City Council Covid-19 briefing 06.04.20

Please see below the latest update from Brighton & Hove City Council. If you have any queries, please don’t hestitate to contact us.

In this briefing

  •  Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Appeal for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations
  • Homeless accommodation update
  • Food update
  • Youth activities during the pandemic
  • Message from Brighton & Hove Buses
  • Cleaning of communal areas in council properties
  • How to request help online if you need it

Latest update

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Dominic Raab MP, Foreign Secretary, spoke about the government’s efforts to bring people back to the UK from around the world.

He also said that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in hospital.

Professor Angela McLean, chief scientific adviser for the Ministry of Defence, explained efforts to stay at home are making a difference and should be continued.

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.

Appeal for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations

Cllr Clare Moonan, chair of Health and Wellbeing board, today repeated calls for donations of unused PPE to help support our care workers and other frontline staff.

While we are doing everything we can to source additional supplies on top of the stock being provided nationally, we’re calling for help from local businesses such as tattoo parlours, health and beauty salons, construction, schools and colleges.

We’re looking for fluid replant masks, protective eye goggles, disposable latex gloves, and plastic aprons.

Donations can be taken direct to Hove Town Hall where our PPE distribution team will see that it gets to front-line staff. Please drop off donations between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday.

Thank you in advance for any suitable equipment you can give and please remember to maintain the 2 metre social distancing guidelines.  We will not be able to accept any homemade equipment.

Read more on our council newsroom

Homeless accommodation update

Following the securing of more accommodation to provide people sleeping rough with a safe place to stay, our outreach service St Mungo’s has been out in the city contacting people to help them move off the streets.

St Mungo’s are working with Arch Healthcare to make sure everyone being accommodated is checked for symptoms before allocating them an appropriate place to stay.

Volunteers co-ordinated by the council with support from St Mungo’s, The Passage and Galvanise are also going out delivering more than 200 parcels of sandwiches and water every day for anyone still on the streets.

As of this morning, we’ve helped around 90 people move off the streets and anticipate there are currently around 50 more in need of accommodation. Food and support is being provided for everyone accommodated.

We’re now prioritising efforts on getting all those people into safe accommodation. We are doing all we can to encourage people to take up this offer, but we cannot make anyone stay in a hotel.

The Streetlink service is currently very busy, so please contact St Mungo’s directly this week if you see anyone sleeping rough – email BrightonSOS@mungos.org.

We’re still working on providing more accommodation available to increase and improve the support on offer. We hope to secure these extra rooms in the next few days.

This information is also available online in a comment by Cllr Gillian Williams, Chair of Housing committee

Food update

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership has now achieved 90% of their crowdfunding target of £30,000 to raise money to bulk buy food and other essential items for food banks in the city.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign so far. The money raised is making a real difference to people’s lives in the city.

To donate to this campaign and help them reach their goal, please visit their crowdfunding campaign website.

In a separate initiative, Brighton & Hove NHS Foodbank is raising money to support NHS workers in the city. The money raised will go towards food deliveries for NHS workers in the city. For more information on this crowdfunding effort by the local community group, visit their crowdfunding page.

We have a new section within our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pages on the council website, informing residents about our food distribution efforts in the city. This page will be updated with any new information so please promote the link to people who need it.

Youth activities during the pandemic

If you’re a young person or know a young person seeking to break the boredom, connect with other teens or discuss more serious issues with someone, have a look at the support available while staying well and safe at home.

There are many services, clubs and activities for young people aged 11 years and older running in the city which have been adapted to meet the current restrictions to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. Check out the new directory which shows what’s available.

Across the city, the service offer for young people has been adapted in light of the social distancing guidance which is designed to slow the spread of the virus and keep everyone of all ages as safe as possible. 

The new directory has been brought together by Brighton & Hove City Council, local charities, community groups and businesses.

Message from Brighton & Hove Buses

We’ve been contacted by Brighton & Hove Buses with a message for residents about bus services:

At Brighton & Hove Buses we are working hard alongside the council to maintain a comprehensive bus service network for those who heavily rely on buses to travel around the city.

In a recent announcement, £167m of funding for the nation’s bus industry was made available to help keep core service levels going for as long as possible and will ensure no bus has more than 50% of the maximum number of passengers allowed on board.

We are responding with extra buses (and/or extra journeys being added to the timetables) where needed. Concessionary passes for older people and disabled people can be used at any time.

Information displayed on buses and audio announcements encourage passengers to sit well apart and stand back from the driver to help maintain social distancing. 

Driver’s cabs are being given added protection to complement their PPE. There’s also a big push to discourage cash transactions. Passengers are being asked to pay by contactless or mobile phone rather than cash, if possible, to reduce contact. If you can only pay by cash, please make sure you have the right change and put your money in the clear plastic bag the driver will offer to avoid direct contact. If you have any alternative to cash payment, please use it for the safety of all.

Cleaning of buses has been stepped up (in addition to the current standard of cleaning) with increased wipe downs of all surfaces and the introduction of cleaning products used in hospitals. Today sees this improved further with cleaning during the day in the city centre, while still observing strict social distancing rules.

The crisis has had an impact on the number of staff able to work right now. A number of people have been furloughed to protect jobs. We’re doing all we can to keep core service operating and will continue to do so

To find information on journey times please click on this link for bus information.

The council is playing a big part in maintaining the security of the city’s public transport through the crisis underlining the spirit of collaboration needed to meet the unprecedented scale of the challenges to buses and other services.

Brighton & Hove buses main website

Cleaning of communal areas in council properties

Communal areas in council blocks are being cleaned regularly to protect tenants from the spread of Covid-19. A revised cleaning schedule has been put in place with a focus on “touch points” such as lift buttons, door handles and handrails.

Staff are being sent out teams of two to meet social distancing guidelines while carrying out the cleaning. Advice has been provided to staff on how to protect themselves and others. For example, avoiding cross contamination from one block to the next by discarding gloves after finishing a building and using a new pair when entering a new block.

This service will be kept under constant review.

How to request help online if you need it

Any 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 for themselves, or on behalf of someone else.

The form asks for details of residents who do not have support in place from family, friends or carers and need additional help with shopping, collecting medicines, emergency foodbank referrals or support to maintain their wellbeing. The information is treated in strictest confidence and used to help people as quickly as possible.

Our 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 form if you can, so we can keep phone lines free for those with no alternative.

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

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/BrightonHoveCC

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

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