Covid-19 Cases Rising

Please take heed of the really important message from the Director of Public Health below. There is a growing number of Covid-19 cases in the city. There has been a new alert level, using a traffic light system to closely follow infection rates. It is up to us all to continue to be vigilant and do our bit in ensuring transmission is kept as low as possible. Of course a whole lot of the current problems we are facing is because of the testing fiasco. I’ve written more here in Brighton and Hove News and will be writing in my column in the Argus about the problems associated with the test and trace system. To this end on Sunday I also wrote to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, insisting that Brighton and Hove deserves safe, locally led track and trace and asking for track and trace resources to be diverted to council public health teams, not failing Serco and Sitel. Thank you to the hundreds who have written to me about this important issue. https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/covid-19-alert-level-and-guidance-cityCity tidy upHannah and I took to the streets of the city centre on Monday morning where the grime and graffiti is very bad and worked with council teams removing graffiti, stickers from lampposts, and de-greasing the pavements. The tidy up continues closer to home and Hannah and I are wanting to litter pick every street in the ward over the next few weeks. We have already targeted a number of areas. Next in our sights is Lansdowne Place at 5PM on Friday to litter pick. You’d be very welcome to join us, Cityclean can provide tools to help. Table below with our remaining community litter picks which are part of Keep Brighton and Hove Tidy, running for the next 2 weeks. More here. I was out with residents in Palmeira Square tidying up on Sunday and it was a brilliant effort. Holland Road lamppostsOur work for you in the ward obviously continues too- in the past week we have dealt with noise complaints, problems with pavements, parking, planning queries, commercial bins, dilapidated bikes, anti-social behaviour, helping residents have disabled bays installed, raising environmental health complaints on behalf of residents. For residents on Holland Road I raised how dark the street is at night and reported two missing lamps. When contractors attended to install a new bracket and lantern it was discovered that the section of the columns that the bracket is installed on to is damaged beyond repair. This means that sadly the council will no longer be able to use the cast iron columns at these locations, and steel replacements are on order with contractors told to undertake this work as soon as they are able to, however apparently works of this nature usually take in excess of 6 weeks to complete. I am trying to get this period brought down. If there are street lighting issues on your street please report to us and cc Daniel.McParland@brighton-hove.gov.ukAs ever, if you have any queries please do contact us at our email above. FINALLYThe virus is still here, it’s sadly still making people sick and killing people. Please continue to stay vigilant to stay safe and continue to follow guidelines• Keep your distance from people outside of your household• Keep your hands and face as clean as possible• Use hand sanitiser when outside your home• Avoid crowded spaces• Wear face masks or face coverings in enclosed spaces• Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following:a high temperaturea new, continuous cougha loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or tasteYours sincerelyPhélimCouncillor Phélim Mac CaffertyLeader of the Council Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City CouncilChair, Policy and Resources Committee and Covid-19 Recovery Sub-Committee Member of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture CommitteeMember of the Greater Brighton Economic Board; Strategic Delivery Board; Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited and Royal Pavilion and Museums Foundation; Representative to the Local Government Association phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.ukHove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ@phelimmachttp://www.brighton-hove.gov.ukFrom: Corporate Email Broadcast <Corporate.EmailBroadcast@brighton-hove.gov.uk> Sent: 17 September 2020 10:37Subject: Important message from Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health on the current rate of Covid-19 cases in Brighton & Hove Dear colleagues,Yesterday (Wednesday 16 September) we introduced an escalation framework, using a traffic light system – from green to yellow, amber and red – to keep everyone in the city, including staff, up-to-date about the current rate of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brighton & Hove and how we can all help to prevent the spread of infection. Starting this week the city’s status will be updated weekly on a new Current Alert Level and Guidance web page. The current alert level in Brighton & Hove is yellow. This means confirmed cases are increasing, so please visit the webpage to learn more about what this means. As needed in the future, we will also highlight groups and settings that are particularly affected on this webpage so people can make extra efforts to reduce their risk. I’m asking everyone to keep playing their part and follow the guidance. To slow the virus we all need to step up physical distancing, wear face coverings where advised, limit contact between households and follow the ‘rule of six’. Please share this information with your colleagues, friends and families and with anyone who you think would find it useful.We will be sending you a regular email updating you on the latest situation, please look out for it in your in-boxes and consider printing and giving it to staff who don’t have regular access to a council computer or email.Thank you for your support and the actions you are taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19.Alistair HillDirector of Public HealthBrighton & Hove City Council DATE TIME LOCATION 11.9.20 4PM Cambridge, Brunswick, York and Norfolk Roads 12.9.20 1PM Brunswick Square, Terrace, Brunswick St East and West and Upper and Lower Market Street 13.9.20 10AM-1:30PM Palmeira Sq, Adelaide Crescent 18.9.20 5PM Lansdowne Place, Lansdowne Street, Holland Road, Farm Road 20.9.20 11:30AM Beach 25.9.20 4PM Waterloo, Cross, Farman, Little Western and Western Streets

Let’s tidy up our city: 11-27 September

Dear all

I wanted to let you know about an initiative the city council will be starting next week as part of the annual Keep Britain Tidy campaign, which runs from tomorrow (Friday 11) to Sunday 27 of this month. I wrote about the plans in The Argus two weeks ago and I’ve written in the Argus today with more detail. You can find out more information from the city council’s news story which was published on the council’s website yesterday.

We’re launching our own Keep Brighton & Hove Tidy campaign by carrying out a major clean up along Queens Road, North Street and West Street. Cityclean will use high pressure hoses to jet wash bins, street furniture, lamp posts and pavements and paint out graffiti tags on council owned property. As part of our campaign I’m asking communities across the city to consider joining the clean-up effort – including residents, volunteers, council staff, tidy up teams, beach cleaners and students. I‘ve written to businesses setting out the council’s plans and asking for support where practicable, including cleaning outside their premises, removing graffiti from their buildings and asking staff to get involved. I am receiving lots of support from all over the city from business and organisations too, which is great news.

With all of this brilliant community work about to start, I’d also like to take this opportunity to ask you in our neighbourhood to get involved in Keep Brighton & Hove Tidy.

Last week I was out litter picking along Queen’s Gardens and Kingsway, Second Avenue, Wilbury Road, Eaton Road, Lansdowne Road and Brunswick Place. I have already spotted Palmeira and Adelaide are holding a tidy up on Sunday 13th September and we can help your immediate area organise a tidy up and promote it. Myself and Hannah over the next few weeks will aim to litter pick every street in the ward- times and dates in the table below. If you’d like to join us on your street, please drop us a line. Recognising precious marine life we will also be helping the Surfers Against Sewage tidy the beach.

Help can mean anything from litter picking, removing graffiti, weeding and beach and parks cleans. The city council can provide the equipment, including litter pickers and gloves for rubbish and paint and brushes for graffiti removal. People can email communitycleanup@brighton-hove.gov.uk for more information.

We’ll also be thanking anyone we know of who carries out a clean-up by posting supportive messages on the council’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. I hope you’ll see this as one of the positive ways of helping to tidy our city while complementing the good work Cityclean does daily.

I want Brighton & Hove to be successful and confident, and cleaning up our city is an essential part of that.

