westbury – Graeme Morrison - 01225 713573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Supermarket arrangements in light of COVID-19
Many local supermarkets have changed their operating arrangements to support the elderly and vulnerable in our communities. The latest information we have can be found below. This information is subject to change and people are encouraged to contact their local supermarket for more information.
Asda store opening hours have been changed in the current circumstances
Asda will be temporarily closing its 24 hour stores between 12am and 6am.
Stores will now open an hour early on Sundays for NHS staff, as well as offering a priority hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Shoppers are now able to buy up to three of any product across all food items, toiletries and cleaning products.
Customers should only touch items they intend to purchase and to use cashless payment wherever they can to minimise contact. To make this even easier, from 1 April, the contactless limit will be increasing to £45.
There will be regular announcements on Asda radio to remind customers of their responsibility to apply social distancing rules whilst they shop, and to help you do this they are closing every other self-checkout till. Asda is also in the process of installing Perspex screens at our checkouts, pharmacies and service desks to help minimise contact and keep social distancing in place.
Colleagues are at the doors to maintain safe customer numbers to help with social distancing. There will also be clear signage, directional barriers and floor markings to help you move around stores easily and maintain a two-metre distance from other customers and colleagues.
They have launched a volunteer shopping card to help the many people self-isolating and unable to go out to buy their shopping. Customers can buy these shopping cards online, top up and give to their family member, friend, or NHS volunteer to pay for their shopping without the hassle of using cash or bank cards. This also promotes a contactless way of shopping, essential for reducing risk to our self-isolating customers. These volunteer shopping cards can be bought at the Asda website.
Opening hours have been shortened slightly to 8am-8pm every day, apart from Sundays when hours are 10-am-4pm (9am-6pm in Scotland). This helps colleagues to re-stock products while stores are empty.
Aldi is also opening our stores half an hour early on Sundays for NHS, Police and Fire Service workers. If this is you, please bring a form of ID with you.
Shoppers must follow government guidance on social distancing and respect the personal space of others.
Customers should only buy what they need.
Customers should pay via contactless card or by Apple or Android Pay.
Markers are being placed on the floors to help everyone keep the required safe distance apart.
Clear screens are being installed at checkouts to provide protection when you pay.
Where necessary, Aldi is limiting the number of people allowed in stores at any one time, and, where possible, is implementing a queuing system outside of stores.
From Monday 23 March, all supermarkets will be open from 8am to 8pm, Monday-Saturday, including those with an Argos store. Sunday opening, Sainsbury’s Local and petrol station opening times will stay the same.
NHS ID holders have priority Monday to Saturday 07:30 - 08:00
Elderly customers, carers and disabled customers have priority Monday, Wednesday and Friday 08:00 - 09:00.
Sainsbury's shopper rules:
From Thursday 26 March, the supermarket is reducing the number of checkouts in supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations. It will be introducing safety screens at manned checkouts and are regularly sanitising customer areas of our stores.
Customers are asked to pay via contactless card where possible.
Customers can now buy a maximum of three any grocery product and a maximum of two of the most popular items including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk.
A number of stores are now operating at reduced hours due to "operational reasons", Tesco said on Twitter after photos showed shelves cleared of food and other essential goods.
Some Tesco Extra stores and larger Metro stores have reduced their hours to between 6am and 10pm so they can properly restock overnight.
Tesco has announced that NHS workers will be prioritised in all our stores (excluding Express stores) from 9am to 10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. NHS workers will also have preferred access to a browsing hour before checkouts open on Sundays.
To help customers get the things they need at this time, Tesco is introducing a purchase limit of 3 items on all products. The supermarket says that stock levels are good, and it has daily deliveries to replenish stores.
Essentials such as milk, bread and eggs in some Express stores are limited to one item per customer.
It has also removed multi-buy promotions such as buy 2 and get 3rd free. Tesco continues to encourage customers to buy only what they need, to help ensure there is enough for everyone.
