Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel

Following an event held at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel at the weekend, Solihull Council is using its powers, under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, to ban the Hotel from holding any events from now until 10 January 2021.

With immediate effect the Hotel will not be permitted to hold any events, including weddings, funerals, parties, musical performances, fire work displays or other events.

The Council is of the view that holding such events poses a serious and imminent threat to Public Health. Events that have been held have not had adequate social distancing arrangements in place, which is in contravention of legislation and government guidance designed to help manage the spread of the virus.

This was evidenced by the recent weekend event, held on Friday 25 September, involving 200-300 participants.  It was too large under current rules, the venue did not ask for details of those attending for test and trace purposes and proper social distancing was not observed.

Due to excessive noise from the event the police were called and once the full extent of the illegal gathering was understood, it was closed down and people were asked to disperse.

The weekend incident was a clear breach of the rules against mass gatherings introduced across the country to tackle the spread of Covid-19.  This rule was introduced as the virus has been shown to quickly transmit between people in large groups. 

Solihull borough is a government area of national intervention due to the high rate of Covid-19 within the population, currently 73 out of 100,000.  Tighter restrictions have been in place within Solihull since 9 September including a ban on households mixing in people’s homes. Business compliance is absolutely essential to reducing the transmission of Covid-19.

Solihull Council will continue to monitor venues within the borough using all necessary powers to ensure compliance with the rules to stop the spread of the virus and protect the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

The owners of the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel can appeal this decision through the Magistrates’ court.

The formal Direction which was served this afternoon can be viewed here.

Local Restrictions – Government advice

Government advice on local restrictions is available here.

The Solihull area is one of the areas in the West Midlands where greater care must be taken to reduce the spread of coronavirus. This means that for those of who live here we must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble

Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support bubble.

There are now powers to fine anyone who disregards the instructions. People aged 18 or over will be able to be fined:

  • £100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days
  • £200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200

If you travel outside of the affected local areas, you must not meet or host people you do not live with in private homes or gardens unless they are in your support bubble.

When meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6. Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely including associated exemptions.

Remember: HANDS – FACE – SPACE

SMBC Leader’s update

After last Friday’s government announcement that Solihull is now an area of national intervention, which followed our sharp rise Covid-19 cases, this week has been incredibly busy for us.  We’ve put measures in place to tackle the rise in new transmissions and continue to get the message out across Solihull.

 The national picture shows that we are one among many and that the virus is a real and present threat that will be with us for some time. The decision to tighten restrictions has not been taken lightly. We know that people are frustrated and that the restrictions are having a real impact on people’s lives.

With my counterparts in Birmingham and Sandwell we issued thorough guidance to our hospitality sector on how to remain open in a Covid-safe way as we need to them to follow this to the letter.

I know it is difficult and that many people are frankly fed up with how this pandemic is affecting their lives.  But my duty is to work with government, my public health colleagues and you to keep us all safe.  Please we must all keep doing the right thing for Solihull. We are relying on your support and I know I can count on it, as I have done since March.

If you have any questions about the new restrictions please go to our dedicated Frequently Asked Questions page, which is regularly updated or check the government guidelines here if needed.

I’d like to thank all of our schools for the work they have been doing to keep running through what is a really difficult period and to manage the small number of cases and suspected cases of Covid within their school communities.  We all know the importance of schools being open and I cannot thank them enough for making sure as many of our children and young people as possible continue to receive the high quality education this borough is renowned for.

We are continuing with our temporary emergency travel restriction in our town centres to support social distancing.  If you’re visiting one of our town centres you might also see members of our Public Engagement Team talking to shoppers and handing out leaflets.

They’re there to offer advice and to keep sharing the important messages that will help keep us all safe. In the end, what will make the difference is each of us taking steps to keep our distance from others, socially distancing, helping to minimise the risk of passing on any infection that we might have.

Please, they are not ‘marshals’ they just want to make sure everyone understands what we need to do to stop the virus spreading.

