Coronavirus - Chichester District Council update
Thursday 11 June 2020
Issued by the Communications Team – firstname.lastname@example.org
This briefing is to keep you updated on the evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being taken in the district.
Who does it affect?
- Residents and businesses within the district
- Chichester District Council staff and councillors
- Parish councils
- Community groups and charitable organisations
In this briefing
- Latest update
- Service changes
- Support Local
- £1.8 million of funding for small businesses now available
- Chichester Farmer’s Market makes a welcome return
- Stay safe, leave a space
- Parking incentives introduced
- Sign up to our email newsletter
- Refuse, recycling, parks and toilets
- Residents encouraged to have their say on interim housing policy
- Council urges premises to carry out post-lockdown Legionella checks
- Bereavement support during COVID-19
- Community hub
- Face coverings mandatory on public transport
- Face masks mandatory at NHS Hospitals
- Waste crime
- Rough sleeping charities to receive £6 million funding
- Places of worship reopening for individual prayer
- How direct payment holders can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Dairy response fund
- Stay in touch
Non-essential retail confirmed to reopen from Monday 15 June
The Business Secretary has confirmed that shops in England selling non-essential goods will be able to reopen from Monday 15 June, thanks to continuing progress in meeting their five tests.
High street retailers and department stores, including book shops, electronics retailers, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, indoor markets, and shops selling clothes, shoes and toys, will be allowed to open their doors again provided they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines set out by the government in May.
Employers should also display a notice visibly in their shop windows or outside their store to show their employees, customers and other visitors that they have followed this guidance. The downloadable sign can be found here: https://bit.ly/CV19Sign
Full details of workplace guidance can be found here: https://bit.ly/CV19WorkingSafely.
From 13 June, if you are a single adult household – either you live alone or only with dependent children - you can form a support bubble with one other household. This means you can see other members of your support bubble indoors and outside. You will also be able to be less than 2 metres apart and stay overnight as if you were members of the same household. Individuals who form a bubble with one household may not form a bubble with anyone else.
It is not yet possible for people who are not in support bubbles to meet inside other people’s homes - that remains against the law. This is critical to helping us control the virus and keep people safe.
The Cabinet Office’s coronavirus FAQ page provides the very latest guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- stay at home as much as possible
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
Please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for the latest information.
We are asking everyone to get behind their local businesses and to ‘think local’ every time they want to buy something.
We are proud to have launched a campaign, in association with the Chichester Observer and Midhurst and Petworth Observer, to encourage everyone to support their local businesses. In this week’s paper, you will find a poster that you can cut out and place in your window to show your support. You can also download this from our website www.chichester.gov.uk/supportlocal
Our web pages also provide more information about the support we are offering businesses, including free social distancing signage designs, and how you can keep yourself safe while out and about. This includes looking out for the Government’s ‘COVID-19 Secure’ posters in High Street windows, which show that the business has completed a risk assessment and put in the necessary measures to ensure social distancing. We’re also looking at of expanding our High Street Recovery group, to involve a range of retailers, local partners and council members. This will look at how we support our High Streets and local businesses moving forward.
£1.8 million of funding for small businesses now available
We have launched the next stage of the business rate grant scheme. £1.8 million of government funding is now available to support small businesses in the Chichester District, which were previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This additional funding is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Anyone who feels that they may qualify for this new funding can apply by visiting https://www.chichester.gov.uk/businessratesmarch2020. Please note that the closing date for applications is 14 June 2020.
Chichester Farmers’ Market makes a welcome return
Chichester Farmers’ Market returned last Friday and it was a huge success. Due to social distancing requirements, it has been temporarily moved into the Cattle Market car park. People respected the systems we had introduced and thanks to your support, many of the traders were sold out by the time the market finished at 2pm! This is great news and is a very positive sign to those shops that are about to reopen. The Wednesday and Saturday markets are also returning and for the time-being they will also be both located in the Cattle Market car park.
Stay safe, leave a space
This week, we are introducing social distancing signage in our towns and city to remind people to stay safe and leave a space. The same signage has also been made available to businesses and community groups to download for free if they wish to use it.
In the first instance, due to the rapidly changing landscape, we are introducing temporary signage. We are currently planning more long-term signage that reflects individual towns and the city as we move forward into the summer months, when people have started to get used to the social distancing requirements and when most businesses will be open. At every step, we are involving our local partners in this work.
Parking incentives introduced
We’ve introduced some parking incentives in our car parks:
- free parking for everyone at the Avenue De Chartres car park every Saturday and Sunday; and
- one hour’s free parking for everyone when selecting two hours’ using the MiPermit app. Please download the app at https://secure.mipermit.com/chichester/Register/PayAndStayRegister.aspx to start to benefit from this scheme.
Both of these incentives will be in place for three months and will then be reviewed. To find out more, please see www.chichester.gov.uk/latestnews
The council will also continue to offer free car parking for NHS and social care workers in Northgate car park, Chichester – which is close to St Richard’s Hospital – until April 2021.
Sign up to our email newsletter
Please encourage people to sign up to our email newsletter service at www.chichester.gov.uk/newsalerts Anyone who signs up, will receive a copy of this newsletter on a weekly basis, sent directly to their chosen email account.
Refuse, recycling, parks and toilets
We are continuing to empty your bins as usual, including household waste, recycling, green recycling and trade waste. The teams have been working really hard to make sure that all services are running. Our parks, gardens and public toilets remain well maintained and open. Please remember to maintain social distancing when using our parks and toilets.
