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Latest News

Bakewell’s public toilets to remain closed

Derbyshire Dales District Council advise that the public toilets in Bakewell in common with the others it operates across the Dales will remain closed on safety grounds.

In a news release on Thursday 21st May 2020 the District Council said:

"Derbyshire Dales District Council's 11 public toilets will remain closed until the authority can guarantee the safety of users and cleaning staff.

Chief Executive Paul Wilson is advising anyone contemplating a visit to the Dales over the bank holiday weekend to take into account that the vast majority of local services will be unavailable due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. More »

Mr Wilson said: "I want to stress that not reopening our public toilets at the moment is an operational, not a political, decision and one based entirely on us not yet being able to guarantee the safety of users and of our own cleaning staff.

"Unlike toilets in hospitals or supermarkets, our public toilets are in uncontrolled environments, with open access, and there is significant potential for Covid-19 transmission in areas such as toilet seats, door handles, wash basins and taps.

"We are looking at the potential of introducing queueing systems to manage crowds at peak times to ensure social distancing rules are observed, but right now we simply do not have the resources to manage the facilities to the required level of safety.

"Government guidance makes it very clear that we cannot open our play areas at the moment because of the danger of transmission of the virus and we have to take the view that public toilets pose at least as great a risk.

"So we are continuing to investigate options to reopen when it is safe to do so, but risk assessments show it isn't appropriate to reopen this weekend. When we do get to that position, we will be obliged to carry out a detailed consultation with operational staff and other stakeholders." » Less

Posted: Fri, 22 May 2020 09:02 by John Rowe

Respect our local communities - joint message

The following message has been received from Derbyshire Dales District Council:

"Derbyshire leaders have joined together to ask visitors to respect local communities this coming bank holiday weekend and to consider if they could come later in the year instead.

A joint message has been signed not only by Council Leaders across the county, but also the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer of Derbyshire, East Midlands Ambulance Trust and local NHS Foundation Trusts. More »

Here's the text of the message:

Many local people were left feeling vulnerable and at risk following large numbers visiting the Peak District and other parts of Derbyshire last weekend.

Our message is clear – please respect our communities and please put off your visit until later in the year when Derbyshire will be fully open for business and will be able to welcome you properly.

If visitors are coming to Derbyshire to exercise, then they need to be aware that public toilets are still expected to be closed and - like the rest of the country - pubs, restaurants and cafes are also closed.

Visitors need to use some common sense, particularly when in areas where social distancing can be difficult.

In many parts of Derbyshire, particularly rural villages, social distancing is difficult with large numbers of visitors. Matlock Bath was one village reporting large numbers of visitors last weekend, making social distancing extremely difficult.

In some parts of the county car parking is limited. Areas around Ladybower reservoir have very limited parking as the roads closest are mainly clearways which mean no stopping at all, and the local visitors centre and car park run by Severn Trent won't open until early June.

Parking is being enforced, and those parking on a clearway or double yellow lines can expect a parking ticket. These areas need to be kept free so that emergency vehicles can get through when they need to. Visitors are also asked not to park on pavements and not block gates.

Parks are also expected to be busy, including Elvaston Country Park and Markeaton Park in Derby. Visitors are asked to remember social distancing and to take their litter home.

Derbyshire is a beautiful county and we understand people's desire to visit, but a visit later in the year will help protect our local communities and give you the full Derbyshire experience. We look forward to welcoming you then.

Signed by:

Councillor Garry Purdy, Leader, Derbyshire Dales District Council

Councillor Barry Lewis, Leader, Derbyshire County Council

Councillor Carol Hart, Leader, Erewash Borough Council

Councillor Martyn Ford, Leader, South Derbyshire District Council

Councillor Chris Emmas-Williams Leader, Amber Valley Borough Council

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader, Chesterfield Borough Council

Councillor Anthony Mckeown, Leader, High Peak Borough Council

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader, Derby City Council

Councillor Martin Thacker, Leader, North East Derbyshire District Council

Councillor Steve Fritchley, Leader, Bolsover District Council

Peter Goodman, Chief Constable, Derbyshire Constabulary

Gavin Tomlinson, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service

Ben Holdaway, Director of Operations, East Midlands Ambulance Service

Angie Smithson, Chief Executive, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Ifti Majid, Chief Executive, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Chris Clayton, Chief Executive, NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Tracy Allen, Chief Executive, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust

Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust" » Less

Posted: Fri, 22 May 2020 08:55 by John Rowe

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Message from Peak District National Park Authority chief executive, Sarah Fowler

The Town Council has received the following message:

It is no surprise that as we take the first steps in the easing of 'lockdown' in this time of unprecedented national crisis, many of us turn to our national parks as a place of sanctuary.

"Across almost seven decades – and a past that has rarely seen anything of the magnitude of the coronavirus – our national parks have never been more relevant to the country's need for health, wellbeing and connection with nature, beauty and history. More »

"Whilst we may need our national parks at this time, our relationship with them remains precariously balanced with the current risks to everyone from Covid-19. So as we prepare to welcome you back, let us draw upon that remarkable sense of respect, kindness and humanity we have seen so far in our fight against this disease.

"This is why I am personally appealing today to anyone seeking to travel to the Peak District National Park. Before your journey, please carefully consider your own wellbeing and that of the Peak District's many small communities - and be aware that the vast majority of facilities including hospitality businesses will be not be open for a little while yet.

"Continuing to use local parks and outdoor areas close to your home can continue to provide the crucial breathing space for you and for us, to ensure the Peak District can be a safe and welcoming place to visit in the weeks to come. In this way we can ensure we don't place undue pressure on public highways, emergency access or key workers.

"With around 2,000 Covid-19 cases across Derbyshire alone and local services and resources already fighting on a significant front, is it vital that we limit the impacts on our residential towns and villages wherever possible.

"With a huge collective effort in respecting our national parks right now, they can be protected and will be there for us all to enjoy far beyond this current coronavirus crisis, including a responsible and vital return for our tourism sector.

"Those who live and work in our communities are already working hard to ensure there will be a warm welcome so our National Park can equally be enjoyed safely by everyone." » Less

Posted: Mon, 11 May 2020 17:52 by John Rowe