Four safeguarding incidents have been reported since February at Arnold House in Northampton.Read more
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Road markings featuring a rainbow heart have been painted on the approach roads to NHS sites across Northamptonshire to thank staff for their commitment and diligence during the pandemic.
Sites to benefit include Berrywood Hospital in Northampton, Corby Community Hospital, Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northampton, Danetre Hospital in Daventry, Isebrook Hospital In Wellingborough and St Mary’s Hospital in Kettering.
Northamptonshire Highways team asked specialist road markers WJ Lining and local traffic management contractor EM Pells to help them.
Similar markings appeared at Kettering General and Northampton General Hospitals last month.
The markings are all at buildings used by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Chief operating officer, Jean Knight, said it was "this lovely tribute to our staff".
Public health bosses in Northamptonshire are urging caution as the number of coronavirus cases finally starts to fall.
In recent weeks, Covid-19 cases and deaths across the county had not fallen in line with national levels. As recently as Wednesday, the seven coronavirus deaths at Northampton General made it the hospital with the highest increase in deaths in the whole of England.
Northamptonshire County Council's director of public health, Lucy Wightman, said the number of new cases was now falling, but added that "the virus continues to be in circulation and the risk posed by local outbreaks remains significant".
With town centres starting to reopen, she warned that measures such as social-distancing, hand-washing and wearing face coverings where appropriate "should remain part of our everyday lives until such time as we are able to find a vaccine".
A planned reopening of seven libraries across Northamptonshire is going ahead.
They are: Wellingborough, Irthlingborough, Brackley, Kettering, Weston Favell, Daventry and Oundle.
The opening times will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10:00 to 16:00 and Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00.
Service available include:
Lizzy Bowen, deputy leader of the council, said: “The phased reopening will ensure that health and safety measures are in place and social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, to protect both our staff and customers."
The registration of births will continue in Northamptonshire from Monday with online bookings for face-to-face sessions opening up.
Northamptonshire County Council said anyone with outstanding exceptional birth registrations or those who had their birth registration appointment cancelled when lockdown started would be contacted first.
They will also be asked to complete and return a birth registration questionnaire in advance to minimise their time in the office, and will be contacted to arrange an appointment.
Sandra Naden-Horley, cabinet member for corporate and community services, said: “The past few months have been unprecedented and we are now facing a backlog of appointments which will take some time to manage.
Northampton will see parking charges reintroduced in all its council multi-storey and surface car parks from Monday 29 June.
Parking charges were removed at the end of March in response to coronavirus, ensuring key workers could access free parking in all borough car parks throughout the town centre.
The free parking for NHS staff will continue so they can carry out their duties unhindered.
Jonathan Nunn, council leader, said: "Much as we might like to consider extending free parking further, our available funds have already been significantly impacted [by coronavirus].
"If we don’t reintroduce charges at this stage there's a danger it will begin impacting on other vital services.”
Northamptonshire County Council reintroduced on-street pay and display charges yesterday.
A local authority has been accused of putting motorists' health at risk by not installing hygiene measures at its country park pay stations.
Corby councillor Julie Brookfield said Northamptonshire County Council was showing a disregard for health by insisting that country park users must pay to park at its sites and touch the payment machines to do so.
The authority does not have a contactless payment system and has not installed sanitation gel stations near to the machines, though signs state the stations are not cleaned between use.
The council said it recommended visitors bring their own hand sanitiser as it waits for gel stations to "become available".
It closed its country parks to cars at the start of lockdown, on 23 March, but reopened them on 20 May.
Some councils are to reimburse parents any costs they might incur for taking their children to school from next week.
Social distancing rules has meant pupils should avoid public transport (including school transport) and either walk, cycle, or use their own car to get to school.
"If your child is eligible for home to school transport assistance and normally travels on a school bus or coach, but you are planning to drive them to and from school instead, we can refund you for the mileage you drive," Central Bedfordshire Council said on its website.
It will be offering 36p per mile but Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire county councils will be paying more, at 45p. All will be offering a reduced school bus service.
School transport will still be provided in the usual way for those pupils that cannot make their own way to school, though with a reduced number of seats due to social distancing rules," said Sue Clark, of Central Bedfordshire.
Essex County Council said it would not be reimbursing parents who chose to make their own arrangements as they would still be providing "tax-payer funded" buses.
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Northamptonshire’s local education authority has backed the government’s plan for schools to reopen to some pupils and has asked schools to assess "what is feasible".
The county council said it will support schools to bring pupils back after the government's request to get reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children back into classrooms after half-term.
Councillor Fiona Baker, who is responsible for children's services, said: "This needs to be done in such a way that we minimise the risks to pupils, staff and parents as much as possible.
"To decide what is feasible, we are asking schools to carry out an initial comprehensive risk assessment so that leaders can evaluate potential solutions on how they can safely and effectively accommodate eligible pupils.
"We can expect.. there will not be one county-wide model for the initial phased re-opening of schools.
"However, Northamptonshire County Council will support schools to work towards gradually increasing pupil numbers at a pace their individual circumstances allow."