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Surrey Council Core Brief

Core Brief 05/01/21

SURREY DATA:

The R rate for South East is 1.2-1.4 as of the latest update from gov.uk (23rd December). It’s normally updated every Friday but they seemed to have paused over the Christmas break.

Overall, the 7-day rate in Surrey has gone up 23% from 18-24 December (545.1) to 25-31 December (670.8). This will still be affected by holiday reporting, so is likely to go further in the coming 7 days.

Please note the different time period for the positivity data.

*Positivity – weekly percentage of individuals that test positive.

  7-Day Rate
27 Dec – 02 Jan
7-Day Cases
27 Dec – 02 Jan 
7-Day Positivity*
24 Dec – 30 Dec
England 550.0 309,591  
South East 632.7 58,080 18.9 
Surrey 673.7 8,059 19.3 
Spelthorne 854.3 853 23.8
Surrey Heath 751.4 671 20.7
Epsom and Ewell 740.4 597 20.2
Reigate and Banstead 730.8 1,087 17.9
Elmbridge 715.7 979 19.1
Woking 712.4 718 21.3
Tandridge 709.2 625 19.3
Waverley 623.0 787 17.5
Runnymede 607.2 543 18.6
Guildford 522.2 778 18.7
Mole Valley 482.5 421 15.6

NATIONAL COVID HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS – PROVIDED BY CABINET OFFICE:

Date National Covid-19 hospital admissions
1st September 2020 496
1st November 2020 9,623
Christmas day 2020 17,701
4th January 2021 26,626

Key messages:

  • The Government has taken the decision to legislate new national lockdown restrictions because of a number of indicators, including the infection rate in the over 60s, the rate at which positive cases are rising and pressures on the NHS.
  • There has been a stark rise in national Covid hospital admissions (see above) and now is the time to take action to prevent our crucial frontline services being stretched even further.
  • Rates are now very high across the board in Surrey. There has been an alarming increase in rates across all age groups, this is particularly serious for the over 60s who are known to be more vulnerable to the virus.
  • We are also able to share for the first time the positivity rates, which is the percentage of tests that are positive in each district and borough. This has increased rapidly in Surrey in recent days. Spelthorne currently has the highest positivity in Surrey – almost one in four tests carried out there are positive. Other districts and boroughs are not far behind. This is a strong indicator that there is real cause for concern.
  • While this lockdown is not entirely unexpected news, it has a huge impact on all our lives and it is not the start to 2021 that we had hoped for. However, it is clear from public health data and the pressure across our National Health Service that these measures are absolutely necessary in order to save lives.
  • I want to reassure everybody in Surrey that the County Council will continue to do everything we possibly can to guide our residents and businesses through this latest stage in our response to COVID-19.
  • Together with our partners of the Local Resilience Forum, we have worked tirelessly to protect residents and equip our frontline services.
  • We will step up support to the most vulnerable, frontline services, and work with our education providers over the coming days, and continue to communicate openly with residents.
  • If people don’t follow the rules now, we are going to see rates rising even higher and the dangerous knock-on effect of that in our hospitals, stretching the NHS and frontline services even further and ultimately more deaths.
  • Despite Tier 4 restrictions in place over Christmas our rates were still going up. The majority of people are doing the right thing and following the rules, but we have to think about the places where people are still mixing with others and make sure we are being extra vigilant.
  • Make sure you are following the correct guidelines on support bubbles (you can only form one support bubble, with one other household – further guidance below). If you are mixing with others outdoors, only meet with one other person, by yourself, if they are not in your support bubble or don’t live in your house. Remember hands, face, space and continue to socially distance in shops and supermarkets. Even if you are wearing face coverings it is important to keep your distance from people not in your household or support bubble.
  • There is hope for the future – the vaccine gives us that clear hope that there is a way out – but the vaccination programme will take time, so we have some exceptionally tough months to get through first.
  • I want to reassure everybody in Surrey that the County Council will continue to do everything we possibly can to guide our residents and businesses through this latest stage in our response to COVID-19.
  • We have been at the forefront of the response here since the first UK transmitted case was reported in Surrey in February last year.

