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

Wednesday 12th August 2020:

Mobile Testing Unit locations

An important part of minimise and manage any future spread of Covid-19 is the speed at which people can be tested and isolation measures put in place, should an outbreak occur. 

The mobile testing unit is now available at other locations across the county. Please see this weeks locations below.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 can have a test. You must book a test in advance. Please do not turn up to one of the locations without booking.

To book a test or for more information on testing, go to the NHS website or call 119.

This weeks locations:  These dates are subject to change. Please check the GCC website for changes.

Mobile testing unit locations

 

Friday 7 Aug

Saturday 8 Aug

Sunday 9 Aug

Monday 10 Aug

Tuesday 11 Aug

Wednesday 12 Aug

Thursday 13 Aug

Friday 14 Aug

Saturday 15 Aug

Sunday 16 Aug

Monday 17 Aug

Stow

Stow Rugby Football Club, Oddington Road, Stow, GL54 1JJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Cirencester

Royal Agricultural University, Stroud Road, Cirencester, GL7 6JS

X

X

 

 

   

 

 

X

X

X

 

Cheltenham

University Of Gloucestershire, Entrance 3, Park Campus, The Park, Cheltenham, GL50 2RH

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

Bishops Cleeve

Cheltenham North RFC, Stoke Orchard Road, Bishops Cleeve, GL52 7DG

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury RFC, Gander Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 5PG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stroud

Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stratford Road, Stroud, GL5 4AH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 11th August 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

  • Covid-19: Get tested!
  • Four libraries will reopen this week with strict social distancing measures in place. The four libraries are: Newent Library and Longlevens Library (Monday 10), Prestbury Library (Tuesday 11) and Stonehouse Library (Wednesday 12).  More are set to open in the coming weeks.

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Cinderford Rugby Club, Dockham Road, Cinderford (10 August)
  • Cheltenham North RFC, Stoke Orchard Road, Bishops Cleeve (10 August)
  • Royal Agricultural University, Stroud Road, Cirencester (12 – 16 August, closed 13 and 17)
  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold (19 – 21 August)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Link to graph showing daily cases by local authority

Total Confirmed Cases – 1,908 

Cheltenham – 438

Cotswold – 217 

Forest of Dean – 166 

Gloucester – 553 

Stroud – 271

Tewkesbury – 263

Deaths in NHS Trusts – 229 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 24 July but were registered up to 1 August – 582 

Deaths in care homes – 260 

Friday 7th August 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Royal Agricultural University, Stroud Road, Cirencester (6 – 8 August)
  • Cheltenham North RFC, Stoke Orchard Road, Bishops Cleeve (8 – 10 August)
  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold (10 – 12 August)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats:

Link to graph showing daily cases by local authority

Total Confirmed Cases – 1891

Cheltenham – 437

Cotswold –  217

Forest of Dean – 166

Gloucester – 543

Stroud – 269

Tewkesbury – 259

Deaths in NHS Trusts – 229 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 24 July but were registered up to 1 August – 582 

Deaths in care homes – 260

News from TBC: Service delivery•The environmental health team is incredibly busy providing advice and support to a wide range of businesses and groups to help them operate safely, as well as continuing with business as usual requests. The number of complaints around bonfires and fly tipping is increasing, and more work will be done on our website and social media around this. •The leisure centre reopened on Monday, 3 August and the swimming pool will reopen on Monday, 10 August. Early feedback from leisure centre members has been positive.•Parking charges resumed in borough-owned car parks just under a month ago. Users are advised to pay using the RingGo cashless payment system as it is the safest way to pay due to the reduced contact with the machines. Previously around 17% of car park users paid this way and this has now increased to 55% and is growing weekly•An additional 900 council tax reduction applications have been received through our online form. It is estimated that once all have been received, this will be an additional 50% of the usual caseload. Demand is currently being managed by the team but workloads are being closely monitored.

Community support •Shielding for vulnerable people ended on 1 August and national food parcels are no longer being delivered. The community team did receive a number of calls, but those calling were able to be directed to priority supermarket slots or the county’s emergency living scheme where necessary. •A survey, which was sent by each district council to volunteers who put themselves forward for volunteering through the Community Help Hub, has received 1200 responses. These are being followed up and over 800 have been offered opportunities to continue to volunteer through the VCS Alliance. The survey is also gathering the volunteers’ feedback on their experience during the pandemic.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.91m in grant payments to 1454 businesses. •The government has announced that all business grant schemes will close from 28 August. A further push on the grants will be done before applications close. •The Growth Hub team continues to be busy with enquiries and announcements from Government. The government has announced a scheme of recovery grants for small medium enterprises’ as well as the Kick-Starting Tourism package grants -both of which will be delivered through the Growth Hub Network. More information regarding the detail of the schemes is being awaited and further bulletins will give more information as we receive it. Businesses can register to receive updates. It is anticipated that applications for both schemes will be live in September.

Job Retention Bonus

Employers will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee they have previously received a grant for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and who remains continuously employed through to the end of Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021.

To be eligible, the employee must have received earnings in November, December and January, and must have been paid an average of at least £520 per month, and a total of at least £1,560 across the three months.

As the employer, you will be able to claim the bonus after you have filed PAYE information for Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021, and the bonus will be paid from Fe‌br‌ua‌ry 2021. More detailed guidance, including how you can claim the bonus online, will be available by the end of September.

If you intend to claim the Job Retention Bonus you must:

  • ensure all your employee records are up to date
  • accurately report employees’ details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system
  • make sure all of your CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and you have told us about any changes needed (for example if you’ve received too much or too little).

From 1 Au‌gu‌st 2020 CJRS continues to provide grants for furloughed employees but no longer funds employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions. You now have to make these payments from your own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not. Our guidance has been updated to reflect these changes.

Further guidance and live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – go to GOV‌.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’. 

Please only contact us if you can’t find the information you need from GOV‌.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most. 

It’s important that you provide the data we need to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect. We may be in touch to request employee data if it’s missing from your previous claims

You need to provide a National Insurance number (NINO) for all employees as part of your CJRS claim. The only exception is in the very limited circumstances where an employee genuinely does not have a NINO, for example if they are under 16 years old.

If you are claiming for an employee whose NINO you don’t currently know, you can check their number by searching GOV.UK for ‘Check a National Insurance Number using basic PAYE Tools’.

We can no longer accept claims for fewer than 100 employees by phone where you do not have all employee NINO’s unless the employees you are claiming for genuinely do not have these.

If you have claimed too much for a CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days after receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days from when circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20 Oc‌to‌be‌r 2020 if you received CJRS money you’re not entitled to or if your circumstances changed on or before 22 J‌ul‌y.

If you do not do this, you may have to pay a penalty. We do understand mistakes happen, particularly in these challenging times, and will not seek out innocent errors and small mistakes for compliance action. We will act, however, against anyone who deliberately sets out to defraud the system or claims money they aren’t entitled to. If you have received more than you are entitled to, you can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us – the system will prompt you to add details on if you have received too much. For more information, search for ‘if you claim too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌.UK. If you received too much and do not plan to submit further claims – or you have claimed less than you were entitled to – please contact us by searching ‘Contact HMRC’ on GOV‌.UK.

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.  

Tuesday 4th August 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud (3 & 4 August)
  • Tewkesbury RFC, Gander Lane (4 & 5 August)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Link to graph showing daily cases by local authority

Total Confirmed Cases – 1,882 

Cheltenham – 437 

Cotswold – 212 

Forest of Dean – 166 

Gloucester – 541 

Stroud – 268 

Tewkesbury – 258 

Deaths in NHS Trusts – 229 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 17 July but were registered up to 25 July – 581 

Deaths in care homes – 260 

Friday 31st July 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold (until 2 August, closed 1 August)
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud (from 31 July, closed 5 August)
  • Tewkesbury RFC, Gander Lane (from 4 August – 6 August)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Link to graph showing daily cases by local authority

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,874 

Cheltenham – 435 

Cotswold – 209 

Forest of Dean – 166 

Gloucester – 540 

Stroud – 267 

Tewkesbury – 256 

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 229 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 17 July but were registered up to 25 July³ – 581 

Deaths in care homes⁴ – 260 

News from TBC: Service delivery•There are around 106 people from across the county in hotel accommodation due to homelessness, the hotel accommodation offering will remain in place until 24 August at the earliest.•The environmental health team are incredibly busy providing advice and support to a wide range of businesses and groups to help them operate safely, as well as continuing with business as usual requests and food inspections. •The furlough scheme will see changes from 1 August, it is anticipated that this will lead to an increase in number of people moving to Universal Credit and claiming council tax reduction. •To help build on the work already done on developing messages, channels and approaches to support the different elements of the Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP), Gloucestershire County Council have put together a short survey for councillors, parish councils and volunteers. The answers should give a greater understanding of what has and hasn’t worked well, how messages have been received and where more focus may be needed over the coming months. The survey will be open until 10 August. •Further work is being undertaken by council officers to gather business intelligence to support the high street recovery and to ascertain whether any further interventions are needed to enable social distancing and provide any additional space required by businesses.

Community support •Those shielding are able to go out from tomorrow (1 August), those that have been receiving national food parcels have been contacted by the national team by letter and calls to make them aware that the parcels will not be delivered. There are provisions locally to provide support to those that continue to need it

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.87m in grant payments to 1452 businesses. A total of 1691 applications have been received, 186 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •The government’s eat out to help out voucher scheme starts on Monday, information has been put on our social media platforms advising businesses how to sign up to the scheme and details of those registered will be put on the councils Covid-19 website.•The government have announced that all business grant schemes will close from 28 August. There will still be a considerable amount of work to do in undertaking and reporting grant assurance checks to government on a monthly basis until March 2021. Work is taking place to identify businesses eligible for a grant that have not made contact.This is now primarily being done through the planning policy team whilst they are out in the borough doing their annual monitoring work. It is understood there are around 90 businesses that could still be eligible for grants.

Tuesday 28th July 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold (closed 28 July)
  • Cinderford RFC, Dockham Rd (until 29 July)
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud (from 31 July)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Link to graph showing daily cases by local authority

Total Confirmed Cases – 1,864 

Cheltenham – 433 

Cotswold – 208 

Forest of Dean – 166 

Gloucester – 539

Stroud – 263 

Tewkesbury – 255

Deaths in NHS Trusts – 229 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 3 July but were registered up to 11 July – 581

Deaths in care homes – 259

HMRC: Stay ahead of the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

From 1 August there will be changes affecting the grant employers can claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Employers will be asked to pay National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees

Friday 24th July 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

  • Covid-19: Get tested!
  • From today (24 July) it is the law to wear a face covering indoors including shops, supermarkets, banks and post offices. There is a list of when to wear a face covering and who is exempt on the government website.

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold (until 2 August, closed on 28 July for one day)
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud (until 26 July, returns on 31 July until 3 August)
  • Cinderford RFC, Dockham Road (27 – 29 July)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Link to graph showing daily cases by local authority

Total Confirmed Cases – 1,852

Cheltenham – 429

Cotswold – 204

Forest of Dean – 166

Gloucester –  539

Stroud – 259

Tewkesbury – 255

Deaths in NHS Trusts – 229

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 3 July but were registered up to 11 July – 581 

Deaths in care homes – 259

[CQC have made retrospective changes to the data, these changes affected the numbers of deaths from COVID 19 recorded in weeks 16-23, data reported since week 24 is unchanged]

News from TBC: Service delivery•There are around 120 people from across the county in hotel accommodation due to homelessness, arrangements are being made with P3 for the use of 50 more permanent accommodation units.•Places for People are putting the necessary measures in place for Tewkesbury Leisure Centre to open on 3 August. A press release announcing the opening date was published this week. •Parking charges were reintroduced in borough owned car parks from 13 July, those using the car parks are advised to pay using the RingGo parking app to avoid touching the parking meters, this has seen the number of people using the app double. •The environmental health team are incredibly busy providing advice and support to a wide range of businesses and groups to help them operate safely. •The number of council tax reduction applications have stabalised over the past few days however, the team are expecting a peak over next few weeks when changes are made to the furlough scheme. •The council tax hardship fund has been added to the accounts of 1353 residents. •Garden Town update:Gloucestershire County Council’s Transport Planning and Major Projects Team is currently assessing options for a potential transport scheme to upgrade the M5 junction 9 near Tewkesbury and re-route the section of the A46 which currently passes through Ashchurch. A webpage for the scheme is now live at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/J9. As part of the technical work taking place, landowners in the area have been contacted to request access to land for environmental assessment surveys. Public consultation on the scheme options is currently planned for early 2021 with an Outline Business Case (OBC) to be submitted to DfT in early 2022. Should members of the public have any queries, please guide them to the webpage in the first instance, or they can email the project team at M5Junction9@atkinsglobal.com.•To help build on the work already done on developing messages, channels and approaches to support the different elements of the Local Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP), Gloucestershire County Council have put together a short survey for councillors, parish councils and volunteers. Your answers give a greater understanding of what has and hasn’t worked well, how messages have been received and where more focus may be needed over the coming months. The survey will be open until 10 August.

Community support •The number of calls coming through to the help hub remain very low, the team are now assessing the potential demand after 1 August when shielding advice changes and vulnerable residents no longer receive the government food parcels. Alternative arrangements and support for those in need is being finalised.•There are a number of community organisations set up to support the response to Covid-19 that are now looking to have a wider role in the community to continue providing support. The team are working with these organisations to help in their development•50 community groups have been awarded community grant funding;a further nine community grants are pending bringing the total amount awarded to approximately£55,000.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.83m in grant payments to 1449 businesses. A total of 1686 applications have been received, 187 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •Advice is being developed at a county level for businesses considering making redundancies to make sure they have access to resources to make redundancies correctly and to ensure they have correct support in place for employees. •The fund allocated to Tewkesbury Borough Council under the Discretionary Business Grants Scheme has been successfully allocated to eligible businesses. A press release has been sent giving more information.•The government have announced that all business grant schemes will close from 28 August. There will still be a considerable amount of work to do in reporting grant assurance to government on a monthly basis until March 2021. •The LEP have launched their recovery plan, in line with this the Growth Hub team will continue to work with businesses needing additional support.

Tuesday 21st July 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud (until 26 July)
  • Cinderford RFC, Dockham Road (from 27 July)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Link to graph showing daily cases by local authority

Total Confirmed Cases – 1,847 

Cheltenham – 428 

Cotswold – 202

Forest of Dean – 165

Gloucester – 539 

Stroud – 258

Tewkesbury – 255

Deaths in NHS Trusts – 229

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 3 July but were registered up to 11 July – 579 

Deaths in care homes – 226

Friday 17th July 2020:

News from TBC:  Service delivery•The environmental health team continue to provide advice and support to a wide range of businesses to help them operate safely. This is a challenging time as the legislation and guidance is not complete and interpretation needs to be carried out.•The environmental health team have also seen an increase in the number of day to day complaints including asbestos reports and fuel spillages. •865 new council tax reduction applications have been received since the beginning of the pandemic and it is likely that this will continue to increase.

Community support •NHS Gloucestershire CCG wants to capture the experiences of people from across the county during the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to the pandemic, significant changes to health and care services have had to be implemented quickly across the South West region. Please share your views by completing this questionnaire. It should take between ten and fifteen minutes.The survey will be open until 31 July 2020.•Those shielding will no longer receive food parcels from 1 August. It has been reported that there are 2000 residents in the county receiving these food parcels, they will have received a letter and phone call from the national call centre explaining the new process but it is still expect there will be some who make contact through the Help Hub. •The county will use funding allocation distributed to local authorities in England to help those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to coronavirus through their Emergency Living Scheme,we will be able to refer residents to this scheme.

Businesssupport•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.81m in grant payments to 1447 businesses. A total of 1685 applications have been received, 187 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria.

Tuesday 14th July 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates:

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold, GL54 1JJ 
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud

Stats:

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,837

Cheltenham – 425 

Cotswold – 202

Forest of Dean – 162 

Gloucester – 536

Stroud – 258

Tewkesbury – 254

[Numbers of lab-confirmed positive cases now include those identified by testing in all settings (pillars 1 and 2). Due to this change many cases previously not attributed to any area are now included in area totals. This is not a recent surge in cases – the cases now being reported occurred from April onwards.]

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 228

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 26 June but were registered up to 4 July³ – 578

Care home outbreaks⁴ –  77

Deaths in care homes⁵ – 225

Friday 10th July 2020:

Gloucestershire updates:

  • Libraries offering collection services announced.
  • GCC press release about 1550 free laptops and tablets for vulnerable children made national news on Wednesday. The story featured Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service delivering laptops to Severn Vale School, and was covered at lunchtime by BBC One and BBC News Channel, as well as most BBC regional news television broadcasts.
  • First weddings in Gloucestershire since the beginning of lockdown took place on Saturday 4 July; there are still significant restrictions on ceremonies.
  • £30k to help feed families over school holidays.

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold, GL54 1JJ 
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud

News from TBC: Service delivery • The number of rough sleepers housed in hotels continues to fluctuate and work is ongoing to secure longer term accommodation. It is hoped the hotel accommodation will be extended to mid-August. • We are running a short survey for landlords and tenants and would appreciate if you could share the link with residents in your area. The aim of the survey is to get an idea of how landlords and tenants across the borough have been affected by the pandemic and to offer help to avoid eviction and homelessness through the housing team. • Car parking charges will resume in all borough owned car parks from Monday, 13 July. New signage will be put in all car parks encouraging people to use the app to pay to avoid touching the parking meters. Those who do not have smartphones are able to call a number and pay over the phone or pay at a local paypoint location. Information has also been put on social media along with signs on the machines warning people charges will resume and encouraging the use of the app. • The travellers that had set up camp on the Vineyards in Tewkesbury have been moved on, landscaping work is scheduled to take place next week to try to prevent them being able to access the site again. • Play areas across the borough have been unlocked this week and temporary signs with safety advice have been put up. More permanent signs have been ordered for all borough owned play areas. • The environmental health team continue to provide advice and support to businesses to help them operate safely. Officers were out with the police over the weekend and reported that all pubs and restaurants had good measures in place. • 832 new council tax reduction applications have been received since the beginning of the pandemic and it is likely that this will continue to increase. The revenues and benefits team continue to provide support to those that need it most through the council tax hardship fund so far, hardship fund payments totalling £172,000 have been added eligible accounts. Work will continue to identify residents eligible for the payment.

