With some non-essential businesses allowed to reopen as of Monday 15 June, the district and county councils have been working with town and parish councils to help traders get back to some kind of normality, with the aim of helping the local economy to recover.
Under its “Shop with Confidence” initiative, Broadland District Council says it plans to ensure the district’s market towns are clean, vibrant and safe places to shop, and wants to see footfall return to pre-Covid levels as quickly as possible.
Working closely with town councils, traders and the county highways department, the district council is developing plans to make this happen, although these have yet to be put in place in Reepham.
Measures planned for the district’s market towns include the installation of hand-sanitiser stations and social-distancing signage, the installation of extra seating and planters, extra bike racks to encourage more people to cycle, and temporary changes to parking and, in some instances, temporary traffic restrictions.
This month’s meeting of Reepham Town Council heard that Broadland is looking at a number of long-term measures for Reepham, including cordoning off areas of the Market Place, such as outside the Dial House, to allow for appropriate socially-distant queuing, as well as installing hand-sanitiser stations at the main entry points to the market square, which local businesses have offered to keep filled.
The district council has yet to outline its final plans for Reepham. It is also keen to reopen the public toilets in Pudding Pie Alley, although the town council recognised that this will require more cleaning during the day and other hygiene measures, such as paper towels in lieu of hand dryers.
Town councillors also discussed the issue of queues in the post office, noting that some customers had adopted a rather “cavalier” attitude to social distancing.