These are gloomy times – another lockdown as the Covid restrictions continue, and now cold and dark winter weather. Winter Cheer is a project to put the smiles back on our faces. In December we will be giving small packs of food and essentials to the vulnerable and elderly, and also some sweets to families with children (plus, maybe a few surprises). Then, towards the end of the month, a Happy New Year poster and a light for every house. If we can all put these in our windows we can wish our neighbours light and hope for the new year. And it will look great!
Also, we have a competition for junior age children to make a picture or design to use on the poster with a prize for the winner.
More details about Winter Cheer are on our latest newsletter which everyone should have received at the weekend. If you can't find yours, you can download it here. If you need more information or know of a home or family that should get one of the packs, send an email.
One of our new hanging baskets, up and looking great. Thanks George and Donna for the picture.
Over the next weeks and months (with a bit of watering!) these winter pansies will flower, then spring flowers will appear, including snowdrops and crocuses.
This afternoon in the Community Garden we were giving out free hanging basket kits with spring bulbs and winter pansies, thanks to some funding from the Council. The offer was put out through our Whatsapp group and all 20 baskets were taken. The collection was done with social distancing and masks and there was no gathering! With winter nights ands weather drawing in and several more weeks of lockdown, hopefully these flowers as they grow will bring a note of hope and new life to cheer us up!
We're looking out for more offers as Christmas approaches. Look out here for news or, better still, why not join the community WhatsApp group? Send an email if you're interested.
As many residents of the Groves have told us of problems accessing and using the Council's online services (including Parking!) a new Help page had been added to this website. This has how-to guides for getting your free resident's parking permit, plus other services such as free disposal of large, unwanted items, reporting fly-tipping and more.
If there are other things you would like to see added to this page, send an email.
In the last few days a number of car-owning residents of the Groves have been issued with parking tickets. There is a free resident's parking permit available, but many do not have one. Why not? Until a couple of years ago permits were issued at the Council 'Car Pound' off Ashton New Road. A resident car-owner would take their documents to the office and be given a disc to put in their car windscreen. But then the application process was made 'online only', the disc done away with (Parking Enforcement Officers now enter the car's registration into a database to check)... and the problems and confusion began.
Not enough space here to go into detail, but the difficulties have included:
Some have managed to get a permit. And of course, there will be a few who just haven't bothered, but in most cases, people have tried and given up.
We have spoken to one of our Councillors who has recommended that people who feel their ticket has been issued unfairly should appeal and also email the Councillors. We have also spoken to our Ward Officers who are looking at ways to get help to those who have been struggling with the online application process. More news on that soon, we hope.
A leaflet has been produced with this advice and delivered to every house. Download it here. Meanwhile, if this affects you, do send an email. If you want to try again to get a permit, click here. Let us know if it works, or if it fails, what went wrong. This information will be useful to help make the process easier.
First, thanks to all who joined in our Socially Distant Litter Pick a few weeks ago. Quite a few bags were filled and removed by Biffa a couple of days later.
Since then Greater Manchester has come under 'Tier 3' Covid restrictions – currently the highest level, meaning Very High Risk. Click here to see what this means.
Remember, these rules will only work if we all stick to them. To get on top of this virus, everyone has to play their part. Protect your neighbours by wearing a mask outdoors.
Hands - face - space!
We're having another socially distant litter-pick over the weekend of October 3-4. Due to the Coronavirus lockdown we haven't been able to organise one of our usual picks centred on the MSA Office, but it's been good that some individuals have been continuing to do some de-littering. We need to try and stay on top of keeping our streets and alleys clean and tidy for good hygiene reasons. And it looks so much better.
Just go out at a time that suits on Saturday or Sunday and fill a bag with rubbish, keeping a safe distance away from other people. BIFFA will collect official bags from the usual place at the end of Upper West and West Groves. If you need bags or pickers send an email. Let's be good neighbours.
You should have had our latest newsletter through your door in the last couple of days. It includes news of a litter-pick over the weekend of July 11-12. Due to the Coronavirus lockdown we haven't been able to organise one of our usual picks centred on the MSA Office, but it's been good that some individuals have been doing some anyway. We need to try and stay on top of keeping our streets and alleys clean and tidy for good hygiene reasons. And it looks so much better.
Just go out at a time that suits during next Saturday or Sunday and fill a bag with rubbish, keeping a safe distance away from other people. BIFFA will collect official bags from the usual place at the end of Upper West and West Groves. If you need bags or pickers send an email. Let's be good neighbours.
The Groves Community Garden has been producing some lovely raspberries and redcurrants – free for anyone to pick and eat. The plum tree is looking like there will be a bumper harvest soon too. Is our jam-maker ready for action?
BMJ Best Practice (British Medical Journal) have published a new leaflet (5th May) with the latest expert medical opinion on Coronavirus. Download here.
News about what is happening on the Groves.