Work at the Council to support our residents and businesses continues at a fast pace as we reach what everyone hopes is the half way point of the latest set of national restrictions.
While our leisure centres closed, our market was reduced to essentials only, and some of the non urgent repairs for our tenants had to be postponed, other areas of the council became a frenzy of increased activity. Calls to our Covid support line increased, a new raft of business grants became available at short notice and many of our staff were redeployed to help our most vulnerable customers.
Last week our Revenues and Benefits team began receiving applications for both the Local Restrictions Grant Scheme and the Additional Restrictions Grants – new schemes launched for this latest round of restrictions. In the first 48 hours they received more than
100 applications and that figure has already doubled.
Our Covid support team, supported by our leisure and customer service staff, received 26 applications to our hardship fund, the busiest week since the first lock down began in March. To date they have processed 262 applications and distributed almost £18,000 in the form of grants, food vouchers or food parcels. While shielding has not come into effect in the same way as it did back in March, the community team has been working to support those in our district who are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. The team is on hand to support people to ensure they can meet their basic needs such as receive prescriptions and have access to food
deliveries and emotional support.
Our housing team, again assisted by leisure staff, began welfare checks on tenants and have made many calls to those aged over 70 and others who may be considered vulnerable. Before the end of this latest period of restrictions, it is hoped that the team will have completed calls to over 1,000 tenants and also many more to other clients of the Council who receive a Lifeline alarm service.
Leader of the Council, Bob Deed, said: “This period of restrictions has had a huge impact on our local businesses and communities. It is a particularly hard time for many, especially in the winter months and in the lead up to Christmas and we want our communities to know are working hard to support them and will continue to do so. Please remember if you need help, or are not sure where to turn to for advice, get in touch with us, even if it’s not something we can help with directly you can bet we can point you in the right direction.”
To find out more about the grants available for our local businesses visit: Please click here
To contact the Covid support line or hardship fund: Please click here