In other news the booking system for the tip is now live.  I’m sure you’re recognise that social distancing will be with us for a long time to come, so the new system will help us to combat the queues that have resulted from having to restrict numbers visiting the tip. It went live on Monday and we have already had over 2,000 bookings.

Read the Visit the Recycling Centre page on our website before booking. This explains exactly what information you will need to hand when you book a slot.  If you don’t have access to the internet you can book by calling Solihull Connect on 0121 704 8000.

I also want to share the excellent news that our ambitious plans for Kingshurst Village Centre received formal outline planning approval on Wednesday. 

 This is great news for our Kingshurst residents as it is another step closer to working with them to create a vibrant village centre with new homes, shops and community facilities.

This decision just lays out the basic framework of the centre, it’s now on to the hard work of deciding on the details.  We will work with the local community to look at what they would like to see and what is possible to deliver.

Remember, hands, face, space – do take care and keep doing the right things for Solihull and you.

 Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, 18 September 2020

 

Message from our PCSO’s

Just a gentle reminder about the local lockdown which will be enforced from Monday 14th September
The new restrictions state that you must not have any visitors in your home or garden in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell council areas.
You must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble.
You must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, wherever they live, unless they’re in your support bubble – a household of one adult who joins your household, exclusively.
Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support bubble
Households within a support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together.

I am aware the last few months have been challenging for everybody but if we continue to adhere to the guidelines we can reduce the risk of coronavirus.

Stay Safe
PCSO ALI &
PCSO FRENCH

Book to tip

Solihull tip – booking system is live

Solihull Council’s online booking system for trips to Bickenhill Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) is now live.  From Monday 21 September residents will need a pre-booked appointment to use the site.  

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways, Cllr Ken Hawkins, said: “As we promised last month, the booking system for the tip is now live.  Social distancing will be with us for a long time to come so the new system will help us to combat the queues that have resulted from this.

Cllr Hawkins continued: “Please make sure you read the Visit the Recycling Centre page on the Council website before booking. This explains exactly what information you will need to hand when you book a slot.  If you don’t have access to the internet you can book by calling Solihull Connect on 0121 704 8000.

“We would still encourage residents to explore all other options – such as donations of useable items to charity shops or booking bulky waste collection

To find out more and to book a slot at the tip, please visit https://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Rubbish-recycling/recyclingcentres

The new NHS 111 service

NHS 111 service

The new NHS number to call when you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency. Calling 111 will make it easier and faster for you to get in touch with your local health services. It will also make sure the 999 number is kept free for very serious emergency medical cases.

Call 111 when you need advice or medical treatment quickly and you cannot wait for an appointment to see your doctor. If you need emergency medical treatment, you must call 999. An emergency is when someone needs medical help to save their life.

When you call 111 you will speak to an adviser from the NHS 111 team. The team has trained advisers and nurses who can help you. They will ask you questions to find out what help you need. They will also tell you where you need to go to get this medical help and transfer you call to the service you need, or book an appointment for you, if possible.

Calling 111 is free at any time, day or night. More information is available at www.nhs.uk/111

 

Covid-19 increase, Solihull Council is taking action

Solihull Council is taking action following a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases across the borough.

Since the start of September, there have been 115 cases of Covid-19 in Solihull, compared to a total of 84 cases across the whole of August. This rapid acceleration has increased local rates from an average of between 7 and 10 in August to 53.4 by Saturday 5 September.

There has also been a substantial drop in the average age of people testing positive, from 61 years old at the peak of the pandemic, to 37 years old at the current time.

The sharp increase has not been driven by a single factor and is not concentrated in a single location. There have been higher rates in the western areas of the borough, but 13 out of our 17 wards now have rates above 20 per 100,000.

We have also not seen major local outbreaks: we are seeing patterns of small household outbreaks and small outbreaks linked to workplaces, restaurants and social mixing with friends and family. We are working closely with the local NHS including University Hospitals Birmingham, who are also seeing rises in hospital admissions and new cases, although these are well below what was seen at the peak of the pandemic.

