News and Events

WSCC Latest Update

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The passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

Flag flying at half mast at county hall

It has been announced by Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has passed away. 

​We join the nation in mourning the death of His Royal Highness.

The flags on public buildings around the county have been lowered to half-mast.

An online book of condolence will be available on Buckingham Palace’s website: www.royal.uk  

Residents who do not have online access can send a message of condolence to the Chairman’s Office, Room 102, West Sussex County Council, County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ.

Because of the current COVID-19 guidance and restrictions, people are urged to please avoid gathering in public places: for example, rather than laying flowers in a public area, they may wish to display a floral tribute at home.

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COVID-19 update

Act like you have it

This coming Monday (12 April), we will enter step two of the roadmap, but the pandemic is not over yet, so we can’t let our guard down.

Cases of coronavirus continue to fall, with 161 confirmed in the seven days to Saturday 3 April.

Check infection rates in your area by visiting the West Sussex COVID-19 Data Dashboard and if you think you may have any coronavirus symptoms, isolate immediately and book a test or call 119 to get an appointment to visit a test site.

Restrictions are easing, but we can’t ease up yet because the virus hasn’t gone away. You can find details of the step two rules by visiting our website. Please continue to follow the sensible measures in place to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, such as handwashing, social distancing and wearing face coverings.  

It is important that as restrictions are eased, we all keep doing our part to prevent the spread of this virus.

If you choose to return to the shops, restaurants, high streets and outdoor venues, please plan ahead, keep travel to a minimum, be patient, give yourself time, and consider the needs of others.

Follow the guidance at each location, and keep in mind the advice to ‘act like you have it,’ remember hands, face, space, fresh air, and keep West Sussex safe:

  • Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and ideally warm running water often, and as soon as you get home. Use hand sanitiser or gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and you will meet people you do not normally meet.
  • Space – stay at least two metres away from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
  • Fresh air – letting in air by opening a window can disperse Covid-19 particles, while fresh air outdoors dilutes the virus and you have more space to physically distance

Symptom-free Covid-19 rapid test kits that can be used at home are now available.

From today (Friday 9 April), home testing is being made available as part of a government drive to encourage everyone who does not have coronavirus symptoms to get tested twice a week. Visit our website for information on how to access tests.

If you test positive you must self-isolate immediately, along with everyone in your household. As soon as possible, but within two days, you should also book a follow-up PCR test.

If when you take a PCR test within two days of the positive rapid test result, and the PCR result is negative, you will no longer be required to self-isolate.

If the PCR test is positive you must self-isolate for 10 days starting from the day you took the PCR test.

If you test negative this does not completely rule out infection with COVID-19, as there can be false negative results. To protect yourself and others, you must continue to follow the current restrictions in place and remember: hands, face, space, fresh air.

Full details on testing, plus how to access financial support if you need to self-isolate, is on the West Sussex County Council website.

Please remember we also have updates to the images we use across our social channels as well as posters. Please share this information with friends, family and people in your community who might not otherwise see it.

Thank you for your support and let’s continue to do all we can. Stop the spread of coronavirus. Act like you have it. #KeepWestSussexSafe

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NHS is urging people to continue to attend vaccination appointments

Vaccine picture

Across Sussex we have hit the incredible milestone of 1 million vaccinations given. There are now just approximately 125,000 people in the priority groups 1-9 who are yet to have their vaccination, and special clinics and services are being arranged to make this as easy as possible.

The NHS in Sussex is calling for people to continue to attend booked vaccination appointments and to book your appointment as soon as it is your turn.

It comes after the government updated the advice this week about who should receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination.

As a detailed review takes place into reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, it has been announced that it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible.

People who have already received one vaccination are encouraged to attend their appointment for their second dose, and make sure they receive the full long-lasting protection.

The NHS says the benefits of the vaccination, outweighs any risk and everyone should attend their appointment. If you are affected by the updated position, you will have the opportunity to talk through the options for you when it comes to your vaccination appointment.

Read more about the latest update and what people should do.

Continue to follow government guidance after vaccination

Whilst having the full course of the vaccine will reduce the chance of people suffering from COVID-19, they may still be at risk of catching it and spreading it to other people. Therefore, it is important that everyone continues to follow current government guidance to stay safe.

