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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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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

 

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.

 

Monday 01 JUN 20: Coronavirus: 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."

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."

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

COVID19 Scam Summary

Posted on 27th April, 2020

Link to COVID-19 pageLink to NHW page

 

UPDATE 18 MAY 2020:

 

Virus Ventilation & Santiation due to Lockdown

 

Trading Standards have told us that some residents have been receiving phone calls from a company that are offering “virus ventilation and sanitation due to lockdown” on behalf of Bath & North East Somerset Council. The Council wishes it be known that the company, Pro Day UK, do not represent them so any calls from them should be considered as a scam.

 

Although this offence happened in the Bath area, similar attempts have been made in other parts of the country, so they may well start to try other regions of the Avon and Somerset police area including ours.

 

If you have any information regarding these incidents contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

 

UPDATE 06 MAY 2020:

 

Facemask Scam

 

Trading Standards have told us that a number of residents have been called on their landline from a fake 01225 number, claiming to be from the Government. The automated voice said that the Government is instructing them to wear a facemask and to press a number on the keypad to make a purchase. Fortunately the residents have recognised this as a scam.

 

Although these calls were made to residents in the Bath area at present, it is likely that this will become far more widespread and will no doubt include our area. Please remain alert to any potential scam calls.

 

UPDATE 19 APR 2020

 

Tesco Email Scam

 

We have been alerted by a Neighbourhood Watch scheme of a scam email that claims to be from Tesco saying that “You Are Our Winner”. It doesn’t say what you have won, but asks you to click on a link to confirm your identity. Please don’t click on these links as you may download a virus onto your computer. At the very least it will try and get your personal details. The email comes from a company in Kentucky in the United States.

 

As with any email you get unexpectedly from someone you don’t know, delete this message without clicking on any of the links.

 

UPDATE 07 APR 2020

 

Somerset Scams and Fraud Video

 

Please find a link to our senior safety video, which discusses the topic of Covid-19 scams and frauds that are being targeted at the vulnerable and elderly. This may help protect the many frightened and vulnerable elder citizens in our communities. Please pass the link to anyone who would benefit, or watch and take notes to pass on to those residents nearby who don’t have access to the internet.

 

Do please stay safe & stay home.

 

UPDATE 02 APR 2020

 

Text Message Scam

 

The latest scam seems to be that scammers have been sending fake texts to individuals threatening a fine for leaving home. The text claims that the UK Government has been tracking your movements and that you left the home on given dates and travelled a specified distance. You are then told that you have to pay a fine, which will increase the longer you take to pay it. THIS IS A SCAM. It uses the name of a civil authority and preys on your worry that it will cost more if you ignore it. Delete the text and never click on any link in a message from someone you don’t know.

 

The BBC Website has more information on this and can be found by following this link.

  

Press Office Release, Fraud & Scam awareness

 

Avon & Somerset Police Press Office have released information regarding recent online Fraud and Scam activity relating to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

Please do take the time to read through this information, you can either follow the link below or open the file attached.

 

Please Stay in and Stay safe.

 

Beware fraud and scams during Covid-19 pandemic. Stay at home – stay safe on line

 

Attachments:beware-fraud-and-scams-during-covid.pdf

 

Police Enquiry Offices & Reporting Issues

 

The majority of police enquiry offices across the force area have been closed in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

 

Four of them will remain open seven days a week, but should only be used if absolutely essential. Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating should follow Government advice and stay at home and report matters for the police through our website instead. https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report/

 

The four in operation from 8am-8pm (weekdays) and 9am-5pm (weekends) are:

•Bridewell Police Station, Bristol

•Patchway Police Centre, South Gloucestershire

•Bridgwater Police Centre, Somerset

•Yeovil Police Station, Somerset

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “This has not been an easy decision to make but has been made in accordance with the Government’s announcement on Monday that people should remain at home unless absolutely necessary to reduce the spread of this virus. The decision will remain under constant review.

 

“By temporarily reducing the number of enquiry desks open it will allow us best maximise the resources available to the force at what is critical time for policing.

 

“We remain committed to providing a visible police presence in all our communities, and any enquiries that would traditionally have been handled face-to-face will be conducted online through our website, including reporting non-urgent crimes.

 

Further guidance:

• Please only call 999 in an emergency. If you need to call our 101 service, please consider whether you can report online instead via our online reporting tools.