This is all a very significant concern for Solihull, and rapid collective action is needed to reverse this upward trend, fast, particularly as we work hard to support the important return back to school and college.

An Incident Management Team for Solihull, led by our Chief Executive, is meeting daily with the Regional Convenor and Public Health England.

The Council is therefore building on all the measures that we have put in place over the course of the pandemic, and is taking further steps to tackle these rising rates, reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and protect those who are most vulnerable. This will reduce the longer-term risk of a more intensive lockdown and the economic impacts this would have.

We are now implementing a set of measures to do this, including:

• Extra visits to pubs, bars and restaurants to check compliance, using legal powers where we need to.
• Rapid follow up of public complaints and reports of any venues that are linked to local cases.
• Working with the police to safely manage local events and using legal powers to stop any that are a risk to public health.
• High-vis street teams to talk to people and businesses to reinforce testing & social distancing.
• Promoting a strong message in public places, hoarding and on social media around ‘Let’s do the right thing for Solihull’ to make it clear that we need everyone to step up fast to control the virus.
• Local contact tracing alongside the national Test and Trace scheme to rapidly identify outbreaks and spot where people might have picked up Covid-19.

A Mobile Testing Unit will be opening in Solihull this week, for pre-booked Covid-19 tests (online or via 119) as part of wider measures to increase access to testing.

The sharp increase in cases means we also need to take rapid action to protect our care homes. We have taken the very difficult decision today to suspend visits to care homes in Solihull with immediate effect, to reduce the risk of the virus transmitting. We will work with homes to make sure that safe visiting can take place in exceptional circumstances on compassionate grounds. This position will be reviewed weekly, and more information on this will be issued later today.

We will call upon enhanced support from government where we believe this will help us to tackle the virus more rapidly, but we urge all residents to do the right thing for Solihull, and keep social distancing, handwashing, wear face coverings and get a test at the first symptom of Covid-19.

Solihull Council’s Chief Executive, Nick Page, said:

“We have done really well to date in controlling Covid-19 in Solihull. However, we now need to increase our efforts. Too many people are not following the guidance and worryingly some seem to consider the pandemic is over. It is clear to us in Solihull that this is not the case.”

The Director of Public Health for Solihull, Ruth Tennant, said:

“The rapid and steep increase in Covid-19 cases we have seen in a short period of time is a real cause for concern and it will need a very rapid collective effort from everyone to turn this around fast.

“Wherever you live please do your bit. Reduce your social contacts, keep your distance and do the right thing for yourself and other people who may be more vulnerable than you are.

“This hasn’t gone away. We really want to avoid a new very restrictive lockdown that could affect jobs and businesses. And in the critical run up to winter flu season, we must do everything we can to keep the number of cases low.

“Having spoken to people who have had Covid-19, I’ve heard first-hand stories of how hard this can hit, even people who don’t need hospital care. Some people may be fortunate to get a very mild case – and we know this is the case for school age children – but for others this can be life-threatening.”

For more information contact the press office on press@solihull.gov.uk or 0121 704 6136.

Prince’s Trust Team Programme for 16 – 25 year olds

The Chelmsley Wood Prince’s Trust team are recruiting for their 12 week programme. 

Didn’t get the exam results that you wanted?
Still unsure on what to do next?
Want to try something different?

Chelmsley Wood Prince’s Trust Team Programme can help!
We start our next course on 14/09/2020

We are running a 12 week course for 16-25 year olds to help boost confidence and skills, with two Level 1 qualifications awarded for completion.

For more information please contact the Prince’s Trust Team Leaders
Team Programme – Chelmsley Wood

Call,email, text or WhatsApp Sam Colbourne  on 07740405016 email scolbourne@wcg.ac.uk
Or email Clare on clare.johnson@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk

Catalytic Converter Thefts In Solihull

Message from our neighbourhood police team…

We’ve seen an increase of catalytic converter thefts in Solihull. Most cars have catalytic converters, which are stolen for the value of the metal or are illegally re-sold.

The simplest way to prevent catalytic converter theft is to park in a garage if you have one or park in a well-lit busy area.