The Co-Op has announced that it will be offering priority shopping to the vulnerable and those who care for them at the following times: Mon-Sat: 8am - 9am/ Sun: 10am-11am
Morrisons opening hours vary across the country. Check ahead with your local store before visiting.
Morrisons is currently offering a one trolley per customer policy. This is in support of the latest government advice that one member of each household should shop for essentials once a day.
There are vinyl stickers on floors to indicate where to stand and queue, staff are controlling the amount of people in the store at any one time and the shop has a dedicated hour for NHS staff in the morning.
Iceland will open its supermarkets early for elderly customers to visit before stores open to the public.
Each day, elderly shoppers can visit between 8am - 9am or 9am – 10am in some stores to get their shopping first.
The store has now introduced a daily slot for NHS workers to shop.
Monday to Saturday
First hour of trading - priority hours for elderly and vulnerable people
Final hour of trading - NHS staff only
Iceland's rules for shoppers:
Iceland has placed restrictions on some items “so as many customers as possible can get the items they need.”
Marks & Spencer (M&S)
To check opening hours for your local store, visit their website.
M&S stores have confirmed that older and more vulnerable customers, as well as NHS workers, will have time set apart for them to make sure they are able to purchase the essentials they need.
For older and vulnerable customers, it's on Mondays and Thursdays.
For NHS and emergency workers, this will be Tuesdays and Fridays.
M&S says it is 'conducting more filling outside of opening hours so that customers have all the space they need to shop, as well as all the goods needed on our shelves.'
Store workers have also had time built into their shifts so that they can leave Food Halls and wash their hands every half hour, as well as being able to keep hand sanitiser on them.
Sneeze guards have been implemented at checkouts to keep staff safe. As a result, customers are being asked not to use their Sparks cards.
Finally, M&S is raising the contactless card limit from £30 to £45, to help with larger purchases.
Opening times have not yet changed, but Waitrose has implemented a prioritised and dedicated shopping hour every day for the elderly and most vulnerable. This is the first opening hour of the shop.
Waitrose has announced that it will now limit the number of people allowed in stores at a single time to ensure social distancing guidelines are met. The number of people allowed in store will depend on how many tills are in each specific branch.
One shopper per household where possible.
Marshals will be deployed outside to monitor queue levels, and there will be stickers on the floors of stores to remind people of the social distancing rules.
NHS staff are given priority at the checkouts.
At this difficult time, food banks are in need of more volunteers and donations. If you are able to help in any way please get in touch with your local food bank. Food banks are there to support vulnerable people in a crisis, which is usually subject to a referral from a trusted source such as a social worker.
- Food banks currently operating in Wiltshire (details subject to change)
Defer council tax and business rates payments until June 2020
To support people as much as possible during the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Wiltshire Council has confirmed that no resident or business in Wiltshire will have to pay council tax or business rates until June 2020 if they are struggling.
Any resident wishing to defer paying their council tax in April and May 2020, instead of the normal scheduled payment break in February and March 2021, can contact the council and this will be arranged.
Similarly, businesses who also wish to defer business rates payments for two months, and not pay in April and May, can also arrange that by contacting the council.
anyone wishing to do this, the council will freeze direct debit payments, so people do not need to contact their bank to arrange.
We’re receiving lots of emails about deferring council tax payments. If you contact us via email it would help speed up the process if you could please state in the subject line ‘Deferral of payment by Direct Debit (if you pay this way) and quote your c/tax account number.
We will not respond to your email, however, you will be sent a new bill once the change has been made to your account. There’s no need to resend an email if you’ve already sent us one. Thank you for your help.
These will be taken at face value and there will be no vetting of anyone wishing to defer payments for April and May 2020.
For those who choose to defer, payments will resume in June 2020 and will be taken over the 10 months from June 2020 to March 2021. For those that pay annually, they can still do this. Those that make manual payments can also continue to do this if they wish, but they will need to contact the council if they want the April and May payment break.
Working age residents who benefit from the current Council Tax Support Scheme will receive an additional reduction to their bill in line with the government’s hardship fund criteria. Those households eligible for this reduction will automatically be re-billed.
