We've successfully managed to access a £60,000 government grant to help keep rough sleepers off the streets during the pandemic, as well as help Stonepillow extend their support for rough sleepers. We've also given Stonepillow a further £100,000 grant to help them to purchase a house to retain accommodation that they were leasing. This is being used as supported accommodation for those getting back on their feet.

Alongside this, we have also improved our Homelessness Prevention and Relief Policy, so that it  helps a broader range of people and situations. We want to prevent and relieve homelessness through early intervention and support; reduce the number of placements into nightly paid accommodation; tackle rough sleeping; and, ensure that housing is used effectively and is fit for purpose. The improvements will enable us to prevent or relieve homelessness more quickly and in a more flexible way.

While we're on this topic, I also want to thank Grace Church and the Trussell Trust Foodbank for delivering festive gift boxes for those residents in our temporary accommodation. Families across the area have been donating Christmas boxes full of lots of treats, including selection boxes, Christmas puddings, mince pies, biscuits, sweets and Christmas crackers. We are sure that this will put a big smile on the faces of the families benefitting from the boxes - thank you to all of those who have supported this initiative.

I also want to talk about the support we are providing businesses. As well as our current 'support local' Christmas campaign, and issuing government grants, we are already planning two business support schemes for next year. The Enabling Grants Scheme will support new and existing businesses, while the Independent Retail Support Programme will support independent retailers in the district's designated high street areas: Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey. These schemes will be funded thanks to a joint bid with the county's other borough and district councils to the Pooled Business Rates Fund. If you are interested in keeping informed then please .

We have also recently launched a new Food Waste Recycling service for businesses. We understand that food waste is a valuable resource and throwing it away comes at a cost to both the business and the environment. This is a great option for local businesses because it provides a local collections solution that is easy to use, reduces our impact on the environment and helps businesses to save money on waste collection costs. We know that the government is looking to make food separation mandatory for businesses, so by signing up to our services, businesses can be sure that they will always be compliant with the latest regulations. You can find out more at: Food waste recycling service for businesses. Alongside this, we are also continuing to work with the West Sussex Waste Partnership to investigate and plan for the introduction of food waste collections for households. Trials will shortly be starting in Arun. We will monitor the result of the trials closely before implementing household food waste collections in the Chichester District.

Our services are also continuing to work incredibly hard to support you through the current pandemic and you can find the latest updates at Coronavirus (COVID-19); by signing up to our email newsletter; or by following our social media sites. This week, the government will be reviewing the local tiers and so as soon as this is announced (this was yet to happen at the time of writing this) we will update you on the latest position.

Please continue to stay safe.

Best Wishes

 

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council