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Coronavirus 30 April 2020 - 2.00pm general update

This is today's round-up of the latest Coronavirus news on Thursday 30 April 2020.

#StayHomeSaveLives  #HereForSwansea

Call centre

Thousands of people are getting help from brand new and expanded services set-up by Swansea Council to support vulnerable and isolated people during the coronavirus pandemic. The council has transformed the way it works, immediately putting in systems during the early weeks of lockdown to meet unprecedented challenges faced by residents who need help. It has seen hundreds of workers from all areas of the council, including highways, transport, culture, sports, libraries and education take on temporary roles.

 

Recycling

Our recycling crews are still receiving pictures, plaudits and gifts from grateful residents. While many parts of society are on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, Swansea Council's recycling and refuse collection crews have continued to pick up increasing amounts of waste from the kerbside.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by many households and the teams are now amassing a collection of goodwill messages, paintings, cakes, chocolate, local beer and even lottery tickets.

 

Hospital builders clap for our carers

Workers at the Bay Field Hospital were today adding more support to the nationwide #ClapForCarers commemoration taking place again at 8pm tonight. Some were appearing on the council's social media channels encouraging widespread support for the NHS, carers and other key workers. Others were filming a group message on the hospital site for future broadcast.

Council personnel, along with contractors Kier and TRJ, began to convert the vast Bay Studios factory unit to a facility with more than 1,000 NHS beds less than a month ago and plan to hand over a large part of it to the NHS shortly.

 

Family information service

If you are a key worker with children of pre-school age (under 4) you may be eligible for funding for your childcare?

Our Family Information Service also has details about all key childcare provision that remains open during this time.

Please visit www.swansea.gov.uk/fis or you can give the team a call on 01792 517222.

 

Transport team helps save James' sight

We've been providing back-up transport services to support the NHS and its patients through the Coronavirus crisis. The service is helping patients attend a variety of hospital appointments and recently stepped in to take James Edwards, from Trallwn to an appointment in Bristol for sight-saving treatment.  

His wife Julie has praised everyone involved for helping her husband. She said he needed to get the operation within a few hours of discovering the problem, or he would have lost his sight. Their local hospital was able to get in touch with the council which immediately stepped in to arrange transport across the Severn Bridge and back. Happily, the procedure was successful.

 

Cyclists urged to take care

Police are increasing patrols in some of the busiest areas of Swansea prom and the seafront due to a rising number of cyclists and the potential risk of accidents or incidents. We're asking cyclists to take care and avoid accidents by observing the Welsh Government's two metre rule and watch out for other cyclists and pedestrians.

 

Dogs on beaches

If you are taking your exercise on one of our beaches with your four-legged friend while the coronavirus restrictions are in place, remember the byelaw comes into effect on May 1 - restricting dog owners to certain beaches in Swansea and Gower. There are 15 beaches in Swansea where dogs are permitted all year round and a small number of beaches where dogs are not permitted.

You can find out more on our 'Dogs on Beaches' page here: www.swansea.gov.uk/dogsonbeaches


Staff

Parking charges suspension

The council is suspending staff car parking permit charges for up to six months, backdated to April 1, as part of its response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Permit fees will not be taken by payroll from May and those who paid in April will be refunded in due course.

Anyone who has cancelled their permit since mid-March and wishes to have it returned will be able to reclaim it by contacting car parking services.

In the meantime parking restrictions in our car parks at Civic Centre and Paxton Street and in the areas around Guildhall and in Baths Car Park will continue to be enforced.

 

Parking review

The council will conduct a fundamental review of the parking permit system in the coming months to develop a new staff parking policy to sit alongside the accommodation strategy and new ways of working.

While a review of parking permits was already planned prior to the Covid-19 crisis, in part because the current requests for permits are oversubscribed, the Covid 19 has significantly changed the way businesses operate. Many of these changes will likely  become the 'new normal'.  Therefore it is now even more important we review the parking permit allocation system to prepare for this.

The current freeze on new staff car parking permit applications will remain until the review has competed and a new system is proposed.

 

Staff Facebook page

A new Facebook group has been set up for council staff to receive the latest coronavirus information from the Council and for staff to share their own positive experiences of supporting the community during the pandemic: Swansea Council Staff - Coronavirus Information

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