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Please read our latest blog posts below and comment on them if you like. If you want to add a new blog topic of your own choosing just email me the content or use the contact page and I will post it asap. You may be also interested in our Be Involved, Neighbourhood WatchEvents and Classified/Lost and Found blog pages and current issues, please remember that historical posts can be viewed by selecting the drop down menu at the top of the blog home page.

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Libraries Re-opening

Posted on 19th July, 2020

 

North Somerset libraries began a phased re-opening from Monday 6 July 2020.

 

The mobile library will be in Bleadon on Tuesday, 10:20-11:20am.

 

NB: New COVID19 restrictions will be in operation.

 

Ordering books

  • "To place your order call or email your local library – Clevedon, The Campus, For All Healthy Living Centre, Nailsea, Pill, Portishead, Weston, Winscombe, Worle, Yatton and the Mobile Library Centre (other locations coming soon)
  • Give your library card number when placing an order. If you’re not yet a member you can join for free on the LibrariesWest website.
  • [NSC] will offer you a time to come and collect your books. They will be ready for you at the [mobile] library entrance: the library will be closed."

 

 

UK Pubs Open

Posted on 4th July, 2020

 

UK public houses open today with 'Pubs and hairdressers excited to be open' (PDF).

 

Establishments will be 'Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace' (PDF). NB: If someone does not wish to share their details ...

  • Although this is voluntary, please encourage customers and visitors to share their details in order to support NHS Test and Trace and advise them that this information will only be used where necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • If a customer or visitor informs you that they do not want their details shared for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace, they can choose to opt out, and if they do so you should not share their information used for booking purposes with NHS Test and Trace.
  • The accuracy of the information provided will be the responsibility of the individual who provides it. You do not have to verify an individual’s identity for NHS Test and Trace purposes.

Also, NHS Trace & Trace How it Works (PDF) states that close contact means:

  • having face-to-face contact with someone (less than 1 metre away)
  • spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • travelling in a car [taxi] or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane

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See Test Track and Trace Isolates 88K by Second Week of Operation

 

See BOB Coronavirus Information page 

Bleadon Playground is now Open

Posted on 4th July, 2020

 

Bleadon playground has now reopened since its closure due to COVID19.

 

Bleadon Parish Council has posted a notice of 'conditions of use' on the gate, based on the government's various guidelines (PDF).

 

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See BOB Coronavirus Information page 

 

The following is taken from the NHS website (18 June 2020 - PDF)

"Weston General Hospital is now fully open to new patients

 

The continued actions taken by Weston General Hospital mean that the hospital is now in a position to safely accept patients into its A&E department from today (Thursday 18 June 2020). This is the final step to re-open the hospital to new patients.

 

The A&E department is open between the usual hours of 8am-10pm every day. In addition, all clinics have restarted and the hospital continues to receive patients who, due to the temporary closure, were initially admitted to our neighbouring hospitals for their care and treatment.

 

Patients who have an appointment scheduled from today (Thursday 18 June 2020) onwards do not need to contact the hospital to confirm their appointment; they should attend their appointment as planned. We are continuing to contact patients whose appointment was cancelled during the temporary closure to reschedule their appointment."

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Link to previous Weston Hospital Closed due to COVID19 - i.e. since 25 May 2020.

 

See BOB Coronavirus Information page 

 

 

 

NE England sees Driest May since 1862

Posted on 1st June, 2020

A Bolton Reservoir

Click to enlarge

A North Yorks Reservoir

 

(Met Office 01 Jun 2020) "Commenting on the relative lack of rainfall, Harvey Bradshaw, Executive Director for Environment and Business, Environment Agency, said: “This has been an exceptionally dry spring, we have seen a fall in river flows and reservoir levels. However, at this time most water companies across the country have appropriate water reserves for this time of year ... We can all do our part to use water wisely and manage this precious resource, simple steps such as fitting a trigger to your hose or using a bucket to wash the car or water plants can make a difference.”  

