City Council Covid-19 Update 02.04.20

As your Councillors we have been sending updates on email and sharing them on Facebook and the Mutual Aid groups. We have chosen to copy the update here too so it can be conveniently sent around as weblink.

You can, of course, contact us at About

Please continue to adhere to the public health guidelines and, above all, please stay safe.

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Praise for local shops and businesses
  • Thank you to our city’s community, voluntary and faith groups
  • How to request help online if you need it
  • Council tax reduction scheme
  • Ongoing tree works
  • Visiting cemeteries
  • Craven Vale

Latest update

Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP spoke at this evening’s Downing Street address.

He committed to an increase in the number of people who will be tested and set a goal of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April.

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

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

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Anyone can spread the virus.

Stay home and save lives.

Service changes

Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.

Praise for local shops and businesses

Councillor Nancy Platts, leader of the council, has praised local shops and businesses as they rise to the challenge of safely serving Brighton & Hove through the pandemic.

Read more on the council website

Thank you to our city’s community, voluntary and faith groups

Cllr Amanda Grimshaw, lead councillor for equalities, has thanked community, voluntary and faith groups for their work around the city.

Read the full letter on the council website

How to request help online if you need it

From today extremely vulnerable residents with no other support can tell us directly if they need help during the coronavirus pandemic by filling in an easy to use form on the council website. People can also fill in the form for someone they know who is in this situation and can’t get online themselves.

The form asks for details of who needs help and what support is required. The information is treated in strictest confidence and used to help people as quickly as possible.

The telephone switchboard is running on a reduced service and we ask people not to call the usual number. We encourage everyone who can use the online forms to do so to keep the lines free for those who have no alternative.

Council tax reduction scheme

More information is now available about council tax reductions available in Brighton & Hove.

Every working age household who receives a Council Tax Reduction in 2020/21 will receive an additional reduction to their council tax bill. This means they will either:

  • have nothing to pay
  • reduces their bill by a further £150

Any money left over will go to boost the discretionary funds that are being used to help households in hardship because of COVID-19.

More information is on the council website

If anyone is concerned about being able to pay council tax bills due to the impact of the coronavirus, please let us know as soon as possible. The best way is to contact us via the web site which has an online form or by phone on 01273 291 291. Please note that due to high call volumes we recommend using the online form.

Ongoing tree works

You may see these signs on display near where our arboriculture team is out managing safety related tree works in parks.

The team is also lining up some Elm disease control felling. This is to protect our city’s historic National Elm Collection before Elm disease season starts in May.

We hope the signs will help explain to residents why the work is continuing.

Visiting cemeteries

We’re asking for people to only go to the city cemeteries to attend a funeral or visit a grave.

Since the government restrictions on movement were introduced, there has been a rise in the number of people using the cemetery grounds for outings, exercise and dog walking.

We’re asking people to please use other areas for these activities. The cemeteries are places for mourning and remembrance. People coming to mourn need to be able to do so in peace.

More information is on our website.

Craven Vale – support for staff

Following a trade union statement issued last night, we’ve been looking into the concerns raised by staff at Craven Vale with their union reps.

Craven Vale is a residential care home for older people in Brighton & Hove, providing community short term services and respite care.

Reassurance and advice was given right away in a statement from Cllr Clare Moonan, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

In her statement last night Cllr Moonan said: “Our thanks go out to every member of staff working to protect all our residents. Our staff are hugely valued and are working incredibly hard in unprecedented conditions. We understand why they are very worried and concerned.

“We always want staff to raise any concerns with their managers so that where necessary immediate action can be taken. Throughout this crisis, advice and information has consistently been provided to all staff about best working practices and managers have communicated at length with their staff to reinforce that all concerns should be raised and discussed openly

“Staff at Craven Vale have access to all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) according to NHS guidance.  We are working through the Sussex Resilience Forum and NHS to source ongoing supplies.  If anyone has concerns, they should approach their manager as soon as possible.

“Social distancing measures are being implemented across all care homes and we are following national guidance on infection control.

“No issues have been raised with managers at Craven Vale but we will listen to any concerns raised by staff or the union representation carefully. We have no information at present about a second or third case of Covid-19 at Craven Vale.  There is only one confirmed case we are aware of and that person is being isolated within the centre.  It’s quite possible there may be other clients who may have some symptoms but nothing is confirmed at present. 

“Briefing meetings with staff are taking place today (Thursday) and the management team welcome staff raising issues with us. 

“We have offered a specific meeting with GMB and UNISON on the situation at Craven Vale and are flexible in making sure these meetings can take place at a time convenient with everyone.”

“However, we feel the level of testing available to the care home and home care settings is too low and we call on the government to address this immediately.

“Levels of PPE across the care setting should be increased to protect all residents and staff throughout the pandemic but we are concerned that there aren’t the suppliers to do this.

“We need to be able to support our care homes and home care services, who are supporting the most vulnerable in our community, failure to do this will only lead to increased admission to hospital.”

Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

City Council Covid-19 update 1.4.20

As your Councillors we have been sending updates on email and sharing them on Facebook and the Mutual Aid groups. We have chosen to copy the update here too so it can be conveniently sent around as weblink.

You can, of course, contact us at About

Please continue to adhere to the public health guidelines and, above all, please stay safe.

Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Date: Wednesday 1 April 2020
Briefing number: 21  

Purpose of the briefing This briefing is to keep you updated on the evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being taken in the city. This information can be shared widely.  

Who does it affect?