What about the effect on Businesses?

  • This has been an incredibly difficult time for all businesses that will now have to close again. It is hugely frustrating after all the work that has gone into adapting to COVID guidance during the previous months.
  • I am pleased that support is available again from government but there is no getting away from the fact that this will be very tough for businesses. Unfortunately there is a clear public health need and we simply must take measures to stop the spread.

LOCKDOWN RULES – HOW DO THEY DIFFER TO TIER 4?

[Refer detailed questions to guidance on the .gov.uk Covid web pages]

LEAVING HOME:

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

MEETING OTHERS:

  • You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
  • You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
  • You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 m apart from anyone not in your household.

VACCINATION MESSAGES – Surrey Heartlands:

When and where is the Oxford vaccine roll-out starting locally?

As part of the national roll-out, we will start to receive small quantities of supplies of the Oxford vaccine later this week; supplies will ramp up over the coming weeks and we will gradually roll it out across our sites. 

Supplies will be small to start with and we will gradually roll it out across our sites over the coming weeks – the whole vaccination programme is dependent on the supplies of the vaccine. 

The new vaccine will be easier to store and transport and will enable us to ramp up roving services to care homes, the housebound and so on

If asked we could add:

  • We expect Epsom Racecourse to go live as larger vaccination centre from next week
  • Additional local GP-led vaccination services are going live across the county over next couple of weeks

How is the rollout going?

Across Surrey Heartlands we have been working hard over just three short weeks to deliver the Pfizer vaccine, through our first hospital hub at Royal Surrey, in GP-led community vaccination sites and we’ve just started a roving model to start vaccinating in care homes

NHS staff are doing an incredible job to deliver what it is the largest vaccination programme in our history, at the same time as continuing to be there for everyone who needs care.

This whole programme has been set up really quickly, starting with the over 80s and care home residents & staff as priorities; I would like to reassure any of your listeners that if you are within these groups and haven’t heard directly from us yet, we will get to you soon.  Please help us by not contacting us directly, we will contact you as soon as we can.

The collaboration with local partners has also been incredible and has allowed us to roll this out at pace.

Important to include if you can:

The large increase in cases hospitals are seeing and the emergence of a new variant of the virus also shows that we cannot let our guard down now and even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing guidance. 

The public have an important part to play to help us do this:

  • please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
  • when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments;
  • and really importantly, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.

 This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken. It is a huge challenge, and not everything will always go perfectly.

The NHS is well-used to delivering millions of vaccines a year and is moving quickly to roll out this vaccine to those who need it, but it’s important that we remember this will be a marathon, not a sprint.

On pressure on the NHS, and potential of new lockdown measure:

As long as cases continue to rise there will be pressure on the NHS.

Locally whilst our health system, including our hospitals, is under considerable pressure we are holding our own – however the next few weeks are expected to be particularly difficult as we await any direct impact from the Christmas and New Year period on hospital admissions.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to follow the guidance and stay at home wherever possible.

SURREY HEARTLANDS – INCREASING CAPACITY OF NHS SERVICES

Due to the impact of Covid-19 on local NHS services, we are doing all we can as system, to increase capacity. This includes opening more beds and redeploying staff to support our Covid-19 response. As cases of Covid-19 continue to rise we have been working collaboratively as a system to put measures in place that will enable us to prioritise how we provide care to those who are most critically ill.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly but we must focus our efforts on those who need the most urgent and life-saving care. This means we have now postponed many routine and non-urgent elective procedures and operations across our system so we can focus on urgent and cancer care, including caring for those with Covid-19.

These new measures include:

·  Opening up additional beds within our acute and community hospitals to help create additional capacity for people who need to be admitted. This includes plans to open additional beds at the NHS Seacole Centre.

