BID Member Update: 5 April 2022

Town Centre Litter Pick – Tues 12 April

Just a gentle reminder about the town centre litter pick taking place next week.  Chair of BBAC and The Mall’s Soft Services Manager Ronnie O’Keeffe, supported by The Mall, Blackburn BID and BwD Council, is organising a town centre litter pick on Tuesday April 12th

There are 2 time slots with Mall staff volunteering their time to litter pick and spring clean the town centre – 1pm to 2pm and 2pm to 3pm.  Please support the litter pick if you can – it’s just an hour of your (or your team’s) time to help the town centre to look as good as it can. 

If you can help please contact and you’ll receive details of where to meet on the day.  Thank you!

Town Centre Police Update

We know that retail theft is one of the biggest issues facing businesses in the town centre and we are committed to the long-term reduction of these offences. You may recall that we recently initiated Operation Beacon, which is our partnership approach to dealing with the prolific shoplifters who operate in the town centre.  We aim to work with support partners to help those who commit offences deal with the issues that are causing them to offend, whilst identifying the most prolific offenders and working with store staff, Mall security and CCTV to target them and take positive action at every opportunity.  This approach has resulted in the arrest of a number of prolific offenders who have all been charged with multiple offences.

  • On 27th March 2022, Lee Cottam, 44, of no fixed abode, was charged with 3 x shopliftings and 1 x attempt theft and was sentenced to 28 days imprisonment and ordered to pay £128 victim surcharge.
  • On 1st April 2022 two prolific offenders were arrested for a combined total of 28 offences:
  • One male aged 35, of Blackburn, was arrested for 22 offences, including theft and breach of criminal behaviour order, and charged with all 22 offences and bailed. 
  • A second male aged 33, of Blackburn, was arrested for 6 thefts. He was charged and remanded to court.

We will update you once we have a result from court.

Message Sent By Veronica Roberts (Police, PCSO – Blackburn Town Centre, EAST – Blackburn)


Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace

The Government has published Public health guidance for reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace. While there is no longer a requirement for all employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their statutory health and safety risk assessments, the guidance confirms that it is important that as a business, organisation or an employer you continue to comply with your legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment and equality duties. You can find the full guidance here:


Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for coronavirus related absences closed

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for coronavirus related absences has now closed. Employers had up to and including 24 March 2022 to submit any final claims and/or amend claims they’ve already submitted.  You can find more details here:

Information on who can access free coronavirus (COVID-19) tests from 1 April 2022 and how to get them.

The government has issued information on the above as follows:

  • Symptomatic testing 
    Symptomatic testing in high-risk settings, where infection can spread rapidly among people who may be at higher risk of serious illness, remains important to ensure that COVID-19 is detected as quickly as possible.  This is to help minimise the number and impact of outbreaks to protect those who are most vulnerable.  Free tests for people who have COVID-19 symptoms will continue to be provided to the following groups, largely via the existing channels:
  • NHS patients in hospital, who will be tested via the established NHS testing programme
  • those eligible for COVID-19 antiviral and other treatments, who will be sent a pack of tests and can request replacements if they need them
  • NHS staff and staff working in NHS-funded independent healthcare provision – the current lateral flow test ordering portal will remain available for this group to order their own tests
  • adult social care staff in care homes, homecare organisations, extra care and supported living settings and adult day care centres, as well as residents in care homes and extra care and supported living settings via the established organisation ordering portal
  • adult social care social workers, personal assistants, Shared Lives carers and CQC inspectors will be able to order tests from the current online lateral flow ordering system
  • staff and patients in hospices will be supplied tests by the hospice
  • staff and detainees in prisons and other places of detention will be supplied tests by by the detention premises as currently happens
  • staff and detainees in immigration removal centres will be supplied tests, as currently happens, by the organisation concerned
  • staff and users of high-risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings
  • Asymptomatic testing

During periods of high prevalence, asymptomatic testing will continue to mitigate risk. Testing will continue to be provided for:

  • adult social care staff and a small number of visitors providing personal care
  • hospice staff
  • patient-facing staff in the NHS and NHS-funded independent healthcare provision
  • some staff in prisons and other places of detention, and some refuges and shelters

Care home outbreak testing for all staff and residents will also continue all year.

Full guidance will be published shortly setting out how the current testing regimes will change to reflect the Living with COVID-19 strategy, which will include specific guidance for high-risk settings.


What does Active Lancashire mean to you?  Please complete a survey

As they launch their new Decade of Movement strategy, Active Lancashire want to ensure that the way you perceive Active Lancashire and their services is aligned with their ongoing aims and ambitions.  Please take a moment to let them know your thoughts on Active Lancashire’s branding, for a chance to win a £50 Amazon or Love To Shop voucher.  Your open, honest answers will help develop a brand strategy that will help them continue to play a part in influencing Lancashire’s approach to health and wellbeing. The deadline for responses is Monday 11th April 2022 at 6pm. 

Should you have any questions about the survey please contact Steve Whiley (Brand and PR Officer) at 

The survey is available here:

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