Wetherby reacts to Coronavirus threat

NAWN 1709095AM1 Council offices and Bath House. (1709095AM1)
NAWN 1709095AM1 Council offices and Bath House. (1709095AM1)

Wetherby has stepped up its response in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Councillors decided, at an extraordinary meeting last Thursday, to close the Town Hall, other than to a few pre-bookings such as induction of newly recruited supermarket staff, with council staff working from home.

But the market will run today and council Clerk Iona Taylor added: “The Thursday market will be operating today (March 26) but in line with government guidance it will only be our four food sellers who have been invited to attend.

“The stalls will be sited as usual to ensure that customers can distance themselves while queuing and also to ensure that the Market Place remains closed to traffic.”

Additionally, the cemetery on Hallfield will operate as normal, or at increased capacity if required, added the clerk.

And the council’s parks will stay open with the Town Handyman servicing litter and dog waste bins.

The Town Council is directing anyone who wants to volunteer to the doinggoodleeds.org.uk website and will be working with WiSE who are co-ordinating local relief efforts.

Clerk Iona Taylor said: “I know that the Mayor, Councillor Galan Moss, would like to take this opportunity to urge everyone to stay safe and follow the Government’s guidance at this challenging time.”

Last Sunday St James’ Church in Wetherby launched its first ever live stream of a service over the internet.

Priest in Charge Brendan Giblin said: “Being unable to physically meet on Mother’s Day, of all days, was particularly sad.

“Many were feeling the pain of separation from their mums and family on that day.

“The simple service spoke of the courage, cost, care and compassion of love. Just what we need as we face this crisis.”

The service was viewed 584 times and a special lively kids service was viewed 143 times.

During the week Brendan, put out a Youtube message which has been viewed 282 times.

He added: There has been a wonderful response from people offering to phone, or collect shopping for people.

“We are able to telephone the elderly and those who are isolated, or isolating, with offers of help or, the lifeline of a friendly phone call.

“Our determination at this time is remain connected with God and each other.”

A spokesman for Churches Together in Wetherby, Linton and Collingham said it was keen to help those in need.

“Alternative arrangements for worship are being explored, such as streaming, emails, social media, etc.

“Churches Together is in contact with the local Ward Councillors to discuss how best to support our local communities and to help organise a single co-ordinated response across the area to safeguard both those in need and volunteers.”

Leeds City Council this week announced that because of staff shortages, it was prioritising the collection of black and green bins.

“Brown bins can still be presented on the scheduled day but if they have not been emptied, must be taken back in until the next scheduled collection,” said a council spokesman.

“We would advise residents to increase composting, reduce gardening activities such as grass cutting and pruning, and use the household waste and recycling sites where brown bin waste is accepted for free (subject to these facilities staying open).”