You could also:
– Speak to your manufacturer’s main dealer regarding security products available for your vehicle
– Mark catalytic converters with a uniquely coded security product specifically designed for marking catalytic converters, and display the warning stickers supplied
– Take manufacturers’ advice, but consider fitting a protection device made specifically to cover the catalytic converter (one product such as http://catloc.co.uk/ which isn’t third party tested, but is used widely by vehicle manufacturers)
– Use your vehicle’s alarm or install a Thatcham approved alarm. The alarm should detect and activate if the vehicle is tilted or lifted
– Park vehicles so as to prevent access underneath although this may be difficult in certain circumstances, and we realise is not always an option

For more information on vehicle crime prevention please visit the West Midlands Police website
https://west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/theft-motor-vehicle-0

Grab and Go …. to the library!

The Core and Solihull’s libraries will reopen to the public during September.

In order to ensure the safety of customers and staff there are lots of changes – including new opening hours and a new ‘Grab and Go’ service to encourage people to leave as soon as they have selected books.

Customers will also need to wear face coverings and sign in, in line with the NHS Test and Trace system. Staff will be wearing transparent visors to make communication with visitors a little easier.

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger and Safer Communities, Cllr Alison Rolf, said:

“Staff have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that we can increase our library offer without jeopardising people’s safety.

“Book loans and small library spaces are a particular challenge as we find out more and more about Covid-19 and how it spreads. We need to ensure that we have sufficient space for people to visit safely and that our working practices include time to quarantine books before reissue.

“The new Grab and Go system means that visitors can select books from shelves, however they will need to process them for loans fairly quickly rather than finding a table for a leisurely read as we have been used to in the past.

“The new services that will start from Monday 7 September are well thought out and strike a careful balance between giving people vital access to books and other services such as computer use and making sure we all keep safe. Later in the month we will also be starting appointments for heritage and reference services at The Core. Grab and Go will be rolled out to our community libraries as they reopen.”

For further information about changes at The Core and Solihull Libraries see – https://www.solihull.gov.uk/thecore and https://www.solihull.gov.uk/libraries

Here’s an outline of what to expect:

The Core Library ‘Grab and Go’ system will start on Monday 7 September and the last date for ‘Click and Collect’ collections will be Saturday 5 September. 

Opening hours at The Core Library will be 9.30-4pm Monday to Saturday. The ground floor will be open for:

  • Up to 30 minutes of stock browsing
  • Up to 45 minutes of PC use. Computers can be booked by calling 0121 704 6977.
  • Joining, renewing and replacing library cards.
  • Limited space for social distancing – so no areas for reading.
  • No printing, photocopying or scanning services.
  • Appointments for the heritage and reference services at The Core starting from 21 September, bookable three days in advance  at heritage@solihull.gov.uk or 0121 704 6965.

Community Libraries and The Core:

  • A new Grab and Go service will start at Balsall Common and Knowle libraries when they reopen on 14 September and at Castle Bromwich and Hobs Moat when they reopen on 21 September.
  •  The Click and Collect service will continue at Chelmsley Wood Library until 21 September and then they will start the Grab and Go Service.
  •  Click and Collect will continue at Shirley Library until further notice.
  • *Of the remaining six libraries, five are too small to enable current social distancing measures. In addition, Olton Library has received Community Infrastructure Levy funding and is closed for refurbishment until November.
  • Encore Café Bar will reopen with table service, a reduced menu and less tables.
  • Core Theatre will reopen for classes and courses which need to be pre-booked. Weekly classes should be booked online at www.thecoretheatresolihull.gov.uk or by phone and will be available a week prior to the date of the class. The Box office is currently not open for counter purchases, but will be staffed for phone purchases from 9.30am – 2pm, Monday to Saturday – 0121 704 6962.
  • Solihull Connect will offer an appointments based service from 28 September. Customer services is also available online, through LiveChat services, by phone and by email. See –  https://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-the-Council/Customer-services/contacttelephone

For guidance on face coverings see – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

For information about Test and Trace see – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace