City Council Covid-19 Briefing 07.04.20

Please find today’s briefing below.

You can continue to contact us at the details here.

Especially as the weather warms up please continue to help the city fight back and adhere to the guidelines about social distancing and going out.

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Woodvale cemetery closure
  • Supporting vulnerable people
  • Ongoing support for rough sleepers
  • Returning rehab equipment
  • Spare freezer space
  • New parking permits
  • Highway maintenance
  •  How to request help online if you need it

Latest update

At this evening’s Downing Street address, Dominic Raab MP, Foreign Secretary, gave a brief update on the health of the Prime Minister, who is said to be in “good spirits” and receiving “excellent care”.

The Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance said that it’s “possible we are beginning to see the flattening of the curve” but that we won’t be able to tell for sure for at least another week.

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.

Woodvale Cemetery closure

The difficult decision has been taken to close the cemetery grounds at Woodvale Crematorium from tomorrow (Wednesday 8 April) in line with new government guidance for managing crematoria.

The guidance states crematoria must close to the public, except for funerals. This requirement also includes a cemetery if the crematorium is situated in the cemetery, which is the case at Woodvale.

We understand that this will be upsetting to those who wish to visit the graves of family and friends; but it’s important that we follow regulations on health protection at this difficult time.  Read more from councillor Daniel Yates.

Supporting the most vulnerable people

Council leader Nancy Platts has written about what is being done to support the most vulnerable people in our community with emergency food bank referrals, shopping and medicine collection, as well as wellbeing and loneliness support.

Get additional COVID-19 related support from the community advice and support hub

If you, or someone you know needs support to get essential supplies like food or medication and you don’t have family, friends or a support/care worker to help you, go to: new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus-help and fill in the form with details of the help you need.

If you have no way of getting online and no one to help you, you can call 01273 293117, and press option 2 (please only call if you have no other option, leaving the phone lines free for those who really need it).

If you need information about changes to existing council services because of the COVID-19 situation, such as Parking, Bus Passes, Council Tax payments, or Business Rates, please search for the relevant service on the council website, or visit: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus (please use the online forms to contact the service wherever you can as phone lines will be busy).  

Ongoing support for rough sleepers

We’re working with our outreach service, St Mungo’s, to provide toiletries and essentials for homeless people who are staying in hotel rooms during the pandemic. We are also making sure those who have not yet agreed to come inside have access to basic supplies while we’re working to bring them off the streets.

Essentials such as shampoo, soap bars and deodorant have been particularly appreciated. At present, items have been given out on a needs basis. The team is now working on preparing packages which will be distributed to 200 people each week. The weekly supplies include shampoo, deodorant, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. Women’s packs also include sanitary products.

We’re working on expanding the offer in the weeks ahead to include hair conditioner, make-up, after shave and moisturiser. Donations are welcome. Items need to be new, unopened and within their use by date.

Contributions can be left at St Patrick’s Church side entrance, 1 Cambridge Road, Hove, between 3pm and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Please be careful to observe social distancing while dropping off items and aim to do so when on a planned essential trip out. If this is not practical for you or you would like to make a large donation please email the Commissioning.Team@brighton-hove.gov.uk with more information and to discuss options.

We’re also looking at making people’s stay as comfortable as possible while they follow the government’s stay at home guidelines. We’ve been working with organisations across the city to seek donations of devices such as internet enabled tablets, televisions, games consoles and radios. If you can donate an item, please email hello@galvanisebh.org and a collection will be arranged from you to the St Mungo’s team.

All those in need are also being provided with meals through the day.

The accommodation and support is being provided for people who are local to Brighton & Hove. We are managing the numbers involved and working closely with partners to meet people’s individual needs. It is possible that the number of people facing hardship and homelessness could rise during the weeks and months ahead, we are looking at how best to manage any rise in local demand.

The government has stated that only essential trips should be made at this time. People should not be coming to Brighton & Hove to seek accommodation. We will have to reconnect people to their local services if they are not from Brighton & Hove.

Returning rehabilitation equipment

People in Brighton & Hove who are no longer using six key items of specialist rehabilitation equipment are being asked to return them as soon as possible to help the NHS during the Coronavirus crisis.

  • The six items are:
  • Specialist hospital-style beds
  • Mattresses
  • Hoists
  • Electric reclining chairs
  • Perching stools
  • Commodes.

To arrange a collection please phone NRS Healthcare on 01273 894350 or email enquiries@brightonandhove.nrs.uk.net 

NRS Healthcare runs the city’s specialist rehab equipment service on behalf of the council and the local NHS. 

All collection drivers will be using appropriate personal protective equipment and will follow strict social distancing measures.

For example, some items can be left outside your front door on the day of collection.

Spare freezer space

Together with our partners, the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, we are working with 60 local community groups across the city to providing food support to those that need it most.

As part of this effort, our partner organisations are asking for more freezer space to store food for individuals in need, as well as food banks.  Both chest and industrial freezers are needed by organisations, with a preference for those being contributed by the catering trade.

If you can help with this request, please get in contact with East Brighton Food Coop by emailing janet@eastbrightonfoodcoop.uk or calling 07866027719.

New parking permits

Residents in Brighton & Hove wishing to apply for new parking permits are now able to do so online.

In order to follow guidance on social distancing, we’ve removed the requirement for residents to come to Hove Town Hall for new permit applications.  The online process for renewing a permit remains unchanged.

More information on resident parking permits can be found on our website.

Highway maintenance

During this period, we have continued to maintain the city’s highway network as usual, ensuring all necessary inspections are taking place and repairs completed in a timely way.

We are working with utility companies and developers to carry out essential works on the network, prioritising safety defects and preparing sites for a programme of resurfacing works. Although the winter season has now ended, we are still delivering our winter service over the coming weeks to ensure further cold spells are covered and roads remain safe to use.

To ensure the safety of staff and the public we are adhering to government advice and have adjusted our working practices accordingly; all staff are following social distancing guidelines and we have introduced new processes to limit the amount of contact staff have with one another.

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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