These changes are for the Wiltshire Council local authority area.
For more information and FAQs please visit our council tax page.
- Contacting council tax and benefits teams
- Pay your council tax
- Find out more about housing benefit
- Apply for deferred council tax payments
Any council tenant with a gas safety check scheduled for the next three weeks will go ahead as planned, as it is a legal requirement that we remain gas compliant as a landlord. All engineer will wear the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) and will stay two metres away from residents at all times, in line with social distancing measures. However, if you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have underlying health conditions, or you would like to postpone your appointment, please call contractor PH Jones on 01722 413344 to reschedule your visit.
Resident engagement events and trips
All planned events and trips are postponed until further notice.Close
Returning Officer and Counting Officer Terence Herbert said: "In my capacity as Returning Officer and Counting Officer for the Wiltshire Council authority area, I have made the following decision that:
"In light of the Government advice regarding the Covid-19 situation including advice from Cabinet Office and Wiltshire Council’s Director of Public Health, I have taken the decision to suspend all current by-elections and neighbourhood planning referendums with immediate effect and will not be acting upon any future requests for by-elections and neighbourhood planning referendums until further notice.
"This decision will be reviewed as the situation progresses and I will determine how these matters will proceed in the light of relevant legislation and guidance."
Elections and referendums affected
|Date of election/Neighbourhood Plan referendum||Area|
|Thursday 19 March 2020|
Referendum on the Lydiard Millicent Neighbourhood Plan
Referendum on the North Bradley Neighbourhood Plan
|Thursday 26 March 2020||Referendum on the Seagry Parish Neighbourhood Plan|
|Thursday 2 April 2020||By Election for the By Brook Unitary Division|
By Election for Bratton Parish Council
|Thursday 23 April 2020|
By Election for Chippenham Town Council (Hardenhuish Ward)
By Election for Clyffe Pypard Parish Council
By Election for Malmesbury Town Council
By Election for Melksham Without Parish Council (Bowerhill Ward) – Re run from 12 March 2020 (no nominations received)
|Thursday 7 May 2020||Police and Crime Commissioner Election|
As a precaution, our drop in service has been temporarily suspended until further notice.
We have taken this decision to minimise the risk to clients, staff and visitors, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions and those aged over 70.
For the time being, we will be operating a telephone and email service to respond to advice enquiries. Extra advisers are being deployed to operate the telephone helpline during this time. Contact details for the temporary service are as follows:
01225 718005, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
01249 706666, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
- 01722 434233, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
You can also contact the service on email@example.comClose
K - Z
Suspension of services
The following sport and leisure services are affected:
- Get Wiltshire Walking is suspended until 31 May
- All running courses are suspended until 30 April
- All disability sport is suspended until 30 April
Following government advice and to help stop the transmission of COVID-19, we have taken the decision to close all leisure centres until further notice.
Leisure centre closures FAQs
Which leisure centres are closing?
All Wiltshire Council leisure centres and Places Leisure-run centres in Wiltshire are closing until further notice.
Why are they closing?
Following the latest government directive, we are taking the sensible precaution to protect the public and our staff by reducing some customer-facing council services.
How long are they closing for?
They are closed until further notice. As soon as we're able to re-open these facilities we will do so.
I have a leisure membership. What should I do?
All direct debit leisure memberships will be frozen for three months, and they will resume once the leisure centres reopen. You do not need to contact us to cancel or amend your membership, your membership will be frozen without any action from you. Your membership freeze will not cost you anything and will start with immediate effect. All annual memberships and leisure card holders have also been frozen, which will mean the expiry dates of those memberships will be extended by three months. If you have a Places Leisure membership, for more information and tips on how to stay active, please see www.placesleisure.org, where you will also find contact details for your local site.
Will I still be charged during the closure?
No. All leisure memberships have been frozen, and they will resume once the leisure centres reopen. You do not need to contact us to cancel or amend your membership, your membership will be frozen without any action from you.