·  Prioritising urgent and cancer care over non-urgent care. This has meant postponing some routine planned elective procedures and non-urgent operations to help create additional bed capacity and free up staff who can then be deployed to support our Covid-19 response.

·  Moving to virtual (telephone and online) appointments for many outpatient services to reduce the number of people travelling to hospitals and other sites to reduce transmission of the virus.

·  Working together as a system, across health and social care, to discharge people from hospitals as soon as they are well enough to leave, with the right support and the right package of care.

·  Working with our independent sector partners (such as private hospitals) to identify any additional bed capacity and any clinical staff that could be deployed to other sites if needed.

·  Temporarily suspending home birth services due to ongoing pressures on the ambulance service which means SECAMB are unable to guarantee a timely ambulance response to those women choosing to plan their birth at home or in a stand-alone midwifery unit should they experience an emergency.

Importantly, patients who have appointments should still attend; if we need to reschedule an appointment patients will be contacted directly. Importantly, primary care services remain open.

For those who need urgent care which can’t be managed via a GP appointment, we would urge people to contact NHS 111 first, either online via www.nhs.uk or by calling 111; please keep A&E for emergencies only.

The measures we have put in place will allow us to care for those who need the most urgent help over the next few weeks; we will of course keep the situation under constant review so we can restore these non-urgent services as soon as possible. In the meantime, NHS services are available for those who really need help; spotting problems early is vital, especially cancers, and GPs continue to refer patients who need urgent treatment to hospitals as normal.

Further guidance

SUPPORT BUBBLE RULES – people must follow exact rules:

It is important that people understand the rules for support bubbles.

Not everybody can form a support bubble. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size if:

  • you live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support
  • you are the only adult in your household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability
  • your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on 2 December 2020
  • your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of 5, or was under that age on 2 December 2020
  • you are aged 16 or 17 living with others of the same age and without any adults
  • you are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on 12 June 2020

You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble.

If you share custody of a child with someone you do not live with, the child can move freely between both parents’ households. You do not need to form a support bubble to do this.

You can form a support bubble if you are eligible.

SCHOOLS

Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

In the circumstances, the Government does not think it is possible for all exams in the summer to go ahead as planned. DfE will accordingly be working with Ofqual to consult rapidly to put in place alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly.

  • Mass secondary school testing will still go ahead for staff and those pupils (critical worker parents or vulnerable) in school
  • If one parent is a critical worker children will be eligible to attend school
  • Head teachers will have the flexibility to allow children who struggle to access learning remotely to attend school

Road closure on Bunch Lane, Haslemere – Urgent tree works

Please find here the leaflet for the urgent tree works on Bunch Lane, Haslemere. The leaflets will be delivered to local residents and businesses over the next few working days.

Bunch Lane, Haslemere

Road closed

11 January

For 2 days

9:30am – 4pm

Please see the attached leaflet for the extents of our work.

Roadworks during the coronavirus restrictions

The government and Department for Transport have asked the Highway Sector Council to make every effort to deliver essential highways projects on all local authority highway networks, whilst abiding by the COVID-19 safe working practices. We are therefore carrying out these works in line with central government and COVID-19 safe working practises and in accordance with the CLC Site Operating Procedures, endorsed by Public Health England.

Our sub-contractor will have appropriate procedures in place to ensure their staff can comply with government advice. We would ask that you please respect these workers as they deliver these highways services.

We will continue to keep Surrey moving and all key routes will remain open and safe for key workers.

Sometimes our plans have to change, often due to bad weather or problems on other works in the same programme which can have a knock on effect. If anything changes with the details of these works, we will let you know.

You and your residents can also find up to date details and receive updates of the works on https://one.network/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0300 200 1003 or email works.communication@surreycc.gov.uk.

Kind regards,

Drew Buerger

Works Communication Officer

Works Communication Team

Surrey Highways

Reminder: Surrey ‘Be a Councillor’ event for Independents Saturday 16th January from 10am to 12pm

An event for anyone who is considering standing as an independent candidate in the local elections in May 2021, election agents or anyone who has expressed an interest in being a councillor.

