Published: Wednesday, 8th Apr 2020

Daily update on Bolton Council’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Bolton Council, Bolton CCG, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton CVS have issued a joint statement, thanking residents for their support and urging everyone to stay at home this Easter Weekend.

Thank you to all of our faith leaders, with particular thanks to Chris Bracegirdle; Philip Austin, Phil Mason, Manu Mistry and Asif Patel who have united to give a message to us all.

We ask you to stay at home this weekend. If you do need to go out for essential items including medication, please ensure that you check the opening times, especially for your local pharmacy.

To find out pharmacy opening times please check the NHS website.

Stay home to help us save lives

  • Act like you’ve got it
  • Anyone can spread it
  • Stay home
  • Protect the NHS
  • Save lives

For further information please visit the NHS website and the GOV webpage.

Social distancing at work (all work including private sector)

The Government has provided new guidance offering tailored advice for different sectors and scenarios as examples of how social distancing and other measures may be implemented by employers in England.

Sectors and scenarios include:

  • Customer facing businesses
  • Businesses running pick-up or delivery services
  • Use of private vehicles and car pooling
  • Tradespeople working in people’s homes
  • Use of private vehicles and carpooling
  • Waste Management businesses
  • Manufacturing and processing businesses
  • Retail
  • Logistics businesses
  • Outdoor businesses
  • Transport businesses

The full guidance also contains information on:

  • General principles
  • Farming: visiting farms for animal health and welfare
  • Fishing or other short-term offshore work
  • Cargo-shipping or other long-term offshore work
  • Construction

Read the updated general COVID-19 guidance for employees, employers and businesses.

Council services

A summary of our affected services is available on the council website.

Libraries see usage soar

Nationally new online library memberships have increased dramatically as people look for ways to entertain themselves during the Coronavirus lockdown, and Bolton Council’s libraries are no different with a surge in requests for digital resources.

Issues of e-audio book have increased by 48% since the outbreak began, e-books have seen an increase of 59% and e-magazine issues are up by 79%.

If you would like to register for online membership visit https://www.bolton.gov.uk/libraries/join-library

A new ‘At Home with Bolton Library and Museum Services’ online service has also launched, with different activities every day on social media.

Follow the team on Facebook @BoltonLibraryandMuseumServices, Instagram @Bolton_Library_Museum, and Twitter @Boltonlms

Youth MPs

Congratulations to Alice and Harry, Bolton’s new Youth MPs for 2020 – 2022.  As part of their new roles, Alice and Harry will be responsible for finding out the concerns, interests and needs of other young people in Bolton, and will discuss these at local, regional and national levels. They will meet with MPs, councillors and key decision makers, attend regional meetings and sit with the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons once a year.

Bolton’s Money Skills Service – for those struggling financially

If you are struggling financially at this difficult time, Bolton’s Money Skills Service offers free, confidential and impartial services to people who live, work or study in the borough. There’s further information in yesterday’s bulletin.

Council services during the Easter weekend

In the unfortunate event where a death of a loved one needs to be registered, we have extended our operating times. Telephone appointments can be booked by calling the Contact Centre on 01204 331185 where we will be available to register deaths on:

Good Friday                10am – 4pm

Easter Saturday          9am – 1.30pm

Easter Sunday            CLOSED

Easter Monday            10am – 4pm

 

  • The Emergency Duty Social Worker offers an emergency service to safeguard children, adults, older people, mental health and homelessness. They can be contacted for social care issues on 01204 337777. This number should not be used for any issues about coronavirus and vulnerable people (ring 01204 337221 instead).

Flytipping

During the coronavirus pandemic, we will do our best to clean up any fly-tipped waste that is regarded as a potential threat to public health or safety. 

Unfortunately, due to reduced staff resources, the need to comply with social distancing guidance and the threat of contamination, it will not be possible to remove all instances of dumped waste.

Priority will be given to waste that represents a potential threat to public health and safety. All other instances of reported fly-tipping will be monitored, with a view to clearing these as soon as resources and safe operating conditions allow.

We would like to thank the vast majority of our residents for realising that we need their help to reduce the amount of waste generated during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

In particular, the public should be wary of using illegal waste carriers to dispose of their waste. The council will continue to prioritise its resources to maintain the best possible domestic waste collection service, and residents can help by doing their best to avoid creating unnecessary waste or encouraging illegal fly-tipping.

