Coronavirus update from Chichester District Council
Wednesday 6 May 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
- Sign up to our email newsletter
- VE Day – 8 May 2020
- Behind the Headlines
- Top council in the country at paying business rate grants
- Local business guides
- Household Waste and Recycling Centres to reopen
- Refuse, recycling and parks
- Bounce Back Loans launched
- Tax Credit payments
- Tool to help self-employed determine eligibility for grant claims
- Community hub
- Important advice
- New website for reporting medicines side-effects and equipment incidents
- Working in people’s homes
- Stay in touch
The Prime Minister is expected to deliver an address to the nation on Sunday outlining the government’s ‘roadmap’ for exiting the coronavirus lockdown. He is expected to explain a ‘menu of options’ the government will choose from when it eventually begins lifting the current restrictions. A new contact-tracing app for managing the coronavirus outbreak will also be piloted on the Isle of Wight this week.
You can find out the latest advice and guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Until the government issues further guidance, everyone should:
- stay at home
- only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
Anyone can spread the virus. The advice is to stay home and save lives.
Please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for the latest information.
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.
VE Day – Friday 8 May
The government has revised plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8 May in a manner consistent with the current measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. The new programme will allow members of the public to remember and give thanks to the Second World War generation from the safety of their own homes.
To find out more about how you can take part, you can visit: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/
Our Novium Museum has also produced dedicated web pages on Victory in Europe Day, including how residents of the district celebrated this key date https://www.thenovium.org/article/33904/Victory-in-Europe-Day You can also sit back and listen to our VE Day Voices, bringing history to life and spoken by the people who were there! https://www.thenovium.org/article/33968/VE-Day-Voices
Behind the Headlines
The council’s response to the coronavirus crisis will appear in the Observer’s ‘Behind the Headlines’ pages this week, explaining how we have been supporting our communities.
Top council in the country at paying business rate grants
We’re very proud that in a national table showing the business rate grants that have been issued, we’re right at the top of the table. 99.56% of our business rate grants were paid by the end of April, with the remaining businesses choosing not to take their grant. Business rate grants, totalling around £36 million, have now been issued to approximately 3,000 businesses in the Chichester District. You can find out more at https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/33975/Hundreds-of-local-businesses-receive-COVID-19-grant-funding
Local business guides
Although many businesses have had to close their doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, lots of companies are still offering their services in a different way.
From delicious food takeaways and home deliveries to virtual lessons and workshops, many businesses are continuing to offer lots of services across the district. Chichester BID has created an online guide to those operating across the District https://chichesterbid.co.uk/chichester-business-directory/ and the South Downs National Park Authority have also produced one for the north of the district too https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/community-rallies-round-to-create-helpful-online-map/
Household Waste and Recycling Centres to reopen
West Sussex County Council has confirmed that it plans to reopen Household Waste Recycling Sites next week. For the full details, please see https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/news/county-council-confirms-how-and-when-household-waste-recycling-sites-will-reopen/
Refuse, recycling and parks
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 and gardens remain well maintained and open, so that you are able to enjoy them for your one piece of exercise a day.
Bounce Back Loans launched
Small business owners can now apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with the cash arriving within days. An affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans.
The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee and cover the cost of any fees and interest for the borrower for the first 12 months. To enable firms to get back on their feet, no repayments will be due during this period.
Tax credit payments
The government has confirmed that those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed.
There is no need to contact HMRC about this change. HMRC will treat those applicable as working their normal hours until the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme close, even if they are not using either scheme.
Tool to help self-employed determine eligibility for grant claims
HMRC have launched an online tool the public can use to find out if they’re eligible to make a claim through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The following are required to access the tool:
- Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
- National Insurance number
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.
The Cabinet Office has updated the document that answers some of the most frequently asked question on what the public can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak. You can access it here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
Please also remember that we also have lots of FAQs and updates on our services and these can be found at www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus
New website for reporting medicines side-effects and equipment incidents
A new online reporting site, dedicated to reporting any suspected side effects from medicines, future vaccines and incidents involving medical equipment relating to coronavirus treatment, has been launched
The Yellow Card COVID-19 reporting site has been developed as part of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’ (MHRA) work to protect the public through enhanced coronavirus vigilance and in preparation for large-scale use of potential new or repurposed medicines, medical devices, diagnostic tests and future vaccines.
Working in people’s homes
The guidance for working in people’s homes as a tradesperson, cleaner or nanny, which is part of the social distancing in the workplace guidance, has been updated.
Stay in touch
Make sure you stay in touch with our daily updates on:
You can also now sign up for our email newsletters at www.chichester.gov.uk/newsalerts