The Parish Council have created this page so that useful information can be stored in an easily remembered place.

Tuesday 31st March 2020:

News from HMRC: The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support businesses and individuals through the Coronavirus pandemic. On 20 March as part of these efforts the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This funding will be open to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, including charities. Employers can apply for grants of 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage, provided they keep the worker employed. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020, if applicable.

HMRC have been working night and day to develop this scheme, and we can now confirm that we have been able to publish further details of the scheme on GOV‌.UK. We are aiming to have the scheme up and running by the end of April 2020. More detailed guidance will be published in due course and please be assured we will advise you when the scheme is open.

Guidance for employers is available on GOV.UK. You may also find the guidance for employees helpful.

We recommend you view the guidance which will be updated as the scheme is further developed, and in line with any further government announcements.

Monday 30th March 2020:

Garden Waste collections suspended due to Covid-19, message from TBC Officer: I hope you’re all safe and well. In line with our business continuity plan with Ubico, we have had to reduce the services running in order to make sure there are sufficient staff (who are key workers) to run our statutory waste collection services. From today, the garden waste collection service has been suspended and will not run for at least 2 weeks. A number of drivers and collection staff are unable to work due to Covid–19 which has meant the remaining workforce are focussing on the main waste services.  This is not a decision we take lightly and we have managed to collect for as long as we could, even when other councils had stopped their garden waste collections.

We will be contacting customers from today and it would be extremely helpful if you can pass this message out to your communities so we can ensure the information is circulated. I will send you a copy of the email / letter so you can share with your residents and communities.

Regular service updates:

We will also be updating our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tewkesbury.boroughcouncil as well as our dedicated website page: www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/impacted-refuse-and-recycling-collections (which is accessible from the main homepage) with regular updates and also some helpful tips on how to manage your waste at home during this challenging time. We will arrange for our telephone line to be updated with service information for those not on the internet, social media or email. IT are currently working on this with our comms team.

We have also stopped taking new orders for bulky waste collections but honouring those remaining bookings which have already been made. If we need to alter this at any point, we will let customers know as soon as possible.

I will update you regularly when there are any more changes. This is a fast moving situation and we will endeavour to do our best to keep the main services running.

Friday 27th March 2020:

From GCC – COVID-19 update: 27 March 2020

·         If you need help or someone you know does please visit the Community Help Hub online at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/helphub or by calling  01452 583519 Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm

·         Please follow the national advice rearing staying at home unless its absolutely necessary to go out for reason set out in the guidance – this will help manage the spread of Covid-19 and support the NHS and care sector to cope

·         If you are a business and need advice and support, please go to the Government’s dedicated web pages

·         Please take time to look after your mental health – make sure you are keeping your mind and body active

·         Remember to keep up the good handwashing and to catch sneezes and coughs in a tissue.

·         A dedicated phone line and email address has been set up to help parents with all school related enquiries, including questions relating to Free School Meals. Tel: 01452 426015. Email COVIDSchoolenquiries@gloucestershire.gov.uk

The position in Gloucestershire

  • The Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), chaired by Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at the county council is the multi-agency group consisting of partners from across the county who is leading Gloucestershire’s response to Covid-19. The group is currently meeting twice weekly. It is supported by a “Tactical Coordination Group” (TCG) that is responsible for delivering the actions from the SCG who meet
  • Public Health England (PHE) has formally confirmed:
  • 64 cases in the county
  • 1 death in the county
  • 453 cases in South West

UK

Total UK Tests: 104,866

Total UK Cases: 11,658

Total UK Deaths: 578

New National Guidance

·           Fraud control in emergency management – Guidance for leaders and fraud experts in government bodies and local authorities that are administering emergency programmes

·           The Coronavirus Act 2020 has now become law and is available on legislation.gov.