Community support • Conversations with community groups have shown that some are starting to reduce the support they are able, or need, to offer however, there are still some groups who want to help and are supporting their communities in different ways as we move through the recovery phase. • The Help Hub continues to operate over five days a week, although the number of calls is decreasing. The team are working with other community groups to ensure longer term support is in place for those in need. • Following the announcement yesterday sport facilities will be able to open from the 25 July and guidance has been issued around this. Sport England also have some useful information on their website.

Business support • The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.765m in grant payments to 1444 businesses. A total of 1670 applications have been received, 178 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. • Applications for the discretionary business grants scheme reopened on Monday and will close on Sunday 12 July, further promotion of this has been done on social media and directly with eligible businesses.

Local Outbreak Management Plan
The purpose of the Gloucestershire Health Protection Board (HPB) is to provide assurance on behalf of the residents in the county that there are safe and effective plans in place to protect population health, to include communicable disease control, infection prevention and control, emergency planning, environmental health, screening and immunisation programmes.
The role of the group is to respond to the COVID-19 Test, Trace and Isolate Local Authority Outbreak Management Plan (LOMP) responsibilities. Rob Weaver is Tewkesbury Borough Council’s lead officer in relation to the Local Authority Outbreak Management Plan and Peter Tonge is his deputy.
There is an operational plan that sits under the LOMP and Tewkesbury Borough Council officers have been involved in developing this plan. An exercise to test the plan was held this week and feedback from the regional test and trace advisor was positive and she felt that the HPB had a good grip on what would need to be done in the event of local outbreaks.
Sitting alongside the HPB is the Covid-19 Outbreak Engagement Board. The purpose of the board is to provide member and community oversight of the Gloucestershire Local Outbreak Management Plan and communicate appropriately with local communities and settings. Tewkesbury Borough Council are represented on this board by Councillor Rob Bird with Councillor Jim Mason as his deputy.

Following the latest Government announcement here is a summary of what businesses can open and when:
From Saturday 11 July
Outdoor pools and waterparks can reopen and certain team sports, such as cricket, will be able to return.
From Monday 13 July • Spas • Nail bars and beauty salons • Massage parlours • Tattoo parlours • Body and skin piercing services

From Saturday 25 July
Leisure centres, gyms and indoor swimming pools can open. Gyms are encouraged to use timed booking systems to reduce the number of people there at one time, reduce class sizes, space out equipment and there will be enhanced cleaning.

Wednesday 8th July 2020:

Job Retention Bonus.

This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31‌‌‌ ‌January has been received. More information about this scheme will be available by 31‌‌‌ ‌July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.

Other new measures announced

The Chancellor also announced other measures, including:

  • the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – during August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered
  • VAT reduction – from 15‌‌‌ ‌July until 12‌‌‌ ‌January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos
  • an increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland – increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31‌‌‌ ‌March 2021.

For more information, search ‘plan for jobs’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Updates on CJRS scheme

We would also like to make you aware of some key dates on the CJRS scheme that might affect you:

Claiming for employees furloughed on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June

You need to claim by 31‌‌‌ ‌July for employees furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June.

Get ready for changes from 1‌‌‌ ‌August

You will no longer be able to use a CJRS grant to cover National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees from 1‌‌‌ ‌August. You can submit your August claim in advance, from 20‌‌‌‌‌‌ ‌July.

Working out your claims

You can use our online examples and calculator to help you work out what you can claim, for claims ending on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌July. From 10‌‌‌ ‌July you will also be able to use these to help you work out claims ending on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌August. Search for ‘calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK.

Made a mistake on your claim?

You can now delete a claim online within 72 hours of submitting it. Search ‘claim for wages through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.  

Calls to customers

We are contacting selected employers to discuss their claims. These calls will be to check they haven’t made any mistakes and to help make sure they’re claiming the correct amount.

Further support

Live webinars on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK. Please leave our phone lines open for those who need them most.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

I hope this information helps you and your business, and we’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks.

Tuesday 7th July 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold, GL54 1JJ (from Wednesday 8 July)
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,825

Cheltenham – 423

Cotswold – 200

Forest of Dean – 160

Gloucester – 534

Stroud – 257

Tewkesbury – 251

[Numbers of lab-confirmed positive cases now include those identified by testing in all settings (pillars 1 and 2). Due to this change many cases previously not attributed to any area are now included in area totals. This is not a recent surge in cases – the cases now being reported occurred from April onwards.]

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 227

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 19 June but were registered up to 27 June³ – 578

Care home outbreaks⁴ –  80

Deaths in care homes⁵ – 224

Friday 3rd July 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

The methodology for reporting positive cases changed on 2 July 2020 so that numbers of lab-confirmed positive cases throughout this bulletin now include those identified by testing in all settings (pillars 1 and 2).

Also, the changes removed duplicates within and across pillars 1 and 2, to ensure that a person who tests positive is only counted once. Due to this change, and a revision of historical data in pillar 1, the cumulative total for positive cases is now shown as higher for Gloucestershire but these are not newly identified cases.

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stow RFC, Oddington Road, Stow on the Wold (until Sunday 5 July)
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,818

Cheltenham – 420

Cotswold – 199

Forest of Dean – 160

Gloucester – 533

Stroud – 257

Tewkesbury – 249

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 227 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 19 June but were registered up to 27 June³ – 578

Care home outbreaks⁴ – 80 

Deaths in care homes⁵ – 224

News from TBC: Service delivery•809 new council tax reduction applications have been received since the beginning of the pandemic and it is likely that this will continue to increase.•As many pubs, cafes and restaurants are gearing up to open on Saturday the Police and environmental health officers will be out across the weekend checking in on the businesses that are opening and those that are continuing to operate to ensure that they are doing so safely. •Ubico are also increasing resources for street cleansing operations on Sunday morning in Tewkesbury and Winchcombe town centres, Bishops Cleeve and some of the higher footfall areas in Brockworth and Churchdown in case there is additional litter generated over the weekend. •Information will also be put on our social media pages encouraging social distance and to take measures to keep themselves and others safe. •The revenues and benefits team continue to provide support to those that need it most through the council tax hardship fund so far, hardship fund payments totalling £155,000 have been added to 1200 eligible accounts. Work will continue to identify residents eligible for the payment.•Hotel accommodation will be available for rough sleepers until the end of July, work is taking place to source more permanent accommodation. •There are travellers on the Vineyards in Tewkesbury, the necessary legal process to evict them has been started. •The local outbreak plan has been published by Gloucestershire County Council more information can be found in the county council’s press release.

Community support •Community grants have been paid to 50 community groups across the borough. •Surveys have been sent to all volunteer groups to gain a better understanding of what they are doing, the resources they have and any support the require. •The Help Hub will continue to operate over five days a week for the foreseeable future.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.73 m in grant payments to 1442 businesses. A total of 1666 applications have been received, 177 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •£680 k was paid out under the discretionary grants scheme to 64 businesses

Tuesday 30th June 2020:

Gloucestershire Updates

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Countrywide Farmers site, Bourton on the Water (until Wednesday 1 July)
  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud

Stats

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,385 

Cheltenham – 324

Cotswold – 157 

Forest of Dean – 117

Gloucester – 404

Stroud – 200 

Tewkesbury – 183

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 227 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 12 June but were registered up to 20 June³ – 575

Care home outbreaks⁴ – 80 

Deaths in care homes⁵ – 222  

Friday 26th June 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) locations:

  • Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud (until Saturday 27 June)
  • Countrywide farmers site, Bourton on the Water (until Thursday 2 July)

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,382 (0 new) 

Cheltenham – 324

Cotswold – 156

Forest of Dean – 117

Gloucester – 404

Stroud – 199

Tewkesbury – 182

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 226

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 29 May but were registered up to the 6 June³ – 575

Care home outbreaks⁴ – 80 (0 new)

Deaths in care homes⁵ – 222 (0 new)

HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – flexible furloughing starts from 1 July

From 1‌‌‌ ‌July, you can claim a more flexible grant for any employee you have previously received a CJRS grant for, and who now returns to work on reduced hours. You can also continue to claim for employees who stay fully furloughed.

You can find guidance on eligibility and how to claim for flexibly furloughed employees by searching for ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

What you need to do next

  • claim for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June, by 31‌‌‌ ‌J‌ul‌y – this is the last date you can make those claims
  • agree the hours and shift patterns that you want your employees to work from 1‌‌‌ ‌July
  • pay your employees’ wages for the time they’re in work and apply for a job retention scheme grant to cover the remainder of their usual hours for which they are still furloughed
  • claim for further furlough periods as needed – the first time you will be able to make a claim for days in July will be 1‌‌‌ ‌July.

Live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – go to GOV‌‌‌‌.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’.

We’d be grateful if you don’t call us for more information. All details are on GOV‌‌‌.UK and in our webinars. This will leave our phone lines open for those who need them most.

What to do if you have overclaimed

Some employers have contacted us to let us know that they have claimed too much. If this applies to you, then all you need to do is tell us when you next claim so you can pay it back. You will be asked when making your claim whether you need to adjust the amount to take account of a previous error. Your new claim amount will be reduced to reflect this. You do not need to take any other action but should keep a record of this adjustment for six years.

If you’ve made an error in a previous claim but do not plan to submit further claims, you need to contact us to let us know, so that we can tell you how to repay the money.

Claiming for 100 or more employees?

Please use our new template to claim for periods starting on or after 1‌‌‌ ‌July to ensure your claim is processed quickly and successfully.

You can find this template by searching ‘download a template if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Updated guidance on military reservists

Our guidance now confirms you can furlough an employee who is a military reservist returning to work following a period of mobilisation ending after 10‌‌‌ ‌June – even if they haven’t been furloughed before. Search for ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK to find out more.

Paying your employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions

A condition of the CJRS grant is that you pay the related PAYE tax, NICs and pension contributions due on wages. Until 31‌‌‌ ‌July you can continue to claim these for the hours the employee is on furlough. From 1‌‌‌ ‌August employers will no longer be able to claim for NICs and pension contributions.

If you think you may struggle to pay your PAYE tax and/or NICs from August, please contact us as soon as possible, before we start action to recover the unpaid debt. We may be able to give you time to pay.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

Wednesday 24th June 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery•The number of council tax reduction applications received continues to increase and now stands at 771 new applications,which equates to around 32% of the usual working age caseload. •The environmental health team continue to see an increase in the number of noise complaints being received. •Following yesterday’s announcement, the environmental health team have received a number of calls from pubs requesting advice on how to open safely. The team continues to support all businesses looking to open, a wider team are looking at measures that will need to be put in place to ensure that the high streets remain safe when the hospitality premises reopen. •The revenues and benefits team continue to provide support to those that need it most through the council tax hardship fund so far,the hardship fund payment has been added to 1180 eligible accounts. Work will continue to identify residents eligible for the payment.•Planning officers have started to undertake site visits this week, the necessary risk assessments have been completed and will be reviewed regularly to ensure officers are safe at all times.

Community support •£37,941.81 worth of community grant funds have been given to local community groups. There is a further£6900 to be approved,if approved the council will have reached £44,841.81 in community grants awarded. •There have been a number of announcements regarding those shielding. The main one being that shielding will pause from 1 August. Effectively these residents are then able to leave their properties, including to go food shopping.After 1 August they will no longer receive national food parcels, but will still be able to sign up for priority supermarket delivery slots. Currently there are 430 residents residing in Tewkesbury Borough within this category,that also receive these free weekly food parcels. Work is being undertaken with district and county colleagues to agree how to support these residents after 1 August. Further guidance is also expected from the Government.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.66 m in grant payments to 1437 businesses. A total of 1659 applications have been received, 174 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •Applications for the discretionary business grant fund closed on Sunday,177 applications were received in total. •The Growth Hub team continue to run webinars to support businesses.

Tuesday 23rd June 2020:

Gloucestershire updates:

  • Tic+ Chat  is launched yesterday – the service is for young people aged between nine and 21 years old who need someone to talk to.
  • Service reinstatement planning ongoing – awaiting guidance regarding Stage 3 of the government’s recovery strategy (from 4 July) and recommended social distances

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,382 (1 new)

Cheltenham – 324 (1 new)

Cotswold – 156

Forest of Dean – 117

Gloucester – 404

Stroud – 199

Tewkesbury – 182

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 226 (0 new) 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 29 May but were registered up to the 6 June³ – 568

Care home outbreaks⁴ – 80 (0 new)

Deaths in care homes⁵ – 222 (0 new)

Friday 19th June 2020:

Gloucestershire updates:

  • Majority of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children are back in primary schools. Some schools will be considering whether they can invite any other year groups into school before the summer break, subject to accommodation and teacher number constraints. This will be a local decision for each school. 
  • Students in Years 10 and 12 in secondary schools, facing exams next year are returning to school in small cohorts. 
  • Government to continue to fund Free School Meal vouchers for eligible children over the six week summer. More information about Free School Meals is available online.
  • Drivers urged to park safely as town centres reopen

Gloucestershire Covid-19 stats

Total Confirmed Cases¹ – 1,382

  • Cheltenham – 324 
  • Cotswold – 156
  • Forest of Dean – 117
  • Gloucester – 404 
  • Stroud – 199
  • Tewkesbury – 182

Deaths in NHS Trusts² – 226 (0 new) 

Deaths in all settings that occurred up to 29 May but were registered up to the 6 June³ – 568

Care home outbreaks⁴ – 80 (0 new)

Deaths in care homes⁵ – 222 (0 new)

News from TBC: Service delivery•The number of council tax reduction applications received continues to increase and now stands at 748 new applications. •The provisions of hotel accommodation for rough sleepers has been extended until the end of July. Unfortunately, across the county 20 rough sleepers have chosen to go back to the streets.•The environmental health team continue to be busy dealing with both service level requests and supporting businesses. The feedback received from businesses has been positive. •The environmental health team continue to support the work being undertaken on the outbreak management plan. •The revenues and benefits team continue to provide support to those that need it most through the council tax hardship fund, so far, the hardship fund payment has been added to 871 eligible accounts. Work will continue over the next few days to identify further residents eligible for the payment.

Community support •The number of calls received by the Help Hub has reduced, around 30 calls a day are received across the county. A member of the community cell will be on standby for any urgent calls received over the weekend. •The team continue to work with those in the community who have experienced issues with the food parcels being delivered through the national scheme, to ensure they have enough food in the short term.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.62 m in grant payments to 1434 businesses. A total of 1655 applications have been received, 172 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •Applications for the discretionary business grant fund closes on Sunday, work continues to reach out to those eligible and further information has also been put on our social media platforms. So far 140 applications have been received.

Wednesday 17th June 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery•All Ubico services continue to operate as normal and there has been a noticeable increase in the number of compliments being received in terms of ground maintenance. •Car parking charges will resume on Monday 13 July in all borough owned car parks. A press release was sent yesterday, some slight amendments were made to the wording of the one you have been sent. The most recent version can be found on our website. •A press release has been issued on the council tax hardship fund which has started to be added to the eligible council tax accounts. Members of the revenues and benefits team started this work over the weekend and so far,have applied the discount to over 900 accounts.•The number of council tax reduction applications received now stands at 739 this is around a 31% increase on the normal working age caseload.

Community support •Each district is making sure that they follow up with the volunteers that have come forward through the Help Hub to see if they would like to continue to volunteer. •The team are working with partners to ensure that residents who have been referred through the Help Hub,that continue to need help in the longer term,will have the support available to them. •Measures have been put in place in Bishops Cleeve, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe to help encourage social distancing. Town ambassadors will be in these towns this week between 10am-2pm to provide reassurance and assistance where needed. There has been mainly positive feedback and the measures have been well received by retailers. •Citizens Advice are running a scams awareness fortnight over the next two weeks focusing on scams that have emerged as a result of coronavirus. Information on this has been shared on our social media pages and can be found on the Citizen advice website.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.5 m in grant payments to 1422 businesses. A total of 1648 applications have been received, 174 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •107 claims have been received through the discretionary grant scheme however, a lot of these are not valid claims. There are currently 7 applications approved for payment. Further work is being done to ensure those applying for the scheme have checked the eligibility criteria first and the team are contacting eligible businesses to encourage them to apply before the deadline.•The environmental health team are continuing to visit retail businesses in other parts of the borough and are providing stickers that can be put at two metre intervals to encourage social distancing. Their help and support has been welcomed by businesses.

HMRC Employer Bulletin June 2020, Issue 84:

The Employer Bulletin (June 2020, Issue 84) includes all of the latest Covid-19 updates to help you continue to meet your payroll obligations to HMRC and to claim any relevant grants and rebates during this challenging time. We’ve included the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, along with updates on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and a reminder for reporting Expenses and Benefits for the tax year ending 5 April 2020.

Tuesday 16th June 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

Stats

Total UK Tests – 6,772,602

Total UK Cases – 295,889 

Total UK Deaths –  41,698 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,881

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,380

Total Confirmed Cases in

  • Cheltenham – 323
  • Cotswold – 156
  • Forest of Dean – 117
  • Gloucester – 403
  • Stroud – 199
  • Tewkesbury – 182

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire NHS Trusts** – 226

COVID-19 deaths in Gloucestershire that occurred up to 29 May but were registered up to the 6 June*** – 568

Friday 12th June 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

·         Mobile testing unit to trial new locations across the county

·         £375k boost for county mental health services

Stats

Total UK Tests – 6,042,622 

Total UK Cases – 290,143 

Total UK Deaths – 41,128 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,853

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,378

Total Confirmed Cases in

  • Cheltenham – 322
  • Cotswold – 156
  • Forest of Dean – 117
  • Gloucester – 403
  • Stroud – 198
  • Tewkesbury – 182

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire NHS Trusts** – 226

Covid-19 deaths in Gloucestershire that occurred up to 22 May but were registered up to the 30 May*** – 568

News from TBC: Service delivery•Lots of work has taken place to ensure the high streets are ready to enable social distancing when non-essential retail shops open on Monday. Council officers will work over the weekend to put measures in place in Bishops Cleeve, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe high streets. Markers will also be put in other areas where there are parades of shops. A press release has been issued outlining the work being undertaken. •The environmental health team continue to see a 60% increase in the number of service requests received.

Community support – TBC are aware that some members of the community are wary about going into towns. TBC want people to have as much confidence as possible when visiting the towns, so to provide additional support ambassadors will be in the high streets in Bishops Cleeve, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe from Monday 15 June to Saturday 20 June between 11am-3pm, to provide reassurance and, where necessary, to remind people to maintain social distancing. The ambassadors include volunteers from the council and county council library staff, all ambassadors will be provided with the necessary protective equipment.•The Help Hub continue to see a levelling out in the number of new referrals, as a result the team has been reduced but a plan is in place to increase this again if needed.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.38 m in grant payments to 1410 businesses. A total of 1641 applications have been received, 163 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •74 applications for the discretionary business grant fund have been received. •The environmental health team continue to provide support to businesses as they start to look to open. Further information has been put on our website along with risk assessments. The option of delivering webinars to businesses through the growth hub is being explored.

Wednesday 10th June 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery•The revenues and benefits team are continuing to see an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications being received and have now seen an increase of 678 applications. This is a 30% increase on their normal case load. •Hotel accommodation for rough sleepers has been extended until the end of July. Unfortunately, 19 rough sleepers have returned to the streets, but a complex cases cell has been established to support those leaving the hotels to find permanent accommodation. •Housing officers have seen a 100% increase in demand for temporary or emergency accommodation, when compared with the same time last year.A press release has been issued appealing to landlords to take advantage of the Home seeker Plus private lettings scheme. Further promotion will be done on the scheme over the coming weeks. •Following a meeting yesterday with the HSE around the reopening of businesses, it has become apparent that the environmental health team will be required to do spot checks of businesses for compliance with social distancing. A positive response has been received on the advice and support currently being provided to businesses and the team will continue with this approach. •The environmental health team have also seen an increase in service requests with 200 additional requests being received.

Community support •29 community grants have been awarded, totalling £34,941.81. There are four more live grants to be determined totalling an additional £5,000. Further work has been done on our social media pages to promote the grants. •The number of cases coming through the Help Hub are reducing, key pieces of work are now taking place around the complex cases and ensuring they continue to receive support moving forward.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.32 m in grant payments to 1406 businesses. A total of 1634 applications have been received, 158 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •A press release was sent on Monday outlining the help and advice we are able to give to businesses that are looking to open on Monday, 15 June. •Applications are now live for the discretionary business grant fund, a joint press release was issued yesterday, this has been shared on our website and social media pages. Further promotion of the grant fund will be done before it closes on 21 June. 33 applications have been received

Monday 8th June 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery – All Ubico services are running as normal, we shared a post on social media about a little boy from Winchcombe who has been leaving biscuits for the bin men during lock down. We arranged for some gifts to be delivered to him last week. The post has been picked up by people as far away as Canada! •Both Tewkesbury market and Southam car boot took place this weekend and were monitored. Both had good measures in place for social distancing and the environmental health officers discussed some further improvements with the car boot management team.• The revenues and benefits team are continuing to see an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications being received and have now seen an increase of 673 applications. •The environmental health team are now reducing business closure visits to only those still required to be closed after 15 June. More monitoring will need to be done as businesses open to ensure safe distancing is in place and they are operating well.

Community support •29 community grants have been awarded, totalling £34,941.81. There are four more live grants to be determined totalling an additional £4,000. Further work has been done on our social media pages to promote the grants. •In September 2020 an awards ceremony is due to be held at Gloucestershire University to celebrate the charity and volunteer groups across the county. Nominees can be anyone from individuals, to volunteer led groups and charities.Nominations can be made on the dedicated website,the closing date for nominations is 31 July.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.18 m in grant payments to 1393 businesses. A total of 1636 applications have been received, 173 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •Businesses in Tewkesbury, Winchcombe and Bishops Cleeve were contacted by email on Friday with advice and offers of support to safely open businesses on 15 June.All other areas have been emailed today.

Reopening Tewkesbury Borough’s retail businesses:

As many non-essential retail stores prepare to open their doors next week, Tewkesbury Borough Council is on hand to support local businesses with preparations to reopen safely.

Following the government’s announcement that all retail stores can reopen on Monday 15 June, the council’s environmental health officers and the business Growth Hub are providing tailored advice and support to help businesses meet their Covid-19 responsibilities.

The council would like to hear from owners of businesses in the borough who are preparing to reopen next week. Those who complete this short survey will be helping council officers to better understand which businesses are reopening and what they need, so that they can be offered tailored advice.

Councillor Rob Bird, leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council said: “We want to support business owners in their efforts to reopen in a way that helps keep employees and customers as safe as is practically possible. What we’re doing in time for 15 June is just the beginning – we will continue to work with businesses to assess the measures they put in place and will provide the support and advice needed, with the aim of getting our local economy moving again safely.”

Tewkesbury Borough businesses can find a wealth of information and practical help, such as templates and how-to guides by visiting: covid19.tewkesbury.gov.uk/support-for-business-to-re-open.

To keep up with the latest advice and support for local businesses during the pandemic, sign up to council’s business e-newsletter.

Friday 5th June 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

·         More than 190,000 copies of a new Covid-19 leaflet have being delivered to homes in the county so far with distribution continuing next week. You can also find a copy of the leaflet to download and an accessible webpage here 

Stats

Total UK Tests –  4,786,219 

Total UK Cases –  279,856

Total UK Deaths – 39,728

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,744

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,376

Total Confirmed Cases in

  • Cheltenham – 322
  • Cotswold – 156
  • Forest of Dean – 115
  • Gloucester – 403
  • Stroud – 198
  • Tewkesbury – 182

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire NHS Trusts** – 225

COVID-19 deaths in Gloucestershire that occurred up to 15th May but were registered up to the 30th May*** – 554

News from TBC: Service delivery•This week is volunteer week,a thank you video has been created by the county council from all Leaders,to thank volunteer groups across the county. This has been shared on our social media pages and has received a positive response. •An upgrade on the Northgate system was expected to enable the Council Tax Hardship Fund to be added to the relevant accounts however, this has not been forthcoming and so the team are now working on a manual process to offer this. •The revenues and benefits team are continuing to see an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications being received and have now seen an increase of 658 applications. •The environmental health team are now reducing business closure visits to only those still required to be closed after 15 June. More monitoring will need to be done as businesses open to ensure safe distancing is in place and they are operating well.•Work is taking place with Public Health Gloucestershire to put plans in place for emergency control for localised outbreaks of Covid-19. •The car boot at Southam will be opening this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Environmental health officers will be monitoring social distancing.

Community support •Shielding vulnerable cohort is being looked at nationally the week beginning 15 June, and will give an indication on whether they will need to continue to shield after the end of June and whether food parcels will continue to be delivered into July. •The Help Hub will only be staffed Monday –Saturday due to the reduced numbers of calls being received. The Hub is concentrating on the most complex cases who still require assistance, as well as residents having issues with food parcel deliveries.•29 community grants have been awarded, totalling £34,941.81. There are four more live grants to be determined totalling an additional £4,000. Further work has been done on our social media pages to promote the grants. •In September 2020 an awards ceremony is due to be held at Gloucestershire University to celebrate the charity and volunteer groups across the county. Nominees can be anyone from individuals, to volunteer led groups and charities.Nominations can be made on the dedicated website,the closing date for nominations is 31 July.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £16.13 m in grant payments to 1388 businesses. A total of 1629 applications have been received, 187 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •Communications has been sent to businesses directly offering assistance on opening safely.•The discretionary business grants applications will be launched early next week. The website will be updated with this information and once live the application form will be available on the website.

Wednesday 3rd June 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery – Information was circulated yesterday giving details of £84k which can be used to develop local marketing campaigns to explain changes to the high street and reassure the public that their high streets and other commercial areas are safe. For clarity, this is funding for the council to use to make the high streets safe for members of the public and there are strict rules around what this can be spent on. •Homeseeker Plus, the housing register for Gloucestershire districts and West Oxfordshire, is reopening this week as our local authority and housing association colleagues work to get people moving again. New adverts have already started to be released for applicants to apply for but there may still be some delays as all parties get used to new ways of working around letting properties. •Due to the hot weather we have been experiencing recently, Severn Trent Water have seen a 20% increase in demand for water increasing to 40% in some areas. This has caused issues in meeting the demand as water is being used quicker than it can be pumped into the system. We will continue to share messages from Severn Trent on our social media pages,encouraging residents to be mindful of the amount of water they are using. •Work is being undertaken on our recovery plan and a report will be taken to Executive Committee on 10 June setting out the principles of the plan.The detailed recovery plan will be taken to a future Executive Committee. •Some maintenance work has been undertaken at Tewkesbury Leisure Centre whilst it has been shut. Yesterday evening, there was a small fire in the skip outside. This was extinguished quickly and no damage was caused to any of the buildings. The skip will be removed today. The environmental health team continue to see an increase in the number of noise and bonfire complaints being received. Some of the complaints relate to noise that would not normally be logged as nuisance noise. Further work will be done promoting being a good neighbour but also being tolerant too. •The revenues and benefits team are continuing to see an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications being received and have now seen an increase of 653 applications. It is reported that across the county there has been an 80% increase in the number of council tax reduction applications received.

Community support •New national shielding advice has been received,this will be worked through to see what the main changes are. •It has become apparent that GPs are removing people from the food delivery list but not informing them this is being investigated.•The majority of calls received through the Help Hub are around food parcels which the team are now focusing on, those contacting the Help Hub are also being referred to community groups to provide any additional support needed

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.995 m in grant payments to 1376 businesses. A total of 1622 applications have been received, 187 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria.

Tuesday 2nd June 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

Stats

Total UK Tests – 4,285,738 

Total UK Cases – 274,762 

Total UK Deaths – 38,489 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,654

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,374

Total Confirmed Cases in

  • Cheltenham – 321
  • Cotswold – 155
  • Forest of Dean – 115
  • Gloucester – 403
  • Stroud – 198
  • Tewkesbury – 182

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire NHS Trusts** – 225

COVID-19 deaths in Gloucestershire that occurred up to 15th May but were registered up to the 23rd May*** – 533

Monday 1st June 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery•Work has taken place in Tewkesbury High Street to enable social distancing in preparation for when non-essential shops start to open on 15 June. A working task group has been formed to look to introduce measures across the borough. •Environmental health officers were active again over the weekend and while most business are still compliant there is a move towards more people being out and about and not always observing social distancing.•From today, outdoor markets and car showrooms (including showrooms for the sale or hire of caravans, boats and any other motorised vehicle) can open. Further advice and guidance has been put on the Covid-19 micro site for those businesses looking to open. All the necessary risk assessments are being completed ready for Tewkesbury market reopening from Wednesday, 3 June,measures will be put in place to manage social distancing. •All Ubico services continue to function as normal, further promotion of the garden waste club will be done this week.

Community support •The new NHS Test and Trace service launched on Thursday 28 May across England. A test and trace page has been created on the covid-19 micro site containing information on how the system will work and links to NHS help and advice guides. •45 emergency community grants have been submitted a total of £36,941.87 has been paid to community groups. This week is volunteer week and we will continue to promote the community grants and the good work being done by community groups across the borough through the website and our social media pages.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.8 m in grant payments to 1361 businesses. A total of 1607 applications have been received, 184 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria.

Friday 29th May 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery •The hotel provision in Cheltenham and Gloucester for rough sleepers is being extended as the team move into phase two to ensure that rough sleepers do not end up back on the streets. Registered providers are being engaged throughout this process to identify ways in which they can help. •From 1 June car show rooms and outdoor markets are able to open and from 15 June all non-essential retail can open. Pubs, clubs, leisure and hospitality will remain closed. The environmental health team are working hard to help businesses ensure they are ready to open. Further advice and guidance has been put on the Covid-19 micro site.•As non-essential shops are permitted to open from 15 June we expect to see more people visiting towns. Work is taking place, in partnership with the County Council, around how to enable social distancing in towns and how to keep our communities safe. Customer services have seen an increase in calls asking when Tewkesbury market would be back up and running. All the necessary risk assessments are being completed ready for the market reopening from Wednesday, 3 June measures will be put in place to manage social distancing. •As expected with residents continuing to spend more time at home the environmental health team are receiving an increased number of noise and bonfire complaints. Further work will be done on social media around being a good neighbour. •All Ubico services are running as normal and all household recycling centres are open, these are also now able to take asbestos again.

Community support •This weekend the Help Hub will continue to field calls through the out of hours service, supported by the community cell. •The Long Table meal delivery service is now scaling back its offering due to a reduction in demand.•Work is taking place across the county to ensure testing is available to those unable to access the testing sites.

Business support•The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.8 m in grant payments to 1361 businesses. A total of 1607 applications have been received, 184 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. •The discretionary grant will launch in the 2nd week of June.There are limited areas of discretion as the grant is heavily criteria based.Full details will be on our website in advance of the launch

Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from HMRC:

Flexible furloughing

From 1‌‌ July 2020, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

You can decide the hours and shift patterns that your employees will work on their return and you will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as your business needs, with no minimum time that you can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement that you agree with your employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, you will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. You can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if you prefer. You will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If your employees are unable to return to work, or you do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and you can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

  • in June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee doesn’t work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • in August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed
  • in September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • the cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

If you are a smaller employer, some or all of your employer NIC bills will be covered by the Employment Allowance, so you should not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30‌‌ June. From this point onwards, you will only be able to furlough employees that you have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30‌‌ June.

This means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10‌‌ June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30‌‌ June. Employers will have until 31‌‌ July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30‌‌ June.

Guidance and support

Further support for employers and agents on how to calculate claims with this extra flexibility will be available by 12‌‌ June, including webinars and detailed online guidance. For information about how to claim, go to GOV‌.‌‌UK and search ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. Please do not call us for more information, everything you need to know about this scheme will be published online on GOV‌.‌‌UK.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.‌‌UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

I hope this information helps and supports your business, and we’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks.

Wednesday 27th May 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery – There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications. The team has seen an increase of 607 applications. We continue to promote key national and local messages on our social media pages as well as any changes to our services;these have been well received and have seen our social media following steadily increase. Key information for residents and businesses relating to the pandemic is available on the council’s Covid-19 micro site. This has had just under 2500 views during May alone. The most visited pages include the Business advice and support and Business rate relief and grants pages. Since the garden waste service suspension was lifted on 4 May 1289 sticker licenses have been purchased. The bulky waste collection service resumed on 11 May and has seen 222 collections booked.

Community support – 40 emergency community grants have been submitted. There are nine live applications, which once approved to be paid are worth another £8000, making a total of £33,941.81.The Covid-19 help and support leaflet will start to be distributed across the county this week. There has been a further extension to the mobile testing facility at Oxstalls; it is likely this will now remain there into June.

Business support – The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.8 m in grant payments to 1361 businesses. A total of 1607 applications have been received, 184 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 28 applications requiring further validation -these are more complicated and the team is working hard to deal with these. As the government have said currently there is no cut off for the grants to be paid,the business cell are trying to get 100% paid and are doing everything they can to contact hard to reach businesses.The business cell, in collaboration with Stroud District Council, Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council have issued a press release regarding the Discretionary Business Grants. This has been published on our website and shared on social media. The release is advisory at this stage and it is believed that further information will be made available mid-June.

Tuesday 26th May 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

·         New service has been launched today – Kooth is an online mental wellbeing service provided by the county council in response to Covid-19 to add to the range of mental health support available for children and young people in the county.

·         Find out more about looking after your mental wellbeing and what services are available for adults and children here: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/look-after-your-wellbeing

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 3,532,634 

Total UK Cases – 261,184 

Total UK Deaths – 36,914 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,539

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,365

Total Confirmed Cases in

  • Cheltenham – 319
  • Cotswold – 154
  • Forest of Dean – 114
  • Gloucester – 400
  • Stroud – 197
  • Tewkesbury – 181

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 221 

Friday 22nd May 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

Covid-19 daily update changes

Whilst there continues to be lots to do related to Covid-19, the volume of information and daily updates to be shared has slowed. To take account of this change and the need to use available officer time in the most effective way, we will from next week be reducing the frequency of these updates to twice a week – Tuesday and a Friday.

You can still access information via the county council’s, Gov.uk and NHS websites and if there are important update to make you aware of, we will of course do so, regardless of the day.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 3,090,566

Total UK Cases – 250,908

Total UK Deaths – 36,042 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,422

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,354

Total Confirmed Cases in

Cheltenham – 318

Cotswold – 154

Forest of Dean – 109

Gloucester – 398

Stroud – 195

Tewkesbury – 180

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 220

News from TBC: Service delivery – Environmental health officers are still providing support to businesses looking to re-open and will be continuing to checking business compliance this weekend. The work to discourage use of play equipment in the borough has seen a reduction in reported incidents. The Mitton skate park continues to be of concern and will be monitored closely over the bank holiday weekend. There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications. The team has 600 applications currently; an increase of some 25% over normal levels. Talks have begun in regards to restarting the Home Seekers service.

Community support – 40 emergency community grants have been submitted. There are nine live applications, which once approved to be paid are worth another £8000, making a total of £33,941.81. The community team have been working closely with the county council to improve the data for food parcel deliveries. The changes will limit mistakes and ensure the packages get to the vulnerable and in need swiftly and efficiently. The Help Hub will be operating slightly differently this weekend with calls being dealt with by the out of hour’s service. Only emergency food package drops will be made. A survey of the volunteer network is ongoing in order to establish current availability and capacity. New resources are becoming available to support community and individual well being. More information as to what is forthcoming will be made available shortly. HSE have advised that they will not be involved in the re-opening of town centres.

