Blind welfare survey + 11 pus deadline
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are asking residents of the borough to help shape a new sexual health service for 2021.
The council is responsible for commissioning sexual health services, including testing and management of STIs, contraception choices, pregnancy testing and sexual health promotion, such as HIV awareness. Sexual health is a key public health priority and the council wants to ensure that people living in Southend-on-Sea have access to an effective and accessible sexual health provision. As such, they are asking residents to complete a short survey, to find out what they want from such a service and to share ideas, opinions and experiences. The results of the survey, which will be released in August 2020, will be used to shape the requirements for a future service provider.
The council aims to ensure that sexual health services support the delivery of Southend 2050 outcomes, which include the goal of “Southenders remaining well enough to enjoy fulfilling lives”. The consequences of poor sexual health can be serious and costly for the individual, for health and social services and for society as a whole. Unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection have preventable short-term and long-term effects on health and well-being.
Councillor Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health & adult social care, said: “If you are a resident of Southend-on-Sea, please complete the short survey, which will help us to create a better sexual health service for the borough. We are looking for a future provider to deliver the best service possible in 2021 and your responses to the questions in the survey will help shape the tender, to ensure it is as non-discriminatory, accessible, easy to navigate and effective as possible.
“The safe and well theme of our Southend 2050 ambition includes the statement “Southenders remaining well enough to enjoy fulfilling lives” and sexual health is an important part of this”.
The survey can be taken by following this link: Sexual Health Service Survey 2020
With the large quantities of rubbish seen in our parks and on our beaches this summer, what better way to start the autumn than joining in the national effort to clean up the country
Residents and community groups are invited to join the countrywide campaign ‘The Great British September Clean’ event hosted by Keep Britain Tidy, which will see hundreds of thousands of people across the UK pledge to litter pick in their area for as little as 15 minutes.
Postponed from the spring, the event is taking place Friday 11 – Sunday 27 September, and clean-ups can take place in any public space across the town, and it’s free to register.
Equipment such as litter pickers and sacks can be borrowed from Veolia – groups are limited to six as per the event guidelines. To collect the equipment, simply provide your registration number, which you will receive once registering on the Keep Britain Tidy website. Participants are urged to wear their own PPE (gloves and face masks).
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “The Great British Spring Clean is always well-supported, and it was a shame it was postponed, although for all the right reasons given the pandemic. I know the KBT team have been working very hard to get this event in place with the appropriate safety measures, and I applaud and thank them for that.
“We would like as many local residents and community groups as possible to take part and show how we can, working together, make Southend cleaner and greener. I know that the majority of residents take pride in our town, and community events like this really provide a welcome boost during what is continuing to be a challenging time.
“Veolia and the parks staff work incredibly hard throughout the year, and I know that residents have appreciated this dedication over the last few months. The event is approaching, and I urge everyone to get involved and keep our town tidy.”
Residents that would like to volunteer all year round and take part in litter picking activities, or would just like to find out more, should visit www.southend.gov.uk/street-care-cleaning
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is pleased to announce residents will be able to browse their local libraries once again as libraries across Southend are set to reopen to the public.
From today (Friday 11 September), residents can visit their local libraries to browse for their favourite novels and books. The service will allow residents to make use of the libraries once again whilst there will be measures in place supporting Government guidance around social distancing.
All libraries will be open to the public for browsing from 10am – 4pm Monday to Saturday. The number of people inside any library at any given time will be limited to ensure social distancing can be maintained, and visitors will be urged to try and limit visits to 20 minutes where possible. Face coverings should also be worn when visiting the sites with hand sanitizing stations available in all sites.
Items will be issued through the self-service machines in the usual manner, and the click and collect service is also available for those wishing to use the service.
Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “I am thrilled to announce that local libraries are to open their doors and welcome visitors to browse the facilities.
“We know that many people make use of our libraries throughout the year, particularly parents keeping children reading throughout the summer with the council’s summer reading challenges. We know that it has been a challenging time for all, and I understand the importance reading can have on mental health. We can accommodate all reading ages and abilities, with paperbacks, hardbacks, large print and audio books available.
“Our expert librarians will be on site to assist with any enquiries you may have, and I would ask any visitors to adhere to the guidelines in place in each library, which will be clearly signposted upon arrival. Please be aware there could be queues in place in the first couple of weeks.”
To request an item for click and collect, or to find out more, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/libraries or telephone 01702 215011
Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP - a joint venture between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Swan Housing Association - has submitted a ‘hybrid’ planning application for the £500 million Better Queensway regeneration project.
The application will be determined by the Council’s Development Control Committee in the coming months. This hybrid application will establish the principle of regenerating the site and the overall masterplan, as well as the details of the highway changes. Over the lifetime of the project, Porters Place LLP will submit a number of further detailed planning applications for the various phases of development.
