The situation over the last week has developed rapidly, and the government has now issued strong guidance in order to protect the public. Already in the UK more than 200 people have died, and indications from other parts of the world suggest that we are far from the end of the pandemic. We would strongly urge residents to take the government’s advice seriously, to remain at home if they are in at at risk group, and to isolate at home for at least seven days if they experience any symptoms, or for at least 14 days if they are living with anyone experiencing symptoms.

As Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Read issued the following statement earlier in the week;

“These are unprecedented times and no one should doubt the seriousness of the situation. The coronavirus pandemic will define the way of life for everyone, individually and as a society – locally, nationally, globally – for the immediate and foreseeable future. The Council’s priority, alongside our partners, is the protection of life and we will all have an individual role to play in that.

“We will be guided by the latest national and international advice coming from our leading scientists and public health specialists, but underpinning our response will be the resilience, kindness and community spirit for which Rotherham is renowned.

“I want to pay tribute to the public servants who are once again rising to the occasion. It is in the most difficult of circumstances that we see the invaluable role that our public services play in maintaining our way of life. But the public should be in no doubt that our public servants are also local residents, they fall ill like the rest of us, and prioritising their efforts at a time of enormous pressure on services will mean that we cannot simply operate business as usual.

“I would urge residents to follow the latest guidance from the government, to act responsibly, and I thank them for their patience and endurance over the coming weeks and months.”

Council services are now being affected by the new rules and the need to prioritise activity. At the moment, all Children’s Centres, Clifton Park Museum, all council leisure centres and Crowden Outdoor centre are all closed. Others are likely to change over the coming weeks. The council will be providing more information on its website here.

From tomorrow, all schools will be closed to most children, except those with specific needs, or whose parents are key workers. Wickersley School has provided useful information on their website here.

Public transport will be running on a reduced timetable from this week. Please click here for more information.

Shopping: We are aware that increasing numbers of people will need to stay at home, and we will be doing all we can to ensure that they don’t run out of essential supplies. We would urge everyone no to panic buy in the shops – just get what you need. Every person buying more than they require is taking food and supplies away from vulnerable people. We have collated information about our local shops and supplies, including information about home deliveries, which you can find by clicking here.

Contacting us: If you are experiencing difficulties over the coming weeks, we are available to assist wherever we can. If you are experiencing difficulties due to being self-isolated please let us know. You can contact us in all the usual ways however during this period we in order to help reduce the likelihood of infections we will not being holding face to face surgeries. Instead we will be available during our usual surgery times by telephone, and we are also making additional times available:

  • During surgeries usually held at Wickersley Library or Bramley Parish Hall, please call 01709 540497
  • During surgeries usually held at Sunnyside Community Centre or Mark Grove Neighbourhood Centre please call 01709 822465
  • Every day between Monday and Friday, 9am to 10am, Cllr Sue Ellis will be taking calls on 01709 540497
  • This coming Monday, March 23rd, between 6pm and 7pm Cllr Emma Hoddinott will be trialling an online advice surgery using Zoom, which you can take part in either online via webcam or by telephone. Please click here to register and you will receive further information.

You can also find Emma on Facebook where she will be providing video updates, the most recent one is here.

John Healey MP will also be conducting his advice surgeries by telephone.

The coming weeks and month will be very difficult. We will use this website to keep you up to date as much as we can. Please take care of yourself and those around you.

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