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Coronavirus Council services update – 20 March

by mikebell on 20 March, 2020

We aim to issue an update on the latest situation with council services at around 4pm every working day. Any new developments will be highlighted – for example, the information about libraries closing in today’s update. Even if there are no new developments we will issue an update to say so! 

Flood protection scheme

Work on a major flood protection scheme in Weston-super-Mare is due to start as planned on Monday (23 March). See our press release for more information. 

Libraries

All North Somerset libraries, including the mobile library, are closed until further notice. While we recognise that libraries are important hubs of the communities which hundreds of people visit every day, our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff.  

Libraries are more than just a physical space and we aim to continue to deliver a range of services, including access to eBooks, eMagazines and eResources. The libraries service will be working hard to develop additional digital outreach. This could include online activities for pre-school children such as online Rhymetimes, keeping in touch with home service customers by phone to reduce risk of social isolation and promoting home-schooling resources. 

We will also be making it easier for people to join online and this will be promoted widely, with investment for the coming financial year switched from hardcopy to digital to extend the eBook and eAudio titles offer. 

Existing loans will be automatically extended until Wednesday 1 July. Please do not return any items borrowed from the library during this time and please do not leave them on library doorsteps, as they could be stolen or damaged. Extended Access is not available at Portishead and Winscombe Libraries and Worle and Yatton Library and Children’s Centres. 

Congresbury Community Library, which is run by volunteers, will be closed from Monday 23 March. 

Some libraries share a building with children’s centres. If you are currently under midwifery care at one of the area’s children’s centres, keep attending at your usual location as these midwife appointments will continue. 

For the latest updates follow us on Twitter at @nsomlibraries or on Facebook /NSlibraries. 

Online services will still be available to use: 

Online library from home:https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/onlinelibrary.
Including ebooks and audio books. 

Enquiry service:https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/leisure/libraries/enquiry-centre/

To join online visit www.librarieswest.org.uk/join

Council offices

In line with the latest government advice if you need to contact us, please do this online at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/connect or over the phone – please do not visit council offices if possible. If you usually come in and use one our council tax payment kiosks, please consider switching to online payments. You can find out more at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/counciltax or pay by phone by calling 01934 888 121. You will need your 10-digit council tax reference number, which you can find on your bill, and your credit or debit card. 

The Campus

The Campus in Weston-super-Mare is closed until further notice. However, the midwifery care at The Campus children’s centre will continue so people are to keep attending appointments and will be able to access the building. 

Children’s centres

If you are currently under midwifery care at one of the area’s children’s centres, keep attending at your usual location as these midwife appointments will continue. All universal groups such as Stay and Plays have stopped at all children’s centres. Most children’s centres are closed (apart for midwifery services) but four remain open – Portishead, Clevedon, Locking Castle and Ashcombe – for family support groups, such as those for vulnerable people and one-to-ones. 

Leisure centres and venues

All events are cancelled until further notice at the following venues – The Tropicana and Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare and Somerset Hall in Portishead. All our leisure and sports centres remain open although some may be operating on reduced hours. Go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information. 

Recycling and waste

Recycling and waste collections are continuing as normal and recycling centres are open as usual. 

Advice for businesses

There is a round-up of the measures being put in place to support businesses and employers at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus

Registration Service

All ceremonies will be conducted with the minimum legal requirements (two members of staff, the couple and two witnesses). No bookings are being taken for ceremonies before 1 July unless urgent (this is being kept under review). Go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information. North Somerset Council is following the latest Government advice regarding the wellbeing of residents, staff and contractors during the developing coronavirus situation. 

As a provider of services to some of the most vulnerable people in the community, the council will make sure it maintains service levels in critical areas. The council is reviewing advice and information and will make update decisions daily in response to the changing situation. 

Residents are urged to visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest information about services. Updates will also be posted to the council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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