Wyredin - News from Wyre Forest District Council - March 2021

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wyred in - news from wyre forest district council

March 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of our online newsletter for residents.


Lateral flow testing centre at Wyre Forest House

People without Covid-19 symptoms can now take a free rapid test at Wyre Forest House.

Rapid turnaround tests are supplied by NHS Test and Trace and will help identify people who are positive for Covid-19 but have no symptoms.

Broadening testing to include those with no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and will help to break the chains of transmission.

Public health officials are particularly keen to encourage those who can't work at home and are going out to work in factories, supermarkets, warehouses, taxis etc, to take up the offer of free testing. Slots are available on Saturdays for those who can’t attend during the week.

The tests are taken using nose and throat swabs and the results are much faster than the standard test which goes to a lab. There are no costs but anyone getting a test will need to follow social distancing and wear a face covering.

To have a test at Wyre Forest House you must be over 18 years of age and have no symptoms of COVID-19.

Walk-in tests are now available, but if you prefer to pre-book you can do so by visiting Worcestershire County Council's website.

Book a lateral flow test

Spring 21 Covid roadmap 1 & 2

Prime Minister's roadmap


The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, setting out a four step roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.

But please don’t forget all the current lockdown rules remain in place until Monday 8 March.

Let’s continue to work together to reduce the spread of the virus and please stay home and only leave for essential purposes.

Government's roadmap


Remember if you have any symptoms including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or if you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed, book a Covid test immediately.

Book a test


Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). 

NHS Website

Man window shopping

Help to self-isolate

Our colleagues at Worcestershire County Council have produced a short video containing helpful hints and tips on how you can keep yourself well should you need to self-isolate.

And with more than 1,000 extra vulnerable people in Wyre Forest being asked to shield the video provides a host of helpful and practical suggestions for keeping both body and mind healthy.

Watch the video

People on low incomes who are going to face exceptional hardship as a result of self-isolating can apply for a self-isolation payment if they meet certain conditions. Check out the eligibility criteria on the link below. 

Test and Trace support


Man supermarket wipes facemask

Keeping the district covid-secure

Shops, supermarkets and takeaway businesses in Wyre Forest are working hard to keep their customers safe and help stop the spread of the virus. 

It is imperative for everyone to play their part so please wear a facemask when out getting your essential supplies, make sure you keep your distance from others and take advantage of all the measures in place to keep you safe. 

The district's Covid advisors continue to be out and about offering guidance and support to shoppers and businesses daily. Environmental health officers are also out making sure businesses and shops comply with the law and operate in a covid-secure way. Environmental health and licensing officers are out talking to businesses and advising them of the key areas of importance including mask wearing, clear signage and social distancing.

Over the first two weeks of February COVID Advisors engaged with 241 members of the public and visited 196 premises in the Wyre Forest District to offer advice and have also stepped in when they have come across breaches in the regulations.

Last week the Prime Minister set out his roadmap to recovery and it remains important that you continue to follow the current guidelines.

From Monday 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the Government’s four-step roadmap offers a route back to a more normal life however our safe exit from lockdown will rely on everyone continuing to work together so that we don’t risk a surge in infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

Covid Advisors and the environmental health team will continue to have a local presence to answer questions and warn those that are not following the regulations.


More information


Graphic explaining 11000 people vote by post in Wyre Forest

Would you like to vote by post?

In Wyre Forest more than 11,000 people choose to vote by post. Will you be joining them? Apply now for a postal vote for the local elections this May. You don’t need a special reason to vote by post and it gives you more flexibility about when you complete your ballot paper. Visit  our webpage to find out more about the process.

Apply here

Are you interested in working in a polling station or at the counting of votes? You will receive training and be paid.  More information is available on the link below.

Election jobs


Hand tree environment

Prioritising what you value most

There is no doubt that the pandemic has put extra demands on our services as well as drastically reduced our income so it is more important than ever that we look for new innovative ways of delivering services.

Our new and streamlined corporate plan focuses on creating a safe, clean and green living environment and supporting a successful local economy – the two priority areas you have told us are most important to you.

Our priorities

Council Tax pie chart

Council tax bills

You will soon be receiving your council tax bill for the year ahead. We collect council tax on behalf of a host of public services including Worcestershire County Council, West Mercia Police and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue. Your bill also includes charges for district, town and parish council services.

Along with your bill for the coming year you will receive a leaflet setting out where your council tax goes. Most of the money you pay goes to these other organisations. Wyre Forest District Council keeps just 12pence in every pound to fund the services we provide. 

This year we have increased our portion of your bill by just 2.28% which means the average householder in a Band D property will pay less than 10p a week extra for our services in 2021-22. The majority of homes in the district fall into Bands A-C and will pay even less than this. This increase will help protect vital frontline services during one of the most challenging periods in our history.