Yours sincerely

Phélim

DATETIMELOCATION
11.9.204PMCambridge, Brunswick, York and Norfolk Roads
12.9.201PMBrunswick Square, Terrace, Brunswick St East and West and Upper and Lower Market Street
13.9.2010AM-1:30PMPalmeira Sq, Adelaide Crescent
18.9.205PMLansdowne Place, Lansdowne Street, Holland Road, Farm Road
20.9.2011:30AMBeach
25.9.204PMWaterloo, Cross, Farman, Little Western and Western Streets

No return for Brunswick after Post Office admit they are “unable to restore a service locally”

Green Councillors for Brunswick and Adelaide ward raise concerns over announcements that a post office on Western Road will remain closed.

Councillors Hannah Clare and Phélim Mac Cafferty have raised more concerns over the continued absence of a post office on Western Road, Hove after a recent letter from Post Office Ltd that claims they are “unable to restore a service locally”.

This follows a 2015 decision to close the crown Post Office on Western Road on the grounds that the branch was “no longer commercially sustainable”. The Post office then closed in 2016, in spite of a campaign of residents, politicians and businesses, which amassed a petition with over 5,400 signatures.

A year after the closure, the Post Office installed a new branch in a newsagent, located only a few doors down from the closed Crown Post Office, but it later closed in 2019.

Green Councillors have claimed the recent letter is “another blow to our community” but have pledged to continue to campaign for the return of a service.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, ward councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide said:

We have been troubled by the lack of communication from the Post Office to both councillors and residents and this announcement comes as yet another blow to the community.This is but the latest saga in the appalling treatment of the community from Post Office Ltd.

“In 2016, Post Office Ltd made the penny-pinching decision to close the well-used and much-loved Crown post office, with a fake argument that there was no market for a post office and the fantasy that Churchill Square would take the slack. Green councillors alongside the community always maintained the post office was viable but that was rubbished.

“Then in 2018, the post office was brought back literally a few yards from where it was. Then in May last year they decided to close it again. Despite this further disappointment, Green Councillors will continue to campaign for local services to remain in our area.”

Councillor Hannah Clare, who also represents Brunswick and Adelaide ward commented:

“The last few months have shown how important it is to have local services, like post offices, that are accessible to all members of the community.

“In light of the pandemic, residents have hugely valued local shops and services and we have to do all we can to continue to fight for our local shopping areas, like that in Brunswick Town.

“Even though the most recent branch was no little match for a Crown Post office in terms of the services it provided, it still provided a vital community asset that is thoroughly missed.

“It is a shame that the Post office has essentially abandoned all hope of Brunswick residents having an effective Post office return to the area”

Covid-19 Interim walking and cycling plan

Dear all

Please see below some important information about the cycling and walking plan. Some of this is quite complex and I’ve tried to keep it simple but more than happy to help with queries and discuss further too.

Interim Covid-19 Response Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan

This plan was agreed this week and outlines temporary improvements to Brighton and Hove’s walking and cycling network to aid the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘interim’ bit is important because there will be a permanent plan too- see further down.

From the very earliest days of lockdown many of you have contacted us with your concerns about safe social distancing and this provides one of the key, if temporary, ways that the city can deal with this.

The plan has to allow safe commuting while trying to put in place measures to prevent our roads being clogged with polluting traffic as we recover from a pandemic which attacks our lungs.

It has to

  • assist with physical distancing
  • need for increased active travel- eg cycling and walking
  • reopening of the economy

It follows a strong instruction from the Department for Transport to implement ambitious schemes which provide a significant reallocation of road space to pedestrians and cyclists. In short, this plan exists partly because Government is also instructing local councils to look at making more road space for social distancing.

The interim plan reviews all temporary measures currently under consideration by the council. It also identifies other locations where the need for temporary walking and cycling measures should be considered in accordance with government guidance. Changes that have so far been agreed during the crisis  have included the new cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road, wider footpaths, signage across the city and a temporary road closure on Madeira Drive.

However, please NB the other design suggestions that were discussed this week- that image of the seafront cycle lane for example- that you may have seen circulating are not designs for things that will be installed now, but instead map out some of the potential options for the long term. These are high-level and would be subject to design development and road safety assessment were they to be taken further. For eg the image that the media has decided to talk about on the seafront is only an idea of what it might look like.

The full details are here

https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=79529#mgDocuments

Similarly, costings have not been prepared at this stage and this, together with available funding, will be a factor in determining how many measures can be taken forward. These emergency measures are partly only funded by proposals to the Department for Transport. However half-hearted measures won’t get government funding.

As well as measures for cycling, the report also provides

  • additional footway space for pedestrians to maintain physical distancing in city locations with high footfall
  • increased signage and floor markings along the seafront and in the city centre to remind people to use shared walking and cycling space responsibly and to maintain physical distance
  • from a Green proposal adopted at the meeting, there is also a programme for School Streets in the city which will support the safe reopening of all primary and nursery schools.

Consultation

A successful proposal from Green Councillors at the meeting means that any potential permanent changes would be done in coordination with disability groups and taking the very serious needs of older people and people with mobility needs into account.

Any proposals that are indeed put forward as permanent need to come to the environment committee in September. You will be allowed your say over any permanent changes- this has to be allowed by law. Further to contact with many of you over the issue of transport, residents will be fully consulted about changes and we will of course remind you when this is so you can take part.

There is however also a survey on the temporary changes, that I would encourage you to fill out. There is also ongoing stakeholder engagement and as your councillors we will speak to our colleagues on the working group on this.

Please NB this survey doesn’t yet include the proposals in Brunswick and Adelaide just yet. I chased that this afternoon.

https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/travel-and-transport

Parking

Pre Covid-19 many of you already contact us with difficulty finding a space in Zone M. I acknowledge that there will be a significant impact to parking. The temporary proposal will mean the loss of 52 shared bays in Zone M- although as I write above, this is only the initial design. Zone M will now be very close to the resident permit limit too.

I have contacted the parking department to understand what mitigation measures can be adopted at speed. Some of my questions with them.

–neighbouring parking zones to have borders blurred to allow use from Zone M;

–several trader permits all being used for work at one location- often happening for prolonged periods especially over the warmer months- can controls be put in place for each property;

–can current uses in parts of Zone M be changed to allow more parking- eg trader only bays;

–not allowing new residents permits to be added to Zone M for the time being, to at least cap the problem.

As ever, we are happy to respond to questions and discuss this further too.

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

Covid-19 update 19.6.20

Dear all

Your Covid-19 update is below. For the time being it looks like the council will publish updates twice a week. We have thanked the city’s many brilliant charitable organisations that have helped through the pandemic and called for further support for them.

We have very detailed FAQs from the local NHS about how you can access health care as it reopens, we can provide this on request. It’s a huge document which is why I don’t want to attach it.  

New communal bins

This week, residents on Wilbury Road and Waterloo Street have had new communal bins installed. We have been pushing for over 18 months for this and it’s taken many questions from us at council meetings. Far from ideal. We are now asking you to help us compile a list of communal bins that need parts and replacements. You can contact us in all the usual ways- please send an image too.

We are continuing to raise complaints with some of the bins in the neighbourhood run by private companies and pressing for businesses in the neighbourhood as they open to practice safe social distancing.

Work on anti-social behaviour

We have continued to raise significant concerns with both the city council and Sussex Police about anti-social behaviour and I supported measures at the tourism committee through the week to deal with the more serious breaches of by-laws. We have also made clear our contempt for the vandalism and the intimidating behaviour on the seafront and in our squares with a comment in today’s Argus. We have had the stencils around Brunswick Square re-painted with the slogan ‘Clean it up or £75 fine’ and we can explore this for your street too. Please continue to report ASB using 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk and cc the PCSO Amy.Green@sussex.pnn.police.uk and ourselves in. Please also find updated reporting guide attached.

Supporting the city to recover

Further to lots of work on supporting local business, Greens called this week for more support for local culture organisations who are a key part of our city’s offer.

We have a letter into next week’s Environment committee about rubbish on the beach and lawns. We are in the press today calling on the council to take more action on single use plastics, more sustainable packaging options. On our community litter picks we are finding lots of waste from big businesses so we are lobbying them to contribute to clean-up efforts, prevent single use plastic waste at source and have more staff to patrols the Lawns, promenade and beach. Many of you have contacted us about access. Green Councillors at the same meeting are calling for any permanent changes to transport schemes to be done in ways which will maintain access for people with disabilities and our older residents.

We have also produced a film asking people to tidy up after themselves on the Lawns, beach and in our squares, to think about others and the city so we can recover well.

Term Dates 2021-22

Please find the proposed term dates for 2021-2022, if you have any comments on this, please email us.

If you wish to be removed from this email list, simply drop me a line.

Last but certainly not least- we are here to help if we can. PLEASE continue to practice safe social distancing, and stay safe.

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           5.45pm Friday 19 June 2020

Briefing number:     62

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online.

Residents asked to be wary of unsolicited mail on Covid-19

We’re asking residents to rely on official sources of information following distribution of a publication containing misleading stories harmful to our communities.

Councillor Carmen Appich, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, said: “I am dismayed that this publication is being circulated in the city.

“Despite appearing professionally produced, it’s full of distortions and messaging that is frankly racist. It’s clear the organisation behind it is not to be trusted.

“We do not tolerate any form of hate in this city. Publications like this are not welcome here and will be referred to the police.

“We’ve made a commitment to amplify our actions on an anti-racism to make sure everyone can live a full life free from discrimination and harm.

“We stand together with all of our communities, and we are here to support anyone who has been harmed by receiving this publication or by any hate incident.”

Find out more on our newsroom

Wearing face coverings on public transport

In line with guidance from the government, if you can you must now wear a face covering when travelling on public transport in England. This will help protect against transmission when physical distancing is not possible. 

But remember, not everyone can wear a face covering. Some people don’t have to wear a face covering for health, age or equality reasons. It is not always obvious why people can’t or don’t wear one so please be understanding and support your fellow passengers by wearing a face covering if you can.

People using buses in Brighton & Hove may choose to carry or show a Helping Hand card but this is not a requirement. A downloadable Helping Hand card is also available to print or save to your phone to show to the driver. Read more about wearing face coverings when travelling on Brighton & Hove Buses

Councillors to consider transport changes to aid Covid-19 recovery and support active travel

Plans for a range of measures to support Brighton & Hove’s continued recovery from Covid-19 and encourage active travel across the city will be considered by the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday 23 June.

Read more on our newsroom

Tackling racism and bias in schools

Councillors in Brighton & Hove have agreed to do more to help schools address racism and bias in the educational curriculum.

All training offered by the council to schools, teachers and trainee teachers will now include building understanding of the impact on pupils and staff of bias, discrimination, white privilege and institutional racism. 

Find out more on our newsroom

Council commits over £120,000 to emergency food network

We’ve committed £124,500 of funding to the emergency food network in the city, covering expenses for supporting vulnerable residents for the next three months.

Since mid-March, the council has been leading the city’s response to Covid-19 along with our partners Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. We’ve been supporting food hubs to provide food parcels and hot meals to those in need.

This new funding commitment of £124,500 will be split between food banks already in existence pre-Covid19, newly set up food hubs, funding for community meals, same day emergency food parcels and funding for the children’s centre food bank. You can read the full story online on our newsroom

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership have also posted a recent blog about the city’s Covid-19 food response, you can read it in full on their website

Infographic showing key actions in the city during Covid-19

Our communications team has worked with our Covid-19 response cells to highlight key actions taken in the city in response to the pandemic.

Learning Disability Week: 15-21 June 2020

An estimated 5,861 adults live with a learning difficulty, disability or Autism in Brighton & Hove.

Many already experience higher levels of loneliness and social isolation and this will have only been made worse by the Covid-19 lockdown. Physical distancing can also be difficult and those who are in isolation with little or no support will need help to understand guidelines to keep themselves and others safe, as well as to access the vital support or supplies they need.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic the organisations and teams who work with people with learning disabilities and/or autism have been finding new ways to provide information and activities, support service-users to manage their anxieties, changes in routines and challenges, and help them keep in touch with their families and friends.

Have a look at some examples of what local services have been doing in response to the ever-changing challenges that the coronavirus has presented.

Brighton & Hove Libraries awarded Library of Sanctuary status

Brighton & Hove libraries have become only the second library service in the country to be awarded ‘Library of Sanctuary’ status.

The announcement coincides with this year’s Refugee Week

Read the full story on our newsroom

Covid-19 update 12.6.20

Dear all

Please see below your Covid-19 updates from the last few days.

Schools

We are raising serious questions in relation to the schools and nurseries proposing to open on Monday 15th. Our primary concern is of course the wellbeing of children, young people, parents, guardians and educators. In a letter to the Director of Public Health, Director of Children’s Services and the Chair of the Children’s committee, I have asked where the scientific rationale is for the action; if we have the speedy response infrastructure in place, like in France; if evidence emerges that this approach has been a mistake, how quickly can the city council revert; what information- if any- is being shared with the city council or the Local Resilience Forum (basically all the statutory authorities) to provide a fuller picture to safely educate. We are asking about timing and how confident the city council is that the testing regime is as robust as is needed to effectively and comprehensively test, trace and isolate. We are also raising precedent, wary that the move appears to ‘normalise’ behaviour that may potentially increase the spread of the disease among families and educators. Needless to say, we will keep you posted with updates.

Local businesses grants

We have already been in contact with a number of you but there’s more information about the discretionary grants fund- £3.7 million and three levels of grants. Flyer attached. We will be approaching the outstanding businesses in our area which haven’t applied and if you know of a business that you believe may be eligible, get in touch and we will try our best to get them some of this grant funding.

Supporting the city to recover

We have worked hard on trying to get the city to recover well and have welcomed what we have understand of the proposals to help local businesses and help safe outdoor exercise, cycling, walking. We have been pursuing a number of queries for you on shops that have not been practising safe distancing and environmental health have approached a number of businesses not adhering to safe practices. There’s now advice for retailers provided too.

Beach lifeguards

The proposal is to introduce a consolidated Beach Lifeguard service from tomorrow (Saturday 13 June) until Sunday 6 September.  Initially there will be two lifeguarded bathing areas located on the central beach in Brighton and another in Hove (See enclosed map). An initial group of 29 seasonal Beach Lifeguards have been recruited who have commenced their induction process.  A further 15 Lifeguards will undertake an induction process in the near future. More information attached.