This virtual event will provide current and prospective independent Surrey County Council (SCC), Surrey Borough and District candidates and election agents with:

  • Insights to develop your election plan
  • Information to develop themes and key messages for your manifesto
  • Guidance on how to use social media to engage the electorate
  • Provide insight and tips on running your campaign

Due to the sensitivity of the event, individuals will need to sign up and they can do so via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/133243166899 The virtual conference details will be sent to signed up attendees closer to the date of the event.

We have an excellent group of speakers including:

  • SCC Independent Cllrs Nick Darby, Eber Kington, Nikki Barton and John Beckett
  • Cllr Julia German, Leader Cornwall County Council and Vice Chair of the LGAs Culture, Tourism & Sport Board
  • Cllr Neil Prior, Cabinet Member for Transformation at Pembrokeshire County Council and Deputy Chair on the LGA Improvement & Innovation Board 
  • Cllr Paul Woodhead, Cannock Chase District Council and Leader of Chase Community Independents Group
  • Cllr Jason Zadronzy, Leader of Ashfield District Council and Independent representative on the District Council Network (DCN)

Storm Bella Warning

Dear Cllr Barton,

You may have unfortunately seen that the UK is facing high winds and bad weather from Boxing Day and on the 27th December as a result of Storm Bella.

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can damage overhead power lines resulting in some customers losing their electricity supply.  Where this happens we work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Over the Christmas holidays we have organised for additional staff in our contact centre and more engineers on the ground to be available to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather.

Extra efforts are underway to prepare, in recognition of the fact that this is a festive weekend with most people staying at home. We are preparing for 70mph winds, which could bring down branches and trees, damaging overhead power lines.

Both you and your constituents will be able to find regular updates on our website www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and social media @UKPowerNetworks throughout this period.

Anyone experiencing a power cut should:

·         Call 105 free of charge to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network, or 0800 3163 105 (from a corded landline phone or mobile phone)

·         Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk for the latest updates (on a mobile phone)

·         Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map

·         Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report a power cuts or to receive updates

We advise people to stay clear of power lines and report damaged power lines immediately by calling 105 free from either a landline or a mobile phone. If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.

We provide extra help to customers on our Priority Service Register during a power cut.  Households with older or disabled people, those with children under five, or where someone uses medical or mobility equipment that requires electricity as well as other reasons can join the register.  You can find out more information about our Priority Service on our website: ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority .

If you would like to share information about preparing for the storm or the priority service register on social media you might like to use the following:

As a result of #StormBella, heavy rain and high winds are due to arrive after Boxing Day. @UKPowerNetworks has extra field engineers and call centre staff on hand over the Christmas period. Call 105 to report a powercut or visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut? @UKPowerNetworks provides free services to customers in vulnerable circumstances during a power cut. Visit ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority for more information. #StormBella

I hope you find this information useful and please do feel free to share it with your constituents.

Can I take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas or festive period, and most importantly, please ensure you and your family stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

ED1 Stakeholder Engagement & Public Affairs Manager

UK Power Networks

Mobile Coronavirus Testing – Haslemere

Dear Councillors and Clerks, 

A mobile Coronavirus testing facility is being established in Weydown Road Car Park, Haslemere, from Friday 25 December to Sunday 27 December.  It will return to Weydown Road from Friday 1 January to Sunday 3 January.

Testing is available to all those with COVID-19 symptoms, but must be pre-booked online. Booking for this site is open from 5pm the evening before and on the day. 

Residents should book on the national testing portal: visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call the NHS on 119. 

Those without an appointment will be turned away. 

You can walk into the testing centre, but will still need a pre-booked appointment. 

Please feel free to share with your networks. 

Kind regards,

Communications and Engagement Officer

Waverley Borough Council

Covid-19 community vaccination programme for Surrey

Dear Stakeholder,

Covid-19 community vaccination programme for Surrey Surrey Heartlands CCG have been receiving lots of enquiries from the public regarding the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Surrey.


The Frequently Asked Questions are being updated regularly and can be found here. Please share these FAQs with your network.

Please encourage local people not to contact the NHS to seek a Covid-19 vaccine appointment, and reassure them they will be contacted when an appointment is available. We would ask you to encourage local people to help the NHS by being patient.

When people are contacted, they are urged to attend their booked appointment. Please also remind people that both doses of the vaccine are needed for it to be effective (which is about 7 days after the second dose).

Your help with sharing these key messages is much appreciated.

Finally, we would remind everyone to please continue to follow all the latest guidance to control the virus and save lives.

Thank you for your continued support.

UPDATE: A3 Hindhead Tunnel Improvements to Technology – Planned Closures

From Highways England:

As part of the ongoing work to upgrade the technology within the Hindhead Tunnel, we will have the below closures in place commencing Monday 4 January 2021.

  • Monday 4 January 2021 northbound tunnel closed with contraflow in place on the southbound for five nights between the hours 9pm to 6am
  • Saturday 9 January 2021 a full overnight closure of the tunnel in both directions between the hours 9pm to 6am

During the full overnight closure a clearly signed diversion will be in place, traffic will be diverted via A31 Hogs back, the A31, B3004 and the A325

Please note we have future closures planned and will update you weekly, and that the works may be subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. We’ll advertise closure on yellow signs placed in advance alongside the road.

We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption you may experience during these closures.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to know about our work, please contact us on 0300 123 5000 or email info@highwaysengland.co.uk. Or you can visit our website at https://highwaysengland.co.uk/travel-updates/daily-closure-report/ where you can find a weekly report of all full closures across the network.

Yours faithfully Area 3 Communications Team

Surrey ‘Be a Councillor’ event for Independents – Saturday 16th January

The local elections in May 2021 will provide independent councillor candidates with an excellent opportunity to stand and be elected.

This virtual event will provide current and prospective independent Surrey County Council (SCC), Borough and District candidates and election agents with:

  • Insights to develop your election plan
  • Information to develop themes and key messages for your manifesto
  • Guidance on how to use social media to engage the electorate
  • Provide insight and tips on running your campaign

This event is open to anyone in Surrey who is interested in standing as an independent councillor as well as for election agents. Whilst many of the topics will be especially relevant to those standing in May 2021, this event is open to anyone who has expressed an interest in standing as an independent candidate in Surrey, so please feel free to share this invitation.

We have an excellent group of speakers including:

  • Cllr Nick Darby, Leader of SCC Independent Group
  • Cllr Julian German, Leader Cornwall County Council and Vice Chair of the LGAs Culture, Tourism & Sport Board
  • Cllr Neil Prior, Cabinet Member for Transformation at Pembrokeshire County Council and Deputy Chair on the LGA Improvement & Innovation Board 
  • Cllr Paul Woodhead, Cannock Chase District Council and Leader of Chase Community Independents Group
  • Cllr Jason Zadronzy, Leader of Ashfield District Council and Independent representative on the District Council Network (DCN)

Due to the sensitivity of the event, individuals will need to sign up and they can do so via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/133243166899 The virtual details will be sent closer to the time of the event.

Covid vaccination begins tomorrow in Haslemere

Covid vaccination begins tomorrow in Haslemere.

The first community Covid vaccination starts in Haslemere tomorrow, running 8am-8pm in St Christopher’s Church – Weds to Friday this week.  There is no parking outside the church. It will be a drop off zone for people being vaccinated.

Please be patient if there are some traffic issues around St Christopher’s Green!

Haslemere traffic management – Covid vaccination programme, St. Christopher’s Church

Please read this letter to residents/retailers from St Christopher’s Church explaining the Covid vaccination program. 

I have brought together representatives from the Health Service, church, SCC Parking and highways team and Waverley Borough Council to get prepared for the logistics of this exciting and challenging program.