Waste collections

The Recycle for Greater Manchester bin app service isn’t operating at the moment. Please check www.bolton.gov.uk for collection times.

Financial support for schools

The Department for Education has issued guidance on the financial support available for schools to help cover additional costs associated with the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance covers the support available for schools up to the end of the 2019 to 2020 summer term with a further update expected in June.

Stop Smoking Support for Pregnant Women

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do to stay safe and healthy and give your baby the best start in life.  In addition to following government guidelines around social distancing, pregnant women are encouraged now more than ever to start their journey to becoming smoke free, to protect themselves and their families during this critical time.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is continuing to offer a range of excellent stop smoking support to local pregnant women and their families through the Smoking in Pregnancy scheme.  Midwife support workers provide telephone and online advice and support to discuss your pregnancy health issues and options for quitting. The service offer includes behavioural support and access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products to pregnant women and their partners.  After you have signed up to the scheme you will be encouraged to track your progress and success which will be recognised through a voucher reward scheme.

You can contact the Bolton Stop Smoking in Pregnancy service by telephone 07827 992883 or by speaking to your local community midwife.

Reporting of discarded needles

If you see any discarded needles in public places or you are aware of any that require disposing of safely, contact the Sharps hotline number on freephone 0800 731 9835 for a speedy response and advice.

The service is free of charge for any needles found in public places throughout Bolton.

Bolton’s Humanitarian response

Thank you for emergency response

We’ve had more than 600 calls so far and are out delivering 450 parcels to vulnerable people.

One resident told us: “A big thank you for the lovely parcel which arrived only half an hour after my phone call. Full of super goodies plus a beautiful plant and box of chocolates. With very best wishes.”

Emergency contact number

If you are struggling because you need to stay at home and have no family or friends to support you, with shopping or other help, please contact the council on 01204 337221.

The support is available through the council’s Response Hub, which has been set up by the council and partners.

The number will be open 8.30am – 5.30pm Thurs 9 April; Good Friday 10am-4pm; Easter Saturday 9am-1.30pm, and Easter Monday 10am-4pm

We will talk to you about your most urgent needs such as food, medicine or other requirements.

Alternatively, tell us about any help you need using the online form and we'll arrange for someone to call you back within 24 hours.

The Bolton Response Hub will then get those items to you or respond with other services. The hub is manned by staff from the council and our partners, plus volunteers.

Community support

New guidance for charities

The Government has changed the guidance for charities to help with running your charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The guidance looks at:

  • Charity’s looking at their existing charitable objects and options to change or adapt them and consider whether they can help the effort to tackle COVID-19
  • Support to pay charity staff - the government has said that charities can access many of the measures the Chancellor announced for businesses
  • Financial planning – use of reserves and restricted funds
  • AGMs and other meetings: postponing or cancelling meetings / Holding meetings online or by telephone
  • Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission - Charities’ primary interest must be looking after the public and the communities that we serve
  • Keeping people safe - safeguarding guidance

Looking after yourself during this time

It's important to take care of your mind as well as your body while staying at home. For further information see yesterday’s bulletin.

Business Support

Extended Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 

The Government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. 

Further details here: https://bit.ly/UpdatedCBILS

Financial support

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. The essential information is live on our Business Bolton website.

Our partners update

Statement from Bolton Faith Leaders’ Forum

Bolton Faith Leaders’ Forum has issued a joint statement thanking everyone who is working so hard to get us through this testing time.

“As faith communities of Bolton we are united in our commitment to working for the well-being of all affected by COVID-19,” they said.

“We thank and support those who are working so hard to enable us to get through this testing time: NHS and care workers; emergency response services; providers of food, medicine and other vital goods; those in all levels of government and officials, and Bolton Council in particular, and the many others who may not be classed as ‘essential workers’ but make all the difference to our daily lives.

“People of all faiths and none through the voluntary and community sector and neighbourhood groups are working together to respond to the many needs that have arisen.”

Here is the link to the full statement.

Pharmacy opening times

Our local pharmacies are working hard to ensure local people receive key services and medicines during this difficult time.   

Opening times for pharmacies may change with many closing for a couple of hours each day to carry out essential cleaning, catch up on work or have a break.

To find out the nearest one to you and its opening times please check the NHS website.

Other Partners

For the latest updates on the coronavirus situation, follow:

Greater Manchester Fire Service

Bolton at Home

Transport for Greater Manchester

Bolton CVS