·           Guidance on how to help people safely

·           Check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home

Update on the Gloucestershire response

Adults Services

·           Customers who usually attend day care and respite are being contacted every other day to make sure informal carers are coping or if they need support

·           Great Western Court (Gloucester) provides bed based reablement and has freed up the bed available and opened an additional six beds to take cases from hospital discharges or cases from the community

·           GIS (Healthcare) and Adult Social Care are working on plans to run a seven day service from 6 April to meet the demand expectations of the discharge guidance

·           Currently independent care providers are still taking on new referrals and meeting their existing commitments. 

·           Care Home providers are putting in visiting restrictions and Beaufort House Care Home and Elmlea Care Home are closed.

Education

·           The Early Years team is working to find alternative provision for Key Workers across the county as many nurseries and early years providers close

·           A further announcement is expected from the Department For Education (DfE) in relation to the provision and delivery of Free School Meals or Vouchers for eligible children – further guidance will be issued to schools today

·           Guidance on safe operating and deep cleaning, HR FAQs, Traded Services updates have been issued to schools.

·           Cleaning contractors have confirmed they will continue to operate and provide deep cleans over the Easter break, subject to available staff and resources.  

·           The requirement for cover over the Easter holiday break and Bank Holiday dates is still being considered in consultation with the DfE and further information will follow. A letter has been issued by schools to parents seeking clarity of need for school places over Easter.

Health

·           A significant number of outpatient appointments at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals are being done using conferencing technology and phone calls – helping to protect patients and staff at the hospitals. Where necessary face-to-face are continuing and precautionary steps are in place

Transport

·           Temporary changes to bus services are being introduced from Monday 30 March 2020. See here.

Housing

·           Gloucestershire’s COVID-19 Emergency Accommodation Protocol (CEAP) humanitarian response has been activated to provide people with emergency accommodation who wouldn’t normally be eligible.

Districts

·           Section 151 officers across the county are discussing the economic response to the crisis and implementation of Government guidance on business rate relief and other measures.

Community Help hub

Since the community help hub went live on we have received lots of positive feedback and can see that people are sharing the details which is great news. To help coordinate all of the great work going on across the county and to make sure we do as much as possible for as many people as possible, we would really appreciate existing groups already working in an area to register via the hub. So, please do encourage those you are aware of to do so.

As of Thursday 26 March the following responses have been received:

1.    I can offer help – 1583

2.    I need help – 449

3.    My neighbour needs help – 168

4.    My business can help – 142

5.    202 phone calls to the covid phone line (On a normal day the adult help desk get 200-250 calls).

All National Guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

General NHS advice can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Latest information from the NHS on service advice and developments: NHS update

Thursday 26th March 2020:

From GCC: It is essential communities follow the up to date guidance from government and the NHS and that they are not causing unnecessary anxiety and concerns due to misinformation being shared with them, however well meaning. Therefore, please only use the information in the briefing below and/or information and advice from Government or NHS sources.

Key messages for today:

·         People can now register to the county’s community help hub by calling  01452 583519 Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm, as well as online at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/helphub

·         Please follow the national advice about staying at home unless its absolutely necessary to go out for reasons set out in the guidance – this will help manage the spread of Covid-19 and support the NHS and care sector to cope

·         If you are a business and need advice and support, please go to the Government’s dedicated web pages

·         Please take time to look after your mental health – make sure you are keeping your mind and body active

·         Remember to keep up the good handwashing and to catch sneezes and coughs in a tissue.

·         A dedicated phone line and email address has been set up to help parents with all school related enquiries, including questions relating to Free School Meals. Tel: 01452 426015. Email COVIDSchoolenquiries@gloucestershire.gov.uk

The position in Gloucestershire

  • The Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), chaired by Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at the county council is the multi-agency group consisting of partners from across the county who is leading Gloucestershire’s response to Covid-19. The group is currently meeting weekly. It is supported by a “Tactical Coordination Group” (TCG) that is responsible for delivering the actions from the SCG.
  • Public Health England (PHE) has formally confirmed:
  • 57 cases in the county
  • 1 death in the county
  • 397 confirmed cases in the South West

UK

Total UK Tests: 90,436

Total UK Cases: 8,077

Total UK Deaths: 442

PHE is now prioritising testing for Covid-19 for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness. Wider community testing is no longer happening as a matter of course but PHE will continue to investigate if there are specific outbreaks, i.e. where several cases are connected, especially in a particular setting such as care homes.

