Thursday 28 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
- Track and Trace service launched
- Chichester’s Farmers’ Market returns
- Timeline for retail to reopen
- Supporting our High Streets
- Expanded business rate grants
- Free downloadable social distancing signage
- Help to shine a light on volunteers across Chichester District
- Patrols boosted in coastal areas to tackle illegal parking
- Universal credit claimants – don’t miss out!
- Household Waste and Recycling sites
- Refuse, recycling, parks and toilets
- Community hub
- 6,000 new supported homes as part of plans to end rough sleeping
- Selected NHS patients to access coronavirus treatment Remdesivir
- Funding boost for the Citizens Advice service
- Coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme is now live
- Mortgage payment holiday extended
- Antibodies testing
- £22 million awarded to health charities
- Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme webinar
- Stay in touch
The Prime Minister has announced the timeline for retail to reopen in June. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines. More details on this and the council’s response can be found below.
The government has also launched its Track and Trace service, which will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. The full details of this can be found in this newsletter.
You should continue to:
- 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
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.
Track and Trace service launched
The new NHS Test and Trace service has now launched across England. The service will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact with, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
For the full details on how this works, please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
Chichester Farmers’ Market returns
Chichester’s Farmers’ Market will return on Friday 5 June in the Cattle Market car park in Chichester between 9am and 2pm. For full details, please see https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34013/Chichester-Farmers-Market-set-to-resume-next-month
Timeline for retail to reopen
The Prime Minister set out a timeline for retail to reopen in June. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.
Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.
The government is taking action to help businesses re-open and protect their staff and customers, including:
- working with local authorities to continue to carry out spot checks and follow up on concerns by members of the public
- publishing updated COVID-secure guidelines for people who work in or run shops, branches, and stores.
Guidance for shops and branches: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches
A short video on how retail can be COVID safe has also been produced. https://drive.google.com/file/d/13ze7Wy0lGNug8-pBeh0V19a19b7gbiYx/view
Supporting our High Streets
As a council, we are continuing to respond and adapt to the coronavirus crisis as we move into the recovery stage. We are currently looking at how social distancing measures will be managed in our city and towns and have already carried out an assessment of our key retail areas and what measures may need to be implemented, including additional signage. We are also sharing downloadable signage designs with businesses and community groups and would encourage businesses to follow the Government guidance in producing risk assessments to make their premises as safe as possible. You can find out more and download the materials by visiting https://www.chichester.gov.uk/businesssupportandadvice
Expanded business rate grants
The government has issued a further £1.8 million to support small businesses in the Chichester who have not qualified for a business support grant. The criteria prioritises certain businesses including: small businesses in shared offices; regular market traders who do not pay business rates; Bed & Breakfast accommodation providers that pay council tax instead of business rates; and charities that claim Charitable Business Rates relief. If you own a small business and have not been able to access the small business grant scheme, then please get in touch to see if you are eligible to apply for this new funding. You can do this by visiting https://www.chichester.gov.uk/businessratesmarch2020 We will also be issuing a press release shortly which will appear at www.chichester.gov.uk/latestnews with more details.
Free downloadable social distancing signage
We have designed a range of social distancing signage for the district – Stay Safe – Leave a Space – and are sharing our designs with those businesses or community groups would like to use it. These can be downloaded for free from https://www.chichester.gov.uk/businesssupportandadvice at the top of the page. We have also sent the designs directly to every parish council in the district.
Help to shine a light on volunteers across Chichester District
We’re asking residents’ to help shine a light on volunteers across the district this Volunteers’ Week, 1 – 7 June 2020.
Volunteers’ Week takes place every year, and is a chance for people across the country to say thank you for the contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.
This year, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight the wonderful volunteers who are working so hard to support their local communities, particularly during the coronavirus crisis. We’re asking residents to get in touch through our social media channels, to let it know about a volunteer, or a group of volunteers, who are making a real difference in their community. Or you can email us at email@example.com
Patrols boosted in coastal areas to tackle obstructive parking
We have boosted parking patrols in coastal areas in response to an increase in dangerous and obstructive parking.
Since Friday 22 May, the council’s civil enforcement officers (CEOs) have issued more than 180 penalty charge notices (PCNs) to drivers who have not parked in line with restrictions in the Witterings and Manhood Peninsula. At the moment the privately-run West Wittering Estate car park is open, but with reduced capacity in order to meet social distancing rules. As a result, parking spaces have to be pre-booked before travelling to the area.
We are reminding people intending to travel to West Wittering that if they don’t have a pre-booked space at the estate car park, not to travel there. We are only able to take action against a vehicle where there are yellow lines or sign restrictions in place. We cannot take action in private roads or on pavements or driveways where there are no restrictions in place. These are dealt with by the police. Members of the public should contact the police if there is an immediate problem which is a danger to the highway. For more information about Chichester District Council’s Parking Services, see https://www.chichester.gov.uk/parking or to read the press release please see www.chichester.gov.uk/latestnews
Universal credit claimants – don’t miss out!
If you have recently claimed Universal Credit, don’t forget to apply for Council Tax Reduction. This is a means tested benefit designed to help people with their council tax payments and doesn’t take account of outgoings. At the moment, around 10% of those entitled to Universal Credit in our area have contacted us to apply for Council Tax Reduction. Please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/myaccount to make an online application. Residents who are experiencing difficulties paying their council tax are encouraged to contact us to discuss the options available to them. You can also find out more information at https://www.chichester.gov.uk/counciltax or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Household Waste and Recycling sites
Household Waste Recycling Sites, which are run by West Sussex County Council, will start accepting more items including wood, furniture and electrical items from Monday 1 June.
Residents will be able to dispose of the following items at all sites in West Sussex:
• garden waste
• general household waste
• electrical items
• bulky items
• white goods
Unfortunately, soil, hardcore, plasterboard, asbestos, tyres and textiles/clothes will not be allowed at this time. This is to ensure social distancing measures can be maintained and to limit queues. The mobile services at Selsey and the Witterings will begin reopening from Thursday 4 June for wood and green waste only, starting with the Witterings.
Residents are still asked to only visit sites if their journey is necessary and their waste or recycling is not suitable for kerbside collection. Social distancing measures are in place at all sites which means a smaller number of people will be allowed in at one time, and could result in long queues. Vans and pickups will be permitted on site with the correct permits. Residents will still need to bring a permit for these types of vehicle. Unfortunately, trailers will still not be allowed at this time to allow for social distancing in light of restrictions around COVID-19 and to limit queues.
To apply for a van permit, visit: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/land-waste-and-housing/waste-and-recycling/van-pickup-and-trailer-waste-permit/
Follow @WSRecycles on social media or sign up for the West Sussex e-newsletter at www.wastepreventionwestsussex.co.uk to receive the latest information as it becomes available.
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.
As we have mentioned previously, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, which is running 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.
Selected NHS patients to access coronavirus treatment Remdesivir
The Department of Health and Social Care announced that the anti-viral drug, remdesivir, will be made available to NHS coronavirus patients meeting certain clinical criteria to support their recovery in hospital. For the time being and due to limited supplies, treatment will be prioritised for patients who have the greatest likelihood of deriving the most benefit. The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK, with early data showing it can shorten the time to recovery by about 4 days.
Funding boost for the Citizens Advice service
Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland will receive a funding boost of up to £15 million to help them deal with increased demand for advice and information from the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Scully has announced.
The funding will allow them to increase their capacity so they can continue to deliver advice on a range of issues, such as if a person cannot pay their bills due to coronavirus, or how they can protect themselves from or report a coronavirus-related scam.
Coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme is now live
Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking coronavirus-related leave can now claim back the money.
If you’re an employer with fewer than 250 employees, you can now claim for Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can also speak to your tax agent about making claims on your behalf. The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP.
For more information about this Coronavirus support measure, you can also sign-up to HMRC’s Statutory Sick Pay Scheme Webinar.
Register for the webinar: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/3667545685723120643?source=May-HMRC-DCS-OGD-1
Mortgage payment holiday extended
Homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage due to Coronavirus will be able to extend their mortgage payment holiday for a further three months, or start making reduced payments, in proposals published on Friday 22 May.
The availability of a three month mortgage holiday was first announced in March as part of a package of support for individuals, businesses and the economy. Over 1.8 million mortgage payment holidays were taken up, and the first of these will be coming to an end in June.
To give people the certainty they need, they will be contacted by their lender to discuss a way forward. Where consumers can afford to re-start mortgage payments, it is in their best interest to do so. However, if people are still struggling and need help, a full extension of the mortgage holiday for a further three months will be available as one of the options open to them.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published new draft guidance today for lenders which will set out the expectations for firms and the options available to their customers
The Health and Social Care Secretary has announced that antibody tests will be available to NHS and care staff, eligible patients, and care residents in England to find out if they have had coronavirus as part of a new national antibody testing programme.
Tests will be prioritised for NHS and care staff, and clinicians will be able to request them for patients in both hospital and social care settings if they deem it appropriate. The programme will start next week.
£22 million awarded to health charities
The government has announced that over £22 million in grants will be awarded to life-saving health charities providing vital services to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of coronavirus.
The money is part of a UK-wide £750 million package of support for the voluntary sector announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in April.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme webinar
HMRC is running free webinars on the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. The webinars will provide an overview the scheme and will include information on:
- who can claim
- when to start paying SSP
- employees you can claim for
- making a claim
- keeping records.
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