 

Water UK Chief Executive Christine McGourty added: “These are exceptional times and the record-breaking dry weather is a powerful reminder of what a precious, natural resource our water is. With so many people at home and enjoying their gardens, water companies are seeing record demand for water, which can cause issues with water pressure. Working together, we can all make a difference right now, so let’s use water wisely. We need to keep washing our hands, but make other small changes to our water use, for example cutting back on paddling pools and sprinklers, particularly at the peak times in the evening.”

  

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Related article - 29 May 20, "Don't water your lawn and take showers not baths, Britons are warned as driest May on record raises fears of summer hosepipe bans

  • Yorkshire Water asked its three million households to cut their water usage
  • Britain has seen an average of 1.25in of rain so far in the driest May in 124 years
  • United Utilities applied for a drought order to take supplies from the Lake District"

A water company has warned customers not to spray their lawns and take four-minute showers rather than baths ...Yorkshire Water has seen a spike in demand amid lockdown ... having only seen an average of 1.25in (31.8mm) of rain across the UK so far this month. It has asked its three million households to voluntarily cut their water usage, urging people to turn the taps off when brushing their teeth.

 

"South East Water has also asked its 2.2million customers 'to help us by taking simple steps, such as not watering lawns, reusing paddling pool water and only using dishwashers and washing machines on full loads to help make sure there is enough water for everyone'.

 

In the South East there has been only 0.23in (5.8mm) of rainfall, making it drier than the Sahara."

 

"But the trade association representing water companies assured people that there are currently no plans to introduce a hosepipe ban."

 

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See also Sunshine graph

Weston Hospital Closed due to COVID19

Posted on 31st May, 2020

 

UPDATE 18 JUN 20: Weston General Hospital is now fully open to new patients 

 

UPDATE 12 JUN 20: NHS waiting list 'could hit 10 million this year' 

 

UPDATE 05 JUN 20: Weston Hospital to reopen gradually after outbreak  

"We've got good evidence that there are no new infections and that tells us the measures put in place to limit cross infection in the hospital have worked. "We are now testing all staff again and are aiming to start getting services back again next week."

UPDATE 04 JUN 20: Weston hospital staff 'unknowingly spread virus

"A coronavirus outbreak at Weston General Hospital was caused by staff who did not know they had the virus, according to the town's MP. Conservative MP John Penrose said health chiefs told him it "did not come from anywhere else". He said: "Some staff who did not know they had the virus were wandering around without any symptoms and without realising it, were spreading it."

Monday 01 JUN 20: Weston General Hospital retests inpatients 

"We will retest all our inpatients again. We will also repeat testing of all staff. The results from this will indicate whether the staff working in the hospital are remaining free of infection ... The trust would not say when the results of the second round of testing would be released."

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Weston General Hospital closed this Monday 25 May 2020 due to a COVID19 spike. Last month, 01 Apr 20, Weston Area Health NHS Trust merged with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, stating "Uniting the Trusts increases our diversity, capacity and resilience, ... to create an even better and stronger organisation for the future.

 

Our Local MP, John Penrose, said "Everyone was astonished by the number of staff who were infected, but not showing symptoms. Closing the Hospital to new admissions to protect patients and staff was absolutely the right decision" Also, "...There's a temporary A&E outside, so that continues, & inpatients will go to Taunton or Bristol until we reopen"... An article quotes Penrose MP as saying, "the hospital was having a ‘deep clean’ after speaking to health chiefs." and a "Dr Oldfield said ...  there are ‘appropriate levels’ of personal protective equipment (PPE) available ... "

 

It's unclear what Bleadon Parish Council have to say on the matter as they have not updated their website. [This was also absent from BPC's 08 June 20 Agenda]

 

Sunday 31 MAY 20: Six per cent of staff at hospital test positive for coronavirus

"University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, which run the hospital, carried out testing on the majority of the 1,700 staff after an outbreak of the virus at the hospital. Results have shown that approximately six per cent of the staff group are asymptomatic and infected."