Local updates

·         As of this morning Thursday 26 March, 1465 individuals and 119 businesses have made offers of help through the online hub, 348 registered for help and 122 said a neighbour needs support. For those unable to use the online forms we now have a phone line available, 01452 583519. The lines are open Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5pm. Yesterday, we answered 92 calls

·         Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) releasing a campaign to raise awareness of scammers exploiting the crisis. More information is available under the ‘more information’ section on the community hub.

·         The NHS has announced some temporary changes to Gloucestershire’s Minor Injury and Illness Units (MIIUs) in order to strengthen staffing at a smaller number of sites. The inpatient hospital services will be unaffected at this time and kept under review:  

–       From today (Thursday 26 March) temporary closures include: The Vale, near Dursley (nearest alternative, Stroud) and The Dilke, near Cinderford (nearest alternative, Lydney)

–       The following MIIU will close temporarily from Sunday evening (March 29): Tewksbury (nearest alternatives North Cotswolds, Stroud or Lydney)

–       The following MIIUs will be open from 8am until 6pm, seven days a week, from Monday 30 March until further notice: Lydney, Stroud, Cirencester,  North Cotswolds, in Moreton-in-Marsh

·           NHS has launched local community hubs in health centres and surgeries to support people who need face-to-face support or who have symptoms of Covid-19 in their communities. This aims to relive the pressure on hospitals and protect NHS staff

·           NHS ‘Stay home, save lives’ campaign launched to encourage people to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. The campaign materials are now available to download on the Campaign Resource Centre. NHS is also aiming to provide some materials in accessible formats, plus translated versions of the posters and selected social assets in the following languages: Polish, Russian, Welsh, Punjab, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Romanian and Roma (for the Roma travelling community)

Education

·           A series of Frequently Asked Questions have been published and a dedicated phone line and email address set up to help parents with all school related enquiries, including questions relating to Free School Meals. Tel: 01452 426015. Email COVIDSchoolenquiries@gloucestershire.gov.uk

·           At the current time almost everyone who needs a child care place, has one. Work is ongoing to ensure sufficient places remain although this will become an increasing challenge

·           Further guidance has been issued to schools to assist them in the provision and delivery of Free School Meals to eligible children

·           More support and guidance is being prepared on deep cleaning as more schools are requesting it as suspected and confirmed cases are reported in schools

·           Advice for Parents, Key Workers and Early Years Providers is available on the GCC website Community Hub page https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/schools-and-key-workers/

·           The requirement for cover over the Easter holiday break and Bank Holiday dates is still being considered in consultation with the Department for Education and further information will follow

·           Gloucestershire Country Council will pay 90 per cent of schools contracts, including for providers of school transport whilst schools are closed

Latest national guidance

·         PM statement 25.03.20 covered new NHS ‘army’ of volunteers. 405,000 people signed up in 24 hours. They will be: driving medicines from pharmacies to patients; bringing patients home from hospital; making regular phone calls to check on and support people who are staying on their own at home

·          

·         Guidance on vulnerable children and young people – Updated guidance to include additional information on children with education health and care (EHC) plans and children in alternative provision (AP) settings

·         Government to provide free car parking for NHS and social care staff

·         guidance for food businesses

·           Letter regarding the exemption for hotels, hostels and B&Bs to open so they can offer accommodation to key workers and support rough sleepers to keep them off the streets and in suitable accommodation.

·           Updated advice for educational settings, and their students and staff, who are travelling or planning to travel

·           Guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021, announced at Budget 2020

·           Updated guidance for local government – Added links to: COVID-19 advice for accommodation providers COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

·           Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

·           Temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits, to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel.

