Latest Update from Buckinghamshire Council (30/07/21)
The August holiday period is almost upon us so I thought it was an appropriate time for an update on the Covid situation across Bucks but also, now that the Emergency legislation has lapsed, some information on a number of other local issues.
As I said at the end of my last newsletter, I am now only able to send these newsletters to people who have signed up for them. If you know of other friends, neighbours or community groups who would find these of value, please encourage them to subscribe. The link to sign up is at the end of this newsletter.
Covid in Buckinghamshire
On 19 July, England moved to the final stage of the roadmap for unlocking and all current laws and restrictions around Covid were lifted, allowing some return to a more normal life. Covid has obviously not gone away, and increasingly, we have to learn to live with it, whilst taking personal responsibility to take care of ourselves, our friends and family and our community.
The latest data for Buckinghamshire for the week to 29 July shows an infection rate of 318.8 per 100,000 residents. This is a fall from last week when it was at 381.5. There was a fall in all of the former District Council areas, with the highest rates now in the former Chiltern area at 362.3 and Wycombe area at 349.5. The former South Bucks area saw a small fall in 342.1 from 397.5. The former Aylesbury Vale area is lowest at 263.8.
The highest infection rates continue to be amongst residents aged 16 to 24 years and is likely to reflect lower vaccination rates in this age group. These are of course infection rates and do not necessarily reflect illness, as some people may show no symptoms, nor do these reflect hospitalisations.
It certainly appears that the vaccination programme has significantly weakened the link between infection and serious illness and death. As of 27 July, there were 10 residents in Buckinghamshire hospitals for Covid and one person has sadly passed away in the past five weeks.
You can get the latest data on Buckinghamshire at the Covid dashboard on our website: https://covid-dashboard.buckinghamshire.gov.uk
The vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire, after a slow start, has been a great success with one of the highest take up rates nationally. Over 699,831 (data as of 25 July) people have had their first or both Covid-19 vaccinations in Bucks (and you do need two doses to achieve the best protection possible). This goes a long way to keeping our place safer for all who live, work and visit here, alongside staying sensible and following Government guidance.
The various methods of getting vaccinated now mean that having to work late or being unable to drive to venues needn’t be such a constraint;
- The Health on the Move van is out this week again visiting places in Wycombe, Chesham and Aylesbury vaccinating anyone who needs a first or second dose, and will be out on the road across Bucks again soon – find the timetable here.
- The popular drop-in Pfizer clinic at Stoke Mandeville Stadium is now running until 16 August. This means you can just go along any time between 9.30am and 7pm everyday, no booking required! (Arriva bus numbers 9, X30, or 300 go from Aylesbury bus station to the centre.)
Please wear clothing that gives easy access to your non-dominant arm, and be aware you may have to queue for a short while.
You can book online or call 119 as normal, and any local last minute changes or clinic news will be published here on the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group webpage.
I want to thank you again for continuing to play your part. Please continue to look after yourself, your loved ones, and importantly each other in our wider communities across Buckinghamshire and the country.
Pressure on Accident and Emergency services
Healthcare services in Buckinghamshire (and nationwide) are very busy at the moment. This is not specifically Covid related but reflects the need to catch up on deferred treatments and the rise in other respiratory illnesses which have increased in prevalence due to people self-isolating. If you need medical assistance, please choose the right service for your condition so you get the help you need more quickly:
- The 111.nhs.uk service is a great source of information and advice, especially if you are not sure which service to use for your illness or injury. They can also arrange appointments at the Urgent Treatment Centre in High Wycombe or with an out-of-hours GP if necessary. You can also call 111 by telephone.
- You can use online tools like AskFirst (formerly AskNHS) as a symptom checker and to arrange appointments. Contact you GP for long-term conditions, chronic pain or persistent symptoms.
- Pharmacies are staffed by healthcare professionals and offer excellent advice and over-the-counter treatment or medicines for minor illnesses.
- Self-care – many minor injuries or ailments can be treated at home, with medicines or treatments you may already have. Make sure you keep some of these in stock.
- A&E – remember, A&E should be used for serious and life-threatening conditions. If it is not an emergency, or you are not sure, please check with NHS 111 first. But if it is, don’t delay – call 999.
For more information on emergency and urgent care in Bucks, go to: Emergency and urgent care – Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Damage to roads in the North of Bucks by HS2 and EWR works
We are very aware that a number of roads across the county have been damaged by the HGVs connected with both HS2 and East West Rail construction projects. The damage is particularly severe in northern parts of the county around Steeple Claydon. This damage is quite unacceptable. We are currently in intense and almost constant negotiations with both companies to get these roads repaired by them and brought up to a safe and usable standard. Very recently I met personally with Mark Thurston, the Chief Executive of HS2 to stress the importance of HS2 attending to these repairs and wrote again to him yesterday about this. We are determined that the companies responsible for the damage pay to repair the roads rather than having this effectively picked up by the Buckinghamshire Council tax payer.
My next newsletter will be in early September and I would like to thank you again for signing up for this and future newsletters. Again, please let your neighbours and friends know they can also sign up for updates about the Council here:
Before I go, I would like to wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer. I am on holiday myself in August and looking forward to spending time with my family and friends and I hope you get the chance to do the same.
Leader of Buckinghamshire Council
Granborough Support Network
We are now in another lockdown period and therefore if you need support then please do contact us. The Granborough Support Network has come out of hibernation and there are many volunteers willing and able to assist. As before, collection of prescriptions, shopping and dog walking can all be sorted, along with someone to talk to if daytime TV has lost it’s sparkle. Please don’t hesitate to ask.
T: 01296 670204
T: 01296 670570
T: 01296 670596
T: 07365 605412
Granborough Church Food Bank
The food bank is continuing to operate, and the demand for food is increasing during these difficult times.
As the church is now closed, we have moved the food bank crate to the front porch of Chapel House, 24, Winslow Road. Please drop off your donations here as usual and we will ensure they are taken into Aylesbury on a regular basis. The front porch can get quite warm when the sun shines so please make sure that you do not leave items that might not cope with the heat e.g. chocolate, custard creams etc.
The North Marston Shop
7.00am to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday, 9am to 12 noon Saturday and Sunday.
Orders can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, orders can be placed by calling 01296 670374.
Orders need to be paid for when they are collected from the shop.
All household waste and recycling centres are now closed. Waste collection continues at present but the garden and bulky item services have been withdrawn. Please do not put garden waste in your household bins, they won’t be emptied.
Wiltshire Farm Foods (Stewkley)
Wiltshire Farm Foods prepare and deliver meals to the elderly and vulnerable in this area. They are creating new delivery slots and will accept new orders. Please phone 01525 242220 or you can see the range of meals at wiltshirefarmfoods.com.
Virus Scams – Advice
- Don’t be pressurised into making a decision. If someone is trying to rush you or panic you, they are probably trying to scam you.
- Only purchase goods from trusted retailers.
- Be suspicious of requests for money upfront.
- Do not give your bank card or bank details to a stranger.
- Never write your PIN down.
- Know who you’re dealing with – if you don’t know the person who’s offering you help, ask to be introduced by someone that you know and trust.
Contact For Advice on Scams
Call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 11 33
To report a scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.