• Visit our dedicated COVID-19 page for links to all the latest news on policing services. • Visit GOV.UK to read the Government’s advice on COVID-19.

• See Government advice for staying at home, for households with possible COVID-19 infection and social distancing to protect vulnerable groups.

• Visit the NHS website for hygiene advice and advice on calling 111.

• For advice on mental health, visit the Every Mind Matters website.

Please also be aware that all NHW Administrators are now having to work from home. This means that they will be available by email and by mobile phone only. All post, both incoming and outgoing will be severely delayed until further notice.

 

23 MARCH 2020

 

Shopping Scam (Vulnerable & Isolation)

 

During this challenging period, it is heartening to hear lots of stories of kindness from friends and neighbours caring for one another. This is where many Neighbourhood Watches have excelled in looking after the elderly and vulnerable members of their community – or simply offer to help everyone. This includes phone calls to ensure people are ok, assistance with appointments and the collection of groceries and medications.

 

We must however remain vigilant and rely upon those we know and trust. I have learnt today of a couple of incidents where callers have arrived on doorways offering to do shopping, claiming to be good Samaritans. They have taken money and a shopping list but never returned.

 

Unfortunately there are some people who will always take advantage of any crisis to steal from those in need.

 

Please do not fall foul to this and only rely upon people you know or trust to help you.

  

Somerset: Covid-19 Scam Email

 

Please be aware of a new scam email advising that you are entitled to a tax refund (rebate) of £128.34. The email states that this is a precautionary measure in cooperation with National Insurance and National Health Services, It is NOT. It goes on to suggest the funds can help protect yourself against COVID-19 and to access the funds now by clicking on the blue hyperlink, Please DO NOT do this.

 

North Wales Police (NWP) have advised this has already cost the public more than £800,000 in a month and to contact Action Fraud for advice on: 0300 123 2040

NSC COVID19 Help Initiative

Posted on 27th April, 2020

Click image to enlarge

 

"Do you need help with shopping, fetching prescriptions or just having a friendly chat?" Then North Somerset Council and their partners may be able to assist.

 

"Step 1:

Do you have a friend or neighbour who can help?

Step 2:

Fill out the online form www.n-somerset.gov.uk/needhelp

Step 3:

No internet access? Call 01934 427 437

Please keep the phone lines free for those who need them.

Working with our community partners and volunteers offering assistance during COVID-19.

 

North Somerset Council. proudly working in partnership with WSM Town Council, Weston-super-Mare, Helping People (COVID-19 Mutual Aid), WSM Helping People, North Somerset Together and ROC Weston-super-Mare."

 

--

 

Check for help near you at COVID-19 Mutual Aid

 

See BOB's COVID19 page with COVID19 scam updates from the police.

.

Peace and Quiet ... for how long

Posted on 17th April, 2020

 

For those of you enjoying the peace and quiet resulting from the lack of aircraft flying overhead due to COVID-19 restrictions, you may want to look at this flight mapping application of which I was recently reminded.

 

Image of Bleadon skies on 17 April 2020

 

It will be interesting to see just how many aircraft fly overhead on a 'normal' day, and how many more would be overhead if Bristol Airport were to be expanded from 8 to 12 million passengers a year, including up to "operating within a rolling annualised cap of 4,000 night flights between the hours of 23:30 and 06:00 with no seasonal restrictions" as stated in the recent airport development application.with "flights every 3 minutes", as stated by the local Parish Council Airport Association.

 

The following is a message from North Somerset Recycling and Waste during the COVID19 situation:

 

"You may have noticed that we are struggling to collect some garden waste. Over the coming weeks and months this is likely to continue as garden waste is a lower priority. Where we cannot collect your bin you will need to manage your garden waste at home. Here are some suggestions:

• doing more home composting or starting a compost heap – you can search online for lots of advice but the RHS website is good: http://ow.ly/bWzq50z3jt9 .

• leaving grass cuttings on the grass known as ‘grasscycling’. http://ow.ly/hcSM50z3jtc

• Allowing your grass to grow into a meadow http://ow.ly/Ozu550z3jta

• creating a wildlife home in a corner of your garden with branches and other items you would otherwise have taken to the recycling centre http://ow.ly/1FXC50z3jtb

If you have any other good tips please share in the comments for others to try."

 

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For COVID19 Information see here.

 

Posted on Bleadon BOB Facebook 04 Apr 20