Previous Government guidance:

·                   Stay at home guidance for households

·                   Guidance on shielding and protecting people

·                   Social distancing now in multiple languages

·                   employers and businesses

·                   Mass gatherings

·                   residential care provision, supported living provision and home care provision

·                   local government including new public procurement guidance

·                   Guidance for businesses and venues subject to closure

·                   Guidance on rail emergency measures

·                   Guidance on courts and tribunals

·                   Guidance to avoid non-essential domestic travel

·                   All of the above information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

·                   The Department for Education has set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions

·                   General NHS advice can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

The NHS in Gloucestershire is taking responsible steps to plan ahead and respond to the unfolding Covid-19 situation. Here is a link to the latest information from the NHS on service advice and developments: NHS update

From TBC: Covid-19 – Council tax discount for those on low incomes

Tewkesbury Borough Council will receive a Hardship Fund from Government in April 2020.

The fund will allow the council to apply a discount to council tax bills for working-age residents who are on low incomes and in receipt of Council Tax Reduction. These residents will receive a one-off award of £150 towards their 2020/2021 council tax bill.

If your balance for 2020/2021 is nil, then no payment can be granted. If you have a balance that is less than £150 your balance will be cleared in full. This deduction is for 2020/2021 only (even if you have a balance from previous years).

Residents who meet the criteria do not need to apply for this payment, it will be identified and paid automatically. Once the discount has been applied, customers will receive a new bill showing the deduction. 

For more information, visit https://www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/news/coronavirus-council-tax-and-benefits

Covid-19 – Grants available to help businesses

In response to COVID-19, the government has shared details of its grant funding package, which is available to eligible businesses across Tewkesbury Borough.

The council is asking eligible businesses to complete an online grant application form as soon as possible to ensure that payments can be made in the next few weeks. It will take business owners around five minutes to complete.

Council officers will be contacting eligible businesses as a prompt to complete the online form.

Eligible businesses

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors:

·         The government announced cash grants of up to £25,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

·         For businesses that were actively trading and occupying properties with rateable values of £15,000 or less the grant is expected to be £10,000.

·         For businesses that were actively trading and occupying properties with rateable values between £15,000 and £51,000 the grant is expected to be £25,000.

Businesses in any sector receiving the small business rate relief:

·         Businesses in receipt of small business rate relief on 11 March 2020 will receive a grant of £10,000. There are some exceptions:

o   Properties which are occupied for personal use, e.g. private stables, beach huts and moorings will not qualify for a cash grant even if they are in receipt of relief.

o   Properties where the liability is calculated using the small business multiplier but not in receipt of small business rate relief will not qualify for the grant.

Complete the online grant application form here.

The gov.uk website provides additional information relating to these measures.

We are also providing free support and advice through Tewkesbury Growth Hub, including a range a of webinar advice sessions, for more info email: tewkesbury@thegrowthhub.biz or telephone 01684 272073.

If you need any further information or help with signposting to appropriate advice and support, call the Economic Development Team on 01684 272249 or email economicdevelopment@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Community support 

  • GRCC have put together guidance for community groups who are working with the community a copy is available on the TBC website. 
  • Parking charges in car parks owned and managed by Tewkesbury Borough Council have been suspended with immediate effect. More info here.
  • Cotswold Markets have taken the decision to cancel all their markets for now. More info here.
  • All of the TBC play areas have been now been closed in line with the government guidance around social distancing. TBC have put clear signage up and will be locking those we can. TBC are also liaising with the police for patrol at these areas as some people are still visiting. 
  • The county council has closed all Household Recycling Centres. If you are on social media, please do share our updates. More info here.
  • The Community Help Hub set up by the county council has been very well received. Data is starting to come through and they can match that with vulnerable residents. Amendments to the portal have been made and improved. Urgent cases will be flagged up by the county council. A phone line has been set up for those who do not have internet access, please pass on the number to those who may need it 01452 583519. The lines are open Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5pm. The phone number has been put on our website and promoted through social media. TBC liaising with housing associations so that we don’t double handle vulnerable residents. 
  • In respect of shielding the vulnerable, a letter from the NHS has been sent to vulnerable people to self-isolate for 12 weeks.There are around 9,000 vulnerable people in our county, although some will have their own support networks in place. TBC have a team of around 16 to call these vulnerable customers (based on a script from the county council) and identify who requires support packages e.g. food deliveries/prescription collections.
  • A link has been added to the coronavirus information and support page on the TBC website for members of the public to report concerns to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) if they feel a business is acting unfairly by raising prices of goods or making misleading claims during the pandemic.
  • Information has been issued around the support TBC can offer residents through the council tax hardship fund – more information here

Wednesday 25th March 2020:

News from TBC: this news has been updated and moved to Thursday 26th March 2020.

