Hampshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Edition 83

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Local context




Hampshire Library Service

Hampshire County Council has published its report on the Library Service consultation. The consultation, which received over 21,000 responses, considered the future vision for Hampshire’s Library Service and included a number of proposals for changes to how the service operates in order to adapt to the changing needs of customers and deliver planned savings of £1.76 million. The report contains an assessment of consultation responses, discussion and recommendations for the Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, to consider at his Decision Day on Tuesday 28 July.  

The proposal being recommended is to reduce the number of libraries for closure from ten to eight, and to make a reduction in opening hours of the remaining libraries averaging 20%. 

In the press release, Councillor Seán Woodward, notes that the “aim is to provide the best possible library service within our means – one that is fit for the future. And although this means we must reduce costs, it does not stop us from innovating and seizing new opportunities. For example, while digital take-up was strong before lockdown, even more people of all ages have signed up to digital library services during the pandemic. People have responded very positively to the different ways of accessing library services through the innovative use of technology.” 




Farnborough International Airshow

Farnborough International Airshow Connect - FIA Connect - has launched today. Running between 20 – 24 July, the same week that the Airshow would have taken place, FIA Connect provides a series of free-to-attend digital aerospace events. Over the five days, there will be high quality content, collaboration, thought leadership and industry insight aiming to connect the global aerospace industry. Speakers will include Grant Shapps and Nadhim Zahawi.




Hampshire Music Service

As the school year draws to a close, Hampshire County Council’s Music Service has shared a video on social media which demonstrates how the service has adapted throughout the pandemic to ensure that children and young people in Hampshire have been able to continue practicing their instruments. This included: moving individual and group music tuition online, creating a wealth of online resources and digital performances by HMS ensembles.




National context








Covid-19 contain framework

The Government has published new guidance for local authorities and local decision-makers on containing and managing outbreaks at a local level. The framework outlines how NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre will work with local authorities, Public Health England and the public to contain and manage local Covid-19 outbreaks.




Local authority powersThe Department of Health and Social Care has issued statutory guidance to support the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 that came into force on 18 July.




Nightingale courts

The Lord Chancellor has announced the locations for ten ‘Nightingale Courts’. The temporary courts will begin hearing cases from next week, with the aim of easing pressure on the court system and tackle the number of outstanding cases.




Next Steps Accommodation ProgrammeThe Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed that councils and their local partners can now apply for funds from the Next Steps Accommodation Programme. The funding is to cover property costs and support new tenancies for around 15,000 vulnerable people who were provided with emergency accommodation during the pandemic.




Charity fundraising

The Government has announced that between 18 July and 31 August, funds raised through selected Covid-19 charity campaigns will be match funded through the new ‘Community Match Challenge’. The £85 million available is part of the £750 million pot announced by the Chancellor for frontline charities across the UK during the pandemic.





The MHCLG has updated the guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships to confirm that from 1 August, small wedding receptions will be able to take place. This includes sit-down meals for up to 30 people, subject to Covid-19 Secure guidance.




Economy and business




Aerospace funding

The Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has announced that government grants totalling £200 million, delivered through the Aerospace Technology Institute programme, will be matched by industry to create the total investment of £400 million in new research and technology to support the sector’s recovery.




Facemask production

The Government has announced that they are setting up face covering production lines in cooperation with UK manufacturers. Production has commenced at two sites: ten production lines have been procured and a further ten British production lines are being established with government support. The aim is to ensure that public demand for face coverings does not impact on the supply of higher-grade face masks for NHS front line staff.




Pubs to offer non-smoking outdoor options

An amendment tabled today to the Business and Planning Bill means that people using pubs, restaurants and cafes will have greater freedom to choose non-smoking outdoor areas.




Children and education




Funding for schools

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed the national funding formula tables for schools and high needs: 2021 to 2022.

The Government has also confirmed that allocations from the £650 million catch-up premium, one part of the overall £1 billion Covid catch-up package, will be based on the number of pupils and paid once a term over the 2020/21 academic year. 




Children's social care

The Government has published a consultation on changes to the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 that were introduced to provide local authorities and children’s social care providers with temporary flexibilities during Covid-19. The amendments will expire on 25 September 2020, and the Government is seeking to extend a small number of these to manage future challenges. The consultation closes on 5 August 2020.




Isolation for residential educational settings

The DfE has updated the guidance on isolation for residential educational settings with information on how wearing a face covering may affect communication with those who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.




Adults' social care and public health




VaccinesThe Government has announced that it has secured early access to 90 million vaccine doses from the BioNTech/Pfizer alliance and Valneva. The Government has also secured access to treatments containing Covid-19-neutralising antibodies from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines such as cancer and immunocompromised patients.

The Government has today launched the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry. The new online service will allow members of the public to register their interest and be contacted to participate in clinical studies. To enable large-scale vaccine studies to take place across the UK, the Government aims to get 500,000 people signed up by October.




National Covid-19 data




Latest R number range

The R number range for the UK is 0.7-0.9 and the growth rate range is -5% to -1% per day as of 17 July 2020. The data is available to view online.





As of 4pm on 20 July, the total number of lab-confirmed cases was 295,372. The daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 580. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths was 45,312, with 11 new deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.




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