Business support – As of Friday 22 May,we have paid out £40k (4 claims) taking the total to £15,665,000 payments made and 1349 claims. We have 32 applications requiring further validation and 177 currently refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. 14 are now complete (applicant has accepted they are not eligible) and 20 have declined the grant so this brings the total applications to 1592. 28 businesses have appealed against the refusal of a business grant. These are being reviewed on a case by case basis. The business cell, in collaboration with Stroud District Council, Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council have issued a press release regarding the Discretionary Business Grants. The release is advisory at this stage and it is believed that further information will be made available mid-June

Joint grant scheme launches soon to support local businesses

In collaboration between four local councils – with support and advice from local BIDS and GFirstLep – the county will soon see the launch of a new business support grant funding scheme.  The grants are designed to offer support to some local businesses which were not eligible for previous funds.

Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Stroud councils are working together to create a scheme to ensure effective and fair distribution of discretionary grant funding and are looking to launch the scheme in as little as 3 weeks.  A detailed scheme of this scale would usually take up to 6 months to implement. The partnership is drawing upon advice from the local BIDs (business improvement districts) and LEP (local enterprise partnerships), an approach recommended by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy).

The partnership is in direct response to the recent government announcement that, due to COVID-19, there would be an additional discretionary fund aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business grant fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant fund. The councils will be applying the criteria for eligibility as laid down by the government but will also, where government funding allows, look to support some additional businesses within the discretional element.

The announcement of the partnership builds on the significant rapid support to local businesses over the past few weeks, with the four councils collectively paying out £79.5m in grants to 6,722 businesses.

The authorities’ chief finance officers agreed: “’We want to ensure a consistent approach for businesses across our region so that they have clarity and certainty that this money will go to where it is needed most, in line with the guidance provided to us.  We are united in our view that businesses deserve a scheme that is straightforward, transparent and supports the economy across our districts.’’

David Owen, chief executive at GFirst LEP commented: “The discretionary fund from central government is to be welcomed, it will certainly help a number of businesses who we know were ineligible for various grant schemes previously announced. We are fully supportive of a joined up, countywide approach to this fund, thereby ensuring businesses across the county are treated equally.’’

The BEIS government guidance states:  ‘’Local authorities may wish to consider collaborating as they design their discretionary schemes to ensure there is consistency where they are working across a functional economic area and may want to engage with MCAs and LEPs to ensure alignment and reduce duplication with other local discretionary business grants that may have been established.’’Business Grants. The release is advisory at this stage and it is believed that further information will be made available mid-June

Thursday 21st May 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

·         Sarah Scott, director of public health for Gloucestershire, has published a new video explaining the Covid-19 position in Gloucestershire. 

·         The county council and NHS Gloucestershire are making sure that Gloucestershire’s legion of over 60,000 unpaid carers can continue to receive the support they need during the Covid-19 crisis.

  • The council’s new mental health service for children and young people, Kooth, will officially launch after the bank holiday weekend on Tuesday 25 May.
  • 2 million pieces of PPE have been distributed within Gloucester, with 1.3 million pieces to providers.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 2,962,227 

Total UK Cases – 248,293 

Total UK Deaths – 35,704

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,370 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,354 

Total Confirmed Cases in:

  • Cheltenham – 318
  • Cotswold – 154
  • Forest of Dean – 109
  • Gloucester – 398
  • Stroud – 195
  • Tewkesbury – 180

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 220

Wednesday 20th May 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

  • We are holding a Virtual Sports Day for children and young people on Thursday 26 May. Please encourage your local communities to get involved in this fun challenge aiming to raise money for the NHS. More information is on our website.

·         Charlotte Jones, head of services for children with additional needs, spoke to BBC Radio Gloucestershire this morning about reopening schools:

  • Charlotte explained we’ve been working closely with headteachers over the past two months. Schools are already supporting over 3000 children of essential workers, enabling them to continue working and we are looking to help them expand the good work they already doing, in a safe way.
  • It’s important to remember it’s about widening the school offer and is tying in with the whole plan for easing lockdown. We are planning for 1 June but this will rely on scientific evidence and if the government’s five tests been met. This is the earliest phase, if 1 June goes ahead it’s important schools have as much time as possible to plan for reopening.
  • The decision to increase numbers is very much an individual decision for local school leaders – heads know their own schools, parents and staff best. They will be taking all of this into account when planning for more children – including requests from parents, size of buildings, and access to staff.
  • Government guidance prioritises children who will best benefit from the school environment, and plans will depend on classroom capacity, number of children. This means schools will look very different.
  • We have announced further details of plans to make it easier to walk and cycle during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 2,772,552

Total UK Cases – 248,818

Total UK Deaths – 35,341 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,340 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,353 

Total Confirmed Cases in:

  • Cheltenham – 318
  • Cotswold – 155
  • Forest of Dean – 108
  • Gloucester – 397
  • Stroud – 195
  • Tewkesbury – 180

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 220

News from TBC: Service delivery-Environmental health officers are continuing to provide support for businesses looking to re-open. There have been instances where play equipment at parks is being used despite signs stating that play areas remain closed. The park at the Vineyards has been locked due to the number of people using the equipment. Further messaging has been put on social media around this and the Police are regularly checking these areas. There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications. The team has seen an increase of 592 applications. The first virtual planning committee meeting was successfully held yesterday, with 48 people viewing it on the council’s YouTube channel.

Community support – 38 emergency community grants have been submitted. There are seven live applications,which once approved to be paid are worth another£6000, making a total of £31,941.81. Please continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. There continues to be issues with national food parcels being delivered to the wrong addresses, the team are providing support to resolve these issues and ensure residents receive food.New guidance has been issued for data collection for the Shielding Vulnerable cohort and the community cell are working through this. The number of calls being received by the help hub continues to tail off however, it is anticipated that the help hub will remain operational until at least September. The mobile testing facility will remain at Oxstalls until Tuesday, 26 May. Work is being undertaken to find a location for a further permanent testing site.

Business support – The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.55 m in grant payments to 1339 businesses. A total of 1581 applications have been received, 173 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 36 applications requiring further validation -these are more complicated and the team is working hard to deal with these. The business cell is working with Stroud District Council, Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council to provide a consistent approach to the Discretionary Business Grants. Once they have worked up the scheme information will be on the website for business.

The Ashchurch bridge project – we want your feedback!

Engineers, council officers and highways experts are asking for thoughts from residents about a project to build a new bridge between Ashchurch and Northway.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government awarded Tewkesbury Borough Council £8.1m to deliver a bridge that will unlock parcels of land to the east of the railway line which are highlighted in the Garden Town Concept Masterplan (along with land to the west of the railway) as development opportunities. It will include a new road, cycle path and walkway.

Tewkesbury Borough Council and its partners – Gloucestershire County Council and engineering consultants, Atkins – have carried out a considerable amount of research into the location and design of the bridge and now they want to hear what the public thinks of the proposals. Comments received will be considered in advance of the bridge’s planning application and will help to inform the project team’s next steps.

There will be a more formal opportunity to submit further views later in the year, as part of the official planning application consultation.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s lead member for planning, Councillor Mel Gore, said: “The Tewkesbury Garden Town project gives us a golden opportunity to create a special place for people to live – a proper community with homes fit for the future. This bridge is one of the first steps in the infrastructure needed to support the Garden Town and it’s exciting to get the ball rolling.

“We had planned to hold two events: one in Northway and one in Ashchurch, where the proposals on the bridge would have been displayed, and where we would have provided the opportunity to discuss the project with members of the Garden Town team. However, due to the current restrictions on public gatherings, we need to do things differently.

“Our website – tewkesburygardentown.co.uk – is complete with all the information that is publically available on the bridge project. It includes the drawings, proposed location, and background information that would have been provided at the events. If you have any views to share with us, we ask that you take a look at the website, examine the drawings, read through the background information and then submit your feedback to us using the online form.

“We want to hear from anyone and everyone who is interested in the area – particularly the younger generation who will be our future residents – as well as members of the local community, business owners and workers.”

A letter has been sent to residents in the Ashchurch and Northway areas to outline the project with local people, provide details on where to find more information about the bridge and appeal for feedback on the proposals.

The council is welcoming feedback up until Friday, 12 June 2020.

Anyone unable to access tewkesburygardentown.co.uk can call the council on 01684 295010 or email customerservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk – ask for the ‘Garden Town programme team’.

Tuesday 19th May 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 2,682,716

Total UK Cases – 246,406  

Total UK Deaths –  34,796 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,315 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,346 

Total Confirmed Cases in:

  • Cheltenham – 317
  • Cotswold – 154
  • Forest of Dean – 108
  • Gloucester – 395
  • Stroud – 195
  • Tewkesbury – 177

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 216

Monday 18th May 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 2,580,769 

Total UK Cases –  243,695 

Total UK Deaths – 34,636 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,294

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* –   1,345

Total Confirmed Cases in:

  • Cheltenham – 318
  • Cotswold – 153
  • Forest of Dean – 108
  • Gloucester – 394
  • Stroud – 195
  • Tewkesbury – 177

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 216

News from TBC: Service delivery – All Ubico services running as normal, crews saw a huge increase in the amount of garden waste presented for collection and have worked hard over the last two weeks since the service was reinstated collecting over 800 tonnes, this is easily a month’s worth in 10 days. Bookings for bulky waste collections started to be taken last week and crews are starting to collect items from residents. Our customer service advisers are checking that the household is not self-isolating with symptoms or suspected Covid-19. Environmental health officers were busy across the borough over the weekend and identified some issues due to the relaxation of conditions relating to the use of sports facilities, and dealt with a number of enquiries from local businesses. It’s clear that some parents are seeing that playgrounds should count as sports but this isn’t the case, further work will be done to remind residents that the use of playgrounds is still banned. While garden centres and estate agents can now open, all other retail other than food should still be closed. Not all garden centres and estate agents had decided to open and those that have, have put in clear social distancing measures.

Community support – 38 emergency community grants have been submitted, £20,023 has been paid and a further £11,000 either allocated or to be determined.

Business support – The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.36m in grant payments to 1322 businesses. A total of 1557 applications have been received, 174 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 29 applications requiring further validation -these are more complicated and the team is working hard to deal with these.

Friday 15th May 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery – There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications. The team has seen an increase of 573 applications, additional resource has been sourced to help with the increase in workload. Environmental health officers are working to investigate businesses that have been reported to have broken the regulations. Guidance has been received about the phased return of sports and leisure activities. Sailing and boating are now allowed to resume, which may see an increase in activity on the rivers. Ubico are operating all services as usual, it has been advertised that the ‘grace’ period for garden waste ends today and bins will not be emptied without the 2020/2021 sticker license from Monday

Community support – 38 emergency community grants have been submitted, £20,023 has been paid and a further £11,000 either allocated or to be determined. The mobile testing facility at Oxstalls will remain there until Thursday, 21 May as it is being so well used. It is a relief to find out that following discussions with community groups, people returning to work has not affected the support they are able to provide.An extra 1000 people across the county have been identified as shielding, but have not made contact, the help hub team are working through these to make sure they are ok and have the support needed. The Help Hub will continue to be covered across the weekend.It is likely that shielding will be extended beyond the end of June. 1533 different help requests have been met in the borough through the help hub. Further advice and information will be given to districts on utilising the NHS volunteers.

Business support-The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.23m in grant payments to 1317 businesses. A total of 1559 applications have been received, 177 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 33 applications requiring further validation -these are more complicated and the team is working hard to deal with these. The Growth Hub and Economic Development Team continue to work with LEP, assisting with business survey work to help gain information to support business recovery

Phishing Email Scam Update

Remember you should forward all the suspected phishing emails you receive to this email address report@phishing.gov.uk

Thursday 14th May 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • The Mobile Testing Unit will be provisionally staying in Gloucestershire, at the Oxstalls Tennis Centre, until Thursday 21 May. This is delivered by the military under the Department for Health and Social Care Pillar 2 scheme. 
  • Training which is already available for care home staff is being extended to mental health/ learning disability/physical disability homes. They will also have access to extra training regarding PPE and cleanliness which is being provided by our NHS and CCG partners.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 2,094,209 

Total UK Cases – 229,705 

Total UK Deaths – 33,186 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,155 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* –  1,330 

Total Confirmed Cases in:

  • Cheltenham – 317
  • Cotswold – 151 
  • Forest of Dean – 107
  • Gloucester – 383
  • Stroud – 195
  • Tewkesbury – 177

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** –  214

Wednesday 13th May 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 2,007,146 

Total UK Cases – 226,463 

Total UK Deaths – 32,692 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,092 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,330 

Total Confirmed Cases in:

  • Cheltenham – 317 
  • Cotswold – 151 
  • Forest of Dean – 107
  • Gloucester – 383
  • Stroud – 195
  • Tewkesbury – 177

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 209 

News from TBC: Service delivery – There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications. The team has seen an increase of 545 applications. New regulations for businesses have been issued this morning, these state that garden centres and estate agents can now open and environmental health officers are working with businesses to ensure they can operate safely. Open-air sports facilities can now open but it has been clarified that outdoor playgrounds should remain shut. This information has been reiterated on social media. The housing team is working hard to reduce the number of people housed in temporary hotel accommodation under emergency Covid-19 powers and finding them more permanent accommodation. It is hoped that the number will be reduced from nine to just two or three this week. Cemeteries in the borough are now open for internment of ashes as well as burials; these will still adhere to social distancing and have minimal numbers attending. Stone masons have also been able to start working in the cemeteries. The reinstatement of all Ubico services has seen an increase in calls to customer services, there have been 58 orders for bulky waste collections this week and 141 garden waste sticker licenses have been ordered.

Engineers, council officers and highways experts are asking for thoughts from residents about a project to build a new bridge between Ashchurch and Northway.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government awarded Tewkesbury Borough Council £8.1m to deliver a bridge that will unlock parcels of land to the east of the railway line which are highlighted in the Garden Town Concept Masterplan (along with land to the west of the railway) as development opportunities. It will include a new road, cycle path and walkway.

Tewkesbury Borough Council and its partners – Gloucestershire County Council and engineering consultants, Atkins – have carried out a considerable amount of research into the location and design of the bridge and now they want to hear what the public thinks of the proposals. Comments received will be considered in advance of the bridge’s planning application and will help to inform the project team’s next steps.

There will be a more formal opportunity to submit further views later in the year, as part of the official planning application consultation.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s lead member for planning, Councillor Mel Gore, said: “The Tewkesbury Garden Town project gives us a golden opportunity to create a special place for people to live – a proper community with homes fit for the future. This bridge is one of the first steps in the infrastructure needed to support the Garden Town and it’s exciting to get the ball rolling.

“We had planned to hold two events: one in Northway and one in Ashchurch, where the proposals on the bridge would have been displayed, and where we would have provided the opportunity to discuss the project with members of the Garden Town team. However, due to the current restrictions on public gatherings, we need to do things differently.

“Our website – tewkesburygardentown.co.uk – is complete with all the information that is publically available on the bridge project. It includes the drawings, proposed location, and background information that would have been provided at the events. If you have any views to share with us, we ask that you take a look at the website, examine the drawings, read through the background information and then submit your feedback to us using the online form.

“We want to hear from anyone and everyone who is interested in the area – particularly the younger generation who will be our future residents – as well as members of the local community, business owners and workers.”

A letter has been sent to residents in the Ashchurch and Northway areas to outline the project with local people, provide details on where to find more information about the bridge and appeal for feedback on the proposals.

The council is welcoming feedback up until Friday, 12 June 2020.

Anyone unable to access tewkesburygardentown.co.uk can call the council on 01684 295010 or email customerservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk – ask for the ‘Garden Town programme team’.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reporting lots of COVID RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013)reports being received nationally. Only two have been received relating to our borough. Other Gloucestershire councils are receiving more.

Community support – 38 emergency community grants have been awarded, £20,023 has been paid and a further £8,000 is allocated. The mobile testing facility at Oxstalls will remain there until Sunday as it is being so well used. The Government has announced there is money available for charities helping with food deliveries. Community funding groups working together have now awarded over £300k. There has been a noticeable reduction in the number of calls received by the help hub and the team is now concentrating on follow up calls to ensure residents continue to have the support they need. Discussions are taking place with community groups to see how people returning to work will affect their volunteer numbers and the community response.

Business support -The business grants team has now paid out a total of £15.11m in grant payments to 1299 businesses. A total of 1533 applications have been received, 177 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 30 applications requiring further validation -these are more complicated and the team is working hard to deal with these. The Self Employed Income Support Scheme has opened for applications today, the Economic Development and Growth Hub Team will continue to help businesses access the relevant support available.Work is taking place with partners to consider well being support needed for businesses in the county, especially around care homes

Tuesday 12th May 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

·         Dedication of foster families recognised during Covid-19; Foster Care fortnight.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 1,921,770 

Total UK Cases – 223,060 

Total UK Deaths – 32,065 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 7,044 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* –  1,328 

Total Confirmed Cases in:

  • Cheltenham – 315
  • Cotswold – 151 
  • Forest of Dean – 107
  • Gloucester – 383
  • Stroud – 195
  • Tewkesbury – 177

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 208

Neighbourhood Watch Week Set To Celebrate Neighbours:

Between 7th – 13th June we are encouraging neighbours to say thank you and celebrate what it means to be a neighbour, the connections we have made, and the importance of staying connected through good and bad times. 

To kickstart the week, we are inviting you to take part in The Big Virtual Lunch activities, organised by Eden Project, on the 6th and 7th June. The Big Lunch have put together ideas of small things you can do to celebrate community connections with your neighbours such as making your own bunting and spread some neighbourly joy by hanging it out for all to see, put together a lunch for someone or a small food parcel and leave it on a doorstep, join in with The Big Lunch from your doorstep, raise a cuppa, wave a sausage roll or have a picnic in your own gardens at the same time, host a Big Virtual Lunch online from the comfort of your own home, and ideas to host a Big Virtual Lunch over the phone.