From GCC:

The position in Gloucestershire

  • The Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), chaired by Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at the county council is the multi-agency group consisting of partners from across the county who is leading Gloucestershire’s response to Covid-19. The group is currently meeting weekly. It is supported by a “Tactical Coordination Group” (TCG) that is responsible for delivering the actions from the SCG.
  • Public Health England (PHE) has formally confirmed:
  •  32 cases in the county
  • 1 death in the county
  • 278 cases in South West

UK

Total UK Tests: 83,945

Total UK Cases: 6,650

Total UK Deaths: 335

PHE is now prioritising testing for Covid-19 for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness. Wider community testing is no longer happening as a matter of course but PHE will continue to investigate if there are specific outbreaks, i.e. where several cases are connected, especially in a particular setting such as care homes.

Latest Government Guidance

As you will know: “The government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures:

1.    Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes

2.    Closing non-essential shops and community spaces

3.    Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings. These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.”

·         Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

·           guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises

·           Guidance about visiting prisons

·           Operational guidance for further education (FE) providers

·           apprenticeship programme response

·           Foreign Secretary advises all British travellers to return to the UK now

·           Coronavirus bill: summary of impacts

·           Guidance for British people travelling overseas

·           letter from the Minister of State for Care to recruitment agencies

·           guidance for domestic abuse safe accommodation provision

·           Updated guidance for health professionals

·           Updated guidance for employees, employers and businesses

·           Extra protection for businesses with ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments 

Staff

·      A message went to all staff yesterday Monday 23 March with an update from the ICT service, encouraging staff to contact the digital desk, rather than phoning in and that monitors will be delivered on request, in order of priority

·      Following last night’s announcement a message to all staff 24.03.20 from Pete Bungard asking staff in essential services who can work from home to do so and all staff in non-essential services to stay at home, even if they cannot yet work from home

·      A further message to managers providing further advice and guidance will go out today

Media

·         Sarah Scott was on BBC Radio Gloucestershire yesterday (Monday 23 March) giving advice re social distancing, isolating and shielding

Household Waste and Recycling Centres

·         All household waste recycling centres have closed with immediate effect. Residents should make full use of their kerbside waste collection service for recycling, green and food waste and general waste, which the district councils are making every effort to keep operational

Libraries

·      All staff have now been advised to stay at home except where we are covering lone working for Registration Offices, which is being managed on a rota basis

·      Registration

·         All ceremonies are now being cancelled with immediate effect.  All birth registration appointments are being cancelled with immediate effect.  All death registrations will go ahead but with only one informant

Highways

·         There are a selected number of roles within the highway team that are considered key workers. The county council has moved to a temporary safety inspection policy which enables us to focus available resources on emergencies and priority repairs. In general, the approach will be to maximise the level of labour resources available by diverting resources from planned or programmed works to deal with reactive works as necessary

Schools

·         In light of new guidance on school closures issued by the Department for Education on Friday 20 March and over the weekend, the education team updated the advice developed on 19 March for county schools (attached). Following last night’s announcement (Monday 23 March) we have confirmed with schools that that these arrangements should continue for vulnerable children and children of key workers who cannot keep their children at home. Please note the situation is changing regularly and schools are being update daily on thw latest information and guidance

·         Schools have reported that many parents have heeded the latest guidance  and many have decided not to send their children into schools, with a lot fewer children arriving at school yesterday (Monday 23 March) than had applied for places on Friday

·         Free Schools Meals (FSM) for children attending school will be provided a meal through Caterlink, which will continue to be prepared and delivered as usual. This service will be extended over the Easter Holidays to ensure all children continue to have a midday meal

