Further information can be found at https://www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who does it affect?

  • Residents and businesses within the district
  • Chichester District Council staff and councillors
  • Parish councils
  • Community groups and charitable organisations

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Volunteering
  • Community Hub
  • Funding issued to local businesses in the district
  • Public speaking at committee meetings
  • New 'open for business' Observer campaign
  • New government backed loan scheme for small businesses
  • Refuse and recycling services
  • Business as usual for many services
  • Please support Stonepillow's new fundraising event
  • Visit our virtual museum
  • New free online learning platform to boost workplace skills
  • Look out for our postcards
  • Stay in touch

Latest update

Coronavirus testing is available for millions more people, after the government loosened rules on who can apply. Testing expanded last week to all key workers in England and their households. Now, all care home staff and residents; everyone ages over 65; and anyone who must leave home to work, can now apply to be tested for coronavirus.

Everyone should:

  • stay at home
  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus. The advice is to stay home and save lives.

Service changes

Please visit https://www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for the latest information.

Volunteering

We'd like to thank the hundreds of people have put themselves forward to volunteer to help during this crisis. We are so grateful for your support. We don't need any more volunteers at this stage, but if you are still keen to help, we would encourage you to check on your neighbours and offer support. It could be collecting their shopping, having a chat with them over the fence, or giving them a call to make sure that they are well. We have lots of guidance on this at https://www.chichester.gov.uk/helpyourneighbour.

Thank you to all of the community groups, residents associations for all that you are doing. Thanks also go to our parish and town councils who have also played a huge role in this crisis, co-ordinating local groups and helping to support those who are vulnerable.

Community hub

As we have mentioned previously, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, which has developed a Community Hub to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. We have been supporting the hub by collecting and delivering food, supporting volunteers, calling people to check that they are okay - and in one case, making sure that a lady had some wool so that she could continue knitting. Being able to continue with hobbies such as knitting, or being able to have a chat with someone can mean so much at this time.

You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help. The best way to contact the hub is online; if you have access please visit; https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/supporting-local-communities/community-hub-covid-19/.

A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.

Funding issued to local businesses in the district

By the end of the week, we will have paid business rate grants to all of those eligible. The government has allocated £37million to support businesses in the district. We're pleased to say that 3,000 businesses will have been issued a grant. A very small number of our local businesses have decided for various reasons that they do not wish to access them. This money will be returned to central government.

Public Speaking at Committee Meetings

If you wish to speak at the planning committee or submit a question to another public meeting please complete the planning committee online speaker registration form https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/26457/Planning-Committee-speaker-form?formid=120659 or for other meetings contact democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk. All registered speakers will be invited to either read their statement or question virtually, or submit a statement which will be read out on their behalf. If you choose the virtual option you will be sent joining instructions prior to the meeting. Once a statement or question has been read each speaker will be asked to leave the meeting.

New 'open for business' Observer campaign

Supporting our local businesses is one of our key priorities and this is why we are proud to sponsor the fantastic 'open for business' campaign that the Observer series is running throughout May - offering free listings to those small businesses that are continuing to trade in our area. To be included, small enterprises who wish to promote their services should email no more than 60 words about their company and the service/products they offer to commercial editor Simon Toft at: simon.toft@jpimedia.co.uk. A photograph may be included. Please note that the campaign is controlled and run by the Observer series, not the council. Entries are subject to space and cannot be guaranteed and the business must operate within the circulation area of the Observer Series.

New government backed loan scheme for small businesses

Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. The new Bounce Back Loans Scheme will bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic by providing loans of up to £50,000. The scheme has been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days.
The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The scheme will launch for applications on Monday 4 May. Firms will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders.

The announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/small-businesses-boosted-by-bounce-back-loans.

The scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan.

Refuse and recycling service

We are continuing to empty your bins as usual, including household waste, recycling, green recycling and trade waste. The teams have been working really hard to make sure that all services are running. We've received some amazing feedback from residents and those using our trade waste service - all who've said we have gone above and beyond to support them. Thank you so much - this is so great to hear!

Business as usual for many services

Although our focus is on the crisis, for many of our services, it is business as usual, and they are continuing to support you in the way they always have. You can services can be access our services online at https://www.chichester.gov.uk.

Our friendly customer care team are also available to help those who do not have access to a computer and can be reached on 01243 785166.

Please support Stonepillow's new fundraising event

Stonepillow has launched its online fundraising event the 'Little Big Sleep Out at Home' and we would really appreciate your support to make it as successful as possible. They are encouraging people to change where they sleep for just one night on Saturday 16 May. Sleep somewhere unusual or simply sleep somewhere different! Please consider supporting this event because this will make a huge difference to this important charity. You can find out more at https://stonepillow.org.uk/.

Visit our virtual museum

Our Novium Museum is providing virtual tours of its exhibitions and learning and craft activities at https://www.thenovium.org/virtualmuseum to keep you entertained while at home. We are committed to sharing our collections while the museum is closed and a virtual tour of Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man is the latest exhibition to be added this week.

New free online learning platform to boost workplace skills

A new online learning platform to help boost the nation's skills while people are staying at home has been launched by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

Free courses are available through a new online platform hosted on the GOV.​UK website, called 'The Skills Toolkit'. The new platform gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

The announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-free-online-learning-platform-to-boost-workplace-skills.

The Skills Toolkit: https://theskillstoolkit.campaign.gov.uk/.

Look out for our postcards

We have produced a postcard which highlights how the council is supporting residents and businesses during the crisis, with key contact information. They will be distributed in a number of locations across the district and they can also be downloaded on our website https://www.chichester.gov.uk/media/33413/Community-flyer/pdf/Supporting_our_Communities_flyer_2pp_A5_print.pdf

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