District Dispatch - 06 January 2022
Firstly, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year on behalf of everyone at Chichester District Council.
I hope that you have managed to have a wonderful Christmas and that you have had the opportunity to spend quality time with your friends and family.
Unfortunately, coronavirus rates across the country are still very high and so we need to remain cautious and continue to follow the government's advice. Getting vaccinated is our best defence against Covid-19, especially the Omicron variant. Our NHS colleagues have created a list of the various vaccination centres.
It's also worth being aware that if you do not have access to transport and are unable to get to your vaccination appointment, free transport is available. The NHS transport co-ordination team can be contacted on: 01444 275008 or by emailing: email@example.com
The good news is that a record number of vaccinations have been delivered locally over recent weeks and a high proportion of people have already had their vaccine. All care homes have received a visit for their booster vaccination and all housebound vaccinations, for people who have accepted the vaccine, have been delivered or arranged. I would like to thank the NHS staff and volunteers who have made this possible and who have worked tirelessly over the Christmas period to make sure that people are protected.
As the weather starts getting colder and the nights darker, it's really important that we all look out for vulnerable neighbours, family and friends. As a council, we are encouraging everyone to keep an eye out for anyone who might be alone or need some extra support. Just a friendly face can make a huge difference, but it's also about making sure that people are warm and safe. This is especially important at this time of year when the temperature drops and we are at risk of severe weather.
One of the schemes that we have introduced to help keep people warm and well is the Chichester Warm Homes Initiative. This scheme is for residents on low income living in a property with poor energy efficiency. It can contribute towards the installation of an efficient heating system, as well as loft and wall insulation. If you know someone who may benefit from this, please encourage them to get in touch with our delivery partners; Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice Bureau or calling: 01243 974063.
Many of us will also see an increase in our energy bills this winter due to a rise in the wholesale cost of gas. I know that many people are concerned about this and so it is worth being aware that if you are on a low income the Government's Warm Home Discount could save you £140 off your electric bill. Please check with your electricity provider to see if you are eligible. You can find out more about the scheme at on the Government's Warm Homes Grant webpage and you can get help applying from the Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice Bureau energy advice webpage. This web page also provides further advice for people who may be worried about their energy costs or would like to know how to reduce their home energy consumption.
We are also continuing to support West Sussex County Council with the Community Hub. This important service is available to those who are struggling to access food, medicine and essential supplies. The team can be contacted on: 03302227980 or on the Community Hub webpage.
Finally, I also want to draw your attention to our help with finances webpage. This lists the support that is available if you are struggling to pay your bills or rent, or if you have had changes in your income. There's even a link to a free benefits calculator that provides you with an estimate of your entitlement to benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit.
Cllr Eileen Lintill
Leader of Chichester District Council