Saturday 30 MAY 20: Lack of tests for medics 'caused local Covid outbreaks

"Weston-super-Mare's general hospital has closed to new admissions in part due to tests on all staff showing 100 of them were infected"

 

BBC News broadcast on Hospital Closure

Friday 29 MAY 20: John on BBC Radio to discuss Weston Hospital and Local Lockdowns

 

 

 

Friday 29 MAY 20: Source of coronavirus outbreak at Weston General Hospital discovered - reports  

"BBC health correspondent Matthew Hill said: "A senior source from Public Health England has informed me that their real concern centres around an accommodation block for staff behind the hospital where staff were mingling - they were not necessarily able to adhere to social distancing.

but there is real concern that nurses working here also work in the community and they may have spread the virus to elderly residents there. "They will now be testing residents of care homes locally." (See also Staff not tested at 62% of care homes)

Thursday 28 MAY 20: How long Weston General Hospital is set to be closed as anger at management grows: 

"UHBW chief executive Robert Woolley told the BBC the 40 per cent figure for staff who tested positive last week was a sample of the most high-risk workers in "the Covid-infectious wards”. He added: “We are segregating patients into those confirmed positive, those confirmed negative, and this batch in the middle where they might have symptoms and are shown not to have Covid-19, or they have no symptoms at all but when tested are infectious." 

Wednesday 27 MAY 20 CEO of Weston General speaks out for first time about 'complex' situation as hospital remains in coronavirus shutdown

"The NHS boss has today (Wednesday, May 27) said the situation is "complex" and says he does not yet know when he will be able to reopen the hospital, adding that it will be at least a week or "possible longer" before it can welcome new patients again. He also said it is currently unclear how the outbreak at the hospital occurred and what it means for the wider Weston-super-Mare community, but added that the hospital was working with other local agencies to get a clearer picture of the situation."

Tuesday 26 MAY 20: Weston General Hospital bosses won’t say how many people have died there with coronavirs

"The trust behind Weston General Hospital has not revealed its Covid-19 death toll amid a spike in cases ... We asked the trust yesterday morning for the number of deaths at Weston General and we have repeatedly requested a response, but UHBW is yet to provide one ... We have asked UHBW for clarification on whether deaths are now being recorded under the merged trust name."

Monday 25 MAY 20: Coronavirus: Weston General Hospital halts admissions  

"Weston General Hospital implemented the temporary measures, which extend to its A&E department, at 08:00 BST to "maintain patient and staff safety". Its NHS trust described it as a "precautionary measure" and arrangements have been made for new patients to be treated elsewhere"

"a leaked memo sent out to local NHS staff in the South West late on Sunday (May 24) stating that testing of Weston General Hospital staff without symptoms revealed "40 per cent as COVID-19 positive". Mr Woolley said: "The figure of course is taken out of context, because it was 40 per cent of 10 per cent of the most high risk staff working in the COVID-19 infectious wards."

02 APR 20: University Hospitals Bristol & Weston merger complete  

Uniting the Trusts increases our diversity, capacity and resilience, and provides a unique opportunity to bring together the things that make both the Weston and Bristol hospitals great places to work and to receive care, in order to create an even better and stronger organisation for the future."

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See 27 SEP 19: "Campaign group to demonstrate against Weston hospital plans"

 

See 31 JAN 18: Weston A&E closure: Hospital trusts reveal merger plan 

 

See 04 JUL 17: Weston Hospital AE Services Reduced  

 

Sunday 31 MAY 20: Staff not tested at 62% of care homes 

"Almost two-thirds of care homes have not tested any staff for the coronavirus, new research reveals. The data indicates the government remains a long way off its May 15 promise to test every resident and staff member in care homes by this week."