Work on anti-social behaviour

We have been working very closely with Sussex Police and the council officers on helping report and effectively deal with anti-social behaviour. Please continue to report using 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk and cc the PCSO Amy.Green@sussex.pnn.police.uk and ourselves in. Please also find updated reporting guide attached.

Healthwatch updates further below too with information about access to health services. We have a lot more information should you need it.  

We are here to help if we can. PLEASE continue to practice safe social distancing, and stay safe.

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           4.45pm Wednesday 10 June 2020

Briefing number:     60

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online.

Update about schools and early years

This briefing provides an update on the council’s position on opening schools and early years settings to more children and young people.

Latest news

The council has today advised that Brighton & Hove schools and council nurseries should start opening more widely from Monday 15 June.

The full statement is available on the council newsroom

Overview

The priority now is for a phased return for the years previously identified by the government. Infant and primary schools are asked to take in nursery years, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils. Secondary schools are asked to provide face to face support for young people in Year 10 and 12 during this summer term.

Our previous position that reopening to more pupils should not take place was based on advice from the council’s Public Health team that there was not reasonable assurance that all the government’s five tests were met locally, in particular around the Test and Trace programme.

In a meeting this morning, councillors and senior education officers heard the latest updates from the council’s Public Health team.

Over the last ten days, the council’s Public Health team has been closely monitoring the progress of the Test and Trace programme and how this is working in Brighton & Hove. Our Public Health colleagues now have sufficient reassurance that this service is in place to test anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus and trace their close contacts.

This situation is continuing to develop and is under constant review.

Pupils in the priority age groups are expected to return in a gradual way, with numbers being different from school to school. Individual school risk assessments will inform how best to manage this. Control measures are also in place in case of outbreaks, which will be managed working with the Public Health England Health Protection team for Sussex and Surrey. 

Parents and carers can decide whether to send their children back in. While we would like to see as many pupils as possible back in schools, individual family choices will be respected and no fines will be issued for non-attendance this term.

We recognise that schools and early years settings have been open throughout the pandemic, including the school holidays. Childcare has been provided for children of keyworkers and for vulnerable children, including SEND pupils, since schools closed to most pupils at the end of March. The system in place to support this small number of children attending school is well established and will continue.

We encourage schools and council run nurseries to follow our latest advice. We would like to be clear that the final decision on whether to open an individual school lies with the head teacher, in consultation with their governing board.

Non-council early years settings can make their own decisions based on their risk assessments. Some early years settings have already opened to more children.

Sharing the news

Headteachers were updated on the latest position by Deb Austin, Interim Executive Director of Families, Children and Learning.

A letter has also been sent out through schools to all parents and carers.

Background

Back in March government restrictions which came into force which saw schools and early years providers close for almost all children.

The council has been working closely with headteachers and early years providers across the city during the current pandemic.

Last month the government asked schools and early years providers to prepare to open to more children at the start of June.

Here are our responses to the government’s announcement:

More detail about the decision not to reopen schools more widely (9 June)

(B) Health and Social care updates

(1) COVID in care homes.  Recent reports have shown that nearly 40% of all care homes in Brighton and Hove have reported outbreaks of the coronavirus. Similar levels have also been reported across England (see national data for the weekly number and percentage of care homes reporting a suspected or confirmed outbreak of COVID-19).

This week the government announced that every care home in England will now be offered a coronavirus test for all residents and staff, even if they have no symptoms. Previously, whole care home testing was offered only to homes for the over-65s and those with dementia. 

(2) Updated guidance for people in receipt of direct payments during COVID-19. The government has updated its guidance which provides advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

(3) Data has been published showing the social impacts on disabled people in Britain (14 May to 24 May 2020). You can access this data by clicking here. The data reveals that disabled people are more likely to be ‘very worried’ about the impacts which the coronavirus is having on their lives. Disabled people are three times more likely than non-disabled people to say that their health had been impacted and twice as likely to say that access to healthcare and treatment for non-coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues is being affected. 

(4) NHS test and trace statistics (England): 28 May to 3 June 2020)

Early data complied about the NHS contact tracing has been published. The scheme went live on 28th May. Between 28th May and 3rd June 2020:
● 8,117 people who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) had their case
transferred to the contact tracing system, of whom 5,407 were asked to provide details of recent contacts.
● 31,794 contacts were identified.
● Of these 26,985 were reached and advised to self-isolate.

The government has said that some people who tested positive could not be reached either because their contact details were unavailable or incorrect or they did not respond to attempts to get in touch. There is more work to do to make sure everyone can be reached.

The government has announced that local authorities can apply for a test and trace grant to help them make plans for local outbreaks of coronavirus.

If you want to learn more about how track and trace works, please click here.

(C) Local COVID updates

(1) Avoid track and trace scams

The Police and Trading Standards are concerned that fraudsters may try and exploit this new system and get people to click on links or pass over information they shouldn’t.  The information below will help you make sure you are in contact with the right people. 

Genuine Contact Tracers will initially contact you by sending a text messages from ‘NHS’, calling you from 0300 013 5000 or by e-mail.

They will ask:

– That you sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website seen here: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk
– Your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating.
– About the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing.
– You to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the two days prior to your symptoms starting.
– If anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England.

They will never:

– Try and get you to dial a premium rate (09 or 087) number to speak to them.
– Ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind.
– Try and get you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else.
– Ask you to access any website other than this one https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk
– Try and get any details about your bank account.
– Ask you for any passwords or PINs.
– Try and get you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone.
– Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts.
– Offer any medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms.

If you suffer from fraud as the result of any such scams then please do report to Action Fraud using the link here:  Action Fraud website

The National Cyber Security Centre is also keen to have phishing attacks that people receive forwarded to them via the e-mail address here: report@phishing.gov.uk

(2) Local data on COVID

As at 11 June, there are 473 (452 last week) confirmed cases in Brighton and Hove, out of a local population of 290,885; and 144 (136 last week) coronavirus-related deaths up to the 29 May. In this area 21% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 29 May.  (NB: Cases only include people who have had a positive test for the virus. Not everyone with the virus will have had a test. Deaths include any death where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Death data updated weekly; cases updated daily).

This link provides data on the Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK

The Office for National Statistics is publishing a wide range of data. This link will enable you to enter your postcode and see the number of confirmed deaths in your area (scroll down to Section 6: Middle Layer Super output Areas). 

(D) Government COVID updates

You can click this link to access Slides and datasets to accompany last night’s coronavirus press conference (11 June).

(1) COVID-19 data and testing 

There is some evidence that the number of people in England testing positive has decreased in recent weeks. Data produced by the Office for National Statistics shows that during the two weeks from 17 May to 30 May 2020, an average of 53,000 people in England had the coronavirus.

For up-to-date numbers of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK, click here

The reproduction number (R) is the average number of secondary infections produced by 1 infected person. The R number range for the UK is currently estimated to be between 0.7-0.9 as of 5 June 2020.

This link to the government website explains all you need to know about how to get a test. 

And to find out more about the government’s test and trace programme and what you need to do, click here

(2) Government announcements

The current situation means that new guidance is being issued daily. Below we have provided links to some announcements which may be of interest.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak.

Answers to the most common topics asked about by the public for the government’s coronavirus press conference

Places of worship to re-open for individual prayer. From Monday 15 June places of worship will be permitted to open for individual prayer in line with social distancing guidelines.

