Thursday 14 May 2020
Issued by the Communications Team – email@example.com
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
- Downing Street Briefing
- Supporting you
- New service launched for young people
- Staying safe outside the home
- Refuse, recycling and parks
- New scams – important message about business grants and council tax scams
- The Novium Museum needs your help
- Top-up business grants fund scheme
- Community hub
- Important advice
- Travelling safely
- Operating workplaces safely
- Face coverings
- Furlough scheme extended
- Webinar on how to claim for Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
- Schools and educational settings information for parents and carers
- Apply for the Food Charities Grant Fund
- Apply for the Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation fund
- New funding to support dairy farmers
- Stay in touch
The Prime Minister has outlined the government’s ‘roadmap’ for exiting the coronavirus lockdown. We are now being advised to Stay Alert. This means that 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
The government has published a list of what you can and can’t do. You can find this 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
You can find out the latest advice and guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
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.
Downing Street briefing
As many of you will be aware, the Chichester District had a special mention at the Downing Street press briefing last week. This was due to the fact that we are currently the highest performing council at issuing business rate grants in England. Our staff worked weekends and evenings to make sure that the grants were issued as quickly as possible, because they realise how vital they are to our local businesses at this time. You can watch the clip from the briefing here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJvhisIXQdc
Our staff and councillors have joined together to thank you for your support and to explain how we have been supporting you through this crisis. You can watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoK3M0jn9_8&t=10s
New service launched for young people
The Chichester Information Shop, a local Chichester charity, has launched a new telephone support service for young people (13-25), offering confidential emotional support. You can find out more about this fantastic charity and how you can support their work, by visiting http://chi-infoshop.org.uk/
Staying safe outside of home
The Cabinet Office has published guidance that sets out the principles the public should follow to ensure that time spent outside of home is as safe as possible.
The FAQ document on what the public can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak has also been updated.
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, gardens and public toilets remain well maintained and open. Please remember to maintain social distancing when using our parks and toilets.
New scams – important message about business grants and council tax scams
We have received reports of two new scams — one which targets businesses about the Government’s business rates grants scheme, and another which tells the recipient that they are eligible for council tax reduction. Both scams lead to websites that aren’t credible and ask for personal and financial details.
The correct website to find out the latest information about the Government’s business rate grants, is: www.chichester.gov.uk/businessratesmarch2020. If you need any help, please contact us directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think you may be eligible for council tax reduction, you should visit our website to find out more or to make a claim: www.chichester.gov.uk/counciltaxreduction
The National Cyber Security Centre has published a guide on how to stay secure online during the coronavirus outbreak. This includes tips on how to deal with suspicious emails: www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions
The Novium Museum needs your help
The Novium Museum is asking for your help to collect and preserve stories and memories which show how residents of the Chichester District have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is partnering with West Sussex Record Office and Screen Archive South East, to record the events that we are currently living through for future generations.
Do you have an item that represents your experience or characterises your community’s response to Covid-19? Have you created posters, rainbows or poems? Do you have a particular item that has kept you going throughout the lockdown? A selection of these objects will be added to the museum’s social history collection and will be preserved for future generations.
A selection of the entries will also be chosen to display in a headline exhibition on the subject of memory that The Novium Museum is preparing for Spring/Summer 2021. Within the exhibition the museum would love to be able to create an installation using the Rainbows you and your families have created, during this time.
Top-up to business grants fund scheme
The Government has announced that it will be providing local authorities with additional funding to assist small businesses with fixed property related costs.
This is an extension of the Government’s existing business rates grant scheme. Businesses that are eligible for this, or who are eligible for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme, will not be able to apply for this additional funding.
We don’t have any of the details around this yet, including how much our district will receive or which type of businesses will be eligible. We will update you as soon as we receive the details of the scheme. In the meantime, the Government has published some information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-scheme
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
The Department for Transport has published guidance on safe travel and safe transport operations following the publication of the government’s roadmap.
The public is asked to continue to work from home if they can and, if this is not possible, urged to consider cycling, walking or driving before using public transport.
For those who have to use public transport, the guidance for passengers on how to travel safely recommends:
- keeping 2 metres apart from others wherever possible
- wearing a face covering if you can
- using contactless payment where possible
- avoiding rush hour travel where feasible
- washing or sanitising your hands as soon as possible before and after travel
- following advice from staff and being considerate to others
The guidance recognises that there will be times and some settings on public transport where social distancing is not possible. It outlines how people should minimise the duration of this, and take all necessary steps to observe these measures where possible.
Operating workplaces safely
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published new guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The steps for businesses to take are focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical:
- Work from home, if you can
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
- Reinforcing cleaning processes
These steps are accompanied by guidance on specific types of workplace, and apply to businesses which are currently open. Guidance for other sectors that are not currently open will be developed and published ahead of those establishments opening to give those businesses time to plan.
The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces where they may be more likely to come into contact with people they do not normally meet.
Face coverings may be beneficial in places where it is hard to maintain social distancing measures. This applies when using public transport, such as trains, buses and metro systems, or when visiting shops.
Guidance on wearing and making face coverings: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering
Furlough scheme extended
The Chancellor has announced that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October.
Furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500 a month. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
Webinar on how to claim for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
HMRC are this week running webinars on how to make a claim for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The webinar provides an overview of the scheme and gives information on:
- who can claim
- how to make a claim
- what you’ll need
- what happens after you’ve claimed
- support available
Schools and educational settings information for parents and carers
The Department for Education has published an FAQ document for parents and carers about the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges, transport, attendance, free school meals and remote education.
Apply for the Food Charities Grant Fund
Front-line food aid charities can apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to help them continue to provide food to the vulnerable.
To be eligible to apply charities must:
- be unable to meet an increased demand for food from vulnerable individuals or supporting charities
- have the capacity to distribute all of the food purchased under this grant by 9 August 2020
Charities can apply for the grant to provide for people:
- unable to afford food
- who have moved into temporary accommodation as a result of COVID-19, for example those who have left home due to domestic abuse, newly released prisoners, the newly homeless
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs will assess applications to the fund in the order they are submitted.
Apply for the Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation fund
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has secured £10 million for domestic abuse safe accommodation charities. The support can be used to ensure existing services remain open as well as to create additional capacity and support during these unprecedented times.
Domestic abuse safe accommodation providers within England are encouraged to apply. Bids should be submitted by 21 May 2020.
Details and application form: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-abuse-safe-accommodation-covid-19-emergency-support-fund
New funding to support dairy farmers
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs announced that England’s dairy farmers will be able to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May due to coronavirus disruptions will be eligible to access this funding for those qualifying months, with no cap set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available.
More details on the fund will be issued in due course.
Stay in touch
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