A bit of a lengthy newsletter because there was none last week. There is news of some events being planned and an update on the road closures in the area. But to start, an attempt to sum up and make sense of the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation, with apologies to those who have already worked it out for themselves.
I’ve just returned from a short break in Europe and what’s happening here is also happening there. People seem genuinely weary of the on-going nature of this disease and are looking forward to the time when there is a workable vaccine. However when it does arrive, scientists now say its’ effectiveness will be something like only 60% compared with 90% for the flu jab. So it is not going to be a magic fix and as we have been told for some time now, that we are probably going to have to learn to live with it.
Having said this, the seriousness of the increasing infection rates right across the country are real and whilst the PM is resisting calls from his scientific advisers to go for a more substantial nationwide lock down, it may still come to that. In the meantime local authorities have powers to change the rules in their area if they deem it necessary.
The New Tears
Tier 1 – Medium Alert Category (the lowest alert level)
No change from present
Rule of six applies in all settings indoors and outdoors.
Pubs and restaurants have a 10pm curfew
Much of the south and rural areas
Tier 2 – High Alert Category
Tier 1 rules apply with the rule of six and curfew of 10pm, but additionally no households may mix indoors. Restaurants remain open but only pubs serving food are allowed to be open.
Affected areas are: London, Essex, Cheshire, Gt Manchester, Warrington, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North East, Tees Valley, West Midlands, Leicester and Nottingham
Tier 3 – Very High Alert Category
No household mixing in or outdoors plus no overnight stays other than in your own home. Pubs, bars, restaurants, gyms and gambling places all have to be closed. Shops, schools, universities remain open.
Only applies to Liverpool City and Lancashire region at present.
The rules in our area
Our area remains under national Covid-19 restrictions, with no additional local rules. It is in tier 1, a least affected area. However it is worth noting that the City of Oxford has a higher rate of infection than London as of now, probably due to it being a university city.
Meeting friends and family
You can meet in a group of up to six people from multiple households. This includes children and applies indoors and outdoors, including private homes. There are exceptions, for example, if your household or support bubble is larger than six. Meeting in larger groups (with certain exceptions) is against the law.
Visiting friends & Relatives
If you have friends or family living in higher risk areas, it is now illegal for them to enter your home or come and join you in a pub or restaurant in this area. They can meet you in a public open space or your garden provided they can gain access without coming through your house.
Going to work
You should work at home if possible. If you have to return to your workplace your employer must make arrangements for you to work safely.
Schools and nurseries
Primary and secondary schools are open, as are nurseries and childcare. If a school has coronavirus cases, local health protection teams will advise what to do.
Pubs, bars and restaurants are restricted to table service only and must close at 22:00 BST. People are only allowed to visit in groups of six or less (unless they are from a larger household or support bubble). At least one member of any group should give their contact details or check in using the NHS Covid app. Face coverings must be worn, except when seated to eat or drink. Our playground can remain open.
Shops can open with social distancing measures in place. Face coverings must be worn by customers and staff.
Anyone can still visit your home to carry out work including cleaners providing masks are worn and social distancing is observed.
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people (the reception must be a sit-down meal). Funerals must only take place in Covid-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes and other related events are restricted to 15 people. Organised sport and exercise classes are only permitted indoors if people can avoid mixing in a group of more than six. There are exceptions to enable disability and youth sport and physical activity indoors, in any number.
EWR Works on Stratton Audley Park Road to Poundon
The construction of the passing points on the Stratton Audley Park to Poundon road were scheduled to be complete this week and I am reliably informed that the last day is indeed today (Saturday afternoon).
Further road closures for the same road from the A4421 to Poundon are as follows:
- From the crossroads with Mill Road in the direction of Poundon, the road will be closed once again from 6th November to complete the passing points from Godington to Poundon
- The road from the Mill Road crossroads in the other direction to the junction with the A4421 will be closed from the 9th Nov to 27th Nov to carry out works outside Stratton Audley Park stables
- The construction of the passing bays on the tree lined part of the same road are programmed for the 20th Nov to 8th Dec and we should see revised plans for their location and length this coming week.
As per the other works there will be access for residents, their visitors and farm vehicles.
Please also note that from this coming Monday, 19th October, there are junction works on the A4421 up to Friday 6th November, at the turning for Stratton Audley Park. I understand there will be traffic lights to control the flow of vehicles and there will be no closure.
Halloween on the Horizon!
Is anyone interested in a spooky Stratton village trail??
Sandra Edwards has posted this question on the village Facebook page and a number of people have already responded positively.
The idea would be for a low key celebration in the village for all to enjoy in these testing times, and as an outdoor activity, the event can be managed safely from a Covid-19 point of view, providing proper social distancing is maintained.
Her proposal is that participating households put out a pumpkin/decorate their garden/ kids/ dogs and hang a few spooky treats around bushes /trees or put them in a bucket. Children will collect them as they walk around in their Halloween costumes. So if anyone would like to help/contribute sweet treats /pumpkins it would be appreciated.
Whilst Halloween is not everyone’s thing, children enjoy it and this year the event is on half term weekend, so it would be a nice way to end the holiday.
Please respond to Sandra’s post on Facebook, email email@example.com or phone 07798 844783 to let her know if you will participate. It would be nice to get a dozen locations and there would be no door knocking for sweets.
Stratton Audley Church
All residents in the Parish will now have received a door drop from Alice, the Rector for the Shelswell group of parishes, expertly delivered by Anthony Flack. It outlines the very serious issues facing this diocese and how this is impacting on our own church. I for one, have witnessed other churches closed and sold off for development as the Church of England maybe rich in assets but is very poor in cash. I would hate to see ours closed or fall into disrepair because of lack of funding and/or volunteers to help keep it going.
Please spend some time reading the one-page flyer and consider what you can do to help. Contact Alice Goodall on 01280 848192 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Stratton Audley Advent Windows Trail
The Church has come up with the novel idea of creating an Advent Trail around the village and below is the information describing the event and how to participate.
Would you like to share a little light and joy this December?
You can play your part by joining in with our community-wide living Advent Calendar!
How it works….
- 24 volunteers agree to decorate a street-facing window (an ‘advent window’) on a Christmas Carol theme, each volunteer is assigned a date.
- A new window ‘opens’ (appears and is lit) every day from 1st to 24th December
- Each window then remains ‘open’ from its opening day until at least 5pm until 1st January
- A trail leaflet is created and we have an advent window trail around Stratton Audley that anyone can walk around and enjoy.
- Some may choose to do it as December progresses, and others may prefer to wait until they’re all open and follow the completed trail all in one go.
To take part please speak to Becky Adams (277471) or email email@example.com
And finally a few reminders……….
Coffee Morning in the Red Lion Pub
Coffee morning is now inside the pub with social distancing, four to a table. A register of attendees is being kept as required by law for contact tracing. It continues to be well attended and is every Tuesday at 11.00 in the Red Lion and the cost is £2 per head for coffee and biscuits. All welcome.
The Red Lion
The Pub remains open except on Mondays with last orders at 9.30pm and the best place to find all the latest news is on their Facebook page.
Stratton Audley Barn
The Barn is open each day except for Monday, from 10 am to 4pm. The café operates a table service only and it is advisable to book in advance especially at weekends on 01869 278184. The marquee is also available for table bookings…bring a cushion and rug!
The gift shop is now full of delightful Christmas novelties to bring a bit of early cheer.
Collection Point for disposal of Ink Jet cartridges
A collection box for used ink-jet cartridges is still located in the bus shelter on the Stoke Lyne Road and any money raised from their bulk return will go to the RSPB.