Should the plans be approved, the four tower blocks that form the current Queensway estate would be demolished in stages and replaced with a high-quality development of up to 1,760 modern new homes, all of which will have their own private outdoor space whether it be a balcony, terrace or garden. The development will also create attractive new public space and improved links to the town centre for those travelling from nearby streets.
The plans include new homes for all secure tenants and leaseholders currently living on the estate, as well as additional new affordable housing for Southend-on-Sea and homes for private sale aimed at local buyers.
The LLP will deliver 512 genuinely affordable homes with a mix of 300 social rented homes and 212 intermediate units (shared equity and shared ownership). The 300 social rented and 12 shared equity homes will be delivered through a planning agreement and 200 shared ownership homes through the contractual commitment in the approved business plan. The Council and Swan are also intending to deliver an additional 100 genuinely affordable homes through a separate contractual agreement.
The estate would be managed from a new central concierge with CCTV, ground maintenance and concierge staff on hand, eliminating residents’ current issues with the estate not being fit for purpose.
There would be safe play areas created for children and additional ’pocket parks’ to provide safe and enjoyable key walking routes for all, creative spaces to encourage people of all ages to learn and thrive, helping to boost employment and local investment, and spaces for local entrepreneurs to grow their business.
Sustainability will play a huge part in the project. The new homes will be energy-efficient and economical to run, while high-quality green spaces, the planting of 190 new trees, the installation of electric car charging and sustainable construction methods will improve the overall environment performance of the development.
Geoff Pearce, Chair of the Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP Board and Deputy Chief Executive of Swan Housing Association said:
“This is a huge opportunity for this area to transform into a vibrant regenerated centre which will provide hundreds of much needed high quality new homes for those living and growing up on the existing Queensway estate, additional affordable and private homes and high-quality public realm and safe places for everyone to enjoy. As Southend-on-Sea responds to the impact of COVID-19, this regeneration will draw in circa £500m investment into the centre of Southend and help ensure a brighter future not just for the Queensway estate but also the wider communities of Southend.”
“After over 12 months of consulting with residents, the local and wider community and stakeholders, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will now consider our application as the Local Planning Authority. We hope to receive approval in early 2021 so work can begin to transform this significant area of Southend town centre into something which truly reflects the spirit of Southend-on-Sea and can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, welcomed the submission of the planning application. He said:
“The Better Queensway project is the largest housing-led regeneration project in Southend’s history. It has significant potential to improve life for residents and transform an aging and outdated part of our town centre into a thriving and attractive neighbourhood that we can all be proud of.
“This council has made it a priority to maximise the number of genuinely affordable homes to be delivered within the project and I am pleased to confirm that, in addition to the 512 affordable homes outlined through the planning application, we are also committed to delivering an extra 100 genuinely affordable homes through a separate contractual arrangement.
“It has taken us seven years to get to this stage, during which time we have received invaluable input from residents, businesses and community leaders about the sort of neighbourhood and community they wish to create and would see their families grow up in. And for that I must offer a massive thank-you. It is now time to take it further forwards and deliver.”
Cllr Ron Woodley, Deputy Leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said:
“This is a very exciting time for this project and those living on the estate, and is the culmination of years of work and planning. I am very pleased to see that this application has now been submitted
“Due to the huge scale of the project, it will take planning officers some time to fully assess this before statutory consultation takes place and it goes to the Council’s Development Control Committee to determine. It will then be incumbent on the committee to decide the planning application on its merits.”
You can view the application on the Council’s planning portal.
Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP is inviting residents, the local and wider community and stakeholders throughout Southend to pledge their support on the Better Queensway website www.betterqueensway.co.uk where you can also find out more about the regeneration project.
The Mayor of Southend-on-Sea, Councillor John Lamb has issued a statement regarding this year’s Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day in light of the current COVID-19 restrictions.
The Worshipful The Mayor, Cllr John Lamb, said: “The annual Remembrance Sunday commemorations are a significant event in the Borough’s calendar which allows us all the opportunity to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“Whilst restrictions are in place as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which limit what we are able to do, we are exploring different options to commemorate Remembrance Sunday (8th November) and Armistice Day (11th November) including bringing these events to households through videos and live streaming. Further details and updates will be published in due course.”
Southend Central Museum is to reopen to the public tomorrow (26 September 2020) with new Covid security measures in place.
Visitors will be able to visit the internationally acclaimed Prittlewell Princely Burial as well as the Wild Estuary exhibitions.
The Anglo Saxon Prittlewell Princely Burial, is an internationally significant Anglo-Saxon burial chamber discovered in Prittlewell Essex in 2003. Wild Estuary his exhibition explores the wildlife that lives in and the people who interact with the estuary, and the modern threats to this fragile ecosystem.
The museum will be open from 10 – 5 and social distancing measures will be in place with a limit on the number of persons on site. The Rule of Six will apply, with no groups larger than six people able to visit together.
All visitors will be required to wear a face covering, unless they are exempt, and the museum has the NHS Track and Trace app ready for visitors to scan. Anyone not able to scan this will be asked for details for track and trace. Staff will be wearing face coverings and look forward to welcoming our visitors in a safe way to the museum.
Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “I am delighted to see Southend Central Museum opening its doors to the public once again.
“Engaging in cultural activity is demonstrated to be an important contributor to good mental health, which is all the more important at a time when many of us have dealt with lengthy periods of isolation.
“We have put measures in place to ensure that the public can enjoy these excellent exhibitions safely and ask all visitors to abide by the guidance.
“I would like to thank the council’s museums team and volunteers for the hard work that has gone into creating a safe environment for visitors and reopening one of Southend’s cultural gems.”
Central Museum will be open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am – 5pm and is free to enter.
A support helpline has being set up for parents who have concerns about sending their children to school due to COVID-19.
The school attendance helpline has been set up by the school nursing team at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. This was in response to the number of calls the council’s customer service team were receiving about sending children into school despite concerns over coronavirus.
Any parent who has concerns or is considering home-schooling their child due to COVID-19, can talk through their worries with a member of the school nursing team.
The helpline will launch on Monday 28 September and operate Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Parents understandably want to keep their children safe and well, especially during a pandemic.
“But the Government have been clear that children should be attending school – for a range of reasons, not least their ongoing education and mental health needs.
“Our schools are following Government guidance, have carried out detailed risk assessments and are working really hard to keep the children, staff, parents and the wider community, safe and well.
“I would urge any parent who is worried about sending their child to school due to COVID-19, to call the helpline and talk their worries through with a member of the school nursing team. I am sure they will be able to give reassurance and talk through possible options that they can explore with their school.”
The number for the helpline is; 01702 212520.
Local people across Southend-on-Sea are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.
The app launched nationally yesterday, and is available to those aged 16 and over in multiple languages. It forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England - identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
The contact tracing element of the app works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.
The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results.
Local businesses are also being reminded to check if they are required by law to display NHS Test and Trace QR codes so customers with the NHS COVID-19 app can use them to check-in. Those that are legally required to do this include pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes, tourism and leisure services like hotels and museums, close contact services like hairdressers and facilities such as libraries, community centres and council buildings.
QR codes will help businesses meet their legal requirement to log contact details and allow public health leads to send alerts based on whether people have checked in at venues.
Krishna Ramkhelawon, the council’s director of public health, says: “We are asking local people to download and use the free NHS COVID-19 app, which is another tool in the fight against Coronavirus.
“It enables the vast majority of people with a smartphone to find out if they are at risk of having caught the virus and if they subsequently need to self-isolate. You can also order a test if you have symptoms, and access the latest guidance and advice. The more people that use this, the better it will work, so please help protect your loved ones and the local community by downloading the app.”
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health, says: “Each and every person who downloads the app will be helping to protect themselves and their loved ones.
“We are also reminding relevant local businesses to download and display NHS Test and Trace QR code posters so their customers can log their visit. We have a large hospitality and leisure sector in Southend-on-Sea, so this is particularly important and relevant locally.”
Read more on the NHS website about what to do if you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
The UK’s major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance.
The app has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus not people, and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy. The system generates a random ID for an individual’s device, which can be exchanged between devices via Bluetooth (not GPS). These unique random IDs regenerate frequently to add an extra layer of security and preserve anonymity.
The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed. No personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.
The NHS Test and Trace team behind the app has worked closely with major tech companies, including Google and Apple, scientists within the Alan Turing Institute and Oxford University, Zuhlke Engineering, medical experts, privacy groups, at-risk communities and teams in countries across the world using similar apps – such as Germany, to develop an app that is safe, simple and secure.
Those who may not have access to the app, or the ability to use a smartphone should continue to use traditional contact tracing services provided by NHS Test and Trace.
Council staff are being trained to help the test and trace effort and attempt to make contact with those not reached by the national system.
At the current time approximately 80% of people are being reached via the national test and trace system. The local team will be used to try and trace the remaining 20% where possible and ask them to self-isolate for 14 days from the day they were last in contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Twenty council staff are being trained and will be redeployed as and when necessary to support this test and trace effort.
Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, says: “We are very pleased to be one of the first councils in the country not under national intervention to be putting this local system into place which will help to support the national test and trace system, and keep our communities safe.
“We have identified 20 employees to be redeployed and they are being trained to identify and contact those not reached by the national system. The staff will be able to advise local people of the new law around self-isolation and also provide guidance about the support that may be available to them.”
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health, says: “I am very pleased to be getting this new team in place, who will be made up of current council employees and be on standby to do this work and go out into the community and door knock where necessary, working with local community leaders.
“An effective test and trace system is vital as we seek to control the spread of coronavirus, and so we are pleased to be taking this action and putting this in place which will help to protect local communities.”
For further information on Coronavirus, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/coronavirus
For further information on what to do if you are told to self-isolate, please visit the NHS website.