We hope you are well.
Please see today’s city briefing below, which we hope you will find useful.
Tomorrow, Phélim and I will hold our first ever digital advice drop-in (ward surgery) on zoom. We still have some spaces for appointments and you can view the details of that here.
In this briefing
- Service changes
- Stay at home and enjoy the city online
- Woodvale cemetery grounds to reopen
- Testing for frontline key workers
- New Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses announced
- Bereavement support services
- Public toilets
Stay at home and enjoy the city online
Cllr Alan Robins has shared ways to enjoy local arts and culture from your own home.
From virtual events to digital reading material, the city’s cultural sector is offering a range of activities to entertain and inspire people to be creative in their own homes as the lockdown continues.
Woodvale cemetery grounds to reopen
Following updated government guidance, the cemetery grounds at Woodvale will reopen from tomorrow, Wednesday 29 April.
In an address to residents, lead councillor for life events services, Daniel Yates, says he’s pleased that the grounds will be reopened, but has again urged people to treat the grounds with the respect.
The message follows concerns that before the grounds were closed, staff witnessed people using the grounds for activities such as skateboarding and picnics. Children were also seen climbing on headstones.
Testing for frontline key workers
Testing for Covid-19 is being expanded to all frontline key workers with coronavirus-like symptoms. This is to ensure that self-isolating key workers can go back to work if they’re well enough.
The test allows key workers to find out whether they or members of their household currently have coronavirus. It is not an antibody test to identify if someone has had or is immune to the virus.
Frontline key workers can access testing either by attending one of several drive-through testing sites across Sussex or by requesting a home testing kit.
New Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses announced
The government has announced a new Bounce Back Loans scheme that will be made available to small businesses from Monday 4 May. These loans will be 100% government-backed.
Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.
The government will work with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible and agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
Bereavement support services
We understand that many people will be experiencing loss during this difficult time.
Brighton & Hove City Council has updated its information on local bereavement services. The bereavement service team can also offer advice on burials, cremations and memorials.
A reminder that we have closed most of the public toilets in the city following the continued government requirement for social distancing and asking people to stay at home. In line with this, it is expected that people minimise the time spent outside and use local open spaces near to their home when exercising.
We have kept a number of public toilets open to serve essential users who don’t have access to any other toilet facilities. These are:
- King Alfred (including RADAR accessible toilets) – open from 8am to 8pm
- Park Road, Rottingdean – open from 8am to 4pm
- Royal Pavilion Gardens – open from 8am to 8pm
- Stanmer Village – open from 8am to 8pm
- The Level (including RADAR accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities) – open from 8am to 8pm
The decision to close most of the toilets followed increasing difficulties to maintain them in a safe manner. This included increased anti-social behaviour, vandalism and theft, in addition to issues managing overcrowding.
We are keeping this under review and will reopen toilets as soon as we can do so safely.