Can I cancel my membership?
Yes, Wiltshire Council managed leisure centres, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to do so. For Places Lesiure cancellations, please see above. However, please note that during this time your membership will be frozen, so you won’t pay anything while the centres are closed. If you cancel your swim school OR GYMNASTICS SCHOOL membership you will lose the place in the lesson your child is currently attending. Please contact email@example.com if you wish to do so. However, please note that during this time your membership will be frozen, so you won't pay anything while the centres are closed. If you cancel your swim school or gymnastics school membership you will lose the place in the lesson your child is currently attending.
I have booked a birthday party at a leisure centre. Will I be reimbursed?
Yes. Please contact the leisure centre directly via email. A full list of centres and contact details can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure. Please also email us if you'd like to reschedule your party we recognise that it won't be for your child's actual birthday, but they could still enjoy their party once centres reopen.
What about other activities held in leisure centres?
All of these are suspended, but if the service is not provided by Wiltshire Council or Places Leisure, the service provider should be in contact to discuss alternative arrangements and address any payment issues you may have please do not contact the council to discuss these as we are not able to assist with anything other than services provided by the council.
How can I exercise during this time?
We would advise people to exercise at home as much as possible there are several strengthening exercises you can do at home, but please do not attempt to exercise if you feel unwell in any way. Further information about exercising at home can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51933762, and the BBC will also be offering programmes that will help people to exercise at home during this time.
How can I look after my mental health during this time?
Information for looking after your mental health is available at: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters
What will happen to the leisure centre staff?
Where possible, Wiltshire Council staff affected by these closures will be redeployed to help protect our essential services to support the most vulnerable in our communities.Close
Following government advice and to help stop the transmission of COVID-19, we have taken the decision to close all libraries until further notice.
Libraries closures FAQs
Which libraries are closing?
All Wiltshire libraries and mobile libraries are closing until further notice.
Why are they closing?
Following the latest government directive, we are taking the sensible precaution to protect the public and our staff by reducing some customer-facing council services.
How long are they closing for?
As soon as we're able to re-open these facilities we will do so.
I have some items on loan. Will I be fined?
No. If you have borrowed any items from our libraries, they will be renewed automatically throughout the closed period and we will not be issuing or enforcing any fines or charges. You can also still borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from www.wiltshire.gov.uk/libraries-ebooks.
Will my items be renewed?
If you have borrowed any items from our libraries, they will be renewed automatically throughout the closed period and we will not be issuing or enforcing any fines or charges. You can also still borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from www.wiltshire.gov.uk/libraries-ebooks.
How can I join the library to access your RBdigital eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines?
You can register for membership online by selecting ‘Join the library' and completing the form. A temporary library card number will then be emailed to you that can be used to register with RBdigital. A physical library card can be collected from your local library at a later date..
I have a reserved item ready for collection, can I still collect it?
We will hold all Wiltshire items and notify customers when they are able to be collected.
Can I still reserve my books on the online catalogue?
While we are closed, no reservations placed online can be collected. However, you can download eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines via our library website or the RB Digital app.
Can I still access other services that operate from my local library?
Services or drop-in sessions offered in libraries by our partners and other agencies will not take place while our libraries are closed.
Can I swap books?
Not at present. You do not have to return your items currently out on loan. As soon as we're able to re-open these facilities we will do so.
How can I help people who rely on the mobile libraries?
If anyone knows of any family, friends or neighbours who rely upon this service, please feel free to share your own books with them if possible, but please take into account the latest public health advice on contact with people, particularly with the elderly and vulnerable.
How can I look after my mental health during this time?
Information for looking after your mental health is available at: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters
What will happen to the libraries staff?
Where possible, staff affected by these closures will be redeployed to help protect our essential services to support the most vulnerable in our communities.Close
Following government guidance to stay at home, all Wiltshire play areas and outdoor gyms are closed until further notice, so please do not use these and do not allow your children to use these areas until further notice. Open spaces, such as country parks, will remain open, but you should only leave the house for one form of exercise a day alone or with members of your household, and you must ensure you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household. Read the government guidance.
