A water firm is warning residents not to flush anything other than
toilet paper down the loo amid the coronavirus pandemic after receiving
"higher than normal calls" on the subject.
Wessex Water, which covers Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, said
its customers had been phoning to ask if kitchen roll and wipes were alright to put
in the pan after they had been unable to purchase toilet roll.
George Taylor, Wessex Water’s director of sewerage, said: “Our
simple message is if you are using these items, please put them in the bin,
rather than flushing them. They are designed to stay intact, unlike toilet
paper which can break down in the sewers."
The firm said flushing anything other than paper could lead to
sewer blockages and cause it to back up into homes.
Each year, it said it is called out to 13,000 blockages across the
region, costing £5m to resolve.
Lovely card delivered to South Western Ambulance staff
Well done Millie, Kyla and Pippa for sending this card - it's a real hoot!
Village delivers food, prescriptions and... conversation
A group of volunteers in a Wiltshire village have set-up a community hub in order to provide food supplies, deliver prescriptions and simply provide self-isolating residents with someone to talk to.
The team is based at the community-owned Cross Keys pub in Corsley, run by John and Jo Hume, where a pop-up shop where volunteers pick up items to deliver to doorsteps.
Spokesman Rupert Tolson said they had identified a need for the service due to the village having a large number of retired and 'vulnerable' residents.
"Phone calls come through to a small group and we then have a wider network of volunteers such as drivers and counsellors who can help.
"We provide food such as vegetable boxes and limit contact by putting them in a secure outside container and delivering to the doorstep," he said.
"We delivered flyers to every house and as word has spread about the service we have become busier.
"We use local suppliers and ensure everyone coming in adheres to social distancing rules and asking them to stand at the door when necessary."
As well as food and prescription deliveries, people can also request to simply have a conversation with one of the team. They are also running an online pub quiz to keep spirits up in the village.
Increased Wiltshire Police presence using new recruits
Recently qualified police officers are to join community policing teams to help maintain a visible presence across Wiltshire.
The 37 officers will be deployed and split between Swindon and Wiltshire from this week, alongside tutors for 12 weeks until they can work within an independent capacity.
The officers were due to graduate on 3 April, however the graduation date has been brought forward.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented times but I am pleased that the chief constable has made this move to ensure we are well resourced.
Police appeal for hand sanitiser
A police force is appealing for local businesses that have closed temporarily to help fight coronavirus and donate their hand sanitiser.
Wiltshire Police tweeted that it needs supplies for its "frontline police officers and staff".
Anyone willing to donate has been asked to tweet the force.
BreakingTwo more patients die from coronavirus in Swindon
Two patients, both with underlying health conditions, have died while being treated for coronavirus at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.
In a statement the hospital said: "Sadly,
we can confirm that two patients who were being cared for at Great Western
Hospital, and had tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
man, who died at the hospital on 22 March, was in his 80s, had underlying
“A woman, who died at
the hospital on 23 March, was in her 90s, and also had underlying health
“The families of both
patients have been informed. Our thoughts and condolences are with them at this
difficult and distressing time. Out of respect for their privacy we will not be
Buying fence paint 'not essential' say frustrated police
Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson banned gatherings of more than two people in a public space, unless they are from the same household.
But in some areas police are already experiencing incidents of people not adhering to the advice.
At the weekend we were contacted by various people concerned about crowds flocking to Weston-super-Mare and Exmoor.
Police in Malmesbury, Wiltshire have now appealed to members of the community via Facebook.
A statement read: "We are saddened and frustrated that some members of our community are putting us all at risk by continuing to go outside of their homes and engaging in normal activities.
"Your community officers are currently trying to deal with people who are failing to conform to social distancing and who are persisting in engaging in non-essential trips to the towns and shops.
"Buying fence paint is not essential. Seeing your friends is not allowed. Being rude to the policing team who are trying to keep everyone safe is incredibly disappointing."
The police will be given the powers to make sure people follow the measures - by dispersing groups and issuing fines.
