Updated guidance on social distancing measures

Following a press conference yesterday afternoon, the government has updated its social distancing measures in relation to social gatherings amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. From Monday 14 September, it will be illegal to meet in groups of more than six people in England. This applies to gatherings outside and inside the home.

The updated measure will be enforceable by law and the police can split up larger gatherings and impose fines of up to a maximum of £3,200. This single measure replaces both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidance on allowing two households to meet indoors.

COVID secure venues, such as places of worship, gyms, restaurants and other hospitality venues, can still hold more than six people in total but within these venues there must not be individual groups larger than six. Education, work settings, weddings and funerals and organised sport are unaffected by the change. More information on the new guidance can be found here.

The government also announced a stronger enforcement approach which includes the following measures:

  • Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days
  • The government will support councils and police forces to respond to breaches of COVID-19 Secure guidelines. A register of newly qualified and recently retired Environmental Health Officers will be launched so that local authorities can recruit more quickly and fill any gaps. In addition, COVID-19 Secure Marshals will be available to help local authorities support social distancing in towns and city centres
  • The current fine regime remains in place with escalation of fines for persistent non-compliance to a maximum of £3,200
  • There will be further steps to improve compliance with quarantine and UK border/point of entry requirements.

In addition to these measures, the government will review its current plans to pilot larger audiences in venues this month.

Tumber Street Road Closure

D314 Tumber Street, Headley – Temporary Prohibition of Traffic Order 2020

Surrey County Council propose to make the above mentioned Temporary Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will be to prohibit all traffic (including pedestrians and cyclists) from entering or proceeding in the entire length of D314 Tumber Street, Headley. This Traffic Order is required to enable Lanes Group Plc. to carry out sewer cleaning and/or maintenance works.

These works are anticipated to be carried out between the hours of 9:30am and 3:30pm, within 1 day of the 12 month period of operation of this Temporary Order that commences on 15 September 2020. Advanced warning signs will be displayed and the temporary closure will only operate when the relevant traffic signs are displayed. Access for emergency services will be maintained at all times.

Access for residents, businesses, cyclists and equestrians will be maintained at all times via Slough Lane, Church Lane and Leech Lane. Access for pedestrians will be maintained via Slough Lane, Church Lane, T8074 Townpath Church Lane and Leech Lane. In the event that it is necessary to restrict any access at any time under Section 3 of the Act, the road can only be closed for a maximum of 8 hours in any 24-hour period.

Headley Court Planning Application – LIVE STREAM 1st July 2020

The Headley Court planning application will be considered by Mole Valley’s Development Management Committee in Wednesday 1st July, The meeting starts at 6pm and will be live-streamed for the public to watch here.

The Officer’s recommendation is for the Committee to approve the application. The Officer’s report (all 210 pages of it) can be viewed here.

The Parish Council will continue its strong opposition to this application. Our submission can be viewed here.

Changes to lockdown measures

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today announced further changes to lockdown measures in England from Saturday 4 July.

Guidance, giving further details, is awaited but the key points are:

  • from Saturday 4 July:
    • if it is possible to keep the two-metre distance then we should do so;
    • in places where it is not possible then the guidance is for ‘one metre plus’, which means other mitigation is required – this will include plastic screens and masks but also measures such as giving details to restaurants so that if there are links to an outbreak of Covid-19 then people can be contacted;
    • despite reduction in the distance, “the fewer social contacts you have the safer you will be”;
    • two households of any size can meet in any setting inside or outdoors but multiple households can’t meet indoors – social distancing must still be in place;
    • restaurants and bars can open but must run a table service system and ensure minimal staff and customer contact;
    • places of worship can open for prayer and services, provided social distancing is maintained; weddings of no more than 30 people can go ahead;
    • hairdressers with appropriate precautions can open but nail bars and other close contact personal services cannot yet open;
    • people will be free to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation, including hotels and bed and breakfasts, as well as campsites as long as shared facilities are kept clean;
    • most leisure facilities and tourist attractions can reopen if they can do so safely, including outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades as well as libraries, social clubs and community centres;
  • ‘close proximity’ venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will need to remain closed for now, as will bowling alleys and water parks;
  • the government will work with the arts industry on specific guidance to enable choirs, orchestras and theatres to resume live performances as soon as possible;
  • courts, probation services, police stations and other public services will increasingly resume face-to-face proceedings;
  • wrap-around care for school age children and formal childcare will restart over the summer;
  • primary and secondary education will recommence in September with full attendance and those children who can already go to school should do so
  • People shielding from COVID-19 will be advised they can spend more time outside their homes from Monday 6 July, the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced here.

Headley Court Planning Application

The Headley Court planning application will be considered by Mole Valley’s Development Management Committee in Wednesday 1st July, The meeting starts at 6pm and will be live-streamed for the public to watch. The link will publicise how you can watch the meeting here at least 24 hours before the meeting.

The Officer’s recommendation is for the Committee to approve the application. The Officer’s report (all 210 pages of it) can be viewed here.

The Parish Council will continue its strong opposition to this application. Our submission can be viewed here.

Surrey Highways: Planned Roadworks

Surrey Highways have advised us of a planned road closure of Pebble Hill Road in the coming week. The work is described as vegetation clearance and tree felling works.  The works are expected to be completed between 9:30am and 4pm within 1 day.  It is not clear exactly which day the work is scheduled for, but the road closure notice becomes active on Wednesday 24th June.

NHS Seacole Centre at Headley Court has admitted its first patients

It has been announced that the NHS Seacole Centre has admitted its first patients. On a visit the NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said:

“While our country is now emerging from the initial peak of coronavirus, we’re now seeing a substantial new need for rehab and aftercare for Covid patients who’ve come through this terrible illness.

“Some may need care for tracheostomy wounds, ongoing therapy to recover heart, lung and muscle function, psychological treatment for post-intensive care syndrome and cognitive impairment, while others may need social care support for their everyday needs like washing and dressing.

“So the next phase of the health service’s coronavirus response will mean expanding and strengthening community health and care services in new ways, such as these new Seacole Centres.”

Headley Court is the first of its kind in England and was transformed into the Seacole Centre in just 35 days, thanks to the work of teams across Surrey Heartlands, including Surrey County Council, the military and the NHS.

David Preedy, Chair of Headley Parish Council commented:

“The local community is pleased that the facilities at Headley Court have been re-deployed at this time of national emergency.

“The heritage of Headley Court as a centre of excellence in rehabilitation has been re-invented to meet a new need (albeit on a temporary basis). We congratulate all those who have made this transformation possible.

“We are confident that patients here will receive excellent treatment in a unique setting and we hope that their time in Headley will put them firmly on the road to a full recovery. We wish them all well.”

High Street Grant Award

Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “These extraordinary times have been particularly challenging for our businesses, and employees of those businesses. The public health measures in place these past few months have seen the district’s high streets devoid of the footfall that our residents, workers and visitors provide. We have great sympathy with businesses and their employees across Mole Valley whose ability to trade has either ceased entirely or vastly reduced.

“Throughout this period, we have been working extremely hard to inform local businesses about the very latest guidance and support when it is made available by the government. Our commitment to supporting the Mole Valley business community has seen us working closely with partners to establish a range of support measures, including digital skills training, webinars and administering 1,276 business support grants worth £16,255,000*.

“With the Government slowly easing the measures in place, and the news that non-essential shops will be able to reopen with appropriate social distancing measures in place from mid-June, it is with some relief that we have been allocated a grant of just under £77,000 to help our high streets adapt. This money will be available from 1 June 2020 and will allow us to put the necessary practical measures in place to support customer confidence to return to our high streets.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that this support is not limited to our towns. It will include village high streets too. We need to kick-start our local economy – safely – as soon as possible and we are working to assess exactly how and where to implement these temporary measures, which will include assisting social distancing and making temporary public realm changes.”


*Correct as of 28 May 2020