·         Some schools and academies are still trying to work out the best way of getting Free School Meals to eligible children – they have been offered advice and information but need to manage this locally

·         Advice for parents is now on the GCC website Community Hub

·         The care requirements of the Easter holiday break and Bank Holiday dates are being considered

 Other Government guidance:

·                   Stay at home guidance for households

·                   Guidance on shielding and protecting people

·                   Social distancing now in multiple languages

·                   employers and businesses

·                   Mass gatherings

·                   residential care provision, supported living provision and home care provision

·                   local government  including new public procurement guidance

·                   Guidance for businesses and venues subject to closure

·                   Guidance on rail emergency measures

·                   Guidance on courts and tribunals

·                   Guidance to avoid non-essential domestic travel

·                   All of the above information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

·                   The Department for Education has set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions

·                   General NHS advice can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

The NHS in Gloucestershire is taking responsible steps to plan ahead and respond to the unfolding Covid-19 situation. Here is a link to the latest information from the NHS on service advice and developments: NHS update

Tuesday 24th March 2020 :

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ (from GCC): It is essential communities follow the up to date guidance from government and the NHS and that they are not causing unnecessary anxiety and concerns due to misinformation being shared with them, however well meaning.  Therefore, please only use the information in the briefing below and/or information and advice from Government or the NHS.

The position in Gloucestershire

  • The Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), chaired by Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at the county council is the multi-agency group consisting of partners from across the county who is leading Gloucestershire’s response to Covid-19. The group is currently meeting weekly. It is supported by a “Tactical Coordination Group” (TCG) that is responsible for delivering the actions from the SCG.
  • Public Health England (PHE) has formally confirmed:
  •  29 cases in the county
  • 1 death in the county
  • 242 cases in South West

UK

Total UK Tests: 78,340

Total UK Cases: 5,683

Total UK Deaths: 281

PHE is now prioritising testing for Covid-19 for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness. Wider community testing is no longer happening as a matter of course but PHE will continue to investigate if there are specific outbreaks, i.e. where several cases are connected, especially in a particular setting such as care homes.

Social distancing

In case you have not yet seen it, here is the latest guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults, which was published on 16 March 2020. This guidance also includes a note on the group of vulnerable people who are at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and who should therefore expect to be contacted directly with advice on the more stringent measures they should take in order to keep themselves and others safe  

Resilience

  • The Local Resilience Forum is set up to be able to respond to concurrent issues. For example, during the recent flooding a Tactical Coordinating Group was stood up to manage the risk whist another Tactical Coordinating Group was running for Covid-19
  • All partner agencies have Business Continuity plans in place as required under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004
  • A GCC Business Continuity Management cell has been set up to make sure critical services continue to function and details of non essential staff are known
  • The work that many staff are doing is already changing to support this urgent situation and ensure that we are able to support our most vulnerable residents.  Over the coming days and weeks, we will be redeploying staff to support critical activities. Much of this will be to staff advice lines, keeping communication channels open and other support roles, to free up qualified and specialist workers to undertake the work that only they are able to do

Registration services

•      UK Notice of Marriage appointments and Civil Partnerships – due to capacity issues no bookings will be taken unless the Marriage/Civil Partnership is within a three month period.

•      Individual & group Citizenship Ceremonies are continuing, attendees are being advised not to bring guests.

•      Birth and Death registration appointments –no more than two people should attend

•      Re-Registration appointments and Correction appointments have ceased with immediate effect (unless there is an exceptional reason)

•      Call volumes into the Registration service are high  

Information management

The council’s Information Management Service (IMS) has put in place a temporary process to capture any new use of personal data that takes place during the pandemic. IMS has developed a simple Impact Assessment comprising for service areas to complete and return to IMS. After the emergency IMS can then consult these assessments and return to the relevant service area and support them in ensuring that GDPR is complied with and data erased where necessary.