Can you I use my vehicle to drive to sites to get my permitted daily exercise?
Across Wiltshire we are encouraging everyone to follow the national government guidance relating to COVID19. This is so that we can ensure the best possible protection for those most vulnerable in our communities by doing everything possible to minimise the spread of this virus.
Whilst some of these measures can be frustrating and will have a large impact on day to day life it is crucial that we take a population approach to this pandemic and work together by following all national guidance.
To this end we would not be recommending that people can drive to sites in order to walk either themselves or their dogs as every trip increases the risk of viral transmission. We do fully appreciate that local pathways may be more busy with more people taking exercise within walking distance from their properties, however the guidance from national government and PHE is that by adhering to the social distancing advice and avoiding unnecessary travel we can help to minimise the spread of the infection.
Our partners Wiltshire Police are also working to this guidance and advise that the government restrictions currently in place do not advise you to use your vehicle to travel to locations to exercise. Each and every one of us has been instructed to avoid all unnecessary travel. You are entitled to exercise once daily, this should be by walking, running or cycling etc from your home address and not driving to a location away from your home to carry this out.
We do appreciate the impact this maybe having on people but it is necessary at this time in order to try and protect the wider public. We ask that you please refrain from unnecessary travel until the restrictions placed upon us all to tackle the coronavirus pandemic have been rescinded. We appreciate your co-operation and your understanding at this time.
Everyone is working extremely hard to adhere to guidance and protect the wider population, and maintaining good physical and mental health is key to this. The government has provided national guidance relating to mental health and wellbeing.
Here is the government guidance on using green spaces and protecting yourself and others during the current restrictions.Close
We are continuing to process planning applications to help keep the local economy moving, although it is possible that officers may be re-allocated to COVID-19 support work at short notice. All Planning Officers are now working from home, so please communicate with them via e-mail.
We have now stopped site visits, so we cannot currently put up site notices. Wherever possible, we are now relying on postal neighbour notifications to comply with the legislation, and third parties can continue to view details of applications on our website. However, in certain circumstances, such as alterations to listed buildings; major developments; and prior approvals, site notices are still a legal requirement. In these cases, we will seek to send them directly to the applicant and request that they are displayed. We will not be arranging any face-to-face meetings until further notice.
When submitting applications, please include photographs of the site and its surroundings. For example, if it is a rear extension, photographs showing the rear and its relationship to neighbouring properties will help the process, as we may be able to deal with some applications via assessment of the plans, photographs and online imagery. Please also ensure you do not send hard copies of applications to council offices as there may be a delay in processing these.
We have had a high percentage of applications dealt with under delegated powers for a long time, and this will continue. At present we are currently reviewing the position regarding the holding of planning committees, and note that the government has included proposals in the Coronavirus Act for handling committees, but these require the issuing of Regulations by the Secretary of State that have yet to be published. We will advise you if this impacts on your applications.
As you may be aware, the Planning Inspectorate is also affected, and is publishing updates about the impact on its service.
We have been asked about the likelihood of the government automatically extending the deadline for implementing extant permissions. This is not something that is within the control of the council and would require the government to change the planning legislation. As Parliament is now in recess, it would appear unlikely that there will be any changes on this aspect in the foreseeable future.
The service may be hit by further restrictions imposed by the government, or by sickness, and we thank you for your continued support and understanding at this time.
Local Land Charges
The Local Land Charges team will continue to operate a service as close to normal as possible, while following all the latest guidance. Many officers will now be working from home, so please communicate via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember that you can submit an LLC1 (Official Certificate of Search) for £30 and receive the refined results via email. Please also be understanding about delays and changes to timescales and limit queries regarding turnaround times.Close
Following Government Guidelines all registration services except death registration appointments are currently suspended.
We are currently only offering telephone death registration appointments. You must book your appointment by telephoning 0300 003 4569. The customer services officer will book you an appointment slot and you will need to be available for one hour from the start time of that appointment for the Registrar to contact you to conduct the registration. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but these measures are in place to protect both our customers and staff.