  • Residents and visitors to the city
  • Brighton & Hove City Council staff including school staff
  • Childcare and education providers in the city  

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • DoNotVisitBrighton
  • Small business grants
  • Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers
  • Wood burning and bonfires
  • Cityclean
  • New drug and alcohol support service
  • Free school meals
  • Council tax help

Latest update  

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Business Secretary Alok Sharma MP spoke about the money which has been given to local authorities to go to local businesses and that some businesses have already started to receive grants.  He also provided more information about increases in testing.  

Professor Yvonne Doyle also said that there had been a rise in motor vehicle traffic that was ‘concerning’ and again urged people to stay at home.   The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.  
Everyone should:  
Stay at home
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home) Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Full guidance on staying at home and away from others Anyone can spread the virus. Stay home and save lives.  

Service changes Information on council service changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) are on our website.  

DoNotVisitBrighton Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee has spoken about the need for visitors to stay away from Brighton & Hove, but also highlighting the opportunities to be a ‘virtual visitor’ to the city.  

Coast to Capital small business grants Coast to Capital has set up a Backing Business Grants Fund of £2 million to help small businesses and social enterprises in the region. If you have a business in the city with a workforce of between five and 50 and have been trading for more than two years with a turnover of under £10 million you may be eligible for a grant of between £5,000 to £25,000. More information on how to apply.  

Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers Councillor Gill Williams, chair of Housing, has written about what we’re currently doing to support rough sleepers and the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes securing 106 units for people who are sleeping rough with an aim of securing 219 more in the coming days.  

Wood burning and bonfires We are asking residents to think twice before using wood burning stoves and open fires, and to not start bonfires during the coronavirus crisis.  

Cityclean The government has published advice on waste disposal for people with possible or confirmed coronavirus. Personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.  These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.  Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. Read more about waste and recycling service changes.  

New drug & alcohol support service From 1 April 2020, drug and alcohol support services are being provided by The Brighton and Hove Recovery Service. They offer advice and support to adults, their families and carers of those struggling with alcohol or drug misuse. Provision was previously provided by Pavilions Drug & Alcohol Service. Due to COVID-19 restrictions face-to-face sessions are not available but appointments and support will be provided on the phone or by their online team. Find out more or access the service at: www.changegrowlive.org/brighton-hove-recovery-service

Free School meals The government has introduced a national voucher scheme for free school meals. It applies for pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Schools can order vouchers worth £15 per pupil per week from Edenred – the company running the scheme for the government. Schools then pass the vouchers on to eligible parents, who can redeem them in a number of supermarket chains. We have written to all schools to let them know what they need to do. We want as many local people as possible to benefit from this scheme. Parents who have not already applied for free school meals or who are not sure whether they qualify should visit the council’s school meals webpage or email freeschoolmeals@brighton-hove.gov.uk. More information about the scheme is on the government website

Council Tax help 
If anyone is concerned about being able to pay council tax bills due to the impact of the coronavirus, please let us know as soon as possible. The best way is to contact us via the web site which has an online form or by phone on 01273 291 291. Please note that due to high call volumes we recommend using the online form. Website:        www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC Facebook:     https://en-gb.facebook.com/BrightonandHoveCityCouncil/

We can help

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to grow across the country, we wanted to write as your councillors to wish you well and outline the support you can access at this time. We know that a number of our residents will be in need of help and we are happy to provide it.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time on:

Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Cllr Hannah Clare hannah.clare@brighton-hove.gov.uk

You can also access help through:

Best wishes,

Cllrs Phélim Mac Cafferty and Hannah Clare

P.S. Our ward surgery tonight at the Cornerstone Community Centre is also cancelled but we are available to help on the details above.

Councillor Ward Surgery

Our Councillor Ward Surgery returns on Wednesday 29th January at 7.15pm. It is held at the Cornerstone Community Centre.

No appointment is necessary although it is helpful to have an indication beforehand if you are planning on attending.

For any further queries, don’t hesitate to contact us on hannah.clare@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Dates for Community Tidy Ups 2020

Thank you to all who took part in our Community Tidy Ups this year. We are pleased to have made an impact to our community through these days.

In order to provide the most notice possible, we have scheduled the following dates for our tidy ups in 2020:

Saturday 1st February
Saturday 4th April
Saturday 6th June
Saturday 5th September
Saturday 7th November

All tidy ups will commence at 11am at the Waterloo Street Arch Community Garden.

South and South East in Bloom

It has been another successful year for our ward in the Brighton & Hove City in Bloom and South & South East in Bloom awards.

Brunswick Town in Bloom received a Silver Gilt in the South & South East in Bloom in the Urban Community category. The report from the judging can be viewed here.

In the It’s Your Neighbourhoods categories of South & South East in Bloom, Lansdowne Street received advancing. Along with this, Friends of Brunswick Square and Terrace, Friends of Palmeria and Adelaide, Lansdowne Place North and South, Norfolk Square Group and Waterloo Street Arch Community Garden all received thriving.

The full results from across the South East can be downloaded here.

Many congratulations to all who took part this year. For more information on next year’s in Bloom, please email brunswicktowninbloom@gmail.com

Final Ward Surgery of 2019

Dear all

As we do not hold a ward surgery in December, our final ward surgery will be held on Wednesday 27th November at 7.15pm

If you have any questions for your councillors or something you wish to raise, please do join us next Wednesday at the Cornerstone Community Centre.

Pre-booking in advance is not required

Best wishes

Cllrs Clare and Mac Cafferty