Forest of Dean social distancing barriers to be removed
Forest of Dean District Council and the four Forest Town Councils have decided to remove barriers placed in town to preserve social distancing, after only 10 percent of residents felt they made them feel safer. Work on removing the barriers will begin on Friday (17 July) and will be completed by early next week.
Councillor Bernie O'Neill, Cabinet Member for Economy (Including Business Support and jobs) said: “We introduced a series of temporary measures in line with national guidelines in the hope of encouraging more people to shop safely in our town centres. In particular we wanted residents to feel safe while shopping. Feedback from traders and residents simply hasn't been supportive of the measures and government guidelines about social distancing have since changed.
“Crucially only around 10 percent of the members of the public who responded to our survey said the measures made them feel any safer.
“Because of this, and the current low footfall in town centres, we will be removing the water filled barriers placed in the towns
“Our other work, including hand sanitiser installations and advice and materials to businesses about safe reopening will continue and these have been very well received. We’ll continue to develop and adapt this to include new advice like the messaging on face masks.
“The negative side of the removal of the barriers is that we will have very limited space available for granting pavement licences, allowing outside seating at pubs, cafes and restaurants. However, when licensing regulations change later this month, Forest of Dean District Council will support our business community by not charging for applications to install outside seating .