On the 7th June we will be launching a competition to be judged by Tony Husband. Look out for details of that on our website and in email on the 7th June. And each day between the 7th – 13th June we will be sharing stories on our social media channels and website highlighting the big and small ways in which neighbours have been connecting, sharing, supporting and spreading kindness.

Neighbourhood Watch Week this year also marks 35 years since the very first Neighbourhood Watch Week. 

Monday 11th May 2020:

News from TBC: Service delivery – All Ubico essential services are operating normally. The bulky waste service has started to take bookings as of today. This was advertised on our social media pages and on our website. Wingmoor farm (Stoke Orchard), Hempstead (Gloucester) and Swindon Road (Cheltenham) household waste & recycling centres (HWRCs) have opened today, with the others in the county under review. The HWRCs are open for essential waste where it cannot be safely stored at home, the Swindon Road site is only open to Cheltenham Borough residents.Social distancing measures are in place at all HWRCs Gloucestershire County Council have published a press release outlining this. There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications. The team have seen an increase of 512 applications, which accounts for over 20% of the average caseload and this number continues to rise. Environmental health officers carried out business closure checks every day over the bank holiday weekend. Most business were compliant however some discussions were held with both car sales companies and garden centres regarding opening- these remained closed with garden centres offering both deliveries and collections observing social distancing. The environmental health team is also ensuring premises are suitably licensed where they are being used by companies for the sale of alcohol, by both collection and delivery. The customer service team continues to authorise proof of life certificates to residents who have overseas pensions, to ensure their payments continue. This has given piece of mind to those residents affected.

Community support – 35 emergency community grants have been awarded. Please continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. The Gloucestershire Help Hub operated across the bank holiday weekend, and members of the community cell ensured this was covered.

Business support – The business grants team has now paid out a total of £14.92m in grant payments to 1281 businesses. A total of 1512 applications have been received, 176 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 30 applications requiring further validation these are more complicated and the team are working hard to deal with these

Thursday 7th May 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

·         Today is the first day people can access the Mobile Covid-19 testing site at Oxstalls Tennis Centre in Gloucester.

·         Gloucestershire’s Temporary Highway Inspection and Maintenance Regime policy has been updated. Walked inspections have been reintroduced as this can be carried out within the PHE guidelines. Read more here.

·         Thank you to those who submitted questions for today’s Live Q&A. We tried to respond to as many as possible and the FAQs page on our website will be updated shortly to answer any questions the panel was unable to get to.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  1,448,010 

Total UK Cases –  201,101 

Total UK Deaths –  30,076 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 6,726 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,268 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 203

Wednesday 6th May 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

Members of the public can put their Covid-19 questions to a panel of Gloucestershire County Council leaders:

  • Sarah Scott, Gloucestershire’s director of public health 
  • Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council 
  • Pete Bungard, chief executive of Gloucestershire County Council .
  • The Q&A session will take place on Thursday 7 May on our YouTube channel starting at 11.15am lasting for an hour.

It will begin with a short presentation responding to the pre-submitted questions and following this, people will have the chance to ask further questions.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 1,383,842

Total UK Cases – 194,990

Total UK Deaths – 29,427

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 6,657 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,267

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 199

News from TBC: Please note: Due to the bank holiday there will be no bulletin on Friday, 8 May.

Service delivery – Ubico waste collection services are operating as normal and bookings for bulky waste collections will start to be taken from Monday, 11 May. In order to protect the staff, Ubico will not collect bulky items from properties where there may be symptoms of Covid-19 and those households will be asked to re-book when the household is symptom free. The garden waste service resumed this week and crews are working really hard to maintain the service with a huge increase in the amount of garden waste to be collected. Despite it being a bank holiday on Friday, scheduled bin collections will continue to take place over the weekend. The option of using ad vans to promote the stay at home message over the bank holiday weekend is being explored by the Police. Officers will decide whether this will be beneficial in the borough. There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications. The team have seen an increase of 501 applications, which accounts for 21% of the average caseload and this number continues to rise. As the number of tests for Covid-19 increases, partners are working to identify suitable mobile testing sites across the county. A press release has been sent by Gloucestershire County Council around this.

Community support – 31 emergency community grants have been awarded. Please continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. Those on the shielding list have been advised to stay at home until the end of June. Due to the low numbers of calls received over the weekends, a decision will be made as to whether the Help Hub needs to continue to operate seven days a week. Following reports that the national food parcels had not been delivered to a few residents the community cell are now collecting names of these residents and are working with the NHS shielding the vulnerable team to help resolve this.

Business support – The business grants team have now paid out a total of £14.52m in grant payments to 1245 businesses. A total of 1472 applications have been received, 164 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 51 applications requiring further validation these are more complicated and the team are working hard to deal with these. The business cell continues to work on engaging those businesses identified as eligible, but which remain hard to contact. This work includes using the Government Toolkit to promote the grants through Comms and social media.On Friday, BEIS announced that there would be an expanded Small Business Grant Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-schemeIt is a discretionary fund set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. We are still awaiting further information on the scheme and once this is received, a proposal and process will be developed which reflects local economic intelligence. The website has been updated with a holding statement until the information is received. Tewkesbury Growth Hub continues to work with local businesses seeking wider business support, including delivery of 1-2-1 advice sessions and online support webinars.

Tuesday 5th May 2020:

Gloucestershire updates

Testing – The national criteria for testing have been expanded.  For the full list of people who are eligible for a test and how to access this, please see here www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

In Gloucestershire, we have a local service managed by our NHS Trusts that is for health and social care workers.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 1,291,591

Total UK Cases – 190,584

Total UK Deaths – 28,734

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 6,571

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,243 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 194

Monday 4th May 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • Work is continuing with education teams to understand what needs to happen in order to to re-open schools, in preparation for any changes to government guidance.

·         Covid-19 Emergency Living Fund set up to help people in financial hardship

·         Public Q&A session on Covid-19 – Members of the public can put their Covid-19 questions to a panel of Gloucestershire County Council leaders:

o    Sarah Scott, Gloucestershire’s director of public health 

o    Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council 

o    Pete Bungard, chief executive of Gloucestershire County Council .

·         The Q&A session will take place on Thursday 7 May on our YouTube channel  starting at 11.15am lasting for an hour.

·         It will begin with a short presentation responding to the pre-submitted questions and following this, people will have the chance to ask further questions.

·         If you have a question you would like to put to the panel, it needs to be emailed to DemocraticServices@gloucestershire.gov.uk by 2pm on Tuesday 5 May. It can be about anything relating to coronavirus.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  1,206,405

Total UK Cases –  186,599

Total UK Deaths – 28,446 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 6,489 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,231

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 194

News from TBC: Service delivery – Ubico services are operating normally and the garden waste service resumed today. Garden waste customers have been notified through letters and emails. A press release has also been sent, this has been publicised on our website and social media.All is going well although there are significantly elevated amounts of garden waste being presented.Testing continues to progress well for virtual committee meetings. We will provide further information when a solution is in place. We will show our support for the VE Day anniversary by sharing ideas from the official VE Day 75 social media pages, on different ways to celebrate in line with current guidance. Further information on the events taking place on VE Day has been attached for your information.

Community support – 28 emergency community grants have been awarded totalling £19,311. A press release has been sent outlining the good work community groups have been doing throughout the pandemic. This has been put on our website and social media pages. Please continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. Here is the link to the application page on our microsite. NHS Vulnerable people helpline is now operating

Business support – The business grants team have now paid out a total of £14.07m in grant payments to 1205 businesses. A total of 1432 applications have been received, 157 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 58 applications requiring further validation these are more complicated and the team are working hard to deal with these. Further work is being done by the team to promote the grant and reach businesses who may be eligible but have not yet applied.The government has announced support for businesses that are not eligible for the current business grant scheme; this is in the form of the discretionary fund. It is expected that we will receive a letter this week giving further details and will then look to open applications as soon as possible. The website has been updated with a holding statement until the information is received.

The Royal British Legion calls on the nation to mark the 75thAnniversary of VE Day from home

The Royal British Legion has announced a programme of activities to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May 2020. No longer able to attend the planned VE Day 75 events, the Royal British Legion is calling on the nation to get involved from the safety of their homes in a programme of events to pay tribute to the entire Second World War generation from British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces,to evacuees and those who served on the home front.Members of the public can access the proposed activities at www.rbl.org.uk/veday75 and on social media using #VEDay75 and #VEDay75Live during the live stream. Activities include a VE Day 75 live stream, national moments of Remembrance and thanksgiving,and activity packs for individuals and families.At 11am the Legion is encouraging people across all generations and communities to take part in a national moment of Remembrance and pause fora Two Minute Silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation,and also take the opportunity to reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.Following the Silence,the Legion is hosting a VE Day75livestream, sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War,and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today. Hosted by TV presenter Sonali Shah, the programme will feature contributions from social historian Julie Summers and cook and influencer Melissa Helmsley. The programme will be live from 11.15 am on the Royal British Legion website. Later in the day,the Legion has partnered with the BBC to honour and celebrate the Second World War generation with an evening of memories and music from 8pm on BBC One. Members of the public are invited to enjoy a moment of celebration and thanksgiving during the programme by taking part in a UK-wide rendition of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm. Alongside these events on 8th May 2020, The Royal British Legion has developed a VE Day learning pack which is available online. Designed for 7-14 year olds, the pack includes first-hand accounts from the Second World War generation, veteran interviews and range of activities to allow families to explore and commemorate VE Day together.The Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director of Commemorative Events, Bob Gamble OBE, has said: “As we face some of the most challenging times since the Second World War, now more than ever it is important to unite in recognition of people’s service to the nation, just as communities did 75 years ago. “There is no right or wrong way to take part in the Silence at 11 am, some people may wish to stand at their windows or step outside their front door,but we hope that individuals and families across the UK will embrace the opportunity to share in a national moment reflection. Later on we will invite people to open their windows wide and join us to celebrate and give thanks as we singalong to Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime classic,‘We’ll Meet Again’, which has added poignancy in the current circumstances.“There are many parallels between the struggles of the Second World War and what we are going through today. As we mark 75 years since Victory in Europe,we look to our Second World War generation to learn from their experiences, and the Legion continues our critical work to protect them from the threat we currently face.”Royal British Legion Schedule:(Additional activity will be announced by the Government) 1100-1102 –Two Minute Silence 1115-1200 –The Royal British Legion VE75 Livestream 2000-2110 –VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration, BBC One 2100 –‘We’ll Meet Again’ Singalong Guidance on Two Minute Silence Members of the public are being encouraged to take part in a national moment of Remembrance at 11am during a Two Minute Silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.There is no right or wrong way to take part in the Silence, some may wish to stand at their windows, step outside their homes while remaining distanced from others, watch the broadcast on television, or simply sit in a quiet moment of reflection.Royal British Legion LivestreamAt 1115 the Legion is hosting a VE Day 75 livestream, available at page rbl.org.uk/veday75sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War, and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today. The Legion is inviting members of the public to grab a cup of tea and join us for the livestream as we bring the World War Two generation together with today’s generation to chat about their shared experiences. Hosted by TV presenter Sonali Shah, the programme will feature contributions from social historian Julie Summers and cook and influencer Melissa Helmsley. The livestream will be available on the Legion’s website.VE Day 75:The People’s CelebrationBBC ONE: 20:00 –21:10To mark the 75thanniversary of VE day, in these unprecedented times, the BBC in partnership with the Royal British Legion will honour and celebrate the World War Two Generation with an evening of memories and music.Featuring some of those who remember this historic day, together with Britain’s favourite performers, Katherine Jenkins, Adrian Lester, Anton Du Beke, Beverley Knight, Helen George, Sharon D Clarke, Shane Richie and Emma Barton who will entertain us with popular songs of the era.In a fitting finale at 9.00 pm we will see the nation unite for a very special rendition of “We’ll Meet Again” as across the UK we all give thanks to our veterans and remember our loved ones.‘We’ll Meet Again’ Singalong Lyrics available on The Royal British Legion website https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-singalong

Friday 1st May 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • Below is a member briefing on how Gloucestershire is supporting the county’s mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic, from the Lead Commissioner Clare Procter.
  • ITV West is speaking to a local care home today about PPE following a donation of over 300k items of equipment from Superdry. The piece is due to air in the next couple of days.
  • Cllr Richard Boyles did an interview yesterday (Thursday 30 April) to highlight our children’s safeguarding campaign: Spot the signs.
  • The NHS is still open for business. You can still contact your GP, 111 online or call 111 for help. If you are told to go to hospital, you must go. The NHS will give you the care you need. Find out more at www.nhs.uk

·         The NHS Cheltenham and Gloucester fundraising team are looking for donations of the following items:

  • Lip salve – stick form
  • E45 face lotion for under staff masks

Please note these items should be new and unused. They will go to staff who are working in Covid-19 wards locally.

If you can donate these items please get in touch with T’pu Kapadia from the Integrated Transport Unit to arrange collection. Contact details: T’pu.kapadia@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  901,905

Total UK Cases – 171,253 

Total UK Deaths – 26,771 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 6,177 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,181

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 182

News from TBC: Service delivery – There is a much better level of capacity in the hotels for those who are verified as rough sleeping and the housing team are working with colleagues across the county to find accommodation that is more permanent-work is progressing well on this.There has been an increase in the number of businesses trying to open and environmental health officers are keeping an eye on this across the borough. Some businesses are not covered by the regulations,such as car washes and dog groomers. The number of complaints received by environmental health have increased in areas such as noise and bonfire complaints. It is likely, with the garden waste service resuming, that there will be fewer bonfire complaints received however;the team is expecting to continue to see a rise in the number of noise complaints. A new national website for front line key workers has been launched www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/ourfrontline/providing further support and resources. This has been shared with staff. The garden waste service will resume from Monday, 4 May. Garden waste customers have been notified through letters and emails. A press release has also been sent, this has been publicised on our website and social media. Further clarification has been put on social media reminding residents that play parks are still shut.

Community support – A total of 26 emergency community grants have been awarded. These have been awarded to: Heart of Priors Park community interest company, Independently CIC, WAM Youth Winchcombe, Gloucestershire Counselling Service, Brockworth Parish Council, Brockworth Link, Springbank Community Food Bank, Tewkesbury Foodbank, Priors Park Neighbourhood Projecto, Community Connexions, Twyning Parish Council, Churchdown ABC, Radio Winchcombe Ltd, The Hollie Gazzard Trust, “BeSocial@theCentre Winchcombe”, Mindsong, GDA (Gloucestershire Deaf Association), Hucclecote parish council, Abbeyfield Tewkesbury Society Ltd, WAM Youth (Grant 2), Rooftop Housing Association, Southam Community Support Group, Shurdington Mutual Support, The Sensory Zone, GL3 Comunity Hub, 4th Cheltenham Boys Brigade. A press release has been sent outlining the good work community groups have been doing throughout the pandemic. This has been put on our website and social media pages. Please continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. Following the shielding the vulnerable letter that was sent, 4500 residents across the county hadn’t responded and are now being contacted by Gloucestershire County Council, so far 66 have been identified as in urgent need and followed up through Adult Social Care. There have also been reports that the national food parcels haven’t been delivered to a few residents -work is taking place with the community groups to help ensure food is getting to those in need. Over £250k worth of funding has been given out to community groups across the county, from ten trusts within the county that are working together. The community Help Hub Portal will continue to provide support across the weekend

Business support-The business grants team have now paid out a total of £13.58m in grant payments to 1168 businesses.A total of 1397 applications have been received, 146 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 73 applications requiring further validation these are more complicated and the team are working hard to deal with these. The work of the team to promote the grant and reach businesses who may be eligible is continuing Refusal letters have started to be sent to businesses this week, these outline the appeals process.Information on the appeals procedure has also been put on the website.The Growth Hub team continue to provide support to businesses and have delivered four webinars this week. There have also been a number of businesses that are proactively putting plans in place for business recovery. The government has announced support for businesses that are not eligible for the current business grant scheme; this is in the form of the discretionary fund. It is expected that we will receive a letter next week giving further details and will then look to open applications as soon as possible. Once we have more information we will update the website.

Thursday 30th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  818,539

Total UK Cases – 165,221 

Total UK Deaths – 26,097 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 6,056 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,152 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 181

Wednesday 29th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 763,387 

Total UK Cases – 161,145 

Total UK Deaths – 21,678 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 5,986 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* –  1,139 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 176

News from TBC: Service delivery- There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications received, 452 new applications have been received to date,which equates to 18% of the average caseload.There can be a delay in processing these,as residents have to claim Universal Credit through DWP first. Environmental health officers continued to monitor business compliance and intend to issue Fixed Penalty Notices where necessary, most businesses are complying after a warning is issued.Officers are working alongside the police monitoring issues with social distancing. Recent reports include 500+ people per day using footpaths through farms. A preferred solution for the hosting of virtual committee meetings has been identified and testing to date has been positive. Essential meetings and agenda items are currently being prioritised and a schedule of these will be issued in due course.

Community support – A total of 24 community grants have been awarded. Please continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. The community Help Hub Portal continues to provide support to those in the community how need additional support. In Tewkesbury Borough –1,531 requests for help have been received these include:Medical appointments -36 Food cover -468 Food parcels-149 Phone support-101 Prepare meals -33 Prescriptions -345 Put out bins -204 Recipes -20 Walk the dog –175.

Business support – The business grants team have now paid out a total of £12.99m in grant payments to 1113 businesses. A total of 1306 applications have been received, 141 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 43 applications requiring further validation these are more complicated and the team are working hard to deal with these. Refusal letters have started to be sent to businesses this week, these outline the appeals process.Information on the appeals procedure has also been put on the website.The Growth Hub team will continue to provide support to businesses.