Find out more about the Sussex vaccination programme - www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/get-my-jab

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Get help for your mental health

mental health

Coming out of lockdown can be just as worrying for many people as when restrictions are in place.

Whether it is worries about our finances, our health or our loved ones, the changes in rules and the readjustment as restrictions are eased can cause increased anxiety and impact our mental health.

Don’t suffer in silence. There is support available for you if you are struggling.

Our website contains links to organisations offering health, wellbeing and emotional support.

The NHS Sussex Mental Healthline is also open 24-hours a day on 0800 0309 500 to provide listening support, advice, information. It is available to anyone concerned about their own mental health or that of a relative or friend and this includes carers and healthcare professionals.

The Preventing Suicide In Sussex website also has a comprehensive list of national and local organisations and charities which offer mental health advice and support for those who are suffering themselves, or people who are worried about others.

If COVID-19 has left you with worries about your finances and paying your bills, you can get free advice from Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice in West Sussex.

Please listen to Daniel MacIntyre, Consultant in Public Health at West Sussex County Council explain the impact of the pandemic on our mental wellbeing and where you can find support. 

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Libraries reopen for browsing from Monday

masked man browsing in library

West Sussex Libraries are ready to welcome you back through their doors from Monday 12 April for browsing and booked IT sessions.

To help residents and staff stay safe, COVID-secure measures will be in place in all 36 West Sussex libraries. When you visit, please wear a face covering, use hand sanitiser and follow the floor markings.

A limited pre-bookable IT service will also be available in all libraries. The one-hour sessions will need to be booked in advance, either by phoning or visiting your local library.

All library opening hours will be updated on Monday 12 April.

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Get qualified for free

engineers

An estimated 11 million adults now have the opportunity to gain a new qualification for free, designed to help them to gain in-demand skills and secure great jobs.

Almost 400 qualifications are now available to take as part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

The qualifications on offer range from engineering to social care to conservation and are available to any adult who has not already achieved a qualification at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels).

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'Book to Recycle' update

HWRS Booking System

A booking system is now operating at six Household Waste Recycling Sites in West Sussex – Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham-By-Sea and Worthing.

The objective of the scheme is to provide fair access to as many residents as possible in any given week, in a way that is safe for staff and visitors, and avoids disruption to local residents, businesses and the highway network.

Some sites have experienced a surge in visitors at the start of booking slots. Residents are being reminded that they can arrive at any time during their booking slot, they do not need to arrive at the start. So if you book for 10:30am – 11:00am, you may arrive at any point in this period. Residents are also reminded that while the majority of sites have 30 minute booking slots, the length of booking slot is different at Bognor Regis and Shoreham, where slots are 15 minutes each.

You can book a slot up to 14 days in advance and must book at least one day before you intend to visit the site.

If you would like to give feedback on the trial, please email: wastes.servicescontracts@westsussex.gov.uk

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New #KeepCalmGetAnAlarm campaign launched by the fire service

keep calm smoke alarm

A new smoke alarm campaign has been launched by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, encouraging residents to fit their homes with working alarms and linked detectors.

Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “The reality is that no-one is exempt from experiencing a fire. Accidents can, and will, happen all the time – and they can happen to you. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re as prepared as you can be by getting your house fitted with smoke alarms.”

The campaign – which runs until mid-May – comes as a sad result of the fire service attending four fatal fires between December and March this year. 

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What is private fostering?

private fostering

This is where an adult is looking after a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if they are registered as disabled) who is not their close relative for 28 days or more.

It is possible that someone could be in a private fostering arrangement without realising. If this applies to you or someone you know, there’s no need to worry – West Sussex County Council just needs to know.

That way we can make sure the child is living in a safe environment and all parties are happy with the arrangement. You may also be entitled to some additional support.

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Exploring a school of yesteryear

vintage eastergate school image

April's edition of West Sussex Unwrapped goes live next week and explores 185 years of Eastergate School.The blog will feature archival school records from the collection, such as log books and admission registers. These fascinating documents reveal untold stories of Eastergate’s pupils and teachers, and traces the important changes in education throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Accompanying the blog will be wonderful film footage of the modernised school in 1970 from Screen Archive South East.

West Sussex Unwrapped is a joint initiative between West Sussex Record Officeand Screen Archive South East and offers viewers a mix of films, photos, documents and facts on a range of West Sussex topics.

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