Village Plan for Covid 19‎

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St Laurence
Coordinating Volunteers
Downton Surgery
Communication Channels
Primary School
Local Shops
Downton Tyre Ltd Council Services
Baptist Church Play Equipment Travel To Exercise
Hearing Aid Batteries Library Stay Safe On-line
InDownton on-line Wilts Council Parish Magazine


On the 19th March several members of the community got together to work out a plan to help Downton through the Corona Virus Pandemic. I would like to reassure everybody that this meeting was held with due consideration of social distancing and everybody that attended had taken an informed decision to be there (It has to go down as the coldest meeting I have ever attended!).

Unfortunately these plans do not come with a template, we are all living in an ever changing world and as I write this post some things have already moved on. I am going to attempt to do bite size updates from the meeting, to share the information sharing that took place and hopefully put some of your questions to bed. I will post them on here but should anyone wish to see them in one place they will be on the following Facebook Page which has been set up to cordinate information relating to Covid 19 only.

The meeting was in response to the previously posted booklet from Wiltshire Council - Covid 19 Community Pack. I do not have the answers to everything but will try and help with the other Community Coordinaters Jane Brentor and Hilary Mace.

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Coordinating Volunteers

A database has now been created for every street in Downton. We are aware that many people have been sharing the 'Hello' cards offering help and assistance or just a friendly phone call. We will attempt to put this information into the database, so that should anyone find them selves needing help we can direct them to willing volunteers.

We appreciate that there is a need for more than 1 volunteer in each area as volunteers may need to self isolate themselves. We also need to ensure that no volunteer puts themselves in any unnecessary risk. So what next? If you are willing to help a particular area then please contact a coordinator listed below with your details, we will also have some floating volunteers who may be able to help in some ways but not in others, if you would like to help in that way then please let us know what you can offer.

As with all these things, we have no template to use in these circumstances we are just trying to ensure no body is isolated by self isolating. Ideas and suggestions are welcome. Lists of volunteers won't be published but we may need to do a shout out for help if some areas aren't covered. Any details will only be shared as necessary and with the agreement of that person.

Community Coordinators

Becky Cornell
07887612439, email or contact via Facebook

Jane Brentor
07979630588 email

Hilary Mace
07760415818, email

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Downton Surgery

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Communication Channels

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St Laurence Church is Open

As most of you will have heard, the Archbishops have instructed that all Churches are closed during the current situation. This means that there will be no services in St Laurence Church for the time being.

We will continue praying for everyone and providing as much support as we can during these difficult times, and will look for practical ways to do this.

Also while I may be unable to visit in person, I am still available to provide pastoral support, or even just have a chat. You can contact me on 01725 510326 or

We will resume our normal service pattern as soon as we can (10am every Sunday, 8am 1st and 3rd Sundays).

For our most up-to-date information please visit our website at ( or Facebook (

God bless,

Revd. Frank Gimson (Vicar)

Please remember the Trussell Trust at this time. They need your donations more than ever, as demand is likely to increase. You can leave any donations at The Vicarage and we will take them in to the Salisbury foodbank.

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Baptist Church

Following the latest guidance from the government we are taking some steps that we'd like you to know about.

Whilst the Church doors are now shut, the church is still here for all of you. Felicity that works in the office is working from home and can be contacted through the usual church email.

Telephone calls (01725 512971) to the church are being diverted to Katy Ullyat's phone and you can continue to contact Philip Rhodes on the church mobile phone number 07468 491 143 or via his email address.

Services are on the Downton Baptist Church Website and you can tune in on Sunday to watch and join in.

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Downton Primary School

  • The school has prepared for closure of normal school services since Monday and have made an initial list of key worker parents with children who will continue in school (to include police, NHS workers, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, those with children with special needs and those with children who have a child protection plan).

  • Children will continue to be provided with learning materials

  • Wiltshire schools are setting up designated schools as ‘hubs’ in which to teach children still attending schools and there will be buses to take children to the hubs; teachers will accompany them, if appropriate, to provide continuity.

  • All school staff and teachers will continue to be on duty under a shift rota.

  • Specific children will receive a home visit from Paula or one of her team each week.