See BOB Coronavirus Information page 

COVID What You Can and Cant Do

Posted on 22nd May, 2020

 

Last week the government set out its plan to return life to as near normal as it can in a way that it feels safe and continues to protect the NHS. It published the following guidance:

Coronavirus Outbreak FAQs - What You Can and Can't Do - Current

Today, 22 May, it updated its 'staying safe outside your home - Current' for guidance on what the new rules will mean for people in England

  

This government guidance applies in England – people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

 

E.g. Northern Ireland to allow groups of six people to meet outdoors in further easing of lockdown and "Churches are now allowed to open for private prayer and can hold drive-through services so long as worshippers remain in their cars." (19 MAY 20)

 

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See also BOB Coronavirus Information page including Law/Legislation, national, regional and local statistics

 

World Bee Day 20 May 20

Posted on 21st May, 2020

Click on image to enlarge/visit bee website information

 

On December 20, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution declaring 20 May as World Bee Day.

“This is just the beginning of the difficult process of the protection of bees and other pollinators. In order to be successful, we must bring on board the governments of all countries, the business community and civil society. Awareness of the vital importance of saving the bees must reach every individual. And we must do more than just talk – we must undertake concrete activities to increase care for bees and promote the development of beekeeping – everywhere, including in developing countries.”

This is connected to the importance of protecting our rural environment, from hedgerows to crop production, to improve biodiversity and bioabundance as discussed in the following video hosted by Martha Kearney, Journalist, BBC Broadcaster and beekeeper.

 

You might decide to find and support your local honey producer and/or reply to local consultations on our environment to help support the bees and other pollinators e.g. North Somerset Consultations on 'Your Neighbourhood - Parks & Open Spaces' and 'Rewilding'. See also, 'The honey and the ivy – why gardeners’ foe is the bees’ friend'.

  

 

COVID Statistics up to 01 May 20

Posted on 17th May, 2020

 

There is still confusion in reported COVID-19 Statistics, e.g. as produced by ONS, which are variably available at the national, regional and local levels.

 

It appears that COVID19 deaths rapidly increased after the 24 Mar 20 Lockdown, but have been steadily decreasing since around 08 April 20 (click on the image above and see note below).

54 COVID related deaths in North Somerset

Up to 17 Mar 20 ONS was mapping data at District and Ward level, but this seems to have stopped?:

1 COVID19 related death in (Bleadon) Huttton, Locking & Banwell 

Recent statistical reports include:

"Coronavirus outbreaks reported in a third of care homes ... The number of homes reporting their first outbreak has been dropping, from a peak of 1,002 in the week starting 6 April to 418 in the week starting 4 May." (15 MAY 20 BBC)

 

A quarter of COVID-19 patients who died in England had diabetes (14 MAY 20 Sky News)

 

Coronavirus: A&E visits in England down to record low (14 MAY 20 BBC)

 

"One-quarter of care homes in North Somerset have either reported or suspected cases of Covid-19" (13 MAY 20 Weston Mercury) (Is this the same as confirmed COVID19 cases?)

 

NB: The increase in cases (particularly for Care Homes) may be explained by delays in reporting, attribution of COVID19 as related or suspected cause of death and "Changes to the reporting process The way COVID-19 deaths are reported in England changed on 29 April 2020. Previously, deaths were reported by NHS England and only included deaths in NHS-commissioned services of patients who have tested positively for COVID-19." (Specific ONS statement)

 

This makes comparisons very difficult.

 

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Link to BOB COVID page

 

Dangers of Dog Poo to Wildlife

Posted on 17th May, 2020

 

Reposted from facebook, originating from Cornwall but relevent to all Public Rights of Way and associated fields:

"NOTICE TO ALL DOG WALKERS

 

These two lovely ladies are Bramble and Vanity. Sadly, and n spite of notices all around this field, someone who has walked their dog here has left dog poo for the cows to pick up. As  result, they have lost their calves to neospora, and have been infected for life. They have had to be culled/ put to sleep/ euthanised/ slaughtered or whatever you wish to call it.

 

We call it heartbreaking and a criminal waste.

 

If you really must walk dogs through this field,

 

PLEASE KEEP THEM ON A LEAD AND PICK UP YOUR DOG POO"

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Link to Local Nature Walks and Wildlife Interest and Bleadon Public Rights of Way