Covid-19 Update - 23th May 2020
The Parish Council has taken a number of steps throughout the lockdown period to try and protect local residents - including queue management, deliveries for those self-isolating, closure of high risk facilities and liaising with Northumberland County Council and the police to ensure residents concerns are heard.
On May 10th, the Government eased the lockdown restrictions in the UK, allowing people to undertake unlimited travel across England for exercise, leading to a large rise in the number of visitors. To this end, there are two main decisions we wanted to share with residents:
Jubilee Field Car Park and Fairstead Car Park
In line with Northumberland County Council, the Parish Council will reopen these from Saturday May 23rd. The closure of these car parks has not reduced the number of visitors to the village and it is hoped that reopening them will encourage visitors to park in areas away from central and residential areas. The Parish Council will replace the closure signs with new signs reminding all users of the need for social distancing.
We are aware of the concerns that residents have about the opening of the public conveniences - both from those who want them opened and those who want them to remain closed. The Parish Council has taken the decision not to reopen the public conveniences at this time. It is not possible to meet the legal requirements on social distancing and the additional staffing needed to reopen these facilities and ensure that they are safe for users at this time.
Please note that these decisions will be regularly reviewed as new information becomes available from the Government.
We are aware of residents concerns over the rise in the number of tourists to the village. We would strongly recommend that all residents ensure that they are carefully following social distancing rules, that face coverings are worn where appropriate and that they wash their hands regularly - in line with Government guidance. These are the best things that we can all do in order to limit the spread of Covid-19 in our community.
ONGOING SUPPORT FOR THOSE SELF-ISOLATING
At the beginning of the lockdown in mid-March we began offering help with shopping, prescription collections, etc. for those who are self isolating and were having difficulty booking available delivery slots with the large supermarkets.
As the lockdown is progressively relaxed by the Government and we are required to get back to our day jobs, we need to look at the services we are able to offer.
We planned to help out where we could for the 12 week self isolation period mandated by the Government and recommended by the NHS.
The latest Government advice is for those who are extremely vulnerable and have been contacted by the NHS should remain self isolated until the end of June.
The Parish Council shopping delivery service will end for people who are not classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ at the end of the 12 week isolation period (Saturday 6th June).
For residents who are classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’, we will continue offering the delivery service until the end of June.
Parkside Pharmacy offer prescription deliveries so the Parish Council prescription service will end with immediate effect. Please contact the Pharmacy directly to arrange your delivery.
For other residents still needing assistance, the large supermarkets offering home delivery options have increased their capacity.
The following local shops also offer home delivery services to the area -
• George Jennings Fruit and Vegetables - 07398 123603 / 07497 583309
• Parkside Pharmacy - 01434 220231
Northumberland County Council are also offering help with shopping and prescriptions through Northumberland Communities Together.
They can be contacted on 01670 620015.
We hope you have found our service of benefit during these difficult times and hope you understand our reasons for winding down the service.
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CLOSURE OF PLAYGROUNDS AND PUBLIC TOILETS
In line with Government advice the Bellingham public toilets and childrens playgrounds in the Jubilee Field and Briar Hill have been closed until further notice. Please DO NOT use these facilities.
The Jubilee Field and Community Orchard will remain open for residents to walk their dogs etc but please remember to keep at least 6 feet / 2 metres from any other person there.
Welcome to Bellingham
Bellingham is nestled on the banks of the North Tyne and is known as the gateway town to Kielder Water & Forest Park. We boast a thriving community that supports three cafes, three pubs, a family-run hotel with swimming pool and numerous B&Bs.
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Bellingham parish extends from Houxty Bridge in the south to Hareshaw Head in the north, from inclusive of Charlton and Hesleyside in the west to Redesmouth and Lee Hall in the east.
Hareshaw Linn Walk is a stunning 2.5 mile walk through countryside passing the remains of an old ironworks - the area was once home to a number of iron and coal mines - that ends at a magnificent 30 feet waterfall.
The town is also home to the Heritage Centre which covers the history of the North Tyne and Rede Valley area. The centre celebrates Bellingham's rich industrial and cultural past including sections on the Border Counties Railway, which ran through the area en route to Scotland until 1958, and a display on the Border Reivers that provides a fascinating insight into the robbery and violence that was rife in 16th century border life.