Transport

·         The county council’s integrated Transport Unit have been in contact with bus operators who are experiencing significant falls in income from fares and coach bookings, with the priority being both to maintain access to essential services now and to safeguard transport provision for all communities in the long term. The frequency of some services has been reduced to help manage costs

·         Restrictions on concessionary travel passes have been removed

Community support and the Community Help Hub

  • Gloucestershire’s councils and partners have created a community help hub to connect local people who need help, with others who can provide the support they need. To date there has been: 543 offers of help from individuals, 44 businesses offering help, 46 requests for help and 11 requests to help a neighbour. Please do continue to promote the hub in your local area: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/covid-19/
  •  

This group will be coordinating offers of community support and requests for help.  The Portal is hosted on the county council’s, with information being fed through to the relevant district council to follow up. The county council is collating information on community led volunteer groups and changes to business as usual across the county so that the situation can be mapped and gaps identified where resources may need to be mobilised.


Support for those without internet access

Many providers and VCS organisations are transferring their support to phone services.  For example:

·         Age UK are launching a new Freephone service for older people who want someone to talk to.  Staff and existing approved volunteers will be used to make a phone call to those who feel isolated, lonely or need some human interaction.

·         GL11 in Dursley have set up a central phone line which is staffed by GL11, to answer queries, offers support, mop up people falling through the gaps, triage and refer to other services, and are also available for community volunteer queries.

·         Cotswold Friends in the North Cotswolds have spoken to all clients and volunteers to put in place telephone befriending and shopping services where needed.  Befriending volunteers are switching to telephone visits.  Over 2000 people have been contacted, coordinated and supported and over the next weeks and months this number will grow

Schools

·           Schools are currently managing demand for places from key workers.  However, it is important that other options to care for young people are considered to ensure schools can remain resilient

·           Guidance on isolation for residential educational settings

·           Communication has gone out to schools from the education department clarifying the Government guidance

·           We have set up an email address and phone number to assist parents with any queries

·           Adult Education classroom-based provision will cease from today and the same for our subcontractors. Both direct delivery and subcontractors are seeking to continue and extend online and distance learning provision but this is limited, given the nature of some of our customers

·           Commercial Road is closed for classroom-based learning sessions for adult education and social work academy provision. We are exploring the implications of offering Commercial Road as a venue for childcare for key workers

National announcements

·         Announcement on Friday (20 March) that some business and venues will close from Saturday 21 March to promote social distancing. These include: cafes, restaurants, pubs, entertainment venues, museums, spas, casinos and betting shops, gyms and leisure centres. Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing these regulations.

Government guidance:

·                   Stay at home guidance for households

·                   Guidance on shielding and protecting people

·                   Social distancing now in multiple languages

·                   employers and businesses

·                   Mass gatherings

·                   residential care provision, supported living provision and home care provision

·                   local government  including new public procurement guidance

·                   Guidance for businesses and venues subject to closure

·                   Guidance on rail emergency measures

·                   Guidance on courts and tribunals

·                   Guidance to avoid non-essential domestic travel

·                   All of the above information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

·                   The Department for Education has set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions

·                   General NHS advice can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

The NHS in Gloucestershire is taking responsible steps to plan ahead and respond to the unfolding Covid-19 situation. Here is a link to the latest information from the NHS on service advice and developments: NHS update

This will be updated daily, Monday to Friday.

TBC: The waste collection services are currently operating as usual. Information has been included on the advice and support page advising residents what to do with waste if they have COVID-19 symptoms this will be promoted further on social media. 

From TBC:

In response to COVID-19 the Government has set out a package of temporary and targeted measures to provide additional support to businesses.

The council is working hard to get guidance out to businesses as soon as it is received, including the additional business rate relief and grant funding package.

The council will be responsible for administering and delivering the following measures which include:

·        a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England

·        a 12-month business rates holiday for childcare providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register (Early Years Foundations Stage)

·        small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

·        grant funding of up to £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of up to £15,000

·        grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Councillor Rob Bird, Lead Member for Economic Development, said: “We are committed to working with our local business community and are working to get information out to you as quickly as possible.

