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District Dispatch - 4 May 2022

Over recent weeks our officers have been working incredibly hard to issue Government Energy Rebate payments to customers who live in council tax bands A to D.

District dispatch 1

If you're eligible and usually pay your council tax by direct debit, then we will have the information we need to make the £150 payment directly into your bank account. If we can't issue your payment automatically then you'll receive a letter from us with instructions on how to claim. Letters are going out as quickly as possible and we are aiming to make payments within 14 days of receiving an application.

We've been made aware of a new scam where criminals cold call residents asking for bank details to process the rebate. It's important to note that you won't hear from us about the rebate by telephone unless you have requested that we call you. In this instance, the number we will call from will be: 01243 785166 and we will go through a few security checks with you.

If your property is in bands E to H, I'm pleased to say that we have now opened a discretionary scheme to support people receiving a means tested benefit, such as Council Tax Reduction, as well as residents who have an exemption or discount related to a disability, such as Severely Mentally Impaired, Disabled Band Reduction or Carers Discount and Carer's Allowance. We'll be issuing payments automatically where we have up-to-date bank details or will write letters inviting people to apply, however the application process is now open for people who are eligible to make a grant approval application directly online (opens new window).

You can find more information at , where you can also view a video outlining other support that will become available over the coming months.

If you are struggling with energy bills, or have other financial worries, I would urge you to visit: Supporting You Team. On this page you can find help and information, and download our 'Supporting You' leaflet, which highlights some of the key support that you can access.

I'm really pleased to tell you that we'll soon be launching a new round of Enabling Grant funding to help district businesses develop and grow. This scheme offers funding to local enterprises looking to boost their business through expansion and innovation, or who are looking for a way to get a new business started.

Opening for applications from Monday 9 May until 1pm on Monday 30 May, this round of funding is set to benefit around 35 local enterprises. Businesses can apply for up to 50% of the total cost of growth projects, subject to a maximum of £2,000. Smaller grants — up to maximum of £500 — will be available for start-up businesses, without the need for match funding from the applicant. We're particularly keen to encourage applications from businesses in the 'green' sector or applications for projects that will reduce a business' environmental impact.

We've always received such a positive response to this scheme in the past, and during the last round of funding we received over 75 applications. Businesses can find out more about the Enabling Grant Scheme

Meanwhile, excitement is building for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and I know that many of our communities will be coming together to mark the occasion over the Bank Holiday weekend of 2-5 June. We've received 36 applications for temporary road closures for street parties and celebrations across the district.

You may remember that we've set aside £10,000 to help communities celebrate and we are still welcoming applications from Parish Councils until 3 June. Grants of up to £250 are available to pay for lasting tributes, such as commemorative trees, benches and plaques. So far, 33 grants have been given out.

To help you decide how to celebrate, keep an eye out on our social media channels for tips on how you can get involved and local events near you!

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council