Have you had to take extraordinary measures to work from home in the west?
BBC Points West would like to hear from people across the region who might reflect what many are experiencing at this time.
Have you got any top tips?
What are the positives and the negatives?
Do you feel isolated or have you found novel ways to connect with others?
Is this going to be the making of local communities?
Get in touch with @BBCBristol on Twitter or @BBCWest on Facebook and tell us about your experience so far.
Teachers torn and fighting pupil demotivation
We've been speaking to teachers off the record today to find out what it's like in schools at this very uncertain time.
"There is a dilemma about not coming in," said Hayley in Wiltshire. " I have a small child but I am not sure about statutory pay if I self-isolate without symptoms."
Heidi in Somerset told me: "I'm fairly anxious about being in a school environment and potentially putting myself at risk."
"On the other hand, I do want to help exam students."
"As soon as my own kids are off school, I will leave."
Meanwhile Claire says motivating her pupils is set to get harder: "My school has been pragmatic about what is realistic and I have felt supported, but I know others who are feeling the pressure from leadership and from parents."
"I am so disappointed for our year 11s and year 13s: they have worked so hard."
Honda stops work at its Swindon factory
Production will stop at Honda's Swindon factory at the end of today because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The car maker says it's a temporary halt until April 6, although that date will be reviewed based on advice from the government.
In a statement the company said: "Production will be suspended from the end of today's late shift.
"These steps have been taken in the light of increasing difficulties with supply chains and considering the wellbeing of Honda associates.
"The current intention is to restart production on 6 April however this will be dependent on advice from the government and health authorities, and market and supply conditions."
Teachers tell us of their dilemmas
I've been speaking to secondary school teachers in Somerset and Wiltshire today. They have expressed sadness, frustration and concern.
These teachers all work at schools that are still open:
"I feel quite well-informed but it's frustrating not being able to reassure students about their exams: we really need guidance and explanations," Rachel in Somerset told me.
"We're finding it very difficult; feeling the pressure to be here as we are relied upon, but family members are at risk. I am seeking union advice."
"We are definitely feeling the pressure.. We could really do with cleaning materials: most of us are providing our own!" said Becky in Wiltshire.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make a statement at 5pm today.
Appeal for protective masks for paramedics
Wiltshire Air Ambulance is appealing for protective face
masks for its critical care paramedics.
They say their suppy is dwindling due to a national shortage because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The masks are used when treating a patient’s
airway during a cardiac arrest or patients with severe respiratory difficulty.
Any builders merchants, DIY stores and centres who are able
to supply the masks are asked to contact Richard Miller, ground operations and
clinical services manager at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, by emailing
Claire told us: "I am so disappointed for our year 11s and year 13s: they have worked so hard. Some students are feeling relieved at speculation they might be marked on mocks, but a lot want the chance to prove themselves as better.
"We are working towards the deadlines as normal with online resources, learning packs, remotely... But it will be increasingly difficult to motivate them as most learn best in peer groups.
"It's highlighting inequalities too. Some parents can throw money at it... buying equipment and extra materials. But many households have just one computer, some none.
"My school has been pragmatic about what is realistic and I have felt supported, but I know others who are feeling the pressure from leadership and from parents."
Coronavirus: How many cases are there in your area?
A total of 1,543 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK - but the actual number of cases is estimated to be between 35,000 and 50,000.
Wiltshire Council sends condolences to family of dead man
Following the announcement that a man in his 50s who died in Salisbury last week has tested positive for coronavirus, Wiltshire Council has issued a statement.
Its leader, Philip Whitehead said: “We are so
sorry to hear of the death of one of our residents and our heartfelt
condolences are with his friends, family and loved ones at this incredibly
want to reassure residents across Wiltshire that we are working closely with
our health colleagues to support their efforts to manage coronavirus.
"Those working in health and other front line services are doing a remarkable job for our communities while this situation is ongoing and I thank them for their efforts."
He advised local people to follow official guidance and "work together" to limit the spread of the virus.