  • Parents are being asked to send in good news stories and pictures of activities so that regular newsletters can be sent to maintain school contact and school community feeling

  • Those on free school meals will either be given vouchers for food providers in the village or may have meals delivered from the school if this can be arranged safely.

  • The school are wanting to share news with the village, so will provide updates through various mediams.

  • Use of social media is not being encouraged for school children

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Downton Allotments

Dear plot holder, read this and keep safe. Any questions please contact me. Aren’t we lucky to have an allotment at this time. Stay safe and well.

Following the instructions around movement and gatherings from the Prime Minister on 23 March 2020, we are consulting with central government but as we understand the situation at the moment it is still permitted to visit your plot, ideally on your own to take daily exercise. It is vitally important that you follow all the advice about social distancing and hygiene in the points below and not gather together on site.

Any plot-holder who is self isolating because a household member is ill with corona-virus should not be visiting the site.

Associations should display an advice notice on their boards. It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in the water tanks and please pay attention to notice boards.

It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women.

We are living through a crisis, the likes of which none of us has experienced before, not since war time has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times.

Members should take the following precautionary measures :

  • Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly

  • Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locks

  • Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres

  • Do not share tools

  • Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes

  • Do not wash your hands in water troughs

  • We recommend that all communal facilities are closed

  • Click here for guidance if you do need to clean an area that has been visited by an infected person.

  • If you have livestock on the site and must visit twice a day, take a photograph on your phone of your livestock, based on what is happening in other countries you may eventually have to print off a government form to leave the house but if challenged it would be good to be able to show a photograph of where you are going.

  • Plan ahead to ensure that you have food and medication delivered to you during this time

  • Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible

  • If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.

I know many Associations have taken decisions to cancel plot inspections, seed swaps, association trips and annual judging; scheduled Committee meetings and AGM’s should also be postponed. It is important that any plot-holders over 70 years and those with underlying health issues follow the guidance and information issued by the government. It would be a good idea for Associations to give out a telephone or email address for anyone with problems to allow contact. Perhaps a Buddy System that provided weeding and watering assistance on the plots of gardeners who cannot get to the plot due to long term self isolation could be set up. We still have our Face Book page I think.

Susan Barnhurst-Davies DALGA Chairman
Long Close Barn, Long Close, Downton, Wiltshire SP5 3HG
T: 01725 512963 M: 07875 036879 E:

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Downton Tyre and Autocare Ltd

Downton Tyre are trying their very hardest to remain open and look after everyone who needs us... we have fewer staff and the remaining staff are being stretched as well as trying to care for themselves.

This is why Downton Tyre have chosen to amend their hours just for a while until we are in a better position

We are now going to be CLOSING AT 5pm instead of 5.30pm - this means our last appointment will be 4pm instead of 4.30pm

We will also be letting our guys have a well deserved 2 day break and will NOT be open for business on SATURDAY.

We will be available on Saturdays by phone and email between 9am and 12pm if you have any queries or want to arrange an appointment for the following week.

And our website is of course available 24/7

We will of course keep you updated accordingly.... any queries please get in touch.
📞 01725 510334

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Local Shops

  • Wooden Spoon
    The Wooden Spoon have launched their take away menu click here. They will happily deliver within the village. Payment by cash is preferred but card facilities will be available if needed. Initially it will be available in the evenings but if you would prefer it in the daytime, let Lou know and if the demand is there she will supply it.
    Currently the last delivery is 8.30pm, so get your orders in early!

  • The Bull
    We thank you all for your support so far for the delivery orders, to keep you updated we have decided to amend the delivery times:
    From Tuesday 31st March we will no longer be open for lunchtime orders, instead we will be open 5pm to 9pm Tuesday to Saturday. I will re-post an amended menu later today.

  • The Co-Op
    The Co-op is now closing earlier than usual to give staff a chance to replenish the shelves as well as giving them a well-needed rest. Monday to Saturday they'll close at 8pm, normal trading hours will be in place on Sunday. The store is offering queue priority to vulnerable customers and NHS workers: Mon - Sat (8-9am) and Sun (10-11am).