Census is coming

Have you got your census letter?

Census day is on March 21, but households will now be receiving letters with online codes explaining how you can complete your forms.

The census is run by the Office of National Statistics, not by the council. Its free contact centre opens today 1 March.

You can also get in touch with ONS about the census by phone, webchat, email or text message. Please do not contact the council as we cannot assist you.

If you don’t get a letter in the next couple of weeks, please get in touch with the census contact centre via the link below. You can also request a paper questionnaire if you’d prefer to complete your census that way.

Local census support centres will be open at the Civic Centre, Stourport and Youth House in Bromsgrove Street, Kidderminster, while the census is happening. Staff will offer help for people not confident online, who don’t have a computer or need help completing on paper.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

More information


Prices frozen as garden waste service restarts

Our garden waste collection service has started this week. 

The fortnightly kerbside collections are the simplest, cleanest and most hassle-free way of disposing of garden waste.

We have frozen prices for the service so residents can simply make one annual payment of £52 for a 240ltr bin, and £36 for a 140ltr bin. There is a £20 sign-up fee for new customers.

Collections restart week commencing Monday 1 March if your brown bin is emptied the same week as your recycling bin and from Monday 8 March if your brown bin is emptied the same week as your rubbish bin.

Find out your garden waste collection date by using our online checker.

Online checker


More information

Help to stay scheme

If you are a private landlord and are experiencing issues with your tenant, we are here to help you.

Our new Help to Stay scheme is a free service for landlords who are considering serving notice on their tenant. We will look at what can be done to improve the situation. Our aim is to help landlords save time and money and prevent homelessness.

Contact the Private Sector Access Team on 01562 732725 if you are considering serving notice on your tenant.

Help to stay info


Macdonald exhibition

National art treasures at Bewdley Museum

Curators at Bewdley Museum are hoping to be able to mount an exhibition featuring some national art treasures over the summer if Covid-19 restrictions allow.

They are hoping to feature works celebrating the Macdonald sisters, four extraordinary women who found their place at the heart of Victorian artistic and intellectual life.  The Macdonald sisters included the mothers of Rudyard Kipling,  Bewdley's very own Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, and the wives of artists Edward Burne-Jones and Edward Poynter.

If restrictions allow the museum to reopen to visitors as set out by the PM's roadmap,  this new exhibition will be the first time it has shown artworks from a national collection.

The loans are supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. Created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable smaller and local authority museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections.

If restrictions allow,  the exhibition will run from 17 May to 15 August 2021. Keep an eye on the museum's website for further information.

Bewdley Museum


Enter now - North Worcestershire calendar competition

NWedR and North Worcestershire Business Leaders (NWBL) have partnered once again to invite local businesses to submit just 50 words about the area for a chance to win a fantastic package of free marketing support.

Now in its fourth year, the 2022 ‘Celebrating North Worcestershire’ competition provides the opportunity to win a valuable prize which will go to 12 lucky businesses. The prize includes a spotlight month in the wonderful ‘Celebrating North Worcestershire Calendar’ with a dedicated company photoshoot, features in the NWedR newsletter, social media PR campaign, an online feature in Business and Innovation magazine and your company photograph highlighted for a year on the NWedR and NWBL website photo galleries. The competition winners panel judges are looking for the most memorable, clear and insightful descriptions of why North Worcestershire is the best location for business.

See the 2021 Celebrating North Worcestershire calendar photo gallery.  Entries for 2022 are open now and close on Tuesday 4 May 2021. 

Enter online now!

Brown and Green Bin

Can we see it?

Our refuse and recycling teams empty around 50,000 bins every week, walking an average of 14-15 miles every shift.

They do their very best to make sure everyone's bin is emptied on time. However there are some simple things we can all do to make sure our bin is emptied each week.

Please make sure your bin is out on the kerbside and visible by 6am each day (or even put it out the night before). If you struggle to move your bins in and out and have no-one in your house to help, you can apply for our assisted service.

If it's a recycling week please make sure you only place items that can be recycled in the bin and please do not put items inside plastic bags or liners.

We are unable to empty bins if we cannot see what is placed in the bin - the recycling processing plant will reject a whole lorry load of recycling if it contains non-recyclable materials,  meaning everyone's efforts have gone to waste.

Please help us to help you and our environment. If in any doubt check our website for information on what to put in which bin.

Recycling information


Keeping the district a safe, clean and green living environment

Our enforcement team has been working really hard to keep our district a safe, clean and green living environment.

In February a Kidderminster man, Shane Mitchell Price, was fined £1000 for abandoning a vehicle on Doverdale Avenue.

The team has also been proactively tackling people who let their dogs foul by issuing fines of £100. If you see a dog fouling incident, you can report it online by signing up to our My Wyre Forest mobile app and web portal.

Report dog fouling

Stay home