Tuesday 28th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • County council employees joined public sector partners across Gloucestershire to mark the national one minute silence at 11am on 28 April. They were invited to pay their respects to the friends and colleagues they have lost over the last two months due to the virus.
  • Between 23 March and 24 April 2020 (five weeks) we have processed 1075 new applications for eligibility for Free School Meals. Families who have had a change in financial circumstances and may now be eligible are encouraged to find out more about Free School Meals online.
  • Information on staff testing in Gloucestershire issued by Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust can be found below.

·         Gloucestershire GPs and care homes are developing new ways of working to offer continuing medical support to residents and keep people as safe as possible, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Watch a new video about ‘virtual ward rounds’ here. 

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 719,024 

Total UK Cases – 157,149 

Total UK Deaths – 21,092 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 5,902 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* –  1,112 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 171

Rate relief for Tewkesbury Borough businesses

Eligible businesses in Tewkesbury Borough are receiving ‘nil’ business rates bills this week as a result of an expanded package of business support from the government.

The Expanded Retail Discount has been awarded to 444 eligible businesses across Tewkesbury Borough, the total discount applied so far is just over £9.5 million, this support means they will not be required to pay business rates throughout 2020/21. The expanded package has ensured that Nursery premises are included, currently 13 have been identified in the borough receiving discounts to the sum of £100,246

The council is encouraging business owners to get in touch to find out if they are eligible for help.

Councillor Rob Bird, leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council said: “Whilst the current figures are most encouraging, it is vital that our all of our local businesses are made aware of the discounts available to them. We want to ensure that all businesses can access the help they are entitled to as soon as possible, to give them some stability during this uncertain time.

“Additionally, the Tewkesbury Growth Hub team are on hand to help, giving free advice and information on the latest business support packages available. They are also running webinars and other sessions that will provide practical and valuable guidance advice.” 

Monday 27th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • Counselling support is now available for staff in care homes. Information will be sent to care homes to advise how their staff can access this service.

·         The county council has approved plans for new online and telephone mental health services to support adults, young people and children in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

·         Over 100,000 items of PPE equipment offered by local businesses to support frontline workers

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  669,850 

Total UK Cases – 152,840 

Total UK Deaths –  20,732 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 5,797

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* –  1,098

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 167

News from TBC: Service delivery – We are pleased to advise that the emergency powers for rough sleepers, which saw us successfully accommodate 180 rough sleepers and other homeless people, have been deactivated. The focus is now on finding those who have been placed in hotels more permanent accommodation and work both at a borough and county level will be ongoing to do so. The Chief Executive was asked to join the Homelessness/Rough Sleepers Cell at the Gloucestershire Leaders and Chief Executives meeting last week. His role will be to support the work to develop a recovery period plan to provide housing solutions for the people currently housed in the temporary hotel accommodation. Ubico continue to run core services, a decision has been made to continue the suspension of the garden waste service, this information has been put on our website and on social media. This is reviewed on a weekly basis, and our garden waste customers are updated via press releases, letters and emails where we have them so they are kept up to speed. We would like to restart the service as soon as it is realistically feasible to do so, and when we can manage or minimise any impacts this could have on waste and recycling as essential services. The resident in the caravan is now in the car park on the Gloucester Road and has written obscenities on the caravan. Various agencies, including council officers, are trying to help this individual. There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications received, 421 new applications have been received to date. There can be a delay in processing these, as residents have to claim Universal Credit through DWP first. Environmental health officers continued to monitor business compliance over the weekend with drive by visits to 700 businesses. Three warning letters were issued over the weekend and the team will look at the need to issue fixed penalty notices if businesses continue to go against the government guidance. Information on which businesses should be closed can be found on the Covid-19 microsite. Testing continues on possible solutions to introduce remote council meetings.

Community support – Community grants: Total applications received to date – 25. Total grants awarded – 20 (plus 3 live). Value of grants awarded – £15,873.31. As these grants are processed on a daily basis, the bulletins will keep members updated regularly. However in the meantime, please continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. The community cell team continued to run across the weekend to provide support to those in need.

Business support – The business grants team have now paid out a total of £12.71m in grant payments to 1085 businesses. A total of 1276 applications have been received, 132 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 50 applications requiring further validation these are more complicated and the team are working hard to deal with these. The business cell team are happy that all eligible businesses have been identified and resources are being used to target businesses that haven’t applied for the business rates grant. They are on track to have all business grants paid by the end of this week. Refusal letters will be sent to businesses this week and will outline the appeals process. The Growth Hub team will continue to provide support to businesses.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

Wages for furloughed employees are now being paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, just six working days after claims opened.

Payments for claims made on Monday 20 April will be in employers’ bank accounts by tomorrow (28‌‌ April).

Friday 24th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

·         Clarification – sadly, the county council has been informed of 50 care home resident deaths, not 49 as published yesterday in Table 3; Deaths of care home residents who were suspected to have Covid-19. Apologies for any confusion.

·         Gloucestershire continues to work together to support communities through Covid-19

·         Local clothing firm, Superdry, donate PPE supplies to county’s care workers

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  583,496 

Total UK Cases – 138,078 

Total UK Deaths – 18,738 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 5,411 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 1,021 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 152

*The above data reflects nationally published data available here.

**The above data reflects nationally published NHS data available here.

News from TBC: Service delivery -The enhanced service for the homeless and rough sleepers has completed its goals with some 180 assisted, 80 placements beyond the team’s normal remit have been made and it is felt that all individuals have been offered opportunities. The Government have made it clear that burial grounds and cemeteries could remain open for people to visit their loved ones (in adherence to social distancing guidance) and the Act had been amended accordingly –a message would be circulated to Parish and Town Councils shortly to ensure they understood this. All other rules for funerals would remain the same. The Community Health Hub Portal will be operating as per usual this weekend. The Environmental Health team are experiencing issues with a small number of caravan touring sites still having individuals on site with people living in them, checks are being made and the appropriate action will betaken.Additional business checks are being made on those businesses offering a new takeaway service. Council tax reduction scheme applications continue to rise. 408 additional applications have been received since the COVID pandemic. Planning have been in touch with Parish and Town Councils following the extension to 28 days for consultation responses –most were working well. Support will be provided where required.

Community Support – Community grants: 22 applications, 16 successful and 14 live. Total award of £14k. Information on successful grants will be circulated to members. The scheme will also be promoted through the Citizens Panel. Flood grant deadline has been extended to today.Work on these to be progressed as quickly as possible.

Business Support – 1,300 applications have been received, we believe we are close to the maximum number.£12.32m paid so far to 1052 claimants. Those not eligible for business grants will be informed by letter as of Monday. An appeals process is currently being set up. Letter from Laurence Robertson MP to be distributed by email to approx. 400 addresses on our Economic Development distribution list for information. 444 businesses have been awarded business rate relief relating to the extended retail discount scheme. The total award is £9.5 million. Nurseries have also benefited with 13 applications within borough totally £100,246.This businesses have been re-billed with a ‘nil’ invoice for 2020/21. A press release has been sent out today.

Thursday 23rd April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

·         An update on Care Home cases of Covid-19 in Gloucestershire can be found below in the ‘Your Questions Answered’ section.

  • Help us keep children safe from harm.

Just because children are out of sight during the lockdown, it doesn’t mean they are out of harms way. We are asking everyone to play their part and report any concerns they have about a child’s safety or welfare.

·         Proud to Care have been recruiting care workers in Gloucestershire. So far there have been 42 applications, and three people have started in new posts. Visit www.proudtocareglos.org.uk to find out more.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 559,935 

Total UK Cases – 133,495 

Total UK Deaths – 18,100 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 5,229 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 989

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 147

*The above data reflects nationally published data available here.

**The above data reflects nationally published NHS data available here.

Wednesday 22nd April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

·         Health experts are encouraging people across Gloucestershire to look after their mental health and wellbeing during the current Covid-19 ‘lockdown’.

·         The council is able to offer some ‘supplier relief’ (support) on a case by case basis according to the nature of their goods or services. Following our bulletin on Friday 17 April, a letter regarding the details of ‘supplier relief’ will be sent to providers today/tomorrow.

·         Community help hub answers over 3000 requests for help in its first month

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  535,342 

Total UK Cases –  129,044 

Total UK Deaths –  17,337

Total Confirmed Cases in South West –  5,045  

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 972

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 143

*The above data reflects nationally published data available here.

**The above data reflects nationally published NHS data available here.

News from TBC: Service delivery – There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications received, 390 new applications have been received to date, a 16% increase on caseload. There can be a delay in processing these,as residents have to claim Universal Credit through DWP first. The revenues team have received the software needed for the council tax hardship fund and will now start to work up an implementation programme for this. Environmental health officers continue to carry out visits to businesses, 15 warning letters have been issued over the past couple of days with some businesses now closing due to the warning they have received. Work continues on reviewing the technology solutions needed to introduce remote council meetings. ICT teams will be working collaboratively across the county to test and evaluate available platforms. Once this work is completed we will provide a further update. The registrar is operating five days a week from the offices and the DWP continue to work over the weekends. Although there are low numbers of officers in the office, the cleaners are still attending throughout the day and over the weekends. They work independently in order to maintain social distancing. We have continued to support the county’s #ThisIs campaign to highlight the good work being done by local government officers. These are published on our social media pages and have received a really positive response. The social media posts have been attached for your information. There have been national indications that environmental health officers could be drawn in to contact tracing for Covid-19 cases. There hasn’t been anything formal but there is potential officers will assist with this. This will put our environmental health officers on the front line and we will need to look at the requirements for PPE. Ubico continue to maintain the core waste collection services. A decision on whether the suspension of the garden waste service will continue will be mad on Friday. The government has announced an additional £1.6b funding for local government. We are yet to receive confirmation on our allocation but we expect it to be minimal.

Community support – Community grants: Total applications received to date-20. Total grants awarded -17. Value of grants awarded -£13,101.49. As these grants are processed on a daily basis, the bulletins will keep members updated regularly. However in the meantime, please to continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. It is anticipated that the community cell will continue to operate the Help Hub over seven days a week

Business support- The business grants team have now paid out a total of £11.8m in grant payments to 1012 businesses. A total of 1207 applications have been received, 99 applications have been refused as they do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria. There are 96 applications requiring further validation these are more complicated and the team are working hard to deal with these. The business cell continues to support business to access funds with a focus emerging now on planning for recovery, with free webinars and support from the Growth Hub team.

Tuesday 21st April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • We are working with Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to review information available for families who are shielding children at this time. We will be in touch with those families soon.
  • All PPE offers following our appeal last week are being pursued to develop new supply lines. 
  • Council committee meetings will begin remotely this week. Members will receive instructions individually.
  • Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service officers are being trained to support the South West Ambulance Service.

·         Work is ongoing with the local registrations team to collate more accurate information on community deaths and deaths in care home residents. The ONS have released a local authority breakdown of community deaths by setting, however this has a considerable time lag and only covers deaths that occurred prior to 3 April. As a result, we are exploring alternative sources of this information to enable a more accurate and timely understanding of community deaths. More details can be found below.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  501,379 

Total UK Cases –  124,743 

Total UK Deaths –  16,509 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West –  4,861 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 934

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 143

*The above data reflects nationally published data available here.

**The above data reflects nationally published NHS data available here.

Help to claim – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC are providing updated help about what you will need to have ready before the system goes live.

They are also updating an important change to the scheme relating to employee eligibility:

  • you can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying us of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020
  • employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

More information on this can be found on GOV.UK.

How to claim

As organisations prepare to make a claim, please note:

  • the online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20‌‌ April 2020 – please do not try to access it before this date as it won’t be available
  • the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim
  • you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent
  • claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact us unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or our webchat service
  • we cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.

Information you will need before you make a claim

In addition to the information in our previous email, you will need to have the following before 20‌‌ April 2020:

  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘HMRC services: sign in or register’
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘PAYE Online for employers’
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
  1. Name.
  2. National Insurance number.
  3. Claim period and claim amount.
  4. PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee
  • if you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; we will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

If you want an agent to act for you

Please note:

  • agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password
  • you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.

Guidance on GOV.UK is being regularly updated so please review it frequently.

Monday 20th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

·         Nearly 4000 families benefit from Free School Meals over Easter holidays

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  482,063 

Total UK Cases –  120,067 

Total UK Deaths –  16,060 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West –  4,669 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire* – 904

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire** – 130

*The above data reflects nationally published data available here.

**The above data reflects nationally published NHS data available here.

News from TBC: Service delivery – There continues to be an increase in the number of council tax reduction applications received, 362 new applications have been received to date, a 15% increase on caseload. Additional resource has been identified to assist the revenues and benefits team with these along with the increase in enquiries and work associated with administering the business grants scheme. Environmental health officers carried out more visits to businesses over the weekend –they are still pleased to report a high level of compliance. However, the team has had reports of alleged gatherings at the Olde Black Bear (Tewkesbury) and are looking into this. Officers have seen an increase in the number of bonfire and noise complaints. Environmental health will be working on comms messages about being a considerate neighbour. The government has announced an additional £1.6b funding for local government. We are yet to receive confirmation on our allocation but we expect it to be minimal. Representatives from Gloucestershire councils will be meeting this week to review the technology solutions needed to introduce remote council meetings across the county and ensure that we have robust procedures to enable public access and participation. ICT teams will be working collaboratively to test and evaluate available platforms. Once this work is completed we will provide a further update. The planning team has re-instigated its pre-application advice service. This week, the police will start using the council chamber for training events during lock down. They will also be using the old IT room to allow for effective social distancing in their area.

Community support – 8 community grants applications were received over weekend. Total applications received to date-20. Total grants awarded -11. Value of grants awarded -£9,288.50. As these grants are processed on a daily basis, the bulletins will keep members updated regularly. However in the meantime, please to continue to let the groups you are working with know about this opportunity. The community help hub continued to operate over the weekend, matching requests for help with the relevant community groups that can help provide the support needed.There have been 350 requests for help so far. Follow-up calls are made to make sure residents have received the support needed and if any further support is necessary.

Business support – The business grants team worked over the weekend to pay out £1.3m today (106 applications). The team have now paid out a total of £11.155m in grant payments overall (955 applications). The business cell continues to support business to access funds with a focus emerging now on planning for recovery, with free webinars and support from the Growth Hub team. Due to Covid-19 the deadlines for applications to the Business Flood Recovery Grant and Flood Community Recovery Grant have been extended to 24 April 2020. For those that think they may be eligible they can access the relevant guidance and online application forms as follows: Flood Community Recovery Grant: https://www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/forms/flooding-community-recovery-grantoBusiness Flood Recovery Grant:https://www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/forms/business-flood-recovery-grant

Friday 17th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • COVID-19 – staying at home guidance
  • Education – A Schools and Education Recovery Planning Team is being set up from next week to consider the issues and challenges with getting schools back to full operating capacity as and when Government confirm this can happen. 
  • Every Mind Matters – We are supporting a national PHE campaign to encourage adults to take steps to look after their mental health during this difficult time, using Every Mind Matters and self-care resources. Please share Gloucestershire County Council social media posts. Additional resources such as posters can be found online here oi the Covid 19 section of the Campaign Resource Centre.

·         There is now a web page with information and support for children and families during COVID-19

Daily stats

Total UK Tests –  417,649 

Total UK Cases –  103,093 

Total UK Deaths –  13,729 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West –  3,913 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire – 768

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 113

News from TBC: Service delivery – Mike Dawson and Rob Weaver will be making calls to non-executive members next week to check-in and keep in touch. Gloucestershire councils are currently working together to review the technology solutions needed to introduce remote council meetings and ensure that we have robust procedures to enable public access and participation. ICT teams will be working collaboratively to test and evaluate available platforms. The first meeting is being held on Monday. Once this work is completed we will provide a further update. The property team is monitoring the numbers of visitors to the cemetery (and those who just pass through) to assess if we require to close it and ensure social distancing is maintained. An out-of-hours service for booking burials has been implemented, in the first instance, until the end of April. The police will be using council chamber for training events during lock down, from 20 April. They will be using the old IT room to allow for effective social distancing in their area -they are expected to move in next week. Ubico continues to maintain core waste services, the garden waste service remains suspended and will be regularly reviewed. Environmental health officers have recently monitored 279 businesses, including in rural areas, who showed a high level of compliance. Those that are starting to operate takeaway services, that didn’t previously, are being given the latest guidance on the relevant legislation. There continues to be an increase(14%) in the number of council tax reduction applications received; additional resource has been identified to assist the revenues and benefits team with these along with the increase in enquiries and work associated with administering the business grants scheme. A dedicated area of the staff intranet has been built to help accessing information (on updates to policies, etc) much easier. Officers have seen an increase in the number of bonfire and noise complaints. Environmental health will be working with comms on messages about being a considerate neighbour. The planning team will be re-instigating its pre-application advice service today. Finance has completed a financial return to government outlining the direct and indirect impact Covid-19 has had on the authority’s finances. Moving forward, this will be a monthly return. It is still a statutory requirement to answer FOI in 20 days.The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognises though the pressures that councils are under and will take this into account if needs be. TBC officers who respond to FOI requests have been instructed by management team to ensure they engage with a requestor if they believe they will need an extension of time.

Community support – The community cell team continued to provide support to those identified through the portal across the bank holiday weekend. There have been 340 requests for help, which have been mostly around the need for food and prescription deliveries. The community cell has been matching these requests up with the relevant community groups that can help provide the support needed. Follow up calls are made to make sure residents have received the support needed and if any further support is necessary. A press release has been sent out to media contacts regarding our emergency community fund. To date, twelve applications have been received from community groups. The total value of the applications is £11k. Further work will be done to make sure community groups are aware of the funding available and have the support and resources needed to help the community. A number of funders in Gloucestershire are working together to simplify the funding process, to enable community groups to apply for grants using one single application.

