Announcement of Town Re-Opening and Action Plans

Shop Local

This is key campaign to support the small and medium sized independent retailers that make our towns special. This will include a Re-Opening Huntingdonshire Survey to ensure we are focused on the concerns and issues our community have in returning to our high streets.
Information has been gathered in conjunction with BID Huntingdon, St Neots Town Council and St Ives Town Council to publicise information on the businesses open, their opening hours and whether they offer click and collect, card payment or an appointment system.
Several businesses will be involved in showcasing that our towns are safely open.
Our local businesses support local jobs which is essential for successful towns.

Supporting Businesses

We have spoken to the Federation of Small Businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as Huntingdonshire Against Business Crime, the Town Clerks and the BID in Huntingdon, which highlighted:
Need for help with COVID-19 safe trading and risk assessments required, especially for businesses employing more than5 staff.
Need for help outside their premises, queuing arrangements and space to queue. With the need to manage social distancing inside the premises most retailers will have limited ability to look after their forecourt areas.
We have established town specific action plans to support businesses and shoppers to visit safely. The detailed plans are attached and will be made available on the Council’s website. We are planning to:
Maintain free parking whilst lockdown eases.
Move the markets to create space in our town centres as they become busy.
Use signage to highlight the social distancing message.
Deploy queue and queue end markers sprayed in environmentally friendly paint.
Use our Parking Officers as Ambassadors supplemented by temporary staffing including Town Council and BID Huntingdon Rangers.
Update the hub with specific advice for risk assessments, links to free mentoring, and specific advice on temporary relaxation of planning and licensing rules.

Helping Visitors

We will promote a campaign to highlight the preparations made by our businesses and in our high streets to encourage shoppers to return and shop safely. We will be emphasising the need to plan and look after yourself whilst being kind and patient with others. Additional measures to those already described include:
Additional cleansing.
Monitoring of hotspots of possible congestion/queuing.
Ensuring continued access for anyone with disabilities.

Action Plans

The plans have been drawn up in consultation with the Police and endorsed by the County Council Highways team. They have been developed in partnership with the Town Councils, Huntingdonshire Business Against crime, BID Huntingdon as well as District Council officers from Planning, Licensing, Parking, Economic Development, Environmental Health and Street Cleansing.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Neil Sloper, Head of Operations, who is co-ordinating the team re-opening our towns and supporting our businesses to do so.