    Coop update/request May I please ask you to think is it ESSENTIAL when visiting the shop. We are seeing people come in many times a day and just have a think do you need to put yourselves and my team at risk to visit again? I understand availability is not where you would like it in store and we are working on recovery but please please think do you NEED to come in or could your 4 cans of beer be brought another day when you need food as well?

    We have made a lot of changes in store and I am letting you know what they currently are but the situation could change daily and I will let you know if it does.

    1. Opening times are now 7am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.

    2. We have put tape on the floor around the tills and queuing areas for you and us to stay safe. Please respect this and stand behind the tape while the cashier is scanning your shopping through then the cashier will step back so you can pack safely.

    3. We have reduced the number of tills that are open so we only have 1 manned till at any time and 2 self service so that we can maintain social distancing. This will mean you have to wait longer but we are doing this to protect us all the best we can.

    4. We are asking if paying by cash that you use the self service till number 4 so we are not having to handle the cash.

    5. We are only allowing a maximum of 15 people in the shop at once. This will mean you will have to queue outside but please still remember the 2 meter rule while waiting outside. There is a staffed 1 in 1 out in operation when required. If you are coming to the shop in a couple or pair then we will ask 1 of you to shop and the other to wait outside. (Unless this involves young children then clearly we would let you in together).

    6. We have limited milk/bread/eggs to 1 per customer so that more people can have some. The rest of the shop will be maximum of 2 of any item. Please don't try and come in later in the day for more as we will not let you have it.

    7. Please try and keep to social distancing when we are filling the shelves and not lean over us to grab things. We may close isles off to replenish to keep us safe if needed.

    Thanks for all your cooperation.
    Paul Robert's
    Store manager

  • Downton Brewery
    Thank you to all our lovely customers who've placed orders with us. We'll continue to deliver FOC within a 10m radius (min order £20) and by mail order further afield. Thank you for your support. Stay home, stay safe, stay well. Cheers!
    Click here for price list.

  • Hopback Brewery
    Don’t forget you can collect pre-ordered beer (cases of bottles, packs of cans, 36 pint containers, 18 pint containers and 4 pint carry outs) from outside of the brewery. Phone us on 01725 510986 for more details and stock availability.

  • Downton Butchery
    We are glad to announce we are able to do deliveries from Monday 30th march. All you need to do is place your order and payment over the phone before 2pm and we'll deliver the next day. Contact us on: 01425 652228
    Click here and here for price lists.

  • Spinnaker Fish & Chips
    The sign in the window says that they are currently closed and will re-open on 5th April.

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Play Equipment

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Travel To Exercise

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Hearing Aid Batteries

In addition to applying by post for batteries at Salisbury Audiology Dept. the following source is also available:

Action on Hearing Loss hearing aid clinics

Our hearing aid clinics are suspended for the time being but I can still post hearing aid batteries out to you if you are a Salisbury audiology patient. At this time I’m not posting out tubing. I do have a limited supply so I may only be able to post two packets.
Please contact Gill 01722 580014 mobile 07570 670 643 or
I work Monday to Friday 9 am to 2 pm but you can always leave me a message

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The library has had to shut its doors, but staff would like to reassure borrowers that any books that they have out on loan will be automatically renewed, so there will be no fines to pay on books that should have been renewed whilst the library is closed.

In the meantime, library users can access a vast array of on-line magazines, books and audio-books by using the RB Digital app, using their library card number and pin number to log on.

If you are not already a member, you can join online at

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Stay Safe On-line

For some good advice, click here

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The normal InDownton newsletter spring issue has been replaced by an online version. We're working with the village website and Facebook pages to provide a source of information. There's also a downloadable version which can be printed off for neighbours who don't use the Internet. Click here for the on-line version, and here for the downloadable version.

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Latest Information from Wiltshire Council

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub

We have set up a designated Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub specifically for our most vulnerable residents to receive support and guidance during COVID-19.

The phoneline number is 0300 003 4576 and will be open from tomorrow (Saturday 27 March) for the duration of the pandemic. We will be publicising this number through Council, partner and media channels and I would be grateful if you could make your communities aware of it too.

