Key updates - 8 July
- Reclaiming the Recreation Ground for families
The play area reopened last week, although the sandpit and paddling pool remain closed for safety reasons, due to the difficulty of keeping it clean. The outdoor gym also reopened last week.
The Observation Wheel is now open and operational until the end of August.
The mini golf facility has also reopened.
The Children's Fair opens on Friday 10 July - the freshly painted carousel horses include a tribute to Captain Tom and a Louis Vuitton designer horse. Social distancing measures are in place and the rides are also coated with a 30-day anti-bacterial coating.
- New Pavement Licences
On Monday 6 July, Cabinet agreed a new mechanism for determining the new pavement licence, which is being operated by District Councils in Warwickshire.
The Business and Planning Bill, introducing the new 'pavement licence' is currently progressing through the parliamentary process and is due to received Royal Assent before the end of July.
Food and drink businesses will be able to apply to the District Council for authorisation to put furniture such as tables and chairs on the highway adjacent to their premises to sell food and drink from and/or for their customers to use.
As the country emerges from lockdown, pavement cafes have assumed a new importance given the scientific evidence of a lower risk of spreading coronavirus outdoors. With the re-opening of restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses, the pavement licensing regime set out in the Business and Planning Bill, will offer the hospitality sector a simpler administrative route to providing an outdoor environment for customers and giving a boost to the hospitality sector, which has been particularly badly hit by coronavirus, allowing premises to trade to as full an extent as possible given the constraints placed on capacity by social distancing.
The new licensing regime in the Bill provides a fast track procedure for the grant of a pavement licence which bypasses the existing regulatory regimes.
Pavement licences are a temporary measure and no licence will extend beyond 30 September 2021, they will not alter the permitted operational hours of premises on an associated planning permission or premises licence. Licence applications must be determined within 7 days and can cost up to £100.
Traders will be able to apply (once the Bill has received Royal Assent) by visiting the District Council's website: www.stratford.gov.uk
- Fisherman's car park, Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon
New lockable gates are being installed at Fisherman's car park on Warwick Road today, Wednesday 8 July. From Monday 3 August onwards, the car park will be closed overnight to prevent anti-social behaviour from taking place. This is one of a number of measures being introduced.
- Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon
Visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon are reminded to visit respectfully - enjoy the green open spaces and the river, but please dispose of your rubbish responsibly or take it home with you. If the closest bin is full, the Council is asking people to find one that isn't, or take their rubbish home. The Council's contractors are doing their best to clear the rubbish and waste that's being left in the parks.
- Public Toilets across the district open
The District Council's public toilets across the district are open - www.stratford.gov.uk/environment/public-conveniences.cfm
The public toilets at the Recreation Ground and the chargeable facilities at Waterside in Stratford-upon-Avon have been open since May and the chargeable toilets at Bridgeway are now open. The only toilets not currently open in the town centre are Ely Street and Windsor Street, as these toilets are too small to accommodate social distancing measures.
- Business Rates and Discretionary Grants
Total amount paid out in Business Grants: Almost £32m (£31,857,165) paid out to 2,611 businesses across the District, including £237,000 Discretionary Grants paid to 39 businesses.
The Council received 402 applications for the Discretionary Scheme (which is now closed) and we expect to make further payments on Friday this week.
- Reopening Elizabeth House to the public
The District Council's offices reopened to the public on Monday and received 94 customers in the first two days.
Main reception is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm and numbers will be limited at any one time. Social distancing measures are in place within the Customer Service area.
The majority of staff are still working from home, but duty officers for services will be available on the telephone.
If you are threatened with homelessness you should call 01789 260861 to make immediate contact with the Homelessness Duty Officer.
The District Council has continued to provide services even though Elizabeth House has not been open to the public.
If you don't want or need to visit the offices, help is still available from our customer services team during our normal office hours (Monday to Wednesday 8.45am to 5.15pm and Thursday to Friday 8.45am to 5pm) on 01789 267575 or email email@example.com and services can still be accessed online at www.stratford.gov.uk
Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: "Another week when more progress has been made towards 'normality', whatever that may look like. It is good to see more visitors around Stratford town. Measures to tackle the anti-social behaviour are positive and we are working closely with the police on this issue, which is not only a feature of Stratford town. The reopening of Elizabeth House is a major symbolic step."