Business support – 1080 grant applications have been received, with £9.86m of grant payments processed by the revenues and finance teams to 849 businesses. The outreach telephone calls we are making to contact and support our business community through the process of making a grant applications is very much appreciated by them.We continue to have positive feedback about the way we are doing this.

Emergency community fund – Reminder

Tewkesbury Borough Council has launched a Covid-19 Emergency Community Fund to help communities as they respond to exceptional challenges over the coming months. 

Charitable organisations across Tewkesbury Borough (and voluntary and community groups with charitable aims) can now apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to deliver projects or services that meet the Tewkesbury Borough COVID-19 Emergency Community Fund criteria.  

The following activities will be a priority for this grant programme: 

  • Direct and immediate practical support for vulnerable groups
  • Volunteer capacity to organisations delivering support to the above groups
  • Providing the above groups with access to necessary resources
  • Initiatives to reduce isolation and vulnerability

Running costs for organisations will be supported, including staff costs, volunteer expenses and transport costs. Small capital costs are also eligible, providing the capital items are directly linked to supporting the above groups. 

To be eligible to apply, your work in response to Coronavirus must support one or more of the following groups:

  • Elderly (aged 65 and over)
  • Vulnerable or disadvantaged people
  • People with disabilities and/or underlying health difficulties
  • Homeless people
  • Low income families
  • Those that are self-isolating and have no support
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • People experiencing food poverty
  • You do not have to be a registered charity, as long as the work you do has charitable aims.

To find out more, please follow this link – https://www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/forms/emergency-grant-for-charitable-organisations-and-community-groups

Thursday 16th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • We are working hard to provide PPE to carers of the 3300 people receiving care in their own homes and 330 care homes. 
  • £25m government funding has been made available to support hospices around the country. Gloucestershire will allocate this funding as soon as central government confirm this process. 

·         This year a total of 6649 Gloucestershire children have been offered a primary school place for September, with 98 percent being offered a place at one of their preferred schools. 92 percent of pupils also received a place at their first preference school.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 398,916 

Total UK Cases – 98,476 

Total UK Deaths – 12,868 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 3,774 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire – 737

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 101

Wednesday 15th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire updates

  • Information on the support available for children and families during Covid-19 is now available on the GCC website. This will also be shared on social media.
  • Blue badges that are due to expire during Covid-19, have been ‘extended’. Penalty Charge Notices will not be given to citizens using Blue Badges with an expiry date of 1 January 2020 onwards. This relaxation of enforcement against expired Blue Badges should continue initially until 30 September 2020.Residents with a blue badge due to expire are still encouraged to renew their blue badges online if possible.
  • The ‘This is…’ campaign launched last week which aims to celebrate the hard work of individual members of staff across the county

GCC Staffing

  • 20 staff with C19 symptoms, 221 are self isolating. Of the 221, 143 able to work at home, 98 are unable to work.
  • Workforce is total 3% reduced due to symptoms and self isolation, down slightly from 4% the previous week.
  • The majority of staff are now working from home

National updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings – Added a link to ‘Admission appeals for school places’ which contains guidance on the coronavirus impact on school admission appeals.

Commission on Human Medicines advice on ibuprofen and coronavirus – concludes there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 or the worsening of its symptoms.

Chris Townsend OBE has been appointed to lead the government’s shielding programme to protect those at highest risk from coronavirus.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 382,650 

Total UK Cases – 93,873

Total UK Deaths – 12,107

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 3,578 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire – 701

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 98

The testing data reflects nationally published data available here.

Tuesday 14th April 2020:

Key messages

Gloucestershire Updates

  • Around 66,000 items of PPE received over the weekend which are being distributed to settings across the county today. This is in addition to the 400,000 pieces received and distributed last week. Special schools and Trading Standards have also received supplies. 
  • GCC are compiling a list of priority workers for testing at a drive-through facility in the county.
  • Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will assist district councils and community groups with delivering food over the thresholds of people’s houses, where they are unable to do so.

·         County continues to benefit from coordinated response to covid-19 pandemic

National updates

Chancellor provides over £14 billion for our NHS and vital public services since the beginning of the crisis, including:

  • £6.6 billion of support to our health services
  • £1.6 billion for local authorities
  • £0.9 billion to cover extra measures such as food packages
  • £3.5 billion to ensure vital rail services continue

Coronavirus: personal protective equipment (PPE) plan – Cross-government UK-wide plan to ensure that critical PPE is delivered to those on the frontline responding to coronavirus.

Home Secretary outlines support for domestic abuse victims – Government has launched a new public awareness campaign highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, they are still able leave and seek refuge. #YouAreNotAlone

Coronavirus: looking after people who lack mental capacity – Guidance for health and social care staff.

Guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home or residential care

Awarding qualifications in summer 2020

School closures – Updated information on mental health issues, educational staff from overseas, primary school place offers for April 2020, exclusion and the governing board’s duty to reinstate excluded pupils.

Health Secretary launches biggest diagnostic lab network in British history to test for coronavirus

Covid-19 adoption support fund scheme to help vulnerable families – Up to £8 million in funding for adoptive families to meet needs arising from coronavirus outbreak.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 367,667 

Total UK Cases – 88,621

Total UK Deaths – 11,329

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 3,392 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire – 644

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 71

The testing data reflects nationally published data available here.

From TBC: Management team meetings will now take place three times a week and so the frequency of these bulletins will reduce. This week, as it is a four day week, the next meeting will take place on Friday and a bulletin will be provided following that meeting. Moving forward management team meetings will take place on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and you will receive a bulletin on each of these days.

Service delivery – The housing team are keeping in contact daily with those that have been placed in temporary accommodation to ensure that they have the support they need and to help mitigate any issues before they escalate. Ubico continue to maintain core waste services, the garden waste service remains suspended and will be regularly reviewed. A further press release has been sent today to update customers. The fire safety procedures have been amended due to the reduced number of Tewkesbury Borough Council staff attending the offices. Staff will now be required to sign in and out of the office and in the event of the fire alarm sounding; staff will congregate at the front of the offices. A member of the property team is in the office every day and will act as fire coordinator in the event of an emergency. The police will be using the civic suite for training of new recruits from Monday, 20 April to ensure they can adhere to the social distancing rules and will be out of bounds to all staff and tenants during this time. Some of the police lockers will be moved to the old IT suite in order to assist the police officers in maintaining social distancing when operating in the office.From today, Severn Trent Water will start to dig some trial holes on the Vineyards, Vineyards car park, the caravan site and on the nature reserve.They will be at each of these sites for around half a day as part of some planned work to replace the high-pressure sewer main that runs from Newtown to the Vineyards.The individual in the caravan has returned to the offices and is parked at the bottom of the drive. They are known to the authority and we will work with the police and courts to resolve the situation. There continues to be an increase(12%) in the number of council tax reduction applications received; additional resource has been identified to assist the revenues and benefits team with these along with the increase in enquiries and work associated with administering the business grants scheme. Environmental health officers monitored over 300 businesses across the bank holiday weekend, there was a high level of compliance across the borough and no fixed penalty notices were issued. Contact is also being made to businesses that are starting to operate takeaway services,that didn’t previously,to ensure they understand the latest guidance and legislation. The COVID-19 microsite is now live, it can be accessed through the main Tewkesbury.gov.uk website or directly through www.covid19.tewkesbury.gov.uk. A press release has been sent to media and digital contacts, and the microsite has also been promoted on our website, social media and linked-in. Executive CLT successfully took place on Thursday by teleconference. Mike and Rob will also be contacting non -executive members directly to update them on council services. The planning service is considering how best to ensure there is continued engagement with town and parish councils. There remains a process in place to ensure key documents and contracts can be physically signed. The use of electronic signatures is also being investigated as a contingency. Additional Voice over Internet (VoIP) type phone lines have been ordered to reduce pressure on current lines. These should be deployed within 7-10 days.

Community support – The community cell team continued to provide support to those identified through the portal across the bank holiday weekend. There have been 499 requests for help,which have been mostly around the need for food and prescription deliveries. The community cell has been matching these request up with the relevant community groups that can help provide the support needed. Follow up calls are made to make sure residents have received the support needed and if any further support is necessary. A press release has been sent out to media contacts regarding our emergency community fund. To date, eleven applications have been received from community groups. The total value of the applications is £11k. Further work will be done to make sure community groups are aware of the funding available and have the support and resources needed to help the community. The NHS volunteer scheme is up and running and people have started to be referred to the scheme. The fire service will provide assistance to those residents who require their food parcels to be taken into their homes. Supermarkets are creating priority lists of the vulnerable so that they can be put on both the priority list for online deliveries, as well as a weekly food parcel. Pharmacies are also extending the number of delivery slots available, it is understood the NHS volunteers will assist with this. A number of funders in Gloucestershire are working together to simplify the funding process, to enable community groups to apply for grants using one single application.

Business support – 997 grant applications have been received, with £8.4m of grant payments processed by the revenues and finance teams to 725 businesses. The revenues and finance team worked hard over the bank holiday weekend and were ready to pay over £1m worth of grant funding to businesses today. The outreach telephone calls we are making to contact and support our business community through the process of making a grant applications is very much appreciated by them.We continue to have positive feedback about the way we are doing this. The software update required to process the expanded retail discount and nursery discount is being deployed by IT today, which will allow the revenues team to issue nil bills the week commencing 20 April once the update has been tested and implemented.

Suspension of garden waste collection continues

Tewkesbury Borough Council will continue the suspension of its garden waste collection service for at least another two weeks.

The decision follows a review of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting waste and recycling collection services across the borough.

The council’s waste and recycling contractors, Ubico, will continue to focus its efforts on completing statutory collections (i.e. refuse, food waste, recycling and litter bins), and is continuing to suspend non-essential collections to allow for drivers and crews taking time off to self-isolate if needed.

Councillor Jim Mason, lead member for clean and green environment, said: “Ensuring the wellbeing of collection crews, who are key workers and not immune to this terrible virus, is an absolute priority. Ubico is doing a fantastic job of keeping statutory waste and recycling collection services going under very difficult circumstances and I echo the many messages of support and gratitude that crews have received from residents.

“I want to thank our garden waste club members for their understanding, patience and flexibility. We will get the service back up and running as soon as we can, but in the meantime, please hang on to your garden waste and store it wisely.”

Here are some helpful tips to help manage garden waste until the service resumes:

·         Don’t lighting bonfires. Many people – especially those with Covid-19 symptoms, underlying health conditions or respiratory illnesses – are having to self-isolate and could be seriously affected by the smoke.

·         Prop your brown bin lid open slightly and keep it in the shade to reduce odour.  

·         Dry out any new garden waste (grass clippings, for example) and store in a heap or in a bag until services are up and running again.

·         Consider home composting – this is one of the most effective ways to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill and it will also act as a great fertiliser for your plants next year.

The council will review the price for the garden waste service for next year’s subscriptions, based on the length of the current suspension, to ensure that customers don’t lose out.”

The bulky waste collection service, used to collect large items residents are unable to transport to the tip themselves, has also been suspended. The grounds maintenance service has also been scaled back to essential grass cutting needed for safety and keeping the cemeteries looking neat. 

For updates on waste and recycling services, please visit tewkesbury.gov.uk or follow Tewkesbury Borough on Facebook and @TewkesburyBCgov on Twitter.

Thursday 9th April 2020:

TBCouncil launches COVID-19 microsite to ease stress of accessing information

A council in Gloucestershire has gone a step further in making vital COVID-19 advice and support as accessible as possible, by creating a microsite. 

Recognising the importance of making information easy to access, Tewkesbury Borough Council created its microsite so everything related to COVID-19 is in one place, and not sitting among general council information. 

The microsite, which can be accessed via the council’s main site, can also be found directly via: www.covid19.tewkesbury.gov.uk

  Tewkesbury Borough Council/www.covid19.tewkesbury.gov.uk

As part of its commitment to putting its customers first, the borough council has also introduced a whole host of COVID-19-related online forms, so that customers can apply for grants and access support at a time that suits them. Forms include applications for business rates relief, business grants, retail discounts and community grants.

Utilising low-cost, user-friendly and accessible technology is something the council is already really good at, and it currently runs its main website using a platform costing around £150 per year. 

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Lead Member for Customer Focus Cllr Mike Dean said: “It very quickly became clear that we had a lot of information to get out to our residents and businesses. The front page of our website was becoming difficult to navigate, and we wanted to ensure our customers could access what they needed to know quickly and without frustration. Luckily, we have invested in our digital resource and have the skills in-house to create low-cost microsites and online forms. This is an extremely stressful and upsetting time for many people, and we want to ensure we make our customers’ lives as easy as possible, and hopefully our new microsite does just that.”

More news from TBC: Service delivery – The larger hotels procured to house the homeless are almost at capacity. 10 self-contained units have been identified to help house those homeless around the borough, there is also a five-bed house available to use if we need it, these will only be used if absolutely necessary and costs will only incurred if they are used. The team continues to attempt to source accommodation locally. DWP will be working on Good Friday. Cleaners will attend the offices over the weekend to clean areas used by the police and DWP. Officers are aware of a caravan that was parked in the staff car park at the Public Services Centre overnight, they have now been moved on but it is likely they will use one of the council’s car parks. The individual is known to the authority and we will work with the police and courts to resolve the situation. Currently 250 additional council tax reduction forms have been received; additional resource has been identified to assist the revenues and benefits team with these along with the increase in enquiries and work associated with administering the business grants scheme. Ubico continues to maintain the core waste services. A press release has been sent on the waste collections over the bank holiday weekend. There is no longer a requirement for the council to hold an annual meeting this year, please be advised that the annual meeting scheduled to take place on 12 May (Mayor Making) and 20 May (annual meeting resumption) is cancelled. As there will not now be an annual meeting the current appointments including mayor, deputy mayor, leader, deputy leader, membership of committees and outside bodies etc. will continue until the next annual meeting of the Council in May 2021. In the absence of an annual meeting, this will provide continuity of membership. Environmental health officers will continue to monitor businesses over the bank holiday weekend and have the ability to issue fixed penalty notices to any businesses that are not complying with the current regulation. A press release has also been issued around this. The COVID-19 microsite is now live, it can be accessed through the main Tewkesbury.gov.uk website or directly through www.covid19.tewkesbury.gov.uk. A press release has been sent to media and digital contacts, and the microsite has also been promoted on our website, social media and linked-in.

Community support – Operation buddy has been launched by the police, this will provide social support to members of the community who are isolated, scared or vulnerable. A press release has been sent out to media contacts regarding our emergency community fund. To date, seven applications have been received from community groups. More than 2650 offers of help have been submitted via the community help hub and 1714 requests for help have been logged. The hub will remain operational across the bank holiday weekend and the community cell has ensured that there is resource available to cover this.

Business support- 909 grant applications have been received, with £7.34m of grant payments processed by the revenues and finance teams to 641 businesses. The outreach work done by the growth hub team is reflected in the number of grant applications received to date. There are around 1500 eligible businesses across the borough and work will continue to promote the grant scheme. Confirmation has been received that the software required to process the retail discount will be received today, which will allow the revenues team to issue nil bills the week commencing 20 April.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (from HMRC):

If you’re eligible for the scheme, there are things that you can do now to be ready when the system is up and running later this month.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

  1. The bank account number and sort code you’d like us to use when we pay your claim.
  2. The name and phone number of the person in your business for us to call with any questions.
  3. Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  4. The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  5. The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.

However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

For more detailed advice, please visit GOV.UK. This guidance is being regularly updated, so please review it frequently.

You may also find this recorded webinar helpful, ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme‘, available on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

We’ll email you again in the next few days with more details on how and when to access the online system – please do not try to do this until we let you know it is available.

Wednesday 8th April 2020:

 

Council launches emergency community fund

Tewkesbury Borough Council has launched a Covid-19 Emergency Community Fund to help communities as they respond to exceptional challenges over the coming months.

Charitable organisations across Tewkesbury Borough (and voluntary and community groups with charitable aims) can now apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to deliver projects or services that meet the Tewkesbury Borough COVID-19 Emergency Community Fund criteria.

The following activities will be a priority for this grant programme:

•           Direct and immediate practical support for vulnerable groups

•           Volunteer capacity to organisations delivering support to the above groups

•           Providing the above groups with access to necessary resources

•           Initiatives to reduce isolation and vulnerability

Running costs for organisations will be supported, including staff costs, volunteer expenses and transport costs. Small capital costs are also eligible, providing the capital items are directly linked to supporting the above groups.

Lead member for communities, Councillor Clare Softley, said: “There are some really amazing examples of community action springing up right across the borough, with great ideas about how local charities and organisations can help out during this unprecedented time. We want to help provide funding to make volunteer efforts easier and even more effective, so please do apply if your group meets the criteria.”

To be eligible to apply, your work in response to Coronavirus must support one or more of the following groups:

·         Elderly (aged 65 and over)

·         Vulnerable or disadvantaged people

·         People with disabilities and/or underlying health difficulties

·         Homeless people

·         Low income families

·         Those that are self-isolating and have no support

·         Refugees and asylum seekers

·         People experiencing food poverty

·         You do not have to be a registered charity, as long as the work you do has charitable aims.

To find out more, please visit:

https://www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/forms/emergency-grant-for-charitable-organisations-and-community-groups

From TBC: Service delivery – The registrar is getting busier, although they conduct all their appointments over the phone they are still using the offices to help with social distancing between their own staff members. The police has requested additional space to use for training purposes of new recruits so they can adhere to the new social distancing guidance. The property team is assisting with this request and will be isolating the council meeting rooms for the police to use. Additional resource has been identified to be transferred to assist the revenues and benefits team with the increase in enquiries and work associated with administering the business grants scheme and increased applications for council tax reduction. Ubico continues to maintain the core waste services. Nationally, Unions are pushing for more social distancing in the bin lorries, and we are monitoring this situation closely as it may have a direct impact on our services, currently Ubico complies with the recent guidance and minimises the number of drivers and loaders in the cab as appropriate. UK Government has made it clear that waste services are a priority for local councils.A press release has been published on the website on the waste collections over the bank holiday weekend. Sara and Lin are continuing to work with other districts to ensure we have a common approach to meetings, we will continue to keep you updated as this progresses. We are receiving daily reports that groups of people are congregating around spring gardens car park and in bishop’s walk, and this continues to be reported to the police. The housing team is also providing support to the homeless individual who is often in this area.The COVID-19 microsite is progressing well, and we will alert members when it is live and ahead of any proactive communications. Communications planned include a press release to media and digital contacts, social media and linked-in.