More PPE supplies. Millions more visors, aprons and gowns will be delivered to frontline health and social care workers treating coronavirus patients, manufactured in response to the UK government’s call to arms.

In addition, Healthcare providers can order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency

NHS volunteers extend support to frontline health and social care staff
Frontline health and care staff will be able to access support from the hundreds of thousands of NHS volunteer responder

From 15 June, you must wear a face covering on public transport.

£63 million for local authorities to assist those struggling to afford food and other essentials

What parents and carers need to know about schools during the coronavirus

(E) Support & resources

(1) Quit for COVID

There has never been a more important time to quit smoking than right now. People who smoke may be more likely to suffer from a serious respiratory infection than non-smokers if they get COVID-19. Smoking tobacco damages the lungs, weakens the immune system and causes a range of severe respiratory problems.

As well as reducing the risks from COVID-19, quitting smoking quickly improves your circulation and breathing, reduces the risks of other health problems such as heart attacks and strokes. There are financial benefits too.

Get support to quit 

Many smokers try several times before they succeed but getting the right support and using stop smoking aids gives you a much better chance of success.

·         Download the NHS Smokefree app to find local support or create a personalised quit plan.   

·         Get advice from experts and hear other people’s quitting stories from Today is the Day

·         The council’s Healthy Lifestyles Team continue to offer telephone sessions. Call 01273 294589 or email healthylifestyles@brighton-hove.gov.uk  

(F) Healthwatch information and advice

The following Healthwatch COVID-19 guides are available (these are being regularly updated): 

Guide to local health and social care services

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Dedicated Covid-19 webpage

Maternity and pregnancy advice and information

Top tips for staying active and looking after your mental health.

Guides which provide information about:

– visiting a dentist

seeing a GP

collection of prescriptions.

Covid-19 update 27.5.20

Dear all

We have attached two city council briefings below- today’s as well as the briefing from Friday. I have also attached updates from the local NHS and below pasted updates from Healthwatch.

Today both Hannah and I attended a special policy and resources committee which was considering the financial implications of the Covid-19 crisis on the council and some of the implications in terms of our care homes and protective equipment. We continue to raise serious concerns about the pandemic’s effect on our neighbourhood on your behalf. A deepening concern for us is the financial position the council is in. Conservative government ministers said at the start of the pandemic that they would provide councils with “whatever it takes.” Yet only two weeks ago, the minister for local government, Robert Jenrick warned that not all costs would be reimbursed.

Further to many reports of anti-social behaviour along the beach huts and seafront, we are lobbying hard for the opening of the public toilets at the bottom of Second Avenue. This reaffirms the call we have been making now for weeks. Yesterday with residents of Norfolk Square we met Sussex Police and I have contacted Divisional Commander Nick May about the re-emergence of anti-social behaviour ‘hot spots’. We continue to liaise with the PCSO.

I will be taking part in the pandemic ‘recovery’ committee on Friday and welcome your thoughts. The agenda for the committee is published here.

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           5:30pm Wednesday 27 May 2020

Briefing number:     54

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online.

In this briefing: Information about support for businesses in the city

Don’t miss out on financial support for your business

The council is working hard to make sure businesses in Brighton & Hove get vital financial support they are entitled to help them stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the government announced its grants scheme for small businesses, the council has paid out £63 million to more than 4,600 businesses in the city, and we’re still working through applications as they are received.

These grants don’t have to be paid back, but we estimate there are still up to 800 businesses that might be eligible and have yet to apply.

Council leader, Councillor Nancy Platts, said ensuring small businesses get the support they need is an absolute priority.

“We urgently need businesses to claim so that we can ask government whether we can use any remaining money for businesses that have so far fallen between the cracks of the various government schemes,” Councillor Platts said.  More information can be found on our newsroom.

Discretionary fund for small businesses

We are developing a local discretionary grant scheme for the city’s small businesses.

Brighton & Hove’s fund, anticipated to be around £3.6 million, will provide small grants for some of our independent businesses who have not been eligible for the government’s small business grants.

The proposed criteria and application process will be discussed at the first meeting of the Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-Committee on Friday, 29 May.

View the Covid-19: Support for Businesses report (agenda item number 5). The committee will be webcast.

We will design the criteria so that it captures small businesses who make a significant contribution to the city’s economy, including the visitor economy, retail, events, creative and digital, as well as charities and not-for-profit organisations. These reflect the core sectors identified in the Economic Strategy and our Corporate Plan priorities.

Once agreed, guidance about who can apply and an application process will be posted on this page where we will also provide regular updates on how to apply and when it will be open for applications.

Scam emails

We are aware of scam emails asking businesses for information relating to small business grants. Please do not reply to scam emails.

More information for businesses can be found on our website.

Brighton & Hove Buses

From Monday 1 June, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company will be increasing its number of services as more people return to work. 

They are continuing to accept Older Person’s and Disabled Person’s concessionary passes 24 hours a day until further notice and they continue to ask that you pay using contactless payment methods or have exact change.

There is important information about travelling and physical distancing measures on their website.

Help to get the information out to the city

We are sharing these graphics highlighting support available in the city. Please share on your social media platforms to help the information reach residents.

 

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           4:45pm Friday 22 May 2020

Briefing number:     53

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online.

In this briefing: Information you may need over the Bank Holiday weekend ahead.

Restricting access to the beach

Cllr Appich, Chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, has called for people to avoid crowding our public spaces and to maintain physical distancing.

From today, the central beach area from East Street to West Street will be monitored to restrict the number of people accessing the area if necessary.

This measure is about public safety. There will be stewards stationed at entry and exit points from 12 noon to 9pm each day up to and including bank holiday Monday to encourage physical distancing and direct people to less busy parts of the seafront if the area becomes too busy.

Read more on our newsroom

No lifeguards on duty

The seasonal lifeguard service for Brighton & Hove will start a little later this year and there will be no provision in place for the upcoming May Bank Holiday weekend.

Lifeguards normally patrol the city’s beaches from the end of May until the end of the school holidays in September. The Covid-19 pandemic and social-distancing restrictions interrupted our usual recruitment drive for lifeguards.

Find out more

Eid Mubarak

Councillor Nancy Platts wishes Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating in very different circumstances this year. Eid al-Fitr falls at the end of this week and marks the end of the month of Ramadan. 

Councillor Platts acknowledges that it’s been a very difficult time for our Muslim community, who have been unable to get together with family, friends and community to celebrate Ramadan as they usually would. She also thanks the city’s Muslim community for their part in supporting the residents of Brighton & Hove throughout the Covid-19 crisis

For Eid, it’s important to retain physical distancing to continue to protect lives. As places of worship remain closed, the Muslim Council of Britain has produced some guidance on Celebrating Eid Al-Fitr during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Read more in our newsroom

Thank you to our school, nursery and early years staff

Schools and early years providers will continue to be open for children of keyworkers and vulnerable children during another Bank Holiday and half term week.

Councillor John Allcock, Chair of the Children, Young People and Skills committee, has written in praise and thanks of all working in schools and early years settings.

Read more on our newsroom

Household waste recycling sites

We have reopened our Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) in Brighton & Hove.

There are two recycling sites – also called tips – one in Hove, off Old Shoreham Road and one in Brighton, off Wilson Road. They take household waste or recycling, electrical items, garden waste and some DIY waste.

Strict traffic measures are in force with people driving to the sites only being allowed to queue on the smaller access roads leading to the tips, and not the major approach roads. Find more information on the reopening of our Waste and recycling sites.

Only cars will be allowed on site, with no trailers, vans or camper vans being given access. Pedestrians – those on foot and not in a car – will not be allowed to enter the site.

At busy times, we will close the queues an hour before the site closing times to manage physical distancing.

Find out more

Where to go for healthcare

It is important not to ignore health concerns. Healthcare is still available for those who need it, so please use it. Find out about the NHS services available in Sussex this bank holiday weekend

(A) Your Healthwatch 

In case you missed it, David Liley, CEO of Healthwatch, made his first video update last week. David describes the role Healthwatch has played during the current COVID-19 crisis. You can access the video here  

We have published a series of Healthwatch reports which you can access on our website

1.    Stakeholder report which gathered the views of those we work with and represent; our work and activities over the previous year.

2.    Activity report describing the work we have done between January to April 2020.

3.    An Equality Impact Assessment of our work and activities over the previous year.

Our Hospital Discharge Wellbeing project continues to support people who have recently left hospital. Our volunteers are calling recently discharged patients to check on how they are since being discharged, as well as asking how they are coping during this lockdown and if we can signpost or refer them for any extra support. We have received very positive feedback from those contacted about this service  – a big thank you to our team of volunteers who are doing this vital work.

(B) Health care updates

(1) Mental Health Awareness Week, 18-24 May

At this present time looking after your own mental health, and the mental health of loved ones, friends, neighbours and employees is so important. The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week this year is Kindness. We have posted more information, advice and guidance on the Healthwatch website

(2) New opt-out organ donation law comes into force in England 20 May.

The change in the law aims to make more organs available for those in need. Make sure your choice is based on facts. Tell your family about your decision and register it on the NHS Organ Donor Register

Remember: you are free to register your decision whenever you like, before or after the change in law.

You can view a video on organ donation law change and the impact of COVID-19 here.

And a link to official fact sheets relating to different aspects of organ donation, such as organ donation and religious beliefs can be found here

(3) Cancer survey

The Speak Up Against Cancer team at Albion in the Community have launched a survey to find out what people in Brighton and Hove know about sun safety and skin cancer. Please do complete and share this. The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and will close on Monday 25th May 2020.  Please click here. As a thank you, responders who leave contact details will have the opportunity to enter a free prize draw to win a £50 shopping voucher.

(4) Maternity and pregnancy 

We are pleased to present information on maternity and pregnancy from Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group and Brighton and Hove Maternity Voices Partnership. Please see the document which is attached to this email.

(C) COVID-19 updates

(1) Data on COVID

There are 410 confirmed cases in Brighton and Hove, out of a local population of 290,885

In Brighton and Hove there were 108 coronavirus-related deaths up to the 8 May. In this area 20% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 8 May. Note: Cases only include people who have had a positive test for the virus. Not everyone with the virus will have had a test. Deaths include any death where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Death data updated weekly; cases updated daily.

The Office for National Statistics is publishing a wide range of data. This link will enable you to enter your postcode and see the number of confirmed deaths in your area. All data should be viewed with some degree of caution.

Slides and datasets to accompany last night’s coronavirus press conference can be accessed via the link.

(2) Face masks

The general public are urged not to buy medical grade masks so they can be saved for frontline health and care workers, and instead make your own face coverings at home  You can make your own cloth face covering using this guidance.

(3) COVID-19 symptoms

You may have seen in the news this week that the government added loss of taste or smell to the list of common COVID-19 symptoms. You should stay at home if you have:

·         a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

·         a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

·         or loss of smell or taste

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you need to stay at home for 7 days.

(4) COVID-19 Testing

There has been a lot of talk about who can be tested for COVID-19, when this can be performed and how. If you are confused about this and the different tests for COVID19- sampling tests or self-tests – then these articles should help to explain things:

How testing kits work

Who can apply for testing and how is testing done

Testing for COVID-19 was extended this week to anyone over 5 years of age who has suspected symptoms. Should a child under 5 develop symptoms, please call NHS 111 for advice.  Children returning to school can also apply for a test, along with any members of their household.

Today, the government announced a trial of a rapid coronavirus test in Hampshire involving 4,000 people. The test provides results in 20 minutes without any need for it to be sent to a laboratory.

The government is to offer antibody tests to health and social care staff and patients in England

The Healthwatch Frequently Asked Questions document has also been updated with more information about testing. 

 

(D) Government updates

The current situation means that new guidance is being issued daily. Below we have provided links to some announcements which may be of interest.

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

Hospital discharge requirements, including Easy-Read

An explanation of ‘R’ number (i.e. an estimate of how many people one individual may pass the virus onto, and an indication of whether the virus is spreading or declining)

The Government’s plan to allow children to begin returning to school from 1 June, including their scientific evidence. 

The government has announced a new care homes support package backed by a £600 million adult social care infection control fund. This has been introduced to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in care homes. 

A new dedicated app for social care workers has launched to support staff through the coronavirus pandemic.

Government begins large scale study of coronavirus immunity
A major long-term study will track spread of coronavirus in general population. The research, involving up to 20,000 people of all ages, will measure blood antibodies to help determine what proportion of the population has already had the infection, the duration of immunity after being infected, and why the virus affects people differently

The government will invest up to £93 million to accelerate construction of the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre which, when completed, will have capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire UK population in as little as six months.

Covid-19 update 20.5.20

Dear all

Thank you to residents who’ve kindly responded to the request for volunteers to help keep the seafront tidy. I met with the brilliant local Surfers Against Sewage today about how the city council along with people like Surfers can work to keep the beach and seafront tidy. I will be following this up with a series of questions for council officials too.

We (safely and appropriately) helped with the community plant and dig in Norfolk Square last night.

We continue to receive queries on accessing dental care- Healthwatch have produced guidance below and the sorts of care you may, in the circumstances, be able to provide for yourself at home is attached too.

Work is ongoing on the economic recovery for the city- there will be a public committee next week (webcast with Councillors attending virtually) which will examine this. Keep an eye here for the agenda as it goes live over the next few days.

A number of you have inquired about the quantities of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases the city has and indeed how many people have, very sadly, died from the pandemic. The information below has been provided by officials from public health. As ever we have been pushing for as much clarity on the many different aspects of the numbers here, as well as continuing to press for action on protective equipment and contact tracing in the city.  

Please find the city council briefing below.

We will answer your queries just as soon as we can. If you are self-isolating and need shopping or a prescription delivered or just a chat on the phone, both Hannah and I are more than happy to help. If you have a neighbour who would like to be added to these emails please drop me a line.

Please continue to exercise safe social distancing and, above all, stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           4:30pm Wednesday 20 May 2020

Briefing number:     52

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online.

Special Policy & Resources Committee meeting

Next Thursday 27 May, a Special Policy & Resources Committee meeting will take place via Skype to consider a number of key reports.  This briefing will outline some of those reports and provide links for further reading.

Covid-19 – Financial Position Statement

Members of the Policy & Resources committee will be asked to note a report updating the council’s financial position as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Included in the report is information about:

  • Costs and losses to the council in response to the pandemic
  • Business rates information
  • The processing of grants to businesses in the city
  • Other Covid-19 government support.

You can find the report being presented to committee on the council’s website.

Personal Protective Equipment expenditure

Councillors will be asked to consider a report into Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) expenditure during the Covid-19 pandemic and into the future.

The report gives details on the current services requiring PPE through the council as well as the number of items of PPE being distributed in April and May of this year.  It also states that the need for PPE is likely to become ‘business as usual’ for the next 12-18 months.

More information on this report can be found on the council website.

Remote council meetings and use of Urgency Powers

In March, the Policy & Resources Committee agreed arrangements for democratic decision making during the Covid-19 pandemic.  In April, new regulations were made to allow the council to hold virtual meetings. 

Councillors will next week be asked to consider proposals which include:

Allowing the resumption of a number of council working groups remotely

Allow all Committee and Sub-Committee meetings to take place with remote attendance by members, the public and press.

You can find more information on the council’s website.

More information

More information about next week’s Special Policy and Resources Committee meeting can be found on the council’s website.

Read our news story about embracing digital democracy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Council meetings are webcast live and recorded to watch at a later date.  Details of which can be found on the website.

You can also access the full calendar of council meetings.

Dentistry: access and home care advice Non-urgent dental activity has stopped in line with social distancing requirements. You can still access dental care and should in the first instance contact the practice you are registered with – if you are not registered with a dental practice then you can contact any practice which is near to you. A summary of the key points is included below.  We have also attached some advice about how to deliver self-care for common dental issues such as toothache, wisdom teeth pain, ulcers, lost crowns and knocked-out teeth. A detailed Healthwatch guide to accessing dentists is available by clicking here KEY POINTS ABOUT ACCESSING DENTAL TREATMENT * Patients can still contact a dentist if they require medical help. Contact the dental practice you are registered with first, but you can also contact any practice which is near to your home. You can find the contact details for a local dentist by entering your postcode in the NHS.uk search facility. * Face to face dental appointments have mostly stopped, but dental practices have replaced these with telephone consultations. * Dentists can still prescribe medications such as pain relief and antibiotics for a suspected infection where appropriate. * If a dentist thinks you need to be seen for urgent treatment, they will make a referral to one of the new Urgent Dental Care Hubs. Please note that you cannot self-refer to one of these Hubs. The range of symptoms being offered is limited to very severe dental conditions. * You can still be referred to a Hub for urgent dental treatment if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are vulnerable or shielding, although you will be seen at dedicated sites only. * Some Hubs are based outside of Brighton, but support is available to help you travel to these sites. * It is possible that you may not be treated at a Hub if your condition is not deemed serious enough and you may be referred by your dentist to a pharmacy to privately purchase home dental kits, for example a temporary tooth repair filling. If you experience any difficulties in obtaining dental care please get in touch office@healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk

Covid-19 update 18.5.20

Dear all

Last week I was in touch with Nick May Sussex Police Divisional Commander for the city.

I reported residents’ anxiety about visitors to the city. Sussex Police alongside British Transport Police are encouraging those from outside the city NOT to come to Brighton and Hove at the weekend. You will have seen that there are police along the main roads and BTP are routinely checking at the London and Brighton ends.

I have also raised the growth of anti-social behaviour both in some of the ‘hot spots’ and as we come out of lockdown. Nick May advised me that his officers can move quickly when they have relevant information and made a number of drug-related arrests in Brunswick last week. So please continue to report intelligence to the usual channels of the 101 and PCSO emails. Obviously if you see a crime report on 999. We will be sending over some new updated guidance for you too.

101@sussex.pnn.police.uk

Amy.Green@sussex.pnn.police.uk

At the weekend as well as being interviewed about people not coming to the city, (not yet) I also led a (safe social distance) tidy up of Waterloo Street and Brunswick and Adelaide beach. We have been using our daily exercise to litter pick most streets across the neighbourhood, most weekends. I am meeting campaigners Surfers Against Sewage this week about what will happen especially to the beach with lockdown lifting, the weather warming but without pubs and restaurants opening. I would like to canvass opinions about people’s potential desire to help keep green spaces and the beach clean, especially as the relevant council teams are yet to get back to full capacity. What do you think?

We are receiving your thoughts on the important work to see our local economy to bounce back. As I reported last week I will be sitting on the pandemic recovery sub-committee  and would welcome your thoughts on how our local economy recovers fairly and how we make best use of available resources.

Please find today’s city council update below- the focus this week is mental health- a lot of residents have reported poorer mental health during lockdown- lots of resources below.

I have received a lot of queries on being able to borrow library books and the good news is deliveries are here. More information below.

We will answer your queries just as soon as we can. If you are self-isolating and need shopping or a prescription delivered or just a chat on the phone, both Hannah and I are more than happy to help. If you have a neighbour who would like to be added to these emails please drop me a line.

Please continue to exercise safe social distancing and, above all, stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           6.45pm Monday 18 May 2020

Briefing number:     51

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

In this briefing

  • Mental health awareness week – ‘Why kindness matters’
  • Food hubs across the city are helping those that can’t access food
  • Household waste recycling centres and bulky waste service reopen

Click here to view today’s briefing online.

Mental health awareness week – why kindness matters

Councillor Clare Moonan, the chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board, talks about Mental Health Awareness week and how this year’s theme of ‘kindness’ is so important at a time like this.

Find out more in our newsroom.

Share your own acts of kindness on social media

During Mental Health Awareness Week you can share any acts of kindness that you have given or received using the hashtags #kindnessmattersbrightonhove and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Coronavirus and your mental health

Each week Mind in Brighton & Hove share weekly wellbeing tips that include local and national initiatives, activities and simple ideas to maintain and improve your wellbeing during this challenging time.

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is working hard to help and support those in our community who may be struggling. They have also shared some top tips and useful resources to help you look after your health and wellbeing.

Book deliveries from Brighton & Hove libraries

Do you enjoy reading, but you have read everything you have at home? Would you love to be able to get your hands on a new supply of books, but you don’t have Internet access and can’t use e-books?

Brighton & Hove City Libraries is offering a free book delivery service to help raise spirits and improve well-being, during Covid 19. We can deliver standard print, large print or audio-books. If you are interested in having books delivered to your door, please call 01237 290800, and after the voicemail message, press 1 to leave your name and phone number – don’t forget to say that you are interested in the Home Delivery Service. A member of staff will ring you back in the next 48 hours to discuss how we can best help you. You can also email libraries@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Our library service also offer free ebooks, ecomics, emagazines and audiobooks for you to download.  

Mental health support

If you or other household members feel low, anxious or stressed, there’s information that can help on the NHS Every Mind Matters website. This also includes specific advice on the impact of coronavirus.

While it’s normal to feel afraid and lonely at a time like this, worsening mental health could indicate the need for outside help.

  • Sussex Mental Healthline – freephone 0300 5000 101 – provides 24/7 support from registered clinicians. As well as crisis support it provides psychological support to anyone with general concerns about their mental health, and if needed they can refer you for local assessment and treatment.
  • Community Roots – online or freephone 0808 196 1768 – a network of local services committed to supporting good mental health and wellbeing in Brighton & Hove.
  • Samaritans – call 116 123 – 24hrs a day, 365 days a year.

Support for children and young people

If your child is of school age and you have any concerns about their emotional or mental wellbeing, you’re invited to talk to a Primary Mental Health Worker from the Schools Wellbeing Service.

Telephone consultations are available while schools are closed. Please email SWSConsultationLine@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 293 481.

You might also find the following helpful for supporting your children: 

Get support for yourself or others in Brighton & Hove

If you, or someone you know, is finding things tough right now, whether it’s food, money, wellbeing or loneliness, you can search for support for all ages on the Covid Brighton & Hove help directory.

Vulnerable people who have no-one to help them at the moment can also request additional COVID-19 related support, including emergency food bank referrals, shopping and medicine collection by contacting the council’s community advice and support hub.

Food hubs across the city are helping those that can’t access food

Volunteers have sprung into action all over the city to meet the demand from vulnerable residents that need access to food.

Within days, the emergency food network that exists across the city started to organise an extensive approach to supporting vulnerable people in the city that needed access to food.

This network of community projects – including the 21 food banks already in operation supporting vulnerable people and the 21 new food projects that have joined this effort due to the Covid-19 pandemic – exists so that no-one in Brighton & Hove will go hungry.

Organised and run almost solely by volunteers, these projects have being supplying food parcels and hot meals to vulnerable residents that aren’t able to access food themselves

Read the latest update and watch our short film featuring the food hub at Hove Park School in our newsroom.

Household waste recycling centres and bulky waste service reopen

Our two household waste recycling centres reopened today. There are strict traffic regulations in place, and long delays could occur.

Cars are not allowed to park or queue on Old Shoreham Road or Wilson Avenue, with people driving to the site only being allowed to queue on the smaller access roads leading to the tips, and not the major approach roads.

The temporary opening hours are:

  • Hove: Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm; Saturday 8.30am – 1.30pm; Sunday 10.30am – 1.30 pm. The site is closed on Bank Holidays.
  • Brighton: Monday – Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am – 4pm.

At busy times, we will close the queues an hour before the site closing times to manage physical distancing, so please get there early.

If the tip roads are full, drivers will be asked to move and told to return when the queues are shorter.

Only cars will be allowed on site, with no trailers or vans being given access.

There are also a number of other restrictions in place to make sure we can maintain physical distancing and protect staff and everyone using the site.

We are appealing to people to only visit the sites if waste cannot be stored at home without it causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the household members. 

Read more details on the household waste recycling centres re-opening in our newsroom.

Bulky waste

Our Bulky Waste service has also restarted today to help people wanting to get rid of large items like mattresses, tables, chairs, fridges and other white goods. 

The Bulky Waste service is operated by contactor KSD Environmental Services already taking bookings. The company can be contacted on 01273 608 142 from 8am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Read more details of the bulky waste service in our newsroom.

Help to get the information out to the city

We’re sharing these graphics highlighting support available in the city. Please share on your social media platforms to help the information reach residents.

Suggested text: Councillor Clare Moonan, the chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board, talks about Mental Health Awareness week and how this year’s theme of ‘kindness’ is so important at a time like this.

Read more: https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/kindness-matters

 #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #kindnessmattersbrightonhove #wearebrightonandhove

Suggested text: Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever. Support and information is available to help but it can sometimes feel overwhelming to understand what is useful.

Have a look at some top tips and useful resources to help you look after yourself from the local NHS: https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-mental-health.

About this daily briefing

Covid-19 update 15.5.20

Dear all

Apologies yesterday’s briefing is only going out today.

This afternoon I was interviewed by Al Jazeera and BBC South East, I reminded them of our city’s message not to come to Brighton & Hove yet, not until it’s safe to do so. And that most residents in this neighbourhood don’t have gardens and the seafront is their only place to exercise.

We have remained critical of the u-turn from government on their proposed funding for councils- at the start of the pandemic we were advised we would get “whatever it takes” while last week the minister for councils advised that not all of our costs would be reimbursed.

So we will need to have an imaginative approach for the local economy to bounce back. Some of this will be helped with our proposals for transport which will help small traders. I will be sitting on the recovery sub-committee detailed below in the briefing and with all of the other issues I deal with, would welcome your thoughts on how our local economy recovers fairly and how we make best use of available resources.

Please find today’s city council update below. We will answer your queries just as soon as we can. If you are self-isolating and need shopping or a prescription delivered or just a chat on the phone, both Hannah and I are more than happy to help. If you have a neighbour who would like to be added to these emails please drop me a line.

Please continue to exercise safe social distancing and, above all, stay safe!

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Official Opposition

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Opposition Spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee

Member of the Tourism Development and Culture Committee and Planning Committee

Greater Brighton Economic Board, Strategic Delivery Board, Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited, Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

City briefing

Subject:                            Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date:                           6.15pm Friday 15 May 2020

Briefing number:     50

Queries about this briefing can be sent to: news@brighton-hove.gov.uk            

Click here to view today’s briefing online

A localised approach to a phased recovery

Through the newly formed Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-Committee, councillors and council officers will develop the Recovery Programme which will seek to build a solid foundation for the city, so that Brighton & Hove has the best opportunity to emerge as a safer and healthier city.

This is an unprecedented challenge for our businesses and communities, and we will work with partners in the city and across the region to consider the longer-term implications and provide a recovery programme.

Our preparations for recovery will enable the council, its residents and businesses to be in the best possible position to minimise losses and make best use of opportunities that emerge. This will require a co-ordinated programme over the next 18 months.

Read more in our newsroom.

A fair and sustainable recovery  

In our city, there has been a dramatic increase in people using food services. In one week alone in April, 40 local projects gave out food parcels to 3,001 households, supporting over 4,831 people, including at least 996 children.

While there is no underestimating the tragedy of what is happening, or the scale of the challenge ahead as we feel the long-lasting effects on our economy and our way of life, there is cause for optimism.

We have been given a once in a generation opportunity to renew, rebuild and reshape our society for the better and in a way that leaves nobody in our city behind.

Read more details of the plains in our newsroom.

A ‘safety first’ approach to re-opening our schools

The government has asked schools to prepare to begin to open for more children from 1 June. The council is working very closely with our schools and their staff teams, trade unions and governors to ensure that this wider reopening of schools happens safely.  

Councillor Allcock reassure residents that the most important factor for us is the safety and well-being of our children, teaching and support staff, and the wider community including parents, grandparents and carers.

We have strongly advised our schools that they should only reopen to more children when their risk assessments indicate it is safe to do so.

Read more in our newsroom.

Wish you were here – but not just yet

Councillor Carmen Appich outlines that while we miss our visitors, it’s still in everyone’s best interest for visitors stay away for the time being. Protect our city; protect the people who live here and who make it such a special place to visit. 

Read more in our newsroom.

Exercising and public spaces

We’ve published an update on the latest guidance regarding exercise and going out.

  • spend more time outdoors – for example sitting in parks and open spaces and enjoying the fresh air
  • exercise as often as we wish – following physical distancing guidelines
  • meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following physical distancing guidelines
  • use outdoor sports facilities such as a tennis court or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart. Team sports are not permitted.

Despite the changes, it’s crucial we keep two metres apart from anyone that we do not live with. We are encouraging and reminding people about the need for physical distancing through signage and pavement stencilling across the city.

Read more in our newsroom.

You can now:

  • spend more time outdoors
  • exercise as often as you wish
  • meet one other person from a different household outdoors
  • use some outdoor sports facilities

But please keep 2m apart from those not in your household

More info: https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/exercising-and-public-spaces