How much will it cost?
The service is free of charge. To deal with the deceased's estate, you may need to purchase death certificates which are certified copies of the register entry. Currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are restricting purchase to one certificate per registration. Further copies can be purchased once the pandemic is over. There is an £11 fee for each certificate issued. We can only process card payments so please have a card available to pay for your certificate at the time of registration.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
We have published some guidance for those attending funeral services during this time:Close
Schools and early years providers are now open for key workers and most vulnerable children.
- Guidance on what constitutes a key worker. For childcare provision for key workers, check your school's website for information.
- For home learning ideas and guidance see Right Choice
- School admission appeals, exclusion reviews and school transport appeals
We have compiled a page of frequently asked questions for parents.
Phone the Department for Education on 0800 046 8687 or email them at email@example.com (opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday).
Waste and recycling collections
All waste and recycling collection services are running as normal. However, we are aware of some delays to mixed dry recycling collections, following the introduction of new services. If your blue-lidded bin or black box has not been emptied on your new scheduled collection day, please leave your containers out and our contractors will visit as soon as they can. Our contractor will be working on Saturday to empty missed bins.
- Find out about the new recycling collection services
- Find your collection day
- Missed bin collection? Report it here
Waste tissues produced by someone who has or suspects they have COVID-19 should be placed in a plastic bag which should be tied when full. Disposable cloths or wipes used to clean hard surfaces such as kitchen worktops and bathrooms should also be placed in the same bag. This plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag, which should also be tied when full. The bags should be kept in a secure place until the individual’s test results are known. The bags should not be put out for collection or placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours (three days). After being stored for at least 72 hours (three days), please place these in your normal wheeled bin. If you don’t receive a wheeled bin collection, please make sure a council-issued bag label is placed on the outside of the double-bagged waste.
Household recycling centres
Following the government guidance on staying at home, all household recycling centres are now closed until further notice. Trips to the recycling centres are not essential. Read the government guidance.
This temporary suspension will remain under review and we will work to re-open these facilities as soon as is it reasonable to do so. Residents are reminded not to dump waste – fly-tipping is illegal. Neither should householders use an unlicensed waste carrier to collect and dispose of their waste during this period of service suspension. Where possible, please store the waste you would want to take to the household recycling centre until such time as the sites reopen. Find out more about licensed waste carriers.
Our waste and recycling collections services are currently operating as normal.Close
Health advice and information
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
In most cases, COVID-19 is mild but everyone should remain vigilant and carry on with good washing of hands and related personal hygiene measures.
Anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least seven days.
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.
After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.
But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for seven days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days.
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
If you still have symptoms after seven days:
- After seven days, if you no longer have a high temperature you can return to your normal routine.
- If you still have a high temperature, stay at home until your temperature returns to normal.
- If you still have a cough after seven days, but your temperature is normal, you do not need to continue staying at home. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
Use the online 111 coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after seven days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Remember to always wash you hands...
- Giving your hands a good wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective action you can take (but hand gels can be a good substitute)
- Maintaining personal hygiene when coughing or sneezing is also important – use a tissue rather your hands and then throw it away. You could also sneeze or cough into your elbow area rather than your hands
- It is good general practice to use cleaning wipes to give your keyboard, desk, phone etc. the once over on a regular basis.
Please see useful summary advice table below from Public Health England.
The following Twitter accounts will be regularly posting out the latest factual advice and information related to COVID-19:
- Public Health England (@PHE_UK)
- Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk)
- Wiltshire Council (@WiltsCouncil)
- NHS England (@NHSEngland) – the NHS advises to only trust NHS organisations on Twitter that are ‘blue-tick verified’
- Wiltshire Police (@wiltshirepolice)
- Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service (@DWFireRescue)
- NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (@NHSBSWCCG)
- Swindon Borough Council (@SwindonCouncil)
- Foreign Office (foreign office)