Community support – The community cell is starting to meet and engage with other partners who are providing similar services, such as Rooftop Housing. This collaboration will ensure we aren’t duplicating and will allow us to work more closely with these agencies. A press release has been sent out to media contacts regarding our emergency community fund. To date, five applications have been received from community groups. The Citizens Advice Bureau is reporting that it is receiving five times the number of calls. they would normally receive

Business support- 828 grant applications have been received, with £6.94m of grant payments processed by the revenues and finance teams to 609 businesses. Two members of staff from Development Services have been redeployed to help the growth hub team to contact business identified as eligible for the business grant schemes. The hub team are also responding to businesses not eligible for the grants and reliefs available. Feedback is being gathered from these businesses regarding any gaps in business support.

Tuesday 7th April 2020:

Headlines

Updates in Gloucestershire


National updates

Letter to councils about local authority meetings and postponement of elections

Guidance for residential care, supported living and home care – Added link to guidance on admission and care of people in care homes, and marked guidance on residential care provision as withdrawn

Procurement Policy Note 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19 – Addition of further guidance, FAQs and model terms for construction.

Apprenticeship programme response – Updated with new information on continuing training and end point assessment for furloughed apprentices, and pausing new funding audits.


Key links

National Guidance 

General NHS advice

Latest advice and developments from Gloucestershire NHS 

Gloucestershire’s Community Help Hub

Council service updates

Make an adult social care referral 

Business advice and support

Our Looking after your wellbeing‘ webpages are being updated regularly to support people to look after their physical and mental health

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 208,837

Total UK Cases – 51,608

Total UK Deaths – 5,373

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 1,827

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire – 306 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 39

The testing data reflects nationally published data available here.

From TBC: Service delivery – The majority of officers continue to work from home with 128 connecting into the remote system today and 159 in the last 24 hours. Environmental health officers continue to monitor businesses and will also do this over the Easter weekend to see how businesses are managing the situation over the bank holiday. Ubico continue to be operating core services as normal with a slightly reduced service for grounds maintenance and street cleansing. Information will be given to the public about the level of street cleansing being provided once the impact has been reviewed. Due to the reduced number of people out and about levels of litter have dropped and so it is likely the impact will be manageable. The revenues and benefits team continue to see an increase in council tax reduction applications, an additional 215 applications have been received.

Business support – 779 grant applications have been received, £6.1 million worth of grant payments have been processed, by the revenues and finance teams, to 540 businesses. Further work has been done today to promote the business grants on social media and on the website.

Monday 6th April 2020:

Headlines

Updates in Gloucestershire

  • IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: signs have been put on some benches across the county saying they have been ‘closed’ following advice from the county council. This is not correct.  The county council has given no such advice and these signs should be removed. People can use benches as long as they follow Government social distancing guidance.

Adult Social Care

From Monday 6 April the Adult Social Care teams will be operating seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm.

The number of locality offices that staff are working from will be reduced as will the number of staff that will be working in the office. Staff will now work from two hubs, one in Shire Hall, Gloucester and the other in Redwood House, Stroud. 

These hubs will have a small group of key staff working to triage referrals and decision making and will have additional support from other colleagues are working at home to undertake visits if necessary and telephone contact.

There are no changes to the referral route, all referrals should continue to me made via the Adult Help Desk 01452 426868.

National updates

How the government intends to scale up testing programmes to provide a test to anyone who needs one.

Testing is a key pillar of our strategy to protect the NHS and save lives. Our ultimate ambition is that anyone who needs a test should have one.

The government’s testing strategy lays out how we intend to scale up our testing programmes to deliver on this ambition.

Local authorities in England handed new powers to hold public meetings virtually by using video or telephone

The government has announced a £3 million fund for organisations redistributing safe surplus food to those who need it.

Guidance for children’s social care services – Advice about coronavirus for local authorities and their partners.

School closures – Added information about safeguarding. Updated information about workforce and critical workers.

A new Coronavirus Status Checker will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Health, care and volunteer workers parking pass and concessions 

Data sharing during this public health emergency  -Health and care information will be vital in our response to coronavirus. We must continue to use it well and inform the public to maintain and build trust.

World’s largest trial of potential coronavirus treatments rolled out across the UK 

£20 million for ambitious technologies to build UK resilience following coronavirus outbreak

How GCSEs, AS & A levels will be awarded in summer 2020 – Ofqual sets out details for schools, colleges, students, parents & carers.

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 195,524

Total UK Cases – 47,806

Total UK Deaths – 4,934

Total Confirmed Cases in South West –  1,827

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire – 281 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 31

The testing data reflects nationally published data available here.

News from TBC: Service delivery – In terms of partners in the public services centre, adult social care is now working remotely, with children services and nurses still operating from the building. DWP has asked to be operational seven days a week due to increased workloads –the property team is supporting them with this request. Our cleaning staff continue to provide their service in the building but are working separately throughout the day to protect themselves and others. Two cleaners have volunteered to work the weekends and bank holidays to support DWP operating seven days a week. We are aware of incidents with a motorbike and cars at Lower Lode Lane and groups gathering outside the Tesco store in Tewkesbury –police were called on both occasions and we will continue to assist the police wherever possible to stop this from happening.The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance on dealing with businesses and social distancing –enforcement action will be taken if cases are referred to them by environmental health officers.More information can be found here. Ubico has reduced their service on street cleansing but are still maintaining the core waste collection services. The revenues and benefits team is still seeing an increase in council tax reduction applications, which have increased by eight per cent. An Executive CLT meeting will take place on Thursday –first time over teleconference! National messages and those from Gloucestershire County Council continue to be pushed through our social media pages; this is in addition to messages about our own services. On average, our messages reach 60,600 people.

Community support – It has been confirmed that moving forward there will be no more central food drops. All food will be delivered directly to doors of vulnerable people, where requested, through national delivery companies. Supermarkets are now prioritising those in the vulnerable people category directly, which is making it easier for them to book online deliveries. A scheme is being run though the police, which is aimed at contacting young vulnerable people directly to check they are ok both physically and mentally. NHS volunteers –it has been confirmed we can utilise them and guidance has been issued. To this end, an app has been set up, to help with the ‘community response’ and ‘check in and chat’ -providing phone support to individuals at risk of loneliness. The community development cell team (incorporating staff from Community Development, Environmental Health and Democratic Services) is now working seven days a week to deal with requests received through the Help Hub, whilst the weekend saw quieter numbers enquiries were still received and a rota has been drawn up to ensure weekend/bank holiday cover can continue.The Long Table initiative is now operating in the borough. This is a model where residents can be provided and delivered with seven meals for £25, but anyone who can’t afford this can request meals for free. The scheme was originally started in Stroud but is now supported by Diocese of Gloucester and is being pushed across the county. Further information is attached to this bulletin this will also be shared on our website and social media.The COVID-19 Emergency Community Fund has been launched to help communities as they respond to exceptional challenges over the coming months. Charitable organisations, and voluntary and community groups with charitable aims, can now apply for a grant of up to £1000 to deliver projects or services that meet the Tewkesbury Borough COVID-19 Community Fund criteria. More information including the form can be found on our website.

Business support – 686 grant applications have been received, £5.4 million worth of grant payments have been processed, by the revenues and finance teams, to 480 businesses. The Growth Hub team continues to work with businesses to offer them the support needed and will be calling businesses that have been identified as eligible for the grant funding as well as those that are not, to ensure all businesses are offered support.

Friday 3rd April 2020:

Updates in Gloucestershire

New information about Free School Meals provision during the Easter Holidays

  • Stop Loan Sharks campaign and helpline – this is a time of increased financial pressure for
    some people. Find out more at www.stoploansharks.co.uk and please share the helpline number 0300 555 2222 
  • Cllr Mark Hawthorne was part of a thank you message to all frontline workers with BBC Radio Gloucestershire

National updates

PPE guidance update: Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19

Almost £400 million to keep England’s buses running

Guidance on coronavirus tests and testing kits

£300 million announced for community pharmacies to support them during coronavirus outbreak

Health Secretary sets out plan to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day

New guidance for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)

Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance updated

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 163,194  

Total UK Cases – 33,718 

Total UK Deaths – 2,921  

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 1,254 

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire –  208 

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 16*

*publicly available data on deaths in NHS Trusts, based on where the patient died

From TBC: Service delivery – There has been a large increase in food waste and recycling being presented and this is putting additional pressure on already pressed services. We are currently seeing the same levels of waste usually seen at Christmas. This is a county wide problem and key messages will be put out regarding this. A county wide audit is taking place around all requirements for PPE which we will feed into. Car park enforcement and processing –Marstons part of the NSL parking management group have been awarded the enforcement contract from the 1 April following the Apcoa contracting ending on 31 March 2020 -this was a business as usual contract change. The processing of the penalty charge notice will be completed by Chipside,who will provide the back office software and payment portal for parking fines. The property team are continuing to ensure that the post is distributed to the relevant teams remotely where possible and that outgoing post continues to run as normal.The environmental health team continue to monitor business premises through drive-bys which are followed up by phone calls where necessary. Two warning letters have been sent to business in the borough, although these were operating through misunderstanding of the regulations. Information has been added to the website giving advice on the types of businesses that should be closed.

Community support- We understand that children who would usually receive free school meals will be provided with a hamper containing 10 days worth of food. These will be provided and delivered by the county council’s school meal provider and will replace the voucher scheme that was originally going to operate. It has been confirmed that weekly food parcels will be delivered to those in need highlighted through the NHS, and that this will come directly from wholesalers, working directly through MHCLG and the County Council. Gloucestershire County Council are ringing around the most vulnerable to check their needs catered for. Any low level needs will be fed through the Help Hub and dealt with the by the district team. Unfortunately, fraudsters are using this unprecedented time to take advantage of vulnerable individuals and also exploit any means to obtain financial or other gains. A leaflet has been put on our website giving advice on the types of scams taking place and how to spot them and not fall victim. Business support- – 563 grant applications have been received, £4.365 million worth of grant payments have been processed and made by revenues and finance teams-the press release relating to this can be found here. The Growth Hub team continue to work with business to offer them the support needed and will be calling businesses that have been identified as eligible for the grant funding as well as those that are not, to ensure all businesses are offered support.An e-newsletter was sent to businesses yesterday giving them further information on the support available to them.A software update is due to be received on 9 April which will allow the revenues team to issue revised business rates bills to those eligible for the expanded retail discount and nursery discount. The team are aiming to issue revised nil bills on 20 April. Direct debits have been amended for those businesses eligible that pay using this method.

From HMRC: At Budget 2020 the Chancellor announced details about a new coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees.

Today HMRC has published new online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Details about when the new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim will be announced as soon as possible.

We will continue to update you and the new GOV‌.UK guidance when these details are available.

 

Thursday 2nd April 2020:

Headlines

Updates in Gloucestershire

 – Feeding the county – food hampers sent to children who receive free school meals

 – A reminder that death registration appointments will be by telephone only from today 2 April

 – Our Looking after your wellbeing‘ webpages are being updated regularly to support people to look after their physical and mental health

 – See latest updates on the schools FAQ webpage:

Online resources for adults and children with additional needs and learning difficulties

School hubs

Free school meals information update

 – Citizens Advice services in Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Forest of Dean and Cheltenham available by telephone and email. Call 01452 527202 or visit www.gloscab.org.uk to complete an enquiry form. The website also provides online advice  

National updates

 – Guidance on business support grant funding
– Updated information for local authorities on state aid, monitoring and reporting requirements, post payment checks, eligibility of charities.

 – Guidance about changes to newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction

Notification of data controllers in healthcare organisations, GPs, local authorities and arm’s length bodies that they should share information to support efforts against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Early years and childcare closures -Updated to clarify the income support available and the requirements for providing safe, quality care for vulnerable and critical workers’ children

Guidance on vulnerable children and young people – Updated guidance on educational provision over the Easter holidays

Information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

Daily stats

Total UK Tests – 152,979 

Total UK Cases – 29,474

Total UK Deaths – 2,352 

Total Confirmed Cases in South West – 733

Total Confirmed Cases in Gloucestershire –  172

Total Deaths in Gloucestershire – 13*

*publicly available data on deaths in NHS Trusts, based on where the patient died

From TBC: Service delivery – There has been a large increase in food waste and recycling being presented and this is putting additional pressure on already pressed services, this is a county wide problem and key messages will be put out regarding this. The housing services team have worked hard in the last two weeks and have ensured that any known homeless cases in the borough have been offered accommodation.This level of assistance goes further than our statutory duties for emergency accommodation. Gloucestershire County Council and the six district authorities have worked together to procure two large hotel units (Gloucester & Cheltenham areas) with a total of 112 rooms.Locally we are still exploring further accommodation options to improve our offer to those in housing need and give flexibility when providing assistance to different groups.The first big housing benefits payment run of the financial year took place today,this was done remotely, successfully making 879 payments totalling £950,000.There has been a considerable increase in the number of council tax reduction scheme (CTRS) applications. An additional 165 applications have been received to date. As you are aware we have been offering free parking in our car parks since the 24 March,initially fora three week period after which it will be reviewed. An email/text message will be sent to all residents with a permit asking that they maintain their payments to hold their permit place,but that at the end of the free period all valid permits will be extended for the equivalent period to compensate for the time of free parking.A press release has been put on the website giving an update on the waste services that have been reduced. Emails are being sent to all garden waste customers we hold emails for and letters are being sent to those who do not have email an address. A further press release has been put on the website giving hints and tips on what to do with garden waste and to discourage residents from burning it.

Community support- We understand that weekly food parcels will be delivered to those in need highlighted through the NHS, and that this will come directly from wholesalers,working directly through MHCLG and the County Council. There may be a need for local support from us and we are looking at how this could be provided should the county council require us to assist.The anti-social behaviour team have received reports of young people gathering in certain areas, these have been reported to the police who are working to stop this from happening. The Community Help Hubset up by the county council has seen 3,600 people come through the hub across the county a third of these are in need of additional support with two thirds offering to volunteer. A team of portal operators continue to contact those requiring assistance and linking them to those that can provide help, working alongside volunteers and councillors on the ground. The GCC call centre is now operating from 8am-8pm Monday –Friday and 9-4 at a weekend. This will also be resourced over the bank holiday weekend. Staff from Tewkesbury Borough Council will be continue to ensure that those in need are matched up 7 days per week. Due to the large volume of information that we need to communicate to residents and businesses a new micro site is being created on the website to make it easier to find the information needed but also to ensure we are able to provide detailed information where necessary. When this is live we will share the link with you and promote on our social media pages.

Business support – 466 grant applications have been received, £3.63 million worth of grant payments have been made. The Growth Hub team continue to work with business to offer them the support needed and will be calling businesses that have been identified as eligible for the grant funding as well as those that are not, to ensure all businesses are offered support.

Wednesday 1st April 2020:

Headlines

  • All key workers who have need of/requested an early years/nursery place have been found provision to date
  • Gloucestershire Registration Service are set to take death registrations via telephone in line with recently amended legislation
  • We continue to promote key roles in care as part of our fast track recruitment campaign to help care providers fill a number of flexible, temporary and permanent paid roles.
  • The Gloucestershire Help Hub gains 2,000 volunteers in first week
  • If you need help or someone you know does, please visit the Community Help Hub or call 01452 583519.

Daily stats

Confirmed cases in Gloucestershire: 156

Confirmed deaths in Gloucestershire: 10

Confirmed cases in South West: 733

Total UK Tests: 143,186

Total UK Cases: 25,150

Total UK Deaths (5pm 31 March): 1,789

From TBC: Service delivery. A press release has been put on the website giving an update on the waste services that have been reduced. Emails are being sent to all garden waste customers we hold emails for and letters are being sent to those who do not have email an address. Further information is also being put on the website giving hints and tips on what to do with garden waste and to discourage residents from burning it. Information will be added to the website giving reassurance to residents that Ubico crews are being provided with the correct PPE.

Community support. If you are aware of any local businesses offering food deliveries please let the community development team know by emailing CommunityDevelopment@tewkesbury.gov.uk so that this information can be collated and passed onto those who will be able to utilise the service available. The community grants scheme to further support voluntary community groups is progressing well and we hope to be in a position to start processing applications by the end of the week.NHS Volunteer Responders have been mobilised to help support vulnerable individuals who are self-isolating. Priority will be given to those identified as most at risk from COVID-19 and asked to self-isolate at home for an extended period, and to those who health practitioners and local authorities consider to be vulnerable. The volunteer initiative is being delivered by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with Royal Voluntary Service.The Community Help Hubset up by the county council has seen 3,600 people come through the hub across the county a third of these are in need of additional support with two thirds offering to volunteer. A team of portal operators continue to contact those requiring assistance and linking them to those that can provide help, working alongside volunteers and councillors on the ground. Please keep up the great work you are doing with your local community groups.Due to the large volume of information that we need to communicate to residents and businesses a new microsite is being created on the website to make it easier to find the information needed but also to ensure we are able to provide detailed information where necessary. When this is live we will share the link with you and promote on our social media pages.

Business support: 406 grant applications have been received and £2.5 million worth of grants payments were made today. Amended guidance has been received around the support that can be provided to self-employed individuals and smaller businesses. Updated information will be communicated to businesses,put on the website and on social media. The Growth Hub team continue to work with business to offer them the support needed. Information is being drafted around the expanded retail discount scheme.Once finalised this will be published on the website.We are waiting for our software provider to update the software, with an expected date of 3 April.The Revenues Team will need to test the software before we can issue nil bills.The team have been changing the payment method

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: