Sedgemoor District Council is working with shop-keepers, traders and larger national chain stores to prepare for the re-opening of High Streets and retail centres, following the Government announcement that non-essential shops can open from Monday, June 15.
Officers from Sedgemoor’s Environmental Health, Economic Development, Property Services, Clean Surroundings and Planning Teams are looking at ways to help customers visit shopping centres with confidence from June 15 and to help shop owners re-start their businesses safely. In conjunction with town and parish councils and Chambers of Commerce in the main centres of Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea and Cheddar, Sedgemoor will be using a range of measures from temporary signage and pavement markings to regular deep cleaning and sanitiser stations. Pavements in larger town centres in Sedgemoor will be given a power clean to make sure that the town centres are clean and welcoming to shoppers.
The Council is also in discussions with Somerset Highways Authority about possible changes to travel routes in some centres for cars, pedestrians and cyclists to allow for social distancing on pavements and outside shops.
A spokesman for the Council said it was pleased to support communities in gearing up for the reopening of their centres and was keen to see this done safely and sensitively.
“We are expecting this to be a gradual process, as we do not think all our shops will want to or be able to reopen straight away but we do have plenty of advice and guidance to help them to do so when they are
ready because we know the boost it will give to the local economy. We expect to adapt our plans in response to the needs of shoppers and traders as the situation unfolds.
“We suggest shoppers plan their visits, thinking about their routes and what they might wish to take for their own peace of mind, such as hand sanitisers and masks. We would ask people to be patient with shop workers who are following necessary precautions and with other shoppers.”
If businesses or shoppers have any concerns about the re-opening of the High Streets they can contact us for help or advice on 0300 303 7801 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A set of Frequently Asked Questions will be available on SDC’s website next week – both for shop keepers and trader as well as shoppers and customers.