SOCIAL distancing measures are to be put in place in Bromsgrove and all the village centres over the weekend ahead of all non-essential shops being able to open on Monday, as part of the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.
Bromsgrove District Council will be implementing its action plan over the next few days in the town centre and all the village centres, including Rubery, Wythall, Aston Fields, Catshill and Alvechurch.
These measures will include signs, risk assessments and communications with businesses in a bid to keep shoppers and traders as safe as possible.
Visitors to the district’s shops are being urged to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and to wash or sanitise their hands, all in line with Government advice.
Bromsgrove District Council leader, Coun Karen May said: “While this is great news for shoppers and traders alike, we need to be mindful that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, continue to keep two metres apart and to keep on washing or sanitising our hands.
“Our signs encourage this but people need to take responsibility to ensure that they keep themselves – and others – safe.”
She urged people to support the town and villages’ independent shops and market which, she said, had been impacted on by the lockdown and needed everyone’s help to recover.
We were contacted by Barbara Willis-Brown, the owner of Scissor Stitch in Rubery, this morning about help available with reopening businesses.
She said questioned why no businesses in the village had yet received assistance from the council which had received a Government RHSS (re-opening High Street Safely) grant to do just that.
“To date, not a single shop has received any communication from the council – no advice, no guidance, no information on what compliance looks like – or how to comply.
“Yet, presumably, this is the same council likely to fine us for failure to comply?
“Where is the money and how is it being spent?
“It is letting down the small shopkeepers who are already struggling.
“The silence from Bromsgrove council is deafening.”
A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said the authority was unable to help many businesses until now because they were shut and unoccupied.
But she assured the owners of all non-essential shops in Bromsgrove town centre and the district’s village centres, including Rubery, council staff would be liaising with them over the coming days about social distancing and measures to keep them, their customers and everyone else safe when the shops reopened.
Visit bromsgrove.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information and Government guidance.