Residents encouraged to have their say on interim housing policy
People in the Chichester District are being invited to give their views on a draft interim housing policy in a public consultation starting Friday 12 June.
Chichester District Council is bringing forward an Interim Policy Statement, which will guide development in the Local Plan area until the Local Plan Review is adopted.
This policy does not include areas within the South Downs National Park. These areas are subject to a separate plan undertaken by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA).
The statement draws together adopted and emerging Local Plan policies to outline the types of new residential development that the council would support for the area. This will help potential applicants to understand the sorts of proposals that would be considered appropriate.
We are encouraging residents and businesses across the district to share their views on the draft statement, which will go live on Friday 12 June and will run for four weeks until 10 July 2020. You can read more about this at www.chichester.gov.uk/latestnews
People will be able to view and comment on the draft statement by visiting www.chichester.gov.uk/letstalkplanning from 12 June.
Council urges premises to carry out post-lockdown Legionella checks
We are working with Public Health England to advise businesses and voluntary groups of the potential for Legionnaires’ Disease (Legionella) in water systems that have been fully or partially closed during lockdown. For more information please see https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34084/Council-urges-premises-to-carry-out-post-lockdown-Legionella-checks
Bereavement support during COVID-19
The Sussex Bereavement Helpline has been set up to provide you with information and guidance, and is run by a team of experienced support workers, who can talk to you about the tasks that need to be completed after a death. The Helpline can also give you information about sources of help and support for you and your family and friends as you grieve. The service is available Monday to Friday from 8am until 5pm and can be reached on 0300 111 2141. You can find out more about the service at https://www.seshealthandcare.org.uk/priority/bereavement/
As we have mentioned previously, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, which has developed a Community Hub to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. We have been supporting the hub by collecting and delivering food, supporting volunteers, calling people to check that they are okay.
You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help. The best way to contact the hub is online; if you have access go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub.
A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.
Face coverings mandatory on public transport
The Transport Secretary announced that the government will work with operators to make it mandatory for passengers to wear face coverings when using public transport in England from 15 June.
The changes will be made under legislation such as the National Rail Conditions of Travel and Public Service Vehicle Regulations for buses. While the government expects the vast majority of people to comply with the changes, operators will be able to refuse travel or issue penalty fines for those who fail to wear a face covering, in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel. British Transport Police will also support the implementation of these changes.
Wherever possible people should continue to avoid public transport and walk, cycle or drive, but for some people this may not be an option.
Face masks mandatory at NHS Hospitals
The Department for Health and Social Care has announced that all staff in hospitals in England will be provided with surgical masks which they will be expected to wear from 15 June.
NHS staff already wear face masks in clinical areas within 2 metres of a patient, but the new guidance applies to everyone working in all areas of the hospital.
Members of the public are strongly urged to attend hospital wearing a face covering, but a face mask will be provided in emergencies.
DHSC is working with the social care sector to implement a similar approach.
We are urging households to play their part in preventing waste crime during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are some easy steps you can take to take to avoid unwittingly contributing to waste crime:
- check the people taking away your rubbish are registered waste carriers. Ideally they should have a copy of their registration documents on them; ask to see these. You can check their licence number at environment.data.gov.uk/public-register, or call 03708 506506 and the Environment Agency can check for you
- get a written receipt/transfer note showing their contact details, a description of your waste and details of where they are taking it
- note down the make, colour and registration number of the vehicle that’s taking your waste away.
Find out more information about our fly tipping campaign here: https://chichester.gov.uk/flytipping
Rough sleeping charities to receive £6 million funding
The Homelessness Minister has announced that over 130 charities are set to benefit from a portion of £6 million of government funding, allowing them to continue their work supporting rough sleepers during the pandemic.
The funding is part of a £750 million package of government support for UK charities which may have been impacted by the pandemic.
Places of worship reopening for individual prayer
The Communities Secretary has confirmed that from Monday 15 June places of worship will be permitted to re-open for individual prayer in line with social distancing guidelines.
Individual prayer will be permitted from 15 June, but communally led prayer, worship or devotion such as services, evensong, informal prayer meetings, Mass, Jummah or Kirtan will not be possible at this stage.
New guidance will be published shortly to ensure the limited re-opening of places of worship can be done safely and in line with social distancing guidelines.
This will recommend the thorough cleaning of shared spaces, hand cleansing at entry and exit and asking worshippers to bring their own items such as a prayer mat or religious text instead of sharing or using communal ones.
Places of worship still have discretion over when they consider it safe to open and may decide to remain closed or reopen at a slower pace if they wish.
How direct payment holders can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance to help people who buy care and support through a direct payment to know how and when they can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough employees during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance includes examples of when direct payment holders may or may not choose to use the scheme.
Dairy response fund
The Farming Minister has confirmed that a new dairy response fund will open for applications on 18 June.
Recognising that dairy farmers have fixed costs of production which some may have struggled to meet during the coronavirus outbreak, from 18 June farmers in England who have experienced 25% price losses in April and May will be able to apply for a single payment from the fund.
Qualifying farmers can apply for support to cover up to 70% of their losses due to coronavirus disruption across April and May, up to a total amount of £10,000 each. The funding will be paid out from 6 July.
Stay in touch
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