We continue to keep our hubs open in Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury for the following essential face-to-face services:
  • Support for the homeless
  • Adult social care
  • Children’s social care
  • Support for vulnerable people
Our Customer Service Team continues to support our communities on all other matters through our customer services number 0300 456 0100 (lines open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday) and via social media channels.

Information pack to support volunteer groups

The council has published a ‘COVID-19 Volunteer Pack’ today to help volunteer groups support their communities during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Many groups have shared their way of working with us and this pack brings together a lot of their best practise in setting up an effective response, including top tips on setting up a volunteer group, advice on supporting those in self-isolation, and a range of template forms and useful signposting to other resources.

The ‘COVID-19 Volunteer Pack’ can be downloaded at and can be used in conjunction with the Community Groups Directory which lists all the volunteer groups the council has been informed are providing support in their community. This directory will be updated as much as possible.

Council Tax and Business Rate Payments

To support people as much as possible during the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the council has confirmed that no resident or business in Wiltshire will have to pay council tax or business rates until June 2020 if they are struggling.

Any resident wishing to defer paying their council tax in April and May 2020 can contact the council and this will be arranged. Those payments will then be taken in February and March 2021 instead, as council tax is normally only collected over the first ten months of the financial year.

Similarly, businesses who also wish to defer business rates payments for two months, and not pay in April and May, can also arrange that by contacting the council. For anyone wishing to do this, the council will freeze direct debit payments, so people do not need to contact their bank to arrange.

People should call 0300 456 0109 or email to request the deferral – these will be taken at face value and there will be no vetting of anyone wishing to defer payments for April and May 2020.

For those who choose to defer, payments will resume in June 2020 and will be taken over the 10 months from June 2020 to March 2021. For those that pay annually, they can still do so at Those that make manual payments can also continue to do this if they wish, but they will need to contact the council if they want the April and May payment break.

Working age residents who benefit from the current Council Tax Support Scheme will receive an additional reduction to their bill in line with the government’s hardship fund criteria. Those households eligible for this reduction will automatically be re-billed.

Business support

We are committed to supporting all of our businesses through these unprecedented times and will continue to work closely with Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub to ensure we deliver information and support to businesses as quickly as possible.

The first of our COVID-19 Business newsletters was published this week (Click here) and we continue to provide updates on our website and through social media channels.

Next week the council will be issuing a letter to 10,000 businesses who we believe may be eligible for either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. The letter requests businesses to provide information on eligibility so please encourage any relevant businesses in your area to return this to us as quickly as possible so that we can release the grants to help support them. If businesses have any questions about the letter they can email for further assistance.

The council welcomes the Chancellor's announcement yesterday regarding the introduction of a Self Employment Income Support Scheme which will:
  • pay a taxable grant worth 80% of their profits up to a total of £2,500 per month. This scheme will be open for at least three months and grants can be claimed from June 2020
  • be open to businesses with average trading profits of up to £50,000 over the last three years. Only those who are already self-employed and have a tax return for 2019 will be able to apply. HMRC will contact these businesses directly
  • allow an extra four weeks from today for businesses to submit their tax return for those who missed the deadline
  • provide eligible businesses access to Universal Credit with an advance payment available almost immediately after the claim has been submitted

Visiting Wiltshire Council hubs

Following government advice and to help stop the transmission of COVID-19, Wiltshire Council are asking people not to visit their hubs where possible.

A number of their key services can be dealt with online or over the phone including:

  • Adult Care 0300 456 0111 or email
  • Children’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub 0300 456 0108
  • Council tax enquiries – call 0300 456 0109 or email You can also manage your council tax online.
  • Housing enquiries – call 0300 456 0104 or email
  • Homeless enquiries – call 01225 718005 for the Trowbridge area, 01249 706666 for the Chippenham area or 01722 434233 for the Salisbury area. Or email
  • Parking enquiries - call 01249 706131 or email
  • Planning enquiries – call 0300 456 0114 or email
  • Registration enquiries – call 0300 003 4569 for births and marriages and 0300 003 4570 for marriages. Or email
  • Waste enquiries – call 0300 456 0102 or email

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