“We are in the process of identifying businesses that qualify for the additional business rate relief and will be contacting eligible businesses to notify them of the relief and will issue revised business rate bills.

“I want reassure businesses that the administration of the business rate reliefs and grant payments is a high priority and that grant payments will be made as soon as the information is available for us to do so.”

It is anticipated that the borough council will administer the grant schemes which have been announced by the Chancellor and we are awaiting further guidance from government on the eligibility and process for this. More information is expected in early April. The council’s website, tewkesbury.gov.uk will be regularly updated as and when further information becomes available.

Other support measures available to businesses include:

• the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance

• a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs

• the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

The gov.uk website provides additional information relating to these measures.

We are also providing free support and advice through Tewkesbury Growth Hub -, including a range a of webinar advice sessions, for more info email: tewkesbury@thegrowthhub.biz or telephone 01684 272073.

If you need any further information or help with signposting to appropriate advice and support, call the Economic Development Team on 01684 272249 or email economicdevelopment@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Monday 23rd March 2020:

Join the Leigh Parish Community Facebook page. For now it is a public Facebook page that anyone can view. Posts and comments will be monitored and anything that is not appropriate, will be removed. This will become a closed group once sufficient Parishioners have joined to help keep our local information relevant.

Practical Ideas For Supporting Neighbours and Neighbourhood Watch Members. Please click on the links below.

Current advice from the NHS

Latest news from Public Health England (PHE)

Latest news from the Government

Coronavirus Q&A from the World Health Organisation

Latest advice on social distancing/isolation from the Government

Friday 20th March 2020:

News from TBC: Community support

There have been a multitude of excellent community projects led by the Voluntary and Community Sector, as well as town and parish councils that are supporting and leading the community response to COVID-19. To support this and help fill the gaps, the county have been working with us, neighbouring councils, the police and health partners to develop a Community Help Hub which has been launched today.  

There will be four forms on the hub:

1.        Can you offer help?

2.        Does your neighbour need help?

3.       Do you need help?

4.       Business/organisations – what support can you provide?

District councils will be emailed the completed forms and asked to match people/volunteers/organisations up to those in need, or refer onto existing projects.

The hub is not providing social care, but more for providing food, walking the dog etc. It is not to replace the fantastic work communities are already doing but adds another tier to it. Parish councils are doing a fantastic job linking members of the community with support mechanisms and this should continue. We are already aware of many of these groups and will add them to the list of groups, organisations or individuals that can offer support and feed this into the hub where necessary. Please continue to let Andy Sanders know of the groups you are working with, and we can get the details logged on the hub as groups that are able to provide support to our residents.

Our approach will be to utilise the hub, together with continuing to work closely with parish councils and our councillors as the best means of identifying where help is needed and matching this up to those that can provide it. As such we are not envisaging sending out leaflets to all households. These can quickly become outdated as information on COVID-19 changes so quickly, and that can make it difficult to determine if those that need help have received what they need.

The hub can be accessed here www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/

More information on the hub can be found in the press release on the county council’s website. www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershire-county-council-news/news-march-2020/community-help-hub-launched-to-support-residents/

Tewkesbury Borough Council services

In consideration of government guidance to stop non-essential contact with others, all Council meetings have been postponed until further notice. This will be reviewed in light of the national picture and government advice.

We will continue to run our core services although these have been prioritised to ensure essential services can function as normally as possible. To minimise the risk of COVID-19 to our staff and customers we are limiting face to face contact as much as possible and have asked that visits are not made to our offices unless it is absolutely essential. Residents can contact us using our website www.tewkesbury.gov.uk or by calling 01684 295010. We have closed our reception desk and have created a self-service desk for customers to contact the department they need to speak to.

Please also note our advice and information centres and tourist information centres are closed until further notice.

We understand this is a worrying time for our residents and businesses alike and are working with the Government to provide funding schemes to support households and businesses further information can be found on the COVID-19 information and support pages on our website.  www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid19-information-and-support

The HMRC have updated guidance for employers, businesses and employees. It is available at: