Issue 24 | January 2021
Vaccination rollout and bus pass relaxation
The NHS in Sussex continues its rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination – this is the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS. Please let your communities know that The Sussex Health and Care Partnership website has details on the rollout, including when they can expect to get their jab and details of vaccination scams to be aware of.
Please also help us spread the message about the relaxation of the concessionary bus pass rules so people can get to early morning vaccination appointments. They can now travel for free in West Sussex before 9.30am. Concessionary bus pass holders can currently travel free of charge in West Sussex, off-peak – which is weekdays 9.30am-11pm and all day on weekends and bank holidays: now, due to this temporary relaxation, it will also allow them to travel for free before 9.30am.
More information about the county council’s bus pass scheme is available here.
COVID-19 support for residents
Please reassure residents they can still get help from the county council’s Community Hub in confidence by calling 033 022 27980 or by completing the online form. The Hub is open seven days a week between 8am-8pm.
Reset Plan and budget setting
The county council’s cabinet will consider budget proposals, including which of its proposed savings it will take forward, at their meeting this Friday (22 January). You can view the agenda here.
The budget is being considered as part of the development of the council’s services to ensure it is focusing the limited budget it has on the priorities it has developed.
This work is being driven through the development of a Reset Plan – the council’s new corporate plan. The Reset Plan guides how the council spends the significant sums in its budget, ensures it is accountable for its delivery, and aligns the council’s priorities to the budget.
That work is happening together with partners and staff to make sure there is a sustainable and long-term plan for the future.
On 12 February Full Council will be asked to support the Reset Plan, the final Revenue Budget for 2021/22, our Capital Strategy 2021 – 2026 and our Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2021/22.
The Census is a once every 10 years survey of the population across the UK. Census day is 21 March 2021.
The census population estimates underpin both planning and provision of public services. Getting the best possible response rates is vital to this across many areas including; planning and development, public health and social care, education, transport, housing, emergency services, libraries, waste collection and disposal. The approach to carrying out the census has been informed by population statistics from 2011, mid-census data from 2016 and any other updates and work carried out by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) since then.
There have been a number of changes since the last Census to reflect how society has changed, with new questions and a ‘digital first’ approach. The ONS are looking for a 94% response rate, with at least 80% in every authority area. This time they have set a target for 75% to be submitted as an online response and are trying to minimise variability within each local authority and within ‘hard-to-count’ groups.
The aim is that Census 2021 will be the last of its kind, given the digital data currently available and likely to be available by 2031.
There are officers at the county council, as well as all the district and borough councils, that are working with the ONS. Parish and town councils have been, and will continue to be, updated directly by the ONS. More information here.
Recover and rise for local businesses
Local businesses in your area may be interested to know that a series of online workshops are available to them. The West Sussex Recover & Rise in 2021 workshops aim to give West Sussex small businesses a robust toolkit to survive – and hopefully grow – in 2021.Topics include goal setting and business planning, plus critical digital skills like social media, Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimisation.
Digital help for residents
If residents need help to get online, sending emails or searching the internet then let them know West Sussex Libraries offer a Remote Digital Support Service with volunteers giving basic support in one-off sessions by phone or online.
The Library Digital Support Team are available Monday-Friday 10am-4pm to take enquiries and arrange for a volunteer to help. They can be contacted by phone 0330 222 3455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vintage local film coming soon
On Tuesday 16 February series two of West Sussex Unwrapped goes live.
Brought to you by West Sussex Record Office and Screen Archive South East, this new 8-part series will allow residents to explore the historical, celebratory, nostalgic & quirky sides of West Sussex. Watch the trailer here.
Keeping in touch
Please share the information in this newsletter widely within your communities.
We are also now on Nextdoor, the app designed with communities in mind. Your residents can follow the link and join the conversation.
Thank you for your support. Keep safe.
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